Group Psychological Consulting to Organizations: A Perspective on History

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Professional practice—whether in research or consultation—can be understood as the dynamic interaction among theory, data, methods, and values. A little-known episode from the history of medicine, the death of George Washington, illustrates the interdependence between what is known scientifically and what is judged ethical at any point in history. A review of ethical statements in organizational psychology shows the limited role theory has played in assessing ethical practice and suggests that current trends are regressive. Embedded intergroup relations theory provides one strong theoretical perspective for understanding downsizing and other practice problems confronting those who consult to changing organizations.

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