Edith Whitfield Seashore’s Contribution to the Field of Organization Development: Theory in Action

Living reference work entry

Abstract

Edie Seashore was a protégé of Douglas McGregor and a pioneer in the small group dynamics training movement that emerged from the work of Kurt Lewin (founder of the field of social psychology) and developed by the National Training Institute (NTL) at its summer campus at Bethel, Maine. She led the movement that integrated NTL and became its first woman president. NTL also created the first OD training program for consultants. During her more than 60 years as an independent consultant, she founded the American University master’s degree program in OD (with Morley Segal) and taught in many of the other OD graduate degree programs in the United States. She had a profound influence on the hundreds of OD consultants that she taught and trained. She believed that diversity and inclusion were central values in OD practice. She embodied this value in her work and life. Seashore wrote one of the earliest articles on gender in the workplace. As a gifted practitioner, she believed that taking action produced data that led to effective interventions. She emphasized the use of self as critical to effective practice. Her choice awareness matrix helped practitioners interact with clients effectively, learn from the situation, and take next steps. Her wonderful sense of humor and deep practitioner insight helped many OD consultants over many years.

Keywords

Action theory Feedback Reframing Gender Choice awareness matrix Support systems Diversity 

References

  1. Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2013). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership (5th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey Bass/Wiley.Google Scholar
  2. Bunker, B. B., & Seashore, E. W. (1976). Power, collusion, intimacy-sexuality, support: Breaking the sex role stereotypes in social and organizational settings. In A. G. Sargent (Ed.), Beyond sex roles (pp. 356–370). St. Paul: West.Google Scholar
  3. Brummans, B. H. J. M., Putnam, L. L., Gray, B., Hanke, R., Lewicki, R. J., & Wiethoff, C. (2008). Making sense of intractable multiparty conflict: A study of framing in four environmental disputes. Communication Monographs, 75(1), 25–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Patwell, B., & Seashore, E. W. (2006). Triple impact coaching: Use-of-self in the coaching process. Columbia: Bingham House Books.Google Scholar
  5. Schon, D. (1983). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. New York: Basic books.Google Scholar
  6. Seashore, C. N. (1982). Developing and using a personal support system: NTL reading book for human relations training. Arlington: NTL Institute.Google Scholar
  7. Seashore, E. W. (2006, winter). One good idea. OD Seasonings, 2(1). Retrieved from http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.odnetwork.org/resource/resmgr/Updated_SeasoningsPDFs/Seashore,_Seasonings,_Just_O.pdf
  8. Seashore, C. N., Seashore, E. W., & Weinberg, G. W. (1991). What did you say?: The art of giving and receiving feedback. North Attleborough: Douglas Charles Press.Google Scholar

Further Reading

  1. Bunker, B. B., & Seashore, E. W. (1976). Power, collusion, intimacy-sexuality, support: Breaking the sex role stereotypes in social and organizational settings. In A. G. Sargent (Ed.), Beyond sex roles (pp. 356–370). St. Paul: West.Google Scholar
  2. Cross, E. Y., Katz, J. H., Miller, F. A., & Seashore, E. W. (1994). The promise of diversity: Over 40 voices discuss strategies for eliminating discrimination in organizations. Arlington: NTL Institute.Google Scholar
  3. Jones, B. B., & Brazzel, M. (2014). The NTL handbook of organization development and change: Principles, practices, and perspectives. New York: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Patwell, B., & Seashore, E. W. (2006). Triple impact coaching: Use-of-self in the coaching process. Columbia: Bingham House Books.Google Scholar
  5. Seashore, C. N., Seashore, E. W., Weinberg, G. W. (1991). What did you say?: The art of giving and receiving feedback. North Attleborough: Douglas Charles Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe University at BuffaloBuffaloUSA

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