Daniel Katz

American psychologist (1903-1998)

Daniel Katz (July 19, 1903February 28, 1998) was an American psychologist, Emeritus Professor in Psychology at the University of Michigan and an expert on organizational psychology.

Quotes edit

  • Racial prejudice is thus a generalized set of stereotypes of a high degree of consistency which includes emotional responses to race names, a belief in typical characteristics associated with race names, and an evaluation of such traits.
    • Daniel Katz and K.W. Braly (1935) "Racial prejudice and racial stereotypes". Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology. p. 191-2 Cited in: Mark P. Zanna, James M. Olson (1994) The Psychology of Prejudice. p. 16
  • Value-expressive attitudes not only give clarity to the self-image but also mold the self-image closer to the heart’s desire.
    • Daniel Katz (1960). "The functional approach to the study of attitudes". In: Public opinion quarterly, 24 (1960). p. 173
  • An organization which depends solely upon its blueprints of prescribed behavior is a very fragile social system.
    • Daniel Katz (1964) ""The motivational basis of organizational behavior". In: Behavioral science, 1964. p. 132

The Social Psychology of Organizations (1966) edit

Daniel Katz & Robert L. Kahn (1966), The Social Psychology of Organizations. 2d ed. 1978.

  • Social organizations are flagrantly open systems in that the input of energies and the conversion of output into further energy input consists of transactions between the organization and its environment.
    • p. 16-17
  • The aims of social science with respect to human organizations are like those of any other science with respect to the events and phenomena of its domain. Social scientists wish to understand human organizations, to describe what is essential in their form, aspects, and functions.
    • 18
  • System theory is basically concerned with problems of relationships, of structure, and of interdependence rather than with the constant attributes of objects. In general approach it resembles field theory except that its dynamics deal with temporal as well as spatial patterns. Older formulations of system constructs dealt with the closed systems of the physical sciences, in which relatively self-contained structures could be treated successfully as if they were independent of external forces. But living systems, whether biological organisms or social organizations, are acutely dependent on their external environment and so must be conceived of as open systems
    • p. 22
  • The homeostatic principle does not apply literally to the functioning of all complex living systems, in that in counteracting entropy they move toward growth and expansion.
    • p. 23
  • The open system approach to organizations is contrasted with common-sense approaches, which tend to accept popular names and stereotypes as basic organizational properties and to identify the purpose of an organization in terms of the goals of its founders and leaders.
    The open system approach, on the other hand, begins by identifying and mapping the repeated cycles of input, transformation, output, and renewed input which comprise the organizational pattern. This approach to organizations represents the adaptation of work in biology and in the physical sciences by von Bertalanffy and others.
    • p. 33
  • Traditional organizational theories have tended to view the human organization as a closed system. This tendency has led to a disregard of differing organizational environments and the nature of organizational dependency on environment. It has led also to an over-concentration on principles of internal organizational functioning, with consequent failure to develop and understand the processes of feedback which are essential to survival.
    • p. 34
  • The concept of leadership has an ambiguous status in organizational practice, as it does in organizational theory. In practice, management appears to be of two minds about the exercise of leadership. Many jobs are so specified in content and method that within very broad limits differences among individuals become irrelevant, and acts of leadership are regarded as gratuitous at best, and at worst insubordinate
    • p. 300
  • The employee-oriented supervisor, in contrast to the production-oriented, or institution-oriented supervisor gives major attention to creating employee motivation. The specific ways in which he does this may vary from situation to situation, but they contribute to a supportive personal relationship between himself and his work group members
    • p. 562

Quotes about Daniel Katz edit

  • Katz and Kahn's (1966) The Social Psychology of Organizations has been the most influential. It remains one of the most widely read texts on organizational behaviour. Katz and Kahn develop a perspective in which the systems metaphor is used to mediate approaches as diverse as Marxism, human relations and event-structure theory.... In the synthesizing of structural-functionalism with the principles of general systems theory, Katz and Kahn develop a process model for interpreting organizational actions in terms of input, throughput and output. Their thesis revolves around the notion that formal social systems are homoeos- tatic, possessing qualities of negative entropy, feedback, differentiation and equifinality.
    • John Hassard (1995) Sociology and Organization Theory: Positivism, Paradigms and Postmodernity. p. 45-46
  • In the most general sense, organizational psychology is the scientific study of individual and group behavior in formal organizational settings. Katz and Kahn, in their classic work, The Social Psychology of Organizations (1978), stated that the essence of an organization is “patterned” human behavior. When behavior is patterned, some structure is imposed on individuals. This structure typically comes in the form of roles (normative standards governing behavior) as well as a guiding set of values. An organization cannot exist when people just “do their own thing” without any awareness of the behavior of others.
    • Steve M. Jex, ‎Thomas W. Britt (2002). Organizational Psychology: A Scientist-Practitioner Approach. John Wiley & Sons, p. 2

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