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COMMERCE 1BA3 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Risk Neutral, Rationality, Fundamental Attribution Error

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Organizational Behaviour:
- The attitudes and behaviours of individuals and
groups in organizations
The classical viewpoint
tended to advocate a very
high degree of specialization
of labour and a very high
degree of coordination
– Max Weber’s
ideal type of organization that
included strict chain of
command, detailed rules,
high specialization,
centralized power, and
selection and promotion
based on technical
Taylor’s Scientific
Management - advocated the
use of careful research to
determine the optimum degree
of specialization and
The human relations movement: called
attention to certain dysfunctional aspects of
classical management and bureaucracy and
advocated more people-oriented styles of
management that catered more to the social
and psychological needs of employees.
Contingency approach: an approach
that recognizes that there is no one
best way to manage and those styles
vary on the situation.
Other Terms:
Hawthorne Studies
Talent Management
Corporate Social Responsibility
Managerial Roles – Mintzberg
Informational Roles: Monitor,
Disseminator, Spokesperson
Interpersonal Roles: Figurehead, Leader,
Decisional Roles: Entrepreneur,
Disturbance Handler, Resource Allocator,
and Negotiator
Trends Managers Are Facing Today:
1. Diversity Management
2. Employee-Organization Relationships
3. Focus on Quality, Speed & Flexibility
4. Talent Management
5. Focus on Corporate Social Responsibility
Managerial Agendas –
Agenda setting
Agenda implementation
Managerial Minds – Simon & Isenberg
Situational sensing
Rapid mental processing/analyses
Managerial Activities
Routine Communication
Traditional Management
Human Resource Management

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Social Identity Theory
-People (perceivers) form perceptions of themselves
(target) based on their characteristics and
memberships in social categories (situation)
-People (perceivers) form perceptions of others
(target) based on their memberships in social
categories (situation)
Components of Perception
Perceiver: perceiver’s experience, needs
and emotions can affect his or her
perception of the target
Target: perception involves interpretation of
the target
Situation: context (e.g. timing) can affect
what one perceives
- The process of interpreting the messages of our senses to
provide order and meaning to the environment
The Perceptual Process
1) Environmental stimuli – includes everything that’s
happening outside and inside you
2) Observation
3) Perceptual selection (attention) – we chose and toss
certain things {what did you pay attention to and what
did you not}
4) Perceptual organization/construction
construction of reality
5) Interpretation – decision – action {attribution theory}
assigning a meaning
Attribution: the process by which causes or
motives are assigned to explain people’s
Internal Attribution (Dispositional Attribution):
Perception that outcomes are due to personality
or intellect rather than situation or environment
External Attribution (Situational Attribution):
Perception that outcomes are due to situation or
environment rather than the person
Attribution Cues:
Consistency cues – attribution cues that reflect
how consistently a person engages in a behaviour
over time
Consensus cues – attribution cues that reflect
how a person’s behaviour compares with that of
Distinctiveness cues – attribution cues that
reflect the extent to which a person engages in
some behaviour across a variety of situations

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Biases in Attribution
Fundamental Attribution Error: tendency to
overemphasize dispositional explanations for behaviour
at the expense of situational explanations
Actor-Observer Effect: propensity for actors and
observers to view the causes of the actor’s behaviour
Self-Serving Bias: tendency to take credit for
successful outcomes and to deny responsibility for
Perceptions in the Workplace
Perceptions of trust and organizational support (trust
Perception and workforce diversity (stereotypical
Perception in the selection interview (Attribution errors
and awareness of stereotyping)
Perception in a performance appraisal (Rater errors:
leniency, harshness, central tendency, similar to me
Perceptual Errors
Self-fulfilling prophecy
Implicit Personality theory
Reliance on central traits
Other Terms:
Stereotype threat, Contrast effects, Signalling theory
Motivation is a cumulative effect of:
Effort – the person exhibits
Persistence – that individual’s exhibit in applying effort to
the work tasks
Direction - of the person’s work-related behaviour
Goals – all motivated behaviour has some goal or
objective toward which it is directed
Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation:
Internal to you – motivation that stems from the
direct relationship between the worker and the task
External to you – motivation that stems from the
work environment external from the task
- The extent to which persistent effort is directed toward a goal
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