Textbook notes - Appendix

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10 Nov 2010
MGTB27 / 01 Week 1
- Research is a way of finding out about the world through objective and systematic
information gathering which differs from opinions and common sense
- Understanding how researchers conduct their research is important because
o You will be aware of how the information in this book was collected
o A critical perspective is necessary to differentiate between carefully designed or
useless processes that improve organizational behaviour (e.g. job redesign)
o Understanding of organizational behaviour research is necessary for managers to
make better decisions through evidence- based management
- Evidence-based management involves translating principles based on the best scientific
evidence into organizational practices. Managers will be able to make the best decisions
based on scientific evidence from social science and organizational research rather than
personal preference or unsystematic experience (more likely to reach goals/objectives)
The Basics of Organizational Behaviour Research
- All research in organizational behaviour begins with a question about work or organizations.
- Questions may stem from a formal theory (e.g. equity theory: what do people do when they
organizational problem (e.g. how to reduce absenteeism in customer service)
- Research questions are expressed as hypothesis which are formal statements of the expected
relationship between two variables (measures that can take on two or more values)
o e.g. Hypothesis: The introduction of a small attendance bonus will reduce absents
Variables: Bonus versus no bonus is two variables
Types of Variables
- In most research, we are concerned with two kinds of variables:
o Independent variable ± the variable that predicts or is the cause of variation in a
dependent variable
o Dependant variable ± variable that will vary as a result of changes in the
independent variable
E.g. independent variable = pay fairness; dependant variable = resigning
independent variable=attendance bonus; dependent variable=absenteeism
- Two other kinds of variables are:
o Moderating variable ± variables that indicate when an independent variable is most
likely to be related to a dependent variable (e.g. pay satisfaction)
o Mediating variable ± variable that intervenes or explains the relationship between
an independent and a dependent variable (e.g. DERQXVLQFUHDVHVSHRSOH¶VPRWLYDWLRQ
to come to work)
Measurement Variables
- Good measures should exhibit high reliability, validity, convergent validity, or discriminate
response about pay should be relatively the same if asked today or next week when there is
no change in pay)
- Validity is an index of the extent to which a measure truly reflects what it is supposed to
fairness about other workplace factors such as supervision)
Research in Organizational Behaviour ± Appendix (pg. 565 ± 577)
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