Administrative Behavior

Political Science 4370-5370, Prof. Davis


Personality. David Keirsey has adapted a temperament sorter based on the psychology of Carl Jung . This Swiss physician studied and collaborated with Sigmund Freud, who began to revolutionize the study of the mind in the 1880s (Vienna and Archives ).  In his later years, Freud grew interested in the role of the ego. Erik Erikson was an ego theorist concerned with identity (and originated the now popular phrase of identity crisis). He believed people go through eight stages during their lives, identity being the third. Jean Piaget devised theories of child development.

Sociobiology , which is the application of biological principles to social and political behavior, is a theme of the course. Edward O. Wilson developed the theory. It holds that behavior is tied to human evolution and examines the origins of humankind. Research ties anthropology to primatology .


Motivation: Beginning a long line of scholars at the University of Chicago, Carl Rogers believed that a person wanted to actualize, that is fulfill him or herself. Taking this idea Abraham Maslow developed a hierarchy of needs. Today at the University of Chicago, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi continues the theme. Douglas McGregor used Maslow's hierarchy as the basis for his distinction between Theory X and Theory Y.  The new field of sports psychology concentrates on individual motivation.


Decision Making: A Gantt chart or a PERT chart schedules a project. The Society for Judgment and Decision-Making, the Center for Rationality and Interactive Decision Theory and the Society for Risk Analysis.


Small Groups. George Mead, another University of Chicago professor, believes people in groups (as small as two) interact symbolically. Erving Goffman   believes life is a performance. Many theories and insights on groups come from Peter Blau , Mancur Olson, Carl Rogers, and Irving, Janis, and address stages, roles non-verbal communications, grammar and groupthink.


Leadership. The Great Man theory of leadership, popularized by Thomas Carlyle, maintains that the man makes the history and not the other way around. Typical men are Moses, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Winston Churchill.  Political scientists like to hold up presidents like George Washington , Abraham Lincoln , and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Max Weber described charismatic leadership, which he took from theology, such as St. Paul's divine gift of persuasion and organization. A modern exemplar is Lech Walesa .


Power. Max Weber was the first to analyze the power of the bureaucracy. Following this line of analysis, Francis E. Rourke identified four sources: a grateful constituency (Social Security Administration), expertise (National Institutes of Health), organizational esprit (US Marine Corps) and leadership. Policy entrepreneurs like Ralph Nader and David Brower can become powerful, even without formal authority.


Conflict and Negotiation. The Carter Center at Emory University devotes its efforts to managing conflict. In general it is a dynamic field with universities, professional associations and for profit companies like Harvard, the American Management Association, and the Negotiation Skills Company. 

Consultants are active in organizational development, which brings change to the entire organization, not just a few leaders. One company is Partners in Excellence. The original Outward Bound program has inspired many who believe that outdoor adventures build teamwork.


Writing: The course is one of six featured in the WAC Stack. Go to Course Information, to Selected Course Descriptions, to PSC 4/537.  Students should use the UT Writing Center by making an appointment.  The class will use free writing to learn material and to stimulate our thoughts. This is an exercise where everyone simply scribbles away for five or ten minutes as fast as possible.  It is much like answering a question on an examination.  This is to be an essay, not an outline.  Each essay should have a title, your name and the date.  Sometimes we will hand them in and sometimes we will simply keep them for our journals.  After we write in class, we often will form groups of four or five and read to each other.  One rule is that we all take turns reading our paragraphs before we discuss them. Sigmund Freud derived his psychoanalytic technique of free association from a version of free writing.

The author of the textbook, Toby Fulwiler. The best book ever written on writing. Writing centers at Purdue, Texas, Illinois, North Carolina, and SUNY Albany.  Resources from Cleveland  and Idaho. How to copy edit. US government Plain Language .


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Last Updated: 6/17/14