Introduction to Dr. Rensis Likert

Contribution By Likert
Dr. Rensis Likert was a American
psychologist. Likert graduated
from University Michigan with
in economics and sociology in
1922. He received his doctorate
in psychology from Columbia
University in 1932. During the next
decade his work involved the interpretation of surveys and
the handling of questionnaires. He joined the staff of U
Michigan in 1946, becoming the founding Director of the
Institute for Social Research in 1949.
Liker's Research
 University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research
and its inception in 1946-1970.
 Rensis Likert devoted particular attention to research
on organizations (1960s-1970s).
 Research on major corporations around the world.
 The Research Center for Group Dynamics in 1948.
Contribution by Likert
Dr. Likert has conduct much on human behavior with
organization, particularly in the industrial situation.
He has examined different type of Organization and
leadership styles, and he asserts that to achieve
maximum profitability, goods labor relation and high
productivity, ever organization must make optimum
use of their human assest.
Management system
Likert had identified four management
 Exploitive authoritative system
 Benevolent authoritative system
 Consultative system
 Participative (group) system
Exploitive authoritative system
In this type of management system the job of
employees/subordinates is to abide by the decisions
made by managers and others with a higher status in
the organization. The subordinates do not participate
in the decision making. The organization's sole
concern is completion of work. Fear and threats may
be used to insure completion. No teamwork is involved
Benevolent authoritative system
 Just as in an exploitive authoritative system, decisions
are made at the top of the organisation. However,
employees are motivated through rewards rather than
fear and threats. Information may flow from
subordinates to managers, but it is restricted to “what
management want to hear”.
Consultative system
 In this type of management system, subordinates are
motivated by rewards and a degree of involvement in
the decision-making process. Management will
constructively use subordinates' ideas and opinions.
However, involvement is incomplete, and major
decisions are still made by senior management. More
information flows from subordinates to management,
although it is incomplete and euphemistic.
Participative (group) system
 Management have complete confidence in their
subordinates/employees. Communication is free, and
subordinates are fully involved in decision making.
Subordinates comfortably express opinions and engage
in teamwork. Teams are linked together by common
members. Likert calls people in more than one group
“linking pins”. Employees throughout the organisation
feel responsible for achieving the organisation’s
objectives. This responsibility is motivational,
especially as subordinates are offered economic
rewards for achieving organisational goals, which they
have participated in setting.
Likert’s suggestion for effective management
 The motivation to work must be fostered by
modern principles and techniques, and not by
the old system of rewards and threats.
 Employees must be seen as people who have
their own needs, desires and values.
Supportive relationships must exist within
each work group. These are characterized not
by actual support, but by mutual respect.
Liker’s Books
 New Ways of Managing Conflict 1976 (with Jane Gibson
 Human organization : its management and value (1967)
 New patterns of management (1961)
 Some applications of behavioral research (1957)
Biographical details:
"In Memoriam: Rensis Likert, 1903-1981". Leslie Kish (1982).
The American Statistician, Vol. 36, No. 2: pp. 124–12
 Brewer, J. D. (1968). Review of The Human
Organization. American Sociological Review, 33(5),
 Effrat, A. (1968). Review: Democratizing and
Producing. Science, 162(3859), 1260-1261.
 Hall, J. W. (1972). A Comparison of Halpin and
Croft's Organizational Climates and Likert and
Liker's Organizational Systems. Administrative
Science Quarterly, 17(4), 586-590.
 Huczynski, A.A. and Buchanan, D.A. (2007).
Organizational Behaviour. 6th Edition, Pearson