The development and operation of the effective interpersonal relationship skills relevant to career development problems from staff assessment at an industrial research laboratory

  • J.J. Ridge

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This study concerns the application of a model of effective interpersonal relationships to problems arising from staff assessment at I.C.I. Ltd. Corporate Laboratory between 1972 and 1974.

In collaboration with academic and industrial supervision, the study commenced with a survey of management and supervisor opinions about the effectiveness of current staff (work) relationships, with particular reference to the problem of recognising and developing creative potential. This survey emphasised a need to improve the relationships between staff in the staff assessment context.

A survey of research into creativity emphasised the importance of the interpersonal environment for obtaining creative behaviour in an organisation context. A further survey of theories of how inter­personal behaviour related to personal creativity (therapeutic psychology) provided a model of effective interpersonal behaviour (Carkhuff, 1969) that could be applied to the organisation context of staff assessment.

The objective of the project was redefined as a need to improve the conditions of interpersonal behaviour in relation to certain (career development) problems arising from staff assessment practices. In order to demonstrate the application of the model of effective interpersonal behaviour, the research student recorded interviews between himself and members of staff designed to develop and operate the dimensions of the model. Different samples of staff were used to develop the 'facilitative' and the 'action oriented' dimensions of bahaviour, and then for the operation of a helping programme (based on vocational guidance tests).

These interactions have been analysed, according to the scales of measurement in the model ana the results are presented in case study form in this thesis. At each stage of the project, results and conclusions were presented to the sponsoring organisation (e.g. industrial supervisor) in order to assess their (subjective) opinion of relevance to the organ­ isation. Finally, recommendations on further actions towards general improvement of the work relationships in the laboratory were presented in a brief report to the sponsor.

Date of Award1976
Original languageEnglish


  • interpersonal relationship skills
  • career development problems
  • industrial research laboratory

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