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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 (SHORTER) - Appendix - Research in Organizational Behaviour.docx

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Ali Zaidi

BU288 Lecture 2 Appendix: Research in Organizational Behaviour Thurs. Sept. 13. 2012.  Research: finding out about the world through objective and systematic information gathering  Understanding how researchers conduct research is important to studying OB 1. should know how info was collected  raise confidence in systematic study over common sense 2. When evaluating reports of interventions to improve OB, such as job redesign, a critical perspective is necessary to differentiate carefully designed from useless ones. 3. Managers can make better decisions through evidence-based management.  Evidence-based management: translating principles based on the scientific research (vs. personal preferences and unsystematic experience) into organizational practices that solve problems. THE BASICS OF ORGANIZATION BEHAVIOUR RESEARCH  Question: all research in OB begins with basic question about work/organization - What are the causes/ effects of X?  Literature Review: go to the journals and find out what’s been done before  Hypothesis: simple restatement of the research question in such a way that it can be tested  formal statement of expected relationship between 2 variables  Collect Data: analyze data  Interpretation: draw conclusions  Variables: measures that can take on 2 or more values (ex: temperature, pay, fairness)  Hypothesis = “the less fair people perceive their pay to be, the more likely they’ll resign.” A variable (perceived fairness) can be many values & is linked to a variable of 2 values: staying or leaving. Types of Variables  Independent: predictor/cause of variation on a dependent variable, factor manipulated/measured  Dependent: outcome, result; will vary as a result of changes in the independent variable  Moderation: affects the nature of the relationship between independent and dependent variable, such that the relationship depends on the level of the moderating variable. - Ex: employee attendance depends on attendance bonus. Moderation variable = pay satisfaction. If the bonus only reduces absenteeism of employees who are dissatisfied with pay, the pay satisfaction moderates the effect of the bonus on absenteeism.  Mediating: intervenes/ explains relationship between an independent and dependent variable.  Ex: why bonus reduces absenteeism? Motivation mediates relationship between bonus and absence. Measurement of Variables  Reliability: index of the consistency of a research subject’s responses - Do they respond similarly to the survey if completed at different points in time?  Validity: index of the extent to which a measure truly reflects what it is supposed to measure - Ex: perceived pay fairness shouldn’t be swayed by workers’ feelings of fairness about supervision - Convergent validity: strong relationship between different measures of the same variable - Discriminant validity: weak relationship between measures of different variables - Ex: a measure of job satisfaction should be highly correlated to other measures of job satisfaction (ex: environment, workload), but not be strongly related to measures of job performance. - Valid questionnaire would be consistent with observations and hypothesis  Ex: reliable, invalid  metre stick with random markings: same result each time, but inaccurate *EXAMPLE: JOB PERFORMANCE* 1) Questionnaire? Should we ask the employee, manager, or co-worker? 2) What behaviours should we measure? Amount produced, customer satisfaction, etc. 3) Should we measure it once, twice, or daily? 1 BU288 Lecture 2 Appendix: Research in Organizational Behaviour Thurs. Sept. 13. 2012. 3 KINDS OF RESEARCH TECHNIQUES Observational Techniques: general  most straightforward ways of finding out about OB and thus come closest to the ways in which we develop common-sense views about such behaviour  Observation: examine the natural activities of people in an organizational setting by watching them  Observational techniques are best for initial examinations of organization events where we have little information  to generate ideas for further investigation with more refined techniques  Difference between everyday observations and formal observations = systematic and objective. 1) Researcher approaches the organizational setting with extensive training concerning the nature of human behaviour and a particular set of questions that the observation is designed to answer 2) keeps a careful record of the events observed reliance on memory is unnecessary 3) aware of dangers of influencing the behaviour of those observed and draw reasonable conclusions  Case study: outcomes of research are summarized in narrative form  nature of the organization, people& events studied, the role of and techniques used by the observer, the research questions.  Participant and direct observation both capture depth, richness, spontaneity, and realism of OB. Shared weaknesses = lack of control over environment and selective perception of observed events Participant Observation  researcher becomes a member of the organizational unit being studied  actively participate  Advantages of participation/experience outweigh the possible disadvantages of subjectivity  subjects need not know that they’re being observed; raises ethical issues, but
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