MSCI 211 MIDTERM 1 STUDY QUESTIONS
MODULE 1: What is OB?
What is OB?
A field of study that investigates the impact of individuals, groups and structure on behaviour
Aim is to apply such knowledge towards improving organization effectiveness
What are the challenges for OB the in 21 century?
3 units of analysis
o Organization Systems Level (mostly corporate social responsibility)
Productivity, developing effective employees, putting people first global
Organizational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB)
Discretionary behaviour that is not part of employees formal job
requirements, but nevertheless promotes effective functioning of the
organization (ex: constructive comments, respecting property)
How to put people first?
Pay well, give training, reduce status differences, share info about
Increase productivity, quality, face mergers/acquisitions or make
alliances, shirts in technology, outsourcing
o Group Level (mostly sociopsychology)
Working with others, workforce diversity
o Individual Level (mostly psychological)
Managers/employees need to learn how to work with individual differences in
culture, personality, job satisfaction, motivation, empowerment, behaving
How does OB make sense of behaviour?
OB provides systemic approach to the study of behaviour in organizations. Behaviour not
1. OB looks at consistencies.
People dont act alike, but there are certain fundamental consistencies
Consistency is result of written and unwritten rules
Behaviour in generally predictable and SYSTEMATIC STUDY of behaviour allows
making reasonable accurate predictions
2. OB looks beyond common sense.
Common sense not the same for everyone
OB draws conclusions from data gathered in controlled observations, analysed
in a rigorous manner beyond common sense
3. OB has few absolutes
Different organizations have different needs MSCI 211 MIDTERM 1 STUDY QUESTIONS
Not like hard sciences, which have universal laws
4. OB takes contingency approach
Consider behaviour within the context in which it occurs
Because people behave differently, does not mean we cant make reasonably
accurate predictions just have to take contingency approach
X is likely to lead to Y, but only under circumstances specific in Z
What is the Competing Values Framework?
The Competing Values Framework is a model that can help identify useful skills
The range of issues organizations face can be divided among two dimensions
o Inwardly, toward employee needs, production processes, internal systems
o Outwardly, towards market, government, social environmental, technology
o Flexible/dynamic, allowing teamwork, participation, seeking new opportunities
o Control/stable, maintaining status quo, exhibiting less change
Many skills required by managers can also be divided into the four areas, so the model
What kind of research methods are used in OB?
Case Study (focuses on one specific situation
Field Survey (surveys employees in real-life organization)
Field Experiment (questionnaires, interview in real-life organization)
Lab Experiment (controlled setting)
Aggregate Quantitative Reviews/Meta-Analysis (using statistics to pool results of different
studies) MSCI 211 MIDTERM 1 STUDY QUESTIONS
MODULE 2: Perception, Personality and Emotions
What is perception?
the process by which individuals select, organization and interpret their sensory impressions in
order to give meaning to their environment
important in OB because peoples behaviour is based on their PERCEPTION of REALITY
employees and senior management perceive differently
What factors affect our perception?
o When individual (perceiver) sees something (target), he tries to interpret it
o Influenced by perceivers background, personal characteristics
o Ex: buy new car, suddenly notice a lot more on the road
o Expectations distort perceptions (stereotypes), varies cross-culturally
o Targets characteristic and affect what is perceived
o Loud, attractive, novelty motion, size
o Relation of target to background also influences perception
o Persons, objects that are similar tend to be grouped together
o Ex: New manager higher sales?
o Context is important
o Interpretation of same object will vary with the context
o Ex: Wearing shorts at work, vs working shorts at home
What does attribution theory tell us?
Attribution theory tells us that when we see atypical behaviour, we attempt to determine
whether it is internally or externally caused
Rules for determining attribution
1. Distinctiveness (across all situations)
Does individual act that way in ALL situations?
2. Consensus (different people)
Do other people act the same way in the same situation?
NO - internal
3. Consistency (same situation, across time) MSCI 211 MIDTERM 1 STUDY QUESTIONS
Does the person act the same over time?
What are the shortcuts/biases people use in judging others? How are attributions distorted?
Fundamental Attribution Error
o People have a tendency to OVERESTIMATE INTERNAL factors, UNDERESTIMATE
EXTERNAL factors when judging behaviour
o People tend to attribute ones successes to self, while blaming failures on external
o Peoples selective perception depends on their interests, backgrounds, experiences and
o Drawing general impression of an individual on the basis of a SINGLE characteristic
o Most extreme when traits are ambiguous or have moral overtones, and when perceiver
has limited experience
o Our reaction to one person is often influenced by our experiences before and after
o Never follow an act with children or animals in it
o Tendency to perceive others according to what SELF is like
o Ex: Im honest, so I assume everyone else also.
o Judging someone on the basis of ones perception of the group to which the person
o Different from halo effect (single characteristic); stereotype (membership in club)
o Unfounded dislike of a person or group based on their belonging to a particular
o Prejudice leads to negative consequences, including discrimination
o Prejudice often starts with stereotypes and then has negative emotional content added
What is the self-fulfilling prophecy?
A person will behave in a way that is consistent with how he feels he is being perceived by
So peoples expectation determine our behaviour