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CHAPTER1 what is organizational behavior? LEARNING OBJECTIVES After studying this chapter, students should be able to: Demonstrate the importance of interpersonal skills in the workplace. Define organizational behavior (OB). Show the value to OB of systematic study. Identify the major behavioral science disciplines that contribute to OB. Demonstrate why few absolutes apply to OB. Identify managers’ challenges and opportunities in applying OB concepts. Compare the three levels of analysis in this text’s OB model. INSTRUCTOR RESOURCES Instructors may wish to use the following resources when presenting this chapter. Text Exercises Myth or Science?:“Management by Walking Around Is the Most Effective Management” Personal Inventory Assessments: Multicultural Awareness Scale An Ethical Choice: Vacation Deficit Disorder Career Objectives: What do I say about my termination? Point/Counter point: The Battle of The Texts Questions for Review Experiential Exercise: Managing the OB Way Ethical Dilemma: There’s a Drone in Your Soup Text Cases Case Incident 1: Apple Goes Global Case Incident 2:Big Data for Dummies Instructor’s Choice This section presents an exercise that is NOT found in the student's textbook. Instructor's Choice reinforces the text's emphasis through various activities. Some Instructor's Choice activities are centered on debates, group exercises, Internet research, and student experiences. Some can be used in class in their entirety, while others require some additional work on the student's part. The course instructor may choose to use these at anytime throughout the class—some may be more effective as icebreakers, while some may be used to pull together various concepts covered in the chapter. Web Exercises At the end of each chapter of this Instructor’s Manual, you will find suggested exercises and ideas for researching OB topics on the Internet. The exercises “Exploring OB Topics on the Web” are set up so that you can simply photocopy the pages, distribute them to your class, and make assignments accordingly. You may want to assign the exercises as an out-of-class activity or as lab activities with your class. Summary and Implications for Managers Managers need to develop their interpersonal, or people, skills to be effective in their jobs. Organizational behavior (OB) investigates the impact that individuals, groups, and structure have on behavior within an organization, and it applies that knowledge to make organizations work more effectively. Specific implications for managers are below: Resist the inclination to rely on generalizations; some provide valid insights into human behavior, but many are erroneous. Use metrics and situational variables rather than “hunches” to explain cause-and-effect relationships. Work on your interpersonal skills to increase your leadership potential. Improve your technical skills and conceptual skills through training and staying current with organizational behavior trends like big data. Organizational behavior can improve your employees’ work quality and productivity by showing you how to empower your employees, design and implement change programs, improve customer service, and help your employees balance work–life conflicts. This chaper begins with a vignette entitled, “Wall Street Warriors.” The details of this story are at once disheartening and inspiring, reflecting the complexity of organizational life. They also highlight several issues of interest to those of us seeking to understand organizational behavior, including motivation, ethics, emotions, personality, and culture. Throughout this text, you’ll learn how we can systematically study all these elements. BRIEF CHAPTER OUTLINE The Importance of Interpersonal Skills Better financial performance. Lower turnover of quality employees. Higher quality workplace relationships and employee job satisfaction, stress, and turnover. Greater social responsibility awareness. Management and Organizational Behavior Definitions Manager: Someone who gets things done through other people. They make decisions, allocate resources, and direct the activities of others to attain goals. Organization: A consciously coordinated social unit composed of two or more people that functions on a relatively continuous basis to achieve a common goal or set of goals. Management Functions All managers perform five primary management functions: planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling. Modern management scholars have condensed these functions to four: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Management Roles Introduction In the late 1960s, Henry Mintzberg studied five executives to determine what managers did on their jobs. He concluded that managers perform ten different, highly interrelated roles or sets of behaviors attributable to their jobs. The ten roles can be grouped as being primarily concerned with interpersonal relationships, the transfer of information, and decision making. (Exhibit 1-1) Interpersonal Roles: Figurehead, Leader, Liaison Informational Roles: Monitor, Disseminator, Spokesperson—a conduit to transmit information to organizational members and represent the organization to outsiders. Decisional Roles: Entrepreneur, Disturbance handlers, Resource allocator, Negotiator role Management Skills Technical Skills: The ability to apply specialized knowledge or expertise. All jobs require some specialized expertise, and many people develop their technical skills on the job. Human Skills: Ability to work with, understand, and motivate other people, both individually and in groups. Conceptual Skills: The mental ability to analyze and diagnose complex situations. Effective Versus Successful Managerial Activities Luthans and his associates studied more than 450 managers. They found that all managers engage in four managerial activities: Traditional management Communication Human resource management Networking Successful managers are defined as those who were promoted the fastest. (Exhibit 1-2) Organizational Behavior: OB is a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups, and structure have on behavior within organizations for the purpose of applying such knowledge toward improving an organization’s effectiveness. OB studies three determinants of behavior in organizations: individuals, groups, and structure. Complementing Intuition with Systematic Study Introduction Each of us is a student of behavior. The systematic approach used in this book will uncover important facts and relationships, and will provide a base from which more accurate predictions of behavior can be made. Systematic Study of Behavior Behavior, generally, is predictable if we know how the person perceived the situation and what is important to him or her. Evidence-Based Management(EBM) Complements systematic study. Argues for managers to make decisions on evidence. Intuition Systematic study and EBM add to intuition, or those “gut feelings” about “why I do what I do” and “what makes others tick.” If we make all decisions with intuition or gut instinct, we’re likely working with incomplete information. Use a combination Big Data Background: The use of big data for managerial practices is a relatively new area, but one that holds convincing promise. Current Usage: The reasons for data analytics include predicting any event, detecting how much risk is incurred at any time, and preventing catastrophes. New Trends: The use of Big Data for understanding, helping, and managing people is relatively new but holds promise. Limitations: Use evidence as much as possible to inform your intuition and experience. Disciplines That Contribute to the OB Field Introduction Organizational behavior is an applied behavioral science that is built upon contributions from a number of behavioral disciplines. The predominant areas are psychology, sociology, social psychology, and anthropology. Exhibit 1-3 overviews the major contributions to the study of organizational behavior. Psychology Psychology is the science that seeks to measure, explain, and sometimes change the behavior of humans and other animals. Social Psychology Social psychology blends the concepts of psychology and sociology. Sociology Sociologists study the social system in which individuals fill their roles; that is, sociology studies people in relation to their fellow human beings. Anthropology Anthropology is the study of societies to learn about human beings and their activities. There Are Few Absolutes in OB Introduction There are few, if any, simple and universal principles that explain organizational behavior. Contingency variables—situational factors are variables that moderate the relationship between the independent and dependent variables. Challenges and Opportunities for OB Introduction There are many challenges and opportunities today for managers to use OB concepts. Employment options today have adapted to include new opportunities for workers. (Exhibit 1-4) Responding to Economic Pressure In economic tough times, effective management is an asset. In good times, understanding how to reward, satisfy, and retain employees is at a premium. In bad times, issues like stress, decision making, and coping come to the forefront. Responding to Globalization Increased Foreign Assignments Working with People from Different Cultures Overseeing Movement of Jobs to Countries with Low-Cost Labor Adapting to Differing Cultural and Regulatory Norms Workforce Demographics As students of OB, we can investigate what factors lead employees to make various choices and how their experiences affect their perceptions of their workplaces. In turn, this can help us predict organizational outcomes. Managing Workforce Diversity Workforce diversity acknowledges a workforce of women and men; many racial and ethnic groups; individuals with a variety of physical or psychological abilities; and people who differ in age and sexual orientation. Improving Customer Service Service employees include technical support representatives, fast-food counter workers, sales clerks, nurses, automobile repair technicians, consultants, financial planners, and flight attendants. Employee attitudes and behavior are associated with customer satisfaction. Improving People Skills People skills are essential to managerial effectiveness. Working in Networked Organizations Networked organizations are becoming more pronounced. Manager’s job is fundamentally different in networked organizations. Challenges of motivating and leading “online” require different techniques. Using Social Media Ethical questions regarding HR use of social media. Employee use of social media at work. Enhancing Employee Well-Being at Work The creation of the global workforce means work no longer sleeps. Workers are on-call 24-hours a day or working nontraditional shifts. Balancing work and life demands now surpasses job security as an employee priority. Creating a Positive Work Environment Positive organizational scholarship is an area of OB research that concerns how organizations develop human strength, foster vitality and resilience, and unlock potential. Improving Ethical Behavior Ethical dilemmas and ethical choices are situations in which an individual is required to define right and wrong conduct. Coming Attractions: Developing an OB Model An Overview A model is an abstraction of reality, a simplified representation of some real-world phenomenon. (Exhibit 1-5) It proposes three types of variables (inputs, processes, and outcomes) at three levels of analysis (individual, group, and organizational). The model proceeds from left to right, with inputs leading to processes, and processes leading to outcomes. Inputs Inputs are the variables like personality, group structure, and organizational culture that lead to processes. Group structure, roles, and team responsibilities are typically assigned immediately before or after a group is formed. Finally, organizational structure and culture are usually the result of years of development and change as the organization adapts to its environment and builds up customs and norms. Processes If inputs are like the nouns in organizational behavior, processes are like verbs. Processes are actions that individuals, groups, and organizations engage in as a result of inputs and that lead to certain outcomes. At the individual level, processes include emotions and moods, motivation, perception, and decision making. At the group level, they include communication, leadership, power and politics, and conflict and negotiation. Finally, at the organizational level, processes include human resource management and change practices. Outcomes Outcomes are the key variables that you want to explain or predict, and that are affected by some other variables. At the group level, cohesion and functioning are the dependent variables. Finally, at the organizational level we look at overall profitability and survival. Attitudes and stress Employee attitudes are the evaluations employees make, ranging from positive to negative, about objects, people, or events. Stress is an unpleasant psychological process that occurs in response to environmental pressures. The belief that satisfied employees are more productive than dissatisfied employees has been a basic tenet among managers for years, though only now has research begun to support it. Task performance The combination of effectiveness and efficiency at doing your core job tasks is a reflection of your level of task performance. Obviously task performance is the most important human output contributing to organizational effectiveness, so in every chapter we devote considerable time to detailing how task performance is affected by the topic in question. Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) The discretionary behavior that is not part of an employee’s formal job requirements, and that contributes to the psychological and social environment of the workplace, is called citizenship behavior. Successful organizations need employees who will do more than their usual job duties—who will provide performance beyond expectations. Evidence indicates organizations that have such employees outperform those that don’t. As a result, OB is concerned with citizenship behavior as an outcome variable. Withdrawal behavior Withdrawal behavior is the set of actions that employees take to separate themselves from the organization. There are many forms of withdrawal, ranging from showing up late or failing to attend meetings to absenteeism and turnover. Employee withdrawal can have a very negative effect on an organization. Absenteeism also costs organizations significant amounts of money and time every year. All organizations, of course, have some turnover. While high turnover often impairs an organization’s ability to achieve its goals, quitting is not all bad. People quit because they are optimistic about their outside prospects. So why do employees withdraw from work? Reasons include negative job attitudes, emotions and moods, and negative interactions with co-workers and supervisors. Group cohesion Group cohesion is the extent to which members of a group support and validate one another at work. When employees trust one another, seek common goals, and work together to achieve these common ends, the group is cohesive; when employees are divided among themselves in terms of what they want to achieve and have little loyalty to one another, the group is not cohesive. Companies attempt to increase cohesion in a variety of ways ranging from brief icebreaker sessions to social events like picnics, parties, and outdoor adventure-team retreats. Group functioning In the same way that positive job attitudes can be associated with higher levels of task performance, group cohesion should lead to positive group functioning. Group functioning refers to the quantity and quality of a group’s work output. In some organizations, an effective group is one that stays focused on a core task and achieves its ends as specified. Other organizations look for teams that are able to work together collaboratively to provide excellent customer service. Still others put more of a premium on group creativity and the flexibility to adapt to changing situations. In each case, different types of activities will be required to get the most from the team. Productivity The highest level of analysis in organizational behavior is the organization as a whole. An organization is productive if it achieves its goals by transforming inputs into outputs at the lowest cost. This requires both effectiveness and efficiency. Popular measures of organizational efficiency include return on investment, profit per dollar of sales, and output per hour of labor. Service organizations must include customer needs and requirements in assessing their effectiveness. Survival The final outcome we will consider is organizational survival, which is simply evidence that the organization is able to exist and grow over the long term. Having reviewed the input, process, and outcome model, we’re going to change the figure up a little bit by grouping topics together based on whether we study them at the individual, group, or organizational level. As you can see in Exhibit 1-6, we will deal with inputs, processes, and outcomes at all three levels of analysis, but we group the chapters as shown here to correspond with the typical ways that research has been done in these areas. It is easier to understand one unified presentation about how personality leads to motivation, which leads to performance, than to jump around levels of analysis. Because each level builds on the one that precedes it, after going through them in sequence, you will have a good idea of how the human side of organizations functions. (Exhibit 1-6) Summary and Implications for Managers Managers need to develop their interpersonal, or people, skills to be effective in their jobs. Organizational behavior (OB) investigates the impact that individuals, groups, and structure have on behavior within an organization, and it applies that knowledge to make organizations work more effectively. Specific implications for managers are: Resist the inclination to rely on generalizations; some provide valid insights into human behavior, but many are erroneous. Use metrics and situational variables rather than “hunches” to explain cause-and-effect relationships. Work on your interpersonal skills to increase your leadership potential. Improve your technical skills and conceptual skills through training and staying current with organizational behavior trends like big data. Organizational behavior can improve your employees’ work quality and productivity by showing you how to empower your employees, design and implement change programs, improve customer service, and help your employees balance work–life conflicts. EXPANDED CHAPTER OUTLINE The Importance of Interpersonal Skills Until the late 1980s, business school curricula emphasized the technical aspects of management, focusing on economics, accounting, finance, and quantitative techniques. Coursework in human behavior and people skills received relatively less attention. Since then however, business schools have realized the significant role interpersonal skills play in determining a manager’s effectiveness. Incorporating OB principles into the workplace can yield many important organizational outcomes. Better financial performance. Lower turnover of quality employees. Higher quality workplace relationships and employee job satisfaction, lower stress and turnover. Greater social responsibility awareness. Companies with reputations as good places to work—such as Genentech, the Boston Consulting Group, Qualcomm, McKinsey & Company, Proctor & Gamble, Facebook, and Southwest Airlines—have a big advantage when attracting high performing employees. A recent national study of the U.S. workforce found that: Social relationships among coworkers and supervisors were strongly related to job satisfaction. Employees who know how to relate to their managers well, with supportive dialogue and proactivity, will find their ideas are endorsed more often, further improving workplace satisfaction. Increasing the OB element in organizations can foster social responsibility awareness. Managers cannot succeed on technical skills alone, they must have people skills. Management and OB Definitions Manager: Someone who gets things done through other people. They make decisions, allocate resources, and direct the activities of others to attain goals. Organization: A consciously coordinated social unit composed of two or more people that functions on a relatively continuous basis to achieve a common goal or set of goals. Management Functions All managers perform five management functions: planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling. Modern management scholars have condensed these functions to four: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Planning requires a manager to: Define goals (organizational, departmental, worker levels). Establish an overall strategy for achieving those goals. Develop a comprehensive hierarchy of plans to integrate and coordinate activities. Organizing requires a manager to: Determine what tasks are to be done. Who is to be assigned the tasks. How the tasks are to be grouped. Determine who reports to whom. Determine where decisions are to be made (centralized/decentralized). Leading requires a manager to: Motivate employees. Direct the activities of others. Select the most effective communication channels. Resolve conflicts among members. Controlling requires a manager to: Monitor the organization’s performance. Compare actual performance with the previously set goals. Correct significant deviations. Management Roles (Exhibit 1-1) Introduction In the late 1960s, Henry Mintzberg studied five executives to determine what managers did on their jobs. He concluded that managers perform ten different, highly interrelated roles or sets of behaviors attributable to their jobs. The ten roles can be grouped as being primarily concerned with interpersonal relationships, the transfer of information, and decision making. (Exhibit 1-1) Interpersonal Roles Figurehead—duties that are ceremonial and symbolic in nature. Leader—hire, train, motivate, and discipline employees. Liaison—contact outsiders who provide the manager with information. These may be individuals or groups inside or outside the organization. Informational Roles Monitor—collect information from organizations and institutions outside their own. Disseminator—a conduit to transmit information to organizational members. Spokesperson—represent the organization to outsiders. Decisional Roles Entrepreneur—managers initiate and oversee new projects that will improve their organization’s performance. Disturbance handlers—take corrective action in response to unforeseen problems. Resource allocators—responsible for allocating human, physical, and monetary resources. Negotiator role—discuss issues and bargains with other units to gain advantages for their own unit. Management Skills Introduction Researchers have identified a number of skills that differentiate effective from ineffective managers. Technical Skills The ability to apply specialized knowledge or expertise. All jobs require some specialized expertise, and many people develop their technical skills on the job. Human Skills Ability to work with, understand, and motivate other people, both individually and in groups. Many people are technically proficient but interpersonally incompetent. Conceptual Skills The mental ability to analyze and diagnose complex situations. Decision making, for example, requires managers to spot problems, identify alternatives that can correct them, evaluate those alternatives, and select the best one. Effective Versus Successful Managerial Activities (Exhibit 1-2) Fred Luthans and his associates asked: Do managers who move up most quickly in an organization do the same activities and with the same emphasis as managers who do the best job? Surprisingly, those managers who were the most effective were not necessarily promoted the fastest. Luthans and his associates studied more than 450 managers. They found that all managers engage in four managerial activities. Traditional management Decision making, planning, and controlling. The average manager spent 32 percent of his or her time performing this activity. Communication Exchanging routine information and processing paperwork. The average manager spent 29 percent of his or her time performing this activity. Human resource management Motivating, disciplining, managing conflict, staffing, and training. The average manager spent 20 percent of his or her time performing this activity. Networking Socializing, politicking, and interacting with outsiders. The average manager spent 19 percent of his or her time performing this activity. Successful managers are defined as those who were promoted the fastest. (Exhibit 1-2) Networking made the largest relative contribution to success. Human resource management activities made the least relative contribution. Effective managers—defined as quality and quantity of their performance, as well as commitment to employees: Communication made the largest relative contribution. Networking made the least relative contribution. Successful managers do not give the same emphasis to each of those activities as do effective managers—it is almost the opposite of effective managers. This finding challenges the historical assumption that promotions are based on performance, vividly illustrating the importance that social and political skills play in getting ahead in organizations. Organizational Behavior: OB is a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups, and structure have on behavior within organizations for the purpose of applying such knowledge toward improving an organization’s effectiveness. Organizational behavior is a field of study. OB studies three determinants of behavior in organizations: individuals, groups, and structure. OB applies the knowledge gained about individuals, groups, and the effect of structure on behavior in order to make organizations work more effectively. OB is concerned with the study of what people do in an organization and how that behavior affects the performance of the organization. There is increasing agreement as to the components of OB, but there is still considerable debate as to the relative importance of each: motivation, leader behavior and power, interpersonal communication, group structure and processes, learning, attitude development and perception, change processes, conflict and negotiation, and work design. Complementing Intuition with Systematic Study Introduction Each of us is a student of behavior. A casual or commonsense approach to reading others can often lead to erroneous predictions. You can improve your predictive ability by replacing your intuitive opinions with a more systematic approach. The systematic approach used in this book will uncover important facts and relationships and will provide a base from which more accurate predictions of behavior can be made. Systematic Study of Behavior Behavior, generally, is predictable if we know how the person perceived the situation and what is important to him or her. Looks at relationships. Attempts to attribute causes. Bases our conclusions on scientific evidence. Evidence-Based Management(EBM) Complements systematic study. Argues for managers to make decisions on evidence. But a vast majority of management decisions are made “on the fly.” Intuition Systematic study and EBM add to intuition, or those “gut feelings” about “why I do what I do” and “what makes others tick.” If we make all decisions with intuition or gut instinct, we’re likely working with incomplete information. Relying on intuition is made worse because we tend to overestimate the accuracy of what we think we know. We find a similar problem in chasing the business and popular media for management wisdom. Information—like making an investment decision with only half the data. Big Data Big data—the extensive use of statistical compilation and analysis—didn’t become possible until computers were sophisticated enough both to store and manipulate large amounts of information. Background: It’s difficult to believe now, but not long ago companies treated online shopping as a virtual point-of-sale experience: shoppers browsed websites anonymously, and sellers tracked sales data only on what customers bought. Gradually, though, online retailers began to track and act upon information about customer preferences that was uniquely available through the Internet shopping experience, information was far superior to data gathered in simple store transactions. This enabled them to create more targeted marketing strategies than ever before. Current usage: The reasons for data analytics include: predicting any event; detecting how much risk is incurred at any time; and preventing catastrophes large and small. New trends: While accessibility to data increases organizations’ ability to predict human behavioral trends, the use of big data for understanding, helping, and managing people is relatively new but holds promise. It is good news for the future of business that researchers, the media, and company leaders have identified the potential of data-driven management and decision making. Limitations: As technological capabilities for handling big data have increased, so have issues of privacy. This is particularly true when data collection includes surveillance instruments. What do people think about big data when they are the source of the data? Organizations using big data run the risk of offending the very people they are trying to influence: employees and customers. We must keep in mind that big data will always be limited in predicting behavior, curtailing risk, and preventing catastrophes. In contrast to the replicable results we can obtain in the sciences through big data analytics, human behavior is often capricious and predicated on innumerable variables. Otherwise, our decision making would have been taken over by artificial intelligence by now! We’re not advising that you throw your intuition, or all the business press, out the window. What we are advising is to use evidence as much as possible to inform your intuition and experience. Disciplines That Contribute to the OB Field Introduction (Exhibit 1-3) Organizational behavior is an applied behavioral science that is built upon contributions from a number of behavioral disciplines. The predominant areas are psychology, social psychology, sociology, and anthropology. Exhibit 1-3 overviews the major contributions to the study of organizational behavior. Psychology Psychology is the science that seeks to measure, explain, and sometimes change the behavior of humans and other animals. Early industrial/organizational psychologists concerned themselves with problems of fatigue, boredom, and other factors relevant to working conditions that could impede efficient work performance. More recently, their contributions have been expanded to include learning, perception, personality, emotions, training, leadership effectiveness, needs and motivational forces, job satisfaction, decision making processes, performance appraisals, attitude measurement, employee selection techniques, work design, and job stress. Social Psychology Social psychology blends the concepts of psychology and sociology. It focuses on the influence of people on one another. Major area—how to implement it and how to reduce barriers to its acceptance. Sociology Sociologists study the social system in which individuals fill their roles; that is, sociology studies people in relation to their fellow human beings. Their greatest contribution to OB is through their study of groups in organizations, particularly formal and complex organizations. Anthropology Anthropology is the study of societies to learn about human beings and their activities. Anthropologists work on cultures and environments; for instance, they have helped us understand differences in fundamental values, attitudes, and behaviors among people in different countries and within different organizations. There Are Few Absolutes in OB Introduction There are few, if any, simple and universal principles that explain organizational behavior. Human beings are complex. Because they are not alike, our ability to make simple, accurate, and sweeping generalizations is limited. That does not mean, of course, that we cannot offer reasonably accurate explanations of human behavior or make valid predictions. It does mean, however, that OB concepts must reflect situational, or contingency, conditions. Contingency variables—situational factors are variables that moderate the relationship between the independent and dependent variables. Using general concepts and then altering their application to the particular situation developed the science of OB. Organizational behavior theories mirror the subject matter with which they deal. Challenges and Opportunities for OB Introduction (Exhibit 1-4) There are many challenges and opportunities today for managers to use OB concepts. Exhibit 1-4 details some of the types of options individuals may find offered to them by organizations or for which they would like to negotiate. Responding to Economic Pressure Deep and prolonged recession in 2008 that spread world-wide. In economic tough times, effective management is an asset. During these times, the difference between good and bad management can be the difference between profit and loss. In good times, understanding how to reward, satisfy, and retain employees is at a premium. In bad times, issues like stress, decision making, and coping come to the forefront. Responding to Globalization Increased Foreign Assignments You are increasingly likely to find yourself in a foreign assignment. Once there, you’ll have to manage a workforce very different in needs, aspirations, and attitudes from those you are used to back home. Working With People From Different Cultures Even in your own country, you’ll find yourself working with bosses, peers, and other employees born and raised in different cultures. Management practices need to be modified to reflect the values of the different countries in which an organization operates. Overseeing Movement of Jobs to Countries with Low-Cost Labor Managers are under pressure to keep costs down to maintain competitiveness. Moving jobs to low-labor cost places requires managers to deal with difficulties in balancing the interests of their organization with responsibilities to the communities in which they operate. Adapting to Differing Cultural and Regulatory Norms “Going global” for a business is not as simple as typing in an overseas e-mail address, shipping goods off to a foreign port, or building facilities in other countries. To be successful, managers need to know the cultural practices of the workforce in each country where they do business. Workforce Demographics People adapt to survive, and OB studies the way those adaptations affect individuals’ behavior. As students of OB, we can investigate what factors lead employees to make various choices and how their experiences affect their perceptions of their workplaces. In turn, this can help us predict organizational outcomes. Socioeconomic shifts have a profound effect on workforce demographics. The days when women stayed home because it was expected are just a memory in some cultures, while in others, women face significant barriers to entry into the workforce. Managing Workforce Diversity Workforce diversity is one of the most important and broad-based challenges currently facing organizations. Workforce diversity acknowledges a workforce of women and men; many racial and ethnic groups; individuals with a variety of physical or psychological abilities; and people who differ in age and sexual orientation. Managing this diversity is a global concern. Improving Customer Service Service employees include technical support reps, fast food counter workers, waiters, nurses, financial planners, and flight attendants. Employee attitudes and behavior are associated with customer satisfaction. Improving People Skills People skills are essential to managerial effectiveness. OB provides the concepts and theories that allow managers to predict employee behavior in given situations. Working in Networked Organizations Networked organizations are becoming more pronounced. Manager’s job is fundamentally different in networked organizations. Challenges of motivating and leading “online” require different techniques. Social Media Social media is a difficult issue for today’s manager, presenting both a challenge and an opportunity for OB. For instance, how much should HR look into a candidate’s social media presence? Once employees are on the job, many organizations have policies about accessing social media at work – when, where, and for what purposes. But what about the impact of social media on employee well-being? Enhancing Employee Well-Being at Work Employees are increasingly complaining that the line between work and non-work has become blurred, creating conflict and stress. Communication technology has provided a vehicle for working at any time or any place. Employees are working longer hours per week. The lifestyles of families have changed, creating conflict: more dual career couples and single parents find it hard to fulfill commitments to home, children, spouse, parents, and friends. Balancing work and life demands now surpasses job security as an employee priority. Creating a Positive Work Environment Positive organizational scholarship or behavior studies what is ‘good’ about organizations. This field of study focuses on employees’ strengths versus their limitations as employees share situations in which they performed at their personal best. Improving Ethical Behavior Ethical dilemmas and ethical choices are situations in which an individual is required to define right and wrong conduct. Good ethical behavior is not so easily defined. Organizations are distributing codes of ethics to guide employees through ethical dilemmas. Managers need to create an ethically healthy climate. Coming Attractions: Developing an OB Model An Overview A model is an abstraction of reality, a simplified representation of some real-world phenomenon. (Exhibit 1-5) It proposes three types of variables (inputs, processes, and outcomes) at three levels of analysis (individual, group, and organizational). The model proceeds from left to right, with inputs leading to processes, and processes leading to outcomes. Notice that the model also shows that outcomes can influence inputs in the future. Inputs Inputs are the variables like personality, group structure, and organizational culture that lead to processes. These variables set the stage for what will occur in an organization later. Many are determined in advance of the employment relationship. For example, individual diversity characteristics, personality, and values are shaped by a combination of an individual’s genetic inheritance and childhood environment. Group structure, roles, and team responsibilities are typically assigned immediately before or after a group is formed. Finally, organizational structure and culture are usually the result of years of development and change as the organization adapts to its environment and builds up customs and norms. Processes If inputs are like the nouns in organizational behavior, processes are like verbs. Processes are actions that individuals, groups, and organizations engage in as a result of inputs and that lead to certain outcomes. At the group level, they include communication, leadership, power and politics, and conflict and negotiation. Finally, at the organizational level, processes include human resource management and change practices. Outcomes Outcomes are the key variables that you want to explain or predict, and that are affected by some other variables. Scholars have emphasized individual-level outcomes like attitudes and satisfaction, task performance, citizenship behavior, and withdrawal behavior. At the group level, cohesion and functioning are the dependent variables. Finally, at the organizational level, we look at overall profitability and survival. Because these outcomes will be covered in all the chapters, we’ll briefly discuss each here so you can understand what the “goal” of OB will be. Attitudes and stress Employee attitudes are the evaluations employees make, ranging from positive to negative, about objects, people, or events. For example, the statement, “I really think my job is great,” is a positive job attitude, and “My job is boring and tedious” is a negative job attitude. Stress is an unpleasant psychological process that occurs in response to environmental pressures. Some people might think that influencing employee attitudes and stress are purely soft stuff, and not the business of serious managers, but as we will show, attitudes often have behavioral consequences that directly relate to organizational effectiveness. The belief that satisfied employees are more productive than dissatisfied employees has been a basic tenet among managers for years, though only now has research begun to support it. Ample evidence shows that employees who are more satisfied and treated fairly are more willing to engage in the above-and-beyond citizenship behavior so vital in the contemporary business environment. Task performance The combination of effectiveness and efficiency at doing your core job tasks is a reflection of your level of task performance. If we think about the job of a factory worker, task performance could be measured by the number and quality of products produced in an hour. The task performance of a teacher would be the level of education that students obtain. The task performance of a consultant might be measured by the timeliness and quality of the presentations offered to the client firm. All these types of performance relate to the core duties and responsibilities of a job and are often directly related to the functions listed on a formal job description. Obviously task performance is the most important human output contributing to organizational effectiveness, so in every chapter we devote considerable time to detailing how task performance is affected by the topic in question. Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) The discretionary behavior that is not part of an employee’s formal job requirements, and that contributes to the psychological and social environment of the workplace, is called organizational citizenship behavior. Successful organizations need employees who will do more than their usual job duties—who will provide performance beyond expectations. In today’s dynamic workplace, where tasks are increasingly performed by teams and flexibility is critical, employees who engage in “good citizenship” behaviors help others on their team, volunteer for extra work, avoid unnecessary conflicts, respect the spirit as well as the letter of rules and regulations, and gracefully tolerate occasional work-related impositions and nuisances. Organizations want and need employees who will do things that aren’t in any job description. Evidence indicates organizations that have such employees outperform those that don’t. As a result, OB is concerned with citizenship behavior as an outcome variable. Withdrawal behavior We’ve already mentioned behavior that goes above and beyond task requirements, but what about behavior that in some way is below task requirements? Withdrawal behavior is the set of actions that employees take to separate themselves from the organization. There are many forms of withdrawal, ranging from showing up late or failing to attend meetings to absenteeism and turnover. Employee withdrawal can have a very negative effect on an organization. The cost of employee turnover alone has been estimated to run into the thousands of dollars, even for entry-level positions. Absenteeism also costs organizations significant amounts of money and time every year. For instance, a recent survey found the average direct cost to U.S. employers of unscheduled absences is 8.7 percent of payroll. In Sweden, an average of 10 percent of the country’s workforce is on sick leave at any given time. It’s obviously difficult for an organization to operate smoothly and attain its objectives if employees fail to report to their jobs. The work flow is disrupted, and important decisions may be delayed. In organizations that rely heavily on assembly-line production, absenteeism can be considerably more than a disruption; it can drastically reduce the quality of output or even shut down the facility. Levels of absenteeism beyond the normal range have a direct impact on any organization’s effectiveness and efficiency. A high rate of turnover can also disrupt the efficient running of an organization when knowledgeable and experienced personnel leave and replacements must be found to assume positions of responsibility. All organizations, of course, have some turnover. The U.S. national turnover rate in 2014 averaged about 40 percent, often the average is around 3 percent per month. If the “right” people are leaving the organization—the marginal and submarginal employees—turnover can actually be positive. It can create an opportunity to replace an underperforming individual with someone who has higher skills or motivation, open up increased opportunities for promotions, and bring new and fresh ideas to the organization. In today’s changing world of work, reasonable levels of employee-initiated turnover improve organizational flexibility and employee independence, and they can lessen the need for management-initiated layoffs. So why do employees withdraw from work? As we will show later in the book, reasons include negative job attitudes, emotions and moods, and negative interactions with coworkers and supervisors. Group cohesion Although many outcomes in our model can be conceptualized as individual level phenomena, some relate to how groups operate. Group cohesion is the extent to which members of a group support and validate one another at work. In other words, a cohesive group is one that sticks together. When employees trust one another, seek common goals, and work together to achieve these common ends, the group is cohesive; when employees are divided among themselves in terms of what they want to achieve and have little loyalty to one another, the group is not cohesive. There is ample evidence showing that cohesive groups are more effective. These results are found both for groups that are studied in highly controlled laboratory settings and also for work teams observed in field settings. This fits with our intuitive sense that people tend to work harder in groups that have a common purpose. Companies attempt to increase cohesion in a variety of ways ranging from brief icebreaker sessions to social events like picnics, parties, and outdoor adventure-team retreats. Throughout the book, we will try to assess whether these specific efforts are likely to result in increases in group cohesiveness. We’ll also consider ways that picking the right people to be on the team in the first place might be an effective way to enhance cohesion. Group functioning In the same way that positive job attitudes can be associated with higher levels of task performance, group cohesion should lead to positive group functioning. Group functioning refers to the quantity and quality of a group’s work output. What does it mean to say that a group is functioning effectively? In some organizations, an effective group is one that stays focused on a core task and achieves its ends as specified. Other organizations look for teams that are able to work together collaboratively to provide excellent customer service. Still others put more of a premium on group creativity and the flexibility to adapt to changing situations. In each case, different types of activities will be required to get the most from the team. Productivity The highest level of analysis in organizational behavior is the organization as a whole. An organization is productive if it achieves its goals by transforming inputs into outputs at the lowest cost. This requires both effectiveness and efficiency. A hospital is effective when it successfully meets the needs of its clientele. It is efficient when it can do so at a low cost. If a hospital manages to achieve higher output from its present staff by reducing the average number of days a patient is confined to bed or increasing the number of staff–patient contacts per day, we say the hospital has gained productive efficiency. A business firm is effective when it attains its sales or market share goals, but its productivity also depends on achieving those goals efficiently. Popular measures of organizational efficiency include return on investment, profit per dollar of sales, and output per hour of labor. Service organizations must include customer needs and requirements in assessing their effectiveness. A clear chain of cause and effect runs from employee attitudes and behavior to customer attitudes and behavior to a service organization’s productivity. Survival The final outcome we will consider is organizational survival, which is simply evidence that the organization is able to exist and grow over the long term. The survival of an organization depends not just on how productive the organization is, but also on how well it fits with its environment. A company that is very productively making goods and services of little value to the market is unlikely to survive for long, so survival factors in things like perceiving the market successfully, making good decisions about how and when to pursue opportunities, and engaging in successful change management to adapt to new business conditions are important. Having reviewed the input, process, and outcome model, we’re going to change the figure up a little bit by grouping topics together based on whether we study them at the individual, group, or organizational level. As you can see in Exhibit 1-6, we will deal with inputs, processes, and outcomes at all three levels of analysis, but we group the chapters as shown here to correspond with the typical ways research has been done in these areas. It is easier to understand one unified presentation about how personality leads to motivation, which leads to performance, than to jump around levels of analysis. Because each level builds on the one that precedes it, after going through them in sequence, you will have a good idea of how the human side of organizations functions. (Exhibit 1-6) Summary and Implications for Managers Managers need to develop their interpersonal, or people, skills to be effective in their jobs. Organizational behavior (OB) investigates the impact that individuals, groups, and structure have on behavior within an organization, and it applies that knowledge to make organizations work more effectively. Specific implications for managers are below: Resist the inclination to rely on generalizations; some provide valid insights into human behavior, but many are erroneous. Use metrics and situational variables rather than “hunches” to explain cause-and-effect relationships. Work on your interpersonal skills to increase your leadership potential. Improve your technical skills and conceptual skills through training and staying current with organizational behavior trends like big data. Organizational behavior can improve your employees’ work quality and productivity by showing you how to empower your employees, design and implement change programs, improve customer service, and help your employees balance work–life conflicts. Myth or Science? “Management by Walking Around Is the Most Effective Management” This is mostly false, but with a caveat. Management by walking around (MBWA) is an organizational principle made famous with the 1982 publication of In Search of Excellence and based on a 1970s initiative by Hewlett-Packard—in other words, it’s a dinosaur. But the idea of requiring managers at all levels of the organization to wander around their departments to observe, converse, and hear from employees continues as a common business practice. Many companies expecting managers and executives to do regular “floor time” have claimed benefits from employee engagement to deeper management understanding of company issues. While MBWA sounds helpful, it is not a panacea or cure-all. The limitations of MBWA are threefold: available hours, focus, and application. Available hours. Managers are tasked with planning, organizing, coordinating, and controlling, yet even CEOs—the managers who should be the most in control of their time—report 53 percent of their average 55-hour workweek is spent in meetings. We’ve yet to see a meeting conducted while touring the plant! Focus. MBWA turns management’s focus toward the concerns of employees. This is good, but only to a degree. As noted by Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, this is a problem. “Part of the key to time management is carving out time to think, as opposed to constantly reacting. And during that thinking time, you’re not only thinking strategically, thinking proactively, thinking longer-term, but you’re literally thinking about what is urgent versus important.” Weiner and other CEOs argue that meetings distract them from their purpose, especially internal company interactions. Application. The principle behind MBWA is that the more managers know their employees, the more effective those managers will be. This is not always (or even often) true. As we’ll learn in Chapter 6, knowing something (or thinking you know) should not always lead us to acting on only that information. For example, a 30-minute test to determine personality traits and reactions to scenarios recently resulted in a 20 percent reduction in attrition for a Xerox call center, even though managers had previously been diligent in seeking information on candidates through interviews. There is no substitute for good, objective data. Based on the need for managers to dedicate their efforts to administering and growing businesses, and given the proven effectiveness of objective performance measures, it seems the time for MBWA is gone. Yet there is one caveat. We certainly don’t argue that managers should refrain from knowing their employees, or that a stroll through the work floor is a bad idea. Rather, we find the regular, intentional interactions of MBWA do not, in themselves, make an effective management tool. Sources: H. Mintzberg, “The Manager’s Job,” Harvard Business Review (March–April 1990), pp. 1–13; R. E. Silverman, “Where’s the Boss? Trapped in a Meeting,” The Wall Street Journal (February 14, 2012), p. B1, B9; and J. Walker, “Meet the New Boss: Big Data,” The Wall Street Journal (September 20, 2012), p. B1. Class Exercise Divide the class into groups of 5 to 6 students each. Try to ensure a mixture of male and females in each group. Have students in each group discuss the type of manager they would like to be. Students should identify specific characteristics such as “open and in touch” or “knowledgeable, but distant.” Ask students to develop a list of ways that MBWA could help them be more effective managers such as help to build trust, improve accountability and morale, or increase productivity. Finally, ask students to assume that MBWA is commonly used in their organization. How can they use the practice most effectively? Teaching Notes This exercise is applicable to face-to-face classes or synchronous online classes such as Black Board 9.1, WIMBA, and Second Life Virtual Classrooms. See http://www.baclass.panam.edu/imob/SecondLife for more information. Personal Inventory Assessments Multicultural Awareness Scale Any study of organizational behavior (OB) starts with knowledge of yourself. As one step, take this PIA to determine your multicultural awareness. An Ethical Choice Vacation Deficit Disorder Do you work to live, or live to work? Those of us who think it’s a choice might be wrong. No matter what employee vacation accrual balance sheets indicate, in many cases, workers will end this year with a week of unused time. Or more. Consider Ken Waltz, a director for Alexian Brothers Health System. He has 500 hours (approximately 3 months) in banked time off and no plans to spend it, choosing work over time with his two sons. “You’re on call 24/7 and these days, you’d better step up or step out,” he says, referring to today’s leaner workforce, “It’s not just me—it’s upper management… . It’s everybody.” Jane Himmel, a senior manager for Palmer House Hilton, agrees. She took 5 of her allotted 22 days off in 2012, but didn’t consider even those days a break because she chose to monitor her e-mail constantly. “If I don’t keep up with it, it’s just insane when I get back,” she says. Almost a full one-third of 1,000 respondents in a study by Kelton Research agreed, citing workload as a reason for not using allotted vacation days. In 2011, 65 percent of U.S. workers had unused vacation days, and experts believe the percentage is increasing. Much of the reason is attributable to the economy; one person is often doing the work of three, and many fear they may lose their jobs if they take vacation. But the cost of nonstop working can be high. There are ethical choices here, for the employer and for the employee. It would be easy to assume employers prefer employees to work without breaks, but that’s not always the case. Many states require employers to compensate departing employees financially for accrued vacation time, and most companies say they recognize the benefits of a refreshed workforce. As a result, they often encourage their employees to take their vacations through periodic “use it or lose it” e-mail reminders. Yet, employers are also expecting workers to do more with less, in the form of fewer co-workers to help get the job done, putting implicit or explicit pressure on them to use all available resources—chiefly their time—to meet manager expectations. Research indicates employees are more likely to respond to the direct pressure of management than to the indirect benevolence of corporate policy. Thus, policy or not, many employees do not take their allotted vacation time due to direct or indirect pressure from their manager. While it is easy to dismiss these pressures, in today’s economy there is always a ready line of replacements, and many employees will do everything possible to keep in their manager’s good graces, including foregoing vacation time. The downside, of course, is the risk of burnout. Foregoing vacation time can wear you down emotionally, leading to exhaustion, negative feelings about your work, and a reduced feeling of accomplishment. You may find you are absent more often, contemplate leaving your job, and grow less likely to want to help anyone (including your managers). Here are some choices you can make to prevent a downward spiral: Recognize your feelings. According to a recent report by ComPsych Corp. on 2,000 employees, two in three identified high levels of stress, out-of-control feelings, and extreme fatigue. We solve few problems without first recognizing them. Identify your tendency for burnout. Research on 2,089 employees found that burnout is especially acute for newcomers and job changers. If you have recently made a career change, it can help you to know any increase in symptoms should level off after 2 years. But keep in mind that each individual experiences stress differently. Talk about your stressors. Thomas Donohoe, a researcher on work–life balance, recommends talking with trusted friends or family. On the job, appropriately discussing your stress factors can help you reduce job overload. Build in high physical activity. Recent research found an increase in job burnout (and depression) was strongest for employees who did not engage in regular physical activity, while it was almost negligible for employees who did engage in regular high physical activity. Physical activity distracts the mind from stressors, enhances feelings of mastery and self-efficacy, and builds physiological resilience to stress. Take brief breaks throughout your day. For office employees, the current expert suggestion is to spend at least 1 to 2 minutes standing up every hour to combat the effects of all-day sitting. Donohoe also suggests snack breaks, walks, or small naps to recharge. Take your vacation! Studies suggest that recovery from stress can happen only if employees are (a) physically away from work and (b) not occupied by work-related duties. That means log off your e-mail accounts, shut off your phone, and put down your pen for the duration of the vacation. As much as possible, remove yourself from the work environment physically and mentally. With work only a thumb swipe away and performance demands high, it is not always easy to look beyond the next deadline. But to maximize your long-term productivity and avoid stress, burnout, and illness—all of which are ultimately harmful to employer aims and employee careers alike—you should not succumb to vacation deficit disorder. Educate your managers. Your employer will thank you for it. Sources: B. B. Dunford, A. J. Shipp, R. W. Boss, I. Angermeier, and A. D. Boss, “Is Burnout Static or Dynamic? A Career Transition Perspective of Employee Burnout Trajectories,” Journal of Applied Psychology 97, no. 3 (2012), pp. 637–650; E. J. Hirst, “Burnout on the Rise,” ChicagoTribune (October 29, 2012), pp. 3-1, 3-4; B. M. Rubin, “Rough Economy Means No Vacation,” Chicago Tribune (September 3, 2012), p. 4; and S. Toker and M. Biron, “Job Burnout and Depression: Unraveling Their Temporal Relationship and Considering the Role of Physical Activity,” Journal of Applied Psychology 97, no. 3 (2012), pp. 699–710. Class Exercise Form groups of 5 students. Have each group do an Internet search for stress levels and vacation time. Each group should access at least five resources. Ask students to discuss the similarities and differences among the resources they accessed. Ask one representative from each group to present to the class the consensus of the discussion based on the group’s findings. Teaching Notes This exercise is applicable to face-to-face classes or synchronous online classes such as Black Board 9.1, WIMBA, and Second Life Virtual Classrooms. See http://www.baclass.panam.edu/imob/SecondLife for more information. Career Objectives What do I say about my termination? I got fired! When prospective employers find out, they’ll never hire me. Is there anything I can say to turn this around? – Matt Dear Matt: Under this dark cloud, there are some silver linings: 1) firing, or involuntary termination, happens to just about everyone at least once in a career; and 2) there is a worldwide job shortage of skilled workers. You might be amazed to know that historically, individuals have changed jobs an average of 11 times over their early careers (from age 18-44). In fact, you can probably expect to stay in a job for less than three years, which means you’ll have a lot of jobs in your lifetime. Therefore, you shouldn’t feel hopeless; you are likely to find your next job soon. ManpowerGroup’s recent survey of over 37,000 employers in 42 countries found that 36 percent of organizations have talent shortages, the highest percentage in 7 years. Still we know you are worried about how to present the facts of your involuntary termination to prospective employers. If you give a truthful, brief account of the reason for your termination, you can position yourself well. Here are some additional suggestions: Remember your soft skills count; in fact they top the lists of employer requirements for all industries. According to Chuck Knebi, a communications manager for the job placement company Work One, use your resume and cover letter, interviews, and thank you notes to showcase your communication skills. Employers report they are also looking for a teamwork attitude, positivity, personal responsibility, and punctuality, so use every opportunity to demonstrate these traits. Although your soft skills count, don’t forget your technical skills; employers agree they are equally important. Knebl advises you to use your resume to list your technical abilities and be prepared to elaborate upon request. Need some more skills? Job training has been shown to be helpful and can sometimes be free through colleges and unemployment offices. Emphasize your ongoing training and education, especially as they relate to new technology; top performers are known to be continuous learners. Also, if you’ve kept up with recent trends in social media, show it, but don’t go on about your friend’s tweet to Rhianna. Best wishes for your success! Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor, Employment Projections, http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm; G. Jones, “How the Best Get Better and Better,” Harvard Business Review (June 2008); 123-27; ManpowerGroup, “The Talent Shortage Continues/2014,” http://www,manpowergroup.com/wps/wcm/connect/0b882c15-38bf-41f3-8882-44c33d0e2952/2014_Talent_Shortage_WP _US2.pdf?MOD=AUPERES; J. Meister, “Job Hopping is the ‘New Normal’ for Millenials: Three Ways to Prevent a Human Resource Nightmare,” Forbes (August 14, 2012), http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannemeister/2012/08/14/job-hopping-is-the-new-normal-for-millenials-three-ways-to-prevent-a-human-reource-nightmare/; and N. Schultz, “Hard Unemployment Truths about “Soft Skills,” The Wall Street Journal, September 19, 2012, A15. Class Exercise Have students form groups of five. Have students go to the Academic Google search site (http://scholar.google.com/)and explore work as a source of personal identity and the effect of unemployment on an individual’s identity. Have each group read three of the references (full articles, not just abstracts). Have them discuss their findings and arrive at a consensus about the effects of employment and personal identity. Have a member from each group present to the class the results of the discussion. Teaching Notes This exercise is applicable to face-to-face classes or synchronous online classes such as Black Board 9.1, WIMBA, and Second Life Virtual Classrooms. See http://www.baclass.panam.edu/imob/SecondLife for more information. Point/Counterpoint The Battle of the Texts
Point Walk into your nearest major bookstore. You’ll undoubtedly find a large selection of books devoted to management and managing. Consider the following recent titles: The Secret (Berrett-Koehler, 2014 Turn the Ship Around! (Portfolio, 2013) The Way You Do Anything Is the Way You Do Everything (Wiley, 2014) Leadership Safari (Best Seller, 2014) Business Is a Baby (Amazon Digital Services, 2014) Think Like a Freak (William Morrow, 2014) Spiraling Upward (Amazon Digital Services, 2015) Refire! Don’t Retire (Berrett-Koehler, 2015) Top Dog (Amazon Digital Services, 2015) Popular books on organizational behavior often have cute titles and are fun to read, but they make the job of managing people seem much simpler than it is. Most are based on the author’s opinions rather than substantive research, and it is doubtful that one person’s experience translates into effective management practice for everyone. Why do we waste our time on “fluff” when, with a little effort, we can access knowledge produced from thousands of scientific studies on human behavior in organizations? Organizational behavior is a complex subject. Few, if any, simple statements about human behavior are generalizable to all people in all situations. Should you really try to apply leadership insights you got from a book about Star Wars or Breaking Bad to managing software engineers in the twenty-first century? Counterpoint Organizations are always looking for leaders, and managers and manager-wannabes are continually looking for ways to hone their leadership skills. Publishers respond to this demand by offering hundreds of titles that promise insights into managing people. Books like these can provide people with the secrets to management that others know about. Moreover, isn’t it better to learn about management from people in the trenches, as opposed to the latest esoteric musings from the “Ivory Tower”? Many of the most important insights we gain from life aren’t necessarily the product of careful empirical research studies. “Fluffy” management guides sometimes do get published, and once in a while they become popular. But do they outnumber the esoteric research studies published in scholarly journal articles every year? Far from it; sometimes it seems that for every popular business text, there are thousands of scholarly journals. Many of these articles can hardly be read by individuals in the workplace – they are buried in academic libraries, riddled with strange acronyms and “insider” terms, and light on practical application. Often they apply to specific management scenarios, so they are less generalizable. For example, a couple of recent management and organizational behavior studies were published in 2015 with the following titles: Transferring Management Practices to China: A Bourdieusian Critique of Ethnocentricity Cross-Cultural Perceptions of Clan Control in Korean Multinational Companies: A Contractual Investigation of Employees’ Fairness Monitoring Based on Cultural Values The Resistible Rise of Bayesian Thinking in Management: Historical Lessons from Decision Analysis A Model of Rhetorical Legitimization: The Structure of Communication and Cognition Underlying Institutional Maintenance and Change We don’t mean to poke fun at these studies, but, our point is that all ways of creating knowledge can be criticized. If business books can sometimes be “fluffy,” academic articles can be esoteric and even less relevant. Popular books can add to our understanding of how people work and how to best manage them; we shouldn’t assume they are not of value. And while there is no one right way to learn the science and art of managing people in organizations, the most enlightened managers gather insights from multiple sources, their own experience, research findings, observations of others, and yes, the popular business press. Authors and academics have an important role to play, and it isn’t fair to condemn business books with catchy titles. Class Exercise Choose two teams of three to five students, the remainder of the class can act as the jury. Select one or two of the titles listed in the exercise. Have one team defend the “lessons” taken from the selected reading; the other team will prepare an argument as to why the lessons from the readings may not be appropriate from an OB perspective. Give each team adequate time to present their case to the remainder of the class. After each team has presented their arguments, the remainder of the class should ask probing questions based on their understanding of the OB concepts covered in this first chapter. The class acting as jury can then vote on which team provided the most compelling arguments. Teaching Notes This exercise is applicable to face-to-face classes or synchronous online classes such as Black Board 9.1, WIMBA, and Second Life Virtual Classrooms. See http://www.baclass.panam.edu/imob/SecondLife for more information. Instructor Manual for Organizational Behavior Timothy A. Judge Stephen P. Robbins 9781292146300, 9780133507645, 9780136124016

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