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Organizational behaviour, McShane

CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION TO THE FIELD OF ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR

I. THE FIELD OF ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR

  1. Organizational behavior defined.
    1. Study of what people think, feel, and do in and around organizations.
    2. Includes systematically studying individual, team, and structural characteristics that influence behavior within organizations.
    3. Emerged as a distinct field in the 1940’s.
    4. Origins can be traced back to ancient Greek with Plato.
  2. Organizations defined
    1. Groups of people who work interdependently toward some purpose.
    2. Not buildings or physical structures, but rather people who interact with each other to achieve a set of goals.
    3. Origins date back to 3500 BC through archaeological findings of massive temples built in an organized manner.
    4. Examples of organizations include the Sydney Olympics, Hong Kong’s new airport at Chek Lap Kok, Internet coordinators, etc.
    5. Purpose for being is embodied in the organization’s mission statement.
  3. Purpose for studying organizational behavior
    1. To understand, predict, and influence the behaviors of others.
    2. To influence organizational events.
      1. Should be embodied by all people within the organization.
      2. Less focus on management, but rather understanding and influencing behavior.

II. EMERGING TRENDS IN ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR

  1. Globalization
    1. Definition
      1. Occurs when an organization extends its activities to other parts of the world, actively participates in other markets, and competes against organizations located in other countries.
    2. Implications for organizational behavior
      1. Requires new structures and different forms of communication to assist the organization’s global reach.
      2. Creates new career opportunities and potentially brings in new knowledge to improve the organization’s competitive advantage.
      3. Emphasizes the need to recognize the contingencies of effective OB practices in different cultures.
  2. The Changing Work Force
    1. Trends
      1. Increase of minorities in the workforce.
      2. Increase of a multicultural workforce due to an increasing demographic diversity.
      3. Greater difficulty in discussing ethic differences as inter-racial marriages increase.
      4. Increasing representation of women in the workforce.
      5. More job security expected by baby boomers—people born between 1946 and 1964.
      6. Less loyalty to one organization expressed by Gen-Xers—people born between 1964 and 1977.
      7. Impact of how Generation-Y employees –those born in the decade or so since 1979—affect the workplace.
    2. How diversity impacts organizational behavior
      1. Can lead to a competitive advantage by improving decision-making and team performance on complex tasks.
      2. Can present new challenges for companies to overcome.
  3. Emerging Employment Relationships
    1. Employability: employees perform a variety of work activities rather than hold specific jobs, and they are expected to continuously learn skills that will keep them employed.
    2. Contingent work: any job in which the individual does not have an explicit or implicit contract for long-term employment, or one in which the minimum hours of work can vary in a nonsystematic way.
    3. Telecommuting: working from home usually with a computer connection to the office.
    4. Virtual teams: cross-functional groups that operate across space, time, and organizational boundaries with members who communicate mainly through electronic technologies.
  4. Information Technology
    1. Lead to rise in telecommuting and virtual teams.
    2. Creates opportunities to connect people around the plant.
    3. Allows small businesses in developing countries to compete in the global marketplace.
    4. Leads to the creation of a network organization –an alliance of several organizations for the purpose of creating a product or serving a client.
  5. Workplace Values and Ethics
    1. Definitions
      1. Values – stable, long-lasting beliefs about what is important in a variety of situations.
      2. Cultural values – represent the dominant prescriptions of a society.
      3. Personal values – incorporate cultural values, as well as other values socialized by parents, friends, and personal life events.
      4. Organizational values – those which are widely and deeply shared by people within the organization.
      5. Ethics – the study of moral principles or values that determine whether actions are right or wrong and outcomes are good or bad.
    2. Importance of values and ethics
      1. Rise of globalization leads to a multitude of different values and ethics in the workplace.
      2. Old “command-and-control” system of direct supervision is not congruent with today’s more independently-minded workforce.
      3. Increased societal pressure on organizations to engage in ethical practices.

III. FIVE ANCHORS OF ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR

  1. The Multidisciplinary Anchor
    1. Premise: OB should develop from knowledge in other disciples, not just from its own isolated research.
    2. Emerging fields from which OB knowledge is acquired:
      1. Communications – e.g., knowledge management, electronic mail, corporate culture, and employee socialization.
      2. Information systems
      3. Marketing
  2. The Systematic Research Anchor
    1. Premise: OB researchers believe in the systematic collection of data and information about organizations.
      1. Utilizes the scientific method by forming research questions, systematically collecting data, and testing hypotheses.
  3. The Contingency Anchor
    1. Premise: Any particular action may have different consequences