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Barbara Bunker

MS Organization Development Alumni Conference

Barbara Benedict Bunker (Ph.D. Columbia University) is an organizational social psychologist and Professor of Psychology Emeritus at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). Her research and writing interests are diverse but focus in the area of organizational change and organizational effectiveness. She is a licensed Psychologist. Her activities in the area of planned organizational change span more than 25 years. As an organizational consultant, Barbara Bunker has assisted clients with individuals, teams, departments, and the whole organization. She has worked as a coach and consultant to individuals in areas of performance appraisal, career development and leadership skills. At the team or department level, she consults about long range vision and strategy, work analysis, organizational design, blocks to effective functioning. At the organization level, she has worked on interdepartmental issues, managing diversity and organizational culture change.

At the community level she has worked with churches and community church coordinating groups, mental health associations, the Red Cross and other agencies to plan their futures and increase their effectiveness. She has worked with major business, governmental, voluntary, educational, and professional organizations. Her clients have included Corning, Inc., The Bush Foundation Educators Program, Eastman Kodak, Cummins Engine, Lubrizol, ITT, IRS, NASA, British Air, The King's Fund, Irwin Financial, Kaleida Health, The Erie County Mental Health Association, the Universities of Cincinnati and British Columbia, Canisius College, Columbia, Stanford, and Zayed (United Arab Emirates) Universities. She participated in some of the first Organization Development(OD) projects. As an active member of NTL (National Training Laboratories) Institute, she was a Director for seven years and Chairperson of the Board for three years.

For the past 15 years, Barbara Bunker has become nationally and internationally known for her work systematizing a number of new methods of organization and community change that work at the systems level. These Large Group Methods bring together stakeholders in a common enterprise to discuss, debate and search for common ground on which to move forward. She has written about them, used them in her own practice, and written two books and edited two journals about the exciting work that is being done in this area of practice. Barbara Bunker is a frequent lecturer in the executive development programs of Columbia, Harvard, and Pepperdine Universities. She has been an invited keynote speaker at numerous national conferences. Barbara Bunker has presented invited seminars (with Billie Alban) on Large Group Interventions in England, Canada, Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore, New Zealand, and Korea.

In 1984 and again in 1990 she was selected as a Fulbright Lecturer to Japan. She taught at Keio University and at Kobe University in the School of Business Administration. In 1998, she was exchange professor at Konan University in Kobe, Japan and at Hangzhou University in China. During these exchanges, she has had the opportunity to study Asian organizations. She has also published a study of Senior Japanese women executives with data collected in the 1980s and in the late 1990s in Japan. Her books include Conflict, Cooperation, and Justice (1995) with Jeffery Rubin, and Large Group Interventions: Engaging the Whole System for Rapid Change (1997) and The Handbook of Large Group Methods: Creating systemic change in organizations and communities. (June 2006) with Billie T. Alban.