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MGMT628 Organizational Development (alt. code=HRM628) GLOSSARY!!!

Accountability :       Responsibility to produce a promised result within a specified time

Acquisition : The purchase of one organization by another (see merger)

Action learning : A form of action research in which the focus is helping organization learns from their actions how to create entirely new structures, processes and behaviors. This process involves extensive trial and error learning as participants try out new ways of operation, assess progress and make necessary adjustments. This is also called action science, self design or appreciative inquiry.

Action research : A cyclical process of diagnosis-change-research-diagnosis-research- change. The results of diagnosis produce ideas for change; the changes are introduced into same system and their effects are noted through further research and diagnosis. The number of cycles may be infinite.

Active listening :

Reflecting back to the other person not only what the person has said but also perceived emotional tone of the message.

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Accountability :

Responsibility to produce a promised result within a specified time


Acquisition :

The purchase of one organization by another (see merger)


Action learning :

A form of action research in which the focus is helping organization learns from their actions how to create entirely

 new structures, processes and behaviors. This process involves extensive trial and error learning as participants try

 out new ways of operation, assess progress and make necessary adjustments. This is also called action science,

self design or appreciative inquiry.


Action research :

A cyclical process of diagnosis-change-research-diagnosis-research- change. The results of diagnosis produce

ideas for change; the changes are introduced into same system and their effects are noted through further research

and diagnosis. The number of cycles may be infinite.


Active listening :

Reflecting back to the other person not only what the person has said but also perceived emotional tone of the

 message.

 

Adaptive :

A term used to describe the behavior of many kinds of systems. Originally used mainly to describe individuals, it is now applied to groups and organizations vis-à-vis their environment.


Authenticity :

It reflects one’s openness and honesty.


Behavioral sciences :

A phrase for the various disciplines that study human behavior. As such all of the traditional social sciences are included.


Breakthrough :

A sudden and significant advance, especially in knowledge, technique or results


Career :

The sequence of behaviors and attitudes associated with past, present and anticipated future work related experiences and role activities. A career is work related and may be life long.

 

Career development :

Activities directed at helping people attain career objectives. These may include skill training, performance feedback and coaching, job rotation, mentoring roles and challenging and visible job assignments


Career planning :

Activities aimed at helping people choose occupations, organizations and jobs. It involves setting individual career goals.


Change agent :

A person who attempts to alter some aspects of an organization or an environment


Client system :

The person, group or organization that is the object of diagnosis or change effort. Often shortened to the client. The client may be in same organization as the consultant, as in the case of line manager who is the client of the staff group, or the client and consultant may be in different organizations.


Closed system :

The tendency to disregard relation between a system and its environment. This is often an unwitting simplification and as such can lead to error.

 

Collateral organization :

A parallel, coexisting structure that can be used to supplement the existing formal organization. It generally is used to solve ill-defined problems that do not fit neatly into formal organizational structure.


Communication, one way and two way :

One way communication describes an interaction in which one or both parties are paying little attention to what the other is saying or doing. In two way communication, presumably both parties are engaging and responding to each other.


Conflict management :

Management’s task is to manage conflict by reducing or stimulating it, depending on the situation, in order to develop the highest level of organizational performance.


Conformance :

The outputs produced as a part of work and passed on or delivered to the customer that will meet all the requirements to which the producer and the customer have agreed.


Confront :

The process by which one person attempts to make another person aware of aspects of behavior of which he or she seems unaware. It is used increasingly in the phrase a confronting style to describe a person who habitually gives such feedback to others.

 

Confrontation meeting :

A structured intervention that helps two or more groups resolves interdepartmental misunderstandings or conflicts


Consultant :

An individual (change agent) who is assisting an organization (client system) to become more effective. An external consultant is not a member of the system. An internal consultant is a member of the organization being assisted but may or may not have representative job title.


Contingency approach :

This approach suggests that there is no universal best way to design an organization that the design instead depends upon the situation.


Continuous improvement :

A philosophy of designing and managing all aspects of an organization in a never ending quest for quality. The notion is that no matter how well things are going, there are always opportunities to make them better, and hundreds of small improvements can make a big difference in overall functioning. Also known as kaizen.


Contract :

A formal or informal agreement between the change agent and the client system to perform certain work. The contract typically identifies roles, expectations, resources and other information required to carryout the consultation process successfully


 

Corporate culture :

This is the pattern of values, beliefs and expectations shared by organization members. It represents the taken for granted and shared assumptions that people make about how work is to be done and evaluated and how employees relate to one another and to significant others, such as suppliers, customers and government agencies.


Cost of quality :

The financial impact of poor quality.


Customer :

The person who receives the product of work. A customer may be internal or external.


Data based interventions :

A specific technique in action research. It follows some data collection phase and is an input into the system using the data that have been collected. Alternatively, it can be the act of presenting the data to members of the system, thus initiating a process of system self analysis


Defensive :

A term widely used to describe any kind of resistant behavior


Diagnosis :

The process of collecting information about a client system and working collaboratively with the client to understand the system’s current functioning. Diagnosis follows entry and contracting and precedes action planning and implementation. Diagnosis is expected to point to possible interventions to address system effectiveness.


Differentiation :

The extent to which individual organizational units are different from each other along a variety of dimensions, such as time, technology, or formality. High uncertainty leads to the need for more differentiation and low uncertainty leads to the need for less.


Dissonance :

A term reflecting the behavioral consequences of knowing two or more incompatible things at one time. Dissonance may be used to describe incompatibility in a person’s point of view.


Diversity :

The mix of gender, age, disabilities, culture, ethnic backgrounds and lifestyles that characterize the organization’s workforce and potential labor pool.


Downsizing :

Interventions aimed at reducing the size of the organization. Although typically associated with layoffs and reductions in force, downsizing also includes attrition, early retirement, selling business or divisions, outsourcing and delayering.


 

Dysfunctional :

Those aspects of systems that work against the goals. The term is meant to be objective but is often used subjectively to refer to the bad parts of systems.


Empathic :

From empathy: to be able to project oneself into another’s feelings and hence to understand the other person. It is used relatively interchangeably with “sensitive” and “understanding”


Employee involvement :

Any set of techno-structural interventions, such as quality circles, high-involvement organizations or total quality management that adjusts the power, information flows, rewards and knowledge and skills in an organization. Also known as quality of work life.


Encounter :

An entire collection of interventions or techniques that aim to bring people into closer and more intimate relationship


Entry :

The process that describes how an OD practitioner first encounters and establishes a relationship with a client system


Environment :

The physical and social; context within which any client system (a person, group or organization) is functioning


Ethics :

Standards of acceptable behavior for professionals practicing in a particular field, such as law, medicine or OD. In OD, it concerns how practitioners perform their helping relationship with organization members.


Evaluation feedback :

Information about the overall effects of a change program. It generally is used for making decisions about whether resources should continue to be allocated to the program.


Expectancy :

The belief, expressed as a subjective estimate or odds, that a particular act will be successful


Expectancy model :

A model of motivation suggesting that people are motivated to choose among different behaviors or intensities of effort by the degree to which they believe that their efforts will be meaningfully rewarded.


 

Experiential :

A kind of learning process in which the content is experienced as directly as possible, in contrast to being read or talked about. The term applies to a wide variety of training techniques. It is often used in the phrase experiential level, in contrast to cognitive level.


Expert power :

The power and influence that a person has in a situation by virtue of technical or professional expertise


External validity :

A research term concerned with assessing the general applicability of interventions. This helps to identify contingencies upon which the success of change program depend


Facilitate :

A process by which events are “helped to happen”. Facilitating is a kind of influence role that is neither authoritarian nor abdicative.


Feedback :

Information regarding the actual performance or the results of the activities of the system. In communications, it concerns looking for and using helpful responses from others


 

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