MGCR 222 Study Guide - Final Guide: Diminishing Returns, Jujutsu, Group Cohesiveness

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18 Feb 2013
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Organizational Behaviour Exam Study Notes
Motivation (Chapter 6)
Goal-Setting Theory
Goals tell an employee what needs to be done and how much effort will need to be expended. Specific
goals increase performance; difficult goals result in higher performance than do easy goals, and that
feedback leads to higher performance than does nonfeedback
Challenging goals get our attention and thus tend to help us focus. Difficult goals energize us because
we have to work harder to attain them. When goals are difficult, people persist in trying to attain them.
Difficult goals lead us to discover strategies that help us perform the job or task more effectively.
Assume an individual is committed to the goal and is determined not to lower or abandon it. In terms of
behaviour, the individual believes he or she can achieve the goal, and wants to achieve it.
Management by objectives emphasizes participatively set goals that are tangible, verifiable, and measurable
Goal specificity, participation in decision making, an explicit time period, and performance feedback
Equity Theory employees perceive what they get from a job situation in relationship to what they put into it
and then compare their outcome-input ratio with that of relevant others
Self-inside: an employee’s experiences in a different position inside the employee’s current organization
Self-outside: an employee’s experiences in a situation or position outside the employee’s current
organization
Other-inside: another individual or group of individuals inside the employee’s organization
Other-outside: another individual or group of individuals outside the employee’s organization
Gender, length of tenure, level in the organization, and amount of education moderating variables
When ratios are equal: state of equity exists there is no tension as the situation is considered fair
When ratios are unequal: tension exists due to unfairness (underrewarded/overrewarded)
Tension motivates people to act to bring their situation into equity
1. change their inputs (exert less effort if underpaid, or more if overpaid)
2. change their outcomes (individuals paid on a piece-rate basis can increase their pay by producing a
higher quantity of units of lower quality)
3. distort perceptions of self
4. distort perceptions of others
5. choose a different referent
6. leave the field (quit the job)
Distributive justice the employee’s perceived fairness of the amount and allocation of rewards among
individuals (most strongly related to organizational commitment and satisfaction with outcomes such as pay)
Organizational justice a larger perception of what is fair in the workplace
Procedural justice the perceived fairness of the process used to determine the distribution of rewards (relates
most strongly to job satisfaction, employee trust, withdrawal from the organization, job performance, and
citizenship behaviours)
process control opportunity to present your point of view about desired outcomes to decision makers
explanations clear reasons management gives for the outcome (consistent, unbiased, accurate
information, open to appeals)
Interactional justice an individual’s perception of the degree to which she is treated with dignity, concern, and
respect
Communication (Chapter 10)
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Communication process
The sender initiates a message by encoding a thought
The message is the actual physical product of the sender’s encoding
The channel is the medium through which the message travels
o Formal channels established by the organization and transmit messages related to the
professional activities of members. Traditionally follow the authority chain within the
organization
o Informal channels spontaneous and emerge as a response to individual choices
The receiver is the person to whom the message is directed, who must first translate the symbols into
understandable form (decoding)
Noise represents communication barriers that distort the clarity of the message, such as perceptual
problems, information overload, semantic difficulties, or cultural differences
Feedback is the check on how successful we have been in transferring our messages as originally
intended
Downward Communication flows from one level of a group or organization to a lower level
When engaging in downward communication, managers must explain the reasons why a decision was
made
Generally, managers inform employees but rarely solicit their advice or opinions
Upward communication flows to a higher level in the group or organization
Keeps managers aware of how employees feel about their jobs, co-workers, and the organization in
general
Ideas on how conditions can be improved
Increasingly difficult because managers are overwhelmed and easily distracted
Try to reduce distractions, communication in headlines not paragraphs, support your headlines with
actionable items, and prepare an agenda to make sure you use your boss’s attention well
Lateral communication when communication takes place among members of the same work group, members
of work groups at the same level, managers at the same level, or any other horizontally equivalent workers
Saves time and facilitates coordination
Can create conflict when the formal vertical channels are breached, when members go above or around
their superiors to get things done, or when bosses find actions have been taken or decisions made
without their knowledge
Formal Small-Group Networks
Chain rigidly follows the formal chain of commands; this network approximates the communication
channels you might find in a rigid three-level organization
Wheel relies on a central figure to act as the conduit for all the group’s communication; it simulates the
communication network you would find on a team with a strong leader
All-channel network permits all group members to actively communicate with each other; it’s most
often characterized in practice by self-managed teams, in which all group members are free to contribute
and no one person takes on a leadership role
Barriers to Effective Communication
Filtering refers to how a sender purposely manipulates information so the receiver will see it more
favourably. The more vertical levels in the organization’s hierarchy, the more opportunities there are for
filtering
Selective perception
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Information overload when the information we have to work exceeds our processing capacity
Emotions
Language
Silence
Communication apprehension experience undue tension and anxiety in oral communication, written
communication or both
Cultural Guide
Assume differences until similarity is proven
Emphasize description rather than interpretation or evaluation
Practice empathy
Treat your interpretations as a working hypothesis
Leadership (Chapter 11)
Leadership the ability to influence a group toward the achievement of a vision or set of goals. The source of
this influence may be formal
Trait theories of leadership
Traits can predict leadership
Traits do a better job predicting the emergence of leaders and the appearance of leadership than actually
distinguishing between effecting and ineffective leaders
Behavioural theories of leadership theories proposing that specific behaviours differentiate leaders from
nonleaders
Initiating structure the extent to which a leader is likely to define and structure his or her role and those
of employees in the search for goal attainment. It includes behaviour that attempts to organize work,
work relationships, and goals
Consideration the extent to which a person’s job relationships are characterized by mutual trust,
respect for employees’ ideas, and regard for their feelings.
Employee-oriented leader emphasized interpersonal relationships by taking a personal interest in the
needs of employees and accepting individual differences among them
Production-oriented leader emphasized the technical or task aspects of the job
Difference between theories of leadership:
Trait theory: leadership is inherent, so we must identify the leader based on his or her traits
Behavioural theory: leadership is a skill set and can be taught to anyone, so we must identify the proper
behaviours to teach potential leaders
Contingency Theories while trait and behaviour theories do help us understand leadership, an important
component is missing: the environment in which the leader exists
Contingency theory deals with this additional aspect of leadership effectiveness studies
Fiedler contingency model proposes that effective group performance depends on the proper match between
the leader’s style and the degree to which the situation gives the leader control
If a situation requires a task-oriented leader and the person in the leadership position is relationship
oriented, either the situation has to be modified or the leader has to be replaced to achieve optimal
effectiveness (LPC questionnaire)
Leader-member relations the degree of confidence, trust, and respect members have in their leader
Task structure the degree to which the job assignments are procedurized (structured/unstructured)
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