Organization design and development is one of the domains of knowledge that are related to the theory and practice of organizational change. Nowadays, many researchers regard this field of knowledge as a single entity, considering that these two aspects of organizational life are closely interconnected. Considering the key values that form the basis of the domain, the contribution of organization design and development to organizational life is difficult to be overstated.
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The question of the historical and theoretical basis of organization design and development remains extremely important as modern researchers tend to utilize two opposite approaches when discussing the field. Thus, some of them see the field as an entity whereas others claim that the nature of each aspect should be analyzed separately. For instance, Morrison (2013) supposes that the approaches used in the United States and Europe to understand the interconnection between organization development and organization design are extremely different. The second approach, the author states, tends to see these elements as unequal. Consequently, the common practices utilized in these regions are not the same.
Organization development is known as the study of possible changes capable of improving the positions of organizations. Among the most important theoretical concepts that form the basis of OD, there are values outlined by Raja and Margulies in the 1970s (Lyon et al. 2017). They include the prohibition to treat people as resources and the necessity to encourage employees to unlock their potential. Apart from that, the requirements indicated include the use of a goal-oriented approach and various practices helping to create the appropriate working environment. Speaking about other important tasks that are believed to lie at the basis of organization development studies, they include improving interpersonal relationships and the teamwork of individuals working together and reduce the number of work-related conflicts. At the same time, the field of organizational development is strictly interconnected with the notion of employee happiness as the latter has a strong impact on work productivity. Another important task that organization development studies are supposed to fulfill is the creation of a system that would be able to regulate and renew itself, using its internal resources. In general, the knowledge concerning this aspect of organizational life started to develop when the strong link between the system and employee behavior was finally proved.
Organization design is the second aspect that needs to be discussed within the frame of the domain. It is closely interconnected with organization development because both topics focus on particular working practices improving the performance of organizations. Explaining the difference between these two aspects of organizational life, Morrison (2013) believes that organizational design refers to the creation of a system and goal-mapping whereas organization development involves problem-solving and improving the system that is already used.
To sum it up, organizational life in the twenty-first century is highly influenced by the key conclusions that researchers in the field of organization design and development present. For instance, the use of humanistic values to shape internal structures of organizations helps to ensure employee engagement and, therefore, make people happier at work. Also, an important theoretical basis of organization development proves the significance of good relationships and trust among colleagues. Denying the possibility to treat employees like resources that need to be used to achieve success, researchers contributing to the field have managed to change organization life in many companies for the better.
Lyon, L, Itaya, LE, Hoover, T, Booth, MT & Nadershahi, N 2017, ‘Humanism in dental education: A comparison of theory, intention, and stakeholder perceptions at a North American dental school’, Journal of Dental Education, vol. 81, no. 8, pp. 929-936.
Morrison, R 2013, Organisation design vs organisation development, weblog, Web.