Bruce Gunn

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In existographies, Bruce Gunn (18- BE) (1937- ACM) (CR:5) (LH:#) (TL:#) is an American business, management, and marketing theorist, noted for []


In 1968, Gunn, in his “The Dynamic Synthesis Theory of Motivation”, a paper peer-reviewed by Ronald E. Jones (chemical engineering), Lee V. Mclean (electrical engineering), Leon C. Megginson (management), Stanley Preston (finance), Samuel H. Roy (statistics), and Roger A. Richardson (psychology), attempts to apply an admixture of physics principles, e.g. Chatelier principle, principle of least action, “flux and change” theory (Heraclitus, 475BC), relativity, magnetism, etc.,; electronic principles, e.g. a battery powering a lightbulb; architecture theory, e.g. "form must follow function", (Sullivan, 1896; Wright, 1920); with evolution theory, e.g. “drive for survival”, to formulate a model for understanding employee motivation, via what he calls the psychodynamics behind human motivation. The article is a semi-interesting attempt.


Quotes | Employed

The following are quotes employed:

“… which appear to operate in the sphere of human relations as well as in the physical universe. Every child knows that water runs downhill. From this and other observations scientists and engineers have learned that nature prefers to minimize effort; nature prefers the shortest path. The application of this principle in the field of economics …”
— Author (1962), “Article”[1]

Quotes | On

The following are quotes on Gunn:

“In Gunn’s paper proposes a framework for describing motivation of people within a business environment. He suggests that the universal principles of physics may be the most appropriate vehicle for gaining insight into the complex process of this type of human behavior.”
— Michael Brenner (1968), “Critique of: ‘The Dynamic Synthesis Theory of Motivation’” [2]

Quotes | By

The following are quotes by Gunn:

“The fact that the universe is in a constant state of flux, with matter constantly in motion, necessitates that ‘change’ by a prerequisite to an explanation of the complexities of life.”
— Bruce Gunn (1967), “The Dynamic Synthesis Theory of Motivation” (pg. 601)
“Scientists have observed that nature ‘chooses’ to minimize effort.[1] Since energy is the precious source of life, its expenditure naturally takes the path of least resistance. This tenant of physics is supported by Hamilton’s principle in mechanics and Fermat’s principle in optics.”
— Bruce Gunn (1967), “The Dynamic Synthesis Theory of Motivation” (pg. 603)
“Since human needs are insatiable, perhaps the key to unleashing man's enormous ‘potential energies’ lie and greater understanding of his total needs. Since our society provides a reasonably well for our primary needs, greater understanding of man's secondary needs should be emphasized, since these needs Seem to exemplify the greatest degree of insatiability. An analogy using the principle of relativity may illustrate this point. It is hypothesized that measuring or detecting the absolute motion of a body through space by physical experiment is impossible, I only relative motion can be detected, and this depends on the observer's motion. Similarly, an individual can estimate his relative security or position within his social environment only by comparing his relative social position against those of other members in the hierarchy of his social frame of reference.”
— Bruce Gunn (1967), “The Dynamic Synthesis Theory of Motivation” (pg. 605)
“Management's provisions for primary need serve as ‘bonding forces’ in integration of individuals into coordinated homogeneous groups within the total system, hopefully with a minimum of employee turnover.”
— Bruce Gunn (1967), “The Dynamic Synthesis Theory of Motivation” (pg. 606)

End matter


  1. 1.0 1.1 Author. (1962). “Article”; in: Organization Theory in Industrial Practice: a Symposium (editor: Mason Haire) (minimize, pg. 33). Wiley.
  2. Brenner, Michael E. (1968). “Critique of: ‘The Dynamic Synthesis Theory of Motivation’”, Management Science, 14(10): B-601-B-619, Jun.

External links

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