Development in the Workplace

Development in the Workplace

Development in the Workplace

Development in the Workplace

Synopsis

Originally presented at the Sixth Adult Development Symposium, the papers in this volume examine possible relationships between the fields of organizational and (adult) developmental psychology with particular emphasis given to the grand developmental theories of Lawrence Kohlberg, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, Heinz Werner, and their descendants. On the most general level, the papers on development in the workplace are organized on the basis of the authors' chosen units of analysis -- the individual, the dyad and group, and the organizational culture.

The editors conclude by uncovering similarities and differences among the contributors' theoretical approaches to development in the workplace and their own. From a recent extension of Werner's organismic-developmental theory, they focus their suggestions for future research on such issues as:

• unit of analysis

• the holistic and systemic nature of human behavior and experience

• broader conceptualizations of the person, of the environment, and of development

• the need for methodological eclecticism

• the complimentarity of basic and applied research.

Through this lens, they shed light on underlying reasons why the majority of authors have focused on the individual worker as a unit of analysis and then propose that future researchers more broadly define the basic concept of development in the workplace.

Excerpt

Jack Demick
Patrice M. Miller
Suffolk University

The chapters in this volume, although exploratory in nature, seek to uncover some possible relationships between the fields of organizational and developmental psychology with particular emphasis on the grand developmental theories of Lawrence Kohlberg (1969), Jean Piaget (1967), Lev Vygotsky (1978), Heinz Werner (1957), and their descendants. These relationships are subsumed under the more general rubric of development in the workplace. All of these chapters, with the exception of the final integrative piece by Demick and Miller (chapter 13), were presented at the conference on which this and related volumes are based. To orient the reader, our general organizational framework followed by a brief synopsis of each chapter is presented.

On the most general level, the chapters on development in the workplace are organized on the basis of the authors' chosen unit of analysis. That is, the chapters in Part I (chapters 1-8) address the development of the individual in the workplace. Part II (chapters 9 and 10) treats a larger unit of analysis, namely, the development of the dyad and group in the workplace. In Part III, the authors (chapters 11 and 12) consider an even broader unit (viz., the development of organizational culture in the workplace). Finally, Part IV (chapter 13) is directed toward uncovering both similarities and differences among the authors' theoretical positions with an eye toward delineating some possible directions for future research in the general area of development in the workplace.

Part I begins with Melvin Miller and Alan West's (chapter 1) presenta-

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