Edgar H. Schein, a major contributor to the field of organizational psychology, often gets asked how he became interested in culture, careers, and consulting—so he wrote this first part of his autobiography to answer that question.
From his early years in Switzerland, the Soviet Union, and Czechoslovakia, to immigrating to the United States in 1938 and attending three different universities, he recalls the formative experiences that made him a scholar as well as his post-doctoral work at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, where he interviewed returning prisoners of war from the Korean conflict.
He’d go on to work at MIT’s Sloan School of Management from 1956 to 2008, and help lay the foundation for five different concepts in the field of organizational psychology: coercive persuasion, career anchors, process consultation, organizational culture, and humble inquiry.
But he would not have been able to make so many professional contributions without his wife of more than fifty years, the late Mary Lodmell, who gave him three children and many, many great times.
Join Schein as he looks back at his childhood, early professional life, and courting the woman of his dreams in Becoming American.