*SIM Competition Paper:* Organization Development Methods in the Management of the Information Systems Function

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Abstract

The work presented in this article relates directly to perhaps the most serious problem facing the Information Systems manager in a large, complex organization today, namely how to plan and manage in a rapidly changing, high-demand, resource-limited environment. The article describes an organizational change effort undertaken within a major data processing organization to seek improvements in four broad areas: data center production performance, responsiveness of the systems development activity, management control and decision making, and long range and operational planning processes.

Much of the change effort involved activities and tasks which were defined and implemented using Organizational Development (OD) methods. OD involves the application of behavioral science knowledge in a collaborative and participative process in response to some perceived need within the organization. It is a planned and systematic way to alter patterns of organizational behavior.

The general change strategy utilized is described along with specific examples of particular OD techniques, those which worked well and those which did not.
Finally the article presents some observations as to why OD methods are important to Information Systems (IS) managers. OD methods are powerful skills and tools for working change of the most important kind, namely change in organizational and group behavior. As the primary agent for change in the corporation, IS managers can employ these methods to make the IS organization more responsive to the needs of the business. More importantly they can bring these same skills to bear on the larger problem of helping their corporation adjust to change, facilitating and leveraging that change in ways which mere technology cannot accomplish

Additional Details

Author R.D. Loftin and J.M. Moosbruker
Year 1982
Volume 6
Issue 3
Keywords organization development, change management, data center performance
Page Numbers 15-28