5ODT Organisation Development: Implications for HR

Introduction to ODT Organisation Development: Implications for HR

The history of the unit organisation development suggests that it was first taught in the 1950s. The current study was developed from various disciplines including sociology, psychotherapy and behavioural science. Thus organisational developments are directly influenced by the HR roles of a given organisation. Recently, organisation development has become one of the most essential practices to maintain performance of an organisation.

The unit is meant to introduce learners to the activities of organisation development and the implications for the human resource. In the field of Human resources, development involves changes in the form of structural improvement in an organisation that are part of the HR responsibility.  Organisational development (OD) unit focuses on the role of human resource in changes that come about as a result of organisational processes, systems, employee wellness, diversity, talent management and performance management. Organisation development is the planned and systematic enabling of sustainable performance in an organisation through the improvement of its people. It is a course unit that helps learners understand the roles of the HR function within the work place. It is a unit that helps the students focus on the objectives that the HR professionals in the HR department are given.

Importance of the Unit in HR

The unit is important as it helps the students develop a systematic mind-set that will enable them to intentionally align organisational goals and activities with the primary goal of improving organisation performance. The lessons taught in the unit are directly related to the core functions of the HR department of an organisation. Basically the primary purpose of studying the unit is to enable organisations to adapt and respond to market dynamics. Students of this unit will become more efficient and effective in the organisational roles. The unit covers many aspects of the organisation but it is primarily based on the following fundamental principles:

  1. It teaches on the importance of maximising on the value gained from the organisations resources
  2. It elaborates on the importance of organisation’s strategy, goals and core purpose in its development processes.
  3. The application of behavioural science, knowledge and practice in organisations competitive advantage is dependent on people.
  4. It focuses on change management in institutions that aim to institutionalise continual improvement.

Students of this module will learn that, the implications of OD for HR role are primarily based on the listed principles.

Who and when to pursue the Unit

The unit is suitable for HR practitioners as well as individuals aspiring to pursue careers in the field of human resource. Organisation development specialists who necessarily don’t have to be HR professions can also pursue the module with the aim of working with managers to achieve organisational goals. Development specialists are equipped with the knowledge of what an organisation needs to navigate through complex situations to effect development or change. Organisation development specialists are also referred to as organisation development consultants, and they are a suitable group of individuals to pursue the unit. The consultants can work within an organisation as employees, while others can perform their duties as external consultants. In an organisation, it is important to understand that the role of HR heavily draws from the concept of OD, to actualise development processes required to effect change.

Unit Objectives

There are four primary objectives that will be covered in the module. The objectives include:

  1. To define organisation development and its strategy
  2. To assess organisational capability
  3. To examine and build organisation development interventions
  4. To elaborate on change management.

Organisation Development process

Students of this unit will learn that there are four primary stages of organisation development process. The unit will elaborate on the following stages, critically analysing each stage and giving practical examples. The stages in summary include:

  1. Organisation review. It is the stage where needs analysis is conducted using a range of tools such as PESTLE, SWOT, quantitative performance targets among others.
  2. Diagnosing extent to which needs are being met. At this stage, students will learn that the gaps identified in the first stage (analysis) is being met using a range of frameworks such as ISO, TQM, Six Sigma or Forced field.
  3. Identifying the intervention that best fits the identified gap. This stage will give a clear elaboration of different organisation development multidisciplinary that can be used for interventions. The interventions range from Human resource intervention, techno-structural interventions and strategic intervention.
  4. Implementation of the intervention. Learners will understand that implementation is a process that requires change management practices that will be detailed in the unit. Case studies for different existing organisations will also be covered.

By the end of the unit, the learners should;

  • Describe how the organisation is structured its culture and core processes
  • Give a clear expository of the basic organisation development theories and their application to design and interventions.
  • Describe organisation development diagnostic tools and frameworks
  • Demonstrate acquired listening, engaging and advisory skills.
  • Explain different basic processes of improvement tools such as lean and Six Sigma.


The students pursuing the unit are those willing to develop their professionalism and careers in the field of Human resource Management, and in the development of the organisation. Students get to learn the different issues associated with the skills needed in carrying out different HR functions to enhance achievement of the organisational objectives. Persons already in the HR field and are wishing to increase their knowledge and competence in carrying HR functions may also pursue the unit to gain knowledge on the same. Finally, learners have the obligation to ensure that they gain the knowledge and skills needed in the delivery of HR functions, as well as ensure that they gain the capability to effectively coordinate HR roles for the overall achievement of business objectives.

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