Organizational development (OD) is a field of professional practice focused on facilitating organizational change and improvement. The theory and practice of OD is grounded in both the social and behavioral sciences. The field originated in the 1960s and has been evolving ever since. This evolution has been influenced by a wide range of disciplines including social psychology, group dynamics, industrial-organizational psychology, participative management theory, organization behavior, the sociology of organizations, and even clinical psychology. Read more about Organizational Development.
Organizational Development Research Topics
As a result, the application of OD tools and methodologies (of which there are many) are carried out by a wide range of professionals. For example, although some I/O psychologists also consider themselves OD practitioners, there are many others practicing OD with for-profit and nonprofit client organizations with educational backgrounds as diverse as education, philosophy, training, the military, and human resources. In part, this level of diversity of backgrounds is because of an initial lack of agreement and formal training regarding the nature and boundaries of the field. Today, however, formal training in the field does exist, in doctoral and master’s-level programs as well as professional development curricula, including professional certification groups and training firms. In any case the value of the field of OD to continually embrace new perspectives, practitioners, and approaches is one of its defining characteristics; however, it is also a source of discussion among those currently practicing in and writing about the field.