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The Tavistock's 1945 invention of Organization Development: early British business and management applications of social psychiatry

Citation
Burnes B & Cooke B (2013) The Tavistock's 1945 invention of Organization Development: early British business and management applications of social psychiatry, Business History, 55 (5), pp. 768-789.

Abstract
The management field ‘Organization Development' (OD), is said to have been invented in the mid-1950s in the USA. Some contribution post-1958 by the UK Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR), and to a minor extent, in its World War II ‘group-relations' work is acknowledged. Otherwise, OD depicts the circle of its US ‘founding father' Kurt Lewin (1890-1947) as its historic mainspring. A new 1945 primary source, the TIHR's originating funding proposal to the Rockefeller Foundation, proposes all the components of OD, outside mention of Lewin et al. Thus, what was to become OD was invented in the Britain of 1945, not the USA of the 1950s.

Keywords
Tavistock; Organization Development (OD); Kurt Lewin; Rockefeller Foundation

StatusPublished
AuthorsBurnes Bernard, Cooke Bill
Publication date2013
PublisherTaylor and Francis
ISSN 0007-6791
LanguageEnglish

Journal
Business History: Volume 55, Issue 5 (2013)

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