Magazine article Training & Development

An HRD Refresher

Magazine article Training & Development

An HRD Refresher

Article excerpt

To help stimulate your memory or motivate you to learn more, here is a list of some of the important thinkers (and one study) in the behavioral sciences. Included are brief synopses of their major contributions to the HRD field.

Chris Argyris is known for his Immaturity-Maturity theory, which suggests that organizations often keep workers passive and inhibit their psychological growth.

Argyris contends that many modern organizations impose formalized structures, rigid channels of communication, prescriptive job designs, and pyramidal or hierarchical authority structures on workers. This, he says, often causes human alienation, apathy, and antagonism in those workers.

Robert Blake and Jane Mouton are the developers of the Managerial Grid [TM], first popularized in 1964. The grid plots two dimensions on a nine-point scale. On the scale, 1 represents minimum concern; 9 represents maximum concern. One dimension on the grid plots concern for people, the other dimension plots concern for production.

The supporting thesis for the grid is that people and production dictate managerial style. Out of the grid come five styles:

* Impoverished Management (low concern for people and production).

* Country-Club Management (high concern for people, low concern for production)

* Organization Man (or person) Management (middle of the road for both)

* Authority Obedience (high concern for production and little for people)

* Team Management (the ideal style: high concern for both people and production).

The Hawthorne Studies were conducted from 1927 to 1932. They looked at the relationship between work conditions and the incidence of fatigue and monotony among employees. Researchers altered such things as temperature, lighting, and humidity in the workplace to determine their relationship to worker productivity. They found that regardless of the changes they made in the work environment, efficiency increased.

Out of these studies came what is called the Hawthorne Effect--the theory that employees perform better when they are given special attention. The studies also found that employees work better in groups than they do when isolated, and that wage incentives alone do not determine product output.

Frederick Herzberg is recognized for his theory of personality and motivation. This theory, called the 2-Fact Theory, hypothesizes that satisfaction and dissatisfaction are not opposites. Instead, Herzberg said, "no dissatisfaction" is the opposite of "dissatisfaction"; "no satisfaction" is the opposite of "satisfaction."

He says that job satisfaction is related to what he calls satisfiers and dissatisfiers. The satisfiers relate more to actual job performance, such as achievement, recognition, growth, and advancement. The dissatisfiers have more to do with the job environment, such as working conditions, salary, job security, and personal life.

Herzberg classified the satisfiers as motivators and the dissatisfiers as hygiene factors, because they support the environment for the motivating factors.

Thus, his study is often referred to as the Motivation-Hygiene Theory. His theory postulates that the things that bring satisfaction to employees are often job-related and the things that foster dissatisfaction are related to job environment.

Malcolm Knowles is known as the father of adult learning and is credited for the term "andragogy." He helped to institutionalize adult learning theory. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


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.