The Historical Phases of OD

Through the late 1970s, OD saw its most dramatic changes. The years since the late 1970s have been mostly marked by a search for role and identity within institutions.

Conception Phase (Late 1950s to 1963)

The roots of OD clearly draw on work from the late 1940s, when a group of Kurt Lewin's MIT researchers, led by Morton Duetsch, ran a workshop in New Britain, Connecticut, on race relations. In the process they discovered “experiential learning,” or the examination of group and individual behavior in the “here-and-now” to draw conclusions about group dynamics and individual behaviors. This led to the launch of the National Training Lab (NTL) at Bethel, Maine, where T-groups (“T” for training) and sensitivity training ...

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