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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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Role ambiguity :

A result of inadequate information regarding role related expectations and understanding. This occurs when the individual does not understand clearly all the expectations of a particular role.

Role conflict :

A result of conflict between managerial or individual expectations and managerial or individual experiences with regard to the performance of the role.

Selective perception :

The tendency to perceive only a part of message, to screen out other information.

Self awareness :

A positive goal of most training techniques that aim at behavior changes. Self awareness means becoming mindful of one’s existing behavior pattern of behavior in a way that permits relatively non-defensive comparisons of those patterns with potential new ones.

Self designing organizations :

A change program aimed at helping organization gain the ability to change them fundamentally. It is highly participative involving multiple stakeholders setting strategic directions, designing appropriate structures and processes and implementing them. This process helps organizations learn how to design and implement their own strategic changes


Self regulating work groups :

A work group with clearly defined series of tasks and a clear boundary so that the group can be generally responsible for its own output, quality and work space.

Self serving activities :

Activities that satisfy individual needs at the expense of the group.

Sensitivity training :

A method of helping people develops greater self awareness and become more sensitive to their effect on others. Individual learn by interaction with other members of their group

Single loop learning :

Organizational behaviors directed at detecting and deviating from valued states or goals. This is concerned with fine tuning how an organization currently functions.

Skill training :

Training that is more concerned with improving effectiveness on the job than with abstract learning concepts



Smoothing :

Dealing with conflict by denying or avoiding it

Socio-technical system :

A term that refers to considering both the social system technical system simultaneously In order to match the technology and people involved optimally

Stakeholder :

A person or group having a vested interest in the organization’s functioning and objectives

Strategy :

A plan of action defining how an organization will use its resources to gain a competitive advantage in the larger environment. It typically includes choices about the functions an organization will perform, the products or services it will provide and the market and population it will serve.

T-groups :

A method of helping people develops greater self awareness and become more sensitive to their effects on others. Individual learn by interaction with other members of their group.


Task control :

The degree to which employees can regulate their own behavior to convert incoming materials into finished products or other outputs.

Task force :

A group established to solve a particular problem.

Theory X :

A management theory under which managers typically believe that people dislike work and will avoid it whenever possible. Such managers feel they themselves are small, elite group of individuals who want to lead and take responsibility but the larger mass of people want to be directed and to avoid responsibility.

Theory Y :

A management theory under which managers usually assumes that worker will accept responsibility provided they can satisfy personal needs and organizational goals at the same time.

Third party intervention :

Activities aimed at helping two or more people within the same organization resolve interpersonal conflicts


Total quality management (TQM) :

A comprehensive and large scale intervention that focuses all organization systems on the continuous improvement of quality

Transition stage :

A condition that exists when the organization is moving from current stage to desired future state. During the transition state, the organization learns hoe to implement the conditions needed to reach the desired future; it typically requires special structures and activities to manage this process.

Trans-organizational development (TD) :

An intervention concerned with helping organizations join into partnership with other organizations to perform tasks or solve problems that are too complex to multifaceted for single organizations to resolve. It includes the following stages: identification, convention, organization and evaluation.

Unfreezing :

A reduction in the strength of old values, attitudes, or behaviors.

Value judgment :

Statement of belief based on or reflecting an individual’s personal or class values

Openness :

Accepting the communication and confrontations of others and expressing oneself honestly, with authenticity.

Open system :

The concept in system theory is borrowed from biological sciences. It refers to the nature and functions of transactions that take place between a system and its environment.

Open system planning :

A method for helping organizations or groups to assess their task environment systematically and develop a strategic response.

Organic organization :

This type of organization is relatively flexible and relaxed. The organic style is most appropriate to unstable environment conditions in which novel problems continually occur.

Organization design :

It involves bringing about coherence or fit among organizational choices about strategy, organizing mode and much mechanism for integrating people in to the organization. The greater the fit among these organizational dimensions, the greater wil be the organizational effectiveness.







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