, or training laboratories, developed in Bethel Maine in the late 1940s had, partly because of the support of Carl Rogers (1970), come into wide use by the early 1970s, and throughout the next dozen years I experimented with what I came to call creative process 'laboratories' (Waks, 1988).
These included fads like managing by objectives, conglomeration, reengineering (shorthand for major staff reductions), continuous process improvement, Six Sigma, quality circles, T-groups
, and the granddaddy of them all, the Internet, which obviously has changed everything.
The use of psychologically oriented discussion groups (called "T-Groups
") to increase the effectiveness of business leaders was pioneered in the late 1940s at the National Training Laboratories in Bethel, Maine.
In my view these are key to the current and future developments of OD, where OD can shake off the suspicion of "soft" management and T-groups and show its value to the business world.
The first chapter covers some of the basic concepts used in OD, and provides brief explanations of experiential learning, the T-group, group process, organizational culture, team building and other terms used in relation to these concepts.
Lewin's `action research' approach is linked to T-groups. Introduced during the 1940s, it was seen as an important innovation in research methods and was especially used in industry and education.
What is now known as the T-Group (or `Training Group') approach was pioneered by Lewin when, in 1946, he was called in to try to develop better relations between Jewish and Black communities in Connecticut.
Chris Argyris was the main force behind the ground-breaking T-group experiments in the1960s.
This rapid return to original behaviour, by people who had been extremely enthusiastic about the `new approach' generated by T-group training, led Argyris to formulate an idea that has affected people's views about organisational behaviour for many years.