There are numerous ways to describe organisation development, all of which share common features despite their varied meanings. The factsheet offers an overview of these definitions and unpacks some of the confusion around the concept of organisation development itself, particularly that stemming from its multidisciplinary history.

This factsheet examines the the history of organisation development from academic beginnings and fad status to its present status as a widely practiced approach to building organisational performance. It provides guidance on how to put organisation development into practice through the use of 'interventions' in the workplace. Lastly, the factsheet explores the relationship between HR and organisational development, and how we should view the latter as a continuous review process and not just as a once-off intervention.

This factsheet was last updated by Ksenia Zheltoukhova.

Ksenia Zheltoukhova

Ksenia Zheltoukhova: Head of Research 

Ksenia is responsible for leading research innovation and capability development at the CIPD. She joined in 2013 as a Research Adviser, leading a number of projects, including a major research programme, Profession for the Future, investigating principles-based approach to professional standards as a way of driving ethical and sustainable decision-making by the business.

Prior to the CIPD, Ksenia was a researcher at The Work Foundation, working on Future of HR, Leadership, and Health and Well-being streams. With a background in organisational psychology, she holds a PhD in Management from Lancaster University, where her research examined the effects of leaders’ sacrificial behaviours on followers.


Explore our related content

Factsheets

Organisation design

A guide to organisation design approaches, the types of organisational structures, and the factors which influence the choice of organisation design

Read more
Factsheets

Job design

Explore the evolution and objectives of job design, the factors affecting it, and the different approaches to designing jobs

Read more
Factsheets

PESTLE analysis

Discover what PESTLE means, and use our PESTLE analysis template and example to understand the external influences on your organisation

Read more
Surveys

HR Outlook

Produced in association with Workday, this report provides insight and expert commentary about HR’s current and future contribution to business performance

Read more
Top