Present At The Beginning: Some Personal Notes On OB’s Early Days and Later



This isn’t going to be a conventional autobiography. The great events of my life, my marriage and family, are hardly of interest to the wider world. The bulk of this chapter consists of some highly personal views of how what later became Organizational Behavior looked to me in the late 1940s and early 1950s, when I was a graduate student at MIT. I will then use my remaining space for a quick sketch of the next 40 years of both the field and my career.

I work in what we call at Berkeley OBIR (Organizational Behavior and Industrial Relations) and much of my work has been at the intersection of these two fields. Of the two fields my greatest emphasis has been on IR. My relationship to OB has been more of an observer than a participant — and it is an observer that much of this is written.