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Chapter 1

BUS 272 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Communication Problems, Virtual Work, Corporate Social Responsibility

Business Administration
Course Code
BUS 272
Graeme Coetzer

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Chapter 1
Introduction to the Field of Organizational Behavior
Organizational behavior
- The study of what people think, feel, and do in and around organizations
- Focus on employee behavior, decisions, perceptions, and emotional responses
- The study of how organizations interact with their external environments, especially in
the context of employee behavior and decisions
- Groups of people who work interdependently toward some purpose
- Collective entities
- Collective sense of purpose
- Required a minimal level of communication, coordination, and collaboration to achieve
organizational objectives
Why study OB?
- Satisfy the need to understand and predict
- Helps us to test personal theories
- Influence behaviour get things done
- OB improves an organizations financial health
- OB is for everyone.
Organizational Effectiveness
- The ultimate dependent variable in OB
- Old approach achievement of stated goals
- Has too many substitute labels organizational performance, success, goodness, health,
competitiveness, excellence
- Problem with goal attainment
o Could set easy goals
o Company might achieve wrong goals
Four perspectives of organizational effectiveness
(Need to consider all four perspectives when assessing a companys effectiveness)
- Open System Perspectives
o One of the earliest and well entrenched ways of thinking about organizations
o Organizations are complex systems that live within (and depend upon) the
external environment
o Open describe this permeable relationship; closed system operate without
dependence on or interaction with an external environment

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- Raw Material
- Human Resources
- Information
- Finances
- Equipment
Transforming inputs
to outputs
External Environment
- Products/services
- Shareholder dividends
- Community support
- Waste/ pollution
o Depend on the external environment
Resources, such as raw materials, job applicants, financial resources,
information, and equipment
Consists of rules and expectations, such as laws and cultural norms
o Inside are subsystems: departments, teams, informal groups, work processes,
technological configurations, etc.
o Effective organizations
Maintain a close fit with changing conditions
Transform inputs to outputs efficiently and flexibly
Move into different environments if the current environment is too
Fluidly reconfiguring their subsystems to become more consistent with
new environment
o Internal subsystems effectiveness
Most common indicator of this internal transformation process is
organizational efficiency/ productivity
The ratio of inputs to outcomes
Companies that produce more goods or services with less labor,
materials, and energy are more efficient
o Foundation for the other three organizational effectiveness perspective
- Organizational Learning Perspective
o An organizations capacity to acquire, share, use, and store valuable knowledge
o Main driver of competitive advantage
Organizational memory
The storage and preservation of intellectual capital
Retain intellectual capital by
o Keeping knowledgeable employees
o Transferring knowledge to others
o Transferring human capital to structural capital
Successful companies also unlearn
o Absorptive capacity (knowledge prerequisite)
The ability to recognize the value of new information, assimilate it, and
use it for value-added activities
External Environment
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