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Research Note 83-16
ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS STAFF OFFICER(OESO) PERCEPTIONS OF THE ARMY'S
ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS(OE) PROGRAM
Laurel W. Oliver
LEADERSH!P AND MANAGEMENT TECHNICAL AREA
', DTIC~$ ELECTE .
Q . U.S. Army. CD- C.. Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences
*" Lt.. October 1981
j goa *Approved for public release; distribution umlim~ited.
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1 - REPORT NUMBER jZ. GOVT ACCESSION NO. 3. I ENT'S CATALOG NUMBER
Research Note 83-16 -l A I P ( 74. TITLE (and Subtie) S. TYPE OF REPORT PERIOD COVERED
Organizational Effectiveness Staff Officer 1979-80(OESO) Perceptions of the Army's OrganizationalEffectiveness (OE) Program 6. PERFORMING ORO. REPORT NUMBER
7. AUTHOr(s) 6S. CONTRACT OR GRANT NUMBER(")
Laurel W. Oliver
S. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME AND ADDRESS 10. PROGRAM ELEMENT. PROJECT, TASKAREA & WORK UNIT NUM"ERSU.S. Army Research Institute for the 2Q263731A792
Behavioral and Social Sciences
5001 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria, VA 22333 Task A, Work Unit 002
II. CONTROLLING OFFICE NAME AND ADDRESS I2. REPORT DATE
Human Resources Development Directorate October 1981Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel 1. NUMBEROF PAGESWashington, D.C. 20310 66
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18. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES
IC. KEY WORBS (Continue an reverse. side if n~cikewY and Identify by block number)
Organizational Effectiveness, Organizational Development, Organizational:7-Effectiveness Staff OfficerS'OESO), Army OE Program
111, A*"AC? f(ep0Je 40 POW" 4eN If nswaym aw identifIy by block number)
A 219-item questionnaire was administered to 150 experienced OESOs to. provide preliminary data on their perceptions of their role as OESOs, theirOESO positions, OE users, the nature of OE operations, and the use of the
-...- four-step APIE (Assessment/Planning/Implementation/Evaluation) approach to 3 -organizational development. The following findings were reported: About 774% of all Army OE operations are viewed by OESOs as being successful, and-
-- . - there is a higher reliance on subjective "gut feeling" indicators of success-
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1han on "hard data" measures. OESOs perceive lack of communication, needfor planning, command transitions, and leadership/management concerns asthe issues OE users most frequently wish to address. OE operations mostfrequently engaged in are action planning, survey feedback, and teambuilding. OESOs seldom complete the four-step process and also report doingrelatively little documentation and evaluation. The findings of this studywill provide data for the ongoing analysis of the impact of the Army's OEprogram.
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C~ coiResearchl Note 83-16
ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS STAFF OFFICER(OESO) PERCEPTIONS OF THE ARMIY'S
ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS(OE) PROGRAM
* Laurel W. Oliver
Submitted by:T. Owen Jacobs, Chief
LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEIMENT TECHNICAL AREA
Joyce L. Shields, Acting DirectorMANPOWER AND PERSONNELRESEARCH LABORATORY
U.S. ARMY RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR THE BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES5001 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, Virginia 22333
Office, Deputy Chief of Staff for PersonnelDepartment of the Army
Army Project Number Manpower and Personnel2Q263731A792
Awpoved for "ubit eitse.,a diettbutlon unflmeted.
The Leadership and Management Technical Area of the Army ResearchInstitute (ARI) is investigating the impact of the Organizational Effec-tiveness (O) program of the Army. The following report describes researchconducted by the Organizational Effectiveness Technology DevelopmentUnit.
The purpose of the present research effort was to provide preliminarydata on the perceptions of experienced OESOs concerning the Army's OEprogram. This research was needed for planning the analysis of the impactof the OE program and, in addition, supplies input to OE managers andtraiuers for planning the future direction of the OE program.
This report was prepared under Army Project 2Q263731A792, CommandProcesses and Evaluation, FY 79 and 80 Work Program, and was conducted byUS Army Research Institute personnel.
ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS STAFF OFFICER (OESO) PERCEPTIONS OF THE,ARMY'S ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS (OE) PROGRAM
The primary objective of the Army's Organizational Effectiveness (OE)C. i:program is to provide assistance to commanders for improving mission perfor-W s mance and increasing combat readiness. Although preliminary research on the
program has been conducted by both the Organizational Effectiveness Centerand School (OEC&S) and the Army Research Institute (AIR), to date there hasbeen little Army-wide information available on the types, levels, clientele,and outcomes of current OE operations. The purpose of this research was toclarify aspects of the OE program% this would focus further research whichwill attempt to assess the impact of the program. It was specifically de-signed to provide descriptions of five general aspects of the OE program ascurrently implemented by experienced, full-time Organizational EffectivenessStaff Offlcers (OESOs): the OESOs themselves, the OESO positions, the OEusers, the nature of OE operations, and the use of the four-step APIE (Assess-ment/Planning/Implementation/Evaluation) approach to organizational develop-ment.
One hundred fifty full-time, experienced (more than six months in thefield) OESOs who were trained prior to 1979 answered a 219-item questionnaireaddressing various aspects of OESO training., work demands, and OE programactivities. The questionnaire consisted of multiple choice items (analyzedin terms of frequency counts), quantitative items (reported as frequenciesor average ratings for the five-point scale), and open-ended items analyzedby a "content analysis" procedure (selection of a group of response categoriesinto which the write-in answers are sorted).
Although the response rate to the questionnaire was low (42%), the demo-graphic characteristics of the respondents indicate research results can begeneralized to the total population of OESOs. These results indicate thatcertain conditions are associated with the success of OE operations. Accep-tance of OE at the OESO's incation, for example, is positively related tosuccess of operations. OESOs judged 74% of their operations successful, 9%unsuccessful, and 17% as "not sure." Other positive conditions related tothe degree of success of the OE program include the amount of OE experience,the number of other OESOs, and OESOs' satisfaction with the direction of theOE program. OESOs (who report spending 70% of their time in OE work) perceive
lack of communication, need to plan, command transitions, and leadership/management concerns as the issues OE users most frequently wish to address.The OE operations OESOs most frequently engage in are action planning,survey feedback, and team building.
OESOs report they document their work infrequently, with experiencedOESOs doing even less documentation than their more recently trainedcolleagues. Very little evaluation is being accomplished, especially foroperations judged as less successful. Evaluation indicators most frequentlyused by OESOs tend to be subjective in nature ("gut feeling" and clientcomments) with "hard data" indicators such as AWOL rates much less frequentlyused. Thus OESOs seldom document, evaluate, or complete the four-step OEprocess. In general, acceptance of OE is reasonably good where the OESOrespndents are located. Most OESOs feel they interact well with seniorofficers, although the percentage of OESOs reporting interaction difficultiesincreases with the grade of the senior officer. OESOs who experience lessdifficulty in interactin!o with senior officers tend to be of higher grade,
-work with a greater n'unbei of other 0ES0s, and report a higher percentageof successful operatons than do 0ESOs reporting more interaction difficulty.
Less experienced OES0s work in smaller offices, which would provideminimal (or no) support by OE-trained peers. Contrary to OESO perceptionsthat 48% of their Key managers have attended the Key Managers' course, only30% of the Key Managers have actually attended the course. This findingsuggests that many Key Managers may not fully understand the objectives andfunctions of the OE program.
Utilization of findings:
The results of this study describe the current picture of GESOs andtheir OE jobs and also identify positive and negative aspects of the GEprogram. These findings provide data needed for planning research on theimpact of the Army's OE program. The impact research is a major studyundertaken to assess the impact