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Promoting Training and Professional Development in Government: The Origins and Early Contributions of SPOD

Author: A. CAROL RUSAW and VINTON D. FISHER
Published in PAQ, Vol. 41 No. 2

This article describes the foundations of training and professional development in government and the beginnings of the American Society for Public Administration’s (ASPA) Section on Professional and Organizational Development (SPOD). It summarizes the philosophical contributions of public sector political and economic reforms, human relations approaches to management, and socio- technical applications to organizational development and training. The article also highlights key changes in the decade between 1965 and 1975 that fostered the emergence of SPOD, such as the rapid growth of federal government and the demands for social and economic changes. It concludes with reflections on the founding of SPOD from an early member.

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