10. The Los Angeles Unified School District
Section 1. CONTEXT (3 pages)
• Name of the study site
• Brief description of the site
• List of likely documents, data, artifacts, and people you might interview
• Brief discussion of ways the organization might be “healthier” as a result of implementation of organization development strategies
Section 2. ORGANIZATION DEVELOPMENT PROCESS (1 page)
Draft an implementation plan that outlines the development theory process.
Section 3. CULTURES AND ELEMENTS (2 pages and chart)
• Use the template provided to summarize and document the process you used to gather your data.
• Report your understanding of the culture of the organization.
• Complete a chart that identifies the elements and what data you used to identify them.
Section 4. FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENTS OF THE ORGANIZATION (graphic)
The graphic that identifies and defines the inputs, throughputs, and outputs for your organization.
Section 5. DATA SYNTHESIS, EVALUATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS (3 pages)
Synthesis: synthesize the data you gathered.
Evaluation: evaluate the organization.
Recommendations: explain how the organization might become more effective.
Each section should address the impact on individuals, groups, and the organization when applicable and cite research and course resources.
Submit a 9–page paper, plus cover page, bibliography, chart, and graphic.
Course Project: Organization Development in Educational Contexts
The purpose of this project is to connect organization development (OD) theory and practice both for students who might not have daily access to an organization in an educational context and for those engaged in improvement of an organization’s performance.
First, identify an organization. This project will require you to work closely with an educational organization. You need to identify and have begun working with the organization to complete the first section of the paper. You need access to certain organizational documents (e.g., mission statement, strategic plan, performance data) to complete this project. You can access this information from publicly available sources, the organization’s website, or a community partner/stakeholder within the organization. If you have chosen the organization you currently work in, you will have more ready access. You need to interview, in person or electronically (including through e-mail), at least two people in the organization. In the interview, you will be discussing the impact of OD in the organization from varying perspectives.
Note: It will make data gathering easier if you have access to information and people to interview for your study. So, if you are currently working in an educational organization (or have worked in one recently) and still have contacts there, it is suggested you use that site in your study.
Course Project Overview
This project will allow you to read, view, and gain firsthand data related to OD. You will identify an organization to study for this project (details provided below). You will be writing a
9- page paper (plus appendices) that paints a picture of this organization and its current organizational structures. You also will review, diagnose, and eventually recommend ways that your organization might move closer to being a “healthy organization.” Throughout the development of your paper, you will use all course resources and the “State University School of Education Case Study” as a model to guide the development of the sections of your paper. You will submit the draft of the sections of the project for feedback at points throughout the course.
SECTION 1: CONTEXT
This section is due in Module 2. You need, however, to identify the organization you will study and begin to create a list of demographic and organization information and organizational artifacts needed to develop the Context section of the project. Begin outlining this section of the paper for later submission.
In the Gallos text, read the Beckhard chapter, “The Healthy Organization” (Chapter 47, pp. 950–952). Note the indicators of a healthy organization identified by the author. These indicators should be held as an ideal as you study and diagnose the organization you will use in the final assignment in the course. The information in this chapter will help guide the questions you ask, the artifacts you request, and the data you review as you work on this project throughout the course.
It is important that you find an organization to study as soon as possible. Once identified, develop a brief overview of the organization that you selected as the focus for your project. Use Chapter 47 to help guide the data you want to gather from the educational organization of your choice.
Read the “Context” section in the “State University School of Education Case Study.” Use it as a model for developing the context section of your paper.
Submit the name of your study site and a brief description of the site; a list of likely documents, data, artifacts, and people you might interview; and a brief discussion of ways the organization might be “healthier” as a result of implementation of organization development strategies.
Resources for this section of the Course Project:
Text Readings: In Gallos, Chapter 47, “The Healthy Organization”
Multimedia: “State University School of Education Case Study”: View the “Context” section.
Focus on the “Context” section in the “State University School of Education Case Study.” Use it as a model for developing the context section of your paper.
Section 1 length: 3 pages
SECTION 2: ORGANIZATION DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
Begin this section by describing the structure of your organization, including departments, management structures, and formal and informal processes used to manage communication/dissemination.
Now that you have read, studied, and evaluated the development theories in Module 2, identify a development theory (and related process) that you propose to use with the organization you selected for your Course Project if you were going to be implementing a development strategy or organizational change in your organization. If your organization is already in the middle of an organizational strategy or change of some kind (e.g., new standards, accreditation, downsizing, budget cuts, new technology, innovation, new staffing model, new decision-making model, or new management), you can use that process. If not, you will be asked to create a reason for this development to occur and to create a short, descriptive motivation for this change.
(Remember, even very healthy and effective organizations use organization development strategies to evaluate the state of the organization when a change process is not eminent. Do not equate development or change with an organization in chaos—but as a process of self-assessment and growth.)
You will draft an implementation plan that outlines the development theory process you propose to use to guide your development strategy or change within your organization. Your theory should be selected based upon your understanding of both the theory and of your organization.
Resources needed for this assignment:
• Your “Testing Theories” paper from this module
• The “Context” section of this Course Project that you began in Module 1
• Module 2 course readings
• “State University School of Education Multimedia Case Study” Scene 1
Section 2 length: 1 page
SECTION 3: CULTURES AND ELEMENTS
Use all of the chapters from this module to develop this section of the Course Project. Gather firsthand information on how any organizational change might impact individuals, groups, and the organization. To do this, interview at least two people in the organization you are studying (e-mail contact is OK). Interviewing people with different perspectives or who work in different parts of the organization might provide a fuller picture. The interview should include identification of the organization’s fundamental elements. Also gather information that will help you address possible impact of the proposed organizational change on the identified fundamental elements and the possible effects on individuals, groups, and the organization.
This section of the paper will use the information you gained from the interviews and any other artifacts gathered from the organization. Use the template provided to summarize/document the process you used to gather your data. Also report your understanding of the culture of the organization and complete a table that identifies the elements and what data you used to identify them.
Resources for this section of the Course Project:
In Cummings and Worley, Chapter 4, “Organization Development in Nonindustrial Settings: Health Care, School Systems, the Public Sector, and Family-Owned Business.” Focus on how organization development applications, historically framed in industrial settings, can be extended and/or modified to work in other settings, including in educational organizations.
In Gallos, Chapter 34, “Developing the Individual Leader.” Focus on how adult learning theory and leadership development work together to lead individuals into a self-discovery process that helps them become effective leaders.
In Gallos, Chapter 14, “Large Group Interventions and Dynamics.” Focus on understanding how the role of social psychology, psychoanalytical theory, and systems theory are related to large group interactions.
In Gallos, Chapter 40, “Generating Simultaneous Personal, Team, and Organization Development.” Focus on how the cases presented in the chapter illustrate the role of development theory for the growth of individuals, groups, and the organization.
Multimedia: “State University School of Education Case Study”: View Scene 2—Identifying Data and Establishing Metrics. Focus on the narrative content and the types of metrics used and the interactions of the participants.
Section 3 length: 2 pages
SECTION 4: FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENTS OF THE ORGANIZATION
Read Cummings and Worley, Chapter 5, “Diagnosing Organizations,” and then look at your organization and identify the components/indicators you would address when diagnosing the organization. Focus on the inputs, throughputs, and outputs sections of the Cummings chapter.
Inputs are the human or other resources, such as information, energy, and materials coming into a system. Inputs come from the external environment.
Throughputs include the processes that convert inputs to outputs. There are two components: social (people, relationships) and technological (tools, techniques, and methods).
And outputs refers to “organizational performance”—what is transformed and sent out into the environment (units produced/students graduated, services provided, fiscal responsibility, customer satisfaction/student retention).
Develop a graphic that identifies and defines the inputs, throughputs, and outputs for your organization.
SECTION 5: SYNTHESIS, EVALUATION, AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This section will serve as the summary for this project. You will synthesize the data you gathered, evaluate the organization, and make recommendations to the organization about how it might become more effective. Make certain to address the impact on individuals, groups, and the organization when applicable. You can use the template (provided) to organize your thoughts as you are developing this section of the project. Cite research and course resources in your evaluation and recommendations.
Section length: 3 pages.