Combining organization development (OD) and organization design: An investigation based on the perspectives of OD and change management consultants

by George, Gemma, Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2011, 135 pages; 3443321


Within the context of 21st century change, organizations find themselves operating in increasingly complex technological, political, and social environments. Most of the intervention strategies that worked prior to the Information Age were designed to fit with an idea of change as linear, predictable, and controllable; these strategies must be revisited in the turbulent, chaotic environment of the twenty-first century. Organization development has been successfully utilized as a change intervention strategy; however, an increase in failed interventions has caused critics to question the validity of OD as a tool for organization effectiveness (Head & Sorenson, 2005). McLean Simms Mangham and Tuffield (1982) suggest that the values of OD seem to be changing because OD was changing as a result of changes occurring in the environment. As organizations change, OD and change management consultants will have to find ways to integrate new processes into OD to make it more adaptable to these new organizational forms. Since organization design is concerned with structuring and changing the organization to achieve its goals (Robbins, 1983), it makes sense to consider whether combining these two disciplines could enhance organization change effectiveness. The qualitative study utilized a web questionnaire and semi-structured interviews to explore OD and change management consultants’ use of a combination of organization development and organization design. It tapped into the knowledge base of these consultants, and through their lenses, described how this combined strategy could enhance organizational effectiveness. The study found that the majority of OD and change management consultants already successfully utilized this combination of OD and design in their change interventions. The study highlighted the benefits that most consultants derived as a result of utilizing organization alignment from a systems perspective as a way to design organizations that could quickly adapt to changes in the environment, and finally while many consultants did not seriously consider the value of culture, the study reinforced the fact that all consultants needed to consider the effects of culture in their organization change interventions; mergers & acquisitions in particular.

AdviserR. Drummond McNaughton
Source TypeDissertation
Publication Number3443321

About ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
With nearly 4 million records, the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) Global database is the most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses in the world. It is the database of record for graduate research.

PQDT Global combines content from a range of the world's premier universities - from the Ivy League to the Russell Group. Of the nearly 4 million graduate works included in the database, ProQuest offers more than 2.5 million in full text formats. Of those, over 1.7 million are available in PDF format. More than 90,000 dissertations and theses are added to the database each year.

If you have questions, please feel free to visit the ProQuest Web site - - or contact ProQuest Support.