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
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
What are the shortcomings of Taylorism?
Repetitive work is boring and incompatible with people’s 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 (MondaySaturday, 95), 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. Today
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
Organizational Behaviour is the field of behavioural science that examines how
individuals act, think, and feel in organizations by studying individual and group
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 longterm perspective. Things that
may motivate people in the short run (like fear) may not be effective in the long run.
Theories of Motivation
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
▯Discounted/ free products
▯Daycare on site
▯Flexible work hours
▯Telecommuting Personal Growth
* 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 510% of a fair salary, employees will look to
these other factors.
Equity theory (pp. 160162): 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 coworkers
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 coworker 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
selfserving 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
Goalsetting theory (pp. 162167): Employees are motivated to attain goals when
those goals are:
Challenging Goals are most effective when accepted by workers or, even better, when workers
are actively involved in setting them
Goals are most effective with frequent feedback
▯if you have helped set the goal, you have a sense of ownership and responsibility are
more likely to achieve it.
▯it also helps if the goal is public as it makes you responsible to not only yourself to
achieve it, but all of the people who know about your goal.
Job Characteristics Model
Skill Variety: the more skills required to complete the task, the more challenging the work
is. Challenging work improves motivation.
Task identity: your involvement in a project from start to finish. If you are involved from
start to finish you get more ownership and this improves motivation.
Task significance: your jobs impact on others both inside and outside the industry. If you
feel good about the work your doing this improves motivation
*the more these core job characteristics are present in your work, the more likely it is you
will be motivated by the work itself.
Principles of job design Core job characteristics
Combine jobs enabling worker to perform Skill variety, task identity
Establish client relationships allowing Feedback from jobs, task identity,
providers of a service to meet the recipients Autonomy Allow greater responsibility and control Autonomy
Performance is the extent to which an employee contributes to achieving the
objectives of the organization (p. 148)
Task Performance ▯job description
Organizational Citizenship Behavior a ▯ ctivities that are not part of you
job, but are activities that help the organization succeed (i.e. helping a
Counterproductive Work Behavior ▯opposite of organizational citizenship
behavior; purposeful activities that harm the organization. (i.e. showing up
late, sabotaging a colleague)
The dimension(s) that contribute most to assessments of overall job performance
vary from one manager to the next (Rotundo & Sackett, 2002)
This is what they did:
Assume each employee has three years of work experience and a tenure of one
year with their current organization
Please rate the overall job performance of each employee on the following scale
Retail cashier. Rob rarely ever makes errors when receiving money and issuing
change to customers in payment for goods (High task performance). He always
attends functions that promote the well being of the store. (High organizational
citizenship behaviour) He never gossips about other cashiers. (Low
counterproductive work behaviour)
Accountant. Chris sometimes spreads false rumours about coworkers. (Moderate
counterproductive work behaviour) He always makes constructive suggestions
about how to improve the organization. (High organizational citizenship
behaviour) He sometimes makes errors when preparing profit and loss statements.
(Moderate task performance)
Machine operator. Michelle always demonstrates knowledge about other
machines. (High task performance) She sometimes helps other coworkers check
the setup or inspect the finished product for flaws. (Moderate organizational
citizenship) She never blames other coworkers for her mistakes. (Low level of
What they found: most managers fall into one of three categories. Three types of managers
Task performance dominates
Counterproductive performance dominates
Task and counterproductive performance weighed equally
*Organizational citizenship behavior often goes unnoticed. Often because managers are
given very strict guidelines on how to asses employees.
Who are the strongest performers?
Individuals who score high on IQ tests ▯b/c you learn faster, perform
better on their own
Individuals who score high on EI tests b▯ /c you deal with your own
emotions better (i.e. stress), good with managing other peoples emotions,
also, it helps to be well liked
Conscientious individuals ▯set high goals, plan ahead, work hard; this will
always benefit you.
How about extraverts?
They are good performers, especially in managerial and sales jobs
How about friendliness?
Agreeableness is associated with job performance, but less so than
conscientiousness, or any of the other personality traits we’ve gone
Pay can be a powerful source of motivation when it is tied to job performance
Production jobs: Piecerate
o Increased productivity ▯about 3070% o Decreased turnover ▯ b/c if you can produce more and earn more, you will
be less inclined to leave the organization
o Lowered quality ▯people are more focused on quantity not quality
o Differential opportunity ▯when two workers to not have equal opportunity
by no fault of their own (i.e a worker who gets to use new equipment vs.
o Reduced cooperation ▯people are more selfish; if you help a colleague it
is literally money out of your pocket
o Incompatible job design ▯group work doesn’t support individual
o Restriction of productivity ▯way back when piece rate systems were
introduced, and people were fired (unions)
Professional and managerial jobs: it is called Merit pay
Merit pay is useful when implemented effectively; about 80% of
companies do not implement it effectively, therefore the benefits are
limited (i.e., a missed opportunity)
Low discrimination ▯managers are given very blunt, vague instruments to
grade employees (i.e. 15 scale); so managers give everyone about the
same bonuses: this means you are underrewarding your good performers
and over rewarding your bad performers ▯equity theory.
Pay secrecy ▯pay is kept secret, so even if company is doing a good job
linking pay to performance, employees will not be able to compare
themselves to others, and therefore they will not know if they are really
being rewarded for their performance. ▯this almost undoes it all.
Job Satisfaction and Stress
Job satisfaction is an attitude about one’s job
How is job satisfaction measured?
(1 = Strongly disagree, 7 = Strongly agree)
1. I feel fairly satisfied with my present job. _______
2. Most days I am enthusiastic about my work. _______
3. Each day of work seems like it will never end. _______
4. I find real enjoyment in my work. _______
5. I consider my job rather unpleasant. _______
What predicts job satisfaction? Job performance ▯when pay is tied with performance b/c if good job
performance goes unrewarded, it can be frustrating and this can be
detrimental to job satisfaction.
Adequate compensation ▯do you get what you deserve?
Challenging work ▯work that requires a wide range of skills, and work
Satisfying social relationships ▯if you like the people with whom you
work, you will be excited to go to work. Also, in respect to networking.
Good relationships with people who can help you get what you want.
Personality traits ▯can predispose you to whether or not you have job
What predicts job satisfaction?
Distributive fairness ▯this is the application of equity theory.
Getting what you deserve, and others getting what they deserve.
Procedural fairness ▯this is about the process that was used to
determine distributive fairness. For example, performance review
system must be thorough and fair. If something is procedurally fair
it has the following characteristics.
1. Applied consistently across people and over time.
2. Use of accurate information
3. Processes allow for twoway communication
4. Processes allow for appeals
Interactional fairness ▯present when employees believe they have
received respectful and informative information about an outcome.
Even if the first two forms of fairness are present, if there is no
interactional fairness, it can undo it. ▯it is critical.
What does job satisfaction predict?
Weak relation with task performance ▯it is a weak relation because
sometimes people will perform well even if they don’t like their job
(maybe the economy is bad and they don’t want to leave, maybe they like
the area and have family there etc.). Also sometimes people may like their
jobs, but other things like IQ, EI etc. contribute to performance.
Moderate relation with customer satisfaction and turnover intentions ▯ this
is because of emotional contagion (the idea that you can “catch” emotions
from people: if you are happy, customers will catch your happiness). Also,
if you are satisfied with your job you are less likely to leave.
Strong relation with organizational citizenship behavior ▯if you like your
job you will be a better organizational citizen.
Model of an emotion:
1. Event (car approaching)
2. Appraisal (danger) 3. Emotion (fear)
4. Physiology (sweaty palms), facial expression, action tendencies (run away),
cognitive tendencies (focus on threat), subjective feeling (“I feel scared”)
Positive emotions predict longevity (i.e., health)
180 Catholic nuns
Handwritten autobiographies at 22 years old
Positive emotions in autobiographies added 10 years to the nuns’ lives
Why is it healthy to be happy:
▯stress has a physiological response (elevated heart rate etc.)
▯happy people attract people, depressed people make others uncomfortable, making them
even more isolated.
Effort to regulate emotion exerted to comply with rules of the organization (p.
Video example from Office Space
Two questions to consider
Is emotional labour stressful? ▯yes
If so, what can you do to reduce the stress?
Job Satisfaction and Stress
• Stressors ▯conditions that have the potential to cause stress
• Stress ▯A reaction to a stressor that has the potential to make a person feel tense
• Stress outcomes ▯the physiological, psychological and behavioral consequences
• Why do people experience stress?
People have important goals; stress is a response to perceived threats to
Stress occurs when threats overwhelm personal resources
• MUT video: sources of stress:
Lack of sleep; 20 hour days
Large number of responsibilities
Sales are seasonal May not be able to meet demand
Causes of Stress at Work
Role ambiguity ▯unsure of what is expected of them
Role conflict ▯roles that are incompatible each other, or if you have multiple
bosses whose orders contradict each other
Load demands or role overload ▯too much work, too many roles
Lack of autonomy ▯no freedom is problematic
Heavy responsibilities▯ ot just about volume of work, but also about the
consequences of that work. (i.e. losing your job and being unable to pay your
Interpersonal conflict ▯problems with people make things more stressful
Dangerous working conditions
Poor job design ▯ ow levels of the five job characteristics
Psychological Job dissatisfaction
Behavioral Low job performance
Steps of Burnout:
1. Emotional exhaustion
2. Depersonalization (psychologically distance yourself from others)
3. Reduced selfefficacy and reduced personal accomplished
Antecedentfocused emotion regulation: dealing with the cause of stress.
• Either dealing with the event (Example: avoiding a person who causes you stress)
or dealing with the appraisal; reframing the situation to alter its emotional impact
on you. (Example: seeing this person as an opportunity to prove that you can
work well with others). • The way in which you appraise the situation has a dramatic impact on how you
Responsefocused emotion regulation: dealing with just the emotion, using drugs or
alcohol to make you feel better temporarily will do nothing for you in the long run.
• Study of teachers (Totterdell & Parkinson, 1999)
Antecedentfocused emotion regulation: Some teachers were instructed to
use strategies such as rationalization and reappraisal
Responsefocused emotion regulation: Other teachers were instructed to
use strategies such as cognitive distraction and energetic activities
▯6months later the teachers showed significant differences in cheerfulness and
calmness: confirmed that the use of antecedentfocused emotion regulation
Managing stress: problem solving; either get rid of the stressor, or reduce its effect on
Discuss the issue
Ask for help
Search for alternatives
• Job redesign
Improvements in the five core job characteristics. (increase autonomy etc.)
• Familyfriendly Human Resource policies
Onsite daycare, flextime, telecommuting (etc.)
• Stress management programs
Relaxation exercises, time management training, education about stressors
Personality and Abilities
• Characteristics on which people differ
• Characteristics that are relatively stable across situations and over time
The Big Five
▯Sociable, talkative vs. withdrawn, shy
• Emotional Stability
▯Stable, Confident vs. depressed, anxious
▯Tolerant, cooperative vs. cold, rude
• Conscientiousness ▯Dependable, responsible vs. careless, impulsive
• Openness to Experience
▯Curious, original vs. dull, unimaginative
Strong situation: the situation overpowers personality; in strong situations, personality
does not do a good job of predicting behavior
Weak situation: personality does a very good job of predicting peoples behavior.
Ł In a blanket statement, more of the big five characteristics is better. But this statement is
overly simplistic. The issue is not which personality characteristics are better; it is an
issue of fit. For example, a computer programmer should not be extroverted because
there is not a lot of interaction in this job, and in the long run this could be frustrating for
the extroverted computer programmer.
High Self Monitors ▯ use social cues to guide their own behavior ex. Bill Clinton
Low SelfMonitors ▯ use their own attitudes and beliefs to guide their own behavior ex.
Ł It’s not a matter of being high or low, it’s a matter of finding a career that suits you.
Locus of Control
High External Control ▯ Believe their behavior is determined by fate, luck, powerful
High Internal Control ▯ Believe their behavior is determined by selfinitiative, personal
actions, free will.
Ł Who handles stress better? Because people hate living with uncertainty, people with
high internal control, manage stress more effectively. The feeling that you are in control,
helps you manage stress and also motivates you because you believe that you can change
your own circumstances by the things you do.
• The degree to which a person has a positive evaluation of himself or herself
• High selfesteem
Positive relation with job performance
Positive relation with job satisfaction
• Low selfesteem
More susceptible to external influence
Good at behavioural modelling (learning by observing others)
Respond poorly to negative feedback
Big Five Michael Sonny
Emotional Stability High Low
Extraversion Moderate High
Open to Experience High Low
Agreeableness Moderate Low
Contentiousness High Low
Session 8: Personality and Abilities
• Can stable personality differences change?
▯yes, people behave very differently when they are different ages.
▯Openness decreases over time (older people are not as adventurous)
▯Extraversion is relatively stable over time
▯Contentiousness increases dramatically over time (more responsibilities as you
▯Agreeableness increases over time (as you grow older and learn more, you
become more agreeable)
▯Neuroticism decreases over time
• How much do stable personality differences account for job performance and
Does Your Personality Limit You?
• For most criteria, more than 50% depends on skills and abilities that you can
learn. So yes your personality has an impact on job satisfaction and job
performance, but a large portion depends on ability.
• In addition, with effort, you may be able to change personality traits
• Ability does not on its own predict typical behavior. All abilities capture is how
well a person can do in a particular task, that does not necessarily mean that’s how
well they will do on average. Ability X motivation = typical behavior.
• Cognitive intelligence includes abilities having to do with thinking:
▯this is the single best predictor of job performance
• How is cognitive intelligence measured?
• Wonderlic Personnel Test
• Crystallized intelligence ▯your entire body of knowledge; the learning you have
accumulated from past experience. Ex. Vocab test
• Fluid intelligence ▯concerns people’s ability to detect relationships independent
of past experience or instruction of those relationships. Basically, a measure of
your on the spot, think on your feet intelligence.
• Myths about emotions Emotions impede rational thinking
It is impossible to make good decisions when we feel emotions
• The reality of emotions
Emotions are useful; they are functional
• Emotional intelligence includes the following abilities:
Using emotion to guide thinking
Understanding why emotions happen
Regulating emotion in oneself and in others
• How is emotional intelligence measured?
MayerSaloveyCaruso Emotional Intelligence Test
o 141 items
Emotional Intelligence and Salary
One standard deviation change in emotional intelligence = $3513.49 change in annual
• Decisionmaking is the process of developing a commitment to a course of action
• People make decisions based on what is easily accessible in their minds
▯Vivid information (e.g. information about car crashes) more easily accessible
▯Information that is common (e.g. a word that ends in ING) is more easily
retrievable from memory and hence, more accessible. Therefore people
overestimate the amount of words that end in ING than words that end in _ N
_; which is logically incorrect.
• When making a judgment about an individual or event, people look for
characteristics the individual or event may have in common with previously
▯Judgments about people are often based on previously formed stereotypes. (e.g.
Linda being a feminist because she is concerned with issues of social justice and
▯Judgments of events are often based on previously formed thoughts about these
events that preclude attention to sample size.
• People make different decisions on the same problem depending on the way the
problem is framed (p. 236363)
• When in the domain of gain, people tend to take few risks
• When in the domain of loss, people tend to take many risks (casinos!)
Anchoring and Adjustment Heuristic • When people make decisions, they use anchors to begin their decision process and
fail to sufficiently adjust (p. 365366)
• Example of this is the negotiation process. Seller starts high and then move down
from there, and the buyer feels then they have gotten a deal because they have
been anchored at a high number.
• Explains why in the turkey example, those who were anchored high at 500 million
guessed higher numbers (387 million) and those who were anchored low (50
million) guessed lower (71 million).
The Power of Default and Contrast Effects
• The power of default
▯A number of the decisions that people make are, in fact, made for them (e.g.
organ donation form; opt in or opt out)
• Contrast effects
▯Some information helps people to make a decision about what they want by
raising awareness of what they do not want (and the opposite can also be true)
( Rome without coffee, Ugly tom and ugly jerry)
Escalation of Commitment
• People who have initiated a failing course of action all face a similar dilemma in
deciding whether to continue down the same path or to strike out in a new
• Although attempts to salvage these situations may make matters worse, people
tend to escalate their commitment to failing courses of action (pp. 367369)
• Example: In the NBA, the higher a player is drafted, the more minutes the player
gets and the longer the team keeps the player, controlling for performance
• Explanations for escalation of commitment:
▯Framing: when people are in the domain of loss, they tend to take more risks.
Therefore, the more the player fails, the more risk prone the people who drafted
Ways to combat this: set proximal goals (i.e. must make certain profits in order to
continue), and put emphasis on the decisionmaking process (not necessarily the
• The perfect rationality model: analytical information processing is thorough and
Makes a few assumptions:
1. People have complete information
2. People are perfectly logical
3. People have on criterion: economic gain • The bounded rationality model: heuristic information processing relies on rules
that simplify decisionmaking (pp. 361362) In this model, people do not have
complete information, people are not perfectly logical, and people have more that
one criteria than economic gain.
Most of the time, people make good decisions
Even so, it is impossible to make optimal decisions all of the time, and
mistakes can be costly
So, it is important to know the flaws of the decisionmaking system, and
to correct for the flaws when the stakes are high
15 multiple choice
Your choice of 2 of the 3 longanswer questions
Complete all of the assigned readings
▯A copy of the textbook is on reserve in the Stauffer Library
Review your notes from class
Multiplechoice and longanswer questions pertaining to:
If you like to complete practice questions when preparing for exams, there are a
number of them available
Ł www.pearsoned.ca/myoblab/ → Enter code → Registration
process → Log in → SelfStudy → Course Content → Click on
View All Content (in the drop down menu)
The best practice for the longanswer questions is to try to apply the material to
current, real world situations
▯What I really care about is that you can use and apply the material to enhance
your own careers and make good personal decisions
▯Use the past midterm exam and the answers to it on the course web site
LongAnswer Question. Allen is the CEO of a small but successful company
that develops applications for the iPhone and iPad. He works extremely hard, and
he has built a strong team of employees around him. Allen sometimes feels the
stress of his job, but he is always kind and helpful to his employees. He ensures
that his employees have the resources they need to be successful. He is a leader who responds to the opportunities of the times, and he has made a lot of money
because of it.
PART A. Choose three of the Big Five personality traits. Define each of them and
indicate whether Allen is high, medium, or low on each of them (3 traits x 5
points/trait = 15 points). [Hint: Clearly indicate the evidence from the description
of Allen that supports your arguments.]
PART B. Make a prediction about Allen’s level of job satisfaction based on the
three personality traits that you identified in PART A (10 points).
PART C. Describe two limitations of your analysis of Allen’s job satisfaction.
That is, identify two reasons why your analysis is not the definitive analysis of his
job satisfaction (2 limitations x 5 points/limitation = 10 points).
Part A: Big Five
▯High level of conscientiousness: conscientiousness is the extent to which a
person is planful, sets high goals and is diligent. He is conscientious because he
works hard and responds to opportunities, which shows he plans ahead.
▯High level of agreeableness: Agreeableness is the extent to which a person is
tolerant, cooperative, friendly and approachable. He is agreeable because he is
always kind and helpful to his employees.
▯High level of openness to experience: Openness to experience is the extent to
which the person is intellectually curious, original and creative. He has high
openness to experience because he is in a fastpaced and innovationdriven
industry and is succeeding.
Past research has shown that this is the relationship between personality
characteristics tics and job satisfaction:
Emotional stability>Contentiousness>extraversion>agreeableness and openness
to experience does not affect job satisfaction. Therefore we would expect a
moderate to low level of job satisfaction as he has a level of one trait that doesn’t
affect job satisfaction and one that has a low impact.
We do not know:
▯If there is workfamily conflict (if it is a source of stress it will reduce job
▯If salary is fair (equity theory, distributive fairness)
General tips for longanswers:
Read the questions at least twice
▯You will receive no points for writing things that are technically correct but
unrelated to the question
▯If the question asks for 2 examples, you will receive no credit for giving 3 or
Before answering the longanswer questions, write an outline of your answer and
review it until you are satisfied with the logic
▯Please answer Parts A, B, and C of each longanswer question SEPARATELY
(i.e., do NOT integrate your answers to Parts A, B, and C into a single long
answer) Write complete and clear definitions
▯Demonstrates that you, quite literally, know what you are talking
▯Helps to focus your subsequent arguments
More is more
▯Cite all of the evidence in the information that you are given that helps you to
justify your answer
▯The more evidence that you cite to bolster your arguments, the more convincing
your arguments will be, and the more likely it is that you will receive the
maximum number of points
Articulate all of your arguments
▯Do not assume that the reader knows what you are thinking – write it
Carter Racing Activity
• You are members of a board of directors charged with making a
recommendation to the owners of a car racing team, Carter Racing
• The decision concerns whether to go ahead with a race that is scheduled to
begin in less than one hour
• Read the materials by yourself for 10 minutes
• Meet with your group for no more than 30 minutes
• Prepare a list of reasons to support your decision
• You can ask me for additional information but you have to be specific
about the information that you want
• You have to make a decision before it is time to race!
Carter Racing Report of Results
“A mode of thinking people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in
group, when the members’ strive for unanimity overrides their motivation to alternative
courses of action.” – Irving Janis
• Structural & Procedural problems + Cohesiveness + Provocative Situational
▯Concurrence Seeking Tendency (group membe