In the short history of organizational research, one important point of view is often called the Carnegie school. We are that Carnegie school. The history of organizational research at Carnegie Mellon is one of pathbreaking, highly influential, interdisciplinary research that has fundamentally altered how scholars think about organizations. In 1958, James March and Herbert Simon published Organizations, a book that fundamentally influenced how everyone thinks about organizations and established the foundation for the Carnegie School. Simon won the 1978 Nobel Prize in Economics for this work on decision making and his works on various fields can be found in his exclusive collection page at Carnegie Mellon Library. In 1963, Richard Cyert and James March published A Behavioral Theory of the Firm, which is a second central work defining the problem solving, decision-making perspective on organizations characteristic of the Carnegie school. Concepts such as routines, learning, programmed behavior and many others began here at Carnegie Mellon. Oliver Williamson, as a graduate student here, began developing his ideas on transaction cost economics working with these scholars and in this tradition. At the same time, a Carnegie faculty member, Victor Vroom, published the first clear statement on expectancy value models of motivation, Work and Motivation. Vroom and Yetton's theory of leadership decision making also reflects the influence of Carnegie Mellon on Vroom and our field.
This statement of the past provides the context for the present and future. The style of research, which combines theorizing, empirical observation and an interdisciplinary style, was and continues to thrive and prosper at Carnegie Mellon. The current organization group provides intellectual leadership in areas such as groups, learning, networks, and employment relationships. Our future is defined in part by the contributions our graduates have and will make in the organizational field. Some examples include the work of Max Bazerman (Harvard - Negotiations), Ed Conlon (Notre Dame, former editor of the Academy of Management Review), and Jeff Edwards (North Carolina, Methodological Innovations and editor of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes). A description of our graduates is found in the “alumni” section.
The program combines structure and flexibility. Structure is achieved by identifying a set of core areas in which the student should become competent. These areas include organizational behavior and theory, quantitative methods, research design and measurement, and a selected specialty area. From work in organizational theory, students gain a broad overview of the contemporary issues and research problems in the field. The core studies in organizational behavior and theory also include an understanding of the theoretical and empirical work in one of the basic fields underlying current research in organizations such as social psychology, sociology, or such areas in basic psychology as motivation, learning, and cognition. Students are also expected to develop competence in statistics and data analysis strategies. The goal is to promote mastery of tools that will enable the researcher to ask and answer new questions about organizational problems.