Human Organization Research: Field Relations and Techniques

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

CHAPTER V
THE NEED FOR RESEARCH ON THE COMMUNICATION OF RESEARCH RESULTS*1

Floyd Mann and Rensis Likert

RESEARCH on problems of human relations differs from research in most other fields of science in a very important respect. In most fields of science it is not necessary for administrators or executives to have a comprehensive understanding of the research in order to utilize the results. All that has to be known is that the research has yielded a better method or a better product. Approval to substitute the new for the old can then be given. But in the field of human relations, effective use of the research findings cannot be obtained merely by an executive issuing an order.

Administrators must thoroughly understand the results of humanrelations research and their implications if their organizations are to use them. This requires both an intellectual understanding and an incorporation of the results into the administrator's attitudinal structure and behavioral patterns.

Research in human relations, therefore, requires a dual approach. First, studies need to be made of the dynamics of social organization; and, second, research needs to be done on how the findings of such stud-

____________________
*
Human Organization, Vol. 11, No. 4 ( 1952), pp. 15-19.
1
This paper summarizes briefly some of the exploratory work being done at the Survey Research Center on the problems of communicating research findings. The general theory and the specific procedures on which this exploratory study has been done have been the product of the thinking of a number of persons both at the Center and in the Detroit Edison Company where the work was done. Everett Reimer, Frances Fielder, and Theodore Hariton of the Center, and S. F. Leahy, Blair Swartz, Robert Schwab, and John Sparling of the Company all made important contributions to this study. The work of the members of the Research Center for Group Dynamics and the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations has also been drawn on heavily. The Survey Research Center and The Research Center for Group Dynamics are divisions of the Institute for Social Research.

The work reported here is one of a number of studies being done by the Center under its long-range program of research in human relations in organization. Both the Detroit Edison Company and the Office of Naval Research contributed to the support of this particular company-wide study.

-57-

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