From its inception, our country has recognized the important correlation between financial freedom and political freedom. It was absolutely clear to our founding fathers that without one the other would be doomed to failure as well. Therefore, while our founding fathers were signing the Declaration of Independence in 1776, Adam Smith was publishing his classic economic treatise entitled The Wealth of Nations (Robbins, p.68). While John Adams was laying the economic foundation for our fledgling nation by negotiating our first loan with France to finance our independence, Adam Smith himself was laying what would become one of the foundation blocks upon which the science of Organizational Behavior (OB) would be built. In 1789, while our new nation elected its first president, ratified 10 amendments to the Constitution, and elected a U.S. Congress that met for the very first time, Robert Owen changed the face of factory work as he implemented principles and theories in his factory that would become standard operating procedure for the factories in our country for years to come. In 1832 while our country was saying goodbye to the last of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence, Charles Babbage, in his book On The Economy of Machinery And Manufactures, built on the foundation of those who came before him by expounding on the theory of division of labor (p.69). These founding fathers of Organizational Behavior and the economics of a new Nation were as important to our survival as any of our political founding fathers were to our independence; for in order for us to survive, we needed not only political freedom but economic freedom as well.
Although the science of Organizational Behavior has changed through the years, its impact on our national economy and economic and political strength has remained steady. In fact, the need for an understanding of the science of organizational behavior is more important today than it was 200 years ago.