Studies in Personnel and Industrial Psychology

By Edwin A. Fleishman | Go to book overview
5. And, finally, from the long-range standpoint of the science of management, it becomes clearer that "group leadership" and "organization" are not distinct concepts but are inseparably intertwined. The organization "conditions" the effects of leadership, and probably the reverse is true. An organization cannot be understood simply by breaking it up into small groups and studying them in isolation. Nor can we understand the way a leader relates to his group unless we also study how they both relate to the rest of the organization.

35. Patterns in Management*

Rensis Likert

THE TIME HAS come to examine the findings that are now emerging from research on organization and leadership and to ask what are the implications of these findings for the development and training of those who will occupy positions of executive leadership in the next decade or two.

In trying to look into the future, it will be useful to consider historical trends as well as to examine the general pattern that is emerging from research findings. Two important trends have resulted in significant improvement in industrial performance and are exercising a major influence on current management practices. It will be of value to examine these trends, the character of their contribution, and the problems which they are creating.


"SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT"

The first of the two trends to be examined began almost a century ago. This was the earlier of the two and is the one which has had by far the greater influence upon both management practices and industrial productivity. I refer to the whole movement in which Frederick W. Taylor and his colleagues provided pioneering leadership. In discussing this trend, for purposes of brevity, I shall use the term "scientific management" to refer to this whole movement and related developments.

Generally speaking, the very great improvements in productivity brought about by scientific management have resulted from the elimination of waste. Functionalization, work simplification, motion study, analysis of work flow, standardization, and so on, have all resulted in

____________________
*
From "Developing Patterns in Management," General Management Series No. 178, American Management Association, Inc., 1955.

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