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HISTORY OF ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR


Organizational Behavior (OB) as a discipline started way back in the early days of Scientific Management and the Hawthorne Studies. Greenberg and Baron summarized the emergence of OB (Greenberg and Baron, 2002).

A. The Early Days: Scientific Management and the Hawthorne Studies a. The earliest attempts to study organizational behavior came out of a desire to improve worker productivity. b. This was a period of industrialization and technological breakthroughs in the United States. Engineers attempted to make efficient machines by making people more efficient and productive. c. Frederick Winston Taylor Worked in steel mills, starting as a laborer, reaching the position of chief engineer. As a foreman at Philadelphia, Taylor studied the individual components of this task and established what he believed was the best way, motion by motion to perform it. A few years later, at Pittsburgh, Taylor redesigned the job of loading and unloading rail cars to be as efficient as possible. Taylors research is known as time and motion studies. He was the first person to study human behavior at work. d. His groundbreaking book Scientific Management argued that the object of management is to secure the maximum prosperity for the employer, coupled with the maximum prosperity of each employee. Taylors Scientific Management focused on the role of employees as individuals. According to him, employees should undergo careful selection and training to perform their jobs well. Raising workers wages and salaries would increase their motivation and consequently, their productivity. Taylor emphasized the importance of motivation on job performance. e. Despite Scientific Managements important contributions, it did not tackle the factors that influence behavior on work settings.

f. Elton W. Mayo, an organizational scientist founded the human relations movement. He focused on the social factors influencing the workplace. He focused on the way employees were treated by management and the relationships they formed with one another. g. The Hawthorne Studies began in 1927. Researchers were interested on work productivity. In Western Electrics Hawthorne Works near Chicago, they studied the effects of lightning on work productivity. One group, the control room condition worked without any changes on lightning; the other group, the test room condition, worked while the lightning was systematically varied, sometimes getting brighter and sometimes getting dimmer. Productivity increased in both groups.

h. Western Electric officials called Elton Mayo and his team. Attempting to duplicate the results, Mayo and his colleagues examined the effects of many different Performance remained extremely high even when the conditions were returned to normal. Not all of Mayos studies showed that Hawthorne employees were highly productive, however. Mayo and his associates recognized that organizations are social systems. B. Classical Organizational Theory a. It focused on the effective structuring of organizations in contrast to scientific management which highlighted the work of individuals. b. Henri Fayol, a French industrialist attributed managerial success with various principles. He called for the division of labor and job specialization. Managers should exercise authority over their subordinates. C. Late 20th Century: OB as a Social Science a. In 1941, the first doctoral degree in OB was granted. b. For years later, the first textbook in OB was released. c. By the late 1970s, various researches were going on.

d. The Ford Foundation sponsored study of business education in the United States, which further recommended that the study of management should pay greater attention to the social sciences. This greatly influenced the business school curricula, thereby promoting OB as a course. D. OB Today: The Information Technology Age a. Computer technology has changed the way people work. b. Because of computer databases, employees can gather.

2. CONTRIBUTING
Psychology Psychology is the science that seeks to measure, explain, and sometimes change the behavior of humans and other animals. Psychologists concern themselves with studying and attempting to understand individual behavior. Sociology Whereas psychologists focus on the individual, sociologists study the social system in which individuals fill their roles. Sociologists have made their greatest contribution to OB through their study of group behavior in organizations, particularly in formal and complex organizations. Social Psychology Is an area within psychology, but it blends concepts from psychology and sociology. In addition, social psychologist are making significant contributions in the areas of measuring, understanding, and changing attitudes; communication patterns; the ways in which group activities can satisfy individual needs; and group decision-making processes. Anthropology Is the study of societies to learn about human beings and their activities. Anthropologists work on cultures and environments, for instance, has helped us understand differences in fundamental values, attitudes, and behavior between people in different countries and within different organizations. Political Science Political Science studies the behavior of individuals and groups within a political environment.