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BU288 Appendix Notes.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Laurie Barclay

BU288 Appendix – Research in Organizational Behaviour Research is a way of finding out about the world through objective and systematic info gathering The Basics of Organizational Behaviour Research Evidence-based management: Involves translating principles based on the best scientific evidence into organizational practices Hypothesis: A formal statement of the expected relationship between two variables Variables: Measures that can take two or more values - E.g. temperature, pay, fairness, absenteeism Types of Variables - Independent variable o The predictor or the cause of variation in a dependent variable - Dependent variable o A variable that will vary as a result of changes in the independent variable - Moderating variable o A variable that affects the nature of the relationship between the independent and the dependent variables such that the relationship depends on the level of the moderating variable  E.g. A bonus to reduce absenteeism  moderating variable: pay satisfaction - Mediating variable o A variable that intervenes or explains the relationship between the independent and the dependent variable  E.g. The bonus to reduce absenteeism can be explained through greater motivation from bonus Measurement of Variables Reliability: An index of the consistency of a research subject’s responses Validity: An index of the extent to which a measure truly reflects what it is supposed to measure Convergent Validity: When there is a strong relationship between different measures of the same variable - E.g. A measure of job satisfaction should be strongly correlated with other measures of job satisfaction Discriminant Validity: When there is a weak relationship between measures of different variables Observational Techniques Observational research: Research that examines the natural activities of people in an organizational setting by listening to what they say and watching what they do - Data (usually observer notes) are generally products of a single individual viewing a unique event  hard to judge reliability and validity Participant Observation: Observational research in which the researcher becomes a functioning member of the organizational unit being studied - A better view of how the organization being studied works - Secrecy  Subjects do not need to know that they are being observed - However, participating observer can influence surroundings/co-workers Direct Observation: Observational research in which the researcher observes the organizational behaviour without taking part in the studied activity - May be helpful to situations in which the introduction of a new person into an existing work setting would severely disrupt/change the nature of the activities in the setting - Does not require training to be able to participate in work environment - Allows for observer to record information right away and more accurately Best to use observational techniques for initial examination of organizational events, on which little info is available and to generate ideas for further investigation with more refined techniques Correlational Techniques Correlational research: Rese
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