Discussion: Organizational Culture and the OD Consultant’s Role
Organizational culture is often an implicit, yet extremely powerful, variable in human behavior within organizational settings. People are the constant in every organization. The diversity of individuals and the culture within which they work have a significant effect on organizations around the globe because organizational culture significantly affects employee performance. According to Brown (2011), “Culture influences how managers and employees approach problems, serve customers, react to competitors, and carry out activities.” It is essential to understand that, as certain organizational culture influencers change, the needs or circumstances of employees, clients, and stakeholders also change.
As an OD consultant, you will typically work as an external expert, entering organizations and interacting with employees and the existing culture. Your practitioner style will have a significant impact on your engagement with the organization and on the success of your consulting. Sometimes the presence of an outside consultant can create fear, anxiety, and/or uncertainty, so it is important that the consultant be mindful and respectful of existing practices, methods, and systems.
Brown, D. R. (2011). An experiential approach to organization development (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
- Review this week’s Learning Resources and consider the OD consultant’s role and the many elements of organizational culture.
- Find interrelationships between these elements and employee behavior and performance.
- Look for ways to assess organizational culture, both in terms of how it manifests in employee performance and impacts organizational results.
By Day 3
Explain the OD practitioner’s role in the process of entering the organization and respecting the existing culture while concurrently recommending improvements and enhancements. What steps or measures can the OD consultant take to minimize fear and disruption?
Bartlett, D., & Francis-Smythe, J. (2016). Bridging the divide in work and organizational psychology: Evidence from practice. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 25(5), 615–630. https://doi.org/10.1080/1359432X.2016.1156672
Panmore Institute. (n.d.). Company analysis: Business potential & performance. Retrieved from http://panmore.com/
Note: You can also use this website to research company culture.
Ones, D. S., Anderson, N., Sinangil, H. K., & Viswesvaran, C. (2018). The SAGE Handbook of Industrial, Work and Organizational Psychology. London, England: SAGE.
- Chapter 9, “Organizational Culture and Climate”
Consulting Simulation Overview and Preparation (PDF): Access this resource from the Week 1 Learning Resources or the Resource List.