August 6, 2014

Manager and Organization Development

Important Points from Weihrich, Cannice, and Koontz   - Koontz and O'Donnell - Management Textbook

The term manager development refers to long-term, future oriented programs and the progress a person makes in learning how to manage. Managerial training, on the other hand, pertains to the programs that facilitate the learning process and is mostly a short-term oriented activity to help managers do their jobs better. Organization development is a systematic, integrated and planned approach to improving the effectiveness of groups of people and of whole organization or a major organizational unit. So the essential difference is that organizational development focuses on the total organization or a segment of it, while manager development concentrates on individuals.

Manager Development

For each manager, the needs of present job, next job and future jobs are to be considered in arranging training and development courses and opportunities for him.

On the job training, planned progression information, job rotation, creation of assistant-to positions, temporary promotions, committee memberships, coaching, conference participation, training program participation etc. are the development avenues.

Organizational Development

OD is a systematic, integrated, and planned approach to improving enterprise effectiveness and efficiency. Defined in this manner, organization development can look at problems in the area of technical skills of the organization, human behavior skills of the organization, business conceptual skills of the organization or its solution design skills. But in practice and the way OD subject has developed, it tends to focus on behavioral issues. Hence the typical problems diagnosed by OD practitioners are lack of cooperation, excessive decentralization or centralization, poor communication etc. The techniques of OD include laboratory training, managerial grid training, and survey feedback. Some OD practitioners also included team building, job enrichment, organizational behavior modification, job design, stress management, career and life planning, and management by objectives as part of their techniques of OD.

The Learning Organization

A learning organization is one that can adapt to changes in the external environment through continuous renewal of its structure and practices.  Peter Senge propose five major ideas as part of developing learning organization.

Systems thinking - An organization has to interact with the environment. Hence it has to understand the environment and make itself to survive environmental changes.

Personal mastery

Mental models

A shared vision

Team learning

David Garvin offers the following definition:  A learning organization is an organization skilled at creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge, and at modifying its behavior to reflect new knowledge and insights.

Acquiring knowledge is not enough;  knowledge has to be applied. Unless behavior is changed creating, acquiring and transferring knowledge have no value to the organization.  Only change in behavior is to be counted as completed learning.

Updated on 6 Aug 2014, 11 Dec 2011


  1. Read on 5 Feb 2015 as per revision plan