71-240: Management and Organizational Life- Study Notes
Chapter 1: What is Organizational Behaviour?
Defining Organizational Behaviour
Organizational Behaviour- A field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups, and
structure have on behaviour within organizations; the aim is to apply such knowledge toward improving
Why do we Study OB?
To learn about yourself and others
To understand how the organizations you encounter work
To become familiar with team work
To help you think about the people issues faced by managers and entrepreneurs
What do we Mean by Organization?
Organization- a consciously coordinated social unit, composed of a group of people that functions on a
relatively continuous basis to achieve a common goal or set of goals.
75% of Canadian business have less than 10 people
45% of Canada’s GNP comes from small and mid-sized businesses
The Importance of Interpersonal Skills
Recognition of the importance of developing interpersonal skills is closely tied to the need for
organizations to get and keep high-performing employees.
Creating a pleasant workplace makes good economic sense.
o Companies with reputations as good places to work have been found to generate
superior financial performance. Today’s Challenges in the Canadian Workplace
Basic OB Model: three levels of analysis considered in OB
Challenges at the Individual Level
1. Individual Differences: everyone enters with different values, personality characteristics,
perceptions and attitudes
The organization cannot change these
It has a large effect on individual behaviour
2. Job Satisfaction
Produces quality performances
Provides intrinsic rewards
Results in less absenteeism and turnover
Only 24% employees claim to have received recognition
Necessary for consistent good performance
4. Empowerment: giving employees responsibility for what they do
Managers are learning to give up control
Less bosses, more coaches, advisers, sponsors, facilitators
Employees are learning to be more responsible and are making decisions
Less employees, more associates, teammates
5. Behaving Ethically
Ethics: the study of moral values or principles that guide our behaviour and inform us
whether actions are right or wrong
Competition puts pressure to cut corners
No one wants to be a whistle blower
Challenges at the Group Level
Group behaviour is a sum of all individual behaviour.
1. Working With Others
Focus is on interpersonal skills, team building, and priority management
2. Workforce Diversity: the mix of people in organizations in terms of gender, race, ethnicity,
disability, sexual orientation, age, and demographic characteristics such as education and socio-
economic status Mix of generations- different values and expectations
More females in the workplace
Immigration means racially diverse workplace
Can be improved by diversity training and benefit programs that are family friendly
Challenges at the Organizational Level
1. The Use of Temporary (Contingent) Employees
Downsizing has eliminated a lot of permanent jobs
Temporary workers have a lack of job security and stability
They don’t identify with the organization and lack commitment
They are very hard to motivate
2. Improving Quality and Productivity
Productivity: A performance measure including effectiveness and efficiency.
Effectiveness: The achievement of goals.
Efficiency: The ratio of effective work output to the input required to produce the work.
A company wants to be effective (reaching goals of quality) at the highest efficiency
(high output, low cost) to be fully productive
3. Developing Effective Employees
Organizational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB): Discretionary behaviour that is not part of
an employee’s formal job requirements, but that nevertheless promotes the effective
functioning of the organization.
Leads to employees performing beyond expectations
Being constructive, helpful, enthusiastic, etc.
4. Putting People First
Putting people first generates a committed workforce, and positively affects the bottom
People will work harder when they feel they have “more control and say in their work.”
How to put people first?
Provide employment security.
Hire people who have the right skills and abilities.
Create self-managed teams that have decision-making power.
Pay well, and tie pay to organizational performance.
Provide extensive training for skills, knowledge, and initiative.
Reduce status differences so that all employees feel valued.
Share information about organizational performance.
5. Helping Employees with Work-Life Balance
Employees are increasingly complaining of increasing stress because the lines between
work and private life have blurred
Creation of global organizations; the world never sleeps
Communication technology; people bring work home
Organizations are asking employees to work longer hours
Organizations must help employees stri