Dr. James Michael Young is a 2014 graduate of the Ph.D. Program in Leadership & Change at Antioch University.
Pictured above : Dr. Young with his Dissertation Committee at his Dissertation Defense, July 31st, 2014, Yellow Springs, Ohio
Left to Right : Committee Member, Jerome V. Martin, Ph.D., Dr. Young, Committee Chair, Carolyn B. Kenny, Ph.D., Committee Members, Alan E. Guskin, Ph.D..
Not Shown: External Reader: Brian M. Linn, Ph.D.
organizational development, organizational effectiveness, humanistic psychology, leadership, Army leadership doctrine, military history, Armed Forces
In the early 1970s, following a decade of social upheaval in the US and a traumatizing military defeat in Vietnam, a group of progressive army officers, armed with recent graduate degrees in the social and behavioral sciences, created a grass roots movement that soon led to the implementation of the largest organizational development program ever conducted. Wartime atrocities and chronic careerism in the Army officer corps, along with President Richard Nixon’s promise to create an All-Volunteer Force (AVF), opened up a window of opportunity for these progressives to promote transformational leadership theories grounded in humanistic psychology. In institutionalizing OD across the Army, these officers attempted to transform the leadership culture throughout the institution. However, various strategies employed to effect cultural change met with strong resistance from an officer corps that rejected the strong humanistic elements that characterized OD in the 1970s. Although institutionalization progressed with strong support from Army Chief of Staff (CSA) General Bernard Rogers, the program proved unsustainable once he vacated his position. By 1980, conservative views of leadership permeated the Army’s school system and its leadership doctrine. Concurrently, OD evolved in its theoretical application and shifted its emphasis from humanistic psychology to open systems. At that point, the Army OE Program was relegated to a far less priority and essentially became a process improvement mechanism. By 1985, a new CSA terminated the program. This is a history of the Army OE Program and the efforts of the progressive officers who implemented it. The electronic version of this Dissertation is at OhioLink ETD Center, www.ohiolink.edu/etd
Young, J. M. (2014). To Transform a Culture: The Rise and Fall of the U.S. Army Organizational Effectiveness Program, 1970–1985. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/158