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Essentials of Organizational behavior
Second Edition
To T. K.
For keeping it real.
Essentials of Organizational Behavior
An Evidence-Based Approach
Second Edition
Terri A. Scandura
University of Miami
Los Angeles
New Delhi
Washington DC
Copyright © 2019 by SAGE Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by
any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any
information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Scandura, Terri A., author. Title: Essentials of organizational behavior / Terri A. Scandura, University of
Description: Second edition. | Thousand Oaks, California : SAGE, [2018] | Includes bibliographical references and
Identifiers: LCCN 2017033151 | ISBN 9781506388465 (pbk. : alk. paper) Subjects: LCSH: Organizational change.
Classification: LCC HD58.8 .S293 2018 | DDC 352.3/67—dc23
LC record available at
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Brief Contents
About the Author
1. Chapter 1: What Is Organizational Behavior?
1. Chapter 2: Personality and Person–Environment Fit
2. Chapter 3: Emotions and Moods
3. Chapter 4: Attitudes and Job Satisfaction
4. Chapter 5: Perception, Decision Making, and Problem Solving
1. Chapter 6: Leadership
2. Chapter 7: Power and Politics
3. Chapter 8: Motivation: Core Concepts
4. Chapter 9: Motivation: Applications
1. Chapter 10: Group Processes and Teams
2. Chapter 11: Managing Conflict and Negotiation
3. Chapter 12: Organizational Communication
4. Chapter 13: Diversity and Cross-Cultural Adjustments
1. Chapter 14: Organizational Culture
2. Chapter 15: Leading Change and Stress Management
Appendix: Research Designs Used in Organizational Behavior
Detailed Contents
About the Author
Chapter 1: What Is Organizational Behavior?
Learning Objectives
A Crisis of Leadership?
What Is Organizational Behavior?
Disciplines Contributing to Organizational Behavior
From Theory to Practice
Evidence-Based Management
What Is Critical Thinking?
The Scientific Method
Outcome Variables in Organizational Behavior
Work-Related Attitudes
Employee Well-Being
Employee Withdrawal
Levels of Analysis in Organizational Behavior
How OB Research Increases Employee Performance
Theory X and Theory Y
Plan for This Textbook
Leadership Implications: Thinking Critically
Key Terms
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 1.1: Personal Leadership Development Plan
CASE STUDY 1.1: Organizational Science in the Real World
SELF-ASSESSMENT 1.1: Are You Theory X or Theory Y?
SELF-ASSESSMENT 1.2: Assessing Your Experiential Evidence Base
Chapter 2: Personality and Person–Environment Fit
Learning Objectives
The Right Stuff at the Wrong Time?
What Is Personality?
The Role of Heredity
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Limitations of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
How the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Is Used in Organizations
“The Big Five”
Personality Traits and Health Research
Other Relevant Personality Traits
Risk Taking
Psychological Capital
Core Self-Evaluations
Person–Environment Fit
Person–Organization Fit
Person–Job Fit
Leadership Implications: Understanding Others
Key Terms
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 2.1: Fitting in Somewhere Great!
CASE STUDY 2.1: Who Would You Hire?
SELF-ASSESSMENT 2.1: The Big Five Personality Test
SELF-ASSESSMENT 2.2: Type A/Type B Behavior Pattern
SELF-ASSESSMENT 2.3: Core Self-Evaluations Assessment
Chapter 3: Emotions and Moods
Learning Objectives
Does Lack of Sleep Make You Grumpy?
Emotions and Moods at Work
Affective Events Theory: An Organizing Framework
Affective Climate
The Broaden-and-Build Model of Emotions
Emotional Labor
Emotional Intelligence
Can Emotional Intelligence Be Learned?
Limitations of Emotional Intelligence
How Emotional Intelligence Is Used in Organizations
Emotional Contagion
Affective Neuroscience
Ethical Issues in Neuroscience
Leadership Implications: Affective Coaching
Key Terms
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 3.1: The 5-Minute Gratitude Exercise
CASE STUDY 3.1: Managing Your Boss’s Moods and Emotions
SELF-ASSESSMENT 3.1: Positive and Negative Affect Schedule
SELF-ASSESSMENT 3.2: Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ)
Chapter 4: Attitudes and Job Satisfaction
Learning Objectives
Job Satisfaction: An Upward Trend
What Is an Attitude?
Cognitive Dissonance
Do Attitudes Matter?
Job Satisfaction
Job Satisfaction Facets
Job Search Attitudes
Organizational Commitment
Job Involvement
Employee Engagement
Perceived Organizational Support
Psychological Empowerment
Leadership Implications: Creating Meaning at Work
Key Terms
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 4.1: What Do Workers Want From Their Jobs?
CASE STUDY 4.1: A Crisis in Nursing
SELF-ASSESSMENT 4.1: How Much Career Adaptability Do You
SELF-ASSESSMENT 4.2: Do You Experience Empowerment?
Chapter 5: Perception, Decision Making, and Problem Solving
Learning Objectives
Would You Be Happier if You Were Richer?
Understanding Why People Don’t See Eye to Eye
The Primacy Effect
The Recency Effect
The Availability Bias
Contrast Effects
Halo Error
Employability: Self-Fulfilling Prophecies During the Application Process
Individual Decision Making
Decision Processes and Organizational Performance
Why Some People Can’t Make Decisions
Constraints on Individual Decision Making
The Rational Decision-Making Model
Limitations of the Rational Model
Bounded Rationality
Prospect Theory
The Importance of How Decisions Are Framed
Benefits of Intuition
Wicked Organizational Problems
Decision Traps
Hindsight Bias
Escalation of Commitment
Creative Problem Solving
Going With the “Flow”
Three-Component Model of Creativity
Leadership Implications: Making Ethical Decisions
Key Terms
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 5.1: The Oil Drilling Partnership
CASE STUDY 5.1: Do You Have to Spend Money to Make Money?
SELF-ASSESSMENT 5.1: Employability—Perceptions of Prospective
SELF-ASSESSMENT 5.2: How Would You Rate Your Creativity?
Chapter 6: Leadership
Learning Objectives
Have Leaders Lost Their Followers’ Trust?
What Is Leadership?
Differentiating Management and Leadership
Trait Approaches
Leader Behaviors
Path–Goal Theory
Adapting to the Situation
Leader–Member Exchange
Leader–Member Exchange Development
Managing Your Boss
Follower Reactions to Authority
Attributions and Leader–Member Relationships
The Mentor Connection
The Importance of Trust
Calculus-Based Trust
Knowledge-Based Trust
Identification-Based Trust
Repairing Broken Trust
Full-Range Leadership Development
Transactional Leadership
Transformational Leadership
Moral Approaches
Ethical Leadership
Servant and Authentic Leadership
Critiques of Leadership Theory
Implicit Leadership Theory
Romance of Leadership
Leadership Implications: Flexibility Matters
Key Terms
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 6.1: Applying the Full-Range Leadership
Development Model
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 6.2: Comparing Supervisor Leader–Member
CASE STUDY 6.1: Which Boss Would You Rather Work For?
SELF-ASSESSMENT 6.1: Mentoring Functions Questionnaire
SELF-ASSESSMENT 6.2: How Trustful Are You?
Chapter 7: Power and Politics
Learning Objectives
What Is It Like to Have Power?
Power and Influence
Bases of Power
Organizational Sources of Power
Influence Without Authority
Influence Strategies
Which Influence Strategies Are the Most Effective?
Impression Management
Managing Impressions With Body Language
Perceptions of Organizational Politics
Political Skill
Having Both the Will and the Skill for Politics
Leadership Implications: Managing With Power
Key Terms
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 7.1: Politics or Citizenship?
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 7.2: What Would You Do?
CASE STUDY 7.1: Can You Succeed Without Power?
SELF-ASSESSMENT 7.1: Your Impression Management Strategies
SELF-ASSESSMENT 7.2: What’s Your Level of Political Acumen?
Chapter 8: Motivation: Core Concepts
Learning Objectives
Do You Have Grit?
What Is Motivation?
Need Theories
Goal Setting
“SMART” Goals
Regulatory Goal Focus
The Role of Leaders in Goal Setting
Job Characteristics Theory
The Motivating Potential of Work
Designing Work to Be Motivational
Work Redesign and Job Stress
Job Crafting
The Importance of Fairness
Equity Theory
Organizational Justice: Expanding Fairness
Developing a Fair Reputation
Expectancy Theory
The Pygmalion Effect
Leadership Implications: Who Will Lead?
Key Terms
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 8.1: Future Me Letter
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 8.3: Understanding the Pygmalion Effect
CASE STUDY 8.1: Building Motivation
SELF-ASSESSMENT 8.1: How Much Perseverance Do You Have?
Chapter 9: Motivation: Applications
Learning Objectives
The Meaning of Money
Reinforcement Theory
Schedules of Reinforcement
Organizational Behavior Modification
Social Learning Theory
The Modeling Process
Intrinsic Versus Extrinsic Rewards
Relationship Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Rewards
Self-Determination Theory
What Money Can and Cannot Do
Pay Dispersion
Performance Management
Sources of Performance Management Ratings
Performance Management Methods
Problems With Performance Reviews
Other Forms of Compensation
Feedback Seeking
Leadership Implications: Motivating With Rewards
Key Terms
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 9.1: Performance Appraisal Do’s and Don’ts
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 9.2: Performance Management Role-Play
CASE STUDY 9.1: Pay Inequity at Goodyear Tire and Rubber
SELF-ASSESSMENT 9.1: Work Values Checklist
Chapter 10: Group Processes and Teams
Learning Objectives
Does Trust Impact Team Performance?
What Is a Team?
Work Group Versus Team
Team Purpose
Team Norms
The Team Charter
Team Mental Models
Team Development
Five-Stage Model
Team Performance Curve
Team Effectiveness
Team Metrics
Team Learning
Team Creativity and Innovation
Social Identity Theory
Team Decision Making
Participation in Team Decisions
Nominal Group Technique
Team Challenges
Social Loafing
Virtual Teams
Team Diversity
Challenges of Team Diversity
Benefits of Team Diversity
Leadership Implications: Empowering the Team
Key Terms
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 10.1: The Team Charter
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 10.2: The Marshmallow Challenge (Team
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 10.3: How to Run an Effective Meeting
CASE STUDY 10.1: Problem Solving in Virtual Teams
SELF-ASSESSMENT 10.1: Teamwork Orientation
SELF-ASSESSMENT 10.2: Team Leadership Inventory (TLI)
Chapter 11: Managing Conflict and Negotiation
Learning Objectives
The Costs of Workplace Conflict
What Is Conflict?
Causes of Organizational Conflict
Is Conflict Always Bad?
Task Versus Relationship Conflict
Workplace Incivility and Aggression
Abusive Supervision
“Toxic” Workplaces
Workplace Violence
Conflict Resolution Styles
Team Conflict and Performance
Resolving Conflict Across Cultures
Third-Party Interventions
Distributive Bargaining
Integrative Bargaining
Union-Management Negotiations
Leadership Implications: Perspective Taking
Key Terms
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 11.1: Checklist for Difficult Conversations
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 11.2: Salary Negotiation
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 11.3: Negotiation Style Assessment
CASE STUDY 11.1: Perspective Taking: Captain Owen Honors
SELF-ASSESSMENT 11.1: Conflict Resolution Styles
Chapter 12: Organizational Communication
Learning Objectives
“Thin Slicing” a Conversation
What Is Organizational Communication?
The Communication Process
Barriers to Effective Communication
Communication Apprehension
Active Listening
Communication Networks
Communication Flows in Organizations
The Grapevine
Electronic Communication
Text Messages
Social Networking
Cross-Cultural Communication
Nonverbal Communication
Leadership Implications: The Management of Meaning
Key Terms
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 12.1: Active Listening Exercise
CASE STUDY 12.1: What’s App-ening?
SELF-ASSESSMENT 12.1: Quality of Communication Experience
Chapter 13: Diversity and Cross-Cultural Adjustments
Learning Objectives
Diversity: A Key Workforce Trend
Surface-Level and Deep-Level Diversity
Generations at the Workplace
The Millennials
What’s Next? Generation Z
What Is Culture?
High-Context Versus Low-Context Cultures
Hofstede’s Cultural Values
Criticisms and Usefulness of Hofstede’s Research
Cultural Tightness–Looseness
GLOBE Studies of Cross-Cultural Leadership
Developing Global Leaders
The Third Culture
Cultural Intelligence
Cross-Cultural Adjustment Strategies
Integrative Acculturation: Biculturals
Culture Shock
Expatriate Adjustment
Leadership Implications: Becoming a Global Leader
Key Terms
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 13.1: Generations at Work
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 13.2: Journey to Sharahad
CASE STUDY 13.1: Managing Diversity at IBM Netherlands
CASE STUDY 13.2: “A Person Needs Face, Like a Tree Needs Bark”
SELF-ASSESSMENT 13.1: What Is Your Cultural Intelligence?
SELF-ASSESSMENT 13.2: Do You Have a Global Mind-Set?
Chapter 14: Organizational Culture
Learning Objectives
Culture Change at Verizon: Can You Hear Me Now?
What Is Organizational Culture?
Seven Characteristics of Culture
Markets, Bureaucracies, and Clans
National Culture and Organizational Culture
Strong Organizational Cultures
Organizational Subcultures
Anticipatory Socialization
Entry and Assimilation
Attraction-Selection-Attrition (ASA)
How Employees Learn Culture
Organizational Climate
How Climate Influences Organizational Performance
Ethical Climate
Leadership Implications: Culture Change
Tool #1: Recruiting and Selecting People for Culture Fit
Tool #2: Managing Culture Through Socialization and Training
Tool #3: Managing Culture Through the Reward System
Key Terms
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 14.1: Comparing Organizational Cultures:
IDEO and Amazon
CASE STUDY 14.1: Changing Corporate Culture: The Case of B-MED
SELF-ASSESSMENT 14.1: Comparing Service Climates
Chapter 15: Leading Change and Stress Management
Learning Objectives
ING’s Agile Transformation
Forces Driving Organizational Change
Planned Organizational Change
Organizational Subsystems Involved in Planned Change
Organizational Development
Examples of Organizational Development Interventions
Resistance to Change
How to Overcome Resistance to Change
Leading Change
Lewin’s Three-Step Model
Force Field Analysis
Kotter’s Eight-Step Model
Effective Change Implementation
Stress in the Context of Organizational Change
What Is Stress?
Stress Episode
Stress and Organizational Performance
Role Stress
Stress Is a Global Concern
Social Support
Preventive Stress Management in Organizations
Employee Assistance Programs
Leadership Implications: Helping Employees Cope
Key Terms
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 15.1: Appreciative Inquiry
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 15.2: Warning Signs of Burnout
TOOLKIT ACTIVITY 15.3: Stressful Life Events
CASE STUDY 15.1: We Have to Change: Alighting Innovation in the
Utility Industry
CASE STUDY 15.2: The Price of Entrepreneurship
SELF-ASSESSMENT 15.1: Leading Through Change Assessment
SELF-ASSESSMENT 15.2: Perceived Stress Scale
Appendix: Research Designs Used in Organizational Behavior
After decades of using organizational behavior (OB) textbooks, I realized they were not
communicating the right message for today’s students. They memorized theories and
dutifully wrote them down on exams, but I felt they were missing out on how to apply
these theories to become a better leader. Students want takeaway skills they can put into
practice immediately. A new approach to teaching OB is needed, and this textbook shows
students how to be effective leaders and managers in organizations. With a focus on
leadership and management development, students will go beyond memorizing theories
and will apply the most-relevant concepts to effectively motivate followers, lead their teams,
and champion organizational change.
I have researched leadership for over 30 years. During 5 of those years, I was an acting dean
at a major research university undergoing change. With this position, I put OB concepts
into practice every day in my administrative position—I hired people, motivated them, set
goals, and did annual performance appraisals. I helped employees, students, and faculty
cope with organizational change. Based upon my research and the practical experience as an
administrator with several direct reports, I began to look at my courses differently. I wanted
to translate our rich evidence base into skills that managers can use every day. I also wanted
to show how managers can become effective leaders through applications of course
concepts. My process to achieve this was to start incorporating more skill-based
assessments, role-plays, and team activities into each class meeting. Feedback from students
was extremely positive, and many cited these exercises as high points in their learning
experience in my course evaluations. I decided to write a textbook that reviewed OB theory
and distilled the most relevant concepts for the development of effective leaders in
organizations. Keeping a sharp focus on what the evidence base in OB supports, I searched
for and developed exercises and activities that reinforce the key takeaways from each area I
This “essentials” book is not a condensed version of a larger OB textbook. It was written
with an eye toward the fundamentals every managerial leader needs to know and how to
apply them. I used an evidence-based approach, making prescriptions based on research.
Theories are reviewed critically, and students are encouraged to think critically about what
they read. End-of-chapter assessments and activities make the linkage from theory to
practice for students. For example, Chapter 9 includes an activity in which students roleplay giving a performance appraisal. Based on my practical experience, performance
appraisal is one of the most challenging scenarios a new manager faces. The activity is
realistic and encourages students to practice the skill set of how to provide feedback in an
effective way. This textbook fills another need by adopting an integrative OB textbook
approach with a framework of leadership and management development throughout. Each
section begins with a “map” of the field of OB that allows instructors to create integrated
learning modules that can be used in courses of varying lengths (for example, 6-week
courses and 15-week courses). References are made to other chapters in multiple places so
students can see the connections across topics in OB. For example, Chapter 8 discusses core
concepts in motivation and refers to the chapter immediately following, which focuses on
the role of rewards in motivating followers. As a set, these two chapters compose a learning
module on “leaders as motivators.”
The cases at the end of each chapter cover a wide range of organizational situations
including small business, hospitals, large corporations, and many other types of
organizations. My colleagues and I have tested the cases and exercises with students, and
they resonate with both MBAs and undergraduates. Regardless of the career paths students
choose, they will find these assessments and activities valuable as they develop leadership
and management skills.
Target Audiences
I have written this book to be appropriate for upper-level undergraduate courses and MBA
core courses in OB. Case studies and exercises will prepare students at all levels for today’s
workplace. The content and activities have been carefully written so students can respond
to discussion questions and assessments. For undergraduates, the role-plays and team
activities at the end of the chapters are particularly valuable. This experiential approach to
learning supports the application of OB fundamentals, and the activities are interesting and
fun. Textbook reviews have also indicated that this textbook will work very well in
industrial/organizational psychology courses as well as courses in higher education
leadership. In writing the textbook, I kept in mind that some OB courses are being offered
in hybrid or online formats. The features of this textbook support these formats (for
example, all boxed inserts, case studies, activities, and self-assessments have discussion
questions that can be answered by students and submitted as assignments).
I always wanted a concise OB textbook that did certain things for my students. This
textbook was written with three guiding principles:
1. An evidence-based management approach to the field of OB so practice
recommendations are grounded in research.
2. Emphasis on critical thinking in Chapter 1 and throughout the textbook so students
can evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of research before they move to practice
3. A focus on leadership development for managers so rather than just memorizing
theories, students apply them to cases and a variety of activities at the end of each
chapter, including activities, role-plays, case studies, and self-assessments.
Evidence-Based Management
Hundreds of references to classic and current OB research are used in this textbook to build
a new way of looking at the research as the foundation for leadership development. The
evidence-based management approach is described in detail in Chapter 1. The coverage of
research is comprehensive, with a focus on the most important topics managers need to
become effective leaders. These are the topics I have selected to teach for over 30 years to
undergraduate, MBA, and executive MBA students. This textbook offers a research-based
approach that translates theory to practice, focusing on the contemporary approaches rather
than the historical/classical approaches. Most students are less interested in historical
development of theory and more interested in theories they can apply to be more effective
leaders. There is far less emphasis on theories that don’t have solid research support than
other textbooks that I have used and read. In fairness, certain topics are noted for their
contribution to broad-based understanding of OB, followed by a critical assessment of the
research support.
Critical Thinking
Over the years, I have heard colleagues lament, “Our students don’t think critically.” One
day while teaching, it occurred to me that I had never actually included a lecture on critical
thinking—what it is and why it is important. It wasn’t in my OB textbook. I researched
critical thinking and started to lecture on it in my class lectures. I began to see a difference
in how my students approached the material in my courses. The quality of classroom
discussion improved, and students began to really discuss strengths and weaknesses of
theory and develop relevant examples as applications. Their answers on essay questions
went beyond memorization to demonstration of understanding concepts, plus providing
examples to show they could apply them as managers.
It just makes sense that we teach our students about critical thinking, and this is a major
theme of this textbook. Critical thinking is defined and discussed in detail in Chapter 1 so
students will understand what it is and why it is important for a managerial leader to think
Leadership Development
I have an extensive background studying the importance of leadership within organizations,
in addition to holding positions of leadership at several points in my career. For this reason,
leadership is a major theme that flows throughout the textbook. Leadership core concepts
are covered in the textbook in Chapter 6; while I believe this is foundational to a leadership
and management development approach to OB, this chapter might be assigned earlier as
many OB instructors do (this book is written to have such flexibility). In addition to a full
chapter on leadership, each chapter includes a section discussing leadership implications in
the context of the topic being discussed, as well as end-of-chapter activities and selfassessments designed to enhance students’ understanding of leadership and their own ‐
leadership styles and tendencies.
Trends in Organizational Behavior
Along with the three guiding principles of evidence-based management, critical thinking,
and leadership development, this textbook also touches upon emerging topics in OB.
Throughout the chapters, there is an emphasis on globalization and cross-cultural OB. For
example, cross-cultural differences in stress are compared in Chapter 15. A number of the
chapters include discussions on ethics as well. An example of this theme is found in
Chapter 12: Organizational Communication, where the Enron case is discussed as a
grapevine effect that led to uncovering major ethical violations. Finally, in a number of
places, positive psychology is integrated into the presentation of OB topics. For example,
mindfulness is discussed as a coaching strategy for managing emotions and moods in the
leadership implications section of Chapter 3.
Learning Objectives
The learning objectives included at the beginning of each chapter highlight the key topics
covered in the chapter and note the skills students will develop after reading. These learning
objectives are directly tied to main headers within the chapter and can be used to measure
and assess students’ understanding of chapter material.
Chapter-Opening Vignette
Each chapter begins with a research-based challenge facing managers based upon empirical
data, often from national polls or consulting firms. For example, Chapter 7 discusses what
it feels like to have power, based on research. These highlights are intended to get the
students’ attention so they immediately see the relevance of the material in the chapter that
Best Practices and Research in Action Boxes
Within each chapter, there are two types of boxed inserts to enhance the application of the
material to the student’s development as a leader—“Best Practices” and “Research in
Action.” Best Practices highlight current applications of OB research in real organizations
or consulting examples. One of my favorites is a Best Practices box that teaches students
step-by-step how to use perceptual tools to remember people’s names. Research in Action
vignettes demonstrate how OB research translates to leadership practice. An example is a
short discussion of current research on the rise of workplace incivility that asks the question
of whether we need to “send in Miss Manners.” Included in each of these boxed features
are discussion questions to stimulate the student’s thinking on the application and can be
used for in-class discussion. These discussion questions may be assigned prior to class to
encourage students to read and apply the highlighted practice and research in these inserts.
These boxed inserts can be integrated into class discussions to show how practice and
research use OB theories.
Critical Thinking Questions
To support critical thinking throughout the course, critical thinking questions are
integrated within the textbook. These questions encourage students to pause, think about,
and then apply the material just covered to an organizational challenge for leaders. For
instructors teaching online courses, these questions can be assigned to check the student
comprehension of assigned textbook readings.
Key Terms
Key terms featured in each chapter have been set in color throughout the text. Students will
be able to quickly search for and locate these key terms.
The Toolkit
Each chapter contains a “Toolkit” in which the student will apply the concepts covered
within that chapter. Each chapter’s Toolkit contains the following features:
Key terms highlighted within the chapter.
The toolkit activities are team exercises or role-plays in which the students interact
with other students to apply the material. I have used these exercises in my classes,
and I am pleased to provide them all in one package so you don’t have to search for
them and copy them for class.
A short case study illustrating one or more concepts from the chapter. These cases
are followed by discussion questions that can be assigned prior to in-class case
At least one self-assessment, including personality tests or leadership assessments.
Students learn something about themselves and others, making the concepts relevant
to their personal lives and development as a leader.
Years ago, one of my MBA students asked me if I could compile a list of 10 books
that every manager should read. I have included Suggestions for Further Reading on
the online Instructor Resource Site at to encourage
further reading on classic and current books on OB topics.
New to This Edition
For this edition, I retained the features that have made Essentials of Organizational Behavior:
An Evidence-Based Approach successful in its first edition, while updating with current
research and strengthening the evidence-based approach.
Updated chapter scenarios—As in the last edition, all the chapters start with a scenario
that features research on an interesting real-world problem based on research or
Updated Leadership Implications—The Leadership Implications at the end of each
chapter have been retained and expanded.
Critical Thinking Questions—The section on Critical Thinking has been expanded in
Chapter 1, and Critical Thinking Questions have been retained and expanded in the
second edition.
Updated Best Practices and Research in Action boxes—Best Practices and Research in
Action boxes have been retained as features, and new ones have been added for new
chapters under the reorganization of the textbook.
New Toolkit Activities—Both instructors and students responded positively to the
Toolkit Activities and Self-Assessments, and additional Toolkit items have been
added. Based upon feedback from instructors (particularly in the online
environment), Discussion Questions have been added for all Toolkit Activities, Case
Studies, and Self-Assessments.
New and updated Case Studies—All of the cases have been either replaced or
expanded in length. A new feature for the second edition is that each chapter will
have one or two longer cases (3,000–5,000 words) selected from SAGE business cases
(these cases are provided on the Instructor Resources website).
New digital resources—The second edition also comes with a SAGE coursepack,
which houses all of the dynamic digital resources and is specifically designed for your
learning management system. A SAGE coursepack is a simple and user-friendly
solution for building your online teaching and course management environment.
Chapter pretests (25 multiple-choice questions) and posttests (40 multiple-choice
questions) and Premium SAGE video tied to assessment questions provide additional
critical thinking practice.
Premium SAGE videos—Original SAGE videos have been added to the new edition
and are tied to chapter learning objectives to reinforce the evidence-based learning
Updated Chapters
Each chapter has been thoroughly updated to include new developments, new scholarship,
and recent events in organizational behavior.
Chapter 1: What Is Organizational Behavior?
Expanded discussion of the history of OB, and new discussion of additional
disciplines contributing to OB (psychology, sociology, anthropology).
Expanded outcomes of OB now include organizational commitment, organizational
citizenship behavior, and employee well-being.
Expanded coverage of critical thinking and evidence-based management.
Added coverage of Theory X/Y as an example of how OB influences performance,
and a new self-assessment on Theory X/Y.
New Research in Action box on “How Google Proved Management Matters.”
Revised Leadership Implications section now focuses on critical thinking.
Chapter 2: Personality and Person–Environment Fit
New chapter that focuses on personality and person–environment fit; the chapter on
individual differences has been split into Personality and Person–Environment Fit
(Chapter 2) and Emotions and Moods (Chapter 3).
Updated psychological capital (PsyCap) materials and a new Best Practices box on
PsyCap training interventions.
New section on Machiavellianism and “the Dark Triad.”
Added coverage of additional personality traits (self-monitoring, risk taking, and core
self-evaluation) and Holland’s personality–job fit theory.
Person–environment fit has been added to this chapter and includes person–
organization and person–job fit.
New Case Study added: “Who Would You Hire?”
Chapter 3: Emotions and Moods
New chapter.
New opening vignette, “Does Lack of Sleep Make You Grumpy?”
Affective events theory is now presented as an organizing framework for the chapter.
Expanded coverage of emotional intelligence.
New material on team emotional contagion, affective climate, the circumplex model
(with a new figure), and gratitude.
The Leadership Implications focus on affective coaching skills.
New Toolkit Activity, “The 5-minute Gratitude Exercise,” and two new SelfAssessments: “The Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ)” and “Positive and
Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS).”
New Case Study, “Managing Your Boss’s Moods and Emotions.”
Chapter 4: Attitudes and Job Satisfaction
Updated opening vignette with 2016 Society of Human Resource Management job
satisfaction report data (and a new figure).
Expanded section on job search attitudes.
Expanded section on employee engagement, which includes an updated figure on
“Employee Engagement and Work Outcomes” to reflect the most recent data from
Gallup, and a new figure called “Employee Engagement Improves Financial Results.”
New Self-Assessment, “How Much Career Adaptability Do You Have?”
Chapter 5: Perception, Decision Making, and Problem Solving
Revised chapter now covers perception, decision making, and problem solving.
Expanded discussion of wicked organizational problems.
New Research in Action box that covers “Leading Creativity.”
New Toolkit Activity for decision making, “The Oil Drilling Partnership.”
A new Case Study on SABMiller’s decision making has been added.
Chapter 6: Leadership
Chapter has been split into two chapters (Leadership, Chapter 6, and Power and
Politics, Chapter 7).
Updated opening vignette with new 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer data (and a new
New figure showing a timeline of the “Development of Modern Leadership Theory.”
New coverage of the trait approach, attributions and leader–member relationships,
moral approaches, and the critiques of leadership theory.
Expanded coverage of situational approaches and path–goal theory in more detail.
Added discussion of “Attributions and Leader–Member Relationships.”
New Best Practices box on narcissistic leadership.
A new Toolkit Activity has been added, “Comparing Supervisor Leader–Member
Exchange,” and two new Self-Assessments, “Mentoring Functions Questionnaire”
and “How Trustful are You?”
Expanded Case Study, “Which Boss Would You Rather Work For?”
Chapter 7: Power and Politics
New chapter with a new opening vignette on “What Is It Like to Have Power?”
New discussion of followership has been added in the definition of power and
Added examples to clarify the Bases of Power section.
New Research in Action Box, “Can Power Make Followers Speechless?”
Expanded discussions on organizational sources of power, perceptions and politics,
and political skill.
New Leadership Implications section, “Managing With Power.”
Two new Toolkit Activities: “Politics or Citizenship?” and “What Would You Do?”
(which focuses on examples of bosses’ unethical use of power).
New Case Study, “Can You Succeed Without Power?”
Chapter 8: Motivation: Core Concepts
Added discussion on regulatory goal focus theory has been added to the section on
Goal Setting.
New section on Work Redesign and Job Stress.
The discussion of expectancy theory has been expanded to include guidelines for
Revised Leadership Implications discusses motivation to lead (MTL) research.
New Toolkit Activity, “Understanding the Pygmalion Effect.”
Chapter 9: Motivation: Applications
Expanded discussion of pros and cons of performance appraisal, and a new example
of how companies are getting rid of performance appraisal (Deloitte Consulting).
New discussion of alternative work arrangements as forms of compensation/rewards
(flexible working hours, job sharing, telecommuting, and sabbaticals).
Expanded Leadership Implications section discusses current trends and the increase
in the centrality of the leader to performance management and motivation processes
with “Motivating With Rewards.”
Expanded Lilly Ledbetter/Goodyear Tire and Rubber case discusses equal pay, the
gender wage gap, and updated statistics on the wage gap.
Chapter 10: Group Processes and Teams
Reorganized to improve the flow of the topics.
New opening vignette, “Does Trust Impact Team Performance?”
Updated section on team creativity now includes innovation.
Added discussion of social identity theory.
Expanded section on diversity and multicultural teams covers the challenges and
benefits of team diversity.
Expanded coverage of virtual teams.
New Case Study on virtual teams.
New Self-Assessment, “The Team Leadership Inventory (TLI),” has been added.
Chapter 11: Managing Conflict and Negotiation
New opening vignette with statistics on the costs of workplace conflict.
Updated and expanded coverage on planned conflict, devil’s advocate, the
negotiation process, third-party interventions, and workplace incivility.
New material on abusive supervision, toxic workplaces, and union–management
negotiations has been added to this chapter.
Chapter 12: Organizational Communication
Updated opening vignette on “thin-slicing” includes a discussion of communication
networks and recent research on strong versus weak ties.
Updated sections on electronic communication and nonverbal communication.
New list of the functions that nonverbal communication serves in organizations has
been added.
Expanded Leadership Implications section on “The Management of Meaning” now
includes a list of guidelines for leadership and communication.
New Case Study on the use of apps at work, “What’s App-ening?”
Chapter 13: Diversity and Cross-Cultural Adjustments
Updated opening vignette on diversity being a key workforce trend.
Updated coverage of generations at the workplace now includes examples and a new
section, “What’s Next? Generation Z.”
New discussion of Hofstede’s new dimension, indulgence versus restraint.
Expanded discussion of expatriates and repatriation.
The Leadership Implications section has been expanded and addresses both diversity
and cross-cultural adjustment in “Becoming a Global Leader.”
New Self-Assessment, “Do You Have A Global Mind-Set?”
Chapter 14: Organizational Culture
New opening vignette, “Culture Change at Verizon: Can You Hear Me Now?”
New section on markets, bureaucracies, and clans (and a new table).
Expanded discussions of symbols and language with additional examples.
Added coverage of ethical culture and onboarding.
New section on the attraction-selection-attrition model has been added.
Chapter 15: Leading Change and Stress Management
New opening vignette, “INGs Agile Transformation” (an example of structural
change through organizational design), has been added.
New section on work–school conflict.
Updated Leadership Implications section has been rewritten to tie together the
themes of leading change and stress management in “Helping Employees Cope.”
Updated Toolkit Activities and Self-Assessments reflect both leading change and
Two expanded case studies: one on leading change, “We Have to Change: Alighting
Innovation in the Utility Industry,” and one on stress, “The Price of
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My love of teaching began as a PhD student with the first course I taught. I am excited to
bring my perspective on the field of OB as an integrated and evidence-based foundation for
the development of leaders to more students. This has truly been a labor of love. I have
reflected on the field of OB and realized that we have so very much to offer our students
because of the research we have done. I am in awe of my OB colleagues around the world
for their theoretical insights and their rigorous research. It is with gratitude and humility
that I am offering this book to instructors and their students.
I would like to thank my students Monica Sharif, Ronnie Grant, and Jenny Chin for their
assistance with various parts of this project. I am indebted to Stephanie Maynard-Patrick
for writing case studies and working with me on the ancillary materials. I cannot express
my gratitude enough for all of the authors and publishers that graciously allowed me to
reprint their material in this book. I thank my principal mentors George Graen and Belle
Rose Ragins for their support and insights throughout my career. I offer thanks to all of my
colleagues in OB (too numerous to mention) who provide me with feedback and support
on everything I do. My OB colleagues at the University of Miami read drafts of the table of
contents and chapters and offered suggestions for the toolkits (and allowed me to test them
in their courses): Cecily Cooper, Marie Dasborough, Linda Neider, Chet Schriesheim, and
Gergana Todorova. My family and friends suffered through my periods of being a hermit
and patiently listened to me talk about this book. I thank my family Laura Scandura Rea,
Sandi Kennedy, Deanne Julifs, and Tommy Scandura for always believing in me—and not
just with respect to this textbook. I would also like to thank my friends for their practical,
down-to-earth advice and for making me laugh at just the right times. Last, but in no way
least, I thank the team at SAGE. Alissa Nance kept track of permissions and numerous
other details. I greatly appreciate all of the retweets from Lori Hart. I am also grateful to
Maggie Stanley and Lauren Holmes for their support throughout the project. They
encouraged me to “hear” reviewer feedback but always respected my vison for the book.
Special thanks to Cynthia Nalevanko at SAGE for encouraging me to write a textbook and
getting me in touch with the right people to discuss this project. Thanks also to Katie
Ancheta, Liz Thornton, Erica DeLuca, Ashlee Blunk, Gail Buschman, and Candice
Harman at SAGE for their excellent work on this project. Without all of these people in
their various ways of supporting me, this book would not have been possible.
I am grateful to the reviewers of this textbook who applied their own critical perspectives to
the chapters. They made this textbook better in every way, and I learned from their
insightful comments and suggestions what additional research evidence to include. Thanks
to the following reviewers for their participation in all stages of this book’s development:
Reviewers for the first edition:
Joel Baldomir, Marist College
Nancy Sutton Bell, University of Montevallo
James W. Bishop, New Mexico State University
Michael Buckley, University of Oklahoma
Carrie Bulger, Quinnipiac University
Jim Byran, Fresno Pacific University
Nicholas Capozzoli, Indiana University Kokomo
Eric Chen, University of Saint Joseph
Cecily Cooper, University of Miami
Geni D. Cowan, California State University, Sacramento
Minerva Cruz, Kentucky State University
Roger Dean, Washington & Lee University
Roselynn S. Dow, Empire State College
Mary Lynn Engel, Saint Joseph’s College
Leon Fraser, Rutgers University
Mary Ann Gall, Franklin Pierce University
Issam Ghazzawi, University of La Verne
Bruce Gilstrap, University of Southern Mississippi
Daniel E. Hallock, University of North Alabama
Marie Hansen, Husson University
Nell Hartley, Robert Morris University
Carol Harvey, Suffolk University
Chan Hellman, University of Oklahoma
Kimberly Hunley, Northern Arizona University
Carrie S. Hurst, Tennessee State University
Jay Jacobson, Marquette University
C. Douglas Johnson, Georgia Gwinnett College
Charles Kramer, University of La Verne
Kim Lukaszewski, New Paltz SUNY
David McCalman, University of Central Arkansas
DeNisha McCollum, John Brown University
Roberta Michel, Oakland University
Ivan Muslin, Marshall University
Charlena Patterson, Catholic University of America
Jeff Paul, University of Tulsa
Adam Payne, Bentley University—Northeastern University
Mim Plavin-Masterman, Worcester State University
Hannah Rothstein, Baruch College
John Rowe, Florida Gateway College
Carol Saunders, University of Central Florida
Mehmet Sincar, University of Gaziantep
Katherine Sliter, Indiana University—Purdue University
Barbara Stuart, University of Denver
Douglas Threet, Foothill College
Becky J. Timmons, University of Arkansas–Fort Smith
Robert Toronto, University of Michigan-Dearborn
Barbara A. Wech, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Heather Wherry, Bellevue University
Robert Whitcomb, Western Nevada College
Lissa Whyte-Morazan, Brookline College
Lisa V. Williams, Niagara University
Herb Wong, John F. Kennedy University
Jody A. Worley, University of Oklahoma
Chulguen (Charlie) Yang, Southern Connecticut State University
Reviewers for the second edition:
Paul Axelrod, University of San Francisco
Angela Balog, St. Francis University
Carl Blencke, University of Central Florida
Samuel Faught, University of Tennessee
Nancy Hanson-Rasmussen, University of Wisconsin
Christopher Hartwell, Utah State University
Dwight Hite, Cameron University
Julie Hood, Nyack College
Renee Just, Catawba College
William Liang, Brenau University
Stephanie Maynard-Patrick, St. Thomas University
Roberta Michel, Oakland University, Michigan
Terry Nelson, University of Alaska, Anchorage
Charmaine Rose, St. Thomas University
Rebecca Bull Schaefer, Gonzaga University
Pamela Van Dyke, Southern Methodist University
About the Author
Terri A. Scandura
is currently a Professor of Management in the School of Business Administration at
the University of Miami. From 2007 to 2012, she served as Dean of the Graduate
School of the University. Her fields of interest include leadership, mentorship, and
applied research methods. She has been a visiting scholar in Japan, Australia, Hong
Kong, China, and the United Arab Emirates. Dr. Scandura has authored or coauthored over 200 presentations, articles, and book chapters. Her research has been
published in the Academy of Management Journal, the Journal of Applied Psychology,
the Journal of International Business Studies, the Journal of Vocational Behavior, the
Journal of Organizational Behavior, Educational and Psychological Measurement,
Industrial Relations, Research in Organizational Behavior, Research in Personnel and
Human Resource Management, and others. She has presented executive education
programs on leadership, mentoring, leading change, and high-performance teams to
numerous organizations such as VISA International, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines,
the Young Presidents Organization, Hewlett-Packard, and Baptist Health Systems.
Dr. Scandura is a Fellow of the Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology,
the American Psychological Association, and the Southern Management Association.
She is a member of the Society of Organizational Behavior and the Academy of
Management. She is a past associate editor for Group & Organization Management,
the Journal of International Business Studies, the Journal of Management, and
Organizational Research Methods. She currently serves on editorial boards for major
journals including The Leadership Quarterly, Organizational Research Methods, and
Group & Organization Management.
Section One Introduction
Chapter 1 What Is Organizational Behavior?
Chapter One What Is Organizational Behavior?
Learning Objectives
After studying this chapter, you should be able to do the following:
1.1: Define the concept of organizational behavior (OB).
1.2: List and give examples of the four sources of information used in evidence-based management
1.3: Define critical thinking, and explain the critical thinking skills leaders need.
1.4: Describe the scientific method used in OB research.
1.5: Discuss five types of outcome variables studied in OB.
1.6: Compare the levels of analysis in OB research.
1.7: Develop plans for using OB research to improve employee job performance.
1.8: Compare and contrast Theory X and Theory Y assumptions.
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A Crisis of Leadership?
Recent polls conducted by the Gallup organization show that about 70% of people who
hold full-time jobs in the United States either hate their jobs or have “mentally checked
out.”1 In December 2015, the majority of workers were “not engaged” (50.8%), while
another 17.2% were “actively disengaged.” This is a large impact considering that an
estimated 100 million people work full time in the United States. Even worse, many of the
Gallup survey respondents reported actively engaging in destructive behavior by spreading
their dissatisfaction throughout their organizations. Workers who hate their jobs affect the
organization’s bottom line. One recent analysis estimates that low engagement costs U.S.
companies over $350 billion in revenue every year, and disengaged employees are more
likely to quit their jobs, resulting in another $11 billion that employers spend to replace
them, according to statistics from the Bureau of National Affairs.2 One of the most
important things the Gallup study found is that the source of dissatisfaction is not pay or
the number of hours worked, however.
Most employees in Gallup’s studies consistently report that the reason for their
disengagement from work is their boss. And this is not new. This study was a follow-up of
an earlier study conducted since 2010, which showed similar discontent with work and
bosses. The graph in Figure 1.1 shows that employee engagement has been stagnant over
the years, with no significant improvement. Why? Isn’t there something that can be done
to improve the well-being, motivation, and productivity of people at work? Is anyone
working on addressing the concerns of the workforce? The answer is yes. There is a field of
study called organizational behavior (or sometimes called OB for short) that studies the
challenges leaders face in the workforce. Unfortunately, much of the knowledge that could
help leaders improve the experience of work is tucked away in scientific journals that few
managers have the time to read.
Figure 1.1 Employee Engagement Stagnant
Source: Gallup (2016). Employee engagement in U.S. stagnant in 2015. Retrieved
The goal of this book is to help you become an effective leader—not the kind of leader
described in the Gallup poll that produces discontented and unengaged workers. You can
choose to be a leader who understands the fundamentals of OB—how to motivate
followers, resolve conflicts, lead teams, and even help them manage stress during change.
For example, effective communication is essential for leadership, and this is covered in
Chapter 12. After reading this textbook, your approach to leading others will be grounded
in the most important and current research conducted on organizations.
What Is Organizational Behavior?
Learning Objective 1.1: Define the concept of organizational behavior (OB).
OB is defined as the study of individuals and their behaviors at work. It is a
multidisciplinary and multilevel research area that draws from applied psychology, cultural
anthropology, communication, and sociology. This textbook draws upon all of these areas
with a focus on applied social psychology. Social psychologists study the behavior of
individuals in groups, so it makes sense that the study of how leaders influence people and
their OB is grounded in this field of psychology.
OB is a relatively young field in comparison to areas in the field of medicine—and even
psychology from which it draws. There were management practices in place since the early
1900s with Frederick Taylor’s approach to “scientific management,” which was the study
of how work could be designed to make production work (particularly assembly lines) more
efficient.3 Most scholars agree, however, that OB originated with the human relations
movement4 ignited by the Hawthorne studies (conducted between 1927 and 1932), which
led to a focus on the role of human behavior in organizations. The Hawthorne studies were
two studies conducted by Australian-born psychologist Elton Mayo at the Western Electric
Company near Chicago.5
Mayo spent most of his career at Harvard University and was interested in how to increase
productivity in assembly lines. The first study was designed to examine the effects of
lighting in the plants on worker productivity. However, the research team had a surprise.
Productivity increased rather than decreased even though the lights were being dimmed.
Perplexed by this finding, the research team interviewed the workers and learned that the
workers appreciated the attention of the research team and felt that they were receiving
special treatment. And then productivity declined after the researchers left the plant. This
has been called the Hawthorne effect and refers to positive responses in attitudes and
performance when researchers pay attention to a particular group of workers.
The second Hawthorne study was designed to investigate a new incentive system. However,
instead of the incentive system increasing workers’ production, the social pressure from
peers took over and had more impact on worker productivity than pay increases. Workers
formed into small groups and set informal standards for production, requiring coworkers to
reduce their production so pay was more equal among the group members.
The Hawthorne researchers concluded that the human element in organizations was more
important than previously thought, and they learned that workers want attention. This is
still relevant today. For example, recent work demonstrates that when employers provide
gifts to employees (termed empathy wages), it elicits feelings of gratitude from them.6 The
“human relations” movement followed the Hawthorne studies, and OB emerged as a
distinct field of study in the 1950s. The term organizational behavior first appeared in 1957
in a book by Chris Argyris, Personality and Organization: The Conflict Between System and
the Individual.7 Today, OB researchers have PhDs from psychology departments (in the
area of industrial and organizational psychology) and business schools. They teach from the
research base on OB and conduct research that addresses important challenges facing
organizational leaders today.
Disciplines Contributing to Organizational Behavior
There are a number of disciplines that contribute to the study of OB. Studies of individual
differences such as personality (Chapter 2 of this textbook) draw from the fields of
psychology and industrial and organizational psychology. These fields also contribute to
our understanding of human performance. Individual reactions to work, such as emotions
and attitudes, also draw from psychology research but also from social psychology.
Motivation theory has been influenced by psychology as well as economics. Understanding
decision making (Chapter 5) draws from economic theory. Research on leaders as
influencers and motivators (Section III) draws from applied social psychology. Applied
social psychology is the study of how people interact in groups and addresses significant
challenges facing leaders as organizations use teams more regularly to get things done
(Chapter 10). Trends such as the need to compete in a global marketplace, organizational
restructuring, and rapid changes in technology have resulted in the need to lead through
change. Research in the areas of sociology and anthropology help us understand
organizational culture and leading change. OB is an applied field of study aimed at problem
solving for organizational leaders. Thus, OB is a multidisciplinary field that draws upon the
best ideas and research from several disciplines.
The goal of OB as a field is to improve the functioning of the organization and how
employees experience their work. For example, OB researchers study how job satisfaction
affects employee well-being. Another example is how a leader’s vision affects follower
motivation and performance toward goals. A third example is how perceptions of politics at
work might lead to an employee quitting the organization (this is called turnover). Low
productivity and turnover cost organizations millions of dollars. Beyond the impact on
costs, employee well-being is a major concern for forward-thinking organizations today.
OB researchers develop guidelines that directly address such challenges. Based on research,
leaders can make better decisions to make their organization more effective and better
places to work. It’s important for OB researchers to translate their evidence into practical
guidelines for managers to follow. Next, the journey from theory to practical applications
will be discussed.
From Theory to Practice
OB is an applied science, so first it is necessary to briefly review what science is all about.
The goals of science—any science—are as follows:
Description: What does the process look like?
Prediction: Will the process occur again? And when?
Explanation: Why is this happening?
Control: Can we change whether or not this happens?
For example, the forecasting of extra workers needed for a toy store during the holiday
season is an important process for ensuring the best customer service. Human resource
managers have an understanding of how many customers will visit the store based upon
prior holiday seasons (in other words, a theory) and can describe their need for extra
workers. This theory is also fairly high on explanation since the store managers have some
understanding of why customers visit their store and when volume increases. Prediction is
important since managers need to project with some accuracy how many extra seasonal
workers they will need to hire to ensure that customers will be served and not have long
wait times at the cash registers. However, hiring forecasts are not always accurate, resulting
in unhappy customers or the hiring of too many seasonal workers that wait idly for
customers to visit. In this example, the science is moderate for prediction. For control, one
could say that the science is low because there are many reasons why customers may not
visit the store that are outside of the organization’s control (e.g., customers may be able to
purchase the toys online). This example illustrates why theories are so important to applied
science. The better the initial understanding of how many workers will be needed, the
better the store manager should be able to predict how many seasonal workers to hire for
the season and for how long. Theories are important to OB as a science since theory is
translated into practical advice for managers, and this is illustrated by Google’s Project
Oxygen in the boxed insert.
The phrase “there is nothing as practical as a good theory” has been attributed to social
psychologist Kurt Lewin. Theories build upon prior research and extend into new areas of
importance to leaders. A researcher generates hypotheses about human behavior in
organizations and then gathers data to test it. Research eliminates the guesswork about what
will work (or not work), and this helps leaders solve the problems they face every day. The
ability to translate research to practice has been termed evidence-based management
Research in Action
How Google Proved Management Matters
Google faced a challenge. Ever since the company started, it’s highly trained and self-motivated engineers
questioned whether they needed managers. In the high-technology culture, employees actually believed that
managers did more harm than good. But Google grew rapidly and by 2013 had 37,000 employees with just
5,000 managers, 1,000 directors, and 100 vice presidents. The organizational structure was flat rather than
hierarchical. How could Google’s managers convince its skeptical employees that they needed managers to
operate effectively and remain competitive?
Google launched Project Oxygen to prove that managers don’t make a difference (this was their
hypothesis). “Luckily, we failed,” said project co-lead Neal Patel. To accomplish the goal, they hired several
PhD researchers to form a people analytics team. As with everything Google does, they applied hypothesisdriven research methods to analyze the “soft skills” of managers. Project Oxygen was a multiyear research
study designed to uncover the key management behaviors that predict employee satisfaction and
organizational effectiveness. One part of the project was an employee survey about their managers’
behaviors. The research team also interviewed employees who were quitting about the behaviors of their
managers and why they were leaving Google. The team discovered that there was less turnover on teams
with the best managers. They also documented a statistical relationship between high-scoring managers’
behaviors and employee satisfaction. So they concluded that managers did matter and then conducted
another study to learn specifically what Google’s best managers did.
Here’s what they found. Project Oxygen identified eight behaviors shared by high-scoring managers:
Is a good coach
Empowers the team and does not micromanage
Expresses interest in, and concern for, team members’ success and personal well-being
Is productive and results-oriented
Is a good communicator — listens and shares information
Helps with career development
Has a clear vision and strategy for the team
Has key technical skills that help him or her advise the team
Because this project was evidence-based, the sceptical engineers were convinced that the best managers did
make a difference. In describing Project Oxygen, David A. Garvin from the Harvard Business School notes:
“Data-driven cultures, Google-discovered, respond well to data-driven change.” Google now offers training
and feedback to low-scoring managers. However, they learned that the best approach is to have panels of
highly rated managers tell their stories about how they coach and empower their teams. Rather than being
told what to do by upper management, they get advice from their colleagues.
Discussion Questions:
1. Why did they use an evidence-based approach? Describe the type(s) of evidence Google used in
their research.
2. Are you convinced that managers matter? Why or why not? What additional evidence would you
like to see?
3. Create a brief description of the design for the next steps in Project Oxygen to further develop
Google’s managers.
Source: Garvin, D. A. (2013). How Google sold its engineers on management. Retrieved from; Kamensky, J. M. (2014). Does
management matter? Retrieved from
Evidence-Based Management
Learning Objective 1.2: List and give examples of the four sources of information
used in evidence-based management (EBM).
The term evidence-based was originally employed in the field of medicine to guide how
doctors make decisions regarding patient care. EBM improves a leader’s decisions by
disciplined application of the most relevant and current scientific evidence. Although many
definitions of EBM are available, this is the most frequently quoted and widely used:8 EBM
means making decisions about the management of employees, teams, or organizations
through the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of four sources of information:
1. The best available scientific evidence—for example, research published on OB
2. The best available organizational evidence—for example, interviews or surveys
completed by people in an organization
3. The best available experiential evidence—for example, the intuition of the leader
and his or her expert opinions
4. Organizational values and stakeholders’ concerns—for example, stock price or
groups that focus on whether the organization employs environmentally friendly
How can a leader use these sources of evidence to make better decisions? First, leaders must
have the ability (basic skills and competencies), motivation (behavioral beliefs, behavioral
control, and normative beliefs), and opportunity (support that overcomes barriers) to
practice EBM.9 For example, EBM was applied to an operational problem in a hospital.
Researchers tracked the process through interviews. An EBM decision process was
implemented by a physician manager. This research concluded that the “fit” between the
decision maker and the organizational context enables more effective evidence-based
processes.10 Leader involvement at all levels is essential for EBM to work in practice,11 as
well as collaboration with researchers.12
The following standards may be applied by leaders using EBM to ask questions and
challenge their thinking about their organizations:13
1. Stop treating old ideas as if they were brand new. This has resulted in a cynical
workforce that may view innovations from leaders as short-term fads (e.g., positive
changes such as total quality management, teams, and engagement). Progress cannot
be made by treating old ideas as new ones; cynicism could be reduced by presenting
ideas that have been able to “stand the test of time” as best practices rather than new
2. Be suspicious of “breakthrough” studies and ideas. Question whether some new
ideas in management are really breakthroughs, and be wary of claims about new
management principles that may be either overstated or understated.14
Develop and celebrate collective brilliance.15 In theory, a diverse collection of
independent decision makers (although not expert) makes better predictions on the
average compared to an expert decision maker. In a sense, this is how the “ask the
audience” lifeline works on the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? A
contestant can ask the audience for the answer to a question and the audience votes.
The contestant then sees the percentages of people who chose each answer. It’s
interesting to see that often the audience is right. The contestant is thus gathering the
collective brilliance of a random group of decision makers. See the following box for
another method that may be used to develop collective brilliance: the Delphi
decision-making method.
Emphasize drawbacks as well as virtues. An interesting example of this is the
marketing of an energy drink called Cocaine. Cocaine contains three and a half times
the amount of caffeine as Red Bull. It was pulled from U.S. shelves in 2007 after the
FDA declared that its producers, Redux Beverages, were marketing their drink as an
alternative to street drugs, and this was determined to be illegal. The FDA pointed to
the drink’s labeling and advertising, which included the statements “Speed in a Can”
and “Cocaine—Instant Rush.” Despite the controversy, Redux Beverages continued
to produce and market the beverage in limited markets and online.16
Use success (and failure) stories to illustrate sound practices but not in place of a
valid research method. For example, Circuit City went bankrupt in 2009 but was a
“great company” in the now-classic book Good to Great. What happened to Circuit
City? Alan Wurtzel, the former CEO and the son of the founder, saw the threats
coming from Best Buy and Amazon in the early 2000s, and he knew the company
was headed for decline. “After I left, my successors became very focused on the
bottom line—the profit margin,” Wurtzel told a group at the University of
Richmond. “They were too focused on Wall Street. That was the beginning of the
end,” said the former CEO as he recalled the rise and fall of the great company.17
The lesson here is that no matter how great a company is, care must be taken not to
simply copy what they do in today’s changing business environment. There is no
substitute for a careful analysis and diagnosis before embarking on a search for
Adopt a neutral stance toward ideologies and theories. An example of this is that
most management “gurus” are from North America (e.g., Peter Drucker, Tom Peters,
Ken Blanchard). This is not to say that their ideology isn’t useful. However, in a
global world, EBM demands that we question whether ideology developed in North
America applies abroad. EBM would also suggest that we search for theories
developed overseas to locate experts from other countries with important ideas.
Best Practices
Using the Delphi Method to Harness Collective Brilliance
The Delphi method is a systematic decision-making technique that employs a panel of independent experts.
It was developed by the RAND Corporation in the 1950s by Olaf Helmer and Norman Dalkey to
systematically solicit the view of experts related to national defense. The term Delphi originates from Greek
mythology. Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, where people would go to get insight from the gods.
Thus, the method was thought of as brainstorming by a panel of experts.
Here’s how it works. An expert panel is chosen and given a proposal. Members of the group are selected
because they are experts or they have information related to the problem. Next, a series of questionnaires or
surveys are sent to the experts (the Delphi group) through a facilitator who oversees the process. The group
does not meet face-to-face. All communication is normally in writing (typically e-mail). Experts are given a
proposal and complete an assessment of it over several rounds. These experts can be co-located or they can
be dispersed geographically and submit their ideas from anywhere in the world electronically. The responses
are collected and analyzed to determine conflicting viewpoints on each point. The process continues in
order to work toward synthesis and building consensus. After each round, a facilitator provides an
anonymous summary of the experts’ predictions or problem solutions from the previous round as well as the
rationale each expert provided. Participants are encouraged to revise their earlier solutions in light of the
replies of other members of the group. Over time, the expert panel converges on the best solution or
prediction. This technique allows a leader to gather information from a wide range of expert sources to
make better decisions, thereby utilizing the wisdom of many (or collective brilliance).
The success of this process depends upon the facilitator’s expertise and communication skills. Also, each
response requires adequate time for reflection and analysis. The major merits of the Delphi process are
elimination of interpersonal problems,
efficient use of experts’ time,
diversity of ideas, and
accuracy of solutions and predictions.
Discussion Questions:
1. How should experts used in a Delphi decision-making process be selected? Would paying experts
influence their participation in the process and/or the outcome?
2. To harness collective brilliance using Delphi, how many decision makers do you think should be
invited to participate? In other words, is there a minimum number to gain a broad-enough
perspective? How many is too many?
3. Do you feel that this process is worth the time and effort to improve a decision? Why or why not?
Sources: Delbecq, A. L., Van de Ven, A. H., & Gustafson, D. H. (1975). Group techniques for program
planning: A guide to nominal group and Delphi processes. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman; Clark, D. R. (2010).
Delphi decision making technique. Retrieved from; Hsu, C. C., & Sandford, B. A. (2007). The
Delphi technique: Making sense of consensus. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 12(10), 1–8.
In making important organizational decisions, the leader may include information gathered
from one or all four of the sources described previously in the definition of EBM. This can
result in a lot of information. So how can a leader sort through it all and determine what is
most relevant to the problem at hand? The answer lies in critical thinking, a process that
has been developed for over 2,500 years, beginning with the ancient Greeks and the
Socratic Method, which is the process of learning by questioning everything. Critical
thinking skills are applied to sort through all of the information gathered and then
prioritize it (and even discard evidence that appears to be invalid or irrelevant to the
What is Critical Thinking?
Learning Objective 1.3: Define critical thinking, and explain the critical thinking
skills leaders need.
Critical thinking can be defined as follows: “Critical thinking calls for persistent effort to
examine any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of evidence that supports it
and the further conclusions to which it tends.”18 Critical thinking is a mode of thinking
about a problem we face where the problem solver improves the quality of the process by
taking control of it and applying rigorous standards. The process has been described as
having three interrelated parts:
1. the elements of thought (reasoning);
2. the intellectual standards that applied to the elements of reasoning; and
3. the intellectual traits associated with a cultivated critical thinker that result from the
consistent and disciplined application of the intellectual standards to the elements of
Critical thinking involves using justification; recognizing relationships; evaluating the
credibility of sources; looking at reasons or evidence; drawing inferences; identifying
alternatives, logical deductions, sequences, and order; and defending an idea. Critical
thinking requires the decision maker in an organization to apply a complex skill set to solve
the problem at hand. A set of guidelines for critical thinking is shown in Table 1.1.20
Critical thinking is, in short, self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and selfcorrective thinking. It requires rigorous standards of problem solving and a commitment to
overcome the inclination to think that we have all of the answers.21 A recent study
demonstrated that students’ attitudes toward and beliefs about critical thinking skills is
related to their GPA due to effective argumentation and reflective thinking. 22
Table 1.1 Critical Thinking Skills
No one always acts purely objectively and rationally. We connive for selfish
interests. We gossip, boast, exaggerate, and equivocate. It is “only human” to wish
to validate our prior knowledge, to vindicate our prior decisions, or to sustain our
earlier beliefs. In the process of satisfying our ego, however, we can often deny
ourselves intellectual growth and opportunity. We may not always want to apply
critical thinking skills, but we should have those skills available to be employed
when needed.
Critical thinking includes a complex combination of skills. Among the main
characteristics are the following:
We are thinking critically when we do the following:
Rely on reason rather than emotion
Require evidence, ignore no known evidence, and follow
evidence where it leads
Are concerned more with finding the best explanation than
being right, analyzing apparent confusion, and asking questions
Weigh the influences of motives and bias
Recognize our own assumptions, prejudices, biases, or point of
Recognize emotional impulses, selfish motives, nefarious
purposes, or other modes of self-deception
Evaluate all reasonable inferences
Consider a variety of possible viewpoints or perspectives
Remain open to alternative interpretations
Accept a new explanation, model, or paradigm because it
explains the evidence better, is simpler, or has fewer
inconsistencies or covers more data
Accept new priorities in response to a reevaluation of the
evidence or reassessment of our real interests
Do not reject unpopular views out of hand
Are precise, meticulous, comprehensive, and exhaustive
Resist manipulation and irrational appeals
Avoid snap judgments
Recognize the relevance and/or merit of alternative assumptions
and perspectives
Recognize the extent and weight of evidence
Critical thinkers are by nature skeptical. They approach texts
with the same skepticism and suspicion as they approach
spoken remarks.
Critical thinkers are active, not passive. They ask questions and
In sum:
analyze. They consciously apply tactics and strategies to
uncover meaning or assure their understanding.
Critical thinkers do not take an egotistical view of the world.
They are open to new ideas and perspectives. They are willing
to challenge their beliefs and investigate competing evidence.
Critical thinking enables us to recognize a wide range of subjective analyses of
otherwise objective data and to evaluate how well each analysis might meet our
needs. Facts may be facts, but how we interpret them may vary.
By contrast, passive, noncritical thinkers take a simplistic view of the world. They
see things in black and white, as either/or, rather than recognizing a variety of
possible understanding. They see questions as yes or no with no subtleties, they fail
to see linkages and complexities, and they fail to recognize related elements.
Source: Kurland, D. (2000). Critical thinking skills. Retrieved from
When it comes to asking questions, some of the best ideas come from a book by Ian
Mitroff called Smart Thinking for Crazy Times: The Art of Solving the Right Problems.23
Mitroff warns us about solving the wrong problems even though leaders solve them with
great precision in organizations. This happens because they don’t ask the right questions.
Mitroff provides advice to managers who fall into the trap of solving the wrong problems
by spelling out why managers do it in the first place. The five pathways to error are
1. picking the wrong stakeholders by not paying attention to who really cares about the
2. selecting too narrow a set of options by overlooking better, more creative options;
3. phrasing a problem incorrectly by failing to consider at least one “technical” and one
“human” variation in stating a problem;
4. setting the boundaries of a problem too narrowly by ignoring the system the problem
is embedded in; and
5. failing to think systemically by ignoring the connection between parts of the problem
and its whole.
So what questions should a manager be asking? Mitroff provides the following list of the
basic questions facing all organizations (and ones we should be asking frequently if we
expect to gain buy-in from employees for the implementation of their solutions):
What businesses are we in?
What businesses should we be in?
What is our mission?
What should our mission be?
Who are our prime customers?
Who should our customers be?
How should we react to a major crisis, especially if we are, or are perceived to be, at
How will the outside world perceive our actions?
Will others perceive the situation as we do?
Are our products and services ethical?
In OB, there is a systematic method to answer questions. As the field was developing,
scholars adopted much of their methodological approach from the social sciences, which
were following research methods from the physical sciences. These methods are applied to
address problems and opportunities faced by organizational leaders.
Critical Thinking Questions: Why does asking these questions improve employee buy-in for the
implementation of plans? Are there other questions you feel are important to ask?
The Scientific Method
Learning Objective 1.4: Describe the scientific method used in OB research.
How do OB researchers know what they know? As discussed earlier, it begins with a
problem to solve. For example, a problem might be a leader’s concern that only about 50%
of their employees are satisfied with their work. First, the leader reviews the available
knowledge on job satisfaction (i.e., the scientific evidence from EBM) and learns that the
way supervisors treat followers may improve job satisfaction. Based on theory, the leader
forms hypotheses, or predictions, regarding what might improve job satisfaction. An
example of a hypothesis is “A leader’s appreciation of workers’ efforts will lead to increased
job satisfaction.” The next step is to collect observations from the organization. This might
be, for example, through interviews with employees or surveys completed by employees.
Once data are collected, the hypothesis is tested with statistical techniques. For additional
information on the research designs that are used by open researchers, refer to the Appendix
of this textbook.
The basic research process described previously is depicted in Figure 1.2. As the figure
shows, research is an ongoing process that begins with observations that lead to interesting
questions. Next, hypotheses and testable predictions are formulated. Data are collected to
test these predictions and are then refined, altered, expanded, or rejected (the center of the
figure). Based on these results, additional predictions and data collections follow until
general theories of OB begin to emerge. These theories then lead us to frame additional
observation, and the research cycle continues. As noted in the introduction to this chapter,
OB is an applied field, and this is underscored by the typical outcome variables that are
studied. Researchers focus on outcomes that are of interest to leaders in organizations, such
as employee job satisfaction and productivity. Next, the types of outcomes typically studied
in OB research will be reviewed.
Figure 1.2 The Scientific Method as an Ongoing Process
Source: Garland, T., Jr. (2016). The scientific method as an ongoing process.
Riverside: University of California. Archived from the original on August 19, 2016.
Outcome Variables in Organizational Behavior
Learning Objective 1.5: Discuss five types of outcome variables studied in OB.
In the preceding example, leader appreciation of workers is the independent variable.
Worker engagement is the dependent variable (i.e., it depends on the independent variable:
leader appreciation). Since OB is an applied science, the outcome variables studied are
typically variables that leaders are interested in improving. There are five broad groups of
outcome variables studied: performance, work-related attitudes, employee well-being,
motivation, and employee withdrawal.
Productivity (or job performance) is one of the most important outcomes in OB.
Performance can be actual performance as collected in organizational records (e.g., the
number of forms correctly processed in an insurance company) or it may be rated by
supervisors and/or peers (e.g., the supervisor rates the follower’s work quality on a scale of 1
to 7, with 1 being poor and 7 being outstanding). Organizational citizenship behavior
(OCB) is the worker’s willingness to go above and beyond what is required in his or her
job description to help others at work.24,25 OCB is considered to be performance beyond
the expectations of a person’s job description—extrarole performance. While OCB is often
studied as an important performance outcome variable, it has also been shown that OCB
predicts individual and organizational outcomes as well. A large-scale review of the OCB
literature found that OCB predicts employee performance, reward-allocation decisions, and
a variety of withdrawal-related criteria (employee turnover intentions, actual turnover, and
Work-Related Attitudes
The measurement of work-related attitudes is an important aspect of OB research, and job
satisfaction has long been studied as an outcome variable. For example, there is a measure
of job satisfaction dating back to 1935 that is still employed in organizational studies
today: the Hoppock Job Satisfaction Blank shown in Table 1.2.27 Loyalty to an
organization, known as organizational commitment, is another key attitude that has
proven to be important because it is related to job satisfaction and is one of the strongest
predictors of turnover.28,29,30 Organizational commitment is an employee’s relationship
with the organization he or she works for.31 In other words, OB researchers can measure a
person’s loyalty, and this predicts whether or not they will quit in the future. Also, lack of
loyalty results in people being absent from work more often. Uncommitted workers are less
motivated and perform at lower levels.32 Another contemporary outcome variable that is
gaining research attention is employee engagement.33 Employee engagement can be defined
as “a relatively enduring state of mind referring to the simultaneous investment of personal
energies in the experience or performance of work.”34 In Chapter 4 of this book, you will
learn more about these and other work attitudes and how they are studied in OB research.
Table 1.2 A Measure of Job Satisfaction: The Hoppock Job Satisfaction Blank
A. Which one of the following shows how much of the time you feel satisfied
with your job?
1. Never.
2. Seldom.
3. Occasionally.
4. About half of the time.
5. A good deal of the time.
6. Most of the time.
7. All the time.
B. Choose one of the following statements that best tells how well you like
your job.
1. I hate it.
2. I dislike it.
3. I don’t like it.
4. I am indifferent to it.
5. I like it.
6. I am enthusiastic about it.
7. I love it.
C. Which one of the following best tells how you feel about changing your
1. I would quit this job at once if I could.
2. I would take almost any other job in which I could earn as much as I
am earning now.
3. I would like to change both my job and my occupation.
4. I would like to exchange my present job for another one.
5. I am not eager to change my job, but I would do so if I could get a
better job.
6. I cannot think of any jobs for which I would exchange.
7. I would not exchange my job for any other.
D. Which one of the following shows how you think you compare with other
1. No one dislikes his job more than I dislike mine.
2. I dislike my job much more than most people dislike theirs.
3. I dislike my job more than most people dislike theirs.
4. I like my job about as well as most people like theirs.
5. I like my job better than most people like theirs.
6. I like my job much better than most people like theirs.
7. No one likes his job better than I like mine.
Source: Hoppock, R. (1935). Job satisfaction. New York, NY: Harper; McNichols, C. W., Stahl, M. J., &
Manley, T. R. (1978). A validation of Hoppock’s job satisfaction measure. Academy of Management Journal,
21(4), 737–742.
Employee Well-Being
In addition to job satisfaction, researchers are also interested in other indicators of
employee well-being. Some studies examine outcomes such as emotional exhaustion,
psychosomatic health complaints, and physical health symptoms.35 Recent research has
shown that leaders not doing their job (i.e., passive leadership) undermines employee wellbeing because having a weak leader increases role stress and depletes employees’
psychological resources for coping with the stress.36 Another study found that being asked
to do an illegitimate task predicted lower employee well-being (lower self-esteem and job
satisfaction with increased anger and depression). An illegitimate task is one that is outside
of the boundaries of a person’s job: “For example, an administrative assistant asked to care
for an executive’s child, while the executive attends a meeting may be feeling ‘this is not my
job!’”37 The recommendations from these two studies for leaders seem clear: Being passive
will affect your followers’ well-being negatively, but so will giving them tasks that are
inappropriate. Well-being has emerged as an important outcome variable in OB, and some
studies have added engagement as another indicator of well-being.
Classic views on motivation describe both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation as being
equally important. Extrinsic motivation is based on the rewards from the organization’s
compensation system such as pay and bonuses. Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is
related to the value of the work itself.38 As with attitudes, motivation has been studied as an
outcome variable but also as an independent variable that predicts productivity. Prosocial
motivation is a new concept of motivation39 that assesses the degree to which employees
behave in a way that benefits society as a whole. You will learn more about motivation and
rewards in Chapters 8 and 9 of this textbook.
Employee Withdrawal
As noted earlier, an employee quitting the organization is costly in terms of the money and
time spent to recruit, hire, and train replacements. There is much research in OB on the
reasons why employees think about quitting (turnover intentions) and actual turnover.40
The availability of outside employment opportunities is a factor, but thoughts of quitting
may be related to other outcomes such as lower job satisfaction and engagement. And if the
economy improves and the job market improves with it, workers may eventually leave for
other opportunities. Another costly form of employee withdrawal is absenteeism, since
workers may not come to work when they are dissatisfied and there are few alternative jobs
Critical Thinking Questions: Is employee productivity the most important outcome variable? If not, what
outcome(s) do you think is/are more important?
Levels of Analysis in Organizational Behavior
Learning Objective 1.6: Compare the levels of analysis in OB research.
Individual behavior in an organization may be influenced by processes at different levels in
the organization. The most basic level is the individual level. For example, an individual’s
personality and experiences would explain much of their behavior, and differences in these
variables among people would help explain why people behave differently. Other
differences between people’s behavior occur at the dyad (or two-party) level. An example
would be a mentor and a protégé. Still, other sources include group- and team-level
influences on individual behavior. An example would be a team that has high-performance
norms that encourage a team member to perform at his or her best. Additional influences
on individual behavior may come from the organizational level. For example, in
organizations with strong cultures, the cultural characteristics can have a profound
influence on an individual member’s behavior. To illustrate this, one needs to look no
further than the U.S. Marine Corps. The Marine Corps has a strong culture that includes
pride, and this inspires Marines to excel (this is evident in their recruiting ads: “The few,
the proud, the Marines”; you will learn more about organizational culture in Chapter 14 of
this book). There is also the industry level of analysis where comparisons are made across
different industries (this is more typical for research in strategic management than OB).
However, this level is included here to provide a complete listing of levels of analysis in
organizational research. All levels may influence employee performance in organizations,
and this is discussed in the next section.
How OB Research Increases Employee Performance
Learning Objective 1.7: Develop plans for using OB research to improve employee
job performance.
The chapters in this book will address all of the levels that may influence individual
behavior and show how processes at one level may affect processes at another level. For
example, a positive organizational culture may increase the commitment of individuals to
their work and, in turn, their performance. Table 1.3 provides examples of hypotheses at
the different levels of analysis discussed previously. This table illustrates how OB research at
all levels may help leaders improve employee performance.
Table 1.3 Examples of How Organizational Behavior Research Relates to Performance
Example Organizational Behavior Hypothesis
The personality characteristic of conscientiousness is positively
related to employee performance.
High-quality relationships with bosses lead to higher employee
Group and
Team conflict is negatively related to employee performance.
A strong, positive organizational culture is positively related to
employee performance.
Employee performance is higher in the financial services industry
compared with government organizations.
As this table illustrates, understanding OB has strong influences on employee performance.
Thus, understanding behavior in organizations is every manager’s job. But some managers
engage in behaviors that decrease employee performance. One of the reasons why managers
do thi…
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