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Introduction to
Organizational Behavior

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After studying this chapter, you
should be able to:

1. Define organizational behavior (OB).

2. Explain the value of the systematic study of OB.
3. Identify the contributions made to OB by major
behavioral science disciplines.
4. Describe how OB concepts can help make organizations
more productive.
5. List the major challenges and opportunities for
managers to use OB concepts.
6. Identify the three levels of analysis in OB.
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What is organizational behavior?

Organizational Behavior studies the influence that

individuals, groups and structure have on behavior
within organizations.

Its chief goal is to apply that knowledge toward

improving an organization’s effectiveness.

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From employees’ perspectives

From organizations’ perspectives

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What makes a good organization and what
makes a bad organization?

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Positive working atmosphere

Job satisfaction

Career development

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Human resource Strategic

development Management

Cross Core
culture competencies
- -
Managing Competitive
diversity advantage
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Human behavior is not random
OB – A Systematic Study
• Intuition: the “gut feeling” explanation of behavior.

…Fundamental consistencies...
To be identified and modified to reflect individual

Systematic study improves ability to accurately

predict behavior.

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Systematic Study
• Examines relationships.

• Attempts to attribute causes and effects.

• Bases conclusions on scientific evidence:

 On data gathered under controlled conditions.
 Data is measured and interpreted in a
reasonably rigorous manner.

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Evidence-Based Management

• Bases decisions on the best

available scientific evidence.

• Forces managers to become

more scientific in their

• Reduces problem solving

based on instinct

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Contributing Disciplines
to the OB Field

Social Psychology

Groups &
Organizations Anthropology

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Few Absolutes in OB
Human beings are complex and diverse
• Impossible to make simple and accurate

• OB concepts must reflect situational conditions:

contingency variables

Condition Behavior
Input “A”
“C” “B”

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Challenges and Opportunities
for OB
Challenges: (External + Internal)
• Globalization leads to international workplaces: a wide mix of
cultures, races, ethnic groups, genders and ages
• Employees have to learn to cope with rapid change due to global
• Corporate loyalty has decreased due to corporate downsizing and
use of temp workers

• Managers can benefit from OB theory and concepts to understand
their people and create a supporting working environment to gain
competitive advantage.

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Responding to Globalization
“It has been said that arguing against globalization is like arguing against
the laws of gravity” (Kofi Annan, 2000).

• Increased foreign assignments

 Differing needs and aspirations in

• Working with people from different cultures

 Domestic motivational techniques and
managerial styles may not work

• Overseeing movement of jobs to countries

with low-cost labor

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Managing Workforce

Workforce diversity:
Organizations are
becoming a more
heterogeneous mix of
people in terms of
gender, age, race,
ethnicity, and sexual

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Diversity Implications

“Managers have to shift their

philosophy from treating everyone
alike to recognizing differences and
responding to those differences in
ways that ensure employee
retention and greater productivity
while, at the same time, not

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Equal Opportunities vs.
Managing Diversity

• Moral concern for • Business case

social justice • Recruit, retain and
• Eliminating promote best people
discrimination and • Ignores conflicts
disadvantage and problems
• Assumes difference • Individual focus
is a problem
• Group based • Kirton and Greene

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Equal Opportunities Quiz

• Can an overweight person fall into the category of

• Can a dress code discriminate?
• Will employers be able to insist on retirement at 65?
• Do you think that an employer can discriminate against a
person with a disability without knowing about it?
• Is it sex discrimination to refuse to allow an employee to
work part time?
• Is an employer entitled to know about all your criminal

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OB Offers Insights Into:

• Improving quality and


• Customer service and building

a customer-responsive culture

• Developing people skills

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OB Aids in Dealing With:

• Stimulating Innovation and

• Increasing “temporariness” in
the workplace
• Helping employees balance
work-life conflicts
• Improving ethical behavior

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Thinking Positive

• Creating a positive work environment can be a

competitive advantage

• Positive Organizational Scholarship (Positive OB):

 Examines how organizations develop human strengths,
foster vitality and resilience, and unlock potential.
 Focus is on employee strengths, not their weaknesses.

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Three Levels of OB Analysis

Chapters 14 - 16

Chapters 8 - 13

Chapters 2 - 7

Plan of the Book

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Implications for Managers

• OB helps with:
 Insights to improve people skills
 Valuing of workforce diversity
 Empowering people and creating a
positive work environment
 Dealing with labor shortages
 Coping in a world of temporariness
 Creating an ethically healthy work

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Keep in Mind…

• OB’s goal is to understand and

predict human behavior in
• Fundamental consistencies underlie
• It is more important than ever to
learn OB concepts.
• Both managers and employees must
learn to cope with temporariness.

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Quote of the day

“As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't
supposed to ever let us down, probably will. You'll have your heart
broken and you'll break others' hearts. You'll fight with your best
friend or maybe even fall in love with them, and you'll cry because
time is flying by. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, forgive
freely, and love like you've never been hurt. Life comes with no
guarantees, no time outs, no second chances. you just have to live
life to the fullest, tell someone what they mean to you and tell
someone off, speak out, dance in the pouring rain, hold someone's
hand, comfort a friend, fall asleep watching the sun come up, stay up
late, be a flirt, and smile until your face hurts. Don't be afraid to take
chances or fall in love and most of all, live in the moment because
every second you spend angry or upset is a second of happiness you
can never get back.”
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