‘Changes, shifts and transformations in the Tavistock Institute tradition and OD paradigm over the last decade’
A paper by TIHR Principal Researcher / Consultant Fiddy Abraham, presented at the Finnish Organizational Development Society on their 25th Anniversary in February 2015.
In this address I have been asked to present to you the way the TIHR’s practice of organisational development has responded to theoretical developments in the field over recent years, resulting in shifts in our practice. The first part of my talk will review the traditions of TIHR and what continues in use before going on to discuss major theoretical innovation. So, in terms of the theory and use of the ‘traditions’ I’m focussing my attention on the ways in which our theory and practice have evolved since it was presented in The Tavistock Anthologies of the 1990s- those by Eric Trist and Hugh Murray and Fred Emery; and also the Anthologies of Eric Miller and Frank Heller. So we’re talking here about consulting to organisational culture; consulting especially to the unconscious life of organisations manifested in their defences against anxiety; the practice of ‘group relations’; job and work design in the tradition of sociotechnical systems design and inter-organisational development in the face of turbulent environments. (I am aware that this rather leaves out the work of the Institute of Operations Research located in the Institute during the late 60s and 70s and Strategic Choice through problem restructuring methods using what we now term ‘big data’ but this has less immediate relevance to the practice of organisational consultancy.)
Read the rest of the paper below:
The Finnish Society for Organisational Dynamics is a Finnish scientific association which was founded in 1984 and whose task is to promote research into organisational dynamics and create the prerequisites for its application. The society also has the objective of developing the professional skills of its members in the field. Read more.
Find out more about Fiddy Abraham