Communication Studies, Department of
John R. Wenburg
John A. Boyd
Date of this Version
Ph.D. dissertation, August 1976. Speech Communication Division, Department of Speech and Dramatic Arts, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Under the supervision of John R. Wenburg.
Organizational Development (OD) and Transactional Analysis embrace a humanistic philosophy of organizational life. Connor noted: "Commitment to traditional humanistic concerns of individual growth, development, dignity, worth, and meaning is expressed in all OD literature (1975, p. 349)." Transactional Analysis (TA) takes an identical position.
We are living in the Age of Aquarius. Knowledge is no longer coveted by the chosen few who call themselves experts. Anyone who can read can gain expertise. It is fitting and appropriate at this time in human history that a model for behavior and human interaction (TA) has come along that can be used as a blueprint by almost any person who can understand its words (Jongeward, 1973, p. 1).
TA is accompanied with an even stronger emphasis on humanistic values as the literature review illustrates. Claims of increased production, quality, profit, and performance to budget are not characteristic of TA literature.
Randall asserts that TA, which has job satisfaction as a primary objective, is an OD strategy. He further contended: "The Transactional Analysis conceptual system of human behavior has a potentially important role to play in the evolution of OD (Randall, 1973, p. 143)." TA's humanistic emphasis is underscored:
...TA concepts have become important tools for analyzing daily problems and predicting employee reactions to situations and changes. TA provides a "head language" for discussing emotional issues and problems (Randall, 1973, p. 143).
Bree posits that "By 1980 job satisfaction will not only be a goal, but 'a right of employees' as well...(1974, p. 25)." Organizational researcher and theorist Edward Lawler lends perspective to the job satisfaction controversy:
Originally, much of the research seemed to be stimulated by a desire to show that job satisfaction was a strong conviction that "happy workers are productive workers."
Recently, however, this theme has been disappearing, and many organizational psychologists seem to be studying job satisfaction simply because they are interested in finding its causes. This approach to studying job satisfaction is congruent with the increased prominence of humanistic psychology, which emphasizes human affective experience (and) ties in directly with the rising concern...about quality of life (Lawler, 1973, p. 62).
Transactional Analysis is an approach that views satisfaction with supervision and work environment as credible ends in themselves.
Historically, Transactional Analysis was developed as a method of analyzing human communication behavior. Eric Berne outlined the concepts of Transactional Analysis in a manner which enables people to better understand their communication and interpersonal behaviors (Berne, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1966).
While Transactional Analysis (TA) was developed in a therapeutic environment, the language and theory of TA have been applied in organizational settings. Joseph Concannon reported the use of TA in the U.S. Navy in 1967. Tom Clary used TA principles in the U.S. Postal Service (1972). Likewise, Rush and McGrath reported its use in the Bank of New York and with Associated Merchandising Corporation (1973). Dorothy Jongeward, president of TA Management Institute, a consulting firm
employing Transactional Analysis as an organizational intervention, reported the use of Transactional Analysis in the Bank of America, American Airlines, Mountain Bell Telephone Company, Pan-American World Airways, and the U.S. Civil Service Commission (1973). Edgar Huse listed Texas Instruments, Lufthansa German Airlines, Johnson's, General Electric, Polaroid, Fort Worth National Bank and Quality Inns International as organizations that have had programs in Transactional Analysis (1975, p. 291).
Copyright 1977, Gilbert Frank "Nick" Nykodym II. Used by permission.