What developmental milestones occur around 1 to 2 ½ years old that may influence this 2nd stage? (i.e. what are toddlers learning to do?)
An external facilitator-consultant has been a consistently distinguishing element of OD efforts, and continues to be preferred over do-it-yourself programs (cf. French and Bell, 1990, p. 20). Although internal OD consultants (staff persons usually residing in the human resources department) may be employed, particularly in collaboration with an external consultant, external persons are believed to be more effective because they are relatively free of the cultural organization more independent of local politics than the internal person, and less dependent on the long-range reinforcement afforded by salary and career advancement within the firm. No data exist, however, directly comparing the effectiveness of internal and external consultants. In fact, Beer and Walton (1990) note the transition of OD from a set of skills held by an external consultant to requisite skills held by all effective managers in an organization. This trend, if it continues, would make the distinction between external and internal consultants obsolete, since OD would become acculturated into the daily management practices of the firm. It is not clear, however, that the consequences of OD practices are sufficiently effective to be selected into the mainstream culture of most organizations.
DOES OD WORK?
Anecdotal reports of successful OD interventions abound in the literature (cf., Beer and Walton, 1987,1990). However, several recent literature reviews have reported mixed results (cf. Golembiewski, Proehl, and Sink, 1982; Hantula et al., 1991; Mirvis and Berg, 1977). To date the data suggest that positive effects are obtained in 50 to 87 percent of the studies reviewed. A meta-analysis by Guzzo, Jette, and Katzell (1985) evaluated 207 field studies and found that the OD programs reviewed increased worker productivity, on the average, about one-half a standard deviation. With respect to worker satisfaction and job-related attitudes, a similar meta-analysis procedure was conducted (Neuman, Edwards, and Raju, 1989) and the authors concluded that comprehensive, multifaceted OD interventions were more effective in enhancing attitudinal measures than were those that focused on a more specific technique, such as team building or laboratory training. The majority of the studies included in these reviews, however, relied primarily on verbal self-report measures of productivity (see Nicholas, 1982, for an exception to this). It is not clear to what extent the positive effects of OD interventions would hold using actual production data (e.g., number of defects, scrap rate, etc.).