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Organizational Psychology (PSYC 3080) Chapter Summaries [Appendix + 1-6]

Course Code
PSYC 3080
Harjinder Gill

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Organizational Behaviour
Midterm Summaries: Ch. 1, Appendix, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6
Chapter 1: Organizational Behaviour and Management
Pg 2-40
- important aspects of organizational behaviour: learning, diversity, teams, communication, corporate citizenship, social responsibility
- Consider the organization Sodexo Canada (See company description pg 2-3), and why they may have a corporate sustainability
program, programs that promote diversity and inclusion, financial benefits - and the effects of this on employee attitude and
behaviour? Why Sodexo is concerned about the environment and community?
What are Organizations?
-Organizations: social inventions for accomplishing common goals through group effort.
- organizations define the lives of most people - it is how most make a living, and we are often identified by what we do and
where we do it - we live in an organizational society. Ex. Sodexo Canada, the Toronto Blue jays, CTV, college sororities etc
- Three Components to Organizations:
- 1) Social Inventions
- 2) Goal Accomplishment
- 3) Group Effort
1) Social Inventions:
- Organizations are social inventions means that essential characteristic is the coordinated presence of people - NOT things.
- The field of organizational psychology is about understanding people and managing them to work effectively
2) Goal Accomplishment
- Organizations are assembled for various reasons to accomplish different goals - consider the goals of CTV, the Toronto Blue
Jays - one delivers the news and the other wins baseball games. Non-for-profit organizations have much different goals -
helping the needy or educating people
- All organizations have survival as a goal
- The field of organizational behaviour is concerned with how organizations should survive and adapt to change, certain
behaviours are necessary, Like:
- be motivated to join and remain in the organization
- carry our their basic work reliably, in terms of productivity, quality, and service
- be willing to continuously learn and upgrade their knowledge and skills
- be flexible, and innovative (are essential to adaption and change, which is essential for contemporary
3) Group Effort:
- Organizations are based on group effort
- On a basic level, group effort means that organizations depend on interaction and coordination among people to accomplish
their goals
- Both intellectual and physical work done in organizations is performed by groups - permanent or short-term team projects
- Informal groups develop in organizations as friendships or alliances occur to accomplish work - informal contacts quality is
determined by communication and morale
- The field of organizational behaviour is concerned with how to get people to practice effective team-work
What is Organizational Behaviour?
-Organizational Behaviour: the attitudes and behaviours of individuals and groups in organizations, the discipline of OB includes
- Systematic study of workplace attitudes and behaviours to provide insight about how to effectively manage and change
behaviour and attitudes
-Attitudes include: how satisfied people are with their jobs, how committed they feel to the goals of the organization, how
supportive they are of promoting women or minorities into management positions.
-Behaviours like cooperation, conflict, innovation, resignation, or ethical lapses are important to study in the field of OB
- Human Resource Management: (closely related but distinct discipline to OB) refers to programs, practices, and systems to acquire,
develop, and retain employees in organizations.
- Human Resource practices include:
- recruitment and selection
- compensation
- training and development
* Organizational behaviour helps to understand the effectiveness of human resource practice *
- Topics in organizational behaviour that relate to understanding effective human resource management:
- Absenteeism and Turnover: HR practices that lower absenteeism and retain employees
Midterm Summaries: Ch. 1, Appendix, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

Only pages 1-3 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

- Theories of Motivation: helps HR practice understand the effects of different pay plans on employee motivation and
- In HR practices like realistic job previews and employee orientation programs relate to the socialization process in the
- Therefore, understanding OB improves understanding of HRM
An Important question to consider in all organizations...
- What are the factors that make an organization competitive and a great place to work?
- This question will be explored throughout the unit, here is an overview of issues to consider:
- How do employees learn, and what is the role of training and development career planning? Ex, tuition subsidies, a
variety of training programs, career advancement opportunities etc etc.
- What should organizations do to manage a diverse workforce? Ex, Opportunities to build skills, knowledge,
awareness around dimensions of diversity and inclusion etc etc
- How can organizations motivate employees, and how important is compensation? Ex, Share purchase plan, a
defined contribution pension plan, and matching RSP contributions
- What is a cross-functional team and how do you design effective teams?
- What is organizational culture, and what role does it play in an organization’s success? Ex, emphasis on corporate
social responsibility, diversity, inclusion, sustainability, and concern for the environment.
Why Study Organizational Behaviour?
- Three main Reasons:
- 1) Organizational Behaviour is Interesting
- It is interesting because it is about people and human nature
- consider questions in an organization about diversity and how this effects employee behaviour and attitudes if a
company has a focus on inclusion and diversity practices.
- OB includes interesting examples on both success and failures - company successes will be covered later on for
various reasons.
- 2) Organizational Behaviour is Important
- It easy to assume a companies successes could lie in excellent marketing and sales, but the underlying reason
would be OB
- What happens in organizations has a profound impact on people, this impact does not stop at the walls of the
organization, products and services purchased by consumers are also affected.
- Therefore, OB is important to managers, employees, and consumers
- 3) Organizational Behaviour Makes a Difference
- It is currently argued that organizations can no longer achieve competitive advantage through the traditional
sources of success, such as technology, regulated markets, access to financial resources, and economies of scale -->
Today the main factors that differentiate a workforce is its workforce and human capital
- Human Capital is strongly related to and a key determinant of firm performance
- Sustained competitive advantage and organizational effectiveness are increasingly related to the management of
human capital and organizational behaviour
- Important topics of OB include: incentive pay, participation and empowerment, teams, job redesign and training
and skill development.
- The best companies to work for in Canada have implemented management practices that have their basis in OB,
such as flexible work schedules, diversity programs, and employee recognition and reward programs. -- but are the
best companies to work for the most profitable too?
How Much Do You Know About Organizational Behaviour?
* see statements referred to in Lecture #1
- Generally research has found that:
- personalities of effective leaders vary a fair amount
- many people prefer routine jobs
- managers are not well informed about the pay of their peers and superiors
- workers underestimate their own absenteeism
- pay is not always the most effective way to motivate workers and improve job performance
- Note: there are exceptions to all of these. There are ways to predict who might prefer more challenging jobs and who will be
motivated by pay
- Experience indicates that people are good at giving sensible reasons why the above statements are true or false. Ex, pay will motivate
workers because people want more pay, but workers will only work as hard as they have to, regardless of how much money they are
Research Focus: Are the best companies to work for the best companies?
- questions have been raised about if the additional costs associated with being a great work place justified by higher firm
performance? and, do good employee relations and positive job attitudes contribute to the bottom line?
Midterm Summaries: Ch. 1, Appendix, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

Only pages 1-3 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

- Findings suggest that there is strong evidence that there is a direct postive link between employee relations and attitudes and financial
- companies can create attractive workplaces without hurting the bottom line, and in many cases the 100 best exhibit superior
Goals of Organizational Behaviour
- Three main goals: Predicting, Explaining, and Managing
1) Predicting Organizational Behaviour (Analysis)
- predicting the behaviour of others is essential in (and outside) organizations
- In organizations, it is helpful to be able to predict when people will make ethical decisions, create innovative products, or
engage in sexual harassment
- The regularity of behaviour in organizations permits the prediction of future occurrence
- It is through systematic study that the field of OB provides a scientific foundation that helps improve prediction of
organizational events
- Predicting a behaviour does not mean we can necessarily explain a behaviour
2) Explaining Organizational Behaviour (Analysis)
- to explain event that occur in organizations and be able to answer ‘why do they occur?’
- Generally speaking, accurate prediction precedes explanation. For example:
- ancient societies were capable of predicting the regular setting of the sun, but could not explain why/where it went
- thus, the regularity of it’s disappearance gave some clues about why it disappeared.
- OB is interested in determining why people are more or less motivated, satisfied, or prone to resign
- Explaining events is more complicated than predicting them
- Ex. if a company has a “turn-over problem” they need why this is happening in order to effectively address the issue
- Specific behaviours can have many different causes, each with specific solutions
- Underlying causes of events can change overtime, making explanations more complicated
- The ability to understand behaviour is a prerequisite to effectively managing it
3) Managing Organizational Behaviour (Action)
- Management: the art of getting things accomplished in organizations through others
- Managers acquire, allocate, and utilize physical and human resources to accomplish goals
- If behaviour can be predicted and explained, it can often be manages
- If the reasons for high-quality service, ethical behaviour, or anything else can be understood, we can often take sensible
action to manage decisions, aka evidence based management.
- Evidenced-based Management: involves translating principles based on the best scientific evidence into organizational
- Using EBM, managers can make decisions based on the best (available) scientific evidence from social science and
organizational research, rather than personal preference and unsystematic experience
- EBM drives principles from research evidence and translates them into practices that solve organizational problems
- EBM is more likely to result in the attainment of organizational goals, including those affecting employees,
stockholders, and the general public
Early Prescriptions Concerning Management
- Early on, there were two main views concerning prescribing the ‘correct’ way to manage an organization to achieve its goals
- 1) The Classical View (and Bureaucracy)
- 2) The Human Relations View (and a critique of Bureaucracy)
1) The Classical View and Bureaucracy
- Classical writers consisting of experienced managers or consultants began to write down their thoughts on organizing,
mainly during the 1900s - most classical writers has experience in military settings, mining operations, and factories
- The Classical Viewpoint: Advocated a very high degree of specialization of labour and coordination - each department was
to tend to its own affairs, with decision making central to upper-management providing coordination
- to maintain control, the classical view suggested that managers have fairly few workers, except in lower-level jobs where
machine pacing could substitute for supervisors
- Frederick Taylor: ‘father of Scientific Management
- Scientific Management: system for using research to determine the optimum degree of specialization and
standardization of work tasks
- he supported the development of written and cleary defined work procedures, and encouraged supervisors to
standardize workers movements and breaks to maximize efficiency
- He extended scientific management to supervisors jobs advocating “functional foremanship” whereby supervisors
would specialize in particular functions. ex, specialist in training or disciplinarian
- Max Weber made the term Bureaucracy famous by advocating it as a means of rationally managing complex organizations.
Until Weber, industrial growth and development management was done by tuition, nepotism and favoritism. According to
weber, Bureaucracy had the following qualities:
- strict chain of command where each member reports strictly to a single superior
Midterm Summaries: Ch. 1, Appendix, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
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