Organizational Development (OD) and Open Systems Theory (OST)

Case 1






Case 1

Organizational Development (OD) and Open Systems Theory (OST)

Decker outdoor corporation


Decker outdoor corporation is a design company that is deeply entrenched into the provision of foot wear and clothing’s for all occasions and seasons, the world over. The company is also into designing and production of gears of all designs, the company major brands include sanuk shoes pairs of tevas montara boots, tsubo style shoes UGG boots, mozo signature chef lines

While Decker outdoor corporation is an organization of repute in their field of operation, the organization is an open system with so many components which are interdependent. However, the social system in organizations is very complex due to the variability of the components. The concept of organizations as open system is important n the analysis of the organizations as it intrudes use in the analysis and diagnosis of organization by looking at the impact of the environment permeating the organizations in terms of their behaviors and structures. There are a number of schools of thoughts that can be used to diagnose Decker outdoor corporation (D. O. CORP)

The major schools for this analysis are the contingency theory, the system design and the Weick’s Theory or organizing. However, I would like to state that though this system is varied, they tend to produce the same results with variation on specificity.

Selected Schools

Contingency Theory — this theory states that the organization structure is dependent on the environment in which they exist. This is t say that, as an organization continue to exist, it develops some characteristics that suit the actual environment in which it exists. On the other hand, the environmental pressure that the organization aligns itself to is key factors that shape the structure of the organization.

Systems Design — As a systems theory m, organizations can model and simulate its operations in a computer to determine the total sum of reactions that the organization might have to stay in line with in order to survive, this is feedback mechanism. Organizations carry out these activities in order to determine the best way to achieve and maintain optimality in all seasons.

Weick’s Theory of Organizing – this theory states hat most organizations exist by maintaining information flow within the organization, thereby reducing the complexity in its environment. However, it is also imperative to note that all organizations are just coalition of groups with varying interest, whereby each groups tries hard to achieve some goal from the assemblage by interacting with others and each group has its own preference. The loose cpipling is essential in improving the adaptability and sustainability of the e organization

Organization diagnostic model

Model are representation of the real world situation, in organization, it is the representation of the actual organization as it interest with other environmental factors. It is imperative to understand that all organizations have ways of respondent to the impact of the environmental factors both internal and external. Our company of choice form this case study is the Decker outdoor corporation which has been introduced above.

Force Field Analysis

This concept was developed by one Kurt lewin in 1951. Kurt was interested in analyzing and controlling the organizations variables and problems. The system used by Kurt Lewin has its strengths and weaknesses, but the main factors inconsideration while using this method is the relative ease at which this model is used to solving organization problems.

This method is also relatively instrumental in the analysis of the organizational problems in that it helps in the identification of all the major factor forces that act upon the organization. Decker outdoor corporation, is having hard time dealing with it external environment, the driving forces that the company has to deal with include the falling economy, then environmental trends, fashion and the general expectation in the environment from all stakeholders. These may be pushing the company to its limits. On the other hand, the company is also under the influence of the forces within the organization as the organization is looking for financiers and investors to keep pace with the increasing demand of its products. The company’s expansion plans is stretching its resources.

While then identification of the forces both driving forces and the restraining forces within the organization, it is also important to scan the environment for any other forces and define the goals and strategies for achieving these goals. The organizations working on reestablishing its equilibrium by inviting investors


Burke, & Litwin, (1992 argues that this model is too simple and fails to consider a number of variables that impact the organization, it only looks at the problem and the goals without giving consideration to how these goals will be met by the organization. It only focus on the driving forces and not the factors and particular variable in the system

Levitt’s model

This model tries to outline the major weaknesses of the force filed model by giving consideration to the variable in the business environment and how they affect the organization as a whole. By specificity, it helps in the identification of the key factors that the organization should look into; this includes the impact of the organizational task, structures, people and technology on the organization. Some of the challenges that Decker is facing is competitive advantage that most companies have managed to garner from the technological advancements. The company is mainly underfunded giving the major competitors such as Nike and adidas head start before. This competitive advantage is what the company seems to lack. On the other hand, the company is also understaffed as the main brands are managed by only a one person per brand, this could be done better by giving this to the main players (Cummings, & Worley, 1993).

The structures variable is also affected in the company as the authority system within the organization is seem to be less structured. Some managers as leading in more than two accounts and the work flow within the organization is very random. The organization need to analyze the impact of moving or intervening with the interest of helping one brand.

Criticism, the main premise of this model is that a change in one variable will Impact another variable, but this premise is wrong as the variable are interacted and the impact of one variable in the environment may not affect another variable in the same manner. Another criticism to this model is that it fails to consider the impact of the external environment on the company. It assumes that the company operates in a stable environment

Likert System Analysis

Likert system is more focused on the organization dimensions like motivation, interactions decision making, goal setting, control and performance. The system cannot be diagrammatically depicted but the system is instrumental in determining his kind of management system in operation in any organization structure. The key variable that this system uses is the employee or the people variable in determining the key problems that ail the company, the employees of Decker outdoor corporation are the only people who know the problems within the company. Their complaints can be very instrumental in the analysis and determination of the corporate problems.

According to Fuqua, & Kurpius, (1993), the system uses grading system to determine the response or opinions of the employees of the organization according to same statement about the organization. This system categorizes organization system onto three main ones, Vis a vis- the reactive organization (System 1), the responsive organization (System 2), the proactive organization (System 3), and the high performing organization (System 4).

Based on the framework, the most relevant category that Decker outdoor corporation belongs to is the responsive organization. The company is more into managing its variables according to how they occur. The management designs shoes and solution according to the changes and market trends. This is replicated in the way the organization handles the employees and the customers alike.

Open Systems Theory

The open system theory may be the main theory in this line, but its assumption is not strong to be applicable in the case of Decker outdoor corporation.

Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 1: input output model of various companies

Dept. Inputs to Department/Process Department/Process Output/Input to next process Department/Process Target & Output

Graduate nursing Applications, transcripts and instructions Follow instructions to process applications and transcripts Applications ready for review Application review Acceptance/Rejection of student

Consumer Banking Goals, product information, consumer information, rules Setup training. Set individual goals. Conduct monthly reviews of policies Staff implements rules and reaches product goals Compile separate results of different departments CEO gets report on progress.

Women’s basketball team Films on other teams Analyze and breakdown films Teach the team how to neutralize the opposition Play the game Win

Market integration department Scientific information, doctors’ names, surveys Conduct education seminars and make calls on doctors Create awareness among doctors of the disease and its medical treatment Doctors review information Doctor prescribes the drug in the appropriate way.

In line with this, I am imperative for the management to analyze their organization according to what inputs are required for every phase of the gears and footwear’s. In the same way the organization can analyze their output with the view of determining what could have been done. It is also a way by which companies can analyze the procedure or approach that lead to the kind of output that it has realized. The system is very basic as it fails to consider the environmental factors just the input and the output of the process (Denison, 1990)

Weisbord’s Six-Box Model

Weisbord (1976) proposed a model based on six broad categories. He postulated that an organization life is asicaly about purposes, structures, relationships, leadership, rewards, and helpful mechanisms. According to Campbell, Campbell, & Associates (1988), the organizations purpose are the mission that the organization has set out to achieve, if an organization cannot achieve its mission, then the organization’s ailing and need immediate medication in terms of intervention, consultation, analysis, evaluation or just injection of more cash. However, the company does not seem to have problem with its goals, the only thing that Decker outdoor should consider is enough funding to help in pushing sales (Bollen, 1989).

On the other hand, organization structures are basically the managerial system within the organization. In Decker outdoor corporation, the company has a well-defined reporting structure in which the CEO is the President and Chairman of the Board, the company’s management is designed along the product line, the company has a multi-skilled team who work together for the success of a single brand. The interpersonal relation between the teams is perfect and the level of techn9logy acceptance within the company s also good. On the other hand, the company also has a number of reward schemes for it employees which are given to the outstanding achiever is the company. The company also makes use of the helping mechanism to ensure that the organizations resources are used well. The company’s management function are executed with abandon save for a few hitches that are inherent in system with similar characteristics. The planning mechanism in the company is implemented in all departments within the organization; this is done in all departments in the organization especially to forecast production, sales and profitability


This model may be optimal in its approach to problem within the organization, but it does not focus enough on the external environment. The model views the external environment as a remote factor while in fact the external environment may have a big impact on the organization performance. For example, technology, econonomic and political legal environment, these are major forces that if not given due consideration, the company might come to a grinding halt. Internal efficiencies within the company cannot be translated to profitability and sustainability…sustainability or profitability without then external environment. Both the external and the internal environment must have some level of interaction for an organization to be profitable (Joyce, & Slocum, 1984).

The Congruence Model for Organization Analysis

The Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model is a more comprehensive model, specifying inputs, throughputs, and outputs, which is consistent with open systems theory. This model is very similar to Leavitt’s model; it also retains the formal and informal systems of the Weisbord six-box model.

The congruence model focus on a number of assumptions, this assumption is the fundamental the key assumption are as stated bellow:

Organizations are open social systems

Organization operate within a very large environment

Organization behaviors do occur at various levels and between various components such as the group level, the systems and the individual levels

Organization very dynamic and are likely to change

All the above assumption also underlies the other models for organization diagnosis. As a start, Decker is an open system, which operates in a social environment making it an open social system.

Nadler and Tushman (1980) apply the concept of congruence to their model. They describe Congruence, or fit, as “the degree to which the needs, demands, goals, objectives, and/or Structures of one component are consistent with the needs, demands, goals, objectives, and/or structures of another component

The major inputs that affect Decker Company are likely to fall under environmental resources, history of the organization. While the resource that the comany has at its disposal are the human resources such as goodwill, capital resources, and information there are other non tangible resource. Such as g on the other hand, the organization also has an organization strategy

Gable, & Wolf (1993) argue that, while the organizations strategy seems to be perfect, the company seems to struggling to expand, this is a sign of an ambitious company without enough resources to back it up.


Bollen, K. A. (1989). Structural equations with latent variables. New York, NY: John Wiley &


Burke, W. W. & Litwin, G. H. (1992). A causal model of organizational performance and change. Journal of Management, 18 (3), 523-545.

Campbell, J. P., Campbell, R. J., & Associates (Eds.) (1988). Productivity in organizations. San

Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Cummings, T. G. & Worley, C. G. (1993). Organization development and change. Fifth Edition.

New York, NY: West Publishing.

Denison, D. R. (1990). Corporate culture and organizational effectiveness. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Fuqua, D. R. & Kurpius, D. J. (1993). Conceptual models in organizational consultation. Journal

of Counseling and Development, 71, 607-618.

Gable, R. & Wolf . B. (1993). Instrument development in the affective domain: Measuring

attitudes and values in corporate and school settings. Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic


Joyce, W. F. & Slocum, J. W. (1984). Collective climate: Agreement as a basis for defining

aggregate climates in organizations. Academy of Management Journal, 27, 721-742

Nadler, D. A. & Tushman, M. L. (1980). A model for diagnosing organizational behavior.

Organizational Dynamics, Autumn, 35-51.


The management of Decker outdoor corporations:

Angel R. Martinez


CEO, President and Chairman of the Board


Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman, Keen LLCExecutive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Reebok International Ltd.Chief Executive Officer and President, The Rockport Company

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Zohar Ziv


Chief Operating Officer


Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Finance & Administration, Deckers Outdoor CorporationChief Financial Officer, EMAK Worldwide, Inc.Chief Financial Officer, Stravina Operating Company, LLCChief Financial Officer, Joico Laboratories, Inc.Chief Financial Officer, Intellisys Group, Inc.Chief Financial Officer, Inovison Holding, L.P

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Thomas A. George


Chief Financial Officer


Chief Financial Officer, Ophthonix, Inc.Chief Financial Officer, Oakley, Inc.

Constance X. Rishwain


President, UGG Australia


Vice President/Brand Manager, UGG AustraliaVice President/Brand Manager, SimpleVice President of Domestic Sales, Teva, UGG Australia and SimpleVice President of Sales, Western Division, Teva, UGG Australia and SimpleVice President of Merchandising, Teva, UGG Australia and SimpleVice President of Merchandising and Marketing, Impo International Shoe

Read More

Joel Heath


President, Teva


Global Marketing Director, TevaPresident & CEO, Untraditional Marketing, Inc.

Read More

Jake Brandman


President, Sanuk


Vice President of North American Sales, TevaDirector of Operations, Ahnu FootwearDirector of Sales, Keen FootwearDirector of Sales, VansNational Sales Manager, Pro-tec

Jim Van Dine


President, Ahnu and TSUBO


Founder, Ahnu FootwearPresident, Keen FootwearVice President of Sales, VansSenior Vice President of Sales/Marketing, DeckersVice President of Sales/Marketing, Zildjian, Inc.

Jessica Buttimer


Chief Brand Officer


General Manager, Green Works, Clorox CompanyMarketing Manager, Procter & GambleConsultant, National Economic Research Associates

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Stephen Murray


President of Europe, Middle East and Africa


Global President, Urban OutfittersPresident, VF Action Sports CoalitionPresident, VansSenioir Vice President, Vans EuropeVice President, Reebok International

Peter K. Worley


President, Deckers Asia-Pacific


President, TevaVice President of U.S. Sales, K-Swiss, Inc.Vice President of Product Design and Development, K-SwissManager, Reebok International Ltd.

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Graciela Montgomery


Senior Vice President, Human Resources


Chief Human Resources Leader, AECOMVice President of Human Resources, Nortel NetworksVice President of Human Resources, Disney/ABC Network

George Troy


Vice President, Retail Operations


Vice President of Retail, Williams-Sonoma, Inc

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John A. Kalinich


Vice President, Consumer Direct


Director of Corporate Licensing, DeckersChief Operations Officer, TevaAudit Senior Associate, Coopers & Lybrand LLP

Mark N. Fegley


Senior Vice President, Supply Chain


Vice President of Business Improvement, Agility Logistics CorpNew Business/Development Manager, TNT Express Worldwide

Read More

Yul Vanek


Vice President, Information Technology


Consultant, CIO Advisory ServicesVice President IT, Charlotte RusseVice President IT, K-SwissDirector IT, OakleyTechnology Manager, Andersen Consulting (now Accenture)

Read More

DECK (NASDAQ GS): $83.75

OPEN: 83.65

CHANGE: 0.20

VOLUME: 428,593



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