Grid training is basically based on grid organization development developed by Blake and Mouton. It is a comprehensive and systematic Organizational Development programme which aims at individuals, groups, and the organization as a whole. Grid training utilizes a considerable number of instruments, enabling individuals and groups to assess their own strengths and weaknesses; focuses on skills, knowledge, and processes necessary for effectiveness at the individual, group, inter-group, and total organizational levels. Its specific objectives are as follows:
- To study the organization as an interactive system and apply techniques of analysis in diagnosing its problems.
- To understand the importance and rationale of systematic change.
- To evaluate the styles of leadership and techniques of participation to produce desirable results.
Process of Grid Training
The basic content of grid organization development is managerial grid as discussed. The whole orientation is to develop managerial style through the application of behavioral science knowledge. The grid organization development consists of six phases.
- Managerial Grid: It covers various aspects of assessing managerial styles, problem-solving, communication skills, and teamwork. The individuals try to learn to become managers by practice.
- Teamwork Development: The focus in this stage is to develop teamwork by analyzing team culture, traditions, and alike. The skills relating to planning, objective-setting, and problem-solving are also developed.
- Inter-group Development: At this phase, the focus is on inter-group behaviour and relations. The thrust is on moving groups from conflict to co-operation. Each group separately analyses the ideal inter-group relations. Action steps to move towards the ideal are developed and assigned to individuals who may be engaged in building co-operative inter-group relationships.
- Developing Ideal Strategic Corporate Model: At this stage, the focus shifts to the total organization and to develop skills necessary for organizational excellence. The action is designed to identify the characteristics of the ideal organization. The members of the organization are trained for achieving this excellence.
- Implementing the Ideal Strategic Model: The implementation stage includes the building of the organization on the model of ideal organization on the basis of concepts developed under stage 4. Each group may be given assignment to evolve strategy for making ideal organization with the help of the consultant. The strategy is then implemented.
- Systematic Critique: In this stage, the various efforts from phase 1 to phase 5 are evaluated and critical analysis is made. The analysis will bring out the shortcomings that may be there. In this light, the various programmes may be redesigned.
Evaluation of Grid Training
Most of the support of grid training has come from its originators-Blake and Mouton. They have maintained that “managerial and team effectiveness can be taught to managers with outside assistance. Furthermore, it appears that this type of educational strategy can help to make significant contributions to organizational effectiveness.” In a later work, they maintained the same stand.
Though research studies on the application of grid training are not many, some of them have not supported the claims made by Blake and Mouton. Grid training programme is criticized on the basis that it lacks contingency approach and, therefore, it discounts reality. Further, grid training is a non-rigorous method, in spite of these criticisms; grid training has some positive contributions for organizational effectiveness.