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Organizational Behavior: Solutions for Management
Paul D. Sweeney, University of Central Florida
Dean B. McFarlin, University of Dayton


scientific management  The dominant behavioral perspective in the U.S. between 1900 and 1950. It was championed by Frederick Taylor, an engineer who felt that applying scientific principles to human behavior was an efficient way to maximize performance.
human relations approach  Took the view that the best way to improve production was to respect workers and show concern for their needs. Became popular in the 1920s and remained influential through the 1950s.
hawthorne effect  The boost in morale and improved productivity that can occur simply because employees feel that management care enough about them to investigate their working conditions.
contingency approach  The dominant perspective in organizational behavior, it argues that there's no single best way to manage behavior. What 'works' in any given context depends on the complex interplay between a variety of person and situational factors.
breakthrough culture  A corporate value system which recognizes that normal business rules and pressures don't apply to innovative thinking.
self-enhancing tactics  Direct attempts to influence the perceptions of others via self promotion (e.g., name dropping) and image control.
other-enhancing tactics  Indirect methods of influencing others' perceptions by boosting their self-image (e.g., flattery, opinion agreement).
audience extraction  The process whereby perceivers (the audience) subtlely pulls/draws behavior from others (also known as the Pygmalion effect).
audience selectivity  This terms refers to our tendency as social observers to selectively look for and process certain pieces of information about people to form impressions
personal constructs  A very general belief about what other people are like (e.g, untrustworthy) that has wide effect on our perceptions of others behavior.
halo effect  A more specific perceptual bias that affects perceptions of others; in particular, the use of one piece of information observed about a person is used to infer other characteristics that may or may not be there.
stereotypes  A perceptual bias that involves using one characteristic about a person - their group membership (e.g., race, gender, or age group) - to infer other traits they think might also be present.
internal attribution  Ascribing/assigning the cause of a person's behavior at work to something about them (e.g, their effort, their innate ability, etc.).
external attribution  Attributing the cause of work behavior to some reason that is external to the person (e.g., bad luck, unfair circumstances, etc.).
actor-observer effect  The tendency for observers to make internal attributions and for actors to make external attributions for behavior.
self-serving attributions  A bias effect in attributions whereby people tend to take credit (internal attribution) for success and to make external attributions for failure.
turnover  The percentage of employees who leave the firm during a specified time interval (usually a one year period)
affective commitment  An employee's inclination to stay with and committed to a firm based on their emotional attachment and identification with the firm and its goals.
normative commitment  The degree to which an employee is committed to their company based on the influence of other people in the firm.
continuance commitment  A tendency to stay with a company that is based on a cost- benefit or economic analysis of options.
organizational citizenship behaviors  The voluntary, 'above the call of duty' behaviors(e.g., talking up the firm to outsiders, helping coworkers, etc.) that are vitally important but often unrecognized sources of firm success.
glass ceiling  A term that refers to the many barriers that can exist to thwart a woman's rise to the top of an organization; one that provides a view of the top, but a ceiling on how far a woman can go.
diversity programs  A set of training and information dissemination programs that help employees recognize the value of differences among people.
motivation  Originates from movere-Latin for 'to move.' A process that arouses and channels employee effort and behavior toward achieving goals.
content theories of motivation  Theories that identify the needs that arouse or energize employee behavior.
process theories of motivation  Theories that explain the processes by which employee behavior can be aroused and then directed.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory  A theory which argues that people are motivated by five needs that are triggered in a hierarchical order.
Herzberg's two-factor theory  Motivation theory which argues that the factors which cause satisfaction on the job are different than those which cause dissatisfaction.
hygiene factors  The factors in Herzberg's theory that cause dissatisfaction (e.g., working conditions, pay, and coworker relations).
motivating factors  The factors in Herzberg's theory that cause satisfaction (e.g., need for achievement, challenge, and recognition)
equity theory  Theory which argues that perceptions of fairness drive motivation. Employees decide whether their situation is unfair or not by comparing themselves to others (e.g., friends, family, coworkers).
tiered wage system  An approach to paying workers based on their hiring date. In their simplest form, two wage classifications exist, with workers hired after a particular date being paid much less than those already on the payroll.
churning  When firms fire many people and hire many people at the same time.
reinforcement theory  A motivation theory which argues that by linking consequences to
behavior, desired behaviors can be strengthened and undesirable ones eliminated.
positive reinforcement  Administering a positive consequence (e.g., praise) to strengthen a positive behavior.
negative reinforcement  Removing or stopping something unpleasant (e.g., eliminating time-consuming paperwork) to strengthen a positive behavior.
extinction  Removing all reinforcement for a behavior, thereby letting it atrophy on its own.
punishment  Administering a sanction like docking pay in an effort to eliminate a negative behavior.
goal theory  A theory which argues that establishing future performance targets can help motivate employees.
stretch targets  Goals which are virtually unattainable. Often designed to encourage 'doing it different' rather than 'doing what we already do better.'
Management by Objectives (MBO) program  A generic name for the systematic use of goal-setting throughout the firm. Usually involves a joint goal-setting process between managers and subordinates.
expectancy theory  A motivation theory which argues that employees will choose to give maximum effort if there's a decent chance that their efforts will lead to performance and that achieving a certain level of performance will result in valued outcomes (e.g., a big raise).
skill-based pay programs  Programs that increase pay or give bonuses when employees can demonstrate that they've acquired a new skill.
decision making  The process of evaluating two or more options in order to reach the best possible outcome.
rational-economic models  A set of decision making approaches, often that use aids and are quantitative in form, that try to maximize the use of information and/or possible choices.
information-processing models  Rational models that focus on evaluating the quality and relative weight of various pieces of information that need to be combined together to reach a decision.
decision-choice models  Rational models that shift the focus away from the information sources to the actual options in trying to reach a systematic decision.
administrative model  A set of decision making principles that recognize that a completely rational analysis of information and choice options is often not feasible in realistic decision-making.
bounded rationality  The understanding that rational decisions are very much bounded or constrained by practical constraints (e.g., time, money, etc.).
satisficing  A method for making decisions under bounded rationality; to choose the first option that meets a set of minimal criteria that have been established.
script  A reference to a type of non-rational decision making that doesn't make use of existing data, but instead is based on a commonly understood sequence of behavior.
policy  Similar to a script in that a policy can be a less than completely rational decision making method. Involves the use of a pre-existing set of decision steps for any problem that presents itself.
preferred focus  The tendency to concentrate on the technical/rational side of decision making or on the people/issues side.
problem clarity  The need for structure in making decisions vs. a tendency to have greater acceptance for ambiguity or vagueness in making decision.
directive style  A decision making style characterized by a person who, while analytic, doesn't enjoy juggling lots of data they make a decision and move on.
behavioral style  A decision making who is very attuned to how decisions affect employees and the work environment; tends to be more deliberate and slower in style.
analytic style  A style characteristic of someone who approaches decisions in a highly rational way and who is capable of tolerating uncertainty/ambiguity.
conceptual style  A decision maker who can easily see 'the big picture' and is not necessarily mired in the fine details.
heuristics  Decision making shortcuts that everyone develops over time and use to deal with the myriad of daily decisions; can sometimes lead a manager astray, particularly if they are used as shortcuts.
representativeness heuristic  A heuristic that leads us to choose options that have the appearance of being correct, but often fail to take into account the appropriate probability of option occurring.
conjunction fallacy  Related to the representativeness heuristic in that instead of decreasing our probability judgements for detailed, conjunctive predictions, we actually often believe they are more likely to occur than simple/single events themselves.
regression to the mean  A heuristic that says humans fail to realize that the best predictor of behavior is the mean performance; unusual performance (positive or negative) is likely to move back toward the mean performance.
framing  The tendency for a decision maker to be swayed by whether a decision is pitched as a positive (e.g., gain) or negative (e.g., loss).
anchoring  The heuristic tendency for our eventual decisions to be importantly affected by the starting point (or anchor) of the decision process.
escalation of commitment  A tendency among decision makers try to recover sunk costs - to throw good money after bad.
groupthink  Refers to a situation in which pressures for cohesion and togetherness are so strong as to produce narrowly considered and bad decisions; this can be especially true via conformity pressures in groups.
brainstorming  A technique designed to overcome our natural tendency to evaluate and criticize ideas and thereby reduce the creative output of those ideas. People are encouraged to produce ideas/options without criticizing, often at a very fast pace to minimize our natural tendency to criticize.
nominal group technique  A more elaborate attempt to separate the generation from the evaluation of ideas in group settings. With the nominal group method, ideas are generated in private and circulated later.
delphi technique  A third, and even more elaborate attempt to reduce group criticism and increase the generation of good decision options. Ideas are generated in private, anonymously collated and presented to the group.
compressed schedule  A set of work schedules that use non-traditional methods of completing a 40 hour work week (e.g., 4-40; 4 days of 10-hr work).
flextime  A scheduling methods that gives employees control over their work schedule; usually involves some 'core' times when employees must be at work, and a set of 'flextime' that can be adjustable for various employees.
job rotation  The practice of shifting workers to different jobs at periodic intervals.
job enlargement  Involves combining multiple tasks once performed by several people into one job. As with rotation, it is designed to increase variety and reduce boredom association with job simplification.
job enrichment  Making fundamental change to the way that work gets done, well beyond when the job is done (e.g., flextime, rotation) and how much is done (enlargement).
job characteristics model  A model of how to put enrichment in practice, which involves -among other things - changing jobs so that they provide more feedback and autonomy to those actually doing the jobs.
vertical job loading  Combining various job tasks together which involve increasing the skill set of an employee (as opposed to enlargement where
horizontal job loading  Like vertical loading, this involves combining tasks, but unlike that technique the additional tasks are added without requiring additional skills).
advisory teams  Small groups of employees (10-20) that meet a few hours a week to suggest solutions to problems in their work (e.g., quality circle).
self-managed work teams  If advisory teams point out problems, self-managed teams go further and try to fix those problems. Team member exert considerable influence on their group, some even hire/fire, and evaluate other group members.
cross-functional teams  Groups of employees from different areas of the organization who are brought together to work on the same program; ideally the team has all the expertise needed to complete even the most complex of projects.
virtual team  A group of physically dispersed people who work as a team via alternative communication modes (e.g., video conferencing, e-mail, etc.).
social loafing  This is a tendency for a team member to put out less effort than they would if they were working alone. Freeloading such as this can occur when members' performance melds in and they can hide in the crowd.
follower-centered leadership  Approaches that try to understand leadership by focusing on follower's needs and how they respond to leaders.
leader-centered leadership  Approaches that try to understand leadership by focusing on the leader's traits, skills, and behaviors.
situation-centered leadership  Approaches that try to understand leadership by focusing on how situational variables may impact leader effectiveness.
leader-member exchange theory  Explains leadership in terms of the relationship that develops between leaders and subordinates over time.
proactive ingratiation strategies  Involves the use of impression management tactics such as expressing agreement and offering praise.
exemplification  An impression management tactic that involves self-sacrifice.
self-leadership  A follower-centered approach to leadership which argues that employees should look inward for motivation and initiative.
task-oriented behavior  Leadership behavior focused on the task itself or getting the job done (e.g., telling subordinates how to perform certain tasks).
relationship-oriented behavior  Leadership behavior focused on maintaining or improving relations with subordinates (e.g., developing, recognizing, and otherwise supporting subordinates).
change-oriented behavior  Leadership behavior focused on making significant change happen (e.g., communicating an inspiring vision, gaining subordinate commitment for change).
situational leadership  A leadership model which argues that effective leadership involves matching the right combination of task-oriented and relationship-oriented behavior to the maturity level of subordinates.
path-goal theory  An approach which argues that managers use the leadership style which will best support subordinates given their characteristics and the existing work system. The right style will raise subordinates' expectations that their efforts will lead to good performance and that desired rewards will follow.
least preferred co-worker (LPC) contingency theory  Argues that how leaders view their least preferred co-worker indicates whether they have a relationship-oriented or a task-oriented leadership style. Which style is more effective depends on situational favorability (i.e., the leader's position power, nature of leader-member relations, and task structure).
leader substitutes theory  A approach which examines how various situational factors can either substitute for leadership (making leader behavior unnecessary) or neutralize the impact of leader behavior.
charismatic leadership  A form of leadership in which the leader is viewed as having extraordinary abilities, being 'larger than life,' and inspiring tremendous effort. Often the result of a complex interplay between leader characteristics, subordinate perceptions, and situational pressures.
personal identification  One way that charismatic leaders can influence subordinate self-worth. Taps subordinates' needs to have someone to look up to and may involve giving leaders unquestioned loyalty.
social identification  Often the most positive way that charismatic leaders can influence subordinate self-worth. Involves linking subordinates' work to the good of a larger social entity.
narcissistic leaders  Fundamentally insecure and self-absorbed individuals who often pursue a
vision for selfish reasons. They manipulate subordinates and lack concern for their welfare.
transformational leadership theory  Explains how some leaders are able to create loyal and committed subordinates who are willing to push themselves like never before in the pursuit of radical change (i.e., through charisma and inspirational motivation, individualized consideration, and intellectual stimulation).
power  The extent to which a leader has the potential capacity to influence others. Can come from personal, positional, and/or political sources.
influence tactics  Behavioral strategies leaders use when trying to tap their sources of power to influence others.
expertise  A source of power to the extent that people around a manager view him or her as an expert; someone whose knowledge and skills can help them do their jobs.
referent power  Power managers have when they are liked, admired, and given loyalty by those around them.; may involve an intense emotional bonding with the manager.
position power  Power managers hold due to their role in the organization. May include a manager's network of contacts, legitimate authority and control over information, rewards, punishments, and the work environment.
organizational politics  Occurs when power sources and influence tactics are used to serve personal goals or motives.
scapegoating  Trying to shift the blame for a problem or failure away from yourself (e.g., onto others or factors in the situation).
self-focused image management tactics  Behaviors designed to make yourself look good or to create a more favorable image of yourself with other people (e.g., boasting, working hard when the boss is around, etc.)
other-focused image management tactics  Behaviors designed to make polish someone else's image in the hopes of getting what you want (e.g., flattering or praising your boss).
sandbagging  Behaviors designed to project a weaker or more negative image than is actually the case. The goal is often to lull opponents into a false sense of security (i.e., so they let down their guard or exert less effort).
avoiding style  When faced with conflict, a person who uses this style often try to ignore conflict all together rather than trying to directly resolve it.
accommodating style  A style that involves trying to resolve conflict by giving in to the desires of others, sometimes without raising conflicting points/issues at all.
forcing style  The exact opposite of an accomodating style - a person who is very willing to use their power and authority to settle an argument.
compromising style  A person using this style approaches conflict as a give-and-take situation giving up something to get something else.
collaborating style  A style that ranks high on both assertiveness and cooperation; often called a win-win approach because efforts are made to see the best options for both parties to conflict.
role conflict  Refers to the fact that some jobs have built-in conflicting requirements that pull the job occupant in separate ways.
role ambiguity  The lack of clear expectations about your job or role in a firm can produce role ambiguity, which in turn can produce stress.
burnout  A feeling of physical and mental exhaustion that may start from work stress, but eventually extend to many parts of one's life.
employee assistance program (EAP)  Programs offered by companies to help employees deal with job stress and with personal problems that may have developed from the stress or other sources (alcohol/substance abuse help, counseling for psychological symptoms, etc.).
family-supportive policies  A series of programs (e.g., on-site day care) adopted by companies that can help employees deal with work-family conflict and stress.
job redesign  Efforts by firms to redesign how work is done to, among other things, reduce job stress (discussed in Chapter 6 earlier).
corporate wellness programs  Long-term programs that also act to increase and promote employee health and reduce stress (fitness facilities, health classes, etc.).
verbal communication  A reference to the many different ways you can get across your message orally (meetings, phone calls, conversation).
nonverbal communication  The many additional ways that communication is accomplished beyond the oral or written word (e.g., expressions, eye contact, body movements, etc.).
spacing  A nonverbal behavior that refers to the typical amounts of space between people as they interact and converse.
paralanguage  Reference to qualities about one's speech that carry information about the communication (e.g., speed, loudness, tenseness of one's voice).
context  The effect of the background under which a message often takes on more and richer meaning. Context is especially important in cross-cultural interactions because some cultures are said to be high context (the culture provides many understood ways to interpret messages) or low context (the words themselves explicitly carry a lot of the message).
downward communication  Refers to communication flows from a company or boss down to the affected employees.
upward communication  A communication channel that allows for relatively free movement of messages from those lower in the organization to those at higher levels.
lateral communication  Communication that flows relatively freely between people of relatively equal power in organizations.
grapevine  A reference to the well-known but unofficial and informal source of information regarding company events/people; often a source of information for those with relatively little power in a firm.
organizational structure  Refers to how a company is put together and reflects some of the underlying ways that people interact with one another in and across jobs or departments.
functional structure  A type of structure in which units and departments are organized based on the activity or function that they perform.
product-based structure  A type of structure in which all the jobs needed to produce and sell a product or service are grouped together in the same unit.
customer-based structure  Similar in some respects to product-based structures, this type of structure uses customer groups or segments as an organizing principle.
geographic-based structure  A type of structure in which product lines, services, and/or functions are organized by location.
matrix structure  A hybrid approach to organizing which typically crosses a functional approach with a product- or service-based design, often resulting in employees having two bosses.
delegation  Typically refers to a context in which a manager hands over the responsibility and decision control for various tasks or jobs to others, usually subordinates.
formalization  The extent to which rules, policies, and procedures exist throughout the organization.
bureaucracy  An organization with a high degree of formalization.
mechanistic structure  An organizational form in which people perform specialized jobs, the flow of information comes largely from above, and there is considerable formality in how work is done. Efficiency is usually the primary goal with such structures.
organic structure  An organizational form in which formality is low, power is decentralized and jobs are less specialized and are often broadly defined. Adaptability and flexibility in the face of rapidly changing conditions are usually the primary goals with such structures.
corporate culture  The whole collection of beliefs, values, and behaviors of a firm that send messages to those within and outside the company about how business is done.
rights of passage  A set of rituals and ceremonies and other activities used over and over again at special times to emphasize key organizational values.
mission statement  An explicit statement of company philosophy that provides yet another way to communicate culture.
socialization  The whole process of cultural acclimation; the learning of organizationally-useful behavior.
orientation phase  The first few weeks or months on the job when it is particularly important to communication cultural values to new employees.
mentors  A person who can help smooth the integration of new employees into a firm and its culture.
fearlessness culture  A type of culture that can form in firms whose business involves considerable risk and rapid feedback. Attracts and rewards people willing to take chances and decisive.
persistence culture  A business that involves relatively low risk but rapid feedback. The culture encourages people who have energy and show perseverance.
one-shot culture  A culture comprised of a slow feedback/high risk combination. People who can tolerate uncertainly for long periods and is careful/detailed oriented.
process culture  Characterized by slow feedback/low risk combination. A culture that promotes a major concern with the process of running an organization more than specific outcomes.
ubuntu  An indigenous African approach to management that emphasizes the company as a community of relationships, with a particular emphasis on solidarity.
domestic firm  Firms who largely do business in their home country, although they may export some of their products or services across borders.
international firm  Those firms who have responded to stiff competition domestically by expanding their sales abroad. They may start a production facility overseas and send some of their managers, who report to a global division, to that country.
multinational firm  Firm who operate extensively in other countries and closely coordinate effort across subsidiaries in those countries. They tend to rely more on foreign nationals for their managerial talent.
global firm  Firms are considered global if they produce high-quality products that can be sold anywhere across globe, are international in their thinking, and expatriates from around the globe comprise their managerial pool.
civil law  The most common legal system in the world, practiced in over 70 countries (e.g.,Germany, Japan, Turkey, etc.). Referred to as code law since it is based on an elaborate list of rules about actions and misdeeds, but considerable consistency in adjudication.
common law  Also a popular legal system around the world (e.g., U.S., U.K, etc.). In contrast to civil law's reliance on elaborate codes, common law uses precedent or the balance of prior rulings to resolve disputes.
Islamic law  A code-based legal system tied to religious stipulations put forth in the Koran. While not strictly a legal system, the Koran does address business concerns such as the need to honor agreements and to us good faith in interactions.
political risk  Refers to the many different actions of people, subgroups, and whole countries that have the potential to affect the financial status of a firm.
learning organization  A firm which values continuous learning and is consistently looking to adapt and change with its environment.
sensitivity training  An interpersonal approach for promoting change that involves developing a greater understanding of oneself and one's interactions with other people.
team-building techniques  Group-level efforts designed to illustrate the value of teams as well as build cohesion and a common sense of purpose among team members.
process consultation  Involves interviewing people and observing work group processes to uncover interpersonal stumbling blocks and related problems. A change agent will then provide feedback aimed at improving the work process.
survey methods  Involve the administration of a questionnaire (e.g., by computer, in paper and pencil form, or interview). Usually designed to assess problems and improve information flow throughout the organization.