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COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Final Exam Review: Chapters 1-14

Chapter 1

Defining Organizational Behaviour

Organizational behaviour: field of study that looks at the impact that individual groups, and structure have on behaviour within an organization

o Behaviour: what people do in an organization and how they perform

OB most often is applied to business but can go beyond the traditional work place

What Do We Mean by Organization?

Organization: a coordinated social unit that functions to continuously achieve a common goals

o Manufacturing firms, schools, hospitals, churches, military, retail stores, the police etc.

Business that supply 10 people or less make up 75% of the Canadian marketplace

o Small to midsized business make up 45% of Canada's GDP (up 25% in 20 years)

There are different types/sizes of organizations, but most theories are applicable to all

OB is for Everyone:

Employees are now being asked to play a more proactive role in the workplace



The roles of managers and employees are beginning to become blurred

Managers rely more on employees to make decisions rather than follow orders

OB is also for entrepreneurs and self-employed as they interact with others in the marketplace

OB is relevant anywhere people come together to share/work on goals or to solve problems

The Importance of Interpersonal Skills:

Until the 1980's business schools only focused on the technical aspects of business

o Business schools have shifted to teach human behaviour and organizational effectiveness

Quality of the employee's job and support in the work place are more important than money

Technical skills are sufficient but not enough to strive and succeed in the workplace

o In an increasingly competitive workplace employees need intrapersonal skills

Today's Challenges in the Canadian Workplace

Organizations are made up of individual groups and the entire organizational structure




Each level has a unique role that must be fulfilled at the workplace

Each level is constructed/dependent on the previous level

Each level has challenges that may affect how the levels above/below operate

Basic OB model: 1. individual level, 2. group level, 3. organization system level

Challenges at the Individual Level:

Managers and employees need to learn how to deal with others (different from themselves)

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

o Dimensions such as personality, perception, values, and attitudes

Individuals have different levels of job satisfaction/motivation

o This affects the how managers manage employees

The greatest issues is how to behave ethically when facing competition

Individual Differences:

People enter organizations with a unique behaviour, perception, values, and attitude

o It is difficult for an organization to change these characteristics of an employee

Job Satisfaction:

Employees are demanding satisfaction out of their jobs

o Higher satisfied employees leads to higher productivity (basic assumption)

Researchers believe employees want challenges and intrinsic rewards from their work

Job satisfaction is negatively related to absenteeism and turnover

o This costs organizations considerable amounts of money annually


Only 24% of Canadian employees were recognized to a great extent for work well done


In many organizations employees have become associates and teammates



Employees are becoming more a part of the business and managers and facilitating this process

Employees' roles within many organizations have grown

Self-managed teams instead of employees and managers have become a new trend

o Teamwork and employee responsibility are essential

Empowerment: giving employees responsibility for what they do



Managers are beginning to learn how to give up power

Employees are learning to take responsibility for their work and make appropriate decisions

Behaving Ethically:

Organizations with cutbacks, expectations of increasing worker productivity suffer consequences

o Employees cut corners, break rules, engage in questionable practices etc.

Ethics: the study of moral values and principles that guide behaviour and inform us whether actions are right or wrong

o Ethical principles help/guide us to do the right thing

Individuals that have ethical values, and organizations that encourage them will do the right think

Challenging at the Group Level:

People's behaviour differs when they are in a group to when they are alone

o Behaviour of a group is more than the sum total of individuals acting on their own

Organizations with more teamwork develop employees with greater intrapersonal skills

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

o Learning to work with people from different backgrounds also have become important

Working with Others:

A foundation for high-quality work force includes communications, problem solving, critical thinking, learning continuously, and the ability to work with others



A positive attitude/behaviour and taking responsibility for actions are also key

Team building and priority management are essential for small to mid-sized businesses

Workforce Diversity:

Adapting to different people is a broad based challenge facing organizations

Workforce diversity: the mix of people in organizations (gender, race, age, education etc.)

o More organizations are moving towards workforce diversity

Different generations working side by side bring together different values and experiences

Workforce diversity has spread in different countries through different ways



The increase in women in the workforce has changed the workforce diversity

The European Union has opened up borders and allowed for more diverse organizations

Employees don't set aside cultural values and lifestyle preferences when at work

o It is challenging for organizations to accommodate these diverse needs and lifestyles

Different employees have different preferences and organizations must find the happy medium

Managers need to shift their philosophy to treat each employee uniquely



They must respond to differences to ensure employee retention and productivity

Includes diversity training and revising benefit programs (family friendly etc.)

Diversity can increase creativity and innovation in organizations



Improves decision making by providing different perspectives on problems

Diversity that is not well managed can lead to higher turnover and conflicts

Challenges at the Organizational Level:

The design of an organization has an impact on how effective an organization is

o Change may be in order if an organization's design in not effective

Canadian businesses now face greater competition from the global economy

o The structure of the workplace is becoming more and more challenging

The Use of Temporary (Contingent) Employees:

Part time or temporary employees are a growing part of the overall workforce

o Full-time/permanent jobs have been downsized by millions over the years

Some contingent employees prefer part-time/temporary to do other things (school, children etc.)

Contingent employees don't identify with the organization or display commitment

o Temporary workers lack benefits and are also paid less

Organizations are challenged with motivating temporary employees to feel more connected

Improving Quality and Productivity:

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Increased competition forces managers to reduce costs and increase the quality and productivity

Organizations are productive if goals are achieved and costs are minimized

Productivity: a concern for both effectiveness and efficiency



Effectiveness: the achievement of goals

Efficiency: the ratio of effective work output to input required to produce the work

Developing Effective Employees:

Organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB): behaviour that is not part of an employee's job requirements, but that promotes the effective functioning of an organization



Employees that are striving and providing performance beyond expectations

Making constructive comments, being flexible, volunteering extra time etc.

Organizations want and need employees who will work beyond their job description

o Organizations that obtain these types of employees outperform other organizations

Putting People First:

Managers should spend more time recognizing the value of their employees

o Putting people first generates a committed workforce and a better bottom line

When organizations strive to develop employees, they are more successful

The people first strategy leads to lower turnover, greater sales, market value and profits

Workers are more responsible when they are given more responsibilities

Workers are smarter when encouraged to build skills and competence



Helping Employees with Work-Life Balance:

Employees complain it is difficult to differentiate between work and personal time





Work places allow workers to create and structure their own work roles

Global organizations have offices world-wide and work never sleeps

Communication technology has take work home, in the car or on holidays

Organizations are asking employees to put in more hours

More employees want flexible jobs in order to better manage their personal lives

o Organizations without time for personal life have difficulty hiring employees

Creating a Positive Work Environment:

Organizations are starting to create a competitive advantage by encouraging a positive work environment

Positive organizational scholarship: how organizations develop human strengths, create vitality and resilience, and unlock potential




Researchers believe we should study what is good rather than bad about an organization

Asking employees to determine when they are at their personal best in order to exploit strengths

Challenges organizations to exploit strengths rather than dwell on limitations

Global Competition:

Canadian business have growing competition domestic and internationally

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

o To compete they must lower cost, increase productivity or merge with other businesses

Businesses must often outsource jobs internationally in order to stay competitive



Employees and managers are thus in a constant stat of flux

Employees must increase knowledge and skills in order to meet job requirements

Employees, managers and organizations must become flexible to changing conditions

o Must learn how to shift demand, technology and stay on top of the economy

Managing and Working in a Multicultural World:

Trade agreements and unions have reduces tariffs and barrier to trade

o The internet has allowed organizations to become more internationally connected

Increases opportunities and consumer base

Managers and employees must become capable of working with people from different cultures

o Managing interpersonal dynamics are not just important for Canadian organizations

When workers travel to other countries practices may be different and workers must adapt

o Business in Asia is done respectfully and at a slower pace compared to the Western world

Organizations in foreign nations must adapt cultures and traditions

OB: Making Sense of Behaviour in Organizations

The Building Blocks of OB:

OB emerged as a distinct field in the 1940's in the U.S.A.




Built upon contributions from a number of behavioural disciplines

Psychology, social psychology, sociology and anthropology

Psychology has contributed on a micro level, while the others on a macro level


The science to measure/explain and change the behaviour of humans and other animals

Psychologists study and attempt to understand individual behaviour

Theorists, organizational psychologist and other have contributed to OB

Industrial/organization psychologists study how fatigue, working conditions etc. are linked to performance



o Expanded to learning, perception, personality, job satisfaction and others

Social Psychology:

Generally blends concepts from psychology and sociology (considered a branch of psychology)

o Focus on people's influences on one another

A main study is change, and how to implement it, and reduce barriers to its acceptance

Measure understanding and changing attitudes, communication pattern and building trust

o Made important contributions studying group behaviour, power and conflict


COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Study the system in which individuals fill their roles

o People in relation to their social environment or culture

Greatest contribution to OB was their study of group behaviour in organizations



Particularly formal and complex organizations

Group dynamics, design or work teams, organizational culture, power, conflict etc.


The study of societies to learn about human being and their activities

o They work on cultures and environments (fundamental values, attitudes etc.)

Contributed to the understanding of organizational culture/environment and cultural differences

The Rigour of OB:

OB provides a systematic approach to the study of behaviour in organizations

o We believe/assume that behaviour in organizations is not random

Individuals believe rightly, or wrongly in his or her best interest

Can Finance Learn Anything from OB?

Marketing has the closer overlap with OB



Predicting consumer behaviour is not much different from predicting employee behaviour

Both require an understanding of the dynamics and underlying causes of human behaviour

Behavioural finance, accounting and economics have all grown in importance recently

o Researches from these professions have found it useful to draw from OB concepts

Investors tend to rely more on private info rather than more accurate public info

o Researchers study how feedback affects auditors' behaviour and future work

OB Looks at Consistencies:

All people are different but there are consistencies underlying behaviour of most people

o These consistencies allow us to make predictions

There are rules (written or unwritten) in almost all settings

o Common habits and general actions that are alike across genders, cultures etc.

The systematic study of behaviour is a means to make reasonably accurate predictions

OB Looks Beyond Common Sense:

We as humans watch others and often predict what they will do under certain conditions

o Often these predictions will be inaccurate but can be enhanced with a more systematic approach

This means believing behaviour is not random and can be accurately predicted

There are certain fundamental consistencies that can reflect individual differences

Systematic study: looking at relationships, attempting to attribute cause and effects, and draw conclusions based on scientific evidence

o Data gathered under controlled conditions are measures and interpreted in a rigorous manner

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Evidence-based management (EBM): basking managerial decisions on the best scientific evidence

o Management decisions must be made with an evidence backing not on the fly

Intuition: a gut feeling not necessarily supported by research




Making decisions just on intuition is the same as making a decision with half the info

Most managers overestimate the accuracy of what they know

Research must always be done, even if one decides to go with intuition instead

OB Has Few Absolutes:

There are few, if any, simple and universal principles that explain OB

o Other subjects such as science have laws that definitively explain things

As humans are all unique it is difficult to make simple, accurate, sweeping generalizations

OB Takes a Contingency Approach:

Even though people are different we can still make predictions about human behaviour

Contingency approach: an approach taken by OB that considers behaviour within a certain context

o OB does not always have to consider the context (depends on the situation)

The Fundamentals of OB:

OB considers the multiple levels in an organization: individual, group and organizational

OB is built from the wisdom and research of multiple disciplines

o Including psychology, sociology, social psychology, and anthropology

OB takes a systematic approach to the study of organizational phenomena (research based)

OB takes a contingency approach to the consideration of organizational phenomena

o Recommendations depend on the situation

Chapter 2

Perception Defined

Perception: process by which individuals organize/interpret their impressions in different environments

o Perception can be much different from the objective reality

People's behaviour is based on perception of reality, not on reality itself

o The world that is perceived is the world that is behaviourally important

Factors Influencing Perception

A number of factors affect perception and the factors can reside in the perceiver or target

o Also in the context of the situation in which the perception is made

The Perceiver:

Perceiver: an individual that looks at a target and attempts to interpret what he/she sees

The interpretation is heavily influenced by the perceiver's personal characteristics

Characteristics include attitude, personality, motives, interests, experiences etc.



All shape the way we perceive an event

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

The Target:

A target's characteristics also affect what is perceived by the target



Novelty, motions, sounds, size and other characteristics of a target shape how they are seen

The relationship of a target to its background also influences perception

The Situation:

The context (time, location, light etc.) we see objects or events is also important

o The situation may change and therefore the perception

Neither the perceiver nor the target have changed

Perceptual Errors

Techniques have been developed to better manage perceiving and interpreting other's actions



Allow us to make accurate perceptions rapidly and provide valid data for making predictions

There are errors that distort the perception process

Attribution Theory:

Attribution theory: how we judge people differently depending on the meaning given to behaviour




Basically we observe what seems like atypical behaviour by an individual and make sense of it

Cause is internal: whether the individual is responsible for the behaviour

Behaviour is believed to be

Cause is external: whether something outside the individual caused the behaviour

Behaviour is believed to result from outside causes


Distinctiveness: whether an individual acts similarly across a variety of situations



External attribution: behaviour is unusual

Internally caused: behaviour is not unusual


Consensus: how an individual's behaviour compares with others in the same situation

o If an individual responds like everyone else, their behaviour shows consensus

If consensus is high, the wrong doing or odd would be attributed externally


Consistency: a behavioural rule that considers whether the individual has been acting in the same way over time

How Attributions Get Distorted:

There are usually errors or biases that distort attributions

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Fundamental attribution error: when we judge the behaviour of others, we tend to overestimate the influence of external factors and overestimate the influence of internal, or personal factors

Self-serving bias: attribute one's own success to internal factors and failure to external

o Individuals tend to overestimate their own good behaviour and underestimate others

Selective Perception:

Any characteristic that makes a person/object stand out will increases that it will be perceived

o More likely to notice objects that you own or that look familiar

Selective perception: selective interpretation of what is seen based on backgrounds etc.

o Allows us to speed-read others, but has risks of inaccurate conclusions

Halo Effect:

Halo effect: when we draw general impressions of people based on one characteristic

o Based on intelligence, likeability, appearance and others

A single trait influences the overall impression of the person being judged

Contrast Effect:

Contrast effect: reaction of one person is influenced by other people recently encountered




Most often we do not evaluate a person in isolation

Job candidates can be distorted by a result of their place in the schedule

Projection: attributing one's own characteristics to other people



Judging others based on the fact that they are similar to us

Tend to judge people as being similar to themselves

When people observes others similar to themselves, their perception is naturally corrected

o People not like themselves, perceptions are not as accurate


Judging someone on the basis of our perception of the group to which they belong



Generalizations allow us to simplify decisions

Heuristics: judgment shortcuts in decision making

Stereotypes may only provide a little bit of truth when applied to an individual

o Can lead to negative reactions, such as prejudice


Prejudice: an unfounded dislike of a person/group based on their belonging to a group



Dislike based on religion, state, ethnicity etc.

Can lead to negative consequences in the workplace, such as discrimination

Why Do Perception and Judgment Matter?

People in organizations are always judging each other (interviews, workplace etc.)



Interviews make perceptual judgments during the interview

Negative info that arises in interviews is heavily weighted than if it arises later

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

An employee's future is closely tied to appraisal (promotions, pay raises, stability etc.)

Evaluator's perception of good/bad has a large impact on organizational decision making

o Often employees that are promoted are similar to managers that make the decision

Performance appraisals also takes place between employees and team members

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy:

People will attempt to validate their perceptions, even when perceptions are faulty

o Important when we consider performance expectations on the job

Self-fulfilling prophecy: concept that proposes a person will behave in ways consistent with how he or she is perceived by others


What is Personality?

Dynamic concept describing the growth and development of a person's psychological system

o Looks at some aggregate whole that is greater than the sum of the parts

Personality: the stable patterns of behaviour and consistent internal states that determine how an individual reacts and interacts with others

Measuring Personality:

Researchers have found personality tests are useful in hiring decisions

Scores on personality help managers forecast the best candidates



Also used to better understand and more effectively manage people

Commonly measured through self-report surveys in which people rate themselves




The respondents might lie or practise impression management

Difficult to determine the accuracy of these reports (several variations)

Research suggests that observer ratings are better predictions of success on the job

Personality Determinants:

Personality is a result of both nature (hereditary) and nurture (environment)

o Situation also in incorporated into the development of personality

An adults personality is made up of hereditary and environmental factors with additions from situations


Heredity: factors that were determined at conception (birth)

o Physical stature, facial attractiveness, gender, temperament etc.

Your parent' biological, physiological and inherent psychological makeup

Traits such as shyness, fear and distress are likely caused by genetic characteristics

o May be built into the same genetic code that affects height, hair colour etc.

Genetics can explain up to 50% of the personality differences, 30% of occupational/leisure interests

o Personalities do change over time (conscientiousness tends to increase with age)

Personality Traits:

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Personality traits: enduring characteristics that describe an individual's behaviour

o More consistent the characteristic the more frequently it occurs in diverse situations

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Big Five Personality Model are used to identify/clarify traits

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator:

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): personality test that taps four characteristics and classifies people into 1 of 16 personality types

E/I measures where we direct our energy when dealing with people and things



Extraverted: outgoing, sociable and assertive

Introverted: quite and shy

S/N dimensions looks at how we process information







Sensing: practical and prefer routine and order

Intuitive: rely on unconscious process and look at the big picture

Thinking: reason and logic to handle problems

Feeling: rely on their personal values and emotions

Judging: want control and prefer their world to be ordered and structured

Perceiving: flexible and spontaneous

INTJs are visionaries that have original minds and great drive for their own ideas and purposes

ESTJs are organizers that are realistic, logical, analytical, decisive and are business naturals

ENTPs are conceptualisers that are innovative, individualistic, versatile, entrepreneurial

Forces people into one category or the other, may not be very accurate, more of a guidance

Big Five Personality Model:

Five basic personality dimensions underlie all others and encompass human variation

Extraversion: person's comfort level with relationships (sociable, talkative, and assertive)

Agreeable: person's propensity to defer to others (good-natured, cooperative and trusting)

Conscientiousness: measure of reliability (responsible, dependable, persistent and goal oriented)

Emotional stability: person's ability to withstand stress (calm, self-confident, and secure)

Openness to experience: person's range of interests and fascination (imagination, intellectual)

Research Findings: The Big Five

Employees with some or all of the big five have higher job performance in most occupations






People with higher conscientiousness have greater job knowledge

Emotionally stable people have less stress, job and life satisfaction

Extroverts are happier, have more friends, more social, stronger leaders

Openness to experience people are more creative, better and more effective leaders

Agreeableness are happier, first choice for others, better liked, more compliant

Concerned more with pleasing others, bad negotiators


Conscientious people live longer, less risky, organized, adaptable

Major Personality Attributes Influencing OB:

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Specific personality traits have been found to be power predictors of behaviour in organizations

o Machiavellianism, narcissism, self-monitoring, propensity, Type A/B and proactive

Core Self- Evaluation:

Core self-evaluation: degree to which an individual like/dislikes themselves, the person sees themselves as capable/effective, and the person feels in control or powerless in their environment



Positive: effective, capable and in control of their environments

Negative: dislike themselves, question their capabilities and view themselves as powerless

Must be confident in our abilities, if we don't believe we can do it, we wont accomplish anything


The degree to which an individual is pragmatic, maintains emotional distance, believes in the process

o High: manipulate more, win more, persuaded less, and persuade others more

Better when acting face to face, and likes minimum rules/regulations (improvising)

Better at jobs with negotiations or commission sales jobs


Tendency to be arrogant, excessive sense of self-importance/admiration and entitlement




Combination of extraversion and agreeable (disagreeable extraverts)

Tend to over rate their power than in actuality, talk down to others below them

Less effective on the job when it come to helping other people


Personality trait measuring the ability to adjust behaviour to external situational factors

Able to change behaviour based on different situations

High: capable of presenting contradictions between public and private behaviours



More attention paid to others, and more capable of conforming

Tend to be more mobile and receive more promotions than low self-monitors


Low: cannot disguise themselves in the same way (true personality all the time)


Tendency to assume/avoid risk can have an impact on managers decision making times



High risk takers made more rapid decisions and use less info than lower risk-takers

Large organizations tend to be more risk adverse than growth oriented entrepreneurs

Type A and B Personalities:

Type A: aggress involvement in a struggle to achieve more and more in less time

o More rapidly moving, impatient, multitasks, lack of leisure time and obsesses with numbers

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review




Impatient, hurriedness , competitiveness and hostility (more stress, quantity over quality)

Working long hours, but making poor decisions as they make them too fast

Easier to predict, less creative (more focused on productivity)

Type B: an easy going, relaxed and patient

o No urgency, no need to discuss accomplishments, play for fun/relaxation, relax with no guilt

Type A's tend to be better at sales jobs, but Type B's are more likely to be executives



Type A's trade for quality, and Type B's are more tactful in their approaches

Type A's have higher stress and other health issues (higher early death rate)

Proactive Personality:

Person who identifies opportunities, shows initiative, takes action and perseveres until change occurs






Creative positive change in their environment, regardless of constraints or obstacles

More likely to be leaders and change agents within the organization

More likely to leave organizations to start their own business

Seek out info, develop strong contacts, engage in career planning and demonstrate persistence

Strong emotions, particularly anger, interfere with an employee's ability to effectively work



Either constructive or a simulative to performance-enhancing behaviours

Employees bring an emotional component with themselves to work

What are Emotions?

Intense feelings that are directed at someone or something



Reactions to an object (anger, fear, sadness, happiness, disgust, surprise)

Can turn into moods when you stop focusing on the contextual object

Moods: feeling that are less intense than emotions and that lack a contextual stimulus

o Are not directed at an object, not your normal self

Choosing Emotions: Emotional Labour

Emotional labour: when an employee expresses organizationally desired emotions during interactions

Emotional dissonance: inconsistencies between the emotions people feel and they show

o Can take a toll on employees (bottles up feelings)

Felt emotions: an individual's actual emotions

Displayed emotions: emotions that are organizationally required and considered appropriate

Surface acting: hiding one's inner feelings to display what is expected

Deep acting: trying to modify one's true inner feelings to match what is expected

Why Should We Care About Emotions in the Workplace?

People who know their emotions and are good at reading other are more effective in their jobs

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

The entire workplace can be affected by positive/negative emotions

Emotional Intelligence (EI):

Person's ability to be self-aware, detect emotions in others, and manage emotional cues and info



People who know their own emotions, and others are more likely to be effective

Particularly important for leaders (communication, political skill, vision etc.)

The Case for EI:

Good to possess street smarts and social intelligence (handle social situations better)

People who can detect other's emotions have better control over their own emotions

EI predicts criteria that matter (correlation between high EI and strong performance)

Predicting emotions helps with peer ratings and picking/grooming employees

People with damage to the prefrontal cortex have much lower EI scored (biologically based)

EI is neurologically based that is unrelated to standard measures of intelligence

The Case Against EI:

It is unclear what EI is, whether it is a form of intelligence or not

Difficult to definitively define EI as many researchers define it in different ways

As EI measures intelligence the tests must have right or wrong answers, not a variety

Measures of EI are diverse and researchers have not subjected them to rigorous studies

EI is so closely related to intelligence and personality, EI has nothing unique to offer

Not enough research on whether EI adds insight on personality and intelligence in job performance

Negative Workplace Emotions:

Voluntary actions that violate norms and threaten the organization and members

o Leaving early, laziness, stealing/sabotage, gossiping/blame, harassment etc.

Negative emotions can lead to malicious deviant behaviour in the workplace



Can negatively affect one's own accomplishments and other employees

Members of groups/organizations tend to adopt emotions of others

Affective Events Theory (AET):

Theory that employees react emotionally to things that happen to them at work and that this emotional reaction influences their job performance and satisfaction




Emotions are a response to an event in the work environment

Hassles: not carrying share of work, conflicts in direction, excessive time pressures

Uplifts: meeting goals, getting support from a colleague, receiving recognition

Emotions influence a number of job performance variables (OCB, and organizational commitment)

An emotional episode is actually a series of emotional experiences precipitated by a single event

Job satisfaction is influenced by current emotions at any given time along with the history of emotions

Moods and emotions fluctuate over time, and their effect on performance also fluctuates

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Emotion driven behaviours are typically short in duration and of high variability

Emotions tend to be incompatible with behaviours, they can influence negatively on job performance

Emotions in the Workplace in a Global Context:

Degree to which people experience emotions across cultures

People's interpretations of emotions vary across cultures

Does the Degree to Which People Experience Emotions Vary Across Cultures?

In China people experience fewer positive/negative emotions than people in other cultures

People in most cultures tend to experience certain positive and negative emotions

o The frequency of their experience and their intensity varies to some degree

Do People's Interpretations of Emotions Vary Across Cultures?

In generally people all over the world interpret negative/positive emotions the same

o Some cultures value certain emotions more than others

Pride is seen as a positive emotion in Western cultures, but are undesirable in China and Japan

Do the Norms of the Expression of Emotions Differ Across Cultures?

Yes they do, and in collective countries, people are more likely to believe that the emotional display of another have something to do with their own relationship with the person

Easier for people to recognize emotions of those of their own culture

Some cultures lack words from emotions that we are accustomed too

Managers need to know the emotional norms in each culture they do business in

o If they don't they might send unintended signals or misread the reaction of others

Chapter 3


Basic convictions that a specific model or conduct or end-state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end-state of existence



A judgmental element that separates an individual's ideas of what is right, good, or desirable

Most values are formed by parents, friends, teachers, media etc.

Rokeach's Value Survey:

The survey classifies the values that people hold in two sets (each containing 18 value items)



Terminal values (desirable end-state): goals individuals would like to achieve during their lifetime

Instrumental values: preferable ways of behaving

People in the same occupation/category tend to have similar values

o Differences in groups makes it difficult to communicate and negotiate

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Hodgson's General Moral Principles:

Ethics: study of moral values/principles that guide our behaviour (what is right or wrong)

Seven general principles should be followed to be principled, appropriate and defensible

o Respect people, people are intrinsically valued and have the right to self- determination, tell the truth, promises/contracts should be honours, people should be treated justly, actions should accomplish good, and the greatest good for the greatest number

Accessing Cultural Values:

Hofstede's Framework for Assessing Cultures:

Power distance: degree to which people in a country accept the unequal distribution of power

o High: large inequalities of power and wealth, and are tolerated (class or caste system)

Individualism: degree to which people act as individuals rather than part of a group

o Collectivism: tight social framework, people look after and protect each other

Masculinity: degree to which culture favours traditional masculine roles (power, control etc.)

o Femininity: cultures see little difference between male and female roles (equals)

Uncertainty avoidance: degree to which people prefer structure to unstructured situations

o High: increased anxiety, ambiguity, fewer laws and controls to reduce uncertainty

Long-term orientation: a national culture that focuses on the future, thrift and persistence

Short-term orientation: a national culture with emphasis on the past and present

The Globe Framework for Assessing Cultures:

Global Leadership and Organizational Behaviour Effectiveness (GLOBE)

o Cross-cultural investigation of leadership and national culture

Assertiveness: extent to which a society encourages people to be tough

Future orientation: extent to which society encourages and rewards planning, investing etc.

Gender differentiation: extent to which society maximizes gender role differences

Uncertainty avoidance: society's reliance on social norms and procedures for future predictions

In-group collectivism: extend to which society takes pride in membership in small groups

Performance orientation: extent to which society encourages group members for improvement

Humane orientation: extend to which society encourages individuals for being fair, generous etc.

The GLOBE study confirmed the findings of Hofstede's study

Values in the Canadian Workplace

When individual values align with organizational values, it is positive

o Lead to positive work attitudes, lower turnover, greater productivity

Generational Differences:

Elders, Baby Boomers, Generation X represent 12 distinct value tribes

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review



Broad generalizations, there are individual differences

Most of the generation has the same values and mindset

The Elders:

Play by the rules, and there core values are in order (authority, discipline etc.)

o 80% represent traditional values

Baby Boomers:

Influenced by civil rights movement, women's movement, Vietnam war, Beatles



Rebellious, anxious communitarians, connected enthusiast and disengaged Darwinists

Rejection of authority, concern for environment, equality

Generation X:

Shaped globalization, two-career parents, MTV, AIDS and computers



Value flexibility, life options and job satisfaction, skeptical, particularly of authority

Thrill seeking, aimless dependants, social hedonists, Aquarians and post-materialists

The Ne(x)t Generation:

prosperous times, high expectations and seek meaning in work, life goals (wealth oriented)

Technologically advanced, socially conscious, and entrepreneurial

The Generations Meet in the Workplace:

By using generational differences we can predict social values and behaviour

Managers must be flexible to manage different generations in the same workplace

Cultural Differences:

Even though we have a multicultural society there are tensions among people of different races

o Canadian's define themselves as not American (different values)

Generally country's/society's values change based on major events or changes/shifts (9/11, Obama)

Francophone and Anglophone Values:

Francophones are more collective, group-oriented, need for greater achievement, intrinsic values



Committed to organizations, reducing ambiguity and uncertainty at work

Introverted, sensing, thinking and judging

Anglophones are more individualistic, I-centred, take more risks

o Intuitive, feeling and perceiving

Aboriginal Values:

Increasing entrepreneurship by aboriginals and other business partnerships



Believe in traditional culture, value and languages, self-sustaining economies

More likely to reflect goals that advance the community

Asian Values:

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Chinese and South Asian are the largest visible minorities in Canada

o Tend to exhibit greater power distance and greater collectivism

Gaunxi: connection between two independent individuals to enable a bilateral flow of personal or social transactions

Western firms must understand Gaunxi in order to conduct business with Asian firms


Evaluative statements (positive/negative) about people, objects or events (responses to situations)

Employees may be negatively affected by the attitudes of their co-workers or clients

Job Satisfaction:

An individual’s general attitude toward his or her job

Most people in Canada/USA would not recommend their work and are not satisfied

What Causes Job Satisfaction:

Most people prefer challenging and stimulating work over predictability and routine

After a comfortable living ($40,000) money satisfaction changes (less important)

Core self-evaluation: people who believe in their inner worth and basic competence

Job Satisfaction and Productivity:

The correlation between job satisfaction and job performance is moderately strong

Job satisfaction and productivity both effect each other positively

o Higher productivity will bring in a larger salary and better working conditions

Job Satisfaction and Organizational Citizenship Behaviour:

OCB can help an organization function more efficiently and effectively



Job satisfaction is a major determinant of an employee's OCB

If the workplace is not fair, job satisfaction and OCB are likely to be effected

Job Satisfaction and Customer Satisfaction:

Employee satisfactions is related to positive customer outcomes (customer service etc.)



Familiar and happy employees increases customer appreciation

Employees that encounter customer dissatisfaction will not satisfied

How Employees Can Express Dissatisfaction:

Employees can complain, steal property, be slow or not perform their duties (deviant behaviour)

Exit: dissatisfaction expressed actively attempting to leave the organization

Voice: dissatisfaction expressed by actively and constructively attempting to improve conditions

Loyalty: dissatisfaction expressed by passively waiting for conditions to improve

Neglect: dissatisfaction expressed by passively allowing conditions to worsen

Exit/neglect represent lowered productivity, absentees, and turnover

Managers Often Don't Get It:

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Some managers are unconcerned or overestimate job satisfaction

Mismatch between what managers think, and about how employees feel

Organizational Commitment:

An employee identifies with an organization and its goals, yet stays with their own organization

Affective commitment: emotional attachment/identification/involvement with an organization

Normative commitment: the obligation an individual feels to staying with the organization

Continuance commitment: calculation to stay with an organization base on cost of leaving

Commitment and performance is better for newer employees than experienced

Employees with high organizational commitment are likely to engage in OCB

Employee Engagement:

An individual's involvement/satisfaction/enthusiasm for the work he/she does

o Higher engaged employees leads to higher productivity, profits and customer satisfaction

Managing Diversity in the Workplace

Companies that design and publicize diversity are producing value statements

o Companies hope to change/influence the behaviour of employees, but it is difficult

Responses to Diversity Initiatives:

Generation X embraces egalitarian and pluralistic values

o As they move through the workplace, diversity tensions will lessen (fewer initiatives needed)

Employees may exhibit negative reactions to diversity even if the organization supports it

Cultural Intelligence (CQ):

Ability to understand someone's unfamiliar and ambiguous gestures in the same way as would people from that person's culture

o Determine if a person's behaviour is representative of a group or just that person

Research Findings: Cultural Intelligence

People who have CQ look for clues to help identify a culture's shared understanding

o Looking for consistencies across a variety of people from the same group

Provincial: work best with people of similar backgrounds, difficulties working with others

Analyst: analyze a foreign culture's rules/expectations to determine how they interact

Natural: use intuition to understand those from other cultural backgrounds

Ambassador: communicate convincingly that they fit in, even if they don't know much

Mimic: control actions/behaviours to match others

Chameleon: have high levels of CQ components, mistaken as from another culture

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Chapter 4

What is Motivation?

Motivation: the intensity, direction and persistence of effort a person shows in reaching a goal

Intensity: how hard a person tries

o High intensity is unlikely to be beneficial unless it is channeled correctly

Effort requires persistence (measure of how long a person can maintain his/her effort)

Theory X: suggests that employees dislike work, will attempt to avoid it, and must be coerced, controlled, or threatened with punishment to achieve goals

o Suggests that people are extrinsically motivated

Theory Y: suggests that employees like work, are creative, seek responsibility, and will exercise self-direction and self-control if they are committed to the objectives

o Suggests that people are intrinsically motivated

Motivation is the result of the interaction of the individual and the situation

o The level of motivation differs both among individuals and within individual at different times

Intrinsic motivators: a person's internal desire to do something, due to such things as interest, challenge, and personal satisfaction

Extrinsic motivators: motivation that comes from outside the person and includes such things as pay, bonuses and other tangible rewards

Punishment by Rewards: suggests that if the right environment is provided, people will be motivated

Needs Theories of Motivation

Needs theories: describes the types of needs that must be met to motivate individuals

Process theories: help us understand the actual ways in which we and other can be motivated

Needs theories have been criticized for not holding up to scientific review



The theories represent a foundation from which contemporary theories have grown

Managers still use these theories and terminology in explaining employee motivation

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Theory:

A hierarchy of five needs - psychological, safety, social, esteem and self-actualization - in which as soon as each need is substantially satisfied, the next need becomes dominant






Physiological: includes hunger, thirst, shelter, sex and other bodily needs

Safety: includes security and protection from physical and emotional harm

Social: includes affection, belongingness, acceptance and friendship

Esteem: self-respect, autonomy, achievement, status, recognition and attention

Self-actualization: growth, achieving one's potential, and self-fulfillment

No need is ever fully met, but substantially satisfies allows for advancement

o To satisfy someone, you must determine what level of the hierarchy the are currently present

Higher order needs are satisfied internally, while lower order externally

ERG Theory:

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Version of Maslow's hierarchy that includes three core needs: existence, relatedness and growth

Believed that an individual could be focused on all three levels at once

Motivation-Hygiene Theory:

Relates intrinsic factors to job satisfaction and associates extrinsic factors with dissatisfaction

Achievements, recognition, responsibility, advancement and growth are related to job satisfaction

o People that felt good about work, attributed these characteristics to themselves

Extrinsic factors like policies, administration, supervision etc. are related to dissatisfaction

o People that are dissatisfied, they attribute the extrinsic factors

Herzberg proposed satisfaction/no satisfaction and dissatisfaction/no dissatisfaction

Factors of job satisfaction (motivators) are different factors of dissatisfaction (hygiene factors)

o Hygiene factors: policy, salary, admin, supervision, interpersonal relations etc.

When these factors are satisfied, people will not be dissatisfied

Motivation is emphasized through achievement, recognition, responsibility and growth

The procedures used in the theory are limited, as it attends to blaming/attributing certain characteristics

The reliability of the theory is questionable as there may have been tainted results

No theory was actually created, and no measure of satisfaction was used

The theory ignores previous research such as situational variables

McClelland's Theory of Needs:

Achievement, power and affiliation are three important needs that help explain motivation

Achievement: drive to excel, to achieve in relation to a set of standards, to strive to succeed




People striving to do things better, seeking more responsibility, challenging tasks

High probability tasks, that are not too easy, or too hard, but that can be accomplished

More focused on individual performance rather than the firm or organization

Power: need to make others behave in a way that they would not have behaved otherwise



Desire to impact others and have control over situations and others

Tend to be more competitive and focused on status/prestige rather than effective performance

Affiliation: desire for friendly and close interpersonal relationships

o Strive for friendly relationships rather than competitive/high understanding relationships

The best managers tend to have a high need for power and low need for affiliation

Summarizing Needs Theories:

Individuals have needs that, when unsatisfied, will result in motivation

There are different needs that must be met before other needs can be considered

Process Theories of Motivation:

Expectancy Theory:

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Individuals act depending upon their evaluation of whether their effort will lead to good performance, whether good performance will be followed by a given outcome, and whether that outcome is attractive

Effort-Performance Relationship:

Expectancy: the belief that effort is related to performance

Individual perception of how probably it is that a given effort will lead to good performance

Employee expectancy is influenced by self-esteem, previous success, help from supervisors, information and proper materials/equipment

Performance-Rewards Relationship:

Instrumentality: the belief that performance is related to rewards



Negative instrumentality indicated that high performance reduces the chances of a desired outcome

0 instrumentality indicates no relationship between performance and receiving the desired outcome

Individual perception of whether performing at a given level will lead to a desired outcome

o Whether the performance will be acknowledge by those who allocate rewards

Rewards-Personal Goals Relationship:

Valence: the value or importance an individual places on rewards

o Ranges from -1(very undesirable reward) to +1(very desirable reward)

Degree to which organizational rewards satisfy goals/needs and attractiveness of potential rewards

Managers often do not have the resources to reward, or reward the wrong things for accomplishments

Expectancy Theory in the Workplace:

Research of the theory, even in cross-cultural settings have supported the expectancy theory

Goal-Setting Theory:

Intentions of working toward a goal are a major source of work motivation

o Goals tell employees what needs to be done and with how much effort

Some firms leave goal setting up to managers, although goals may then not be set

Management by objective (MBO): managers and employees jointly set performance goals that are tangible, verifiable and measurable

o Progress on goals is often reviewed and rewards are allocated on the basis of the progress

How Does Goal Setting Motivate?

Goals indicate where individuals should direct their efforts when prioritizing

Goals suggest how much effort an individual should put into a given task

Goals create persistence so effort will be spent on a task over time

Goals will help people develop plans for achieving specific goals

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

All effective goals must include the acronym SMART






Specific: individuals know exactly what is to be achieved

Measurable: the goals proposed can be tracked and reviewed

Attainable: goals, even if difficult, are reasonable and achievable

Results-Oriented: goals should support the vision of the organization

Time-Bound: goals are to be achieved within a stated time

Research Findings: The Effect of Goal Setting

Specific goals increase performance, under certain conditions

o Specific goals can be linked to poorer performance in complex tasks (not focused on alternatives)

Difficult goals, when accepted, result in higher performance than do easy goals

o This does not work when employees believe the goals are unattainable

Feedback leads to higher performance

o Let’s people know how they are doing, and if necessary how to adjust effort, direction etc.

Goals are equally effective whether anticipatively set, assigned, or self-set

o Employees are more likely to accept goals if they are anticipatively set

Goal commitment and financial incentive affect whether goals are achieved

o Financial incentives can lower commitment to difficult goals (leads to problems)

The implication of goal setting is that achievement will result in intrinsic satisfaction

Self-Efficacy Theory:

Refers to an individual's belief that he/she is capable of performing a task

o Higher self-efficacy means the more confidence in the ability to succeed in a task

Respond to negative feedback with increased effort and motivation

Setting difficult goals for people communicates confidence in that person

o Creates confidence in yourself and you set higher personal goals which creates better performance

Self-efficacy is increased through enactive mastery, vicarious modelling, verbal persuasion and arousal





Enactive mastery: gaining relevant experience with the task or job (increased confidence)

Vicarious modelling: becoming more confident because you see someone else doing the task

Verbal persuasion: becoming more confident because someone convinces you that you have the skills necessary to be successful

Arousal: leads to an energized state, which drives a person to complete a task

Training programs work because it increases self-efficacy

Pygmalion effect: form of self-fulfilling prophecy in which believing something is true can make it true

o Self-efficacy is increased to a higher individual that the person is of high ability

Galatea effect: when high performance expectations are communicated directly to an employee

Intelligence and personality, conscientiousness and emotional stability, can increase self- efficacy

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Self-efficacy may only be present in smart, confident people (may be superfluous/unnecessary)

Responses to the Reward System

Equity theory suggests that individuals evaluate and interpret rewards

Employees are sensitive to fairness issues that extend beyond the reward system and effect motivation

Equity Theory:

Individuals compare their job inputs and outcomes with those of others, and then respond as to eliminate any inequities

o If the situation is fair, then the relationship is in a state of equity

To Whom Do We Compare Ourselves?

There are four referent comparisons that an employee can use:





Self-inside: employee's experiences in a different position inside their current organization

Self-outside: employee's experiences in a situation/position outside their current organization

Other-inside: another individual/group of individuals inside the employee's organization

Other-outside: another individual/group of individuals outside the employee's organization

Four moderating variables that effect comparisons:



Gender: women and men compare each other (pay, expectancy, equality)

Length of tenure: short tenure will mean little info about their current organization

Rely more on persona experiences, rather than in-organization comparisons


Level in the organization: higher ranked employees tend to have more info about their organization

What Happens When We Feel Treated Inequitably:

When employees perceive an inequality, they can be predicted to make one of six choices:






Change their inputs (ex. Exerting less effort)

Change their outcome (ex. Work harder to show that he/she deserves something)

Adjust perceptions of self (ex. Maybe I am not comparable to others similar to me)

Choose a different referent (ex. Consider other individuals with similarities)

Leave the field (ex. Change job, or organization)

Research Findings: Inequitable Pay

When paid by time worked, over rewarded employees will produce more than will equitable paid employees

When paid by time worked, under rewarded employees will produce less or poorer quality output

When paid by number of units produces, over rewarded employees will produce fewer, but higher-quality, units than will equitable paid employees

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

When paid by number of units produces, under rewarded employees will produce a large number of low quality units in comparison with equitably paid employees

Those who are over rewarded do not seem to change their behaviour

Some people simply do not worry about how their rewards compare with those of others

For most employees, motivation depends on relative rewards

Fair Process and Treatment:

Distributive justice: perceived fairness of the amount of allocation of rewards among individuals

Organizational justice: an overall perception of what is fair in the workplace, composed of distributive, procedural, and interactional justice

Procedural justice: perceived fairness of the process used to determine the distribution of rewards

o Includes having a voice in a decision and feeling the outcome is adequate

Interactional justice: quality of interpersonal treatment received from a manager

When employees are treated in an unjust manner, they respond by retaliating

Perceptions of injustice are more closely related to one's supervisor

Distributive justice is strongly related to satisfaction with outcome and organizational commitment

Procedural justice relates to job satisfaction, employee trust, withdrawal from the organization, job performance and organizational citizenship behaviour

Employees are sensitive to unfairness in procedures when bad news is communicated

When addressing perceived injustices, managers need to focus their actions on the source of the problem

Cognitive Evaluation Theory:

Introduction of extrinsic rewards for an effort that was previously intrinsic will decrease productivity

o Tend to decrease the overall level of a person's motivation

People in a way punished by rewards, and do inferior work when they are enticed by money, grades etc.

Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Rewards

Theory suggest that has extrinsic rewards are given intrinsic rewards are reduced

When an individual’s experiences a loss of control over their behaviour when it is being rewarded by external sources

Show have pay non-contingent on performance in order to avoid decreasing intrinsic motivation

o Instead pay fairly and allow individual's intrinsic motivation to guide performance

Research of Findings: Cognitive Evaluation Theory

Extrinsic rewards that are verbal can have different effects on an individuals' intrinsic motivators

o Verbal rewards increase intrinsic motivation, while tangible decrease it

Self-concordance: degree to which a person's reasons for pursuing a goal is consistent with the person's interests and core values

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

People who pursue goals for intrinsic reasons are more satisfied with their jobs

o Feel like they fit into their organization better, and may perform better

Increasing Intrinsic Motivation:

Four key rewards that increase an individual's intrinsic motivation:





Sense of choice: opportunity to select what one will do and perform the way one thinks best

Sense of competence: feeling of accomplishment for doing a good job

Sense of meaningfulness: opportunity to pursue worthwhile tasks

Sense of progress: feeling of accomplishment that one is making progress on a task

Four sets of behaviours managers can use to build intrinsic rewards for their employees:





Leading for choice: empowering employees and delegating tasks

Leading with competence: support and coaching employees

Leading for meaningfulness: inspiring employees and modelling desired behaviours

Leading for progress: monitoring and rewarding employees

Motivating Employees Through Reinforcement:

People learn how to behave to get something they want or to avoid something they don't want

Operant conditioning: behaviour is influenced by reinforcement or lack of reinforcement brought about by the consequences of the behaviour

People are likely to engage in desired behaviours if they are positively reinforced for doing so

o Rewards are most effective when directly followed by the desired behaviour

If a behaviour fails to be positively reinforced, the probability that the behaviour will be repeated declines

Methods of Shaping Behaviour:

Positive reinforcement: following a response with something pleasant

Negative reinforcement: following a response by the termination or withdrawal of something pleasant

Punishment: causing an unpleasant condition in an attempt to eliminate an undesirable behaviour

Extinction: eliminating any reinforcement that is maintaining a behaviour

Schedules of Reinforcement:

Continuous reinforcement: desired behaviour is reinforced each and every time it is demonstrated

Intermittent reinforcement: desired behaviour is reinforced often enough to make the behaviour worth repeating, bot not every time it is demonstrated

Fixed interval: the reward is given at fixed time intervals

Variable-interval: reward is given at variable time intervals

Fixed-ratio: reward is given at fixed amounts of output

Variable-ratio schedule: reward is given at variable amounts of output

Motivation for Whom?

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

These theories may just be a way for managers to get what they want from employees

o Does not necessarily mean an increase in employee productivity

Putting It All Together:

Recognize individual differences: employees have different needs and should not be treated alike

o Managers should understand what is important to each employee and align goals/rewards

Use goals and feedback: employees should have challenging, specific goals and feedback

Allow employees to participate in decisions that affect them

o Employees can set goals, solve productivity, quality problems, job satisfactions etc.

When giving rewards, be sure that they reward desired performance

o Rewards should be linked to the type of performance expected

Check the system for equity: employees should be able to perceive rewards as equating with the input they bring to the job

Chapter 5

From Theory to Practice: The Role of Money

There are personality traits and demographic factors that correlate with and individuals attitude toward money

People who value money highly score higher on competitiveness, materialism and control

o Score higher on self-esteem, need for achievement and Type A personality measures

Organizations need to understand individuals' needs when rewarding

Creating Effective Reward Systems

What to Pay: Establishing a Pay Structure

The worth of the job in the organization and relative to the market determines job pay structure

Paying more may attract better qualified and more motivated employees

Firms that pay below market level may have high turnover or not be able to afford higher salaries

How to Pay: Rewarding Individuals through Variable-Pay Programs

Variable-pay programs: a portion of an employee's pay is based on some individual and/or organizational measure of performance

Costs for organizations decline as productivity declines as pay is variable

Individual-Based Incentives:

Piece-rate pay: employees are paid a fixed sum for each unit of production completed

o Many firms modify this plan and add a base salary to the variable pay plan

Merit-based pay: based on performance appraisal ratings

o Individuals perceive a strong relationship between performance and rewards

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

o Separation between the most productive and blow average producers (lower pay increases)

Bonuses: rewards employees for recent performance rather than historical performance



Focus on the recent past, and rewards employees for high productivity or better work ethic

Rewarding individuals based on bonuses can cause problems (financial crisis 2008)

Skill-based pay: sets pay based on how many skills employees have/how many jobs they can do




Employees may top out and not be able to have any more pay increases

Employees may be paid for skills they may not need immediately or ever

Pay is not based on the level of performance which may vary

Group-Based Incentives:

Gainsharing: improvements in group productivity determine the total amount of money to be shared



Focuses on productivity gains rather than profits

Rewards specific behaviours that are less influenced by external factors

Organizational-Based Incentives:

Profit-sharing: employer shares profits with employees based on a predetermined formula


Employees may ignore customer service and employee development

Companies in cyclical industries would see varied results, thus varied profit-sharing

Best in organizations with more teamwork, and managerial philosophy encouraging participation

Stock options and employee stock ownership plans (ESOP): company-established benefit plan in which employees acquire stock as part of their benefits



o Employees will think more about their actions if they have ownership in the organization

Teamwork: incentive pay to individuals can lead to problems in group productivity and cohesiveness

o Organizations focused of teamwork must focus incentives on the team not individuals

Unions: employees are usually paid based on seniority and job categories, with little movement

o Against variable pay as it may lead to competition and increased work stress

Public Sector Employees: difficult to link productivity as most of these jobs are service based

o The goal setting theory is better applied to these types of employees

Research Findings: ESOPs

Have the potential to increase job satisfaction and work motivation

Takes ownership and participative style to achieve improvements in the firm's performance

Research Findings: Variable-Pay Programs

Variable-pay programs increase motivation and productivity

o Does not mean this is true for all organizations or employees

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Teamwork, unions, public sectors, and ethics are problems to the pay-for-performance program

Flexible Benefits: Developing a Benefits Package

Different employees have different needs and ideas about their benefits

Flexible benefits: employees put together a benefits package individually tailored to their own needs

Modular plans: predesigned packages of benefits that fit a specific group of employees

Core-plus plans: consist of a core benefits package with other added options available

Flexible spending accounts: given money to purchase of package of benefits

Intrinsic Rewards: Employee Recognition Programs

Recognition given to employees may not be enough in some jobs, organizations

Linked Employee Recognition Programs and Reinforcement Theory:

Recognition is the best motivator in the workplace according to employees

Team celebrations can enhance group cohesiveness and motivation

Employee Recognition in Practice:

Recognition programs are attractive to organizations as they are cost effective

Recognition may reduce turnover, particularly in good employees

Caveat Emptor: Apply Motivation Theories Wisely

Motivation Theories are Culture-Bound:

Being a member of a successful team with shared goals and values, rather than financial rewards, drives Japanese sales representatives to succeed

Countries with high uncertainty prefer pay based objective, because it is guaranteed

Countries with high value on individualism place emphasis on individual responsibility to perform

Countries with high humane orientation offer social benefits and programs to employees and families

Evaluating Motivation Theories Cross-Culturally:

Other cultures focus on motivating a group of employees rather than individuals

Different cultures/countries place different benefits and needs above others

Employees expect that outputs will be greater than their inputs

It is important to determine the internal norms of a country when developing an incentive plan

Provide Performance Feedback:

Employees need to be given performance feedback to determine if rewards are equitable

Managers are often uncomfortable discussing weakness with employees

Many employees become defensive when their weaknesses are pointed out

Organizations must train managers to provide and give employee feedback

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Beware the Signals that are Sent by Rewards:

Individuals are unable to break out of old ways of thinking about reward and recognition practices

Organizations often don't look at the big picture of their performance system

o Units often end up competing against each other, instead of working together

Both management and shareholders often focus on short-term results

o They don't reward employees for longer-range planning

This all happens when organizations hope for one thing but then reward for something else

Can We Just Eliminate Rewards:

Employee commitment benefits organizations as they work harder, and have more devotion, rather than waiting to be rewarded for each action or success

Creating a Motivating Work Environment:

Must determine if employees have the adequate tools, equipment, materials, and supplies

o Working conditions, helpful co-workers, supportive work rules and procedures, sufficient information and adequate time are also very important

Abolish incentive pay: paying employees generously allows them to focus on the goals of the organization rather than pay

Re-evaluate Evaluation: change the evaluation system structure to reflect a two-way conversation between the employees and management/ownership

Create the conditions for authentic motivation: help employees rather than survey them, provide lots of feedback so they now how to improve and be the best they can be

Encourage collaboration: people are more likely to perform better in well-functioning groups

o Allows team members to provide feedback for each other

Enhance content: people are generally more motivated when their jobs require them to learn new skills, partake in a variety of tasks, and enable them to demonstrate competence

o Can make a job role more important or enhance the level, or toughness of work

Provide choice: more likely to like their jobs if employees are given the ability to free make decisions and carry out tasks



Can lead to a different workplace and create incentives better than extrinsic motivators

This process does not take immediate affect, but rather effects will be seen in the long-term

Job Redesign:

Job design: how tasks are assigned to form a job

o The way the elements in a job are organized can increase/decrease effort

Job Rotation:

The periodic shifting of an employee from one task to another

When an activity is no longer challenging, an employee is rotated to another job at the same level

o The job will have similar skill requirements as the last one

Used to ensure new employees learn different tasks and the skills that are associated

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review



Helps if there are absentees, more employees are able to cover a variety of jobs

Decreases the frequency of repetitive stress injuries

Reduces boredom and increases motivation by diversifying employee activities

o Helps organizations develop better employees with more flexibility

Job Enlargement:

The horizontal expansion of jobs

o Increasing the number and variety of tasks that an individual performs

Results in jobs with greater diversity

Employees learn to complete the tasks in different units and levels of the organization

o Reduces the need for meetings, reduces the cost of office equipment and allows for job continuity during holidays or sick days

Job Enrichment and the Job Characteristics Model:

Job characteristics model (JCM): identifies five core job dimensions and their relationship to personal and work outcomes



Focuses on the content of jobs rather than the context of jobs

Cab be used to motivate employees by increasing job satisfaction

Job enrichment: the vertical expansion of jobs




Increases the degree to which workers control the planning, execution, and evaluation in their work

Enriched jobs organizes tasks so that employee does a complete activity

Expands freedom and independence, increases responsibility, and provides feedback

Core Job Dimensions:

Skill variety: degree to which the job requires a variety of different activities so the employee can use a number of different skills and talents

Task identity: degree to which the job require completion of a whole and identifiable piece of work

Task significance: degree to which the job has a substantial impact on the lives/work of other people

Autonomy: degree to which the job provides substantial freedom, independence, and desecration to the individual in scheduling the work and determining the procedures to be used in carrying it out

Feedback: degree to which carrying out the work activities required by the job results in the individual obtaining direct and clear information about the effectiveness of his/her performance

Critical Psychological States:

Experienced meaningfulness: if an employee's task is meaningful, the employee will view the job as important, valuable and worthwhile

Experienced responsibility for outcome: employees feel a sense of personal responsibility for results when their jobs given them greater autonomy

Knowledge of the actual results: feedback helps employees know whether they are performing effectively

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

The more employees experience meaningfulness, responsibility, and knowledge, the greater motivation, performance and satisfaction

o Less likely employees will be absent, and reduces turnover

Motivating Potential Score:

JCM can be viewed as increasing employee motivation by creating better jobs

Motivating potential score (MPS): a predictive index suggesting the motivation potential in a job

o Jobs with high motivation potential must be high on one or more of skill variety, task identity or task significance

Predicts high motivation leads to higher satisfaction

Research Findings: JCM

It is argued that there are better ways of deriving motivation that the JCM



Could also add employee perception of their workload compared to others

Moderate the link between the core job dimensions and personal/work outcomes

It is inconclusive whether job enrichment actually affects job productivity

Job Redesign in the Canadian Context: The Role of Unions

Job redesign often results in job loss, and labour unions have tried to prevent this

In the 1990's some unions decided to partake in negotiations for job redesign for union members

Management must gain employees' acceptance whether they are in a union or not

Creating More Flexible Workplaces

Flexible workplaces allow for employees to ease the stress of juggling family needs alongside work

Compressed Workweek:

A four-day week, with employees working 10 hours a day; or nine days of work over two weeks



Gives employees more leisure and shopping time

Allows for travel to and from work outside rush hours

Can increase enthusiasm, morale, and commitment to the organization

o Also can make it easier to recruit employees to the organization


Employees work during a common core period each day, but can form their total workday from a flexible set of hours outside the core



Gives employees discretion about when they go and leave work

Extra hours can be accumulated and made up to be the equivalent of a free day

Improves productivity and satisfaction while reducing absenteeism and turnover

Job Sharing:

The practice of having two or more people split a 40-hour-a-week job

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Allows organizations to acquire skilled workers who might not be available on a full-time basis


Employees do their work at home on a computer that is linked to their offices



Could be at least two days a week on a computer linked to their office

Can increase productivity and decrease stress while providing better service to clients

Employees may miss out on in-workplace activities such as meetings and events

o Telecommuting can decrease the commitment to the organization as there is increased distance

Chapter 6

Teams vs. Groups: What's the Difference?

Group: two or more people with a common relationship (do not necessarily engage in collective work)

Team: small number of people that work closely together toward a common objective (accountable)

o Share leadership, individually accountable, purpose or mission, problem solving and effective

Why Have Teams Become So Popular?

Teams have greater flexibility compared to traditional departments/structures

Teams have the potential to be more productive, but must have the key characteristics

o More motivation, quickly assembly, deploy, refocus and disband

Types of Teams

Problem-Solving Teams:

5-12 employees from the same department who meet a once a few hours a week



Discuss ways of improving quality, efficiency and the work environment

Also be planning teams, task forces or committees organized to get tasks done

Employees share ideas or suggestions, but do not get to implement suggested actions

Self-Managed Teams:

10-12 employees who take on many responsibilities of their former managers

o Includes planning/scheduling of work, assigning tasks, taking action etc.

Fully self-managed have their own members/leader and evaluate each other

Self-managed teams often perform better than teams with formally appointed leaders

Effectiveness of the team depends on the makeup, tasks being done and reward structure

Cross-Functional Teams:

Group of employees from about the same level of different areas that work to accomplish tasks

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review




Task force: a temporary cross-functional team

Committee: group composed of members from different departments

Allows employees to exchange info, develop new ideas, solve problems and coordinate


Cross-functional teams that develop to create new products or work on complex problems

o Gives teams the ability to work on projects without being watched by the organization

Virtual Teams:

Uses computers to tie together physically dispersed members in order to achieve a goal

o Most teams today are virtual by sharing links, documents, video conferencing etc.

Virtual teams do not have physical interaction and are less satisfied



Difficult to build trust, when team members have not met in person

Virtual teams build trust through the tone or attitude of the conversations

From Individual to Team Member


A set of expected behaviours of a person in a given position in a social unit

Role Conflict:

Role expectations: how others believe a person should act in a given situation

Role conflict: one role requirement may make it more difficult to comply with another role

o Creates internal tension, frustration

Role Ambiguity:

When a person is unclear about the expectations of his or her role

o Leads to confusion, stress, bad feelings

Role overload/underload: too much or too little is expected of someone


Acceptable standards of behaviour within a group that are shared by the group's members

o Act as a means of influencing the behaviour of the group

Common social norms: performance, appearance, social arrangement, and allocation of resources

The How and Why of Norms:

Norms develop gradually as group members become acquainted and determine functionality




Explicit statements: instructions from the group's powerful member establishes norms

Critical events: things that have happened in the past that have change the group's dynamic

Primacy: first behaviour pattern that emerges in a group often sets team expectations

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

o Carry-over behaviour: expectations brought with members from other group situations

Norms facilitate the group's survival, increases predictability of group members' behaviour, reduces embarrassing interpersonal problems for group members and creates individual/group identity


Adjusting one's behaviour with the norms of the group

o Can impact members by forcing them to act/behave that is consistent with other members

Conformity explains why some work groups are more prone to anti-social behaviour than others

o Anti-social groups may lead to individuals being anti-social on their own time

Stages of Group and Team Development

The Five-Stage Model:

Shows how individuals move from being independent to working interpedently with group members

Stage 1 Forming: first stage in a group development, characterized by much uncertainty

o Testing the behaviour of the group and starting to become a team

Stage 2 Storming: group development, characterized by intragroup conflict

o Conflict of ideas, leadership, and planning

Stage 3 Norming: development characterized by close relationships and cohesiveness

o Conflict resolution, developing relationships, and solidified structure

Stage 4 Performing: development when the group is fully functional

o Team comes together and starts task progress (understanding tasks at hand)

Stage 5 Adjourning: when temporary groups' attention is directed to wrapping up activities

The Punctuated-Equilibrium Model:

Temporary groups often do not follow the five-stage model and have different actions

Phase 1:

First meeting creates a framework of behaviour and assumptions for the team

During inertia teams tend to stand still or become locked into a fix course of action (phase


o Usually team members do not complete assigned tasks or work relatively slow

Phase 2:

Moves out of the inertia stage and recognizes that work needs to be completed



Most often happens at the halfway point of the teams timeline (halfway to the deadline)

Transition from phase 1 to 2, drops old patterns and the group adopts new ones

The teams productivity bursts and there is often a last chance burst to finish all work at the end

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Applying the Punctuated-Equilibrium Model:

Characterizes deadline-oriented teams in which there are stages of low and high productivity

Combined forming and norming, then lower performing, storming, high performing then adjourning

Creating Effective Teams

Effective team characteristics: resources, team composition, work design and team process

Model of team effectiveness is a generalization and cannot be applied to all teams

o Assumes that teamwork is preferable or individual work in a give circumstance


Teams need to manage support, and organize structure that supports teamwork

Adequate resources, effective leadership, climate of trust of performance evaluation are key

Adequate resources:

Teams rely on resources from outside the team to complete tasks and meet goals



Teams rely on support from the organization (technology, encouragement, info etc.)

Critical for teams to receive necessary support from organizations to achieve their goals

Leadership and Structure:

Leaders must help groups set a direction, bond, work effectively, receive support and provide coaching

Help team members find rolls and integrate individual skills into the overall team plans

Managers are still important in self-managed teams as they manage the outside circumstances

Multi-team system: different teams in the same system that work towards a common goal/outcome

o Managers act as coordinators between the different teams (increased efficiency)

Climate of Trust:

Trust reduces the need to monitor behaviour, and help members believe in the group

Trusting groups will allow for members to take more risks and expose vulnerabilities

Performance Evaluation and Rewards:

Group appraisals, profit sharing, gain sharing, group incentives and others will reinforce team effort

When there are large salary variations in a group, collaboration is lowered


How a team is staffed depends on many variable that will affect the dynamic/efficiency of the team


Teams need people with technical expertise

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Problem solving and decision making skills help generate alternatives and identify problems

Interpersonal skills such as feedback, conflict resolution and listening are favourable for teams

Group members may take on learning or enhancing one of these three types of skills

Teamwork Skills:

Orienting teams to problem-solving situations: provides an understanding or direction

Organize/mange team performance: establish team goals, monitors, evaluates, and provides feedback

Positive team environment: creating norms, helps supports other team members, model behaviour

Facilitates/manages task conflict: recognizes conflict and resolves/manages conflicts

Promotes perspective: argues for different points, knowledge based arguments


Teams with higher levels of conscientiousness, and openness to experience perform better

o Teams with more than one disagreeable members tend to be worse off

Team performance is often better when members are relatively on the same level

o High conscientious members must compensate for low conscientious people


Task-oriented roles: roles performed by group members to ensure that tasks are accomplished

o Initiators, information seekers, information providers, elaborators, summarizers etc.

Maintenance roles: roles performed by members to maintain good relations within the group

o Harmonizers, compromisers, gatekeepers, and encouragers

Selecting members that are more flexible prevents the group from being reliant on one member

Individual roles: roles performed members that are not productive for keeping on the group on task

Roles Required for Effective Team Functioning:

Roles that build task accomplishment: initiating, seeking information and opinions, providing information and opinions, clarifying, elaborating, summarizing and consensus testing

Roles that build and maintain a team: harmonizing, compromising, gatekeeping and encouraging


The presence of a heterogeneous mix of individuals within a group

o Different characteristics (jobs, positions, experience) and demographic/cultural (age, race, sex)

Diversity can generate different types of conflict such as interpersonal conflict

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Team Diversity Research:

Diversity may create more opinions but it will be more difficult to unify the group members

Teams with friends are more concerned with maintaining a relationship than productivity

Diverse teams often spend time discussing issues which allows for better decision making

o Diverse teams have difficult working together but is often resolved after time

Diverse groups provide extra value once team members become more familiar with each other

Research shows individuals respond to visual differences when interacting with diverse groups


Smaller team sizes will be more effective (4-10 people)

o Uneven team numbers will help break ties and resolve conflicts

Larger groups have lower cohesiveness and mutual accountability, increased social loafing

o Large groups can be more efficient if they are split into sub-sections or groups

Social loafing: tendency for individuals to put in less effort when working in a group



Increases in team size are inversely related to individual performance

There will be a reduction in efficiency if members believe their productivity wont be measured

Members' Flexibility:

Flexible team members are able to complete a wide range and variety of different tasks



Improves a team’s adaptability and makes it less reliant on one group member

People who value flexibility are better than a cross trained person

Members' Preference for Teamwork:

When selecting teams, individual preference, abilities, personality and skills should all be considered

o High-performance teams are likely to be composed of people who like team/team work

Work Design:

Effective teams need to work together and take collective responsibility to complete tasks

o Includes freedom, autonomy, utilizing different skills, participation and other characteristics

These enhance member motivation and increases team effectiveness

Motivates teams by increasing responsibility and ownership over the work


Process variable make up the final component of team effectiveness

Common Purpose:

Common and meaningful purpose provides direction, momentum and commitment for members

Teams that don't have good planning skills will not succeed

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Reflexivity: team characteristic of reflecting on and adjusting the master plan when necessary

A team must have a good plan and be able to adapt when conditions change or call for it

Specific Goals:

Specific goals facilitate clear communication between group members (maintains focus)

o Difficult goals have been found to raise team performance on the criteria that is set

Teams should be encouraged to develop milestones to focus on working toward their goal

Team Efficacy:

Effective teams that have confidence, and know that they can succeed

o Teams that have been successful raise their believe about the future, increases motivation

Cohesiveness: degree to which team members are attracted to each other and are motivated as a team




If performance norms are high, a cohesive group will be more productive

High cohesiveness and low performance norms will return low productivity

High norms and low cohesiveness will return moderate productivity

Instrumental cohesiveness: members don't believe they can complete a goal without the rest of the group

Small successes build team confidence and creates a stronger performance record

Mental Models:

Knowledge and beliefs (psychological map) about how it gets done

o Effective teams have accurate and common mental models

If members have wrong or different mental models, performance will suffer

Managed Level of Conflict:

Teams that have no or avoid conflict do not create alternatives and are less effective

o Effective teams have an appropriate level of conflict

Reducing Team Conflict:

Group members should try to focus on the issues rather than on personalities (achieve fairness)

More information creates debates and provides helpful alternatives and arguments

Developing commonly agree upon goals, using humour, and balanced power reduces conflict


Successful teams make members individually and jointly accountable for the team's purpose/goals

o Clearly define what they are individually responsible for and jointly responsible for

Beware! Teams Aren't Always the Answer

Teamwork takes more time and often uses more resources than individual work

o Teams have increased communication demand, conflicts and meetings

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o Not all settings are suitable for teamwork (may decrease efficiency and turnover)

Team fits the situation: Determine if the work can be done by one person, will the team provide for productivity than an individual, and are members of the group interdependent

Teams more useful: speed is more important, organization mirrors a complex, changing market environments, innovation and learning have priority and online integration of interdependent performers

Chapter 7

The Communication Process

Transfer and understanding of a message between two or more people

The sender establishes the message, encodes the message and chooses the channel in which to send it

The receiver decodes the message and provides feedback to the sender

Communication problems happened when there is a disruption during these processes



The process is affected by the sender's perception of the receiver and visa-versa

Encoding and Decoding:

Encoded: converting a message to a symbolic form

Decoded: interpreting a sender's message

Skill, attitudes, knowledge and socio-cultural system affect message encoding and decoding

Communicative success includes speaking, listening, and reasoning skills

o Interactions with others are affected by our attitudes, values and beliefs

Messages sent/received by people of equal rank are interpreted different than if received by someone else

The Message:

What is communicated, the actual physical product from the source after it is encoded

o Affected by the code, or group of symbols, we use to transfer meaning, the message itself, and the decision that we make in selecting and arranging both codes and content

Messages may not always encapsulate what one or both parties intended/feel

The Channel:

The medium through which a message travels




Selected by the source who must determine which channel is formal and which is informal

Formal channels are established by organizations and transmit messages relating to the job

Informal channels are forms such as personal/social messages

Communication apprehension: undue tension and anxiety about oral communication, written communication or both

Some channels are rich in the ability to handle multiple cues simultaneously, facilitate rapid feedback and be very personal

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Channel richness: amount of info that can be transmitted during a communication episode

The frequency of the messages also determines the channel in which messages are sent

o Non-routine messages are more effective through rich channels

Managers find it easier to deliver bad news through emails, and these messages are delivered more accurately through this channel

The Feedback Loop:

The final link in the communication process; it puts the message back into the system as a check against misunderstandings

o The receiver needs to give feedback and the sender needs to check it

If the sender or receiver fails to provide feedback the communication becomes one-way

o Two-way communication involves both talking and listening

The Context:

All communication takes place within a context

o The context prevents different expectations (ex. The workplace, or the bus stop)

Informal communication can look informal and therefore unprofessional (viewed negatively)

o Formal communication can make others feel uncomfortable

It is important to consider the context in both encoding the message and choosing the channel

Barriers to Effective Communication


A sender's manipulation of information so that it will be seen more favourable by the receiver



As information is passed on it needs to be synthesized, and filter out irrelevant information

Personal interest affects what is filtered, how things are synthesized, what is important

The size and levels of an organization affect how information is filtered

Selective Perception:

Receivers process selectively what they see/hear based on their needs, motivation, experience, background and other personal characteristics

o Also project their interests and expectations into communications as they decode them


When people feel they are being threatened they tend to react in ways to reduce their ability to achieve mutual understanding

o Engage is behaviours such as verbally attacking others, making sarcastic remarks, being overly judgmental and questioning others' motives

Information Overload:

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

State of having more information than one can process

o Employees suffer from having too much information (ex. Email, IM, faxes, phone calls, etc.)


Age, education and cultural backgrounds influence the language we use and definitions of words

o Different departments develop their own jargon, or technical language

Senders often assume the language they use means the same to the receiver as it does to them

Communicating Under Stress:

While under stress, it is often the most difficult time to communicate




Speak clearly: be direct about what you want to say and avoid hiding behind words

Be aware of the nonverbal part of communicating: tone, facial expression, body language

Think carefully about how you state things: better to be restrained that to offend the receiver

Organizational Communication

Direction of Communication:

Communication can flow downward, upward and laterally in organizations

Downward: communication flows from one level of an organization to a lower one



Managers communicating with employees, giving orders and creating rules/regulation

Managers must explain why decisions are made

Upward: communication flows to a higher level in the organization

o Used to provide feedback to managers/executives, inform them on progress, relay problems, etc.

Lateral: communication occurs with the same work group, among members, the same level

o Also know an horizontal communication, saves time, used for coordination

Small-Group Networks:

Communication networks: channels by which information flows

Formal networks: task-related communications that follow the authority chain






Chain, wheel and all-channel are the three most common formal small-groups

Chain: follows the formal chain of command

Wheel: rely on leaders to act as the central conduit for all the group's communication

All-channel: permits all group members to communicate actively with each other

Informal networks: communications that flow along social and relational lines

o Communication is free to movie in any direction, skips authority, etc.

Grapevine: the organization's most common informal network

o 75% of employees hear about matters first through rumours on the grapevine

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

o Used to structure and reduce anxiety, make sense of limited/fragmented info, serve as a vehicle to organize group members into coalitions, signal a sender's status of power

Rumours start as a response to situations that are important to us

o Where there is ambiguity, and under conditions that arouse anxiety

Grapevine Patterns:

Single strand: each person tells information to just one other person

Gossip pattern: one person tells everyone the information

o These people are commonly called gossips (about 10% of organizational member

Probability pattern: individuals are randomly told info, with no apparent pattern

Cluster pattern: individuals selectively choose individuals to whom they tell relay information

o Individuals may strategically choose who they pass information onto

Liaison individuals: friendly, outgoing people who are in position to cross departmental lines

Grapevine is not managed, it is perceived as being more believable and reliable than formal information and it is largely used to serve the self-interest of the people within it

Electronic Communications:

Make it possible to work, even if employees are not at their workstation/workplace

Organizational boundaries have become less relevant as more electronic communications become integrated into the workplace


The high volumes of email create longer/continuous work days for employees

Misinterpreting the message: misinterpret the message, intent, or tone of the email

Communicating negative messages: emails are always the best way to communicate this type of info

Overuse of email: receive or have to send too many emails

Email emotions: emails sometimes allow senders to say things they wouldn’t have in person

Privacy concerns: emails may be monitored, cannot always trust the senders of emails

Instant Messaging and Text Messaging:

IM and texts are meant more for short messages

o These types of messages are informal than email, and not as rich

Other Issues in Communication

Nonverbal Communication:

Messages conveyed through body movements, facial expressions and physical distance between the sender and receiver

Kinesics: study of body motions (gestures, facial configurations and other body movements)

Body language conveys the extent to which an individual likes another and is interested is their views, and the relative perceived status between a sender and receiver

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Proxemics: study of physical space in interpersonal relationships

Silence as Communication:

Silence represents inaction or non-behaviour




Silence can mean someone is thinking or contemplating a response to a question

Silence can mean a person is fearful of speaking

Silence can signal agreement, dissent, frustration or anger

Communication Barriers between Women and Men:

Men typically use talk to emphasize status, while women use it to create connection



For men conversations are a means to preserve independence and maintain status

For women conversations are negotiations for closeness, seek conformation and support

Women will provide evidence for discrepancies, men will just point them out

Cross-Cultural Communication:

Effective communication is affected by cross-cultural factors that create the potential for communication problems

Cultural Barriers:

Words often are difficult to translate between different languages, interpreted differently

Words imply different things in different languages, direct translation but different meaning

Tone differences are interpreted differently depending on specific cultures

Barriers are caused by differences among perceptions (different cultures, backgrounds, etc.)

Cultural Context:

High-context cultures: rely heavily on nonverbal and subtle situational cues in communication


Status, place in society, and reputation are considered in communications

Must desire to build a relationship and build the trust of both parties

Low-context cultures: rely heavily on words to convey meaning in communication


o Body language and written words are

Overcoming Cross-Cultural Difficulties:

Assume differences until similarity is proven

Emphasize description rather than interpretation or evaluation

Be empathetic, understand others' values, experiences and frames of reference, etc.

Treat your interpretations as a working hypothesis

Chapter 8

A Definition of Power

Power: capacity that A has to influence the behaviour of B, so that B acts in accordance to A's wishes

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

o There is potential for power if someone is dependent on another

Power is a function of dependency, the more dependency on a person, the more power a person holds

The IT group of larger organizations often have considerable power (from employees to the CEO)

Bases of Power

Coercive Power:

Power that is based on fear


One reacts to this power base out of fear of the negative results that might occur without compliance

Includes infliction of pain, restriction of movement, controlling by force, etc.

In organizations, coercive power includes firing people, or assigning employees to unpleasant work


Reward Power:

power that achieves compliance based on the ability to distribute rewards that others view as valuable

In organizations this is money, performance appraisals, promotions, information, etc.



Do not have to be a manager to exert reward power

Legitimate Power:

Power that a person receives as a result of their position in the hierarchy of an organization



Positions of authority include coercive and reward powers

Includes acceptance by members of an organization of the authority of a position

Expert Power:

Influence based on special skills or knowledge



Relies on trust that all relevant information is given out honestly and completely

The more information that is shared, the less expert power a person has

Referent Power:

Influence based on possession by an individual of desirable resources or personal traits

If people admire someone to the point of modelling their behaviour and attitudes, that person possess referent power over people

Information Power:

Power that comes from access to an control over information

o Data/knowledge that others need can make others depend on them

Evaluating the Bases of Power:

Commitment: person is enthusiastic about the request, and shows initial and persistence in carrying it out

o Associated with expert and referent power

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Compliance: person goes along with the request grudgingly, puts in minimal effort and takes little initiative carrying out the request

o Associated with reward and legitimate power

Resistance: person is opposed to the request and tries to avoid it with such tactics as refusing, stalling or arguing about it

o Associated with coercive power

Dependency: The Key to Power

The General Dependency Postulate:

When you possess anything that others require but that you alone control, you make them dependent on you, and therefore you gain power over them

o The person who has the most need is the one most dependent on the relationship

The more options you have, the less power you place in the hands of others

What Creates Dependency?

Dependency is increased when the resources you control is important, scarce, and cannot be substituted


To create dependency, the thing(s) that you control must be perceived as important




What is important is situational

Varies among organization and overtime within any given organization

A resource must be perceived as scarce to create dependency

Possession of a scarce resource make those who don't have it dependent on those who do


The fewer substitutes there are for a resource, the more power comes from control over the resource

People are often able to ask for special rewards because they have skills that others do not

Influence Tactics

There are nine tactics managers and employees use to increase their power

1. Rational persuasion: using facts/data to make logical or rational presentation of ideas

2. Inspirational appeals: appealing to values, ideals, and goals when making a request

3. Consultation: getting others involved to support one's objectives

4. Ingratiation: using flattery, creating goodwill, and being friendly prior to making a request

5. Personal appeals: appealing to loyalty and friendship when asking for something

6. Exchange: offering favours or benefits in exchange for support

7. Coalitions: getting the support of other people to provide backing when making a request

8. Pressure: using demands, threats, and reminders to get someone to do something

9. Legitimacy: claiming the authority or right to make a request, or showing that it supports organizational goals or policies

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Rational persuasion, inspirational appeals, and consultation tend to be the most effective

o Pressure often backfires and tends to be the least effective

Rational persuasion works across all levels of the organizational hierarchy

Better to begin with softer tactics and then rely on harder tactics

Political skill: the ability to influence others in such a way as to enhance one's objectives

The culture of the organization in which a person works will influence the best tactics to be used

Empowerment: Giving Power to Employees

Movement towards sharing power with employees by putting them in teams and by making them responsible for some of the decisions regarding their job

o Empowerment: increasing responsibility

Definition of Empowerment:

The freedom and the ability of employees to make decisions and commitments

o Delegating decision making within a set of clear boundaries

Empowerment can either start at the top or bottom of the organizational hierarchy



Top: specific goals and tasks would be assigned, responsibility would be delegated, and people would be held accountable for their results

Bottom: considering employee needs, showing them what empowered behaviour looks like, building teams, encouraging risk-taking, and demonstrating trust in employees ability to perform

Employees must be able to access information and carry out decisions

o Must also understand how they fit into the organization

Degrees of Empowerment:

Job content: the tasks and procedures necessary for carrying out a particular job

Job context: the reason for doing the job; it reflects the organizational mission, objectives, and setting

o Includes the organization's structure, culture, and rewards system

No discretion: the typical assembly-line job (highly routine and repetitive)



Employees is assigned the task, given no discretion, and most likely monitored by a supervisor

Employees may be un-satisfied and do not show initiative

Participatory empowerment: represents the situation of autonomous work group that are given some decision-making authority over both job content and job context

Self-management: employees who have total-decision making power for both job content and job context

o Granting an employee greater power requires faith from management that the employee will carry out the goals and mission of the organization

For employees to be empowered, and have ownership:





There must be a clear definition of the values and mission of the company

The company must help employees acquire the relevant skills

Employees need to be supported in their decision making, and not criticized when they try to do something extraordinary

Employees need to be recognized for their efforts

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour - Final Exam Review

Effects of Empowerment:

At an individual level and the team level, empowerment leads to greater productivity




Some managers do not empower employees because this can take away some of their power

Some employees have little/no interest in being empowered and thus resist attempts

Empowerment is not something that works well in every workplace throughout the world

The Abuse of Power: Harassment in the Workplace

Managers control the resources that most employees consider important and scarce

Coworkers exercise power by withholding information, cooperation and support

Workplace Bullying:

Shaming people, embarrassing people, holding them up to ridicule, constantly being on their case for no apparent reason, being unreasonable, etc.

Sexual Harassment:

Sexual harassment is more likely to occur in workplace environments that tolerate bullying, intimidation, yelling, innuendo, and other forms of discourteous behaviour

Sexual harassment: unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature in the workplace that negatively affects the workplace environment or leads to adverse job-related consequences for the employee

o Undermines the victims' mental and physical health

Make sure there are policies in place that outline the rules, and consequences




Investigate every complain and include the legal and human resource departments

Make sure offenders are disciplined or terminated

Raise employee awareness about the issues surrounding sexual harassment