Balancing output and human needs

|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/06/2001

Aaron Pun, a management consultant with the City of Toronto and organizational development expert, explains that while OD is a discipline, some organizations have named these professionals or units delivering these services as organization effectiveness or management consulting. Hence, there is always a blur in the definition. Below he provides a selection of definitions of OD.

Aaron Pun, City of Toronto: OD is the application of behavioural science knowledge to the development of organizational strategies, structures and processes for enhancing organization and employee effectiveness. The discipline embraces humanitarian values in bringing about the changes. OD is not focused on individual cases but rather the system as a whole. It addresses strategic issues affecting bottom-line results and enterprise-wide productivity with a holistic view, balancing output and quality of life. They should be grounded in humanistic and democratic values and the OD practitioners should be competent behavioural scientists and apply theories and intervention methods such as strategic planning, change leadership, process re-engineering, team alignment and organizational learning.

Richard Beckhard, MIT: An organization-wide effort planned, managed from the top, to increase organization effectiveness and health through planned interventions in the organization’s “processes,” using behavioural-science knowledge.