Differences Between Organization Change & Development

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Like people, organizations change and develop over time.
Like people, organizations change and develop over time. (Image: PM Images/Photodisc/Getty Images)

As they grow and evolve, organizations undergo a series of changes throughout their life cycle. These changes create the need for a well planned development process. To understand the differences between organizational change and development, it is important to know the meaning of each term and to conceptualize the relationship between the two.

Organizational Change

Factors such as improvements in technology, the need for business diversification and expansion are all examples of driving forces of change in organizations. These factors contribute to the onset of organizational development by pushing business leaders and managers to take certain actions which will lead to the desired outcome. There are several types of organizational change. Some changes are planned and driven by innovative thinking, while others are unplanned. Sometimes change in an organization can affect the whole entity, and at other times it can have a direct impact on only one segment of the business structure.

When an organization experiences change, it re-invents its overall strategy for success, and adds or removes certain components in its current style of operations.

Organizational Development

Business development is defined as "a planned organization-wide effort to increase an organization's effectiveness and viability," according to Noetic Outcomes Consulting. One of the most widely known means of implementing organization development is enterprise master planning. This process allows an organization to choose the best business solution out of a multitude of alternatives or options. Enterprise master planning involves a thorough analysis of existing business processes and a good understanding of opportunities available for improving those processes. Documentations and resources are used to determine the most appropriate business options, and to qualify and justify the master plan.

The methods used for organizational development will vary, and the steps taken to implement organizational change is contingent on the scale of the project and the sort of results being sought. The timeline for the plan development and integration will therefore depend on the complexity of the enterprise and its starting point in the development stage.

Impact of Change and Development

Organizational change is the agent that pushes development forward. In this context, change becomes a major catalyst for growth and improvements in business processes. Development therefore depends largely on those active forces that propel organizations to greater heights when the right business decisions are taken and effectively executed by highly skilled managers and leaders.

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