Delbert C. Miller

born:1913|died:1998|; Miller, Delbert C. (Delbert Charles), 1913-1998; Miller, Delbert Charles 1913-1998; Miller, Delbert C.

Delbert C. Miller (November 14, 1913 - June 23, 1998) was an American organizational theorist and Professor of sociology and business administration at Indiana University, Bloomington noted for his work on industrial sociology.


  • It is the big enterprises which occupy the strategic centers. Most small businessmen, independents, professionals and even farmers gain their livelihood largely as suppliers or as distributors for the large enterprises. It is the large enterprises which establish the price and wage policies of the nation. The pattern of union-management relations is set by the contracts drawn between big labor and big business. Governmental regulations grow up to harness and channel the economic power and practice of large enterprise. The personnel policies adopted by the large industry become the models for the entire industrial society.
    • Miller (1957) "Influence of technology on industry;" As cited in: Arthur G. Bedeian (1980). Organizations: Theory and Analysis : Text and Cases. p. 9. (1984: 8)
  • Industrial sociology faces a renaissance if the leaves of social change can be read correctly. The permissive freedom of the 1960s and 1970s is being curtailed by some harsh economic realities. Parents and students alike are seeking the economic promise of job guarantees when the students graduate. Liberal arts education is on the defensive. Such training must demonstrate it has vocational opportunity or can be converted to such opportunity by postgraduate training. Sociologists who have had the freedom to do their own thing for 20 to 30 years are being forced to make some agonizing appraisals. The entire field of sociology has been placed under scrutiny. The drastic cuts in research funding are only one index of the governmental depreciation of sociology and most other social sciences. The loss of sociology majors and enrollments is another index of student and parental lack of confidence in sociology as a good investment. Academic sociologists who have placed applied sociology in a second-rate category are beginning to recognize that research training of graduate students must turn to applied training or jobs will not be available for many, if not most, of their graduate students. In a similar manner, research funding and graduate fellowships will not be available unless this change is made.
    • Miller, Delbert C. "Whatever Will Happen to Industrial Sociology." The Sociological Quarterly 25.2 (1984): 251-256: Abstract.

Quotes about Delbert Miller

  • I find myself in complete agreement with Delbert Miller's argument that industrial sociology needs to be reestablished as a separate discipline-separate, that is, from organizational sociology, sociology of occupations, sociology of work, etc.
    • Schneider, Eugene V. "A Note on Delbert C. Miller's Paper: "Whatever Will Happen to Industrial Sociology"" The Sociological Quarterly 25.2 (1984): 261-65
  • As Miller and Form (1951) have suggested, the beginnings of industrial sociology as a specialized field within sociology can be traced to the Hawthorne experiments that took place at the Western Electric Company in Chicago between 1924 and 1927. Industrialization, which already had taken firm hold across Western society by the early 1900s, had given rise to a unique social form known as the bureaucracy or formal organization. Max Weber put organizational study "on the map," as it were, and by the time of his death in 1920 his work had laid the groundwork for the development of a full-blown research and theory agenda in bureaucracy and formal organization.
    • James J. Chriss, "Alvin W. Gouldner and industrial sociology at Columbia University." Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 37.3 (2001): 241-259.