Organizational Development: Adjustability, Learning & Feedback

This was part of an assignment for the course in digital governance from 23 Aug 2010.

organizational development 

To enable an easier organization change it is easier if the organization has certain characteristics that define their way of working and thinking. I have identified three characteristics which I believe will create a bigger potential for a more effective organizational development. The three parts I will talk about are: Adjustability, Feedback and Learning.

“human organizations are emergent, undergoing continual change driven by social and environmental dynamics”(Baskerville&Land, p.264). Since there is a continuous change happening one of the most important characteristics an organization can have is an adjustability. We need to be able to adjust both to internal as well as external conditions in an easy and efficient way.

With the digitalization of society more and more of our artifacts are becoming liquidified. “digitization raises the mobility of what we have customarily thought of as not mobile, or barely mobile. At its most extreme, this liquefying dematerializes its object. Once dematerialized, it gains hypermobility—instantaneous circulation through digital networks with global span” (Sassen, p.81). A change in the way Information System (IS) works in conjunction with the dematerialization creates a big need for the organization to be adjustable and create new routines for an easier organizational change.

Creating new routines is easier if an amount of “drifting” is allowed. Drifting forms the usage patterns for everyday practice. By allowing this learning-by-doing, improvements will be stumbled upon that was not planned but that will greatly affect and help the organization to develop.

The plans are important in making step-by-step learning instead of giant leaps when assimilating new technology into the organization. By continuously improving the IS environment the workers will have an easier time keeping up instead of learning everything at once. “Giving illiterate people cheap books does not solve illiteracy” (Wade, p.185)

A lot of times the focus is on all the new IS technology instead of focusing on what really matters, what that technology is able to do for the citizens. “Information systems needed to be seen as social systems, admittedly with an increasingly technical component—but not as technological systems per se (Galliers, p.248). “It is not the technology in itself […] that will create competitive advantage, but the users to which it is put that may do so” (Galliers, p.254).

The feedback created from the users is important to evaluate in order to synchronize everyone on how to use the IS optimally as well as creating new ideas from the comments that arise. It is important to gather the thoughts and ideas from many sources since “each of us experiences a different world, albeit with ’similarities’’’ (Angell&Ilharco, p.53)

Another reason why it is important to evaluate and gather feedback is because “our understanding of the past—what it ’is’ or rather what it ’is becoming’ (not what it was)—changes with our understanding of the future, with our changing projects, expectations and ambitions” (Angell&Ilharco, p.42). Thus by looking at the past we change our perception and memory of what it was which will enable us to affect our decisions for development of the organization for the future. “The projected future will be inscribed in the present decisions; a possible future pulls the present towards it” (Smithson&Tsiavos, p.226) 

[pic: CC-BY, LizMarie_AK]

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Josef Ohlsson Collentine

A transparent and kind American/Swede who likes cultural patterns and Social Media. A creative early-adopter who sports, discusses and explores. More about me
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