Chapter 10. Organizational Behavior 147
Understanding Organizational Behavior
psy·chol·o·gy \sī-
jē\ n, pl –gies
1: the science of mind and behavior
2: a: the mental or behavioral characteristics of an individual or group
b: the study of mind and behavior in relation to a particular field of
knowledge or activity
3: a theory or system of psychology
(Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 2003, p. 1004)
Industrial and
Educational psychology is the study of human learning in educational settings.
It has provided foundational principles of human learning to the practice o
instructional technology.
The field of industrial and organizational (I/O) psychology shares some o
its principles and concepts with the field of educational psychology, but the
focus is different. I/O psychology is concerned with the study of work behavio
in the context of business and industry. The need to improve efficiency i
roductivity was a major force in the development of the discipline during the
early era of I/O psychology. Muchinsky (2000) explains:
The merging of psychology with applied interests and concern for
increasing industrial efficiency was the ingredient for the emer-
gence of I/O psychology. By 1910 “industrial psychology” (the
“organizational” appendage did not become official until 1970)
was a legitimate specialty area of psychology. (p. 9)
Social psychology is based on concepts derived from psychology and sociol-
ogy, focusing on the influence of people on each other in social environments
and investigating the phenomenon of change—that is, how to initiate an
manage change through barriers (Robbins, 2000). Research in social
psychology is concerned with work-related behaviors and attitudes, group
dynamics, and leadership (Greenberg and Baron, 1997).
of the works of
Taylor, Lewin,
and Herzberg
to HPT practice
This chapter provides an overview of several theories derived from the fields
of industrial and organizational psychology and social psychology, such as
Frederick Taylor’s scientific management theory; the Hawthorne studies
conducted by many researchers including Elton Mayo; Kurt Lewin’s fiel
theory; and Frederick Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory. These
rominent figures worked prior to the existence of the field of human
erformance technology and were not human performance technologists, but
their theories and research findings have had a substantial impact on and hol
implications for current HPT practice in regard to understanding human
behavior and improving performance in work environments.
148 Foundations of Instructional and Performance Technology
Frederick Taylor’s Scientific Management
The father
of scientific
Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856–1915), known as the father of scientific
management, started his career as an apprentice at the Midvale Steel Compan
in Philadelphia in the late 19
century. (He later became a foreman, chie
engineer, and manager.) He earned a mechanical engineering degree from the
Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey by completing correspondence
courses while he was working at Midvale. He developed an interest i
improving work efficiency during his early days at Midvale (Wrege an
Greenwood, 1991).
After leaving the Midvale Steel Company, Taylor worked as a consultant to
several other companies, including the Bethlehem Steel Corporation. In his
book The Principles of Scientific Management (1911/1998), Taylor describes
his pig-iron experiments conducted at Bethlehem Steel, where he engineere
human performance and improved efficiency through scientifically designe
management techniques.
Principles of
While working at the Midvale Steel Company, Taylor (1911/1998) identifie
roblems with the previous “initiative and incentive” management style,
especially with the “soldiering behavior” among workers. He proposed
scientific management method as a solution to the problem:
Performance problem: “The great loss which the whole country is suf-
fering through inefficiency in almost all of ou
daily acts” (p. iv).
Cause: “The defective systems of management which
are in common use, and which make it necessar
for each workman to soldier, or work slowly,
in order that he may protect his own best
interests” (p. 4).
Solution: “The remedy for this inefficiency lies in system-
atic management” (p. iv).
Taylor (1911/1998) argued that “the principal object of management shoul
be to secure the maximum prosperity for the employer, coupled with the
maximum prosperity for each employee” (p. 1) and “the best management is
a true science, resting upon clearly defined laws, rules, and principles, as
foundation” (p. vi). He explained that managers who adopt the systematic
management method would adhere to the following four principles, which are
now known as the foundational principles of scientific management:

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