The period 1890-1940 marks the first systematic attempt to analyze and understand how commercial organizations function. Prior to this period, most attention had been focused on inputs into business - specifically the three factors of production: land, labour and capital - and to a much lesser extent, on the products and services they produced and sold. Now, businessmen and social scientists alike began turning their attention to the organization itself: how it was formed, how it was organized and controlled, and how it functioned. In doing so, they laid the groundwork for the field that we know today as organization behaviour. This set includes work by both academics and practitioners, including some of the leading business thinkers of the early 20th century: Elton Mayo, Mary Parker Follett, Dexter Kimball and Lillian Gilbreth. Together, the submissions show how new disciples like psychology and sociology as well as the principles of scientific management were brought to bear on the problem.
Then as now, the problems faced by the managers of large businesses were both practical and moral - how to achieve mazimum efficiency, how to create a workplace climate that attracted the most highly skilled and loyal employees, how to ensure efficient communication and promote innovation, and how to achieve lasting competitive advantage and success. (Many of these themes were also touched on in the earlier set, "Human Resource Management", and "Organization Behaviour" serves as a companion to that collection). These works represent a foundational view of the discipline: later sets may explore individual aspects of organization and behaviour in more detail.