Assignment: Management Theory Timeline 

Open Pedagogy Assignments are assignments in which students use their agency and creativity to create knowledge artifacts that can support their own learning, their classmates’ learning, and the learning of students around the world. (See this peer-reviewed article for more details.) The assignment on this page is aligned to the learning outcomes of Organizational Behavior/Human Relations  and we’ve identified the module where the reading appears. All of the assignments can be created with a cell phone camera or any video recording device, Google or Word documents, and your learning management system.

Learning Objectives

  • Differentiate among Human Relations, General, and X &Y Theories

In the first module of the course, Introduction to Organizational Behavior, we discuss six different management theories that helped form the core management theories. For this assignment, you are going to work with a small group to summarize one theory and research key historical events in the United States that occurred during the time when the theory was formulated. There are many correct answers for this assignment, so aim to find an example that helps your audience understand a bit more about your assigned theory and the cultural context of when it was formed.

Use this list of questions to guide your response:

  1. In your own words, summarize on a Google Doc, or a similar online tool, why your theory is important to the study of organizational behavior. How would you define your theory in less than 250 words?
  2. What were two main events happening in the US when this theory was formed? You can cite political or social factors.
  3. How did this theory benefit managers of businesses at the time?
  4. How did this management theory help and/or hurt employees at the time?

A Note To Teachers: Your students in the first term will create definitions of the theories that other students can build from in the following terms. Encourage students to build a timeline that will help them see how larger cultural changes influenced management decisions. With their permission, you can upload the first term assignments into your course in order to show examples for the next term. The idea will be to have students generate content that other students can learn from with this assignment.


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