The Great Jackass Fallacy

The Great Jackass Fallacy

The Great Jackass Fallacy

The Great Jackass Fallacy

Excerpt

The Thomas Henry Carroll-Ford Foundation professorship provides an opportunity for the incumbent to make a planned contribution to the work of the Harvard Business School of such a character as to have an impact on present or future research activities at the School and to further his own research and development interests. The professorship is a two-way contribution: to the work of the School and to the career of the holder.

In the four years (1968-1972) during which I was honored to hold this professorship, I was enabled to bring to fruition many of the tasks, ideas, and projects upon which I had been working for the previous twelve years. These included three books -- The Exceptional Executive (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968); Executive Stress (New York: Harper & Row, 1970); and Organizational Diagnosis (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1972) -- and preliminary work on a fourth concerned with organizational intervention. In addition, the opportunity to participate in the work of the Harvard Business School stimulated my thinking about a number of problem areas. These areas are reflected in the papers that, revised and integrated, appear in this book, all of which were written during the professorship. Each of these papers is a response to an immediate problem with which I was grappling, either in teaching or consultation, or as a consequence of extended discussion with colleagues. Their continuity lies in the fact that they represent dimensions of my own continuing thinking, based on the same psychological frame of reference, and in the fact that they arise from continuing daily experience. The individually published papers were well received among wide circles of executives, industrial physicians, and colleagues in psychology, psychiatry, and organizational behavior, which of course is pleasing to me. But I am particularly pleased that my Harvard colleagues think them worthy of publication in this book form.

To form an integrated whole, Chapter 1 presents the general frame of reference and my fundamental thesis about motivation.

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