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Organizations are now experiencing profound and wide reaching change. In the context of globalization, the need to respond to the numerous challenges emerging from the dynamic and ever-changing business environment is a daunting task. Indeed the changes that organizations are facing are more multifaceted than ever. Engaging workforce to a clearly articulated strategy by means of the change management process is therefore a real challenge for local and international organizations.
In today’s economy, motivated and committed employees is fundamental key to the success of an organization. Organizing and routing employee competencies and energy is not only an essential requirement for successfully achieving corporate success and enabling change, it is also directly linked with employee satisfaction. Thus, the need to align and integrate Culture, processes, systems, Technology, strategy should with people’s KSA’s to energize their talents in the pursuit of their own self-interest and making the quality of work more satisfying.
This paper is based on action research. The focus is on evaluating whether OD interventions is a reality and applied science in the Mauritian organization and the end result of OD interventions in the Mauritian context and and to assess the extent to which it has affected commitment of employees.
Research Objectives and questions
Since the main objective is to evaluate the impact of OD interventions on employee engagement, to obtain appropriate results various objectives can be set. To further be able to reach the objectives, some questions can be set appropriately. The objectives and questions are:
To highlight if company X promotes OD.
Is there any OD consultant at the company?
What are his duties and competencies?
What were the discomforts felt by the company, which brought about the practice of OD?
To determine the OD interventions used at Company X.
What are the different diagnosis tools of OD, which have been used at the company?
What is the basis of using these specific tools?
What is the role of top management in the implementation?
To investigate how the interventions affected employee engagement.
What have been the drivers of engagement at the company?
What are the variables of measurement of engagement at company X?
To evaluate effectiveness of the interventions.
Are there any past data for comparison purpose?
What are the findings and outcomes of the intervention on engagement?
What can be proposed from the analysis?
Organization development is a process of planned change for the purpose of enhancing individual development and improving organizational performance. It is a “long term effort led and supported by top management , to improve an organization’s visioning, empowerment learning, and problem solving processes, through an on-going, collaborative management of organizational structure-with special emphasis of the culture of intact work and teams and other team configurations-using the consultant-facilitator role and the theory and technology of applied behavioral science , including action research”. (Wendell L.French et al.1999)
The definition provided above implies a number of elements which are considered essential for the practical application of the science in the organization.
Characteristics of OD
OD emphases on culture and processes
Specifically, OD encourages collaboration between organization leaders and members in the managing culture and processes.
Teams are all kinds are particularly important for accomplishing tasks and are targets for OD activities.
Participation and involvement in problem solving and decision making by all levels of the organizations are hallmarks of OD. OD recognizes the importance of top management commitment, support and involvement. It also affirms a bottom approach when the culture of the organizations supports such efforts to improve an organization.
The key emphasis of OD is on the total system and its inter-reliant parts.
OD practionners are facilitators, collaborators and co-learners with client system.
It is a development-based program aimed to develop values, attitudes, norms and management practices that would result in a healthy organization..
It involves planned interventions and improvements in an organizations processes and structures which rely on action research.
OD takes a developmental view that seeks the betterment of both individuals and the organization. Attempting to create “win-win” solutions is standard practice in OD programs.
OD interventions address a wide range of specific problems and opportunities. The intervention strategy integrates the problem or opportunity to be addressed, the desired outcomes and the sequencing and timing of various interventions. As such, OD interventions are sets of structures activities in which selected organizational units (targets groups or individuals) engage in a task or a sequence of tasks with the goals of organizational improvement and individual development.
The classification of OD interventions is quite extensive; Burk and Horstein (1972) listed only six categories:
All purpose “miscellaneous”
French and Bell (1999) developed the typology of OD target groups and designed interventions to improve effectiveness. The target group comprises of individuals, Dyads, teams and groups, intergroup relations and the overall organization.
Significance of OD interventions
In Mauritius as in other countries, the significance of Organizational Development has been of such importance to respond to the internal and external changes occurring in our business environment as a result of globalization. Anderson and Anderson (2001a, p.1) note that ” in today’s market place, change is a requirement for continued success, and competent change leadership is the most coveted executive skills”.
The underlying principle for change will be the transformation of the organization for the benefit of all. OD interventions enable the optimization of the system by ensuring that systems elements are harmonious and congruent.
In today’s World, Key elements to business success are engaged employees who are aligned with organizational culture and goals. The commitment and the involvement of the workforce is crucial due to the emergence of “human capital” as a competitive advantage.
The main characteristics of an engaged employees are as follows:
Believes in the organization
Is positive about the job and the organization
Works actively to make things better
Treats others with respect, and help colleagues to perform more effectively
Can be relied upon and goes beyond the requirements of the job
Identifies with the organization
Keep up to date with developments in his/her field
Sees the bigger picture even at personal cost
OD and Employee Engagement
The practical tool of an OD practionners a possess high-engagement change process in consideration with collaboration flow and effective problem solving under the employee involvement. Konrad (2006) supports the notion that employee involvement is key to employee involvement by stating “employees who conceive design and implement workforce and process changes are engaged employees”
The increasing of employee engagement is a difficult process as it is rather a psychological contract than a physical one. Saks (2006) also stresses the point that “engagement is a broad organizational and cultural strategy that involves all levels of the organization”.
Employee engagement as such is considered as a primary requirement to implement organizational change thus contributing to bring about organizational development.
For the purpose of the study, both qualitative and quantitative research will be done. As mentioned in the previous section, the aim of the study is to evaluate the impact of employee engagement by indentifying the variables that would enable to identify the correlation and impact of OD interventions.
Collection of data
For collecting data, different sources are envisaged, mainly:
Both qualitative and quantitative research will be used to gather an in-depth understanding of the application of interventions and eventually study how these interventions impact on employee engagement defined in the objectives.
This approach will explore the how and why of interventions and not just the what, where and when relating to the behavioral aspect of workforce engagement.
A survey using questionnaire will be implemented complemented with interviews to capture both qualitative and quantitative intent of the study.
To achieve the aim of the study fully, the availability of past data records of previous years for comparison, in the published or non-published form can be useful. This secondary data is for interpretation purposes so as to be able to compare values and relate the effectiveness of OD interventions on employee engagement.
Unstructured and Structured questions will be asked to top management and employees to record their feedback and opinions.
The use of the questionnaire is to provide in-depth explanation to the questions. To begin with, to be able to respond to the first two Objectives, a preliminary questionnaire will be addressed to OD consultant or HR of the company to set the study into the context of the company and to gather background and fundamental data.
Afterwards, a second questionnaire will be addressed to the employees addressing their engagement that is to evaluate their involvement and attachment to the company, but also to define the determinants of employee at the company.
Population of relevance
The population of relevance shall be the employees of the company, and top management
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