You are on page 1of 6

BUS 272 CH 1 notes

Organizational behaviour: impact that individuals, groups, and structure

have on behaviour within organizations for the purpose of applying such
knowledge toward improving an organizations effectiveness.
Organization: consciously coordinated social unit, composed of a group of
people, that functions on a relatively continuous basis to achieve a common
goal or set of goals,
The Building Blocks of OB
Figure 1-1, p. 7, Toward an OB Discipline
Psychology (individual)

Seeks to measure, explain and sometimes change the behaviour of

humans and other animals
Learning theorists, personality theorists, counselling psychologists, and
industrial and organizational psychologists
Looks at learning, perception, personality, emotions, training,
leadership effectiveness, needs and motivational forces, job
satisfaction, individual decision making, performance appraisal,
attitude measurement, employee selection techniques, work design,
and work stress

Social Psychology (group)


Blends concepts from psychology and sociology to focus on peoples

influence on one another
Communication, intergroup behaviour, power, and conflict

Sociology (group)

Studies people in relation to their social environment or culture.

Group behaviour in organizations, formal and complex organizations
Organizational culture and change, formal organizational theory and
structure, organizational technology, communication, power and

Anthropology (organization system)


Study of societies to learn about human beings and their activities

Fundamental values, attitudes, and behaviour between people in
different countries and within different organizations

Systematic study: looking at relationships, attempting to attribute causes

and effects, and basing our conclusions on scientific evidencethat is, on
data gathered under controlled conditions and measured and interpreted in a
reasonably rigorous manner
Figure 1-2, p. 10 Research Methods in OB
Field Studies:
- Data collected on-site
- Investigation generally involves observation of individuals and groups
- Data collected by combining and analyzing the findings of multiple
- Method permits stronger conclusions about hypothesis
Case Studies:
- Data collected through an in-depth investigation of an individual or a
group over time
- Methods used include direct observation, interviews, and document
- Data collected through questions
- Surveys usually conducted by phone, email, interview, or online
Laboratory Studies:
- Data collected in laboratory settings
- Sometimes difficult to generalize the findings to everyday settings
Evidence-based management (EBM)
Basing managerial decisions on the best available scientific evidence
Intuition: gut feelings, systematic study and EBM add to it.
Contingency approach: an approach taken by OB that considers behaviour
within the context in which it occurs. (depends on the situation in which it
Vocab that Im unfamiliar with:
Furloughed: similar to a layoff; an employer-required work stoppage,
temporary (weeks up to a month, usually); pay is often suspended during

this time, although the individual retains employment status with the
Contingent: an outsourced employee (e.g., individual from a professional
service firm, specialized expert, or business consultant)
Independent contractor: an entrepreneur in essence, but often a
specialist professional who does not aspire to create a business but who
provides services or goods to a company
Temporary: an individual who may be employed directly by the organization
or through an employment agency/temporary agency; generally does not
receive any company benefits and is not considered as part of the company,
short duration or as a trial position
Expatriate: an employee who is on extended international work
assignments with the expectation that he or she will return (repatriate) after
an established term, usually a year or more; either sent by corporate request
or out of self-initiated interest
short-term assignee: employee on international assignment for about 3-12
flexpatriate: employee travels for assignments usually 1-2 months
international business traveller: employee makes multiple short
international business trips for 1-3 weeks
benefits: health insurance plans, savings plans, retirements plans,
discounts, and other options
Responding to Globalization

Ever-changing global competitive environment means individuals and

organizations must become increasingly flexible by learning new skills,
new ways of thinking and new ways of doing business
Be aware of culture, customs, political relations, different regulations

Workforce Diversity: The mix of people in organizations in terms of gender

ace, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, age, and demographic
characteristics such as education and socio-economic status.
mix of generations, Baby Bloomer, Generation X, and Millennial groups
Globalization deals with differences among people from different countries,
workforce diversity is about people within given countries

Positive organizational scholarship (positive organizational

behaviour): An area of OB research that concerns how organizations
develop human strength, foster vitality and resilience, and unlock potential
- Key independent variables in positive OB research are engagement,
hope, optimism and resilience in the face of strain
- reflected best-self asking employees to think about situations in
which they were at their personal best, how to exploit their strengths
Ethical dilemmas and ethical choices: Situations in which individuals are
required to define right and wrong conduct
- blow the whistle
- follow orders which they personally disagree with?
- Inflated performance evaluation to an employee they like, knowing
evaluation could save employees job
- play politics to advance careers?
Ethics: The study of moral values or principles that guide our behaviour and
inform us whether actions are right or wrong
Coming Attractions: Developing an OB Model
Model: abstraction of reality, a simplified representation of some real-world
Figure 1-4, p. 21, Basic OB model
Inputs Processes Outcomes
Individual Level
- Diversity
- Personality
- Values

Individual Level
- Emotions and
- Motivation
- Perception
- Decision making

Group Level
- Group structure
- Group roles
- Team

Group Level
- Communication
- Leadership
- Power and
- Conflict and

Individual Level
- Attitudes and
- Task performance
- Citizenship
- Withdrawal
Group Level
- Group cohesion
- Group functioning

Organizational Level
- Structure
- Culture

Organizational Level
- Change practices

Organizational Level
- Productivity
- Survival

Input: Variables that lead to processes

- Variables like personality, group structure, organizational culture
- Many are determined in advance of employment relationship
- Ex. Individual diversity, personality etc. shaped by combination of an
individuals genetic inheritance and childhood environment
- Group structure, roles, typically assigned before/after group is formed
- Organizational structure and culture are usually the result of years of
development and change as organization adapts to its environment
and builds up customs and norms
Processes: Actions that individuals, groups, and organizations engage
in as a result of inputs and that lead to certain outcomes
Outcomes: Key factors that are affected by some other variables
Attitudes and Stress (outcomes)
Attitudes: Evaluations individuals make about objects, people, or
Stress: An unpleasant psychological process that occurs in response
to environmental pressures
Task performance: The combination of effectiveness and efficiency
at doing your core job tasks
Organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB): Discretionary
behaviour that is not part of an employees formal job requirements,
but hat nevertheless promotes the effective functioning of the

Withdrawal behaviour: The set of actions employees take to

separate themselves form the organization
Ex. Showing up late, failing to attend meetings to absenteeism and
Todays changing world of work, reasonable levels of employeeinitiated turnover improve organizational flexibility and employee
independence, and they can lessen the need for management-initiated

Group cohesion: The extent to which members of a group support and

validate one another while at work.
Group functioning: The quantity and quality of a work groups output
Productivity: The combination of the effectiveness and efficiency of an
Effectiveness: The degree to which an organization meets the needs of its
clientele or customers
Efficiency: The degree to which an organization can achieve its ends at a
low cost
Ex. Hospital is effective when it successfully meets the needs of its clientele.
It is efficient when it can do so at a low cost. If hospital manages to achieve
higher output from its present staff by reducing the average # of days a
patient is confined or increasing the number of staff-patient contacts per
day, hospital has gained productive efficiency.
Organizational survival: The degree to which an organization is able to
exist and grow over the long term
- Depends not only on how productive the organization is but how well it
fits in environment
Figure 1-6, p. 26, The Fundamentals of OB

OB considers the multiple levels in an organization: individual, group,

and organizational

OB is built from the wisdom and research of multiple disciplines,

including psychology, sociology, social psychology, and anthropology

OB takes a systematic approach to the study of organizational

phenomena. It is research-based

OB takes a contingency approach to the consideration of organizational

phenomena. Recommendations depend on the situation