Western Libraries

Biography - Rensis Likert (1903 - 1981)

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The purpose of this brief guide is to direct you quickly to the books and articles by Rensis Likert that are available here at the University of Western Ontario. Likert was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He received his doctorate from Columbia and later became the Director of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. For additional biographical material, see the following books: Developments in Management Thought, Harold R. Pollard (HD30.5.P64), and the same author's Further Developments in Management Thought, (HD30.5.P643 1978); Great Ideas in Management: Lessons from the Founders and Foundations of Managerial Practice, W. Jack Duncan (HD30.5.D86 1989) - see "Likert and the System Four Organization", p. 190-193 and the material on the "linking-pin concept" that is found on p. 216-217; Great Writers on Organizations, Derek Pugh and David Hickson (DBW stack HM131.P74 1993); see also the chapter on Likert in Kennedy's Guide to the Management Gurus... (HD30.5.K45 1998). Articles about Likert can be found by searching the print indexes and abstracts found in the Business Library and by using electronic databases. For advice and/or assistance, consult with a staff member or send an email to busref@lib.uwo.ca. A sample article that places Likert with others who are important in the history of OD: "Perspectives: The Emergence and Early History of Organization Development: With Reference to Influences on and Interaction Among Some of the Key Actors", by Wendell L. French in Group & Organization Studies: An International Journal, Vol.7, No.3, September 1982, p.261.

Update: 2008. We recently noticed this useful article in the 2005 Proceedings of CHARM - the Conference on Historical Analysis and Research in Marketing, Vol. 12, 2005.
See: "Likert Scales: A History," by Diane R. Edmondson, p.127.
"This article examines the origin of what is now known as the "Likert Scale". The two defining articles by Rensis Likert are discussed as well as several weaknesses not originally mentioned. A detailed literature review examining all articles written in the Journal of Marketing that utilized at least one Likert scale was completed. Finally several future research ideas are discussed"

Books in the Western Libraries by Rensis Likert
(in reverse chronological order)

New Ways of Managing Conflict, HD38.L48 1976

The Human Organization: Its Management and Value, DBW stack HD31.L425 1967

Public Opinion and the Individual: A Psychological Study of Student Attitudes on Public Questions With a Re-Test Five Years Later, HM261.M87 1967

The Institute of Social Research of the University of Michigan: Two Papers Describing the Origins, History and Present Organizational Life of the Institute, H67.M54 1965
(Pt. 1: "The University Setting" is by Likert; Pt.2: "The Internal Organization" is by Stanley Seashore.)

New Patterns of Management, DBW stack HD31.L429 1961

Some Applications of Behavioural Research, DBW stack H83.L5 1957
(edited with Samuel P. Hayes)


Selected Journal Articles by Likert Available in the Western Libraries

(in reverse chronological order)

"A Simple and Reliable Method of Scoring the Thurstone Attitude Scales," Personnel Psychology, V.46, No.3, Aut. 1993, p.689.  BUSPER (This is a shortened version of an article first published in the Journal of Social Psychology, in 1934. See the next-to-last entry below.)

"System 4: A Resource for Improving Public Administration", Public Administration Review, Vol.41, No.6, Nov/Dec. 1981, p.674.

"An Improvement Cycle for Human Resource Development," Training and Development Journal,Vol. 32, No.7, July 1978, p.16.

"A Method for Coping with Conflict in Problem-Solving Groups," Group and Organization Studies, Vol.3, No.4, Dec. 1978, p.427.

"MBGO - Putting Some Teams Spirit into MBO", Personnel, Vol. 54, No.1, Jan/Feb 1977, p.40.

"Improving Cost Performance With Cross-Functional Teams", The Conference Board Record, Vol. 12, No.9, Sept. 1975, p. 51.

"Human Resource Accounting - Building and Assessing Productive Organization," Personnel, Vol. 50, No.3, May/June 1973, p.8.

"Improving the Accuracy of P/L Reports by Estimating the Change in Dollar Value of the Human Organization," Michigan Business Review, Vol. 25, No.2, March 1973, p.15. ARCC HF5001.M6

"Organizational Theory and Human Resource Accounting," American Psychologist, Vol.24, No.6, 1969, p.585.

"Testimony Before the Senate Committee on Government Research of the Committee on Government Operations: A Bill to Create a National Foundation for the Social Sciences," American Psychologist, Vol.22, No.11, 1967, p.943.

"Making Cost Control Work," Harvard Business Review, Vol. 41, No.6, 1963, p.96.

"Cooperation Among Statistical and Other Societies: Presidential Address," Journal of the American Statistical Association, Vol.56, No.293, Mar 1961, p.1.

"The Dual Function of Statistics: Presidential Address," Journal of the American Statistical Association, Vol.55, No.289, March, 1960, p.1.

"Effective Supervision: An Adaptive and Relative Process," Personnel Psychology, Vol.11, 1958, p.317.

"A Psychological Foundation for a Modified Theory of Management," Acta Psychologica, Vol.11, 1955, p.170.

"Motivation: The Core of Management", American Management Association - Personnel Series, No.155, 1953, p.3.

"Standards for Appraising Psychological Research," American Psychologist, Vol.4, No.8, 1949, p.320.

"Public Opinion Polls: Why Did They Fail?", Scientific American, Vol.179, No.6, 1948, p.7.

"Opinion Studies and Government Policy," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 92, 1948, p.341.

"The Polls: Straw Votes or Scientific Instruments?", American Psychologist, Vol.3, 1948, p.556.

"Kurt Lewin: A Pioneer in Human Relations Research," Human Relations, Vol.1, 1947, p. 131.

"Relationship Between Consumer Expenditures and Savings: The Contribution of Survey Research", in "Five Views on the Consumption Function," The Review of Economic Statistics, Vol.28, No.4, Nov. 1946, p.197

"Psychologist's Services in the Field of Agriculture," Journal of Consulting Psychology, Vol.6, 1942, p.65.

"The Revised Minnesota Paper Form Board Test," Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol.28, 1937, p.197.

"A Method for Measuring the Sales Influence of a Radio Program," Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 20, 1936, p.175

"A Study of the Attitude of 800 citizens of New York City Toward the Payment of the Bonus," Psychological Bulletin, Vol.32, 1935, p.577.

"What Psychology Can Contribute to Industrial Stability," Mechanical Engineering, Vol.56, 1934, p.203.

"A Multiple Choice Revision of the Minnesota Paper Form Board Test," Psychological Bulletin, Vol.31, 1934. p.674.

"A Simple and Reliable Method of Scoring the Thurstone Attitude Scales," Journal of Social Psychology, Vol.5, 1934, p.228.

"A Technique for the Measurement of Attitudes," Archives of Psychology, No.140, 1932, p.55. DBWPER (microfiche) BF21.A7