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Diagnosing Organizations

I. What is Diagnosis?
When does diagnosis occur?
What is diagnosis?
Are we there to cure a symptom?
What is the underlying value of OD?
Explain how the “medical model” of consulting can get mixed up with OD.

II. Need for Diagnostic Models


Why are models important?

III. Open Systems Model


Explain the open systems model
What are the major parts of open systems?
What holds each of these parts together?
What are boundaries?
What is equifinality?
What is alignment?

IV. Diagnosing Organizational Systems


Units of analyses in organizations.
Notes given earlier in the semester are quite integrated with what the text writes. Refer to them
again for clarification. This information is cumulative for your next exam.

For example:
What are the 3 major levels to any organization, which we will refer to as unit of analysis.
Q. What is the relationship among these units? i.e., do organizations impact individuals or vice-
versa? To what extent does each unit of analysis impact the other?
Q. Can we go across levels of analysis when conducting research? E.g., can we study
organizational effectiveness and presume that the findings are applicable to the individual level?
When IBM was at its all time best, was every employee at his all time best?
Q. What might practitioners diagnose at the organizational level?
Q. What might practitioners diagnose at the group level?
Q. What might practitioners diagnose at the individual level?
Q. How would you determine these areas for improvement?
Q. Why are OD practitioners sought?
Q. What methods would you use to diagnose these areas for improvements or change?
Q. When diagnosing an organization, groups, or individuals, what must we look for?
Six-box model by Weisbord

PURPOSES:
What business
are we in?

RELATIONSHIPS:
How do we manage STRUCTURE:
conflict among people? How do we divide up
With technologies? the work?
LEADERHIP:
Does someone
keep the boxes
in balance?

HELPFUL MECHANISMS: REWARDS:


Have we adequate Do all needed tasks have
coordinating technologies? incentives?

ENVIRONMENT

Remember to question everything.


You must ask:
1. are the arrangements and processes called for by the formal system correct for each
box?
2. are the arrangements and processes developed by the informal system correct for each
box?

What is strategy?
Organizational Level
Inputs
1. What is the company’s general environment?
2. What is the company’s industry structure?
Design Components
3. What is the company’s strategy?
4. What are the company’s technology, structure, measurement systems, and human
resources systems?
5. What is Hampton Estates’ culture?
Outputs
6. How is financial performance measured?
7. How is efficiency determined?
8. How does the company assess stakeholders’ satisfaction with having met
expectations?
Assessment/Alignment
9. How well is the fit between the inputs and the throughputs (strategic orientation)?
10. How well do the design components align?

Diagnosing Groups and Jobs

Group Level
Design
1. How clear are the group’s goals?
2. What is the group’s task structure?
3. What is the composition of the group?
4. What are the group’s performance norms?
5. What is the nature of team functioning in the group?
Outputs
6. How is performance measured?
7. How is QWL?
Assessment/Alignment
8. How well is the fit between the inputs and the design components?
9. How well do the design components align?

Individual Level
Inputs
1. What is the design of the larger organization within which the individual jobs are
embedded?
2. What is the design of the group containing the individual jobs?
3. What are the personal characteristics of jobholders?
Design/Job Dimensions
4. How much skill variety is included in the jobs?
5. How much task identity do the jobs contain?
6. How much task significance is included in the jobs?
7. How much feedback about results do the jobs contain?
Outputs
8. What are employees attitudes and feelings toward the organization?
9. How do employees perceive their relationship with their employing organization?
Assessment/Alignment
10. How well is the fit between the inputs and the job design components?
11. How well does the job design fit the personal characteristics of the jobholders?