We explain what organizational development is and what its objectives are. Also, its general characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages.

What is organizational development?

Organizational development (OD) is a theory-practice that understands groups as systems and serves as a tool for organizations. It considers human relations in relation to a common goal, in line with this, within the institutions a goal is set and resolutions are adopted with the intention of ensuring general efficiency. Ultimately, it is about successfully working with human capital to obtain the success of the organization. The theoretical support of DO is rooted in the sciences of behavior and communication.

We can say that the conduction of the DO adopts the modality of Ā«programĀ». Ie it is approached in a planned way, changes are made propitiated by making diagnoses and beyond the technical changes, the target plan is to transform, streamline labor relations, change habits and behaviors of people, and amplify their potential to starting from the means and perspectives that each organization possesses.

The concept of Organizational Development (OD) involves theories about a man and his environment and, as we mentioned, is based on behavioral sciences. It is about projecting the "whole" so that the constituent parts assume their role efficiently and this redounds to the benefit of the organization, but not in an authoritarian or unilateral way but rather by encouraging a social conscience, changing the organizational culture.

In this sense, it has a direct influence on human capital and is explicitly linked to HR. Organizational development issues often have to do with leadership, communication, and group conflict. The measures adopted are aimed at increasing the adaptability of the organization to the accelerated rhythms of the workplace, new technologies, and competition.

Organizational development characteristics :



According to organizational development, organizations are systems and must integrate interests. The objectives need to be assimilated, coordinated by people. There is an interaction between people, structure, and organizational processes that must be sustained. The eye is on its operation as a whole, not separately.


Human values are promoted since personal goodwill and group proactivity are of the utmost importance. In turn, power in the company is distributed through delegations. When you want to make a change, one of the strategies is to survey employees about their perceptions. The members will attend to the possible dysfunctionalities of the organism and how these affect its components.

Clarity of objectives

The analysis stages involve the determination of a model based on a previous diagnosis, the participation of an external consultant, data collection, evaluation, and the plan according to what the latter yields. In short, it is necessary to put together an immediate action plan to determine a model. The entire body will have the means to achieve certain ends in which it agrees.



Organizations must self-examine to detect irregularities in the body and quickly find strategies for improvement. This is always the previous and constant step to operate the changes: the diagnosis. Where do you want to go and the identity issues of the organization are constant occupations.


The programs are focused on contingency. Actions are carried out to address adaptive needs. The body must adapt to survive in optimal conditions, adapt to social opinion, competition, and laws and regulations.

Structural dynamism

Change is encouraged and accompanied. Actions arise from specific needs. In this sense, there is no rigid structure or instituted regularity.

Group formation

Group formation

Teamwork means a greater probability of achieving goals. Groups are emphasized, proposing cooperation and the ability to overcome personal problems.

Learning through experience

Experience is the axis in the training process. People analyze and share their experiences. This type of learning is much more productive since it generates more behavioral changes than reading and analyzing other people's situations, with abstract content.

There is, what is said, a praxis. The theory is insufficient and practice cannot be consolidated without constant self-evaluation. Organizational development promotes learning from one's own experience, from mistakes and successes, reflection guided by the notion of the whole.

Constant training

Constant training

The employee is familiarized with their duties to obtain greater efficiency on the job and a favorable overall result. There is constant training in the knowledge and skills involved, and also in attitudes that also serve the organization in the face of vicissitudes.

Advantages and disadvantages

Among the advantages of organizational development, we find a dynamic environment, motivated staff, and productivity, due to these characteristics a better conflict resolution and a more achieved commitment to the objectives are inferred, which translates into less absenteeism.

But organizational development planning also has certain disadvantages, which is that it is very difficult to sustain due to its cost and unpredictability, in addition to this, its privacy is very scarce. On the other hand, it is considered that the emphasis placed on the group process would act to the detriment of individual performance.

The above content published at Collaborative Research Group is for informational and educational purposes only and has been developed by referring to reliable sources and recommendations from technology experts. We do not have any contact with official entities nor do we intend to replace the information that they emit.


MA student of the TransAtlantic Masters program at UNC-Chapel Hill. Political Science with a focus on European Studies. Expressed ideas are open to revision. He not only covers Technical articles but also has skills in the fields of SEO, graphics, web development and coding. .

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