American educator and organizational psychologist Rensis Likert (pronounced 'Lick-urt') (1903–1981) is best known for his research on management styles.
He developed Likert Scales and the Linking pin model.
Rensis Likert was a founder of the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research and was the director from its inception in 1946 until 1970, when he retired and founded Rensis Likert Associates to consult for numerous corporations. During his tenure, Rensis Likert devoted particular attention to research on organizations. During the 1960s and 1970s, his books on management theory were extremely popular in Japan and their impact can be seen across modern Japanese organizations. He did research on major corporations around the world, and his studies have accurately predicted the subsequent performance of the corporations.
He was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1903, where his father was an engineer with the Union Pacific Railroad. After training to be an engineer, he was working as an intern with Union Pacific Railroad during the watershed 1922 strike. The lack of communication between the two parties made a profound impression on him and caused him to study organizations and their behaviour for the rest of his life.
Rensis Likert received his B.A. in Sociology from the University of Michigan in 1926. His early grounding in these fields was the basis for much of Likert's work. The field of sociology in the 1920s was highly experimental and incorporated many aspects of modern psychology. In 1932 he received his Ph.D in psychology from Columbia University. For his thesis work, Likert produced a survey scale (Likert Scales) as a means of measuring attitudes, showing that it captured more information than competing methods. The 1-5 Likert Scales would eventually become Likert's best-known work.
Central aspects of his theories
Employee centered supervision is more productive than job centered supervision. In other words, the more the job is supervised, the less productive the people.
'New Ways of Managing Conflict' 1976 (With Jane Gibson Likert)
'Human organization : its management and value' (1967)
'New patterns of management' (1961)
'Some applications of behavioural research' (1957)
Vol. 36, No. 2: pp. 124-125
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