Organisational Development Interventions in the Schools


The article “The Organisational Development (OD) Interventions that Influence Organizational Culture in order To Improve Performance of the Schools in the Warren Park-Malbereign District Region, Zimbabwe” presents the findings of a study conducted to evaluate the Organizational Development (OD) interventions that affect organizational culture and their influence on improving the performance of schools.

The authors conducted the study in Zimbabwe, and the sample group included 50 teachers and 18 school administrators. They utilized two different questionnaires and used several statistical analysis methods to interpret the data. The findings of the study showed that teachers were younger than administrators and the majority of school heads were male and more mature than the teachers, hence the observed effect of age demographics on organizational culture.

Authors’ Main Idea

The authors’ main idea is that OD interventions can influence organizational culture, and as a result, enhance performance in organizations. According to the authors, culture is an amalgamation of the norms and values that a particular group adheres to, and it is a reflection of how that group performs its activities. In that regard, the norms, activities, behaviors, feelings, beliefs, attitudes, interactions, and patterns of activities are affected by age (Maphosa & Maphosa, 2015). This idea is supported by the study’s findings that showed that staff development, duty delegation, and teacher involvement in decision-making and organizational change enhance performance.

Subject’s Approach

The authors approached the subject from the perspective of the influence of various organizational development interventions on culture and the performance of the organization. In that regard, the authors evaluated how staff development, duty delegation, gender and age variances, behavioral change, and the level of education are used to transform the existing culture in order to enhance the performance of the school.

OD interventions are mainly used in industries to introduce change, enhance performance, and create effective corporate cultures. However, the concept has been introduced into the education system. The major objective of OD interventions is to increase performance and effectiveness by integrating technology, people, culture tasks, organizational values, and procedures.

Summary

The extensive literature review conducted by the researchers shows that the major goal of organizational development is to enhance an organization’s effectiveness. This is achieved through the application of knowledge and the implementation of OD interventions. One of the major assumptions is that the integration of people and objectives enhances organizational effectiveness and streamlines relationships in the workplace (Maphosa & Maphosa, 2015).

An intervention can be described as the development of an innovation in order to improve performance or solve problems. According to the authors, examples of OD interventions include skill development, team building, goal setting, sensitivity training, role analysis, career planning, managerial grid, skill development, and process consultants (Maphosa & Maphosa, 2015). An intervention is chosen based on the specific needs of the organization.

The authors argue that OD interventions have an influence on organizational culture because if they are conducted properly, they can modify an organizations culture and systems, as well as individual and group behaviors (Maphosa & Maphosa, 2015).

Culture is one of the major obstacles to organizational development because of the people’s propensity to maintain the status quo. The researchers cited cases of resistance to change in cases where the teachers deemed the leadership of their schools as dictatorial. In order to overcome this challenge, it is necessary for executives to comprehend the essence and process of change. OD interventions are important because they can change people’s attitudes and behaviors regarding organizational change (Maphosa & Maphosa, 2015). Successful interventions abolish ineffective norms and values and introduce corporate cultures that are founded on collaboration and understanding.

Study Methodology

The researchers study sample includes 50 teachers and 18 school heads (administrators). All the participants were sourced from the Harare Province in Zimbabwe. The researchers conducted personal interviews and collected additional data using questionnaires. They held face to face interviews with the participants. Face to face interactions were the preferred mode of data collection because they enhanced accuracy as only teachers or school heads were interviewed. Gender was an important aspect: the schools were dominated by female teachers and male administrators.

The Main Issues Identified Regarding Interventions

The main issues that the authors have identified in relation to the session on interventions include the importance of interventions, the depth of intervention, the relationship between change activities and the nature of the problems, and intervention strategies and activities.

Interventions are important because they create change in organizations by disrupting current practice and addressing dissatisfactory conditions. The authors found out that OD interventions can influence organizational culture and improve performance (Maphosa & Maphosa, 2015). In that regard, the involvement of teachers in decision-making and organizational change is important. The main aim of teacher involvement is to instill as sense of belonging to the organization. 92% of the teachers interviewed argued that their involvement in decision-making is important as it increases their participation in the school’s activities (Maphosa & Maphosa, 2015). In addition, it aids in the development of corporate culture.

Overt group issues such as communication problems and conflicts require below the surface intervention. In that regard, the authors cite staff development as an intervention that can solve the aforementioned group issues. The major goals of staff development programs include professional growth and the creation of a conducive working environment (Maphosa & Maphosa, 2015). School heads and teachers viewed staff development as an important aspect of organizational development. They stated that it was imperative for staff development programs to incorporate special roles for school heads, their deputies, and teacher-in-charge. The majority of the participants supported staff development because they had taken part and benefited from such programs in their careers.

The authors identified behavioral change, duty delegation, involvement in decision-making, and staff development as intervention activities that affect organizational culture. According to the study’s results, 36 teachers perceived behavioral change as important while 14 teachers were uncertain regarding its influence. In that regard, change can be successfully attained if teachers embrace the idea (Maphosa & Maphosa, 2015).

All school heads stated that culture was an important aspect of an organization because it influences performance. The majority of the teachers interviewed argued that it was possible for school heads to introduce change single-handedly. On the contrary, 48% of the teachers argued that change was a group effort and therefore, it needed the participation of all teachers (Maphosa & Maphosa, 2015).

Lessons Learned

I have learned many lessons from the article. First, organizational culture has a significant influence on an organization’s performance. The behaviors, values, norms, and patterns of activities that students and school administrators embrace will determine their effectiveness and performance of school activities. Second, interventions such as behavioral change, staff development, and involvement in change influence the development of organizational culture.

Factors such as age, level of education, and experience are important in shaping an individual’s view of the importance of organizational culture. Behavioral change is imperative in organizations because the values, attitudes, and norms of employees determine their effectiveness in fulfilling their obligations. Finally, organizational change cannot be achieved without the involvement of employees in decision-making and innovation. It is difficult to bring change without the introduction of development interventions that should match the nature of the problems that are experienced within the organization.

Recommendations

The major recommendation was the increased implementation of staff development programs in organizational development. The authors also recommended the introduction of OD interventions in schools by the Ministry of Education in order to improve performance. They proposed the incorporation the concept of organizational development in tertiary education, such as in teachers’ colleges.

Conclusion

The authors concluded that organizational development interventions can be successfully used to enhance performance by changing an organization’s corporate culture. The study found out that teachers’ involvement in decision-making, behavioral change, delegation of duties, and staff development are key interventions that can enhance performance in schools. The supervisory roles of school heads are important, and they are enhanced by experience, age, and level of education.

Both administrators and teachers agreed that performance can be enhanced by changing organizational culture. Organizational culture is shaped by aspects such as staff development, behavior, organizational awareness, and the delegation of duties. The study revealed that OD interventions are aimed at changing the culture of an organization in order to enhance performance. Though widely applied in industries, OD has been introduced in the education system.

Reference

Maphosa, J. S., & Maphosa, T. (2015). The Organisational Development (OD) interventions that influence organizational culture in order to improve performance of the schools in the Warren Park-Malbereign District region, Zimbabwe. International Journal of management, 3(5), 1-9.