Winter Quarter, 2011
Dr. Kenneth C. Sherman, Professor
Everett Cordy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Student ID #: A00186883
This paper critically examines how human development theories can provide a useful framework for managing people in a knowledge-based organization. Specifically, the paper examines the underlying assumptions of Theory X and Theory Y, and their implications for managerial behavior. Other concepts such as the use of multiple intelligences in managing people in organizations is explored. The paper concludes that human development theories are useful in providing a framework for managing people in a knowledge-based organization.
Human Development Theories: A Framework for Managing People in a Knowledge-Based Organization
There are numerous theories on human development that have implications for managing
people in today’s knowledge-based organizations. Before we examine how human development
theories impact managing people in a knowledge-based organization, it is useful to review
significant theorists who have contributed to our knowledge of human development.
According to Malcolm Watson (2011), six major theories have had a pervasive impact
on the way we, both scientists and the general public, see ourselves. These theories are:
Sigmund Freud’s Psychodynamic Theory. The lectures discuss this theory, the earliest of the six, including such concepts as the Oedipus Complex and Freud’s five stages of psycho-sexual development. Although now widely disputed, Freudian thinking is deeply imbedded in our culture and constantly influences our view of human nature.
Erik Erikson’s Psycho-Social Theory. This is the theory that gave rise to the term "identity crisis." Erikson was the first to propose that the "stages" of human development spanned our entire lives, not just childhood. His ideas heavily influenced the study of personality development, especially in adolescence and adulthood.
John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth’s Integrated Attachment Theory. This was the first theory to focus primarily on the formation of parent-child relationships. It explains the connection between relationships that occur early in our lives and those that happen later, including romantic ones. Attachment theory has generated thousands of scientific studies, and has led to changes in many childcare policies, such as those allowing parents to stay with their children in hospitals.
Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory. This theory modified traditional learning theory developed by such behaviorists as B. F. Skinner, which was based on stimulus-response relationships. It considered learning to be no different among infants, children, adults, or even animals. Bandura’s approach is influential in such areas as the effect of media violence on children, and the treatment of problem behaviors and disorders.
Jean Piaget’s Cognitive-Developmental Theory. Piaget’s influence created a revolution in human development theory. He proposed the existence of four major stages, or "periods," during which children and adolescents master the ability to use symbols and to reason in abstract ways. This has been the most influential of the six major theories. In the 1970s and 1980s, it completely dominated the study of child development.
Lev Vygotsky’s Cognitive-Mediation Theory. Alone among the major theorists, Vygotsky believed that learning came first, and caused development. He theorized that learning is a social process in which teachers, adults, and other children form supportive "scaffolding" on which each child can gradually master new skills. Vygotsky’s views have had a large impact on educators. (Watson, 2011).
These theories have implications for management. Generally, an analysis of these