OB Study Guide- Spring 2008
Foundations of Leadership
In order to be an effective leader, the leader must have knowledge of organizational behavior (individual, group, and
organizational level) as well as behavior skills.
Behavior skills include: the ability to facilitate decision making, communicate effectively, exercise power
wisely, negotiate effectively, and manage organizational change (technological changes, globalization)
-Theories become more complex and less applicable over time, theories include more contingencies over time “it all
- Key points
Frederick Winslow Taylor’s Cult of Efficiency (Scientific Management) emerged in the 1920’s to resolve
issues concerning inefficiency in factories.
Task analysis and standardization (change shovel size to become more efficient)
Pay linked to performance, Taylor believed human beings are economic animals and would
support the belief that needs were all extrinsically satisfied.
Systematic selection and training; low entry barriers to employment – this was one of the first
steps towards the sophistication of modern day job-fit practices.
Classical Management (from European officers’ experience with WWI)
Functions of management: planning, organizing, directing, staffing, and controlling (principles of
management remain today)
Principles: specialization (Adam Smith’s proposal of assembly line), unity of command (one and
only boss), scalar chain (hierarchy), and span of control.
In the 1930’s social science enters business for the first time with the Hawthorne Studies.
They studied the effects of lighting, rest pauses, length of work day, and pay on performance, on
job performance; they found that these did not have much power over performance but instead
worker’s feelings and the power of informal groups had an effect on performance.
Went against Taylor’s logic of efficiency; logic of sentiments and efficiency are usually
at conflict with one another.
1940’s shift towards group decision-making; management becomes a learned profession
1950’s more studied conducted on leadership and decision-making. Gordon & Howell Report states that B-
schools need to be professionalized and need scientific knowledge.
1960’s-1970’s explosion of research and change;
systems thinking – multiple influences on behavior and organization and environment influence
contingency thinking – it all depends on individual differences, technology, competitive
environment, and national culture
1980’s – 2000’s McKribbin and Porter Report on B-Schools – too much analytical and quantitative
emphasis; need for social and communication skills, need to globalize curriculum
An individual’s biological features, personality, values and attitudes, and ability all affect how he or she perceives
other people and things. They also affect the individual’s motivation; perception and motivation in turn directly
impact the worker’s productivity, absence and turnover rats, and job satisfaction.
Biological feature include: age, gender, and tenure.