1: Introduction to Organizational Behavior

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Chapter 1 Introduction to Organizational Behavior Essentials of Organizational Behavior, 10/e Stephen P. Robbins & Timothy A. Judge


After reading this chapter, you should be able to:Define organizational behavior (OB). Explain the value of the systematic study of OB. Identify the contributions made to OB by major behavioral science disciplines. Describe how OB concepts can help make organizations more productive. List the major challenges and opportunities for managers to use OB concepts. Identify the three levels of analysis in OB.


The Field of Organizational BehaviorOrganizational Behavior studies the influence that individuals, groups and structure have on behavior within organizations. Its chief goal is to apply that knowledge toward improving an organization’s effectiveness.


Focal Points of OBJobs Work Absenteeism Employment turnover Productivity Human performance Management


Complementing Intuition with Systematic StudyIntuition: the “gut feeling” explanation of behavior. Systematic study improves ability to accurately predict behavior. Assumes behavior is not random. Fundamental consistencies underlie behavior. These can be identified and modified to reflect individual differences.


Systematic StudyExamines relationships. Attempts to attribute causes and effects. Bases conclusions on scientific evidence: On data gathered under controlled conditions. Data is measured and interpreted in a reasonably rigorous manner.


Evidence-Based ManagementComplements systematic study. Bases decisions on the best available scientific evidence. Forces managers to become more scientific in their thinking.


Contributing Disciplines to the OB FieldMacro: Groups & Organizations


Few Absolutes in OBImpossible to make simple and accurate generalizations Human beings are complex and diverse OB concepts must reflect situational conditions: contingency variables


Challenges and Opportunities for OB The workplace is contains a wide mix of cultures, races, ethnic groups, genders and ages Employees have to learn to cope with rapid change due to global competition Corporate loyalty has decreased due to corporate downsizing and use of temp workers Managers can benefit from OB theory and concepts


Responding to GlobalizationIncreased foreign assignments Differing needs and aspirations in workforce Working with people from different cultures Domestic motivational techniques and managerial styles may not work Overseeing movement of jobs to countries with low-cost labor


Managing Workforce DiversityWorkforce diversity: organizations are becoming a more heterogeneous mix of people in terms of gender, age, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation


Diversity Implications“Managers have to shift their philosophy from treating everyone alike to recognizing differences and responding to those differences in ways that ensure employee retention and greater productivity while, at the same time, not discriminating.”


OB Offers Insights Into:Improving quality and productivity Customer service and building a customer-responsive culture Developing people skills


OB Aids in Dealing With:Stimulating Innovation and Change Increasing “temporariness” in the workplace Helping employees balance work-life conflicts Improving ethical behavior


Thinking PositiveCreating a positive work environment can be a competitive advantage Positive Organizational Scholarship (Positive OB): Examines how organizations develop human strengths, foster vitality and resilience, and unlock potential. Focus is on employee strengths, not their weaknesses.


Three Levels of OB AnalysisChapters 2 - 7Chapters 8 - 13Chapters 14 - 16Plan of the Book


Implications for ManagersOB helps with: Insights to improve people skills Valuing of workforce diversity Empowering people and creating a positive work environment Dealing with labor shortages Coping in a world of temporariness Creating an ethically healthy work environment


Keep in Mind…OB’s goal is to understand and predict human behavior in organizations. Fundamental consistencies underlie behavior. It is more important than ever to learn OB concepts. Both managers and employees must learn to cope with temporariness.


SummaryDefined Organizational Behavior (OB). Explained the value of the systematic study of OB. Identified the contributions made to OB by major behavioral science disciplines. Described how OB concepts can help make organizations more productive. Listed the major challenges and opportunities for managers to use OB concepts. Identified the three levels of analysis in OB.


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Last Updated: 8th March 2018

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