Behavior, Technology, and Organizational Development: Eric Trist and the Tavistock Institute

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Transaction Publishers, Jun 1, 2015 - Business & Economics - 352 pages
Eric Trist was a psychologist, social scientist, and a leading figure in the field of organizational development. He was a founding member of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations in London and spent many years in United States academia. This book delves into Trist‚ s life to examine the evolution of his work and how he applied social science theory, knowledge, and methods to the organization of working life and its management. Richard Trahair outlines Trist‚ s socio-technical theory of organization and how it applies to the turbulent environment that modern managers face. Trahair begins with Trist‚ s educational career in England and his attitude toward American and English education. He also describes Trist‚ s work to improve the United Kingdom‚ s Army‚ s method of selecting men for officer training in wartime, and his role in the establishment of the Civil Resettlement Units in England. In place of the traditional technology-driven bureaucracy of industry, Trist recommended that social science researchers help reorganize industries on socio-technical lines. Trist provided convincing evidence that organizations dominated by traditional attitudes were inefficient and unsatisfactory. He made it clear that seeing workers as little more than costly extensions of machines and the industrial environment as nothing but a set of competitive market forces seriously limited potential for growth.
 

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Contents

1 Family and Schooling
1
2 English Studies at Cambridge
11
3 Psychology Studies at Cambridge
25
4 The American Experience 19331934
43
5 The American Experience 19341935
63
6 Back Home in Dundee
77
7 Trists War
97
8 At the Tavistock Clinic
115
13 Marriage Palo Alto and the Split
191
14 Formalizing the Split
207
15 Back to America
221
16 ThreeGeneration Family
233
17 Projects in the United Kingdom the Americas and Canada
245
18 Working Style and Future View
267
19 Retirement to York
281
20 Final Years
297

9 Early Research and Teaching
129
10 Institute Colleagues
147
11 Institute Administration and Funding 19521958
163
12 Early Research with Emery
177
Writings of Eric Trist 19252001
317
Index
333
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About the author (2015)

Richard Trahair conducted research and taught social psychology at the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. He has published widely on the study of human problems in industry and health.

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