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Social Science in Actual Practice Themes on My Blue Guitar by Rolf P. Lynton

Social Science in Actual Practice Themes on My Blue Guitar


Social Science in Actual Practice Themes on My Blue Guitar by Rolf P. Lynton

In this personal account Rolf Lynton examines significant episodes from his long and distinguished career as an international systems consultant, hands-on trainer and chief executive in manpower and institution development. The episodes are examined in three ways: How did the work come about? What actually took place by way of involvements, interventions (planned and unplanned) and outcomes? What, with hindsight, might be done better in similar circumstances. Often in cross-cultural settings, his work includes: strikes in a world-class port; coal mine management; `decentralizing` public services; innovating in communities and corporations; starting and administering a professional school; interdisciplinary work in universities and professional associations.


`Social Science in Actual Practice succeeds for several reasons. First of all, and perhaps most importantly, Dr Lynton's professional experience provides a rich tapestry of stories and lessons learned. What is most striking is Lynton's use of his initial experiences as a consultant during the dock strikes in Engalnd and the nationalization of the coal mines in Scotland following World War II. Lynton clearly and thoroughly describes his work in these two circumstances and frames them within a vivid description of post-war Great Britain....One of the lessons learned throughout the autobiography is the importance of establishing and maintaining relationships, between professionals and the people and organizations they study....As for the style of the book -this reads like no other management text. Lynton admits in his prologue that this is not a `straightforward account
of his experiences. Rather, in a manner reminiscent of the call

-waiting function of a telephone, Lynton interrupts his consulting stories, interjecting related, and seemingly unrelated, anecdotes, observations and thoughts before returning to the original topic....this strategy yields a product that allows the reader to understand Lynton's desire to make a difference as well as his personal reflections of decision-making misfortunes and triumphs' - Management Learning

About the Author

Rolf P Lynton has had a long career in training and development. He has been associated with many institutions, mostly in India, and also in Indonesia, China, Europe, and the United States of America as a founder-dean, director, or long-term consultant. He has been John Hopkins University/USAID Senior Advisor, Chairman of the International Association of Applied Social Scientists, and has worked with the Ministries of Industry, and Health and Family Welfare in India. He is an emeritus member of the National Training Laboratory in the USA. He has authored many books and papers including Training for Organizational Transformation (co-authored with Udai Pareek, 2000) and Social Science in Actual Practice: Themes on My Blue Guitar (1998).

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Book Info

Publication date

19th December 1997


Rolf P. Lynton

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SAGE Publications Inc


314 pages


Sociology & anthropology
Biography: general



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