Ronald Lippitt Papers: 1938-1987 (bulk 1974-1986)
Summary Information
Title: Ronald Lippitt Papers
Creator: Lippitt, Ronald.
Inclusive dates: 1938-1987
Bulk dates: 1974-1986
Extent: 7 linear feet
Abstract:
Professor of psychology and sociology at the University of Michigan, one of the founders of Center for Research on the Utilization of Scientific Knowledge. Through his writings, workshops, and consultation work, Lippitt was advocate for use of behavioral science to improve the quality of service and productivity within organizations. Lippitt wrote on such topics as group dynamics, futuring, processes of learning, socialization, and growth of children and youth. The collection relates primarily to Lippit's activities since retiring from the University of Michigan in 1974. The bulk of the collection consists of writings and publications, organizational materials, and a selection of files from the workshops and seminars given by Lippitt and his associates.
Call number: 0081 Aa 2
Language: The materials are in English.
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid prepared by: Riva Pollard

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection was accessioned in January of 2000. Donor no. 8917.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

item, folder title, box no., Ronald Lippitt Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Biography

Born and raised in Minnesota, Ronald Lippitt began what was to become a long and prolific career in social psychology at Springfield College in Massachusetts, where he received undergraduate and professional training in group work and received his B.S. Lippitt spent his junior year of college abroad on a Foreign Study Scholarship, studying under Jean Piaget at the Rousseau Institute at the University of Geneva, from which he received a Certificat de Pedagogie in Child Development in 1935. Lippitt then received his M.A. in Child Development (1938) and Ph.D. in Social Psychology (1940) from the University of Iowa, where he studied under Kurt Lewin. Lippitt assisted Lewin in his studies of the effects of authoritarian, democratic, and laissez-faire group leadership on group process and productivity in after-school boys social clubs. This work subsequently led to their co-founding of the field of group dynamics.

Upon receiving his Ph.D. in 1940, Lippitt taught as assistant professor of psychology at Southern Illinois University from 1940 to 1941. From 1941 through 1944 Lippitt was director of research for the National Council of Boy Scouts, where he developed a national study of the impact of leadership styles on character development climates. With the onset of World War II, he became an officer in the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service, conducting group therapy sessions for the navy. Lippitt then directed the Far East Psychological Warfare Training School for the Office of Strategic Services, with a multi-disciplinary staff including anthropologists Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict, media, intelligence specialists, and Japanese and Chinese psychiatrists. When the war ended, Lippitt became director of training for the Federal Security Agency. There he co-led with Leland Bradford a program of organization change intervention by a multiple entry strategy, in federal agencies and hospitals.

In 1946 Lippitt resumed work with Kurt Lewin, helping him to found the Research Center for Group Dynamics at M.I.T., where Lippitt was also an associate professor of social science from 1946 to 1948. In 1947 Lippitt, Lewin, Leland Bradford and Kenneth Benne co-founded the National Training Laboratories for Applied Behavioral Science (NTL) and invented the T-group (Basic Skill Training Group), or "Sensitivity Training" at Bethel, Maine, which was the first instance of laboratory training for organizational development. Upon Lewin's death in 1948, Lippitt moved the Research Center for Group Dynamics to the University of Michigan's Institute of Social Research, acting as program director in the Research Center, as well as associate professor of sociology and psychology at the university. Lippitt became full professor of sociology and psychology in 1952. In 1964, dissatisfied with the emphasis on pure research without concern for its utility, Lippitt founded, along with Floyd Mann, the Center for Research on the Utilization of Social Knowledge (CRUSK) as a part of the Institute of Social Research. This was a laboratory of planned change which became a training and consultation organization, drawing clients from the surrounding community.

In 1974 Lippitt retired as professor emeritus of psychology and sociology from the University of Michigan, in order to focus on assisting private and public sector systems in the use of behavioral science to improve the quality of service and productivity. In the following years he founded and participated in several organizations offering management and planned change consultation, including Human Resource Development Associates with Ken Cowing and Della Cowing; Hilltop Associates with Eva Schindler-Rainman; Organization Renewal, Inc. (ORI), with his brother Gordon Lippitt; Planned Change Associates, Inc.(PCA); and Xicom, Inc. Lippitt also ran a group in his home referred to as Lippitt and Associates or the Lippitt Cluster, in which once a month friends and colleagues met to share ideas, goals, and interactions. In conjunction with these organizations Lippitt conducted numerous workshops and training programs in the United States and abroad.

Throughout his academic and professional career, Lippitt published extensively, both individually and jointly with colleagues such as Eva Schindler-Rainman, with whom he frequently worked on projects concerning community organization and volunteerism. Lippitt is the author or co-author of over 200 articles and books, on such topics as group dynamics, futuring, the processes of learning, socialization and growth of children and youth, leadership, planned change and change agentry, community planning, and renewal and reconstruction of the traditional educational system and practices. (A complete bibliography is located in Box 1.)

A member of several professional societies, Lippitt was a fellow in the International Association of Applied Social Scientists, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, the Association of Voluntary Action Scholars, the Clinical Sociology Association, and the American Psychological Association, in addition to serving on the editorial board of the Clinical Sociology Review. Honors Lippitt received during his career include the Distinguished Career Award of the Clinical Sociology Association in 1985, a Concurrent Resolution of Tribute from the Michigan Legislature in 1984, and honorary doctorates from Springfield College, in 1962, and Leslie College, in 1965.

Lippitt died October 28, 1986, at the age of 72, and was survived by his wife, Peggy Lippitt, son Larry Lippitt, daughters Martha Lippitt, Carolyn McCarthy and Connie Cohn, and nine grandchildren.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The papers of Ronald O. Lippitt chiefly document Lippitt's activities following his retirement from the University of Michigan. The bulk of the collection consists of materials pertaining to several of the consulting organizations of which he was a part, and workshops and programs which he led for national and local organizations, schools and communities. The collection also offers a substantial run of Lippitt's writings and publications, from his entire scholarly and professional career. The papers have been arranged into five series: Biographical/ Personal (1946-1986); University of Michigan (1967-1975); Organizations (1974-1987); Workshops (1969-1986); and Writings and Publications (1938-1986).

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.


  • Behaviorism (Psychology)
  • Business consultants.
  • Community development.
  • Community organization.
  • Organizational change.
  • Problem solving.
  • Psychology.
  • Photographs.
  • Lippitt, Ronald.
  • Lippitt and Associates.
  • NTL Institute for Applied Behavior Science.
  • Organization Renewal, Inc.
  • Planned Change Associates.
  • University of Michigan -- Faculty.
  • Xicom.
  • Lippitt, Ronald.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
 
Biographical/ Personal [series]

The Biographical/ Personal series spans .25 linear feet, and includes material such as articles written about Lippitt and his work at various stages of his career, biographical sketches, transcripts of interviews with Lippitt (including one with he and Eva Schindler-Rainman), curriculum vitae, and a complete bibliography of Lippitt's publications compiled by Lippitt in 1986. This series also contains one folder of photographs of Lippitt at various times in his life, including one of Lippitt in 1932, several taken at the time of his retirement, and many taken at various workshops or programs during the following years. This series also contains one folder of correspondence with family and colleagues. Additional correspondence relating to particular organizations, workshops, or publications is located throughout the collection.

Box   1  
Articles about Lippitt 1946-1986
Box   1  
Award certificates 1983-1984
Box   1  
Bibliography 1986
Box   1  
Biographical sketches, created 1975-1985
Box   1  
Correspondence 1974-1986
Box   1  
Curriculum vitae
Box   1  
Interviews 1977-1985
Box   1  
Last Will and Testaments, Ronald and Peggy Lippitt 1978
Box   1  
Lippitt, Gordon, Curriculum vita
Box   1  
Lippitt, Lawrence, Curriculum vita
Box   1  
Lippitt, Mary Burner, Curriculum vita
Box   1  
Lippitt, Peggy, Curriculum vita
Box   1  
Memorial Service and Remembrances 1986
Box   1  
Obituaries 1986
Box   1  
Photographs
Box   1  
Schedules 1981-1983
 
University of Michigan [series]

The University of Michigan series spans .1 linear feet, and includes documents outlining the terms and conditions of Lippitt's appointments, syllabi and course materials for two courses taught by Lippitt at the university, and the statement written for publication in the Regents Proceedings announcing Lippitt's retirement.

Box   1  
Appointment, terms and conditions 1967-1969
Box   1  
Course Syllabi, Psych-Soc 685/686 1968-1972
Box   1  
Retirement notice 1975
 
Organizations [series]

The Organizations series spans 1 linear foot and includes materials pertaining to five organizations in which Lippitt participated in the years following his retirement from the university: Lippitt and Associates/Lippitt Cluster; NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Science; Organization Renewal, Inc. (ORI); Planned Change Associates (PCA); and Xicom, Inc. Among these materials are membership and personnel listings, meeting minutes and materials, correspondence, brochures, and materials pertaining to workshops and programs given by these organizations.

 
Lippitt and Associates/ Lippitt Cluster 1980-1987 [subseries]
Box   1  
Membership Directories 1981, 1982-1984
 
Meeting Minutes and Materials
Box   1  
1980-1982
Box   1  
1983
Box   1  
1984
Box   1  
1985-1987
 
National Training Laboratories (NTL) Institute for Applied Behavioral Science 1975-1986 [subseries]
 
Board of Directors/ Executive Board Meeting Materials
Box   1  
1980-1981 (2 folders)
Box   1  
1982-1983 (2 folders)
Box   1  
Brochures
 
Correspondence and Memoranda
Box   1  
1978-1980
Box   1  
1981
Box   1  
1982-1986
Box   1  
Membership 1975-1981
Box   1  
"News and Views" Newsletter 1981-1985
Box   1  
Policy, By-laws, and Ethics 1978-1982
Box   1  
Research and Development 1982-1985
 
Workshop Materials 1979-1988
Box   1  
Participant and Staff Listings 1980
Box   1  
Futuring 1981-1986
Box   1  
Integrated Training and Consultation (ITC) 1980-1988 (2 folders)
Box   1  
Intervention Skillshop (ISK) 1979-1986
 
Organization Renewal, Inc. (ORI) 1980-1986 [subseries]
Box   2  
Antioch University Contract 1984
Box   2  
Application and Contractual Agreement Forms
Box   2  
Brochures
Box   2  
Correspondence and Memoranda 1980-1986
Box   2  
Financial 1983-1985
Box   2  
Meeting Materials 1984-1986 (2 folders)
Box   2  
Personnel
Box   2  
Policy, By-laws, and Ethics
Box   2  
Stock Certificate 1980
 
Planned Change Associates (PCA) 1984-1986 [subseries]
Box   2  
Brochures
Box   2  
Bylaws
Box   2  
Community Interviews 1985
Box   2  
Correspondence and Memoranda 1984-1986
Box   2  
Financial 1984-1986
Box   2  
Meeting Minutes 1984-1986
Box   2  
Miscellaneous
 
Xicom, Inc [subseries]
Box   2  
Correspondence and Memoranda 1974-1978
Box   2  
Meetings and Financial 1972-1976
Box   2  
Personnel, photographs and curriculum vitae
Box   2  
Workshop notices and materials 1973-1977
 
Workshops [series]

The Workshops series spans 1.25 linear feet and is comprised of a representative sampling of the types of workshops Lippitt conducted or co-conducted over the years. These materials are arranged chronologically by year and, within each year, listed by title of the event. Researchers should note that the workshops included here reflect only a very small number of those which Lippitt participated in. They were selected because they offer a good amount of material reflecting the processes involved, and often include handouts and other materials, participant lists, Lippitt's notes, workshop evaluations, and summaries of what was accomplished or produced as a result of the workshop. These workshops were conducted under the auspices of the different organizations with which Lippitt was involved since 1974.

 
1969
Box   2  
Girl Scout Convention Collaboration
Box   2  
National YMCA Leadership Consultation
 
1971
Box   2  
Lutheran Social Services Conference
Box   2  
National Inter-agency Consultation on Youth
Box   2  
Westchester Volunteer Service Bureau Forum
 
1972
Box   2  
Los Angeles City School Volunteer Program
 
1973
Box   2  
Consulting Skills, Philadelphia, PA
Box   2  
Human Resource Development Associates Professional Development
 
1974
Box   2  
Oakland University, "Images of Potentiality"
Box   2  
Reading Specialists of Michigan
 
1975
Box   2  
Los Angeles united School District Compensatory Education
 
1976
Box   2  
Lake Arrowhead Conference for Administrators and Directors of Volunteer Programs
Box   2  
Open University
Box   2  
New York University, Strategies and Techniques of Planned Change
 
1977
Box   2  
USAREUR Recreation Centers, Nuremberg, Germany
Box   2  
Health Occupations Educators Workshop
Box   2  
Lake Arrowhead Conference for Administrators and Directors of Volunteer Programs
 
1978
Box   2  
Kean College of New Jersey, Department of Special Education and Individualized Services
Box   2  
Girl Scouts of America Trainers of Trainers Workshop
Box   2  
Communication Fair, Duluth, MN
 
1979
Box   3  
Human Resource Development Associates, Designing Participative Learning Experiences
Box   3  
International Conference on the Future of Public Administration, Quebec, Canada
Box   3  
YMCA National Goals Steering Committee
 
1980
Box   3  
Eastern Michigan University College of Business Renewal Project
Box   3  
Michigan Union Staff Workshop
Box   3  
Ypsilanti Area Futures Project
 
1982
Box   3  
University of Michigan Hospital Directors Executive Council
Box   3  
Jackson Community College
Box   3  
Bell Laboratories
 
1983
Box   3  
Planned Change in the 80's
Box   3  
Quality Management in the Hospital, Hilton Head Island, SC
 
1984
Box   3  
Ford Motor Co
Box   3  
Jackson County, Futuring
 
1985
Box   3  
Mercy Medical Center Retreat, "Resizing via Futuring"
Box   3  
Lear Siegler, Inc
 
1986
Box   3  
Pillsbury Learning Center
Box   3  
Integrating Eastern and Western Wisdom for O. D. Practice
 
Writings and Publications [series]

The final series, Writings and Publications, spans 4.5 linear feet and includes drafts or reprints of articles, books, research reports, and other writings authored or co-authored by Lippitt. The series is first arranged chronologically; among other writings included are drafts of three books: Building the Collaborative Community (1980), The Consulting Process in Action (1985), and The Multocular Process (1985, including original paper dated 1975 and publication correspondence). Following the chronological arrangement is one folder of articles and writings of Rosemary Lippitt, Lippitt's first wife, who conducted work on the subject of children and Role-Playing before her death in 1958. There then follows one folder of articles and writings of Peggy Lippitt, who conducted research into cross-age helping programs. It should be noted that several articles co-authored by Ronald and Peggy Lippitt are included in the chronological arrangement. Finally, the series includes several kits or programs including printed and audio materials: "Cross-Age Helping Program," "Developing Our Volunteer Community," "The Flint Youth Study Experience," and "Reality Practice: Methods and Theory of Role-Playing."

 
Chronological [subseries]
Box   3  
1938-1944
Box   3  
1944-1947
Box   3  
1948-1950
Box   3  
1951-1952
Box   4  
1953-1954
Box   4  
1955-1957
Box   4  
1958-1960
Box   4  
1961-1962
Box   4  
1963
Box   4  
1964 (2 folders)
Box   4  
1965
Box   4  
1966
Box   4  
1967 (2 folders)
Box   5  
1968 (2 folders)
Box   5  
1969 (4 folders)
Box   5  
1970-1972
Box   5  
1973-1974
Box   5  
1975
Box   5  
1976-1977
Box   5  
1978-1979
Box   6  
1980 (2 folders)
Box   6  
1981
Box   6  
1982
Box   6  
1983-1984
Box   6  
1985 (3 folders)
Box   6  
1986
Box   6  
Undated
 
Others [subseries]
Box   6  
Rosemary Lippitt 1941-1958
Box   6  
Peggy Lippitt, 1961-197?
 
Programs and Kits [subseries]
Box   7  
Cross-Age Helping Program

(includes two 12" sound discs)

Box   7  
Developing Our Volunteer Community

(includes 4 audio cassettes)

Box   7  
The Flint Youth Study Experience

(includes 7 10" sound discs)

Box   7  
Reality Practice: Methods and Theory of Role-Playing

(includes 3 audio cassettes)