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As a high-pro!le supporter of gay rights, Raytheon of course provides health- care bene!ts to the domestic partners of its gay employees. It does a lot more, too. The company supports a wide array of gay-rights groups, including the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay-advocacy group. Its employees march under the Raytheon banner at gay-pride celebrations and AIDS walks. And it belongs to gay chambers of commerce in communi- ties where it has big plants. Why? Because the competition to hire and retain engineers and other skilled workers is so brutal that Raytheon doesn’t want to overlook anyone. To attract openly gay workers, who worry about discrimi- nation, a company like Raytheon needs to hang out a big welcome sign. “Over the next ten years we’re going to need anywhere from 30,000 to 40,000 new employees,” explains Heyward Bell, Raytheon’s chief diversity of!cer. “We can’t afford to turn our back on anyone in the talent pool” (Gunther, 2006, p. 94).

Promoting diversity comes down to focus and persistence. Forward-looking organiza- tions take it seriously and build it into day-to-day management. They tailor recruiting practices to diversify the candidate pool. They develop a variety of internal diversity

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initiatives, such as mentoring programs to help people learn the ropes and get ahead. They tie executive bonuses to success in diversifying the workforce. They work hard at eliminating the glass ceiling. They diversify their board of directors. They buy from minority vendors. It takes more than lip service, and it doesn’t happen overnight. Many organizations still don’t get the picture, but others have made impressive strides.

GETTING THERE: TRAINING AND ORGANIZATION DEVELOPMENT Noble human resource practices are more often espoused than implemented. Why? One problem is managerial ambivalence. Progressive practices cost money and alter the relationship between superiors and subordinates. Managers are skeptical about a getting a positive return on the investment and fearful of losing control. Moreover, execution requires levels of skill and understanding that are often in short supply. Beginning as far back as the 1950s, chronic dif!culties in improving life at work spurred the rise of the !eld of organization development (OD), an array of ideas and techniques designed to help managers convert intention to reality.

Group Interventions Working in the 1930s and 1940s, social psychologist Kurt Lewin pioneered the idea that change efforts should emphasize the group rather than the individual (Burnes, 2006). His work was instrumental in the development of a provocative and historically in”uential group intervention: sensitivity training in “T-groups.” The T-group (T for training) was a serendipitous discovery. At a conference on race relations in the late 1940s, participants met in groups, and researchers in each group observed and took notes. In the evening, researchers reported their observations to program staff. Participants got wind of it, and asked to be included in these evening sessions. They were fascinated to hear new and surprising things about themselves and their behavior. Researchers recognized that they had discovered something important and developed a program of “human relations laborato- ries.” Trainers and participants joined in small groups, working together and learning from their work at the same time.

As word spread, T-groups began to supplant lectures as a way to develop human relations skills. But research indicated that T-groups were better at changing individuals than organizations (Gibb, 1975; Campbell and Dunnette, 1968), and practitioners experimented with a variety of new methods, including “con”ict laboratories” for situations involving friction among organizational units and “team-building” programs to help groups work more effectively. “Future search” (Weisbord and Janoff, 1995), “open

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space” (Owen, 1993, 1995), and other large-group designs (Bunker and Alban, 1996, 2006) brought sizable numbers of people to work on key challenges together. Mirvis (2006, 2014) observes that even though the T-group itself may have become passé, it gave birth to an enormous range of workshops and training activities that are now a standard part of organizational life.

One famous example of a large-group intervention is the “Work-Out” conferences initiated by JackWelch when he was CEO of General Electric. Frustrated by the slow pace of change in his organization, Welch convened a series of town hall meetings, typically with 100 to 200 employees, to identify and resolve issues “that participants thought were dumb, a waste of time, or needed to be changed” (Bunker and Alban, 1996, p. 170). Decisions had to be reached on the spot. The conferences were generally viewed as highly successful and spread throughout the company.

Survey Feedback In the late 1940s, researchers at the University of Michigan began to develop surveys to measure patterns in organizational behavior. They focused on motivation, communication, leadership, and organizational climate (Burke, 2006). Rensis Likert helped found the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan and produced a 1961 book, New Patterns of Management, that became a classic in the human resource tradition. Likert’s survey data con!rmed earlier research showing that “employee-centered” supervisors, who focused more on people and relationships, typically managed higher-producing units than “job- centered” supervisors, who ignored human issues, made decisions themselves, and dictated to subordinates.

The research paved the way for survey feedback as an approach to organizational improvement. The process begins with questionnaires aimed at people issues. The results are tabulated, then shared with managers. The data might show, for example, that information within a unit “ows well but that decisions are made in the wrong place and employees don’t feel that management listens. Members of the work unit, perhaps with the help of a consultant, discuss the results and explore how to improve effectiveness. A variant on the survey feedback model, increasingly standard in organizations, is 360-degree feedback, in which managers get survey feedback about how they are seen by subordinates, peers, and superiors.

Evolution of OD T-groups and survey research spawned the !eld of organizational development (OD) in the 1950s and 1960s. Since then, OD has continued to evolve as a discipline (Burke, 2006;

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Gallos, 2006; Mirvis, 1988, 2006). In 1965, few managers had heard of OD; 30 years later, few had not. Most major organizations (particularly in the United States) have experi- mented with OD: General Motors, the U.S. Postal Service, IBM, the Internal Revenue Service, Texas Instruments, Exxon, and the U.S. Navy have all developed their own versions.

Surveying the !eld in 2006, Mirvis saw signi!cant innovation and ferment emanating from both academic visionaries and passionate “disciples” (Mirvis, 2006, p. 87). He also saw “exciting possibilities in the spread of OD to emerging markets and countries; its broader applications to peace making, social justice, and community building, and its deeper penetration into the mission of organizations” (p. 88). Returning to the same question in 2014, Mirvis found a similar answer: “[S]omething more—concepts extending beyond conventional behavioral science—has led to revolutionary advances in the practice of change in the past two decades” (Mirvis, 2014, p. 371). Among those advances, he mentions appreciative inquiry and ideas from the arts, spirituality, and chaos-and-complexity science.

CONCLUSION When individuals !nd satisfaction and meaning in work, organizations pro!t from the effective use of their talent and energy. But when satisfaction and meaning are lacking, individuals withdraw, resist, or rebel. In the end, everyone loses. Progressive organizations implement a variety of “high-involvement” strategies for improving human resource management. Some approaches strengthen the bond between individual and organization by paying well, offering job security, promoting from within, training the workforce, and sharing the fruits of organizational success. Others empower workers and give work more signi!cance through participation, job enrichment, teaming, egalitarianism, and diversity. No single method is likely to be effective by itself. Success typically requires a comprehensive strategy undergirded by a long-term human resource management philosophy. Ideas and practices from organization development often play a signi!cant role in supporting the evolution of more comprehensive and effective human resource practices.

NOTE 1. Likert pronounced his last name Lick-ert.

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8 c h a p t e r

Interpersonal and Group Dynamics

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.

—Henry Ford

Anne Barreta

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