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Glassdoor Remembers Harry Levinson, Progressive Workplace Psychologist

As a company dedicated to workplace transparency, Glassdoor is taking a moment to pay tribute to Harry Levinson, a famed workplace psychologist who helped change corporate America’s thinking about the workplace by demonstrating a link between job conditions and emotional health. Levinson died last week at the age of 90.

Levinson was truly an inspirational trailblazer when it comes to relationships within the workforce. Among his accomplishments as a management consultant, researcher and Harvard professor, Levinson pioneered the idea that a ‘psychological contract’ exists between employees and employers, laying out the expectations each has of the other. He argued that management must acknowledge the needs and desires that employees invest in their relationship with an organization in order to maintain employee motivation. Violation of that contract would lead to demoralization and poor performance, whereas a thorough understanding of employee expectations could facilitate career growth and maturation. Such sensitivity to the needs of workers is particularly important in our contemporary global economy of volatility, downsizing and reengineering.

Levinson was also among the first to propose the idea that companies, like people, have distinct personalities, or cultures, that grow out of their history, vision and characteristics of their workforce. This is something we see every day through the millions of company reviews and interview reviews on Glassdoor.

We are deeply grateful for Mr. Levinson’s contributions to workplace psychology and for helping us realize the power behind sharing company culture to help others attain as much satisfaction and success as possible in their own careers. Here at Glassdoor it keeps us focused on our mission to become the world’s most trusted resource to help people make more informed decisions about their work.