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The Sherifs’ contributions to management research

Furkan Amil Gur (Department of Management, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, USA)
Benjamin D. McLarty (Department of Management and Information Systems, Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi, USA)
Jeff Muldoon (School of Business, Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas, USA)

Journal of Management History

ISSN: 1751-1348

Article publication date: 10 April 2017




Muzafer and Carolyn Wood Sherif are among the founders of social psychology. Their theoretical and empirical findings made important contributions to the management literature. This paper aims to attempt to underline these contributions and highlights the Sherifs’ interdisciplinary work and their impact on management research specifically.


Using a citation content analysis, the influence of the Sherifs on management research is detailed by examining how their work has contributed to research published in top management journals.


The Sherifs’ work has influenced numerous research streams related to organisational groups, social norms, assimilation contrast theory and a combination of various other topics. Additionally, these works helped originate team and workgroup research in organisation theory.


This is the first manuscript of its type to examine the influence of the Sherifs on management research. Their story is a testament to the impact that social psychology researchers have had in developing modern thought about organisational issues. This work also addresses potential areas for future research building on the Sherifs’ work.



Gur, F.A., McLarty, B.D. and Muldoon, J. (2017), "The Sherifs’ contributions to management research", Journal of Management History, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 191-216.



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