A ritual is a ceremony or action performed in a “customary” way. Many rituals are religious; some rituals have a calming effect; others, when not in context, may be seen as the manifestation of a psychological disorder.
Organizations have rituals as well; in bad times, these rituals may appear grotesquely inappropriate . Under stress, organizations, like people often regress. Performance evaluation during downsizing is an example of regressive behaviour. http://ramsbottom-lemieux.blogspot.co.il/2013/10/performance-evaluation-in-shrinking.html It makes no sense whatsoever to go through the motions of PE in a shrinking company. It is disruptive, two faced, and senseless.
OD has ritualistic behaviour as well. For example: in todays’ organizational reality, people are often spare parts, yet OD often plays the same song and dance we played decades ago. Under duress like OD is now experiencing in a shrinking economy, there are people who want to revert back to/stick to “pure OD”, whatever that means. Instead, we should be looking at new operating systems for OD. We need to get a hand on our pathological ritualism and wake up.