Organization Behavior PSY332
- Organizations are social inventions for accomplishing common goals through group effort.
o It’s essential characteristic is the coordinated presence of people, not necessarily things.
- The field of organizational behavior is about understanding people and managing them to work
- The field of organizational behavior is concerned with how organizations can survive and adapt
- Virtually all organizations have survival as a goal.
- Certain behaviors are necessary for survival and adaptation.
o People have to be
Motivated to join and remain in the organization
Carry out 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 -> important for adaptation to change.
- Another final component of our definition of organization is that they are based on group effort.
o This means that organizations depend on interaction and coordination among people to
accomplish their goals.
Quality of informal contact (friendships in work) in terms of communication and
morale can have a strong impact on goal achievement.
o The field of organizational behavior is concerned with how to get people to practise
- Organizational behavior refers to the attitude and behaviors of individuals and groups in
o Also how organizations can be structured more effectively and how events in their
external environment affect the organization.
- Human resources management refers to programs, practices, and systems to acquire, develop,
and retain employees in organizations.
- We study organizational behavior because
About people and human nature, includes examples of success as well as
failures, provides the tools to find out why
Organizational behavior is important to managers, employees, consumers, and
understanding it can make us more effective managers, employees or
o Makes a difference
- Goals of organization behavior
o Predicting organizational behavior Predicting the behavior of others is an essential requirement for everyday life,
both inside and outside of organization.
The field of organizational behavior provides a scientific foundation that helps
improve predictions of organizational events.
o Explaining organizational behavior
Explanation is complicated as there could be multiple causes, complicated by
the fact that underlying causes of some event or behavior can change over time.
o Managing organization behavior
Management is defined as the art of getting accomplished in organizations
Managers acquire, allocate, and utilize physical and human resources to
If behaviors can be predicted and explained, then it often can be managed.
- evidence based management
o Involves translating principles based on the best scientific evidence into organizational
Managers can make decisions based on the best available scientific evidence
from social science and organizational research, rather than personal
preference and unsystematic experience.
Evidence based management derives principles from research evidence and
translate them into practices that solve organizational problems.
- Classical viewpoint of management tended to advocate a very high degree of specialization of
labour and a very high degree of coordination. Believes managers should have fairly few
- Scientific management, were concerned with job design and the structure of work on the shop
o Scientific management advocated the use of careful research to determine the optimum
degree of specialization and standardization. Also supported the development of
written instructions that clearly defined work procedures.
o Has strict chain of command
o Criteria for selection and promotion based on impersonal technical skills rather than
nepotism or favoritism
o Set of detailed rules and regulations ensuring that the job gets done
o Use of strict specialization to match duties with technical competence
o Centralization of power at the top of the organization.
Weber saw bureaucracy as an ideal type of theoretical model that would
standardize behavior in organizations and provide workers with security and a
sense of purpose.
- Critique of bureaucracy
o Hawthorne studies
Concerned with the impact of fatigue, rest pauses, and lighting on productivity. Began to realize psychological and social processes on productivity and work
o Human relations movement called attention to certain dysfunctional aspects of classical
management and bureaucracy and advocated more people-oriented styles of
management that catered more to the social and psychological needs of employees.
This critique of bureaucracy addressed several specific problems
Strict specialization is incompatible with human needs for growth and
achievement. This can lead to employee alienation from the organization and its
Strong centralization and reliance on formal authority often fail to take
advantage of the creative ideas and knowledge of lower level members, who
are close to the customer. Hence, organization fails to learn from its mistakes,
which threatens innovation and adaptation.
Strict, impersonal rules lead members to adopt the minimum acceptable level of
performance that the rules specify.
Strong specialization causes employees to lose sight of overall goals of
- Contemporary management, the contingency approach
o Recognizes that there is no one best way to manage, rather, an appropriate style
depends on the demands of the situation.
Effectiveness of a leadership style is contingent on the abilities of the followers,
and the consequence of a pay increase is partly contingent on the need for
- Managerial roles
o Interpersonal roles
Expected behaviors that have to do with establishing and maintaining
Figurehead roles, managers serve as symbols of their organization
rather than active decision makers
Leadership roles, managers select, mentor, reward, discipline
Liaison roles, managers maintain horizontal contacts inside and outside
o Informational roles
Concerned with the various ways managers received and transmit information
Monitor role, managers scan the internal and external environment of
the firm to follow current performance and to keep themselves
informed of new ideas and trends.
Disseminator role, managers send information on both facts and
preferences to others Spokesperson role, concerns mainly sending messages into the
organization’s external environment. E.g. annual report for stock
o Decisional roles
Deals with decision making
Entrepreneur role, managers turn problems and opportunities into
plans for improved changes
Disturbance handler role, managers deal with problems stemming from
employee conflicts and address threats to resources and turf
Resource allocation role, managers decide how to deploy time, money,
personnel and other critical resources.
Negotiator role, managers conduct major negotiations with other
organizations or individuals
- Managerial activities
o 4 basic types
Routine communication, includes formal sending and receiving of information
and the handling of paperwork
Traditional management, planning, decision making, and controlling are the
primary types of traditional management
Networking, consists of interacting with people outside of the organization and
informal socializing and politicking with insiders
Human resource management includes motivating and reinforcing, disciplining
and punishing, managing conflict, staffing, and training and developing
- Managerial minds
o Uses experience and intuition in several ways
Sense that a problem exists
Perform well learned mental tasks rapidly
Synthesize isolated pieces of information and data
Double check more formal or mechanical analyses
- Contemporary management concerns
o Diversity – local and global
Both labour force and customers are becoming increasingly culturally diverse.
Diversity in gender, race, age, religion.
Multinational expansion, strategic alliances, and joint ventures increasingly
require employees and managers to come into contact with their counterparts
from other cultures.
- Positive work environment and employee wellbeing
o Organizations are faced with employees who are disengaged, disillusioned, and
suffering from physical and mental sicknesses.
o Absenteeism and employee turnover in Canadian organization are on the rise. o Organizational behavior is concerned with creating positive work environments that
contribute to employee health and wellness.
Workplace spirituality refers to workplaces that provide employees with
meaning, purpose, a sense of community, and a connection to others.
Important to realize that workplace spirituality is not about religion but
rather providing employees with a meaningful work life that is aligned
with their values.
o Organizational behavior is also concerned with developing employees and providing
them with the resources that they need to achieve their goals and for their well-being.
Psychological capital refers to an individual’s positive psychological state of
development that is characterized by self-efficacy, optimism, hope, and
Self efficacy refers to one’s confidence to take on and put in the
necessary effort to succeed at challenging tasks.
Optimism involves making internal attributions about positive events in
the present and future and external attributions about negative events.
Hope refers to persevering toward one’s goals, and when necessary
making changes and using multiple pathways to achieve one’s goals.
Resilience refers to one’s ability to bounce back or rebound from
adversity and setbacks to attain success.
- Talent management and employee engagement
o Talent management refers to an organization’s processes for attracting, developing,
retaining, and utilizing people with the required skills to meet current and future
Very important today, as there is limited supply of qualified workers for the job.
o Work engagement is a positive work-related state of mind that is characterized by
vigour, dedication, and absorption.
- Organizational behavior provides the means for organizations to be designed and manged in
ways that optimize the attraction, development, retention, engagement, and performance of
- Corporate social responsibility
o CSR refers to an organization taking responsibility for the impact of its decisions and
actions on its stakeholders.
Involves in issues like community involvement, environment protection, safe
products, ethical marketing, employee diversity, and local and global labour
o An organization’s CSR activities and politics are associated with a firm’s financial
performance as well as positive employee attitudes, engagement, and performance.
o Also have implications for the recruitment and retention of employees. CHAPTER 2
- Personality is the relatively stable set of psychological characteristics that influence the way an
individual interacts with his or her environment and how he or she feels, thinks and behaves.
o An individual’s personality summarizes his or her personal style of dealing with the
o Personality consists of a number of dimensions and traits that are determined in a
complex way be genetic predisposition and by one’s long-term learning history
Though it is relatively stable, it is certainly susceptible to change through adult
- Personality and organizational behavior
o Dispositional approach involves individual’s possess stable traits or characteristics that
influence their attitudes and behaviors.
Individuals are predisposed to behave in certain ways.
o Situational approach, characteristics of the organizational setting, such as rewards and
punishment influence people’s feelings, attitudes, and behavior.
Both approaches counters each other, hence having a person-situation debate.
o Interactionists approach, suggests that organizational behavior is a function of both
dispositions and the situation.
To predict and understand organizational behavior, one must know something
about an individual’s personality and the setting in which he or she works.
There are 2 situations, weak or strong
o Weak situations, it is not always clear how a person should
o Strong situations, there are clear expectations for appropriate
Hence, personality has the most impact in weak
situations because in these situations, there are loosely
defined roles, few rules, and weak reward and
However, in strong situations, personality tends to have
o According to trait activation theory, traits lead to certain behaviors only when the
situation makes the need for that trait salient.
Personality characteristics influence people’s behavior when the situation calls
for a particular personality characteristic.
Thus there is no one best personality and managers need to appreciate
the advantages of employee diversity.
o Key concept is FIT, putting the right person in the right job,
group, and organization and exposing different employees to
different management styles.
o The five factor model of personality 5 basic but general dimensions that describe personality
Extraversion, extent to which a person is outgoing vs. shy.
High on extraversion is sociable, outgoing, energetic, and good for jobs
that require a lot of interpersonal interaction e.g. sales and
Emotional stability/neuroticism, degree to which a person has appropriate
High on emotional stability (low neuroticism) are self confident and
have high self-esteem.
Low, they tend to had self doubt, depression.
Agreeableness, extent to which a person is friendly and approachable
High means people are warm, considerate and friendly.
Low means people are cold, more inflexible. Agreeableness contributes
to job performance in jobs that require interaction and involve helping,
cooperating, and nurturing others. Also jobs that need teamwork and
Conscientiousness, degree to which a person is responsible and achievement-
High means people are dependable, positively motivated.
Low means irresponsible, lazy
Openness to experience, extent to which a person thinks flexibly and is
receptive to new ideas.
High means they are creative and innovative
Less means they favor status quo.
o Research evidence on big 5
Related to job performance and organizational citizenship behaviors and able to
best predict them.
Related to other work behaviors, e.g. retention and attendance at work,
disciplinary problems, absenteeism, and theft.
Also related to work motivation and job satisfaction.
Related to job search and career success.
- Locus of control
o Refers to individual’s beliefs about the location of the factors that control their behavior.
High internals believe that opportunity to control their own behavior resides
Internals see stronger links between the effort they put into their jobs,
and the performance level they achieve.
High externals believe that the world as an unpredictable, chancy place or
powerful people control their destinies.
- Self-monitoring o The extent to which people observe and regulate how they appear and behave in social
setting and relation
Low self monitors are not concerned with fitting in
High self monitors take great care to observe the thoughts, actions and feeling
of those around them, and control the images they project.
Not necessarily advantageous, as they are unlikely to feel comfortable
in ambiguous social settings.
o Degree to which a person has a positive self evaluation.
Behavioural plasticity theory, people with low self esteem tend to be more
susceptible to external and social influences than those who have high self-
esteem, more pliable.
Low esteem people look for social approval from others.
- Positive affectivity experience positive emotions and moods like joy and excitement and view
the world in a positive light.
- Negative affectivity experience negative emotions and moods like fear and anxiety and view the
world in a negative light.
o Not opposite ends of a continuum but are relatively independent dimensions.
- Proactive personality
o Taking the initiative to improve one’s current circumstances or creating new ones.
Challenging the status quo than adapting it.
Unconstrained by situational forces and willing to act to change.
Related to work outcomes, job satisfaction, job performance, organizational
citizenship behaviors, tolerance for stress in demanding jobs, leadership
effectiveness, participation in organizational initiatives, work team performance,
- General self-efficacy
o General trait that refers to an individual’s belief in his or her ability to perform
successfully in a variety of challenging situations.
Considered to be a motivational trait rather than an affective trait because it
reflects an individual’s belief that he or she can succeed at a variety of tasks
rather than how an individual feels about him or herself.
- Core self evualtions
o Refers to a broad personality concept that consists of more specific traits.
Individuals hold evaluations about themselves and their self worth, competence,
o Occurs when practice or experience leads to a relatively permanent change in behavior
o Learning in organizations
What, how, and different types of learning experiences.
4 primary categories Practical skills
o Job specific skills
o Communications, teamwork
o Problem solving, critical thinking
o Social norms of the organization
- Operant learning theory
o Subject learns to operate on the environment to achieve certain consequences.
o Used to increase probability of desired behaviors and to reduce or eliminate the
probability of undesirable behaviors.
o Process by which stimuli strengthens behavior
- Positive reinforcement
o Increases or maintains the probability of some behavior by the application or addition of
a stimulus to the situation in question
o Negative reinforcement increases or maintains the probability of some behavior by the
removal of a stimulus from the situation in question.
Also occur when a response prevents some event or stimulus from occurring.
- Errors involving reinforcement
o Most common errors are
Confusing rewards with reinforces
Often reward workers with pay, more shifts, paid vacation, overtime
work etc. but these may fail as reinforces.
Neglecting important sources
Fail to appreciate individual differences in preferences for reinforcers.
Sources of reinforcement
Managers can’t understand why a worker would persist in potentially
dangerous horseplay despite threats of a pay penalty or dismissal.
o Performance feedback
Involves providing quantitative or qualitative
information on past performance for the purpose of
changing or maintaining performance in specific ways.
o Social recognition
Involves informal acknowledgement, attention, praise…
- To obtain fast acquisition of some response, continuous and immediate reinforcement should
o Effect is more desirable.
o Bad behaviors tend to be persistent when it is learned under conditions of partial and
delayed reinforcement. - Extinction simply involves terminating the reinforcement that is maintaining some unwanted
o The gradual dissipation of behavior following the termination of reinforcement.
o Involves following an unwanted behavior with some unpleasant, aversive stimulus.
o Is useful in eliminating unwanted behavior.
Does not demonstrate which activities should be replaced the punished
Only indicates what is not appropriate doesn’t tell you what is wanted.
Has a tendency to provoke a strong emotional reaction.
Principles to increase effectiveness of punishment
Make sure chosen punishment is truly aversive
Do not reward unwanted behaviors before or after punishment
Do not inadvertently punish desirable behavior.
- Social cognitive theory
o Emphasize the role of cognitive processes in regulating people’s behavior.
According to theory, people learn by observing the behavior of othe