The Dynamics of Interpersonal Behavior

The Dynamics of Interpersonal Behavior

The Dynamics of Interpersonal Behavior

The Dynamics of Interpersonal Behavior

Excerpt

Leaders of a new book often have more than a passing curiosity about its genesis and intellectual heritage. We should like to acknowledge and satisfy such curiosity in this brief preface.

The Dynamics of Interpersonal Behavior, along with the companion volume entitled Casebook on Interpersonal Behavior in Organizations, began when the senior author collaborated in 1957 with Professor F. J. Roethlisberger in a new course at the Harvard Business School. The course, offered as an elective, set out to help students of business administration learn more about the structure and dynamics of groups in work settings. By presenting relevant theory along with case studies and experimental problems we expected students to acquire substantial competence in the analysis of the human problems encountered in ordinary face-to-face situations in organizations.

Professor Roethlisberger turned his full-time attention to the training of doctoral students in organizational behavior so that upon the completion of the first semester of the course, the senior author took over its development. During the following seven years the course underwent considerable revision and experimentation yet maintained a consistent pursuit of its original aims. The junior author was involved in this further development of the course.

Our experience in research along with efforts of co-workers at other universities convinced us that the scientific study of human behavior provided the lead for the pursuit of competence. Until the beginning of our work, certainly at the Harvard Business School, great stress had been given to the values of learning from experience.

Elton Mayo in distinguishing knowledge of acquaintance from knowledge about suggested that intuitive understanding growing out of knowledge of acquaintance preceded systematic understanding. We found Mayo's distinction valid and exciting, but only up to a point. It soon became apparent that many advocates of knowledge of acquaintance as the guiding principle in the teaching of human relations had little interest in systematic inquiry. Where the search for explanatory theory has been lacking, the teaching of interpersonal . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.