Organizational Diagnosis (OD) and Strategy

Posted: October 17th, 2013

Organizational Diagnosis (OD) and Strategy




Organizational Diagnosis (OD) and Strategy

Organizational diagnosis is part of the strategies implemented by an organization, to improve its effectiveness. It involves collecting information from different departments within the organization, using recorded data such as policies, mission and vision statements, and techniques such as interviews, observations, and questionnaires. This information is then evaluated and used to identify ways of making the organization more effective. Organizational diagnosis confirms the existence of a problem within the organization. Some of the problems that might exist in an organization include employee and customer dissatisfaction, low productivity, and the production of poor quality products among others. Diagnosis can also reveal the existence of positive attributes within the organization, and it can provide ways of improving and enhancing these attributes. It provides a way for organizations to determine the existence of any gaps between their current performance and their expectations. Strategy is the means by which the organization will use to achieve its objective. By identifying the problems that exist within the organization, the management can identify the appropriate strategies it will implement. Strategy determines how the organization will allocate the available resources to obtain maximum functioning within the organization (Burton et al., 2011).

An organization’s structure has to fit with its strategy. A change in the organizations’ strategy creates a change in its structure. An organization’s strategic factors include leadership, style, climate, and technology among others (Burton & Obel, 2004). The organization’s leadership determines the availability and allocation of resources. The culture of the organization determines the behavior of the employees, and the attitude they hold towards their work, and towards the organization. These factors influence the strategy that the organization will adopt. Lack of congruence or low congruence between strategy and structure will produce negative results and will result to low performance for the organization. Organizations might find it necessary to find new technologies to implement their strategies, after the organization’s diagnosis. The diagnosis may reveal the need for organizations to adopt new technologies and innovations as a way of increasing their effectiveness. Some organizations may find that they do not need to buy new technologies but that they need to refine the technologies they already have. They may use the existing technologies to do things differently.

There are different organizational diagnosis models, which the organization can use to determine the existence of problems within the organization. Each of the models is different, and they utilize different variables within the organization. The results indicate different ways of solving problems. The technology available within the organization is implemented in different ways during organizational diagnosis and strategy implementation. The organization’s objectives and mission will determine the size, level, and choice of technology used. Employees are involved in the diagnosis process, as they are crucial in providing information. They are also involved in determining the strategies that the organization will implement. The organization’s resources, such as time and money, will determine the diagnosis to perform, and the strategies to implement. Organizations with few resources have limited options. Organizations, which do not have enough resources, will conduct a narrow diagnosis, which might not reveal all the problems that the organization is facing. Just like a health problem, a wrong diagnosis leads to the wrong prescription, and treatment will not be effective. This is similar in organizations. Once the wrong diagnosis is performed, the management will not know the appropriate tools to implement (Cummings & Worley, 2008). Performing narrow diagnosis might not be the best alternative, as problems will continue recurring in the organization.



Burton, M. R., Obel, B., & DeSanctis, G. (2011). Organizational design: A step-by-step approach. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

Burton, M. R., & Obel, B. (2004). Strategic organizational diagnosis and design: The dynamics fit. New York, NY: Springer.

Cummings, G. T., & Worley, G. C. (2008). Organization development & change. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.


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