Honory doctorates 2002

Dr. Rensis Likert

Honorary supervisor Prof. Dr. A. Oldendorff - 1967 - Faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen

Rensis Likert (Cheyenne, 1903 – Ann Arbor, 1981) was born in the American state of Wyoming, where his father was an engineer with the Union Pacific Railroad. After his education as an engineer. he went to work for this railway company.

Prof. dr. L. Likert

During the strike of 1922, he saw that the communication between the two parties was not going well. This impressed him so much that he started studying organizations and their behavior.

Likert studied sociology and psychology and was associated with the Institute of Social Research of the University of Michigan, where he wrote several books about management and styles of management. He is especially known for his research on management styles and for the development of the Likert scale, named after him, and the Linking Pin model.

Starting in 1932 (the year of his PhD), Rensis Likert developed the Likert scale, generally a written method to question and treat difficult-to-quantify data at the interval measurement level. The use of Likert scales is still very popular, especially in psychology and the social sciences. The books written by Likert were very popular in Japan from 1960 to 1970 and the impact they had can still be seen in Japanese organizations today.

At the time of his honorary doctorate, he already had three important book titles to his name, Some Applications of Behavioural Research (1957), New Patterns of Management (1961) and Human Organization (1967). A central aspect of his theories is that supervision of the employee is more productive than work-oriented supervision. The more work-oriented supervision, the less productive the employee.

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