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David Lilienthal and Tennessee Valley Authority

Chapter 2 is entitled "David Lilienthal and the Tennessee Valley Authority" by Hargrove. This chapter presented David Lilienthal's leadership type and discusses how he developed this style. In summary, Lilienthal believed that the effectiveness of an organization was dependent on public support and participation. This "grass-roots democracy" was the core of his belief system and leadership style. These methods led to TVA becoming a stable identity which allowed for its survival.

Hargrove points out that Lilienthal was a writer and a speaker and was devoted not only to becoming a great leader, but to influencing others with his beliefs. He had a desire to be unique and contribute in a unique manner. He kept a journal which provided ongoing examples of his level of enthusiasm and commitment to this purpose. He enjoyed and understood the need for a fight. He wanted to be acknowledged and assisted by other great leaders. He was ambitious and combative.

Following this description of Lilienthal, the chapter presents a description of TVA. The TVA Act resulted in the authority to "build dams, generate and sell power, improve navigation and flood control, manufacture fertilizer, and assist agricultural development" (p 29). President Roosevelt appointed Arthur E. Morgan as chairman of the TVA board and stipulated that two other board members be expert in agriculture and power. Lilienthal was one of these two members, and H.A. Morgan was the other. A. E. Morgan was an engineer who wanted to try new ideas. His experiments tended to be rejected but his ideas left legacies such as the rational that professionals are guiding forces rather than political entities. H. A. Morgan was a land grant college administrator and dean of agriculture, who had accumulated knowledge regarding the introduction of new ideas to farmers. He modernized southern agriculture, helping farmers to change unproductive habit


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David Lilienthal and Tennessee Valley Authority. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:35, April 13, 2024, from