The Tavistock Group

Frances Abraham

in The Oxford Handbook of Management Theorists

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780199585762
Published online April 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

The Tavistock Group

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The ‘Tavistock group’ was a term coined by Eric Trist, which included the ‘first generation’ of staff at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations during the late 1940s–50s. It was responsible for initiating a range of different types of enquiry into organizations: identifying organizational culture, work and organizational design, and organizational strategy in different environments, which are all reflected in management theory today. Tavistock Group members also developed different kinds of collaboration with managers and organizations: from full action research engagement at all levels in the organization to advising managers on how to support and engage with their employees. The different management theories of the Tavistock Group built on one another’s insights, so that the whole group was more than the sum of their parts and each stream of work tended to reflect those of the others.

Keywords: human relations; management theory; organizational culture; organizational design; Tavistock Institute of Human Relations

Article.  9031 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Business History

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