Management Seminars: Todd Bridgman (Victoria University of Wellington)
Todd Bridgman (Victoria University of Wellington)
G.15, 15-19 Tyndall's Park Road, BRISTOL BS8 1PQ
A shocking omission? The curious absence of Milgram’s obedience experiments from organizational behaviour textbooks
The experiments conducted by Stanley Milgram in the 1960s, which measured the willingness of participants to obey an authority figure and administer what they thought were electric shocks to a stranger, have contributed greatly to an understanding of obedience, the social mechanisms that cause it, as well as its potentially devastating consequences. The experiments are covered extensively in introductory textbooks in social psychology, a field from which organization behaviour draws heavily from. However, they are largely absent from OB textbooks, despite Milgram’s explanations for why people obey being of great relevance to understanding human dynamics at work. In this seminar I consider the purposes and interests served by that absence and make the case for why management and organization studies needs Milgram more than ever before.