Group Decision and Social Change

Fundamentals of Organization Development

Kurt Lewin

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  • The following experiments on group decision have been conducted during the last four years. They are not in a state that permits definite conclusions. But they show the nature of the problems and the main factors concerned. They also indicate the type of concepts to which the attempt to integrate cultural anthropology, psychology, and sociology into one social science may lead. Scientifically, the question of group decision lies at the intersection of many basic problems of group life and individual psychology. It concerns the relation of motivation to action and the effect of a group setting on the individual's readiness to change or to keep certain standards. It is related to one of the fundamental problems of action-research, namely, how to change group conduct so that it would not slide back to the old level within a short time. It is in this wider setting of social processes and social management that group decision should be viewed as one means of social change. Social Channels and Social Perception The meaning and the over-all effect of a group decision depends upon the nature of the process itself, and upon the position of the group, within the total social field. In regard…

    Group Decision and Social Change’, KurtLewinT.M.Newcomb and E.L.Hartley (eds), Readings in Social Psychology (New York: Henry Holt, 1948), pp. 330–341. Published by Henry Holt Publishers.

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