- The study of what people think, feel, and do in and around organizations.
- Groups of people who work interdependently toward some purpose. They
expect each other to complete certain tasks in a coordinated way.
WHY STUDY OB?
- To apply marketing, accounting, etc, you need to understand, predict, and
influence behavior (both ours and others)
- Much of our time is spent working in or around orgs, OB theories are
particularly helpful in satisfying this innate drive to make sense of the
workplace (understand and predict the world we live in).
- Gives you the opportunity to question and rebuild your personal mental
models that have developed through observation and experience.
- Need to influence other people in orgs. OB helps to help u perform your
job and working more effectively w others.
- Important for company’s financial health. (3x better) (higher financial and
long-term stock market performance for ‘the best place to work’).
No longer for ‘managers’ only, all of us need to manage ourselves especially
since companies have removed many layers of management and delegate more
responsibilities. Everyone is a manger.
- Economic, social, and cultural connectivity and interdependence with
people in other parts of the world.
- Benefits: larger markets, lower costs, greater access to knowledge and
innovation, help developing countries, work intensification
- Disadvantage: may reduce work security for developing countries.
OB: OB researchers are examining how leadership, influence, conflict, and other
OB topics vary across cultures.
2. The Changing Workforce
Takes many forms, but the three most prominent ones are:
- Women in the workforce – half of the paid workforce, doubled since a
- Generational diversity
o Baby boomers (1946-1964) – expect and desire more job security
and more intent on improving their economic and social status. o Generation X (1965-1979) – less job security and more motivated
by workplace flexibility, opportunity to learn (new techs), and
working in an egalitarian and ‘fun’ orgs.
o Generation Y (>1979) – self-confident, optimistic, adept in
multitasking, more independent than Gen X.
Different generations have different values and expectations, benefits:
- Directly, companies are more likely to understand their diverse customers
o Increase the pool of talented applicants
o Reduce employee turnover
o Improve on decision making and team performance on complex
o At the same time, it presents new challenges: conflicts,
miscommunication, discrimination in orgs and society.
3. Evolving Employment Relationship
Globalization and change in the workforce are two causes of the evolution in
Today, employers demand more workforce flexibility to remain competitive:
- most have shifted to employability – an employment relationship in which
people are expected to continuously develop their skills to remain
- Greater use of contingent work – any job in which individual does not
have an explicit or implicit contract for long-term employment, or one in
which the minimum hours of work can vary in a nonsystematic way (ex:
temporary or seasonal work, freelance, etc)
Adapting to emerging workforce expectations
To adapt, employees are demanding and receiving:
- Work/life balance – the minimization of conflict between work and
nonwork demands (today, it is a must-have, esp for Gen X and Y). One of
the most important indicator of young employee’s career success.
- More egalitarian and fun workplaces.
4. Virtual Work
- Virtual work – employees perform work away from the traditional physical
workplace using IT.
- Teleworking or Telecommuting – working at home rather than
commuting to the office.
- Nearly 20% of Americans work at home at least one day each month.
- reduce employee stress - increases productivity and job satisfaction
- makes employees feel more empowered
- loneliness and lack of recognition
- work/family stress if they lack sufficient space and resources for a home
5. Workplace Values and Ethics
Sine qua non (essential element) of org excellence.
Values – stable, long-lasting beliefs about what is important in a variety of
- evaluative standard of what is right or wrong, good or bad; dictate our
priorities, preferences and desires; influence our motivation and decision.
- Personal values and Shared values.
Importance of Values in the workplace. OB
Recently become popular:
- Today’s workforce rejects ‘command-and-control.’ Leaders turn to values
as a more satisfactory approach to keeping employees’ decisions and
actions aligned w corporate goals.
- Globalization has raised our awareness of and sensitivity to culture
differences in values and beliefs. Creates an increasing challenge to ID a
set of core values acceptable to employees around the world.
- Organizations are under increasing pressure to engage in ethical practices
and corporate social responsibility.
Ethics – the study of moral principles or values that determine whether actions
are right or wrong and outcomes are good or bad.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
- An organization’s moral obligation toward its stakeholders.
- Triple bottom line: earn positive returns in the economic, social, and
environmental spheres of sustainability.
THE FIVE ANCHORS OF OB
The field of OB relies on a set of basic conceptual anchors that guide our thinking
about orgs and how to study them:
1. The Multidisciplinary Anchor
- Field should borrow knowledge from other disciplines, not just from its own
isolated research base.
- Exs: psychological research has aided our understanding of individual and
interpersonal behavior. - Sociologists have contributed to our knowledge of team dynamics,
organizational socialization, organizational power, and other aspects of the
- communications, marketing and IS
- OB has suffered from trade-deficit – importing far more knowledge from
other disciplines than exporting its own.
2. The Systematic Research Anchor
- OB research should rely on scientific method – a set of principles and
procedures that help researches to systematically understand previously
unexplained events and conditions
- Forming research questions, systematically collecting data, testing
- Relies mainly on quantitative (numerical) data.
- To minimize personal biases.
- Recently, OB knowledge has also developed through qualitative research
methods: open-ended interviews, observation in the workplace, etc.
3. The Contingency Anchor
- Contingency approach – the idea that a particular action may have
different consequences in different situations.
- No single solution is best for all circumstances,
- When faced with a particular problem or opportunity, we need to
understand and diagnose the situation and select the strategy most
appropriate under those conditions.
4. The Multiple Levels of Analysis Anchor
- Three levels of analysis: individual, team, organization.
- OB topic relates to multiple levels, so try to think about each OB topic at
the individual, team, and organizational levels, not just at one of these
5. The Open Systems Anchor
- OB view orgs as open systems – orgs that take their sustenance from the
environment and, in turn, affect that environment through their output.
- Orgs are living organisms whose survival and success depends on how
well employees sense environmental changes and alter their patterns of
behavior to fit those emerging conditions.
- Never closed systems, but monopolies come close.
- Traditionally focused on physical resources and goods, not of the new
economy, where the most valued input is knowledge.
Check out Exhibit 1.3 “open systems view of organizations” page 12.
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Knowledge management – any structured activity that improves an organization’s
capacity to acquire, share, and use knowledge in ways that improve its survival
Intellectual capital – the sum of an organization’s human, structural, and
relationship capital, that gives it competitive advantage.
- Human capital
- Structural capital – organization’s systems and structures. The knowledge
that remains after all the human capital has gone home.
- Relationship capital – org’s relationships with customers, suppliers, and
other external stakeholders who provide added value for the orgs. Ex:
customer loyalty and mutual trust w the suppliers.
Knowledge management processes
Organizational Learning – the knowledge management process in which
organizations acquire, share, and use knowledge to succeed:
- Knowledge acquisition.
o Fastest and powerful is by hiring individuals or acquiring entire
- Knowledge sharing.
o How well knowledge is distributed.
o Computer intranets – often marketed as complete ‘knowledge
management’ but it’s expensive to maintain. Also overlook the fact
that lots of knowledge are difficult to document.
o Give employees more opportunities for informal online or face-to-
- Knowledge use.
- The storage and preservation of intellectual capital.
o Keeping good employees
o Systematically transfer knowledge before employees leave
o Transfer knowledge into structural capital – bringing out hidden
knowledge, organizing it, and putting it in a form that can be
available to others. CHAPTER 2
This model highlights the four factors affecting employees’ voluntary behavior
- Role perception
- Situational factor
The forces within a person that affect his or her direction, intensity, and
persistence of voluntary behavior.
Both the natural aptitudes (natural talents that help employees learn specific
tasks more quickly and perform them better) and learned capabilities required to
successfully complete a task.
Skills, knowledge, aptitudes, and others characteristics that lead to a superior
performance are bunched into the concept of competencies. (the abilities,
values, personality traits, and other characteristics of people that lead to superior
Challenge: match people’s competencies with the competencies that each job
- Select applicants whose existing competencies best fit the required tasks.
- Provide training so employees developed required skills and knowledge
- Redesign the job so employees are only given tasks within their
To improve RP: clear job description, ongoing training, clarify work together w
employees over time, receive feedback.
These are conditions beyond the employees’ immediate control that constrain or
facilitate his or her behavior performance (consumer preferences and economic
TYPES OF INDIVIDUAL BEHAVIOR IN ORGANIZATIONS
- Task performance – goal-directed behaviors under the individual’s control that
support organizational objectives. - Organizational citizenship – behaviors that extend beyond the employee’s
normal job duties. “They will go the extra step, or maybe even the extra mile, to
support the interest of the organization.”
- Counterproductive behaviors (CWBs) – abuse of others, threats, work
avoidance (tardiness), work sabotage (doing work incorrectly), overt acts (thefts)
- Joining and staying with the organization – the probably reason why
employees quit is because of ‘shock events,’ such as the boss’s unfair decision
or colleague conflicts.
- Work attendance – situational factors like snow or car break down ok.
Motivational is another factor.
VALUES IN THE WORKPLACE
Values - stable, evaluative beliefs that guide our preferences for outcomes or
courses of action in a variety of situations. Tells us what we ought to do.
Value system – people arrange values into a hierarchy of preferences.
Espoused values – values we say we use and we think we use.
Enacted values – values we actually rely on to guide our decisions and actions.
Apparent by watching people in action.
Types of values
Schwartz’s values circumflex
- Openness to change (self-direction and simulation) – Conservation
(tradition and security)
- Self transcendence (universalism and benevolence) – Self-enhancement
(achievement and power).
Values and individual behavior
Our day to day behaviors are often different with our values. Reason being might
be because values are abstract concepts that sound good in theory but hard to
follow in real life.
Job sometimes requires us to be inconsistent with our values -> incongruence.
- a situation wherein two or more entities have similar value systems.
- Person-organization values of congruence: where personal values are
congruent with the organizations.
o Employees fell less stress, more job satisfaction, loyal and their
decisions are consistent with the orgs’ goals and missions. - Espoused-enacted values congruence: how closelys the values apparent
in their actions (enacted values) are consistent with that they say they
believe in (espoused). Noticeable gaps -> undermine a person’s perceived
- Compatibility of an organization’s dominant values with the prevailing
values of the community or the society in which it conducts its business.
VALUES ACROSS CULTURES
Individualism and Collectivism
Individualism – the extent to which we value independence and personal
uniqueness (value personal freedom, self-sufficiency, etc)
Collectivism – the extent to which we value our duty to groups to which we
belong and group harmony (define themselves by their group membership and
value harmonious relationships within those groups).
It is the extent that people accept unequal distribution of power in a society.
High power distance -> accept unequal power distribution. Obedience to
authority and are comfortable receiving commands from superiors without
Less power distance -> expect relatively equal power sharing.
Other cross-culture values
- Uncertainty avoidance
o The degree to which people tolerate ambiguity (low uncertainty
o Feel threatened by ambiguity and uncertainty (high uncertainty
- Achievement-nurturing orientation
o Reflects a competitive vs. cooperative view of relations w other
o High achievement orientation -> value assertiveness,
o Nurturing orientation -> emphasize relationships and the well-being
ETHICAL VALUES AND BEHAVIOR
Ethics – study of moral principles or values that determine whether actions are
right or wrong and outcomes are good or bad.
Three ethical principles - Utilitarianism – seek the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
o Sometimes known as the consequential principle because it
focuses on the consequences of our actions not how we achieve
o Problem: impossible to evaluate the benefits and costs of many
decisions (stakeholders have wide-ranging needs and values).
o Uncomfortable engaging in behaviors that seem unethical to attain
results that are ethical.
- Individual rights – everyone has entitlements to act in certain way
(freedom of movement, speech ,physical security, fair trial, etc).
o Problem: certain individual rights may conflicted with others’
- Distributive justice principle – people who are similar should receive
similar treatment, and vice versa.
o Problem: it’s difficult to agree on who is ‘similar’ and what factors
Moral intensity, ethical sensitivity, and situational influences
Moral intensity – the degree to which an issue demands the application of ethical
Ethical sensitivity -> personal characteristic that enables people to recognize the
presence and determine the relative importance of an ethical issue.
Situational influences -> employees may feel pressured by their employees and
so they lie to customers etc. they do not justify unethical conduct, rather we need
to recognize these factors so orgs can reduce their influence in the future.
PERSONALITY IN ORGANIZATIONS
Personality – the relatively stable pattern of behaviors and consistent internal
states that explain a person’s behavioral tendencies.
The Big Five Personality Dimensions
Handy acronym: CANOE:
- Conscientiousness – careful, dependable, responsible, self-disciplined.
- Agreeableness – courteous, good-natured, empathic, caring. ‘friendly
compliance’ vs. ‘hostile noncompliance’
- Neuroticism – high: high levels of anxiety, hostility, depression, self-
consciousness. Low: calm, posed, secure
- Openness to experience: sensitive, flexible, creative and curious.
- Extroversion – outgoing talkative, sociable, assertive.
Persons with high emotional stability work better than high-stressor
- Sensing/Intuition o Sensing: organized structure to acquire factual and preferable
o Intuition: collect info non-systematically.
o Thinking: cause-effect logic and scientific method to make
decisions. Objectively and unemotionally
o Feeling: weigh options against personal values than rational logic.
o Judging: enjoy the control of decision making and want to resolve
o Perceiving: flexible, spontaneously adapt to events as they unfold
and what to keep their options open.
PERCEPTIONS AND LEARNING IN ORGANIZATIONS
Perception: the process of selecting, organizing, and interpreting information in
order to make sense of the world around us.
THE PERCEPTUAL PROCESS
Selective attention: the process of filtering information received by our senses.
- Affected by characteristics of the objects being perceived and of the
individual doing the perceiving.
- Gets noticed because of: size, intensity, motion, repetition, novelty, and
Perceptual Organization and Interpretation
Categorical thinking: the most unconscious process of organizing people and
objects into preconceived categories that are stored in our long-term memory.
- Occurs w/o our awareness (ex: filling in missing pieces of situations
(closure)) or conceptually group people together based on the similarity to
- We have natural tendencies to see patterns
- Making sense also involves in interpreting information.
Mental models: the broad worldviews or ‘theories-in-use’ that people rely on to
guide their perceptions and behaviors.
- May causes us to overlook important information in the selective attention
SOCIAL IDENTITY THEORY
Social ID theory: states that self perception and social perception are shaped by
a person’s unique characteristics (personal ID) and membership in various social
groups (social ID).
- Personal ID: characteristics that make a person unique and distinct
- Social ID: how ppl define themselves in terms of groups they belong to
and have an emotional attachment. Perceiving others through Social ID
Social perception: how we perceive others; influenced by:
- Categorization - categorizing people into distinct groups.
- Homogenization - people within each group are similar to each other.
- Differentiation - assigning more favorable characteristics to people in our
groups than to people in other groups.
STEREOTYPING IN ORG SETTINGS
Stereotyping: the process of assigning traits to people based on their
membership in a social category.
Has 3 elements:
- First, we develop social categories and assigns traits that are difficult to
- Second, we assign people to one or more social categories based on
easily observable info about them (gender, appearance, physical location)
- Third, people who seem to belong to the stereotyped group are assigned
non-observable traits associated with the group.
Occurs for 3 reasons:
- It’s a form of categorical thinking –energy saving process to simply
understand our world.
- We have innate drive to understand and anticipate how others behave.
- We are motivated to rely on negative stereotypes when others threaten
Problems with Stereotyping
- Lays the foundation of discrimination behavior.
- Mostly occurs as unintentional (systemic) discrimination – decision makers
rely on stereotypes to establish notions of the ‘ideal’ person in specific
- Intentional discrimination – people hold unfounded negative emotions and
attitude toward people belonging to a particular stereotyped group.
Attribution process: perceptual process of deciding whether behaviors or
events are caused by internal or external factors.
- Fundamental attribution error: tendency to attribute others’ behavior
more to internal factors rather than external.
- Self-serving bias: attribute our favorable outcomes internally, attribute
failure externally. SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY
Self-fulfilling prophecy: when our expectations on other person cause that
person to act accordingly. Can influence reality.
Four steps in self-fulfilling prophecy process:
- Expectations formed
- Behavior towards the employee
- Effects on the employee
- Employee behavior and performance
Contingencies of self-fulfilling prophecies
- leaders need to develop and maintain a positive, yet realistic, expectation
towards all employees.
- This recommendation is consistent w positive OB philosophy -> focusing
on the positive rather than the negative will improve org success and indiv
- The more we interact with each other in the meaningful way, the less we
rely on stereotypes.
- Participants must have a close and frequent interaction working towards a
shared goal where they need to rely on each other (cooperate rather than
- Should have equal status
- Improves empathy (a person’s ability to understand and sensitive to
others’ feelings, thoughts, and situations) towards others.
Mutual Understanding: Johari Window
The model of personal and interpersonal understanding that encourages
disclosure and feedback to increase the open are and reduce the blind, hidden,
and unknown areas to oneself.
- Open area. Known to both.
- Blind. Known to others.
- Hidden. Known to you.
- Unknown. Unknown to both.
Main objective: increase the size of open area. Ways:
- Disclosure – informing others of your beliefs, feelings, and experiences
LEARNING IN ORGANIZATIONS
Learning: a relatively permanent change in behavior that occurs as a result of a
person’s interaction with the environment. Tacit knowledge: knowledge embedded in our actions and ways of thinking, and
transmitted only trough observation and experience.
BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION: LEARNING THROUGH REINFORCEMENT
Behavior modification (operant conditioning and reinforcement theory): learning
in terms of antecedents and consequences of behavior (completely dependent
on the envi).
A-B-Cs of Behavior modification
Change (B) behavior by managing its (A) antecedents and (C) consequences.
Mainly focuses on the consequences.
Contingencies of Reinforcement
Contingencies of reinforcement (four types of consequences that strengthen,
maintain, or weaken behavior):
- Positive reinforcement – the intro of a consequences increases or
- Punishment - decreases
- Negative reinforcement – the removal or avoidance of a C increases or
- Extinction – decreases a behavior because no consequences follow it.
Schedules of reinforcement:
- For new task – continuous reinforcement (every time).
- For learned behavior – variable ratio schedule (reinforced after a variable
number of times).
SOCIAL LERNING THEORY: LEARNING BY OBSERVING
Social learning theory: learning that occurs by observing others and then
modeling the behaviors that lead to favorable outcomes and avoiding the
behaviors that lead to punishing consequences.
- Behavior modeling. – by observing behaviors and practice them: tacit
knowledge and skills are mainly acquired by this.
- Learning behavior consequences. – through logic and observation not just
- Self reinforcement – whenever someone has control over a reinforcer but
deyals it until a self-set of goals has been completed.
LEARNING THROUGH EXPERIENCE
Kolb’s experiential learning model:
- Concrete experience – sensory and emotional engagement in some
- Reflective observation – listening, watching, recording and elaborating an
- Abstract conceptualization – we develop concepts and integrate our
observation into logically sound theories. - Active experimentation – when we test our previous experience, reflection,
and conceptualization in a particular context.
Learning works best in organizations with a strong learning orientation:
- The extent that an organization or individual supports knowledge
management, particularly opportunities to acquire knowledge through
experience and experimentation.
Action learning: when employees, usually in teams, investigate and apply
solutions to a situation that is both real and complex, with immediate relevance to
the company. CHAPTER 4
WORKPLACE EMOTIONS, ATTITUDES, STRESS
EMOTIONS IN THE WORKPLACE
Emotions: physiological, behavioral, and psychological episodes experienced
toward an object, person, or event that create a state of readiness.
Attitudes: the cluster of beliefs, assessed feelings, and behavioral intentions
toward an object.
Attitudes are judgements (we think about it), emotions are experience (w/o
Attitudes has 3 components:
- Beliefs – the established perceptions about the attitude object (from past
experience or other forms of learning).
- Feelings – represents your + or – evaluations of the attitude object.
- Behavioral intentions – your motivation to engage in a particular behavior
w respect to the attitude object.
The more we have positive emotions, the more we form positive attitudes
towards the targets of those emotions.
People have direct behavioral reactions to emotions.
Cognitions vs. emotions
We should pay attention to both the cognitive and emotional side of the attitude
model and hope they agree w each other most of the time.
Cognitive dissonance: inconsistency between their beliefs, feelings, and
- Causes us to change one or more of these elements.
- Behavior is the hardest to change
- We usually change our beliefs or feelings to reduce the inconsistency.
MANAGING EMOTIONS AT WORK
Emotional labor: the effort, planning, and control needed to express
organizationally desire emotions during interpersonal transactions.
- abide to display rules
- The conflict between required and true emotions.
- The larger it is, the more stress, job burnout, and psychological separation
from self (work alienation) - Those occurs when engaging in surface acting – modifying behavior to the
required emotions but continuing emotions to match the required
Emotional Intelligence: the ability to:
- perceive and express emotion
- assimilate emotion and thought
- understand and reason with emotion
- regulate emotion in oneself and others.
Has 4 dimensions:
- Self-awareness. Having a deep understanding of one’s own emotions,
strengths, weaknesses, values, and motives.
- Self-management. How well we control or redirect our internal states,
impulses, and resources.
- Social awareness. Mainly about empathy.
- Relationship management. Refers to managing other people’s emotions
(inspiring, influencing, developing others’ capabilities, managing change,
resolve conflict, cultivating relationships, supporting teamwork and
These four form hierarchy, self awareness requires lowest EI, relationship
management requires highest.
- A person’s attitude regarding his or her job and work content.
Exit-Voice-Loyalty-Neglect (EVLN) model: the 4 ways employees respond to
- Exit – quit, transfer, usually follows specific ‘shock events’
o any attempt to change, rather than escape.
o constructive responses, recommending ways to management.
o or can be confrontational such as filing formal grievances.
o Extreme cases: display counterproductive behaviors to get
- Loyalty – “suffer in silence” and wait to be resolved by others or by itself.
o Reduce work effort
o Paying less attention to quality
o Absent and late
Happy workers are more productive to some extent.
- General attitudes (such as job satisfaction) don’t predict specific behaviors
very well. - Job performance leads to job satisfaction, not vice versa, but only when
performance is linked to valued rewards.
Job satisfaction-performance relationship is strongest in complex jobs, where
employees have more freedom to perform their work or to slack off.
ORGANIZATIONAL (affective) COMMITMENT
- The employee’s emotional attachment to, ID with, and involvement in a
- Competitive advantage and customer satisfaction because long-tenure
employees have better knowledge
- Can suppresses constructive conflict.
Along with it, employees have varying levels of continuance commitment:
- A bond felt by an employee that motivates him to stay only because
leaving would be costly.
- Lower performance
Employers need to win employee’s hearts (affective commitment) beyond tying
them to the org (continuance commitment).
Building organizational commitment
- Justice and support. (Orgs fulfill their obligations to employees and
abide by humanitarian values, such as fairness, courtesy, forgiveness, and
- Shared values (values are congruent)
- Trust – a psychological state comprising the intention to accept
vulnerability based upon positive expectations of the intent or behavior of
o That’s why layoffs are a major blow to employee loyalty – reduced
job security, reduced trust.
- Organizational comprehension – loyalty tends to increase w open and
rapid communication to and from corporate leaders, as well as w
opportunities to interact with co-workers across the organization.
- Employee involvement – employees feel they are part of the org then
they participate in decisions that guide the org’s future.
WORK-RELATED STRESS AND ITS MANAGEMENT
Stress: an individual’s adaptive response to a situation that is perceived as
challenging or threatening to the person’s well-being.
Distress: the degree of physiological, psychological, and behavioral deviation
from healthy functioning. Eustress: activates and motivates people to achieve goals, change their
environments, and succeed in life’s challenges.
General adaptation syndrome: a model of stress experience, consisting of 3
stages: alarm reaction, resistance, and exhaustion. Stressor: the causes of stress, including any environmental conditions that place
a physical or emotional demand on that person.
3 most prevalent stressors:
- Harassment and incivility
o Psychological harassment: repeated and hostile or unwanted
conduct, verbal comments, actions or gestures, which affect an
employee’s dignity or psychological or physical integrity and that
result in a harmful work environment for the employee.
o Sexual harassment: unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that
detrimentally affects the work environment or leads to adverse job-
related consequences for its victims.
- Work overload
o Working more hours and more intensely during those hours than
they can reasonably cope.
o Caused by globalization and its demands for more work efficiency.
- Low task control – Coach and drivers: high responsibility, low task
control (what happens in the field and traffic congestion).
Stress varies, due to:
- Different coping strategies
- Level of resilience – the capability of individuals to cope successfully in
the face of significant change, adversity, or risk.
o Workplace spirituality – investigates a person’s inner strength and
how it nurtures and is nurtured by the workplace.
o Resilience is stronger when people have a sense of purpose and
are in touch w their personal values.
Managing work-related stress
- Remove the stressor
o Assign employees to jobs that match their skills, reduce excessive
noise, have a complaint system, corrective action against
harassment, give more control over work process, work/life
- Withdraw from the stressor
o Taking days off, breaks, vacations, sabbaticals. Leisure times
improve employees’ ability to cope with stress.
- Change stress perception
o Look at ways for employees to strengthen their confidence and self-
esteem so that job challenges are not perceived as threatening.
- Control stress consequences
o Can reduce adverse C by having healthy lifestyle (onsite/offsite
fitness centre, relaxation or mediation)
- Receive social support o Improves the person’s resilience and provides information to help
interpret, comprehend and possibly remove the stressor.
EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION: FOUNDATION AND PRACTICES
Motivation: the forces within a person that affect his or her direction, intensity,
and persistence of voluntary behavior.
EMPLOYEE NEEDS AND DRIVES
Needs: deficiencies that energize or trigger behaviors to satisfy those needs.
Drives: instinctive or innate tendencies to seek certain goals or maintain internal
Needs are produced by drives but may also be strengthen by learning and social
forces such as culture and childhood upbringing.
Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy Theory
- a motivation theory of needs arranged in a hierarchy, whereby people are
motivated to fulfill a higher need as a lower one becomes gratified.
- He called for a more holistic, humanistic, and positive approach to human
- Five basic categories:
o Social (belongingness)
o Esteem (self-esteem and social esteem)
o Self-actualization – the need for self-fulfillment in reaching one’s
o In addition to the 5, The need to know and the need for aesthetic
beauty as two needs that do not fit within the hierarchy.
- do not seem to capture the entire variety of needs that people experience
- gratification of one need level does not necessarily lead to increased
motivation to satisfy the next higher need level.
- People don’t seem to fit into one universal needs hierarchy (needs
hierarchy are unique, not universal, because a person’s needs are
strongly influenced by his or her value).
- In summary, we seem to have personal and somewhat flexible needs
hierarchy, not one that is hardwired in human nature, as Maslow’s needs
hierarchy theory assumes.
Four-drive Theory - a motivation theory based on the innate drives to acquire, bond, learn, and
defend that incorporates both emotions and rationality.
- Both holistic (pulls together various drives and needs) and humanistic
(considers human thought and social influences rather than just instinct).
According to the theory, everyone has the drive to:
- Drive to acquire – seek, take, control, and retain objects and personal
experiences (extends beyond basic food and water. It includes the need
for relative status and recognition in society. It’s foundation of competition
and the basis of our need for esteem).
- Drive to bond – drive to form social relationships and develop mutual
caring commitments with others.
- Drive to learn – to satisfy our curiosity, to know and understand ourselves
and the environment around us.
- Drive to defend – creates a fight-or-flight response in the face of personal
danger (not only physical, but also relationship, acquisitions, belief
systems, etc). In contrast, the other three are always proactive, we seek
Each is independent of each other and these four are complete.
Practical implications of four-drive theory
Companies need to ensure that individual jobs and workplaces provide a balance
opportunity to fulfill the drive to acquire, born, learn, and defend. Why?
- because each of us continuously seek fulfillment of all 4 drivers, no just
some of them.
- These four drivers must be kept in balance.
Companies need to offer employees a choice of rewards rather than give
everyone the same specific reward.
EXPECTANCY THEORY OF MOTIVATION
- the motivation theory based on the idea that work effort is directed toward
behaviors that people believe will lead to desired outcomes.
Individual’s efforts depend on these 3 factors (E-effort, P-performance, O-
- E-to-P expectancy – the individual’s perception that his or her effort will
result in a particular level of performance (0.0-1.0)
o How to increase?
o Assure employees they have the necessary competencies
o Clear role perception
o Necessary resources to reach the desired level of performance.
o Matching job with skills
o Communicating tasks required
o Feedback - P-to-O expectancy – the perceived probability that a specific behavior or
performance level will lead to particular outcomes. (0.0-1.0)
o Measure employee performance accurately and distribute more
valued rewards to those w higher job performance
o Need to know how higher performance will result in higher rewards
- Outcome valences – the anticipated dis/satisfaction that an individual
feels towards an outcome. (negative-positive)
o Individualizing rather than standardizing rewards and other
performance outcomes is important for employee motivation
o Watch out for countervalent outcomes-consequences w negative
valences that reduce rather than enhance employee motivation.
The theory provides clear guidelines for increasing employee motivation.
GOAL SETTING AND FEEDBACK
Goal setting: the process of motivating employees and clarifying their role
perceptions by establishing performance objectives. Improves performance in 2
- stretching the intensity and persistence of effort
- giving employees clearer role perceptions so that their effort is channeled
toward behaviors that will improve work performance.
Characteristics of effective goals
- Specific goals
- Relevant goals – relevant to their jobs and within his/her control
- Challenging goals – causes people to raise intensity and persistence of
their work effort and to think through info more actively. Also fulfills a sense
Stretch goals – goals you don’t know how to reach, so you need to be
- Goal commitment – challenging but not so difficult until lose motivation.
Same like E-P. The lower the E-P, the less committed.
- Goal participation – not always, but more effective when employees
participate setting the goals.
- Goal feedback – any info people receive about their consequences of
their behavior. An essential ingredient in motivation because our self-
actualization and underlying drive to learn can’t be satisfied unless we
receive info on goal accomplishment.
Characteristics of effective feedback
- clarifies role perception and improves ability
- motivates when it’s positive (recognition activities)
- negative (constructive) can motivate too (for people with strong self-
- specific and relevant - timely
- sufficiently frequent
Problems w goal setting
- tends to focus employees on a narrow subset of measurable performance
indicators while ignoring aspects of job performance that are difficult to
- When tied to financial rewards, many employees are motivated to make
their goals easy (while making the boss think they are difficult) so they
have a higher probability of receiving bonus or pay increase.
- A theory that explains how people develop perceptions of fairness in the
distribution and exchange of resources.
- The outcome/input ration is the value of the outcomes you receive divided
by the value of inputs you provide in the exchange relationshiups.
- We compare our outcome/input ratio w a comparison other.
Motivation to reduce inequity feelings
- reduce our inputs – perform at a lower level
- increase our outcomes – ask for an increase in salary
- increase comparison others’ inputs – ask a better-off co-worker to do
larger share of the work
- reduce comparison other’s outcomes – ask the boss to stop giving
favorable treatment to the co-worker.
- Change our perception
- Change the comparison other
- Leave the field
- Isn’t so easy to put because it doesn’t specify the comparison other and
doesn’t indicate which input/outcomes are most valuable to each
- The solution is for the leaders to know their employees well enough to
minimize the risk of inequity feelings.
- Open communication!
- To ensure fairness: give employees ‘voice’, encourage them to present
facts and perspectives on the issue.
- Give full explanation behind each decision so employees feel they are
treated w respect.
- the process of assigning tasks to a job, including the interdependency of
those task w other jobs. Job specialization: the result of division of labor in which each job includes a
subset of the tasks required to complete the product or service.
Job characteristics model: a job design model that relates the motivational
properties of jobs to specific personal and organization consequences of those
properties. All jobs can be examined in terms of 5 core dimensions:
- Skill variety
- Task identity – completion of a whole piece of work.
- Task significance
- Job feedback
These 5 core dimensions affect employee motivation and satisfaction through 3
critical psychological states:
- Experienced meaningfulness (the 1 three)– the belief that one’s work is
worthwhile or important.
- Experienced responsibility (autonomy)– where employees feel
personally accountable for the outcomes of their efforts
- Knowledge of results (feedback)
Evidence points to autonomy as the core dimension to consider when trying to
enrich the motivational potential of jobs.
Job enrichment: occurs when employees are given more responsibility for
scheduling, coordinating, and planning their own work.
Another way to increase job incrichment: natural grouping – tasks are combined
to form a meaningful piece of work, such as creating an entire product or large
part of it. Increases task ID and significance.
Second way: establishing client relationships – putting employees in direct
contact w consumers. Since they are directly responsible, they have more info
and can make decisions affecting those clients.
Many firms have taken a broader approach to increasing autonomy:
- A psychological concept in which people experience more self-
determination, meaning, competence, and impact regarding their role in
If any of these dimensions weakens, sense of empowerment will weaken:
- Self-determination – empowered employees feel freedom,
independence, discretion over their work activities - Meaning – employees who feel empowered care about their work and
believe that what they do is important.
- Competence – empowered people are confident about their ability to
perform the work well and have a capacity to grow w new challenges.
- Impact – empowered employees view themselves as active participants in
the orgs; i.e. their decision and actions have an influence on the
Empowerment is not a personality trait, although the extent to which someone
feels empowered might be influenced.
Empowering workplace -> changing the work environment to support
- Job characteristics influence dynamics of empowerment.
- Must work in jobs with a high degree of autonomy w minimal bureaucratic
- Jobs must have high level of task ID and significance (sense of
- Jobs must provide sufficient feedback (self-confidence)
- Employees feel empowerment in orgs where info and other resources are
- Also requires learning orientation culture – where employee learning is
encouraged and reasonable mistakes are viewed as a natural part of the
learning process. CHAPTER 6
INDIVIDUAL DECISION MAKING
Decision making is a conscious process of making choices among one or more
alternatives with the intention of moving toward some desired state of affairs.
RATIONAL CHOICE PARADIGM OF DECISION MAKING
Rational choice paradigm of decision making: rationality and logic.
1. Identify problem or opportunity
2. Choose the best decision process (ex: involve others or not)
3. Develop alternative solutions
4. Choose the best alternative: people choose the one with the highest
subjective expected utility: the ones that have highest payoff.
5. Implement the selected alternative
6. Evaluate decision outcomes
Rational choice paradigm is logical but rarely practiced in reality. Why?
- People have difficulty recognizing problems: they can’t simultaneously
process the huge volume of info needed to ID the best solution.
- They have difficulty recognizing when their choices failed.
- Completely ignores emotion’s effect
IDENTIFYING PROBLEMstAND OPPORTUNITIES
Problem ID (the 1 step) is arguably the most important step in decision making.
Problems with Problem ID
- People with vested interests try to influence perceptions that there is or is
not a problem or opportunity. This frames the decision maker’s view of the
situation (short-circuits a full assessment of the problem or opportunity).
- People block out negative info as a coping mechanism.
- Mental models blind people from seeing opportunities that deviate from
the status quo.
o If an idea doesn’t fit the existing mental model of how things should
work, then the idea is dismissed as unworkable or undesirable.
- Decision makers lack the ability or motivation to diagnose problems.
o Tendency to focus on a solution, whereas proper diagnosis would
determine the cause of symptoms before jumping to solutions. Coz
people want to quickly understand and solve problems.
ID Problems and Opportunities More Effectively
Can be improved by:
- Awareness of these perceptual and diagnostic limitations. - Recognizing how mental models restrict a person’s understanding of the
world, decision makers learn to openly consider other perspectives of
- Discuss the situation with colleagues.
- Leaders require willpower to look less decisive when there is a more
thoughtful examination needed.
EVALUATING AND CHOOSING ALTERNATIVES
Bounded rationality: processing limited and imperfect information and
satisficing rather than maximizing when choosing among alternatives.
Problems with Goals
Best: clear goals.
Reality: ambiguous or in conflict with each other.
Problems with Information Processing
- Decision makers can’t possibly think through all of the alternatives and the
outcomes of those alternatives.
- Decision makers typically look at alternatives sequentially rather than all at
the same time.
- As a new alternative comes along, it’s compared to an alternative that the
decision maker prefers: implicit favorite – the decision maker’s preferred
alternative against which all other choices are judged.
- People tend to defend their implicit favorite by distorting info and changing
the importance of decision criteria.
Problems with Maximization
- Satisficing rather than maximizing.
- Satisficing: selecting a solution that is satisfactory, or ‘good enough,’ rather
than optimal, or ‘the best.’
- Occurs because it’s not possible to look at all alternatives and the
- Also because decision makers tend to evaluate alternatives sequentially.
They compare alternatives with the implicit favorite and eventually select
an option that is good enough to satisfy their needs or preferences.
Emotions and Making Choices
- Our brain attaches specific emotions to information about each alternative
when we receive that info.
- People with damaged emotional brain centers have difficulty making
- We pay more attention to details when in negative mood, and vice versa.
- People ‘listen in’ on their emotions to provide guidance when making
Intuition and Making Choices Intuition: the ability to know when a problem or opportunity exists and select the
best course of action without conscious reasoning.
- Both emotional experience and rapid unconscious analytic process.
- All gut feelings are emotional signals. Not all emotional signals are
Making Choices More Effectively
- When leaders are decisive rather than contemplative: higher failure rate.
- Systematically evaluating alternatives: minimize implicit favorite and
- Constantly aware that decisions are influenced by both rational and
- Revisit important issues in different moods.
- Scenario planning: a systematic process of thinking about alternative
futures and what the org should do to anticipate and react to those
EVALUATING DECISION OUTCOMES
Escalation of commitment: the tendency to repeat an apparently bad decision
or allocate more resources to a failing course of action.
- Self justification. Individuals are motivated to maintain their course of
action when they have a high need to justify their decision.
- Prospect theory effect: an effect in which losing a particular amount is
more disliked than gaining the same amount.
o Stopping a project is a certain loss, which is more painful to most
people than the uncertainty of success associated with continuing
to fund the project. Given the choice, decision maker choose less
- Perceptual blinders. Escalation of commitment sometimes occurs
because decision makers do not see the problems soon enough. They
unconsciously screen out or explain away negative information to protect
- Closing cost. Even when a project’s success is in doubt, decision makers
will persist because the costs of ending the project are high or unknown.
Recent studies suggest that throwing more money into a failing project is
sometimes a logical attempt to further understand an ambiguous situation. This
strategy is particularly common where the project has high closing cost.
Evaluating Decision Outcomes More Effectively
Ways to evaluate more effectively:
- Minimize escalation of commitment by: separate decision choosers from
decision evaluators. o This minimizes self-justification.
- Publicly establish a preset level at which the decision is abandoned or
- Projects might have less risk of escalation if several people are involved.
EMPLOYEE INVOLVEMENT IN DECISION MAKING
Employee involvement or participative management: the degree to which
employees influence how their work is organized and carried out.
- Lowest level: employees are asked for information.
- Moderate level: employees are told about the problem and provide
- Highest level: the entire decision-making process is handed over to the
- Improves problem ID because employees are usually the 1 to know when
something goes wrong w production, customer service, or many other
subsystems within the org.
- Creates synergy that can generate more and better solutions that when
these people work alone.
- People collectively tend to be better than individuals at picking the best
alternative when they have diverse perspectives and backgrounds.
- Employee involvement also strengthens employee commitment to the
Contingencies of Employee Involvement
A number of factors can undermine employee involvement or render it
unnecessary, so we need to consider the following contingencies:
- Decision structure. Employee involvement is unnecessary when the
problem is routine.
- Source of decision knowledge. Employees are closer to customers and
production activities, so they often know where the company can save
money, improve product or service quality, and realize opportunities.
- Decision commitment.
- Risk of conflict
o If employee goals and norms conflict with the organization’s goals,
then only a low level of employee involvement is advisable.
o The degree of involvement depends on whether employees will
reach agreement on the preferred solution. CHAPTER 7
Teams: groups of two or more people who interact and influence each other, are
mutually accountable for achieving common objectives, and perceive themselves
as a social entity within an organization.
Groups: two or more people with a unifying relationship.
All teams are groups but not all groups are teams.
Why rely on teams?
- under certain conditions, teams potentially make better decisions, develop
better products and services, and create a more energized workforce
compared with employees working alone.
Why people belong to informal groups:
- Human beings are social animals
- Social identity theory: individuals define themselves by their group
- To accomplish task that cannot be achieved by individuals working alone.
A MODEL OF TEAM EFFECTIVENESS
Team effectiveness: the extent to which a team achieves its objectives,
achieves the needs and objectives of its members, and sustains itself over time
(maintain commitment of its members).
ORGANIZATIONAL AND TEAM ENVIRONMENT
Six of the most important contextual factors are:
- Reward system
- Communications system
- Physical space – put them together into a same room that encourages
free flow of communication more quickly and effectively
- Organizational environment
- Organizational structure – team works better in a flatter management
- Organizational leadership – ongoing support from senior executive, also
requires team leaders or facilitators who provide coaching and support.
TEAM DESIGN FEATURES
3 main elements to consider when designing an effective team:
- Task characteristics
o The higher the level of task interdependence, the greater the need
for teams rather than individuals working alone. o Task interdependence – the degree to which a task requires
employees to share common inputs or outcomes, or to interact in
the process of executing their work.
o This motivation and satisfaction only occurs then team members
have the same job goal.
- Team size
o Should be large enough to provide the necessary competencies
and perspectives to perform the work, yet small enough to maintain
efficient coordination and meaningful involvement of each member.
- Team composition
o High-performing team members demonstrate more cooperative
behavior toward others and generally have more EI.
Homogenous team: teams that include members with common technical
expertise, demographics, ethnicity, experiences, or values.
- higher satisfaction and less conflict
- develop more quickly
- more effective on tasks requiring a high degree of cooperation and
Heterogeneous team: teams that include members with diverse personal
characteristics and background.
- more conflict and take longer to develop.
- Susceptible to ‘fault lines’ -> dividing lines that may split a team into
- Even so, they are more effective in situations involving complex problems
requiring innovative solutions -> different perspectives and have a broader
- The diversity provides representation to the team’s constituents (other
departments or clients from similarly diverse backgrounds).
5 stages of team development:
o Orientation. Learn about each other and evaluate the benefits and
costs of continued membership. Tend to be polite.
o Interpersonal conflict arises as members become more proactive
and compete for various team roles.
o A tenuous stage if the leader is autocratic and lacks the necessary
o Develops its first real sense of cohesion as roles are established
and a consensus forms around group objectives. o Members have developed similar mental models, have common
expectations and assumptions about how the team’s goals should
o More task-oriented
o In a high-performing team, members are highly cooperative, have a
high level of trust in each other, are committed to group objectives,
and identify with the team.
o Members shift their attention away from task orientation to a
socioemotional focus as they realize that their relationship is
Team norms: the informal rules and expectations that groups establish to
regulate the behavior of their members.
- apply for behaviors that are important to the team, not to private thoughts
How team norms develop:
- Develop as soon as teams form because people need to anticipate or
predict how others will act.
- Also forms when team members discover behaviors that help them
function more effectively (quick respond to emails).
- The past experiences and values that members bring influence the norms.
Preventing and changing dysfunctional team norms:
- Establish desirable norms when the team is first formed
o One strategy to do that is to select people w appropriate values.
- To change dysfunctional norms in older teams:
o Explicitly discuss the counterproductive norm w team members
using persuasive communication tactics.
o Team-based reward systems can weaken counterproductive norms.
Team roles – team members take various roles informally based on their
personality, values, and expertise.
- Roles preferences are usually worked out during the storming stage
- But in a dynamic environment, team members often assume various roles
temporarily as the need arises.
Team cohesiveness: the degree of attraction people feel toward the team and
their motivation to remain members.
Influences in team cohesiveness:
- Member similarity
- Team size
- Member interaction - Somewhat difficult entry (the more elite the team, the more prestige it
confers on its members, and they tend to value their membership in that
- Team success
- External competition and challenges
Cohesive teams can have lower task performance when norms conflict w org
objectives, because cohesiveness motivates employees to perform at a level
more consistent w group norms.
THE TROUBLE WITH TEAMS
Process losses: resources (including time and energy) expended toward team
development and maintenance rather than the task.
“Brook’s law” – adding more people to a late software project only makes it later.
Moderately high High task
task performance performance
Moderately low task Low task
support company goals
Team norms conflict
w company goals
low Team cohesiveness high
Social loafing: a situation in which people exert less effort (lower performance)
when working in groups than when working alone.
- Most likely to appear in larger groups where indi