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New Trends in SensitivityTraining


  • Parikh Indira J
  • Jayavelu S


Sensitivity Training (ST) is process through which an individual explores the journey of human existence to ask some basic questions of life, life space, role space, relationships, nature of relationships, nature of interface across many roles, relationships & spaces and above all questions about ones own life and purpose of life. ST has many forms; each of the form has its own philosophies. This paper traces the historical roots of sensitivity training in Tavistock Institute (UK) and the National Training Laboratory (USA). The historical development of (ST) in India from 1957 and the formation of Indian Society for Applied Behavioral Science (ISABS) in 1971, Indian Society for Individual and Social Development (ISISD) in 1979 and later in 1996 Sumedhas - The Academy of Human Context are discussed. Human Processes Approach (HPA) as practiced by Sumedhas is elaborated and its departure from the traditional sensitivity training methodology and new applications of sensitivity training like Bindu Lab and Learning Theatre is elaborated. The Indian and western forms of sensitivity training differ the content, process and the underlying perspectives. The two perspectives of sensitivity training are compared along with the differences in application in organizations. The HPA can be applied in organizations through unstructured sensitivity training labs, semi-structured labs and structured workshops. Unstructured labs are those that are called as Personal Growth Lab, Explorations in Roles and Identity, Interpersonal labs and so on. Semi-structured labs include Interface labs, Leadership labs, Self-renewal labs and Visioning & Co-creating labs. Structured workshops address managerial and leadership roles, team building & building a cross-functional team, integrating EQ across multiple roles and systems, managing cross cultural diversity, interpersonal and group dynamics, and dynamic equilibrium between personal and professional lives.

Suggested Citation

  • Parikh Indira J & Jayavelu S, 2002. "New Trends in SensitivityTraining," IIMA Working Papers WP2002-02-05, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:iim:iimawp:wp00008

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gordon E Greenley, 1998. "A Comparison of Slack Resources in High and Low Performing British Companies," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(3), pages 377-398, May.
    2. Daniel Kahneman & Dan Lovallo, 1993. "Timid Choices and Bold Forecasts: A Cognitive Perspective on Risk Taking," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(1), pages 17-31, January.
    3. Arjen van Witteloostuijn, 1998. "Bridging Behavioral and Economic Theories of Decline: Organizational Inertia, Strategic Competition, and Chronic Failure," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(4), pages 501-519, April.
    4. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
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