There has been a long tradition in the academic study of management that considers what makes people engage in work. In my sub-field of organizational behavior, this idea of motivation is one of the most important topics of research. The classic Theories X and Y (McGregor & Cutcher-Gershenfeld, 1960) consider the nature of people when it comes to engaging in tasks.
Over the past several weeks, I’ve been working on co-editing a three-book series on leadership. The first book focuses on leadership theory. Thus, I’ve recently been reflecting on the importance of theory in academia.