One of the most effective means of improving productivity and morale is through organizational development.Survey-guided development uses objective data produced by surveying all levels and work groups in the institution and implementing a program of acting on the data to strengthen organizational functioning.
We use the Survey of Organizations (SOO) developed by Rensis Likert Associates, Ann Arbor, Michigan.This instrument is used by many of the Fortune 500 companies as a means of assessing organizational climate in the categories of organizational climate (communication flow, decision making, concern for people, influence and control), job design (job challenge, reward, and clarity), organizational shape (organization of work, absence of bureaucracy, coordination), supervisory leadership (support, team building, goal emphasis, work facilitation), peer relationships (support, team building, goal emphasis, work facilitation), and end results (group functioning, goal integration, satisfaction, group performance, and individual performance).
The SOO is reviewed by the institution to ascertain completeness of the approximately 100 items contained in the instrument.These items are then supplemented by up to an additional 25 items determined locally as institution-specific items.The questionnaire is distributed, completed by respondents, scored, and summarized in a report.Profiles are prepared for each work group, for divisional areas, for employee categories, and for the institution as a whole.Individual department or unit profiles may be compared with one another or with the institution itself.Institutional data may be compared with other institutions of higher education or with private sector data.For institutions having administered the instrument on a past occasion, comparisons may be made between then and now building a picture of progress.The results are reviewed throughout the institution at the work group or divisional level and at the institutional level.Each group identifies its strengths and its areas for development.The group discusses conditions requiring action, potential causes and alternative solutions.Action plans are developed, timetables established, and solutions are implemented.Groups meet to monitor progress and maintain momentum, continuing to use the survey-data to guide development.
Institutions using the Survey of Organizations and implementing action plans have realized the following benefits:
Accurate diagnosis of organizational climate factors in job design, job shape, and guidance systems
Positive changes in styles and actions of supervisory leaders
Strengthening of peer relationships, cooperation in work groups and across departmental lines