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COMM 151 Lecture Notes - Depersonalization, Flextime, Conscientiousness

Course Code
COMM 151
Christopher Miners

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Week 1:
A Short History of Organizational Behavior
Turn of the 20th century
Goods were often produced by skilled craftsmen from beginning to end
Accumulation of resources and technology but labour productivity was
Early 1900s
Rapid industrialization and factory work
“What can we do to get workers to do more in less time?”
Scientific Management/ Taylorism
1. High degree of specialized procedures  assembly line
2. Routinized procedures  very specific instructions on how to complete the work
3. Concentrate decision making in upper management
Some of the principles of Taylorism are still used today: Big mac  modern day example
of taylorism
What are the shortcomings of Taylorism?
Repetitive work is boring and incompatible with peoples desire to
develop new skills and to experience the accompanying sense of
When tasks are specialized, people lose sight of the significance of their
Strict rules can lead people to do the bare minimum or even rebel
1920s and 1930s
Human Relations: “What social factors influence the behaviour of
Hawthorne studies on the effects of interventions on performance
Hawthorne Plants of Western Electric Company (Chicago, 1927)
Initial conditions: 48 hours/week (Monday-Saturday, 9-5), no breaks
The study showed that productivity increased as more breaks were added and
improvments were made to working conditions. However, even when all of the
improvements were taken away, productivity of workers still improved. When they asked
the workers why this happened, the response was that the workers were happy to work
hard for people who treated them well and listened to them and paid attention to them.
Study showed: Happy to work hard for people who treat them well
Question: Why did performance increase even when all improvements were taken
Answer: Workers responded favourably to the special attention they were
The study demonstrates importance of psychological factors at work.

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The Contingency Approach: If… then…
There is no one best way to manage
What constitutes appropriate management depends on the situation
Contingency: different approaches based on different situations : more specific and
sophisticated .
Organizational Behaviour is the field of behavioural science that examines how
individuals act, think, and feel in organizations by studying individual and group
Session 3:
How do you motivate workers?
Who are the best performers on the job?
The most intelligent people?
The most friendly people?
The most extraverted people?
Or none of the above?
When we talk about motivation, we need to take a long-term perspective. Things that
may motivate people in the short run (like fear) may not be effective in the long run.
Theories of Motivation
Equity Theory
Goal Setting Theory
Job Characteristics Model
Motivation is the extent to which persistent effort is directed toward a goal (p.
The video is about factors that motivate workers to stay with the company
Note the techniques that companies use to motivate workers
Casual dress
More vacation
Discounted/ free products
Daycare on site
Flexible work hours

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Personal Growth
Challenging work
Limited supervision
Novel work
Proactive management
Career management
* If an employee is underpaid, they will not be motivated. However if an employee is
paid a competitive salary, throwing more and more money at them will not increase
motivation. If an employee is paid within 5-10% of a fair salary, employees will look to
these other factors.
Equity Theory
Equity theory (pp. 160-162): Employees compare the inputs they invest in a job
and the outcomes they receive from the job to the inputs and the outcomes of
other workers  fairness matters to us
Example: Your performance is very high, and your salary is $85 000. Your co-workers
performance is high and their salary is $95 000. How do you feel what will you do?
Feel underappreciated and cheated
You may not work as hard
You may approach management
You may resign
Most people in this situation just stop working hard. They don’t want to leave or
approach management out of fear. They may believe that the organization doesn’t
have the resources to pay them so instead they decrease productivity.
How will your co-worker feel, what will they do?
May feel happy because they don’t have to do much but they get paid well
May decrease productivity as they realize pay is not linked with performance
May do nothing
* Most people in this situation will come up with reasons why they do deserve the extra
pay. This is because people like to have a positive view of ourselves, so we develop a
self-serving bias. (95% of people believe they are above average). Therefore, this person
will not experience an increase in motivation. High salary does not lead to an increase in
motivation, and this is exactly why.
Goal Setting Theory
Goal-setting theory (pp. 162-167): Employees are motivated to attain goals when
those goals are:
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