Friedlander, mentor and friend, died October 1, 2015 after a brief and
relatively painless illness. He felt that he had had a long and rich life, and
was quite accepting that it was about to end. He was 88.
born in South Orange, New Jersey on September 22, 1927. He was always interested in people and why
they did what they did. He graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor’s
degree in Psychology in 1950. Frank went on to earn an MBA from the University
of Texas in 1956. He then went to Western Reserve University and earned his
Ph.D. in Social and Organizational Psychology in 1962.
In 1954 he
married Janet Mongan and they raised three children: Todd, Clare and Paul. The
marriage ended in 1977. In 1996 he married Margaret Waters, who was his partner
for the remainder of his life.
leaving Western Reserve University with his Ph.D., Frank lived in Cleveland,
Ohio where he began his organization development career. In 1962 the family
moved to China Lake, California where he worked at the Naval Ordinance Test
Center. While there, he did research on how effective teams worked together.
In the fall
of 1966, Frank and the family moved back to Cleveland, Ohio where he joined the
faculty of the newly begun Organizational Behavior Ph.D. program at Case
Institute of Technology. It was the first program of its kind in the world. For
the next 15 years, he taught, consulted, wrote and worked with students on
their Ph.D. dissertations. The O.B. program was very unique at the time in that
the students and faculty were considered colleagues – there was not hierarchy
of faculty having all of the answers and students being in a constant learning
mode – they were all colleagues in a profound learning environment. Frank fit
in very well because of his values around respect, encouragement and striving
for colleagueship with his fellow faculty and all of the students that he came
in contact with. He “walked his talk” and was a profound role model for many he
dealt with in the University and his clients.
Frank left what is now Case Western Reserve University (the two Universities
joined in 1968) to join the Faculty at the Fielding Institute in Santa Barbara,
California. For the next 19 years he was an outstanding faculty member working
with students from around the world.
During his teaching
career, Frank also was an active member of the Organizational Development
Network and was a frequent presenter at their annual conventions. He was also a
member of the National Training Laboratories where he led groups of individuals
to help them identify their strengths and areas of development as leaders and
Frank was also
involved in the Humanist movement, and was passionate about personal growth and
development, building relationships and community, being honest with himself
and others, and living a meaningful and ethical life.
Frank Friedlander was Chair of the Academy’s Organization Development and Change Division in 1977 as can be seen on the list of the division’s Past Division Chairs.
If you would
like to share any memories of Frank, please post them on his Facebook page or