Organizational Development versus Organizational Transformation

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Organizational Development versus Organizational Transformation
Maja Sahbaz, Student (MBA), Serbia

I am preparing a short assignment on change management and should discuss change management models. While reading handbook of HRM practice by Armstrong, I ran into several change management models discussed under OD and under OT the models are referred to as "transition management". What is the difference between the changes ran under organizational development and those under organizational transformation and how should I differentiate the two i.e. should I include them all into change management models or only those discussed under OD?

Current Thinking is Change versus Transition
Jacqueline Gargiulo, Other, United States
Maja, when I read your question, I wonder if what you are speaking of is actually current thinking on change versus transition? Change happens, it is our ability as individuals and organizations to transition to/with it that can be problematic.
A superior model for change management is ADKAR. Check it out.

Organizational Development (OD) versus Org. Transformation (OT)
Artur Silva, Professor, Portugal
- OD changes the way things are done (normally trying to fix errors), but not the principles, values, paradigms and mental models that created those problems in the first place. It is simple single-loop learning (Argyris & Schön).
- OT attempts to change the values and mental models. It normally implies double-loop learning. Hence it does more than developing - it transforms.
Harrison Owen was instrumental, some 25 years ago, in the creation of the OT movement. You can find some of his papers here.

Change Requires a Learning Organization
David Wilson, Manager, Canada
If you want to develop the capability of people to change, you may need to create an organization that is capable of learning.
Senge in The Fifth Discipline (1990) discusses the need for a learning organization to manage transformational change versus transactional change. You may also be interested in the book by Senge at al. - The Dance of Change (1999), where the authors discuss "profound change" and how people and organizations are able to sustain the transformation.
Regardless of the terms you use, you will need to define them.

Ensure That There is a Cristal Clear Case for People to Change
Rosie Azid, Other, Malaysia
Change is inevitable and William Bridges maintains that situational changes are not as difficult for companies to make as compared to the psychological transitions.
Check-out the book Managing Transitions by Bridges that provides understanding of what change does to employees and what employees in transition can do to an organization.

Difference Beween OD & OT
Toor, Other, Libya
In my opinion, when we speak about OD then we are developing the organization, and when we speak about OT, then we are doing reactive maintenance of organization.
You can find lot of examples for OD & OT in many organizations.

Org Development versus Org Transition
Greg Johnson, Partner, United States
@Artur Silva: I agree that Organizational Development and Organizational Transition are similar in voice but different in anticipated outcomes. Transition is mission driven to some end point versus OD is more cultural design and assessment.
There is an entire dissertation that could be written on this topic but I only have 600+ characters left.


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