R & D Process Design

One of the Institute's early challenges was institutionalizing a research and development process that would consistently yield humaneering technology that is dependable and highly effective, simple to understand and easily adaptable to varying conditions, and reasonably sustainable.

The design involved hundreds of scholars, practitioners and managers, and produced a comprehensive R&D system that is based on a continuous four-stage development process.

This development process begins with the Stage One synthesis of existing knowledge and methods from the science (e.g., psychology, sociology) and practice (e.g., organization development, system dynamics) disciplines, combined with input from a broad array of less structured sources.

Stage Two, emphasizing appreciative inquiry and abductive reasoning, and Stage Three, emphasizing system design and inductive reasoning, both include field-application research so as to explore the unexplored, bridge knowledge gaps, and experiment with alternatives in varied situations.

Stage Four, which emphasizes cross-cultural reliability testing and deductive reasoning, includes additional field experiments for validation and the continuous calibration of contingencies across industries, cultures, and other variations. Stage Four concludes with with the development of documentation and instruction.

This process operates continuously and responds to the identification of substantial new knowledge, either during periodic reviews or upon receipt of new data or thinking, by triggering new evaluations and potential redevelopment.