What is organizational development? Differences from human resource development, implementation procedures, benefits and typical methods.


Organizational Development" is an effective way to revitalize an organization and create a state where employees can achieve results individually and as a team. The measures may lead to solutions to current organizational issues. Please consider taking initiatives to achieve an organization that can maximize performance.

This article explains the basics of organizational development, the advantages and disadvantages of implementing it, as well as the procedures and key points. We also introduce the main methods and frameworks of organizational development, which HR professionals are encouraged to refer to.

What is Organizational Development?


At the beginning, we will provide you with basic knowledge about the meaning and purpose of organizational development, as well as the reasons and background behind the attention it is receiving. Let's start by deepening your understanding of why you should engage in organizational development for future practice.

Meaning and Significance of Organizational Development

Organizational development is a term that refers to the concept and efforts to revitalize an organization through the relationships and interactions between people in the organization.It is also called "OD," short for "Organization Development" in English. In organizational development measures, we aim to bring to the surface issues within the organization and create a state in which each and every employee is a party to the problem and thinks about solutions.

Main Objectives of Organizational Development

Organizational development is designed to ensure that an organization continues to function healthily while adapting to a constantly changing environment. It plays an important role in creating a corporate culture in which individuals are willing to work on their own initiative to address organizational issues.
Setting up mechanisms and rules that create synergy in the group is another important initiative in organizational development.

Reasons and Background of the Focus on Organizational Development

Organizational development is attracting attention in the Japanese business scene because of the need for change in organizations in line with changes in the way individuals work. This is due to the spread of performance-based values, the diversification of employee employment patterns and nationalities, and the increasing complexity of communication methods with the spread of information technology.

Many companies are unable to respond to these changing times and are not fully utilizing their own human resources. Companies need to revitalize their organizations and create an environment that maximizes their strengths.
Therefore, there is a need for organizational development that emphasizes relationships among individuals and teams and enhances the quality of communication.

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Difference between Organizational Development and Human Resource Development

A term similar to organizational development is "human resource development. Here we will explain the meaning of human resource development and how it differs from organizational development, comparing the two.


There are differences between organizational development and human resource development in terms of subject matter and methods.

Human resource development refers to efforts to enhance individual performance by encouraging employees to acquire knowledge and skills. It is not uncommon for the term to be used interchangeably with "human resource development.
The objective is to improve the capabilities of each individual employee by equipping them with knowledge and skills that are currently lacking. Training, workshops, and other methods are used for this purpose.

On the other hand, organizational development targets the relationships among individuals and teams and their interactions. Organizational development methods also include the creation of an environment and structure within the organization.

In the table below, we compare the differences between organizational development and human resource development, using two issues as examples: "new employee turnover" and "early entry into the workforce for younger employees.

<Differences between factor identification and measures for organizational development and human resource development (1)

Organizational Development human resources development
problem New employee turnover
Factors to be taken up Difficult environment for new employees and supervisors to build relationships Lack of management skills of new employee's supervisor
Examples of measures Introduction of a feedback system from subordinates to supervisors Conduct training and workshops for supervisors of new employees

<Differences between factor identification and measures for organizational development and human resource development (2)

Organizational Development human resources development
problem Promoting young employees to the workforce as early as possible
Factors to be taken up Problems in the relationship of younger employees with their supervisors and differences in perception of issues Lack of knowledge and skills of younger employees
Examples of measures Improved rules for 1-on-1 meetings Conduct training for younger employees

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9 Keys to Successful HR Development

In order to increase a company's geographical strength, it is necessary to effectively train its human resources. The following are some of the key points and methods of human resource development that should be taken into account, so if you are thinking of reviewing your training methods according to your company's actual situation, please refer to this article!

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Advantages and disadvantages of organizational development


Before undertaking organizational development, it is important to keep in mind the advantages and disadvantages. Ideally, it is best to consider the burdens that may arise within the organization, while at the same time taking into account the ways in which the efforts can be made to bring about a better effect.

Benefits of Organizational Development

Maximize organizational performance

When a company engages in organizational development, it can have a positive impact on each individual employee as well as the organization as a whole. The benefits include the potential to improve individual and team performance. It can lead to organizational improvements, such as better ideas being generated and faster decision-making.

Because organizational development efforts are less dependent on individuals and are an approach that changes the organizational structure itself, they can be expected to have lasting effects.

Branding Enhancement

Organizational development measures will strengthen your company's branding by ensuring that individuals and teams share the same goals and values. Individuals and teams will be able to act based on an understanding of the direction they should take as a company, which will enhance the brand value and service quality they provide to customers. It is possible to build a strong brand from within the organization.

Improved organizational unity and morale

When communication within an organization is enhanced through organizational development, good relationships are built in the workplace, developing into a state of easy cooperation and dialogue. The benefit is a sense of unity belonging to the same organization, which increases motivation at work.
The interaction among members will also foster a corporate culture of proactive good initiatives and improve morale.

Disadvantages of organizational development

There is a risk of increased workload.

Depending on the content of the organizational development measures, it may be necessary to change the current workflow. Please note that changes in the way individuals or teams work together in operations may temporarily reduce work efficiency in the field.

For example, if a new progress management sheet is introduced for inter-team collaboration, the burden of inputting information may be greater than expected. In this case, the possibility of insufficient time for normal work should be considered.

May create backlash and indifferent attitudes among employees

Some employees in the organization may be critical of change through organizational development. Failure to confront these employees may lead to a backlash within the organization after implementation.
In addition, the risk exists that the policy will become a formality and fail if many employees remain indifferent and continue to implement it.

Given that some employees may be uncooperative with organizational development, it is a good idea to consider in advance how to introduce the system and even how to deal with it.

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Procedures and key points for implementing organizational development


This section describes the flow of implementing organizational development, divided into four steps. We will also introduce points to note at each step, so please take a look at them.

Step 1: Understand the current situation and clarify objectives

First, based on the company's current situation, the objectives of organizational development are clarified. The key point is to identify specific problems based on facts, not abstract issues. Gathering information through interviews with employees and questionnaires is effective.

Once your company's issues have been identified, visualize the gap between the state of the organization you should aim for and the current situation. Based on the results of the problem analysis and your company's corporate philosophy and vision, determine the direction of organizational development.

Step 2: Plan a concrete action plan

Based on the direction established at the beginning, specific organizational development actions will be determined. Once the measures are considered, it is important to call for cooperation from the field. When doing so, involving key people in the organization and gaining their support will demonstrate leadership and make it easier to implement the measures.

Step 3: Test the effectiveness of measures with a small start

This is the stage where measures are initiated and effectiveness is verified. At first, we recommend that you proceed on as small a scale as possible, such as by limiting the implementation to a few departments or teams. After understanding the potential issues that may arise, the scope of the project should be gradually expanded to a larger scale.

Step 4: Implement successful measures throughout the company

Once effectiveness verification has been conducted and small start success is recognized, organizational development will be introduced to the entire company. Once the results of the measures are analyzed and the reasons for success are clarified, it is important to reflect them in the next measures. After company-wide implementation, continue to verify the effectiveness of the measures and make improvements repeatedly.

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Methods and frameworks that can be used for organizational development


Finally, we would like to introduce some typical methods and frameworks that are used in the organizational development of many companies. Why not incorporate them into your own organizational development measures?

AI (Applied Inquiry)

AI (Appreciative Inquiry)" is a method of developing action plans by asking questions that help individuals and organizations envision their potential and what they want to become. Also called "AI" for short from the English word Appreciative Inquiry, Appreciative means "to find value" and Inquiry means "to ask questions.

AI's method involves asking each team a series of in-depth questions to find out what makes each individual good, what they aspire to be, and what makes them successful. Allowing employees to work on this will bring about the habit of sharing positive images.

world café

The World Café is an interactive method of free discussion in a relaxed, café-like environment. Basically, small groups of people work together to deepen their understanding of each other while discussing a pre-determined theme. Group members rotate on a timed basis, and at the end of the session, the participants share their findings as a whole.

The World Café does not have to be a debate. The purpose is to provide an opportunity for employees in different positions to talk openly with each other and to promote mutual understanding in the organization.

Soft 4s

The "4Ss of Software" are four interrelated elements that serve as indicators in organizational management. The 4Ss stand for "Shared Value," "Style," "Staff," and "Skill. Analyzing the soft 4Ss of your organization can lead to strategic planning.

The 4S of Soft is a concept that appears in the "7S of Organization" proposed by the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. The 7Ss of an organization consists of the "4Ss of Software" and the "3Ss of Hardware. The 3Ss of hardware, meaning "Strategy," "Organizational Structure," and "System," are said to be easier to control than the 4Ss of software.

tackman model

The Tuckman Model is a framework proposed by psychologist Tuckman that shows the growth stages of an organization in five stages. The stages are divided into "Formative," "Disruptive," "Unifying," "Functional," and "Scattering.

The Tuckman model can be used as a reference for organizational development based on the challenges that are likely to arise in each process. This model is often used in team building, and is suitable when aiming for a high-performing organization.

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Lead your company to growth through organizational development.

We have discussed organizational development. Organizational development can revitalize an organization through relationships and interactions within the organization. While it can be expected to enhance performance, it can also lead to a burden on the field and employee resistance, so there are some aspects to be aware of when introducing it. Please refer to the procedures and key points described above and consider measures that will lead your organization to growth.

Collaboration with key people in the field is essential to the success of organizational development measures. When conducting management training for managers and leaders for organizational development, the e-learning systemlearningBOXLearningBOX is a learning management system that provides all the functions necessary to conduct in-house training, including the creation and distribution of teaching materials, grading, and management of learning histories.

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