Week 1 report | Seminar in Organizational Development and Change

Course Project 

For this course, you will have a course project that includes the written assignments in Weeks 1, 3, and 5. The Week 3 and Week 5 assignments are considered major assignments, which combined are worth over half of the total course points. It will likely take you more than one week to complete the Week 3 and 5 major assignments, so begin working on those tasks sooner rather than later.

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Summary of Weekly Deliverables:

  • Week 1: Identify a subject organization. Provide an initial assessment of some organizational problem utilizing relevant OD and change themes. Provide an annotated reference list of at least five peer-reviewed resources that can help you better understand the OD and change themes, and assess the organizational problem.
  • Week 3: On the basis of your Week 1 work, observations, interviews, and/or additional research, present a paper assessing the root causes of the organizational problem using organization development and change themes.
  • Week 5: On the basis of your Week 1 and Week 3 work, justify an action plan based on strong research. What are the consequences to the organization for failing to act? What are the benefits of addressing the problem? What are the recommended action steps for the organization?

For Week 1:

Tasks:

Locate a suitable subject organization for your course project. The organization can be your current organization or one that you are familiar with. Contact your instructor early in the week if you need assistance selecting an organization. For your paper, provide a summary of the organization. Include the following details in your summary:

  • What is the organization?
  • What does it do?
  • Who does it do it to/for?

In organizational diagnosis, one of the first steps is an initial assessment of potential areas of concern. If you were contracting with an organization as a consultant, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) would likely share with you why you are being hired in the early conversations. As part of the process, you would make observations, look at some organizational documents, and even have some informal conversations with organizational members to get a sense of where issues might be located so that you can determine how you will gather the necessary data for diagnosing problems and recommending solutions.

In your paper, provide an initial assessment of some organizational problems that are evident in your case study organization. Your assessment in other courses have focused on problems related specifically to individuals, group/teams, or organizational levels (that were the focus of the specific course). In this course, you will use your full range of organizational and leadership theory knowledge across all levels and interact between the levels to determine needed interventions and change.

  • What are the symptoms of the problems?
  • What is the evidence that problems actually exist?
  • What are the relevant OD and change themes that might explain the problems (and not just the symptoms)?

Remember, helpful questions about organizations include:

  • What does the organization do?
  • How do we help the organization do it better, to make it more effective and efficient while at the same time making it a rewarding and satisfying place to work?

On the basis of your initial assessment, one of the first things you will need to do is determine the additional information required for fully assessing the situation. In other words, what resources do you need to better understand the themes and assess the organizational difficulty? For your paper, provide an annotated reference list of at least five peer-reviewed sources that are relevant to your case study. Most of the references should relate to OD and change themes. However, at least one resource must relate to methodology (e.g., how to do organizational diagnosis, how to lead change, etc.). Remember, for APA, every reference must have at least one corresponding in-text citation. For this paper, the annotated reference list is your reference list, and entries need to be part of your research and support in the paper.

An annotated reference list means that each reference is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited. Annotations are descriptive and critical; they expose the author’s point of view and authority. They do not just generically indicate what an article (or text) is about. Rather, they provide concrete details about the content of the source.

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