As scientists toil in the fields of their disciplines, they only infrequently enjoy opportunities to step back from their work to assess where their efforts have taken them. The everyday pressures to produce and publish the next scholarly advance makes such self-reflection a luxury that scientists rarely can afford. Yet, it is clear that the practice of assessing a field's scientific progress is critical if it is to have any hope of making meaningful advances.
Indulging in self-reflection is particularly important in a rapidly growing science such as organizational behavior (OB). The field of OB has certainly changed dramatically from the time-and-motion studies of the 1930s to the sophisticated computer models of human behavior in the workplace that we see today. In view of such rapid progress, the time has come for a systematic self-examination of the state of the field of OB. Where has it been, where it is now, and where is it going? Questions such as these are bound to raise the self-consciousness of organizational scholars, causing them to question the field's values and its worth as a scientific and practical endeavor. As painful as the process may be, a critical self-assessment of the state of OB is absolutely essential if the field is to prosper and make meaningful advances in behavioral science and in the welfare of individuals and society.
This is a collection of essays by the field's most highly regarded scholars-- experts who have contributed widely to the field of OB, and who were invited to share their thoughts about its past, present, and future. By presenting their ideas about the state of the field, the discipline as a whole is invited to engage in critical self-reflection. Toward this end, the volume focuses on five spheres