Chapter 15 theories of organizational behavior and leadership
• Theories are used in management not to
mirror reality but to help explain it.
• Theories have a unique history and yet the
principles and processes of each theory have
remained consistent in application over time.
Classical Organization Theory:
Frederick Winslow Taylor
• First addressed his views of management in The
Principles of Scientific Management (1911).
• He analyzed each steel worker’s task in
relationship to the tools used, the design of the
tools, and how they were used.
• He believed there was one best way to
accomplish each task and that it could be
Frederick Winslow Taylor : The
Principles of Scientific Management
• Taylor believed that a manager’s job was to
scientifically determine the best way to do a
job, to select the best employee, to train the
employee, and to share responsibility for the
results with the workers.
• This stepwise management practice became
known as “Taylorism.”
• The first author to develop a complete
• In the early 1900s, Fayol suggested that
management consists of 14 basic but flexible
• He recognized that management is universal
and he is credited with initiating a move that
focuses on management of the entire
Henri Fayol: The General Principles of
Max Weber: Bureaucratic Theory
• Weber extended Taylor’s theories and believed in
the value of a hierarchical structure.
• He recognized the specialization and the
necessity of the division of labor.
• He defined bureaucracy as “the means of
carrying ‘community action’ over into rationally
ordered “societal action.”
Neoclassical Organizational Theories
• In 1924, researchers undertook a study at the
Hawthorne plant with the purpose of
determining the “relation of quality and quantity
of illumination to efficiency in industry.” This
became known as the Hawthorne Study.
• Two major functions were identified: the
production of a product and the satisfaction
among the workers.
The Economy of Incentives
• Chester Barnard (1938) came to view workers
as having social, behavioral, and psychological
• Barnard argued that organizations cannot
operate if individuals do not communicate
and are not willing to contribute to common
• Other aspects of his work focused on fair
treatment of workers and humane leadership.
The Proverbs of Administration
• Herbert Simon proposed that administrative
science can be theoretical and practical.
• He viewed the behaviors of human beings in
groups as the sociology of administration.
• He proposed that the science of administration,
“consists of proportions of how men would
behave if they wished their activity to result in
the greatest attainment of administrative
objectives with scarce means.”
Modern Organization Theories
• Contingency theorists consider conflict to be
inescapable and to be actively managed.
• Lawrence and Lorsch considered organizations to be
social systems complete with individual behaviors,
internal characteristics, external conditions, and
• Fred Fiedler’s contingency model proposed group
performance was based on a balance between the
leader’s style and level of control.
• Henry Mintzberg found that the following six
skills were essential for managers:
– Performing a great quantity of work
– Completing fragmented and brief activities
– Preferring issues that are current and specific
– Working with organization and outside contacts
– Preferring verbal media
– Ability to control his or her own affairs
General Systems Theory
• Ludwig von Bertalanffy introduced general
systems theory in the late 1950s.
• The central theme in his work is that nonlinear
relationships may exist between variables. As
a consequence, a small change in one variable
may cause a significant change in another.
• Kurt Lewin outlined a model for change used by
industry in the 1940s.
• He describes change as a driving force that
pushes people toward change, while they use a
restraining force to push back the change.
• Peter Drucker built on this work and was
convinced that organizations that do not
embrace change will not survive.
• Douglas McGregor based Theory X on the
belief that the average person dislikes work
and tries to avoid it.
• Theory Y is based on several assumptions of
human nature including that the average
person can see and accept responsibility
under proper conditions.
Theories X, Y, and Z (1 of 2)
• Theory X includes the assumption that lower-
order needs in Maslow’s hierarchy govern
behavior, and theory Y includes the
assumption that human behavior is governed
by higher-order needs.
• Theory Z, developed by William Ouchi,
emphasizes trust, loyalty, and commitment
Theories X, Y, and Z (2 of 2)
• Each organization has its own culture, structure,
and environment (internal and external) in which
• No one theory fits all situations.
• Modern viewpoints utilize individual and
discipline-wide approaches to nursing science.
• Product and people are of equal importance and
that organizations must plan and operate with
both in mind.