Human Organization Research: Field Relations and Techniques

By Richard N. Adams; Jack J. Preiss | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
TEAM RESEARCH IN SOCIAL SCIENCE: MAJOR CONSEQUENCES OF A GROWING TREND*

Margaret Barron Luszki

IN RECENT years there has been a marked increase in research conducted by teams of scientists coming from two or more different fields.

To understand the potentialities and the difficulties of this new research pattern, the National Institute of Mental Health sponsored a series of conferences1 under the direction of the National Training Laboratories. They were held during 1951 and 1952 in conjunction with the annual meetings of five professional societies: the American Anthropological Association, the American Orthopsychiatric Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Sociological Society. At these conferences, some of today's leading social and medical scientists, drawing from their experience, studied the values and limitations of this type of research, pitfalls likely to be encountered, and effective ways of avoiding or overcoming them.

Ten projects were included in conference agenda and studied in some detail. These were highly diverse in size and composition of team, nature of the research problem, locale and characteristics of the research setting, and other important factors. The material presented from these cases is supplemented by the present and past research experience of all partici-

____________________
*
Human Organization, Vol. 16, No. 1 ( 1957), pp. 21-24.
1
These Work Conferences in Mental Health Research were supported by special grant 3M-9027 from the National Institute of Mental Health, Public Health Service. A supplemental grant was made for the publication of Margaret Luszki ( 1958).

The author is greatly indebted to the many conference participants for their wholehearted cooperation. She wishes also to thank the members of the Advisory Committee for their advice and assistance at various points throughout the life of the project: Ronald Lippitt ( University of Michigan), Chairman; Leland P. Bradford (National Training Laboratories); John A. Clausen ( National Institute of Mental Health); John C. Eberhart (formerly of the NIMH): Jacob E. Finesinger (Psychiatry); Margaret Mead (Anthropology); William Fielding Ogburn(Sociology); David Shakow (Psychology); and Harold G. Wolff (Neurology).

-19-

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