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Human Resources Careers
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Organization Developer

An organization developer is both an analyst and a strategic thinker. They are responsible for finding the weaknesses, within a company, and developing a plan to correct those problem areas. They are also involved with helping companies determine their strengths and finding new ways to harness those strengths and develop future growth strategies. They generally work as part of an independent consulting team, but may be full time employees, within the Human Resources Department, at larger corporations.
Organization developers analyze information concerning a company's personnel, structure, and procedures, in order to determine internal inefficiencies, possible growth points, and future personnel needs. They normally specialize in one of these three areas, with personnel being considered the most demanding. This is due to it being the most dependent on empirical data, rather than hard statistical data. An organization developer may spend much of their time both analyzing production and expense data and interviewing employees in order to gain a clear, overall picture of how a company is actually functioning.

Once an organization developer has developed this picture they will make recommendations to management concerning areas such as:
  • Restructuring
  • Employee Training
  • Improving Employee Performance
  • Streamlining Procedures
  • Improving Recruitment Efforts
  • Employee Retention
  • Improving Cooperation Among Departments
  • Job Clarification
  • Improving Efficiency
  • Improving Communications
While there is no formal educational requirement to become an organization developer, it is generally expected that candidates will have a minimum of a bachelor degree, and it is often preferred that they hold an advanced degree.

Some majors that can provide a good foundation for entrance into this field are:
  • Human Resources
  • Finance
  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • Scientific Survey Methodology
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Business Administration
  • Industrial Psychology
  • Management and Leadership Theory
In addition to degree programs, there are also professional certifications available through many industry organizations, and though advantageous, they are in no way required to build a successful career as an organization developer.

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