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A Competency Model for OD Practitioners
Organization development is gaining maturity as a profession--but little information is available on what works and what doesn't.
Recent studies suggest that the workplace is going to be substantially different by the turn of the century. Most of the desired changes require people and organizations capable of sustained, high-quality performance.
Organization development can play an important role in the process. OD focuses on planned change and the systematic application of behavioral science to increase organizational effectiveness. Its primary focus, according to a recently completed study by ASTD's Task Force on Competencies and Standards, is on ensuring that an organization's inter- and intra-unit relationships are healthy.
As a professional endeavor, OD is reaching maturity. Literature on the effectiveness of its technology has increased in recent years. In general, the literature supports the engagement of behavioral scientists as internal and external consultants to improve organizational performance.
Recently, some people have expressed concerns about the nature of OD, the
skills and competencies of OD practitioners, and the scope and content of their training programs. Because the levels and quality of such training programs have been quite variable, several experts have attempted to develop standardization and credentialing procedures for the OD profession. None has prevailed.
In an effort to develop a competency-based program for training professionals at the master's degree level, we began to examine the literature on OD skills and competencies. Information ranged from case studies to professional conferences.
But few studies had collected firsthand information on what practitioners are actually doing that is perceived to be effective. Furthermore, nothing was available that related such OD activities to the success of the interventions. Finally, we could find no information …