ODI Website

History of Organization Development in Asia and its evolution

Connectivity and complexity are two phenomena that characterize the age of information of the 21st Century. Individuals and institutions in business and services industries whether in public and private types of organizations have been intricately and intimately influenced and affected by the impact of such extraordinary changes and exponential technologies.

Organization Development (OD) a new and emerging discipline of the second half of the 20th century arrived in Thailand by serendipity when the Tom Yum Kung Crises burst in 1997. It was a time when Assumption University launched its Master of Management in Organization Development (MMOD) under the Graduate School of Business during the academic year of 1997 to equip OD practitioners with essences of leadership and management.

The history of OD in Thailand came into play with the unfolding events where individuals and institutions made choices on one event that lead to another. International Organization Development Association's (IODA) 9th World Conference in Barcelona, Spain was held in 1994. Dr. Perla, as newly elected VP of IODA promoted the IODA conference to Asian Leaders and OD Practitioners. Bro. Martin Prathip Komolmas, then President of Assumption University of Thailand, received the invitation brochure and showed up at the Barcelona Conference. As an OD Leader/ Practitioner, himself with an OD Degree, sought Dr. Perla out at the closing plenary of the conference and requested her to design an OD curriculum for a master's program for his university. It was a moment of choice and an opportunity for service where IODA could be part of a new network engagement of service in Thailand.

Cognizant of the links that matter between individuals and institutions (The I-I Connection), Dr. Perla readily took the invitation and sought 15 qualified IODA members as volunteers to assist in the workshop on the OD curriculum design program during the10th IODA Conference in 1995 in Eilat, Israel. The curriculum design endorsed by the IODA Curriculum Committee, approved by the Executive Committee was presented by IODA President Dr. Marc Silverman to Bro. Martin for Assumption University. This was the IODA seed planted, nurtured and blossomed in Thailand and in now in Asia for 18 years that has now produced from the 24 MM Batches over 500 graduates in MMOD. The PhDOD program was launched in year 2006 with over 60 graduates completing the degree from seven batches.

ABAC.GSB OD Program has the following fundamental concepts and processes drawn from the both theory and practice chosen on purpose as the underpinning principles of the program to wit: (Tayko, 2015 from Chapter 1 OD in Asia: A Butterfly & Collective Effect, John Wiley Publications.)

    1] Self as an instrument of change. The individual person as an organization of ONE - "one from many" as central to the OD Process that begins with the self. The program is mindful of the context of the 21st century and the need for "thought leadership" with competencies in sync with the information age, using a core design process that is brain-based competency and a set of assessment tools to define, identify and develop this competency called "human information processing skill set" (HIPSS), referred to as whole brain literacy. (Lynch, 1984, 1988, Lynch & Kordis, 1988, Lynch, 1993, 2004; Tayko & Letz, 1994, Tayko & Talmo, 2010; Tayko & Agloro, 2012. Tayko, 2014, 2015)

    2] Organizations are human, open systems. The Corporate Person as ONE - "many as one" - to raise a higher level of consciousness of the complexity and connectivity of issues in organizations for "transformative learning and change" (TLC3), the design of the program considers the five elements in an acronym - 2C2PCP - representing elements such as

    • a] Content as organizational issues on hand to be addressed for change and development;
    • b] Context as the setting/conditions/circumstances/types of industry or services the organization is at including the stages of development (stages of corporate lifecycles);
    • c] Perspectives as the panorama of views of the world in and out of organizations, and
    • d] Process to conclude a way of organizing as well as processing/facilitating change, development and transformation.
    These four pillars for program/project design - Content-Context-Perspectives-Process as basic framework of the OD Process around a unifying theme called "core purpose" completes the conceptual framework of the OD Program Design. (Hock, 2000; Cummings & Worley, 2009; Roldan & Tayko, 1991; Tayko, 2011)

    3] Action research as the "anchor of OD Practice". Using it as the research model design for student's dissertation to apply OD strategies, approaches, technologies and techniques chosen as OD Interventions in initiating change in the "organization of choice" as a case study; the global developmental waves that impact on individuals and institutions and how mindsets or mental models need reviewing, reframing and/or recreating different/new mindsets of organizing to be in sync with fast changing times. (Lurey & Griffin, 2002; Dweck, 2006; Senge, 1990).

    4] The Individual-Institutional Connection (The I-I Connection). This is an integrative framework in OD Process to establish connection, cohesion, differentiation, complementation, collaboration as well as alignment between the Individual and the Institution in the OD Process. This framework makes reference on another set of five elements to learn, unlearn and relearn in ODT processes, such as:

    • a] The underlying assumption and fundamental beliefs on the positive energies, innate human potentials of human systems (individuals, groups, organizations) that can be tapped/tipped for organization development and transformation (ODT) using the positive psychology, appreciative inquiry and other modalities appropriate and conducive for "transformative learning and change", thus building on strengths and potentialities for organization change, development and transformation (Zander & Zander, 2002; Cooperrider, 2008; Stavros, 2009; Tabrizi, 2007; Watkins, et. al., 2011; Tabrizi & Terrell, 2013; Tayko & Talmo, 2010; Tayko & Agloro, 2012);
    • b] The underlying beliefs that "mindsets are causative" and as such would call for OD process engagements that utilize technologies/techniques that enable individuals and institutions to surface, identify, clarify, understand, reframe and/or shift mindsets to function differently and positively for "transformative learning and change". (Anderson & Anderson, 2001; Dweck, 2006; Senge, et. al, 1999).
    • c] That organizations are "living corporate person" endowed with the dynamic, dialectic forces of "wants", "cans" and "must" that determine or influence the growing, maturing and aging of the "living corporate person" that understanding and appreciation of human systems undergoing stages of corporate lifecycle growth and development requiring appropriate OD strategies and approaches for varying stages of corporate lifecycle development would determine the appropriate OD approaches, strategies and processes for organization change, development and transformation. (Roldan & Tayko, 1991; Anderson Anderson, 2001; Adizes, 1989. 2006);
    • d] That organizations thrive in the context of the ecology of relationships, the context of culture requiring understanding and utilizing the dynamics of groups and their functions, impact for organizational effectiveness as well as in the application of the five technologies of the art and practice of learning organization. (Senge, 1990; 1999; Capra, 1996); and
    • e] That organizations are human innovation creatively designed or crafted in response to the dynamic dialectic forces of "wants", "cans" and "musts" to grow and mature and utilizing the capability and capacity of the human brain to "process information" to function appropriately in decision-making and action taking. In this process, the "power of purpose" as well as the pull of vision becomes the core driving and unifying element for transformative learning and change.


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