OD Interventions: Strategy and Structure Essay - Essay Prowess

OD Interventions: Strategy and Structure Essay


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OD Interventions: Strategy and Structure

1a. What constitutes the organisation’s general environment?  An organisation’s general environment encompasses all external factors influencing an organisation or departments within the organisation (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d). These include technological requirements, regulatory and legal frameworks, ecological, social, political and economic factors. Each one of these factors has an indirect or direct effect on the performance and future of an organisation’s viability (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d).

1b. How would this impact on decisions made by a change agent? For a manufacturing organisation, the availability of raw materials can be affected by ecological factors such as terrain, infrastructure or even risk associated with worker safety thus dictating the mode of operation of the organisation(Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d). Political instability or stability play a significant role in the way an organisation outlines its long-term and short-term strategies (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d).

2a.Through what strategies do organisations gain ‘control’ over their environments? An organisation’s view and representation of its operating environment is important concerning strategies organisations adopt and implement in an effort to gain control over their environments (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d). An enacted environment relates to how an organisation perceives and understands its working environment. A number of environmental dimensions dictate the relations between an organisation and its environment (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d).

2b.What implication does this have for how change is managed? An organisation’s ability to effectively interpret information flowing in to the organisation concerning the environment determines the intensity of the relevance of information from the environment (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d). Thus, the greater the level of uncertainty, then the greater the need for an in depth analysis of information coming in from the environment. For dynamic environments, changes occur abruptly and the periods when such changes are expected are unknown (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d). For complex environments, the factors that can affect the stability off an organisation are numerous and diverse. The ability of an organisation to process information from the environment and make effective changes accordingly dictates the degree to which a company is successful in any given environment (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d).

What is associated with a transorganisational system? In the global environment, competition has grown greatly and organisations have opted to join hands in developing strategies that incorporate collective and pool resources among organisations with similar objectives (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d). An example of a transorganisational system is the collaboration between semiconductor manufacturers in the US in an effort to stay above the competition posed by other international semiconductor manufacturers. Transorganisational systems are associated with performances that are the midpoint of individual organisations and common organisational systems (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d). Members of transorganisational systems keep their individual identities and objectives though the transorganisational system formulate plans, are in charge of decision making processes and perform functions on behalf of participating member organisations (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d). These systems are therefore under organised and interactions loosely united. The creation and management of these systems is therefore a delicate issue as compared to the OD process (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d).

3b. Describe its stages, compare, and contrast this with the OD process. There are four stages consistent with the formation of transorganisational systems (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d). The first stage known as the Identification stage and potential member organisations are determined at this stage (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d). This is the most delicate stage in the formation of transorganisational system as members may not perceive the need or are unsure about the motives of other potential member organisations. This is not the case in OD as an individual organisation has clear-cut objectives (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d).

The second stage known as the convention stage comes into play after potential members are verified (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d). The creation of a transorganisational system undergoes scrutiny as too its viability and aspirations. The establishment of adequate intensity and motivation fro the development of a transorganisational system gains consensus (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d). Convenors from tertiary institutions aid members streamline difference in motives to encompass all-inclusive strategies that create a form of cohesiveness among the member organisations (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d).

Organisational stage involves member organisations formulating plans and structures for communication and interrelations among members and cooperation towards working on the tasks at hand.  Member organisations commit large pools of resources and expenditures and benefits allocated to member organisations (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d).

The fourth stage known as the evaluation stage assess the performance of the transorganisational system (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d). Feedback data is analysed by members to define the degree of interactions among members. Members then determine the relevant changes necessary, which may involve a revision of strategies formulated in previous stages (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d).

4a.Describe both downsizing and re-engineering, then compare and contrast them.  Organisations seek to downsize operations in an effort to cut costs and bureaucratic tendencies. Actions consistent with downsizing include employee layoffs, redeployment, attrition, early retirement, reduction or merging departments, outsourcing and delayering (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d).

Re-engineering refers to re-evaluating and redesigning of an organization’s business processes to have a major impact on performance. The production and delivery of goods and services is greatly enhanced as was witnessed at the height of the industrial revolution (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d).

Re-engineering an organisation’s business processes concedes numerous time resources, with work units converting from functioning departments to process teams, tasks take a multidimensional approach, roles accorded to personnel are greatly empowered, compensation is based on performance, hierarchical structures tend to become flat, and managers and executives are in the front line for the necessary organisational changes (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d). In downsizing, the success of this approach depends on the extent at which layoffs are effected to meet cost cutting objectives. This approach has been successful in organisations with a high level of automation in business processes (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d).

5a.What are the approaches to work design? Give an example of each. There are three approaches to work design namely, the engineering, the motivational approach and the social technical approach (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d).

The engineering approach borrows heavily from engineering methods and concepts. Through scientific analysis, structured tasks accommodate procedures that enhance the productivity of a process at the least possible input in terms of resources and energy (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d). This approach identifies with traditional jobs, which are repetitive, such a telephone exchange operator and traditional work groups as in assembly lines with specialised teams as in the automobile industry (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d).

The motivational approach seeks to enhance employee output and satisfaction through job enrichment (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d). This ensures that workers are autonomous; the degree of personal responsibility is high, timely completion of jobs, comprehensive analysis on feedback and appropriate corrective action. Golden Circle in Australia practices the motivational approach (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d).

Sociotechnical systems approach is consistent with two interdependent constituents, social and technical aspects. The social constituent involves laws that obey biological and psychological aspects while the technical constituent obeys physical and mechanical aspects (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d).  This approach results in the high-quality production of goods and services and personnel satisfaction. Self-managed work team adopted in Scandinavian countries much to the advantage of those economies with team members taking full responsibility for a major part or entire production process (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d).

  1. Why are the work design approaches more effective when integrated? Integrated work design approach encompasses the requirements posed by open systems. The environment offers the organization integrated work design with adequate inputs as to the information, energy and raw materials (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d). The integrated work approach reciprocates by offering an open system with high-quality goods and services. Such an approach has the ability to adapt to changes occurring in the open system. This approach accommodates the rapid development and societal need of team members (Waddell, Cumming & Worley, n.d).


Waddell, D. M., Cumming, T. G. & Worley, C. G. (n.d). OD interventions: Strategy and structure. Organisational Change: Development & Transformation.

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