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MSCI211 Study Guide - Final Guide: Msci, Fundamental Attribution Error, Corporate Social Responsibility

Management Sciences
Course Code
Shahed Alam
Study Guide

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MODULE 1: What is OB?
What is OB?
A field of study that investigates the impact of individuals, groups and structure on behaviour
within organizations
Aim is to apply such knowledge towards improving organization effectiveness
What are the challenges for OB the in 21st 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
organization performance
Global Competition
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 don’t 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

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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 can’t 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 InternalExternal
o FlexibilityControl
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

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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 people’s behaviour is based on their PERCEPTION of REALITY
employees and senior management perceive differently
What factors affect our perception?
The Perceiver
o When individual (perceiver) sees something (target), he tries to interpret it
o Influenced by perceiver’s background, personal characteristics
o Ex: buy new car, suddenly notice a lot more on the road
o Expectations distort perceptions (stereotypes), varies cross-culturally
The Target
o Target’s 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?
The Situation
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?
YES internal
NO external
2. Consensus (different people)
Do other people act the same way in the same situation?
YES external
NO - internal
3. Consistency (same situation, across time)
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