10 Characteristics of Organizational Development (OD) – Explained

Characteristics of Organizational Development (OD)

OD is the conscious change process organizations take to improve their strategies, processes, and structures to increase performance in the changing business climate. The main characteristics of organizational development are mentioned below:

Ongoing Process

OD is an ongoing process that lasts till the existence of the organization. What OD explains is that organizations should continuously improve their plans, policies, strategies, and working processes in order to adapt to the changes brought by the changing business climate.

Planned Change

Planned change is a conscious effort an organization or some employees make to respond to a specific problem. OD is also a planned change process, every step taken in OD is based on the careful analysis of future possibilities.

Long-Term Focus

Organizational development is a purposeful tactic used to manage change in the workplace. It places a focus on a long-term plan to increase organizational effectiveness.


Organizational development is a methodical, evidence-based approach. It’s not a case of experimenting and seeing what occurs. It involves developing an organized and controlled procedure in which hypotheses are tested using scientific data as input.

Humanistic Approach

Along with a science-based approach, OD is also a humanistic approach. It keeps employees at the center of the change process. OD explains employees should be treated with dignity, respect, and fairness. It emphasizes the participative work environment, building a supportive workplace, and facilitating transparency.

Related: Human Relations in Management

Dynamic in Nature

Dynamism is one of the important characteristics of organizational development. Operations of OD can be changed according to the changes in the environment as its main aim is to adapt to the changing business environment.

System Perspective

OD is the overt and wide or broader system. An organization is made up of different sub-systems. OD focuses on changing and improving the whole system of the organization because changing only some subsystems may not bring effectiveness to the organization.


OD is problem-oriented. OD attempts to identify the problem the organization is facing or where the change is required. OD researches the causes of the problem, searches, for and analyzes the information, and comes up with a solution as soon as possible.

Team Process

The group process rather than individual activity is prioritized in the OD process. Through fruitful talks amongst the groups, it creates strategies for improving interpersonal relationships and functional conflicts.

It acknowledges that the organization’s ability to operate well together as a team will be a major asset in achieving the goal.


Feedback is an important feature of organizational development. OD gathers feedback from the participants in making the change decisions. It believes feedback is a great source that makes it possible to make the right change decision.

Read Next: Process of Organizational Development

Leave a Comment