Two Roads to the Bottom Line: HR and OD

Document Type


Publication Date


Originally Published In

Organization Development Journal

Volume Number


Issue Number


Page Numbers



At the risk of some simplification, the purpose of this article is to show that HR split into two significantly different functions (administration and development) and that pressure for bottom line results has effectively strangled the ability of either human resources departments (HR) and organization development departments (OD) to focus on humanizing the workplace or attending to conditions amenable to employee self-actualization. At the same time, the article highlights the irony that many of the tools of OD have become integrated into the managerial repertoire, but not for their original purposes. I hope to stimulate some reflection among practitioners and academics regarding where we are heading in the hope that we may recommit ourselves to human betterment as well as organizational profitability.