SYMLOG Field Theory: Organizational Consultation, Value Differences, Personality and Social Perception

SYMLOG Field Theory: Organizational Consultation, Value Differences, Personality and Social Perception

SYMLOG Field Theory: Organizational Consultation, Value Differences, Personality and Social Perception

SYMLOG Field Theory: Organizational Consultation, Value Differences, Personality and Social Perception

Synopsis

Formally introduced in 1979, SYMLOG (Systematic Multiple Level Observation of Groups) has been tested and developed in the years since by Robert Bales of Harvard University and a team of collaborators, including the editors of this volume. Here, the Hares provide a current survey of SYMLOG applications in three areas: organizational consultation, research on cultural differences that underlie the problems of managing diversity, and the measure of personality and social perception. With five case studies and several intensive reviews of SYMLOG theory, the present volume is an invaluable tool for both scholars and professional management consultants.

Excerpt

Margaret A. Cowen

Imagine it is 1983. You are sitting at your kitchen table about to begin a new organization. You have in front of you a blank sheet of paper, which is to become the blueprint of your future. Your goal is to form a viable business that will succeed because it provides a needed service and remains relevant through changing times. You want to help people within organizations improve the quality of their working lives, and contribute to the behavioral sciences.

Although your goal is ambitious, you feel confident because you have at your disposal the findings of forty years of laboratory research and some tested methods for group observation from one of the most respected social psychologists of the century; Robert F. Bales; the considerable consulting experience and wisdom of your partner; Robert J. Koenigs; education in the fundamentals of business; and a personal commitment to make a positive difference in organizations.

In many ways, this book contains evidence that those ambitious goals are being realized, and notes the progress that has been made since the early days when Bob Koenigs and I sat at our kitchen table going through the exercise I have identified above. The range of applications, wealth of research, and widespread use of SYMLOG expressed in the book are very encouraging. The business is thriving, the research is deepening, and the acceptance of SYMLOG as a theory and method is now occurring worldwide.

I count myself among the very fortunate that I have had an opportunity to work with some of the giants of the field, and to personally influence the way change can happen in organizations. The chapters in this book help to outline the complexity of issues we face as organizational practitioners, and I believe they . . .

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