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Kurt Lewin

Kurt Lewin (1890-1947)

If you want truly to understand something, try to change it. - Kurt Lewin

In 1946, social scientist Kurt Lewin launches the Research Center for Group Dynamics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His contributions in change theory, action research, and action learning earn him the title of the "father of organization development."

Lewin is renown for his field theory. The field theory is the proposition that human behavior is the function of both the person and the environment. It can be expressed in symbolic terms

B = f (P, E)

This means that one's behavior is related to both one's personal characteristics and to the social situation in which one finds oneself.

Lewin is best known for his work in the field of organization behavior and the study of group dynamics. His research discovered that learning is best facilitated when there is a conflict between immediate concrete experience and detached analysis within the individual. His cycle of action, reflection, generalization, and testing is characteristic of experiential learning:

Also see: Organization Behavior

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