Action research on an organization development intervention in a secondary school in the Erongo education region of Namibia

by Neshila, Selma

Abstract (Summary)
Organisations that will not, that resist, that cannot, that are incapable, that lack the confidence or that believe it’s not possible to change are likely to stagnate and die (Smith: work in progress).

Since independence in March 1990, the new Namibian Government has realized that the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of Namibian schools depends on the ability of teachers and other stakeholders to be innovators and facilitators of change, especially through effective communication, effective meetings, working through conflict, solving problems and making decisions.

Organization Development (OD) is an effective, planned change approach for improving organization workgroup processes. Resting on a foundation of values and assumptions about people and organizations, OD promotes collaboration, interdependence and interconnectedness, empowerment, participation and involvement in problem solving and decision-making for all members. Based primarily on a normative, re-educative strategy and secondarily on a rational-empirical strategy, OD assumes that people will change if and when they realize that change is advantageous to them.

OD makes use of interventions to determine areas requiring change. The intervention used for my research included a survey-data-feedback (SDF) where data was gathered, analyzed and fed back to the participants. The data was used as a basis for problem solving and training in organizational processes of communication.

The case study involved 23 teachers. Journal entries, observation, formal and non-formal interviews as well as focus interviews were used as data collection tools.

Participants wanted to see immediate organizational changes thus it was important to remind them that OD is a long-term change approach and that there is no quick fix. Initially, participants were used to the norm of fault finding to determine areas requiring change. However, a year later, during problem solving sessions, I observed collaborative and positive involvement by all participants.

Finally, the outcome of the intervention based on the data from the communication workshop and the problem-solving meetings revealed that participants want OD to be institutionalized in all Namibian schools.

Bibliographical Information:


School:Rhodes University

School Location:South Africa

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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