Summary with Organisational Behaviour - Sinding & Waldstrom - 5th edition

Organisational behaviour in the past - Chapter 1

Organisational behaviour observes the interactions and habits of people and organisations. It tries to improve the organisations effectiveness.

Pfeffer found evidence that ‘people-centred practices’ are strongly associated with higher profits and significantly lower employee turnover. Seven people-centred practices in successful companies:

  • Job security: eliminate fear of losing a job

  • Careful hiring: emphasis on good fit with company culture

  • Power to the people: decentralisation and self-managed teams

  • Generous pay for performance

  • Lots of training

  • Less emphasis on status: to build a ‘we’ feeling

  • Trust-building: through the sharing of critical information


Classic social theory Marx, Drukheim, Weber

Rational-system view Taylor, Fayol, Barnard, Simon

Human relations view Mayo, Follett, McGregor

Symbolic interactionism – postmodernism Weick

Conflict-critical view Marx

Rational-system view


He is the founder of scientific management. This is an approach to management in which all tasks in organisations are analysed, routinised, divided and standardised in depth, instead of using rules of thumb. This leads to more efficiency due to the increasing pace of working because of the divided subtasks.


  • Higher output

  • Standardisation

  • Control and predictability

  • The routine of the tasks allowed the replacement of skilled workers by non-skilled workers

  • Thinking is for managers, workers only work

  • Optimisation of the tools for each worker

Both employees and managers were analysed. Managers were provided with subtasks. Even though Taylor raised the loans, he got a lot of resistance from the employee’s. Many employees felt as if they lost their value as skilled employees. Due to misinterpretation and misuse, Tayor's had a bad reputation for pressuring workers by letting them do inhuman work methods and forcing them to work at speed to enrich management.


He is the founder of ‘management’. Introduced five basic management tasks:

  • Planning: predicting a course of action to meet the planned goals.

  • Organising: allocating materials + organising people. Authority, discipline, control.

  • Leading: giving directions + orders to employees. Convince + influence + motivate others to make them accomplish the goals.

  • Co-ordinating: harmonise different departments to one unit, working for the general interest of the company.

  • Controlling: to what extent the goals were met + orders are followed. Carried out by an independent + competent employee.

To execute those basic tasks, fourteen management principles should be obeyed:

  • Division of labour

  • Authority and responsibility

  • Discipline

  • Unity of command

  • Unity of direction

  • Subordination of individual interest to the general interest

  • Fair remuneration of personnel

  • Centralisation

  • Hierarchy

  • Order

  • Equity

  • Stability of tenure of personnel: low turnover

  • Initiative by every employee

  • Unity among the employees

Six skills a manager should possess:

  • Physical qualities

  • Mental qualities

  • Moral qualities

  • General education

  • Specific education

  • Experience

Fayol had big admiration for Taylor, however they had two disagreements:

  • Fayol doesn't completely seperate acting andt thinking. Taylor does.

  • For Fayol is 'Unity of command' a crucial principle, however it does not fit with the principles of Taylor.


Build his theory on general principles of co-operative systems. He describes individuals as separate beings but not totally independent. Freedom is bounded by biological and physical limitations. Effectiveness will increase by co-operative actions, necessary elements:

  • Willingness to co-operate

  • A common purpose

  • Communication about the actions

  • Specialisation

  • Incentives

  • Authority

  • Decision-making

He also states that organisations consist smaller, less formal groups, which all have their own goals. Management should align those goals to the overall organisational goal. The informal aspect of management and organisations is the main difference of scientific management.


Categorised under the rational-system view because of his rational approach to the working of organisations and he tried to apply principles of the hard science to social sciences (administrative decision-making processes). Organisation is characterised by communication, relationships and decision-making processes. How to motivate employees:

  • Loyalty of the employee to the organisation: commitment, identify himself

  • Training

  • Coercion: psychological manipulations to convince the worker into being motivated.

Humans have psychological and social limitations in thinking rationally, bounded rationality.

Human relations view

Human Relations Movement: Established because unions wanted better working conditions and researchers wanted more attention to the human factor within an organisation.


He did research to the attention that was given to employees at Western Electric’s Hawthorne plant. Outcomes of this research: There is no correlation between working conditions and the employee output. Motivation was stimulated by status and the influence of mutual adjustments within the workgroup.Members of informal groups don't always belong to the same formal groups. Every groups creates their own noms and values. Follett

She stressed the importance of human relations in organisations, particularly the improvement of the relationship between management and employees. Employees were the key parts, paying attention to their needs was the way to improve productivity. Follett’s view on management was the integration of the individual and the organisation. She focussed on interest and needs of the workers and managers. Six concepts of Follett’s work:

  • Dynamism: dynamic social relations

  • Empowerment: a self-developed capacity, not a pre-existing thing.

    • Power-over: coercive power.

    • Power-with: co-active power.

  • Participation: co-ordination of the contribution of each individual unit. Clear communication, openness, explicitness.

  • Leadership: Communication, vision sharing. Inspires others to innovate and achieve goals.

  • Conflict: Shows differences between people, neither good nor bad. Solution: integration.

  • Experience


He formulated two different approaches regarding the human nature, theory X and theory Y. (see Table 1.4 )

Symbolic interactionism – postmodernism

Symbolic interactionism

Focus on individual behaviour and interactions on micro-level. Subjective interpretations of the world by interactions. Enacted theory World is created by communication. Explains why people can have different reactions and make different decisions in the same situations.


A very subjective and situation orientated ‘theory’. Postmodernism makes it impossible to develop general applicable theories of this world.

Conflict-critical view

Conflict theory

Social structures and relations within organisations are based on conflicts between groups and social classes. This is in contrast with the rational-view.

Critical theory

There is no general idea, but the concept is a being opposed to functionalism and capitalism.

According to Aldich and Ruef there are six alternative approaches which can explain certain organisational outcomes:

  • Ecological approach: the ecosystem and resources of a branch or organisation respond the same way as their environment to environmental contingencies.

  • Institutional approach: people take the characteristics of an organisation the way they are. Organisations copy other organisations' behaviour: mimetic isomorphism.

  • Interpretive approach: organisations are socially structured and therefore subjective.

  • Organisational learning: two strands are adaptive learning and knowledge development. Individuals recognise, interpret and use information to fit in with their environment.

  • Resource dependence: organisations are dependent on their environment. Managers have motives to cooperate to ensure their resources.

  • Transaction cost approach: outcomes are a choice between 'market or hierarchy'. Managers have to make the decision between making or buying for each individual transaction.

Morgan presents eight metaphorical lenses for visualising an organisation as:


  • Machines: orderly relationships, clearly defined logical system with subsystems, predictability and controllability.

  • Organisms: adaption to environment, open system that transforms inputs into outputs, dealing with survival.

  • Brains: having information-processing capacity, strategy formulation, planning processes and management, self-regulation of dispersed intelligence.

  • Cultures: constructed beliefs and interpretations, subjective reality, own language, shared values, norms and mental models.


  • Political systems: competition, conflict, influencing, power, politicking, own goals vs. organisational goals.

  • Physical prisons: being controlled mentally, constrained thinking, unconsciously getting trapped in web of own creation.

  • Flux and transformation: self-producing system, mutual causality, dialectic change.

  • Instruments of domination: ugly face, external domination of environment and humans, dominating own people.

Theory + Research + Practice = the most complete information for better understanding and managing organisational behaviour.

A good theoretical model:

  • Defines key terms

  • Constructs a conceptual framework that explains how crucial components are interrelated.

  • Gives a starting point for research that creates evidence.

  • Theory and practice lead to practical utilisation.

Five ways to provide insight about OB:

  • Meta analysis: combination of results from various studies to draw a general conclusion.

  • Field study: variables are researched in a real-life stetting.

  • Laboratory study: variables get manipulated and measured in phone situations.

  • Sample survey: a sample of a population group respond to questionnaires.

  • Case study: an extensive study by an individual, group or organisation.

The results from this test can be used in three different ways:

  • Instrumental use: direct application of research findings to practical problems.

  • Conceptual use: professionals acquire general understanding.

  • Symbolic use: outcomes confirm existing conclusions.

Four ways to obtain data in a valid way:

  • Observation: recording the number of times a specified behaviour is exhibited.

  • Questionnaires: ask respondents for their opinions or feelings about work-related issues.

  • Interviews: rely on face-to-face or telephone interactions, ask respondents questions of interest.

  • Indirect methods: obtaining data without any direct contact with respondents.

All research methods can be judged by three variables:

  • Generalisability: are the results of one study applicable for other individuals, groups or situations.

  • Precision in control and management: how accurate the manipulations and measurements are.

  • Realistic content: wether the the context is natural for the participants.

Personality and self-concept - Chapter 2


The concept the individual has of himself as a physical, social and spiritual or moral being. How you view yourself. Cognitions support self-concept, represent any knowledge, opinion or belief about the environment, oneself or one’s behaviour. Among all the types of cognitions, anticipation, planning, goal setting, evaluating and setting personal standards are the most relevant to OB. The extent of self-concept differs per culture.

Consists of:

  • Self-esteem

  • Self-efficacy

  • Self-monitoring

  • Locus of control


The value one places on themselves.

High self-esteem: confident, competent, able to cope with failure, (egotistical, aggressive)

Low self-esteem: feel useless, doubt about own judgement.

Four ways to build employee self-esteem:

  • Be supportive by showing concern for personal problems, interests, status and contributions.

  • Offer work involving variety, autonomy and challenges that suit the employee’s values, skills and abilities.

  • Strive for supervisor-employee cohesiveness and build trust.

  • Have faith in each employee’s self-management ability. Reward each success.

Six pillars of self-esteem:

  • Live consciously: be actively and fully engaged in what you do and with whom you interact.

  • Be self-accepting: do not be overly judgemental of your thoughts and actions.

  • Take personal responsibility: for your decisions and actions.

  • Be self-assertive: be authentic and willing to defend your beliefs when interacting with others, rather than bending to their will to be accepted.

  • Live purposefully: have clear short-term and long-term goals and realistic plans for achieving them create a sense of control.

  • Have personal integrity: be true to your word and your values.


Defined as ‘a person’s belief about his or her chances of successfully accomplishing a specific task.’ It refers to personal beliefs about your competencies, skills and abilities. Low self-efficacy is associated with learned helplessness, meaning the belief that one has no control over one’s environment.

Four sources of self-efficacy beliefs:

  • Prior experience

  • Behaviour models

  • Persuasion from others

  • Assessment of physical/emotional state

High self-efficacy: be active, manage the situation, set goals, plan, prepare, practice, try hard, creatively solve problems, learn from setbacks, visualise success, limit stress.

Low self-efficacy: be passive, avoid difficult tasks, low commitment, don’t even try, become discouraged through setbacks, blame setbacks on lack of ability or bad luck, experience stress, become depressed, think of excuses for failing. (Figure 2.2)

Self-efficacy requires eight actions within an organisation:

  • Recruiting/selection/job assignments

  • Job design: complex, challenging, autonomous

  • Training and development

  • Self-management

  • Goal setting and quality improvement

  • Coaching

  • Leadership

  • Rewards


Self-monitoring is the extent to which people observe their own self-expressive behaviour and adapt to the environment. There is a positive relationship between high self-monitoring and career success.

High self-monitoring: unfair person who cannot be trusted.

Low self-monitoring: person ignores all verbal and non-verbal communication.

Locus of control

Locus of control is the extent to which a person takes responsibility for his or her behaviour and the consequences of this behaviour. Two types:

  • Internal: people who believe they have the capacity to influence the environment and assume that they can control events in their lives by effort and skill (passing the exam you studied a lot). Sensitive for rewards.

  • External: people who believe that events in their lives and things that they want to achieve are subject to uncontrollable forces, luck, chance and powerful others (passing the exam test was easy). Not sensitive for rewards, they do want rewards but not if they have to work harder to perform better.


Personality is the combination of stable physical and mental characteristics that give the individual his or her identity. How you appear to others. It is formed by interacting genetic (nature) and environmental (nurture) influences. Traits are the characteristics of people in different situations. When looking at personality two models are important:

  • Cattell’s sixteen personality factors (Table 2.2)

  • The Big Five (Table 2.3)

The Big Five personality dimensions:

  • Extraversion: extravert (outgoing, talkative, sociable, assertive) ↔ introvert (reserved, quiet, introverted)

  • Agreeableness: adapter (trusting, good-natured, co-operative, soft-hearted, forgiving) ↔ challenger (rude, cold, uncaring, unsympathetic)

  • Conscientiousness: focused (dependable, responsible, achievement-orientated, persistent) ↔ flexible (sloppy, inefficient, careless, disorganised, easily distracted)

  • Emotional stability: stable (self-confident, relaxed, secure, unworried) ↔ unstable (anxious, depressed, angry, indecisive)

  • Openness to experience: explorer (intellectual, imaginative, curious, broad-minded) ↔ preserver (unimaginative, conventional, habit-bound)

Personality types

Types are based on common patterns of characteristics between people. People belong to types (traits belong to people). Two important type theories:

  • Jung’s typology: distinguished three dimensions

  • People’s cognitions (how people receive): sensing / intuiting

  • People’s judgements: thinking / feeling

  • People’s view of the world: extravert / introvert

  • Myers and Brigg’s personality typology (MBTI): added an extra dimension

    • The choices people make on how to allocate time priorities: judging / perceiving

Those four dimensions can be combined in 16 different ways: personality types. The four types are:

  • Sensing-thinking: practical, technical skills, realistic.

  • Intuiting-thinking: competences, objective, logical, theoretical, technical.

  • Sensing-feeling: realistic, sympathetic, friendly, theoretical, helpful.

  • Intuiting-feeling: competences, personal, enthusiastic, understanding.

Abilities and styles

Ability: a broad and stable characteristic responsible for a person’s maximum performance on mental and physical tasks.

Style: a pattern or preferred way of doing something.

Skill: the specific capacity to manipulate objects physically.

Competence: an underlying characteristic of an individual which is causally related to effective or superior performance.

There is no best style, they are just different. Competence can be more (better) or less.

Intelligence: an individual’s capacity for constructive thinking, reasoning and problem-solving.

  • Nature: genetically

  • Nurture: environmentally

Two types of abilities determine all cognitive performance: a general mental ability (required for all cognitive tasks) + abilities unique to the tasks at hand.

Mental abilities (g = general factor):

  • Verbal comprehension: to understand what words mean

  • Word fluency: to produce isolated words

  • Numerical reasoning: to make quick and accurate computations

  • Spatial ability: to perceive spatial (ruimtelijke) patterns and to visualise

  • Memory

  • Perceptual speed: to perceive figures, identify similarities and differences, carry out tasks involving visual perception

  • Inductive reasoning: to reason from specifics to general conclusions

Intelligence can be divided in four components:

  • Emotional intelligence: identifying, understanding and managing own and other's emotions.

  • Cultural intelligence: recognise cultural differences and showing appropriate behaviour at multicultural situations.

  • Social intelligence: effectively relating with others.

  • Cognitive intelligence: mental capabilities.

Psychological tests in the workplace

There are two categories of psychological tests:

  • Typical performance: personality tests.

  • Maximum performance: intelligence test.

Three reasons to be careful with personality tests:

  • Predictive validity: can a test measure work performance?

  • Differential validity: are different races measured in different ways?

  • Faking: in what extent does faking alters a test?

Cognitive styles

The way an individual perceives environmental stimuli, and organises and uses information.

Two theories:

1. Kirton’s adaption-innovation model (table 2.8)

Focus on interaction between people and their changing environment.

  • Adapter: doing things better

  • Innovator: doing thing different

2. Riding’s cognitive styles model, two independent dimensions:

  • Wholist-Analytic: the habitual way in which people process information

  • Wholists: tend to see the whole of a situation

  • Analytics: see the situation as a collection of parts and will focus on one or two of these parts at a time, while excluding other parts.

  • Verbal-Imagery: people’s preferred mode of representing information

    • Verbaliser: read, listen to or consider information in words.

    • Imagers: read, listen to or consider information they experience fluent, spontaneous and frequent mental pictures.

Learning styles

Kolb’s experiential learning cycle, see figure 2.3.

Describes learning as a process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. The four abilities required to be an effective learner are situated on two independent dimensions:

  • Concrete experience – reflective observation

  • Abstract conceptualisation – active experimentation

Four learning styles:

  • Divergers: imaginative abilities, indecisive

  • Assimilators: new theories, impractical

  • Convergers: practical, too quickly without enough data/missing important implications.

  • Accommodators: experimenting + carry out plans, impractical + do not complete work on time.

Personal characteristics - Chapter 3


Values: standards or criteria for choosing goals or guiding actions that are relatively enduring and stable over time.

  • Content aspect: People differ in the values they think are important

  • Intensity aspect: People differ in the extent of importance of those values


Instrumental values: desirable ways or modes of behaviour to reach a desirable goal.

  • Moral values / competence values

Terminal values: desirable goals a person wants to reach during his or her life.

  • Self-centred (personal) / society-centred (social)

Values are connected, work together to help people reach their desirable goals through desirable ways of behaviour.

Swartz basic human values model

Figure 3.1

Self-transcendence: Self-enhancement:

* Universalism * Power

* Benevolence * Achievement

* Hedonism

Conservation: Openness to change:

* Tradition, conformity * Self-direction

* Security * Stimulation

Work values: expressions of basic values in the work setting.

  • Intrinsic (openness to change),

  • extrinsic (conservation)

  • social (self-transcendence)

  • prestige values (self-enhancement).


Attitude: beliefs and feelings people have about specific ideas, situations and people, which influence their behaviour.

Attitudes are more directed towards specific goals or situations, while values are more abstract. Three components which clarify this difference:

  • Cognitive component: beliefs, opinions, knowledge about a certain object, situation, person.

  • Affective component: feelings, moods, emotions.

  • Behavioural component: how a person intends or expects to act towards something or someone.

Cognitive dissonance: situations where different attitudes are in conflict with each other. To solve, change attitude (dissonance reduction).

Fishbein and Azjen: intentions are the key to behaviour.

Theory of Planned Behaviour, figure 3.2

The three variables are:

  • Attitude towards behaviour

  • Subjective norm

  • Perceived behavioural control

All these three variables cause stronger intention to engage in certain behaviour.

Most important, work related attitudes:

  • Organisational commitment: extent to which an individual identifies oneself with the organisation and is committed to its goals.

  • Job involvement: the extent to which an individual is personally involved with his or her work role. Identification with a specific job.

  • Job satisfaction: the degree of fulfilment and pleasure one finds in his or her job. The general attitude towards one’s job. Sources:

  • Need fulfilment

  • Discrepancy: meet expectations, represent the difference between what an individual expects to receive from a job and what he or she actually receives.

  • Value attainment: perception that a job allows for fulfilment of an individual’s important work values.

  • Equity: how ‘fairly’ an individual is treated at work.

  • Dispositional/genetic components: a function both of personal traits and genetic factors rather than the factors mentioned above.

Key correlations with job satisfaction (table 3.3)

  • Motivation

  • Absenteeism

  • Withdrawal cognitions

  • Turnover

  • Job performance


Emotions: complex human reactions on personal achievements and setbacks.

Positive (goal congruent) / negative (goal incongruent)

Positive affectivity (experience pos. emotional states) / negative affectivity (experience neg. emotional states)

  • Felt emotions: actual or true emotions

  • Displayed emotions: organisationally desirable and appropriate emotions in a given job

Emotional intelligence: ability to manage your own emotions and those of others in mature and constructive ways.


  • self-awareness,

  • self-management (personal)

  • social awareness

  • relationship management (social).

Emotional contagion: the process through which people catch the feeling of others. ‘The ripple effect’: water ripples because of wind.

  • Perceiving and adopting other people’s facial expressions.

Effective use of the emotions of the principle of emotional contagion:

  • Influencing

  • Communication: convincing

  • Conflict management: negotiating + solving conflicts

  • Leadership: inspiring + coaching

  • Change management: communication

Emotional labour: the effort, planning and control that are needed to express organisationally desired emotions during interpersonal interactions.

Emotional dissonance: the conflict between felt and displayed emotions.

Flow in the workplace

Flow: subjective psychological stat that occurs when one is totally involved in an activity and feels simultaneously cognitively efficient, motivated and happy.

Csikszentmihalyi deveoped the Experience Sampling Method (ESM) to measure the quality of people's experiences. He found out there is is a similarity between the skills people think they have and the challenges they are willing to accept. Too easy challenges lead to borness and too difficult challenges lead to stress.

Five Cs to maximise flow:

  • Clarity

  • Centre: an ability to focus

  • Choice: belief they control their life, they have choices

  • Commitment: to the activity which is needed to achieve goals

  • Challenge: balance between skills and challenges

Perceive and communicate - Chapter 4


Perception: cognitive process that enables us to interpret and understand our environment. Adds meaning to the already gathered information.

Social perception: the process by which people come to understand one another.

Factors influencing perception:

  • Perceived target: why a person looks the way he does.

    • Attention-drawing features: colour, clothing.

    • Perceptual grouping: form individual stimuli into a meaningful pattern. Continuity, closure, proximity & similarity influence perceptual grouping.

  • Perceiver:

    • Personality, mood, attitudes.

    • Implicit personality theories: a network of assumptions that we hold about various types of people, traits and behaviours.

    • Confirmation bias: seek and interpret information that verifies existing beliefs.

  • Setting: interaction between perceiver and perceived target takes place.

    • Contrast effect: perceive stimuli that differ from expectations as being even more different than they really are.

    • Primacy effect: the information first received often continues to colour later perceptions of individuals. Anchoring. (first-impression)

Social information-processing model of perception

Stage 1: Selective attention/comprehension

People are not capable to fully comprehend all information. Attention: the process of becoming consciously aware of something / someone. Salient stimuli: stands out from its context.

Social salient is determined by:

  • Novelty

  • Brightness

  • Unusual for that person

  • Unusual for a person's social category.

  • Unusual for people in general, extremely positive

  • Dominant in the visual field.

Stage 2: Encoding and simplification

Observed information is not stored in the memory in its original form. Raw information  mental representations. To accomplish, perceivers assign pieces of information to cognitive categories. A schema represents a person’s mental picture or summary of the information. Cognitive categories are necessary to make the schema meaningful.

Interpretations differ because of four reasons:

  1. Everyone contains different information in their schemas.

  2. Moods and emotions change focus of attention and evaluations.

  3. People tend to use recently used cognitive categories for encoding.

  4. Individual differences.

Stage 3: storage en retention

Storage in long-term memory consists of separated and related categories.

  • Event memory: specific and general events.

  • Semantic memory: general knowledge about the world.

  • Person memory: single individuals / groups of people.

Stage 4: Retrieval and response

Retrieve information from memory when people make judgements and decisions.


Attributions: explanations for behaviour, based on cognitive evaluations.

Types of attributions:

  • Locus of causality: internal factors (person) and external factors (environment) of behaviour.

  • Stability: is the attribute static or dynamic through time?

  • Controllability: can the person control the occurrence?

  • Generalisability: is the attribute generalisable in multiple occurrences?

  • Desirability: the subjective appreciation of the occurrence.

  • Proximity: several causesAttribution theories:

  • Correspondent inference theory (Jones and Davis)

How an alert perceiver infers another’s intentions and person dispositions from his or her behaviour. The extent to which a person’s disposition is derived from a perceived slide of behaviour depends on:

  • non-common effects

  • social desirability of effects

  • degree of choice.

  • Covariation principle (Kelley)

To be the cause of behaviour it must be present when the behaviour occurs and absent when it does not.

  • External attributions: high distinctiveness

  • Internal attributions: Low distinctiveness, high consistency, low consensus

  • Attribution model (Weiner)

How people infer causes for observed behaviour.

Five biases, which lead to wrong interpretations:

  • Fundamental error: inferring someone’s success to external causes and failure to internal causes.

  • Defensive attribution

  • Actor-observer effect: actors make different attributions about themselves compared to observers.

  • Self-serving bias: inferring positive outcomes to internal factors and negative outcomes to external factors.

  • Fundamental attribution error: desirable actions and behaviour are attributed to internal factors when it is made by in-group members and to external causes for out-group members.

Four biases enable wrong interpretations for perceived behaviour:

  • Fundamental error: Linking success to external factors en failure to internal factors.

  • Actor-observer effect: people form an opinion about themselves than about everyone else.

  • Self serving bias: linking success to internal factors and failure to external factors.

  • Fundamental attribution error: preferred behaviour comes from within a group and unwanted behaviour comes from external factors.

Self-fulfilling prophecy (figure 4.7)

Self-fulfilling prophecy: describes how people behave so that their expectations come true. Pygmalion effect. High self-expectations greater effort + better performance higher expectations.

Set-up-to-fail syndrome: negative side of circle.


Communication: the exchange of information between a sender and a receiver, and the perception of meaning between the individuals involved.

Perceptual process model of communication: receiver creates meaning in their own minds.

Sender - receiver encodes: message (contain hidden agendas, must match with the type of communication) - decoding - receiver creates meaning of message

Two interrelated communication levels:

  • Content level: what information is send.

  • Relationship level: how is information send, based on emotional status or attitudinal reactions towards our environment.

Feedback: the receiver’s response to a message.

Noise: anything that interferes with the transmission and understanding of a messages.

Barriers to effective communication

  • Process barriers:

    • Sender barrier

    • Encoding barrier

    • Message barrier

    • Medium barrier

    • Decoding barrier

    • Receiver barrier

    • Feedback barrier

  • Personal barriers: no trust, dislike, etc.

  • Physical barriers: the physical distance between sender and receiver.

Semantic barriers: encoding and decoding errors

The eight most frequent personal barriers are:

  • People have different kind of communication skills.

  • People have different frames of reference and experiences.

  • The level of interpersonal trust. This can also be a benefit.

  • Stereotypes and prejudices distort what we perceive.

  • Egos can cause barriers.

  • Not everyone has the same ability to listen.

  • Everyone evaluates from its own point of view.

  • The inability to see ideas and attitudes from the other person's point of view.

Semantic barriers involve transmitting and receiving words and symbols.

Strategies to improve communication:

  • Empathy: try to think as the receiver when you encode a message.

  • Redundancy: repeat the most important elements.

  • Effective timing: choose a moment in which the receiver has few distractions.

  • Descriptive: don't focus on the person but focus on the problem.

  • Feedback: Ask for feedback to check if your message has been received.

  • Ask questions: sum up all the ideas.

Interpersonal communication

Communication competence: use effectively the appropriate communication behaviour in a given context. Three components:

  • Communication abilities/traits

  • Situational factors

  • Individuals involved

Verbal and non-verbal communication

Verbal: oral communication / written communication. Conscious, clear and rules.

Non-verbal: without spoken/written words. Unconscious & automatically.

Both must be consistent.

Listening: actively decoding and interpreting verbal messages.

Listener comprehension is influenced by listener-, message-, speaker-, environmental characteristics.

Communication styles:

  • Assertive: expressive, self-enhancing, not at the expense of others.

  • Non-assertive: timid, self-denying.

  • Aggressive: expressive, self-enhancing, at the expense of others.

Organisational communication patterns

  • Hierarchical communication: exchanges of information and influence between organisational members. Communication distortion: modifying the content of message.

    • Downwards: from supervisor to employee

    • Upwards: from employee to supervisor

  • The grapevine: unofficial communication system of the informal organisation. Four predictable patterns: single-strand, gossip, probability, cluster.

    • Liaison individuals: leak information

    • Organisational moles: to enhance power and status

Communication differences between men and women

This causes problems concerning productivity and communication.

  • Men are too authoritarian

  • Men do not take women seriously

  • Women are too emotional

  • Men do not accept women as co-workers or bosses

  • Women do not speak up enough

Caused by linguistic styles; person’s characterise speaking pattern.

Men use report talk: direct way of communication

Women use rapport talk: less direct way of communication, everybody involved.

Genderflex: temporary use of communication behaviours typical of the other gender in order to increase the potential for influence. Strategic and asymmetric information

Communication can be disturbed on purpose, two phenomena:

  • Adverse selection: hidden information about one part to an agreement.

  • Moral hazard: hidden action by one part to an agreement after it has been made.

Modern communication

Internet, intranet (organisation’s private internet), extranet (connects internal employees with strategic partners).

Information richness: if communication of an item of data provides substantial new understanding it is rich. Best: face-to-face.

Information overload: information exceeds our information processing capacity.

Decrease of productivity, ineffective communication, loss of information, inadequate decisions and workplace stress.

Solutions: increasing the information-processing capacity or reducing the information load.

Motivation - Chapter 5

Motivation: professional processes that cause goal-orientated actions.

Motivation is an element of work performance just like opportunity and ability (figure 5.1).

There are five methods that explain behaviour and underlie theories of motivation:

  • Needs theories: individuals are motivated by unsatisfied needs.

  • Reinforcement theorists: people behave in a way which provides positive consequences.

  • Cognition: behaviour is the result of rational decisions.

  • Job characteristics model: the task itself is the key to employee motivation.

  • Emotions: people strive for goals en interests.

Historical roots of modern motivation theories:

Content theories: try to explain the things that actually motivate people in their job. What motivates people? Maslow, Alderfer, McClelland, Herzberg, McGregor

Process theories: explain the actual process of motivation. How do people get motivated?

Maslow’s need hierarchy theory

See figure 5.2

  • Self-actualisation: actualise one’s full potential

  • Esteem: internal esteem needs (desires for feelings, power), external esteem needs (reputation, recognition) higher self-confidence

  • Love: belongingness, giving and receiving

  • Safety: security, need for freedom.

  • Physiological needs: to sustain life, hunger, sleepiness.


  • People appreciate the same needs differently.

  • Employees do not always achieve their needs through work.

Alderfer’s ERG theory

Refinement of Maslow’s hierarchy needs model. Five dimensions -> three dimensions:

  • Existence needs: safety, physiological

  • Relatedness: to maintain relationships

  • Growth-related needs: development of potential

Frustration-regression assumption: people may regress down to lower need level when a higher need is frustrated -> Motivation by something else.

Three big differences between Maslow and ERG:

  • ERG states that more than one need can motivate at the same time. Maslow does not stat this.

  • ERG states a continuum (frustration-regression). Maslows hierachy does not.

  • ERG is more consistent in individual differences.

McClelland’s need theories

  • Need for achievement: need to accomplish something difficult. Characteristics: moderate risk-takers, higher personal responsibility, need for more feedback.

  • Need for affiliation: maintaining social relationships, joining groups.

  • Need for power: desire to influence, ‘if I win, you lose’ mentality.

Herzberg’s motivator-hygiene theory

Figure 5.4

Job satisfaction -> better job performance.

Hygiene factors erase sources of dissatisfaction: policies, supervision, salary. Extrinsic.

Motivators foster job satisfaction: achievement, responsibility, recognition. Intrinsic.

Job enrichment: modifying a job in such a way that an employee has the opportunity to experience achievement, recognition, stimulating work, responsibility and advancement.

Internal weakness of theories: they do not reveal about the actual motivation process.

  • People seek security

  • People seek social systems

  • People seek personal growth

Job characteristics model

Hackman and Oldham, tried to determine how work can be structured so that employees are internally motivated. See figure 5.5.

Critical psychological states:

  • Experienced meaningfulness: is the work valuable?

  • Experienced responsibility: personal accountability for the outcomes of his or her efforts.

  • Knowledge of results: able to determine whether or not the outcomes of the work are satisfactory.

This model is the opposite of Taylor and his scientific management.

MPS = {(skill var. + task id. + task sign.)/3} x autonomy x feedback

Jobs with a high MPS should contain at least one of the three factors which lead to meaningfulness, have a high autonomy and a high feedback. People respond positively on jobs with a high PMS when they:

  • have high knowledge and skills needed for the jobs.

  • have high growth needs.

  • have general satisfaction with various aspects of the work context.

Motivation theories - Chapter 6

There are different aspects to how people can be motivated and how it influences their performance: In this section three process theories of motivation are elaborated (expectancy theory, equity theory and goal-setting theory). Further, important tools such as feedback and giving rewards will be discussed.

The expectancy theory is the idea that people’s actions are driven by expected consequences. Hedonism of one component of expectancy theory: Hedonistic people strive to maximise their pleasure and minimise their pain. This theory can be used to predict behaviour in any situation in which a choice between two or more alternatives must be made.

There are two theories of motivation: Victor Vroom’s expectancy theory and Lyman Porter and Edward Lawler’s extension of Vroom’s theory.

Vroom’s expectancy theory

Motivation boils down to the decision about how much effort to exert in a specific task situation. Vroom’s expectancy model is structured in a three-stage sequence of expectations:

  • Motivation is affected by an individual’s expectation that a certain level of effort will produce the intended performance goal.

  • Motivation is influenced by a person’s perceived chances of getting various outcomes as a result of performing at a level, which would result in the benefits.

  • Individuals are motivated to the extent that they value the outcomes receives. This means that only if the perceived value of the outcome is higher than the perceived value of the cost/effort will the effort be exerted.

Expectancy represents an individual’s belief that a particular degree of effort will be followed by a particular level of performance (effort → performance expectation). Taking the form of subjective probabilities for expectancies, zero is the perception that effort has no effort on performance and one is the perception that everything depends on effort.

The factors influencing an employee’s expectancy perceptions are:

  • self-esteem

  • self-efficacy

  • previous success at the task

  • help received from a supervisor and subordinates

  • information necessary to complete the task

  • goods materials/equipment to work with.

Instrumentality: a person’s belief that a particular outcome depends on performing at a specific level (performance → outcome perception). Performance is instrumental when it leads to something else (e.g. passing exams is instrumental to graduating from university).

Valence: positive or negative values people place on outcomes. It mirrors our personal preferences (e.g. most employees place a positive value (valence) on receiving additional money whereas job loss would be likely to prove negatively valent for most individuals). The outcome of valence depends on an individual’s needs but the sum of the valences of all relevant outcomes has to be positive.

The Vroom’s Expectancy Model is visualised in Figure 6.1.

Even though the expectancy theory predicts some components accurately (e.g. task persistence, achievement), it has been criticised for several reasons:

  • Theory is difficult to test

  • Measures used to assess expectancy, instrumentality and valence have questionable validity

Expectancy theory can be useful for creating motivating working environments where people like to work and achieve high performance.

Non-challenging work leads to boredom, frustration and low performance. Too difficult tasks cause frustration as they are not attainable. It is crucial to pay attention to individual when trying to influence people’s expectancies.

As the expectancy theory is based on perceptions, motivation decisions should not be cased on manager’s view of abilities.

Organisations also have to deal effectively with employees’ instrumentalities to enhance motivation: trust and honesty are important aspects of organizations that are valued by employees. Organisations have to monitor valences for various rewards.

The concept of instrumentality is applied in the concept of performance-related pay (PRP), referred to as pay-for-performance. The idea behind pay-for-performance schemes is to give employees an incentive for working harder or smarter; it is something extra.

The Equity Theory is a model of motivation that explains how people strive for fairness and justice in social exchanges. This theory is based on cognitive dissonance theory (developed by Leon Festinger in 1950s). Equity theory focuses on what people are motivated to do when they feel treated inequitable. According to his theory:

  • People are motivated to maintain consistency between their cognitive beliefs and their behaviour

  • Perceived inconsistencies create cognitive dissonance/psychological discomfort that motivates corrective action

Three components are important for application of this theory:

  • Awareness of the major components of the individual-organisation exchange relationship, which are inputs and outputs.

  • This relationship is important for giving the employees the idea of what is equity and inequity.

  • The equity theory focuses on what people are motivated to do when they feel like they are treated unfair and want to reduce this inequity.

When making an equity comparison, employees consider on-the-job inputs and outcomes. (shown in Table 6.2). There are three equity relationships: equity, negative inequity and positive inequity. When two people have equivalent backgrounds and perform the same tasks, equity exists for an individual when the ratio of perceived outcomes to inputs equals the ratio of outcomes to inputs. However, if the individual enjoys greater outcomes for similar inputs, is it called negative inequity. On the other hand, the individual perceives positive inequity when the outcome to input ratio is greater than of the other person.

The Equity Theory of Motivation is shown in Figure 6.2.

There are two key findings on the equity theory of motivation in organisations:

  • Negative inequity is less tolerable than positive inequity. People who feel a negative inequity are more powerfully motivated to correct the situation.

  • Inequity can be reduced in several ways (shown in Table 6.3)

The following tendencies influence combinations of behaviour and cognitive adjustments:

  • People will try to maximise the amount of positive outcomes he or she receives.

  • People do not want increasing inputs when it costs too much effort or costs.

  • People do not want behavioural or cognitive changes in inputs which are crucial to their self-concept or self-esteem.

  • People are more likely to change cognitions about the comparison person's inputs and outputs than than changing cognitions about themselves.

  • People only leave the field when the inequity cannot be resolved through other methods.

Individuals tend to compare themselves with similar others or close friends rather than dissimilar ones. Further, men and women have the same reaction to negative inequity.

To maintain feelings of equity in organisations, the following aspects should be considered:

  • Managing job behaviour needs understanding of cognitive processes

  • It is important to pay attention to employees’ perception on what is fair and equitable

  • Hiring and promotion decisions based on merit-based and job-related information is seen as equitable

  • Having the ability to appeal against any decision promotes the belief that organizations treat employees fairly

  • Equity outcomes makes employees being more likely to accept and support organizational change

  • Organizations can promote teamwork among employees by treating them equitably

  • Treating employees inequitably leads to conflicts

  • The organization’s climate should be for justice as it significantly influences employees’ job satisfaction.

A Goal is what an individual is trying to accomplish or an action or object someone is aiming for. Goal setting has been promoted through management by objectives (MBO). It is an approach that includes participation in decision-making, goal setting and objective feedback.

Locke’s Model of Goal Setting (Figure 6.3) involves four motivational mechanisms;

  • Goals are personally meaningful and direct one’s attention on what is relevant and important

  • Goals motivate us to act so that the level of effort expended proportionately to the difficulty of the goal

  • The effort expended on a task over an extended period of time is represented by persistence

  • Goals can encourage people to develop strategies and action plans enabling them to achieve their goals

In general, goal setting works in different cultures even though goal specificity and difficulty vary between cultures.

Goal difficulty reflects the amount of effort requited to meet a goal. There is a positive correlation between goal difficulty and performance but as the goal seems impossible to reach, the performance drops (see Figure 6.4). Goal specificity pertains to the quantifiability of a goal, which refers to the extent to which a goal is specifically stated and specified. Setting specific, difficult goals leads to poorer performance. There are two explanations:

  • Employees are not likely to make an increased effort to achieve complex goals unless they support them

  • Novel and complex tasks take employees longer to complete

Further, feedback lets people know if they are going in the right direction. It provides the information needed to adjust direction, effort and strategies for goal accomplishment. Hence, goals pus feedback is the recommended approach.

The contingency approach is a method that seems best suited to the individual and situation. Individual differences make it necessary to establish different goals for employees performing the same job.

Goal specificity refers to the quantifiability of a goal: the extent to which the goal is specified.

Goal-commitment is the extent to which an individual is personally committed to achieving a goal. It affects the goal-setting outcomes by both strengthen the intention and lower the unwillingness to reach a goal over time.

The number of sources that can be used as input for goal-setting:

  • Time and motion studies

  • Average past experience

  • Employee and his/her superior may set the goal participatively through give-and-take negotiation

  • Conducting external or internal benchmarking (used when an organisation wants to compare its performance or internal work processes with those of other organisations or other internal units, departments within the organisation)

  • Strategy of company may affect the goals set by employees at various level within the organisation

Goals must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Result- oriented, and Time bound (SMART). When people have multiple goals, goal conflict may arise. Goal conflict refers to degree to which people feel that multiple goals are incompatible. There are three types of goal conflicts:

  • Externally imposed goal my be in conflict with a personal goal

  • People have to achieve multiple outcomes when performing a single tasks leading to trade-off between performance quality and quantity

  • Several tasks or goals have to accomplished

Goal setting only works when people are committed to the goals established. Higher goal commitment can be achieved by understanding the goals.

Feedback serves the following to two functions: It is instructional and motivational. Feedback instructs when it clarifies roles and motivates when it serves as a reward.

To better understand the feedback-performance relationship, the cognitive-processing model of feedback (Figure 6.5) can be used. The sources of giving feedback are ‘others’, the task itself and ‘oneself’. People who tend to be high in self-confidence rely more on personal feedback than those with low self-confidence.

The recipient who gets feedback differs in character, perception and cognitive evaluation. The recipient’s character (self-esteem and self-efficacy) can help or hinder one’s readiness for feedback. Others having low self-esteem and self-efficacy do not seek for feedback. High self-monitors are more open to feedback whereas high self-monitors are tuned into their own internal feelings. The perception can be perceived in a positive or negative way. Research shows that negative feedback can be seen as a challenge and set higher goals whereas positive feedback can less motivate to do better. However, destructive criticism can reduce the beliefs of self-efficacy and self-set goals of recipients.

When receiving feedback, people evaluate it based on several aspects (accuracy, credibility of the source, fairness, expectancies and behavioural standards). If one or more of these cognitive criteria are failed to meet the feedback it will be played down.

As feedback is related to the goal-setting process it comes to the same behavioural outcomes: direction, effort and persistence and resistance.

Table 6.5 lists some further problems with regard to organisational feedback systems.

The 360-degree feedback and upward feedback are newer approaches as they involve multiple sources of feedback. Nowadays, more and more employees receive feedback from subordinates or even outsiders, which covers all relevant stakeholders in an employee’s performance (‘360-degree’). However, when customers are not included it is described as 270-degree feedback. The popularity for even subordinates giving ‘upward’ feedback’ to his or her boss has grown for at least six reasons:

  • Traditional performance-appraisal systems created dissatisfaction

  • The trend to team-based organizations instead of traditional hierarchies

  • ‘Multiple raters’ are considered to be more valid feedback than single-source rating

  • Support of computer network technology facilitates multiple-rater systems

  • Trend towards participative management and employee empowerment

  • Co-workers are said to know more about a professional’s strengths than the boss

Studies have shown that upward feedback had a positive impact on the performance of low to moderate performers. Further, repeated upward feedback had a lasting positive effect on performance. Both 360-degree and upward feedback may be a motivational tool as the feedback based on anonymity is decoupled from pay and promotion decision. Developing effective 360-degree programmes is not easy as several interconnected steps need to be involved. In table 6.6 the organisational conditions for 360-degree feedback are summarised.

Rewards are an omnipresent feature of organisational life. But rewards go far beyond monetary compensation. Hence, there are different reward systems that are similar to each other on some interrelated common components. There are three different types of rewards:

  • financial/material (extrinsic)

  • social (extrinsic)

  • psychic (intrinsic)

Whereas social rewards involve praise and recognition from others psychological rewards come from personal feelings of self-esteem, self-satisfaction and accomplishment.

In general, extrinsic rewards (money or praise) come from the environment and intrinsic rewards (pleasure from a task) are self-granted. If an employee obtains extrinsic rewards he gets extrinsic motivated just like intrinsic rewards turn to an intrinsic motivated employee. In cultural context, however, intrinsic job characteristics are only high valued in rich countries with lower power distance and an individualistic culture.

Besides the different types of rewards, four organisation’s reward norms dictate the nature of exchange:

  • Profit maximisation: The objective to maximise its net gain in a selfish way. A profit-maximising employee would thereby seek maximum rewards and even leave the organisation for a better deal

  • Equity: The reward equity norm says that rewards should be in proportion to contributions. It is the most common phenomenon in cultures. The equity norm is driven by basic principles of fairness and justice but its cultural strength varies.

  • Equality: The reward equality norm is about rewarding all parties equally without considering their comparative contributions. As there is not absolute equality in hierarchical organisations, the gap between high-level and low-level employees is from importance. The smaller the pay gap, the better the individual and organisational performance.

  • Need: This norm states that distributing rewards should be according to employee’s need rather than their contributions.

The individual preference for reward-allocation norms and the social, cultural and political-economic context when implementing a reward system might enhance people’s job satisfaction and motivation.

There are three general criteria for the distribution of rewards:

  • Performance in terms of result (tangible outcomes)

  • Performance in terms of actions and behaviours

  • Non-performance consideration (where is type of job is rewarded)

Organisational Practices to stimulate a Performance culture are stated in table 6.7. Sometimes organisational reward systems do not achieve the desired motivational impact.

Financial rewards have an impact on the performance in three different ways:

  • Motivational: the sense that rewards make people try harder

  • Sending signals: paying an extra payment when the target is reached

  • ‘Worker sorting’ effect: organizations using rewards extensively tend to attract people valuing such rewards.

There are several issues to consider when deciding on the right balance between monetary and non-monetary rewards:

  • Employees value interesting work and recognition more than money

  • Extrinsic rewards can lose their motivating factor over time

  • Monetary rewards must be large enough to generate motivation

Pay should not be linked to goal achievement unless the performance goals are under the employees’ control, the goals are quantitative and measurable and large payments are made for performance achievement.

Group dynamics in organisations - Chapter 7

Groups and teams are an inescapable feature in our everyday life. The term ‘group’ can be defined as two or more freely interacting individuals who share collective norms and goals and have a common identity

Work teams, subparts of departments or other informal associations among organisational members are by definition a group.

The psychologist Rensis Likert views organisations as a collection of groups rather than individuals. According to Likert, groups have a psychological function and are more productive if they satisfy individual’s needs.

A formal group is formed by the organisation to help the organisation to accomplish a goal (e.g. work groups, team, committee). Functional reporting between subordinates and group managers is one characteristic of a command or functional group. The aim of a task group is to complete a particular task for a limited time. In organisations, employees can belong to a command group and to at least one task group.

An informal group evolves naturally and is not created on purpose by an organisation. There are two specific types of informal groups: friendship groups and interest groups.

Whereas friendship groups arise from common characteristics of people (age, ethnic background), interest groups develop because of a common interest or activity they belong to. Formal and informal groups often overlap which may be problematic as it can foster the productive teamwork on the job but also threaten the productivity by ‘gossip’.

Groups fulfill two basic functions: organisational and functional (shown in table 7.1). The social identity theory states that these functions are defined by personal social affiliations: Groups that are similar to ourselves reinforce the personal social identity and motivate the individual to belong to that group.

Social networks are social entities and the relations between them. They differ from groups or teams as they have no clear boundaries. Social networks or ‘shadow organisations’ can emerge in a given company or be prescribed.

In the field of research the social network analysis is a systematic and quantifiable collection and analysis of social relations. Emerged in the 1930s, the method has developed through the insights of statistics, social-psychology and sociology. The sociogram (shown in figure 7.1), is one output of a social network analysis. It concerns with the structure and patterning of relationships and identifies their causes and consequences. There are different types of individuals that can be identified:

  • Star (individual having large number of relations)

  • Isolate (individuals having no relations)

  • Bridge builder (individual connecting parts of the network)

Tuckman’s group development and formation process

Groups and teams go through a maturation process in identifiable stages. The psychologist Bruce W. Tuckman proposed in 1977 the five-stage model (Figure 7.2), which is akin to Maslow’s need hierarchy model.

  • Stage 1: Forming: Group members are uncertain and anxious about their roles. The mutual trust is low. If formal leader does not assert his/her authority, another leader emerges.

  • Stage 2: Storming: This is the time of testing the leader’s policies. Subgroups are shaped that can lead to procrastination. Some groups may stay in the second stage due to eruptions turning into rebellion

  • Stage 3: Norming: Power struggles are resolved as the new respected member becomes the leader. Questions about authority and power are resolved and team spirit develops. Members have found their proper roles.

  • Stage 4: Performing: The activity is focused on task problems. The climate is characterised by open communication, strong cooperation and helping behaviour. Instead of conflicts and job boundary disputes, the members are cohesive and personal committed to group goals.

  • Stage 5: Adjourning: The work is done so that members feel a compelling sense of loss

There are rituals celebrating the “end” or “new beginning”. Leaders emphasis the valuable lessons learn in group dynamics. Everyone gained new experiences.

Evidence has shown that Tuckmans’s performing stage, in what researchers called group decay, can be subdivided into:

  • De-norming: different standard of conduct towards the project among the members as their interest and expectation change

  • De-storming: Whereas sudden conflicts arise in the storming stage, slowly discontent comes up during the de-storming stage

  • De-forming: Work groups falls apart in subgroups. Group members isolate themselves from each other. As a result, performance declines rapidly.

A study concludes the following about group development:

  • Interpersonal feedback increases as the group develops through succeeding stages and becomes more specific during the group development.

  • Positive feedback increases and negative feedback declines as the group expands.

  • As the group develops, the interpersonal feedback gets more precise.

  • Further, the credibility of peer feedback increases as well as the amount of positive feedback.

In the early group development stages active, aggressive and task-oriented leadership behaviour are related to strong functioning. Supportive, decentralised and participative behaviour, on the other hand, leads to poorer functioning but lead to more productivity and satisfaction throughout the life of the group.

Roles are sets of behaviour that people expect of occupants of a position. Role theory attempts to explain how these social expectations influence employee behaviour

Role episode is composed of a snapshot of the ongoing interaction between two people (shown in Figure 7.3). At the beginning of any role episode, the role sender perceives the relevant organization’s or group’s behaviour requirements that serve as a standard for formulation expectations for the focal person’s behaviour. Then, the role sender evaluates the action behaviour of the focal person’s behaviour against those expectations followed by verbal and non-verbal messages. The focal person accurately or inaccurately perceives the communicated role expectations, which can be experienced as role overload, role conflict and role ambiguity. Then the focal person responds constructively by engaging.

Roles overload occurs as the total of what role senders expect of the focal person far exceeds his or her ability. Role conflict is experienced when various members of the role set expect various things of the focal person. This may be also the case when values, ethics or personal standards collide with others’ expectations.

Those who do not know what is expected of them experience role ambiguity. It can foster job dissatisfaction, cause lack in self-confidence and hamper job performance.

Task roles enable the work group to pursue a common purpose while maintenance roles keep the group together. In table 7.2, task and maintenance roles that need to be performed by group members are listed.

Norms are shared attitudes, opinions, feelings or actions that guide social behaviour. They evolve due to psychological and sociological mechanisms and have a powerful influence on group and organisational behaviour. Norms develop in the following four ways:

  • Explicit statements by supervisors or co-workers

  • Critical events in the group’s history

  • Primacy

  • Carry-over behaviours from past situations

Group members enforce norms for the following four reasons:

  • Group/organisation survive

  • Clarification of behavioural expectations

  • Avoidance of embarrassment

  • Clarification of central values/unique identity

Two different approaches determine the optimum group size: mathematical modelling and laboratory simulations.

The first approach, the mathematical modelling, includes building around certain desired outcomes of group action (e.g. decision quality). But this research is inconclusive due to differing assumptions and statistical techniques.

The second approach, the laboratory simulations, assumes that group behaviour needs to be observed first in controlled laboratory settings. This studies exploit that brainstorming productivity of ideas does not increase as the size of the group increases.

In general, the group size depends on the organisation’s objective. While a three- to five –member group would be appropriate to make high-quality decisions, a larger group could generate creative ideas and socialise new members. According to studies, the increase in group size leads to more directive group leaders and decreasing group member satisfaction.

Further, it was found that diverse dyads performed better than homogeneous sensing dyads that work on a complex task. However, that was the case when comparing them with homogeneous intuiting dyads. Several studies reveal that task-related diversity leads to greater effectiveness whereas relations-oriented diversity (e.g. gender, age) even inhibits effectiveness. Diversity may increase the knowledge pool but too much heterogeneity can make the communication between team members difficult.

The three major threats to group effectiveness are the Asch effect, groupthink and social loafing. Even though conformity to norms, role expectations, policies and rules need to be established in an organisation, there are two drawbacks: First, the pressure to conform suppresses creativity and influences members concerning their attitudes that are not of any organisational need. Second, blind conformity destroys creative thinking.

The psychologist Solomon Asch has shown in his study that naive subjects conform to 80 % to a majority opinions that is obviously wrong. He called the distortion of individual judgment by a unanimous but incorrect opposition the Asch effect.

Unlike Asch’s subjects, who are strangers to each other, members of groups involved in groupthink are tightly cohesive. It is the mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group and is a deterioration of mental efficiency that results from pressures. Symptoms are:

  • Invulnerability

  • Inherent mortality

  • Rationalisation

  • Stereotyped views of opposition

  • Self-censorship

  • Illusion of unanimity

  • Peer pressure

  • Mind guards

The last threat to group effectiveness is social loafing which refers to the tendency for individual effort to decline as group size increases. There are four explanations for the social loafing effect:

  • Equity of effort

  • Loss of personal accountability

  • Motivational loss due to sharing rewards

  • Co-ordination loss as more people perform the task

Laboratory studies have shown that social loafing occurs when the task is perceived to be unimportant or simple, group members thought their individual output is not identifiable and when members expect their co-workers to loaf. The following measures help to prevent social loafing:

  • All the members should have the role to evaluate the work.

  • Policy committees should not rubber-stamp decisions that have earlier been made.

  • To announce new perspectives, external experts and subgroup debates should be applied.

  • Use the devil's advocate when important issues are discussed.

  • Each group member should re-evaluate the decisions made.

How to perform teamwork - Chapter 8

Teams, Team work and effectiveness

Katzenbach and Smith defined the term ‘Team’ as a small number (between 2-25 members) of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable. The following conditions apply to a team: members of the group have shared goals and interact with each other to achieve those goals. Moreover, team members have well-defined and interdependent roles and an organisational function as team.

As organisations want to use effectively talents to improve performance of all groups, the contingency model for staffing work teams (Figure 8.2) would be appropriate. This way, it can also train and develop new talents whereas concentration of talent would lead to the maximised performance.

Within every team are different roles with its positive qualities and allowable weaknesses in order to be successful. Meredith Belbin identified in her framework nine roles that can be classified into do-roles, think-roles and social roles (shown in Table 8.1). In creative groups is a balance of all these roles that are complementary to each other.

Michael J. Stevens and Michael A. Campion developed a model for assessing one’s readiness for teamwork as also organisations need to make sure teams are staffed with skilled people. In Table 8.2, Interpersonal KSAs (the right Knowledge, Skills and Abilities) and the Self-management KSAs are divided up. The KSAs that are interpersonal are conflict resolution, collaborative problem solving and communication. The other KSAs that are involved in self-management are goal setting and performance management and planning and task co-ordination. Team-oriented organisations need to keep in mind to consider these KSAs when recruiting, hiring, staffing and training. But this alone is not enough: other characteristics such as personality also facilitate team functioning.

There are two effectiveness criteria for work teams: performance and variability. Whereas performance satisfies the need and expectations of outsiders (clients, customers and fans), team variability satisfies the team member’s willingness to contribute. The ecological model of work-team effectiveness (Figure 8.3) illustrates the interaction of work teams in their organisational context. It emphasises the need of an organisation life-support system. Six critical variables in the organisational context help work teams to be effective: strategy, structure, technology, culture, rewards system and administrative support/training. The five important factors of the internal processes of work teams are listed in Figure 8.3. The characteristics of an effective team are listed in table 8.3.

Why don't teams achieve their goals?

However, 80% to 100% of teams have difficulties in achieving their goals that may have the following reasons:

  • Hidden agendas

  • Lack of understanding and/or leadership

  • Wrong mix of team members

  • Unhealthy team environment

Figure 8.4 presents a summary of why work teams fail and what managers and team managers should bear in mind to avoid problems. The main threats, according to that figure, are unrealistic expectations leading to frustration, which, in turn, encourages people to abandon teams. Further, the common management mistakes involve doing a poor job of creating a supportive environment for teamwork.

Studies have shown that co-operation is superior to competition and to individualistic efforts in promoting achievement and productivity. Further, co-operation with intergroup competition promotes lower achievement and productivity.

What is team building?

Team building is a term for many techniques aimed at improving the internal functioning of work teams. They strive for greater cooperation, better communication and less dysfunctional conflict. Team building gives team members the possibility to struggle with simulated or real-life problems. Analysing the outcomes can then determine on how to improve the team processes. The four purposes of team building are according to Richard Beckhard:

  • to set goals

  • to analyse the way work is performed

  • to examine the way a group is working and its processes

  • to examine relationships among the people

An analysis of a survey states that high-performance teams have the following eight attitudes: Participative leadership, sharing responsibility, aligned on purpose, good communication, future focused, focused on task, creative talents and rapid response.

Self-management leadership is the process of leading others to lead themselves. It is assumed that self- managed teams fail if team members are not taught to engage in self-management behaviours. Hence, transition training that engages managers in self-management leadership behaviours, is necessary. There are six aspects of self-management leadership behaviour to develop team members’ self-management skills:

teach others to appreciate and motivate themselves, ask others to keep track of their own progress and expect much from themselves. Further, managers should expect team members to practice their skills and be critical of their own performance. Hence, instead of domination, empowerment is the primary goal.

The three most important components of teamwork are co-operation, trust and cohesiveness.

Co-operation occurs when individual efforts are integrated to achieve a collective objective. Morton Deutch showed how people’s beliefs are related to their interdependence: when acting in co-operation, people believe that goal attainment by other people will also foster their own goals but, in turn, believe that goal attainment by others will diminish their own when they are in competition. Hence, team members are in a ‘mixed motive’s situation.

Trust is the reciprocal (give-and-take) faith in other’s intentions and behaviour. The personality trait called propensity to trust includes one’s general willingness to trust others and is an element of organisational trust model. Trust involves a cognitive leap that is based on beyond the actual experience with another person. To trust someone means to have faith in somebody’s good intentions. However, the act of trusting someone also carries risks of betrayal. There are six guidelines for building and maintaining trust:

  • Communication: Tell the trust by informing team members and employees

  • Support: Provide any help and be approachable/available

  • Respect: Delegate authority and listen actively to others’ ideas

  • Fairness: Ensure that appraisals and evaluations are objective and impartial

  • Predictability: Keep to promises and be consistent and predictable

  • Competence: show your competences of good business sense

Cohesiveness is the process of togetherness. Team members that are cohesive stick together for the following reasons: the enjoyableness each others’ company and the need to accomplish a common goal. There are two types of cohesiveness:

  • Socio-emotional cohesiveness: this type of togetherness develops when individuals derive emotional satisfaction from team participation

  • Instrumental cohesiveness: this type of togetherness develops when team members are mutually dependent on one another as they do not believe in achieving the team’s goal alone

There is evidence to the connection between team cohesiveness and performance: In smaller cohesive teams the performance effect was strong. This effect becomes even stronger in military groups and sport teams. Further, this has also the most powerful impact on the commitment to the task. Regarding the performance, the tendency for success rather binds team members together.

However, cohesiveness does not minimise friction. To conclude, enhancing group performance is not likely to be effective by fostering interpersonal attraction.

Steps Managers can take to enhance the two types of cohesiveness are listed in table 8.4.

Erik Sundstrom developed the general typology of work teams and identified four general types of work teams: advice, production, project and action teams. Further, he examined these types by means of four key variables: the degree of technical specialisation and of co-ordination with other work units, work cycles and typical outputs.

Advice teams are formed to broaden the information base for decisions. They tend to have a low degree of technical specialisation and co-ordination. The second type of team, production teams, perform day-to-day operations, have a low degree of technical specialisation but a high degree of co-ordination as work flows from one team to another. Project teams, on the other hand, have a high degree of technical specialisation as they are specialised in that field. The degree of co-ordination is low for traditional units but high for cross-functional units. The last type of teams, action teams, have a high degree of technical specialisation and co-ordination. The only challenge for those teams is to perform at its peak on demand.

The three approaches to teams in action are:

  • quality circles,
  • virtual teams
  • and self-managed teams.

All have recognisable labels, some research evidence and range from low to high degrees of empowerment. The three types of teams are distinct but still overlap somehow.

In general, quality circles are also called parallel structures as they exist outside normal channels of authority and communication. On the other hand, self-managed teams are integrated into the organisational structure whereas virtual teams tend to be parallel.

Quality circles consist of small teams of people who work in the same field of activity and identify, analyse and recommend solution for problems. They (10-12 members) meet on regular basis during work hours once a week or twice a month. Management supports the quality circle programme by additional training. Not monetary rewards but intrinsic motivation is the primary reward for quality circle volunteers.

In the field of research, one expert made the conclusion that about 60% of quality circles failed due to poor implementation. However, the lack of standardised variables makes research on quality circle inconclusive.

Virtual teams

Virtual teams contain of individuals across various boundaries using the communication technology. They may be defined as a physically dispersed task team that conducts its business through modern information technology.

Whereas the spatial distance in virtual teams is distributed and the communication is mediated technologically, traditional team’s distance is proximal and the communication takes place in face-to-face meetings. In the dynamic global environments, virtual teams are beneficial due to flexibility, lower costs and improved resource utilisation. However, the lack of face-to-face interaction can weaken trust, communication and accountability that can lead to low individual commitment, role overload, role ambiguity, absenteeism and social loafing. The flow of conversation is in virtual teams disturbed because communication modalities (para-verbal and non-verbal) cannot be mediated. Further, difficulty in communication and understanding the salience of information and in interpreting the meaning of silence can cause problems. Hence, those teams are more task-oriented and less in the exchange of social-emotional information. To prevent geographical and organisational distance, trust that is not based on strong interpersonal relationships had to be established. The so-called ‘swift’ trust develops on social bonds formed by informal chats. Virtual teams that started with low levels of trust had a lack of social introduction, concern with technical uncertainties and a lack of enthusiasm whereas high level of trust showed high enthusiasm and extensive social dialogue. Repairing broken trust after a conflict between virtual team members is the most critical role for the e-team leader.

Research has proven that the group development in virtual teams is similar to that for face-to-face teams. However, virtual teams yield poorer decisions than face-to-face meetings. The team members in face-to-face groups, moreover, are more satisfied with the team’s outcome but the effectiveness of information exchange is the same in virtual and face-to-face teams. Team leaders in virtual teams need to consider two things to be effective: focus on results and recognise that virtual teams require better supervisory skills among existing managers. In table 8.7 eight recommendations of leadership in virtual teams are listed.

Self-managed groups

Self-managed teams are groups of workers that are given ‘administrative oversight’ such as planning, monitoring and staffing for their task domains. Those work groups supervise themselves and are referred to autonomous work groups are self-directed work groups. Team members share or rotate leadership and hold themselves mutually responsible. The former manager starts as a team leader and is responsible for keeping the project on track. During the team maturation, the former manager acts more as coach but remains member of the team. To determine whether on-the-job training and coaching is necessary, the team members measure their progress against the agreed-upon goals, approach, skills and competences. The most delegated tasks among companies with self-managed teams are work scheduling and dealing directly with customers.

Self-managed groups are a British concept from the 1940s that is often in place in Australia, Scandinavia, USA and the Netherlands. Team members of self-managed teams score high on group autonomy that empowers those who are able to handle additional responsibility. Group autonomy comprises three types: work method autonomy, work scheduling autonomy and work criteria autonomy.

Studies concluded that self-managed teams positively affect productivity and specific attitudes such as responsibility and control but negatively affect general attitudes and absenteeism. Other studies searched out that disciplinary actions must be handled by a group consensus and that group cohesiveness lead to higher performance. Further, societal values and personality need to be taken in consideration when implementing self-managed teams in multinational companies. The approach to better build a new production around self-managed teams than convert an existing one is called ‘greenfield sites’. However, most organisations cannot afford to apply to the Greenfield opportunities. As the organisational already adjusted to clear leadership it, in addition, is difficult to employ self-managed teams. Structural redesign is necessary to make the self-managed team be a part of the organisation. To encourage the new self-managed teamwork, goal setting and rewards need to be adapted.

Organisational climate - Chapter 9

Climate is the shared perception about what is important and appropriate in an organisation. The climate is determined by feelings, reflections and behaviour of people. It can change over time whereas culture is a state determined by history. Culture is resistant to change and is about the examination of underlying values and assumptions. Climate, however, only examines surface level manifestations. In Table 9, the eight dimensions of Climate Perceptions are listed.

The following items can assess climate and can take action to change climate:

  • Communication

  • Values

  • Expectations

  • Norms

  • Policies and Rules

  • Programs

  • Leadership.

A stereotype is an individual’s belief about characteristics of a group. Stereotypes are not always negative and accurate. They are used to differentiate groups of people from another and may create barriers. Stereotyping is a four-step process:

  • categorising people into groups (gender, age, rage ect.),

  • inferring that people within a category possess the same traits,

  • forming expectations

  • interpreting their behaviour.

Stereotypes are maintained by overestimating stereotypic behaviours, incorrectly explaining expected/unexpected behaviours and differentiating individuals from oneself. However, people that encounter information inconsistent with a stereotype are less apt to judge others.

Gender stereotype is the belief that men and women have different traits that make them suitable for different roles. These stereotypes still persist so that the ‘typical’ male has a job and a profession. Underlying trends, such as the dominating number of female students in the legal industry, slowly change the view on gender stereotypes. Glass ceiling is an invisible barrier separating women from advancing into top management positions. It exists because of the masculine culture in the highest corporate echelons. Career advancement is hard for women as there are stereotyped as being focused on the needs of family.

Age stereotypes concern the discrimination of age. Older people, for instance, are seen as less satisfied and motivated than younger workers. However, evidence proves otherwise: the job satisfaction increases with the age.

Regarding ethic and racial stereotypes, there are three trends that suggest ethic minorities experience their own glass ceiling: they are advancing less in the professional ranks, earn less and experience companies that are unwilling to hire them.

Evidence shows that managing diversity is competitive advantage as it:

  • Lower costs and improves employee attitudes

  • Improves recruiting efforts

  • Increases sales,market share and corporate profits

  • Increases creativity and innovation

  • increases group problem-solving and productivity

Equality means to an organisation to achieve equality of opportunity by laws. Important directive agreed by the EU in 2000 referred to the outlawing discrimination in the workplace. Managing diversity enables people to perform to their maximum. It is about changing an organisation’s culture so that people provide the highest productivity. Barriers to Diversity Management are listed in Table 9.2. In addition, there are eight action options that can be used to address diversity issues:

  1. Include/exclude: the goal to increase or decrease the number of diverse people

  2. Deny: this option is used by people denying the existence of differences

  3. Assimilate: Diverse people learn to fit the dominant group

  4. Suppress: differences are discouraged in this approach

  5. Isolate: Diverse people are set off to the side and hence unable to influence organizational change

  6. Tolerate: differences are acknowledged but not valued or accepted

  7. Build relationships: it addresses diversity by fostering relationship with acceptance and understanding

  8. Foster mutual adaption: people recognise and accept differences. The way on how to manage diversity is based on the context of the organisation. Ann Morrison made a study on how to successfully manage diversity. As a result, she classified three main types: accountability, development and recruitment. In Table 9.5 the top 10 practices associated with each type are presented.

Three diversity practices are shown:

  • Accountability practices refer to manager’s responsibility to treat diverse employees the same.

  • Development practices emphases on preparing diverse employees for greater responsibility.

  • Recruitment practices focus on attracting job applicants that are willing to accept challenges.

Work stress results from many factors such as fundamental changes (increased competition, work pressure), technological advancements (mobile phones, email, the Internet), the dynamics of modern life and motivation to reach extrinsic goals (money, status).

The term ‘stress’ is a response of individual characteristics that result from any external action and places physical/psychological demands upon a person. Stressors are environmental demands that product such a response.

Stress causes one basic reaction: fight-or-flight response. It means to either run away or accept stressors. This stress response involves hormonal changes mobilising the body for extreme demands. It can lead to headaches, insomnia and high blood pressure or outward symptoms such a exhaustion, aching limbs and depression. Hans Selye stated that both positive and negative events cause an identical stress response. Further, a positive outcome as a result of stress is referred to as ‘eustress’. Moreover, Selye said that stress can have positive consequences and should not be avoided. The absence of stress is, according to Selye, death. Hence, moderate amount of stress is beneficial.

Robert Karasek developed the job demand-control model (figure 9.1) that focuses on the stress factors inherent in the work organisation. It consists of three dimensions: psychological demand of a job, amount of autonomy and social support. He figured out that only the combination of high psychological demand and low autonomy triggered work stress. A lack of social support can even reinforce this negative effect. But people do not experience the same level of stress for a given type of stressor. Women perceive interpersonal conflicts more stressful than men and the belief of having control over the stressors leads to lower levels of stress. Stressful life events (e.g. death of a family member) can create stress because it includes significant changes.

Stressors are essentials for stress. Figure 9.2 shows the four most important types of stressors: individual, group, organisational and those outside the organisation. Individual stressors are directly linked with an individual's work responsibilities. Group stressors arise because of group dynamics and managerial behaviour. Organisational stressors have influence on a large amount of employees. Extra-organisational stressors arise because of factors outside the organisation. Perceived stress is a person's general impression about how different stressors affect his or her life. Stress can have phsychological/attitudinal, behavioural, cognitive and physical health consequences.

Burnout is a stress-induced problem that occurs over time and does not involve a specific feeling. It has an impact on employee well-being. Characteristics of Burnout are listed in table 9.6. Burnout develops in three phases: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and feeling a lack of personal accomplishment (see Figure 9.3. Personal stressors (e.g. high expectations) and job stressors (e.g. role overload, role conflict) can lead to the first phase of stress: emotional exhaustion. Over time, it can turn into depersonalisation so that the individual feels ineffective and being unappreciated. The effects of all three phases are several negative attitudinal and behavioural symptoms of burnout.

Studies revealed that women rated life events as more stressful than men. Further, burnout was positively related to job stressors and turnover intentions but negatively related to supportive resources. In addition, the order of phases of burnout is not completely proved to be true. Finally, the employees’ work demand was more strongly correlated to stress than employees’ perception of resources at work.

To reduce burnout, organisations buffer its effects. This includes increased autonomy, support from the management and recognition for accomplishment. Organisations can also change the content of the job to reduce burnout. Moderators are variables that can either weaken or strengthen the effects of stressors. The awareness of moderators can reduce the negative outcomes of stress.

Social relationships can help people to better handle stress. Social support is measured in regard to the quantity and quality of an individual’s social relationship. The mechanism of social support is illustrated in Figure 9.8. Support network evolve from cultural norms, social institutions, companies, groups or individuals that provide four types of support:

  • Esteem support

  • Informational support

  • Social companionship

  • Instrumental support

While global social support is broad in scope, functional social support is narrower. People with low social support tend to have poorer immune systems functioning and die earlier. Negative social support can negatively affects one’s mental health.

Coping is the process of managing external or internal demands that exceed the resources of the person. It reduces the impact of stress and enhances the personal life and professional skills (see Figure 9.5). Situational factors are characteristics from the environment that affect how people interpret stressors (e.g. the ambiguity of a situation). Personal factors are personality traits that have an impact on the appraisal of stressors. Other traits such as self-esteem, optimism and self-efficacy also affect the appraisal of stressors. An individual’s overall perception of a stressor is reflected in the cognitive appraisal that can result in a categorisation of harmful, threatening or challenging stressor. Then, specific behaviours and cognitions are used to cope with the situation (coping strategies). There are three coping strategies:

  • Control strategy

  • Escape strategy

  • Symptom management strategy

More and more organisations implement a variety of stress-reduction programmes to help employees cope with stress. There are different individual stress-reduction techniques such as the muscle relaxation. Further techniques to reduce stress are listed in Table 9.5.

What organisational structures and types exist? - Chapter 10

Every aspect in life is at least indirectly influences by a certain type of organisation. We use organisations for food, clothing, work and education. Organisations protect us and provide us recreation, security, protection, transportation and information. Some organisations seek profit, while other organisations don’t. Some organisations are small, while other organisations are big. However the type or context is, organisations have in common that they form a context for organisational behaviour.

How can we define an organisation?

Organisations are defined as a system of coordinated activities. An organisation exists to get things done for a group of people. All organisations have four things in common: division of labour, hierarchy in authority, coordination of effort and the people in an organisation have a common goal. These factors are called the determinants of organisational structure. In order to describe organisational structure, we need more than precision. Organisations can be given labels. These labels depend on the type of organisation one is dealing with. Some of the most common types are simple, functional, divisional, matrix and ad hoc types. Ascribing an organisation to a type depends on how the work is organised. Also, there are three additional dimensions that give information about the core of an organisation. The level of centralisation tells something about how decisions are made and where people coordinate. The level of formalisation tells about coordination: what can be said about the standardised coordinated procedures? Organisational differentiation tells something about how the work is divided and it also tells something about the specific organisation of daily work activities.

Organisations have goals and structures to reach these goals. The goals people in an organisation have in common are the things that connect these people and they are the reason to exist (raison d’être). Goals can change or be reached. Some organisation have a real goal (like building a supermarket) and when this goal is reached, the organisation will seize to exist. Other organisation stay together for a long time, because they have infinitive goals (transporting people). In an organisational chart one can see how work is divided and which person is in charge. Every person or function is depicted as a rectangle and the different levels (hierarchy) are depicted. However, an organisational chart is oversimplified. A real structure of an organisation is more complex and with that chart one can’t understand the implications of the organisation structure.

What are the elements of an organisational structure?

An organisational structure says something about the division of labour, the hierarchy of authority and the common goals. Such a structure also tells more about the boundaries within that structure, the informal and political structures and how the authority is founded.

How are the responsibilities and the labour divided?

An organisation can do so much more than a single individual. That’s because an organisation can take on bigger projects with more people and more people will finish something quicker than a few people. The work needs to be divided. People can specialize in one or a couple of well-defined tasks. If you do something a lot of times, you will become good at it. However, each task needs to fit in to the whole picture. Specialisation can be horizontal or vertical. Horizontal specialisation is about how many different activities are covered by a job. Pressing a button is a job with little horizontal specialisation, but cleaning a building, by washing the floors, emptying the bins, cleaning the toilets, is more horizontal. Vertical specialisation is about how much a person is involved in the execution and the administration of activities.

Some economists have calculated that productivity increases between 240 and 4800 because of specialisation. However, specialisation does have its disadvantages. Work can become boring. If you keep pressing one button, you will probably get bored. This may demotivate you to do your job. Organisations need to balance the advantages of specialisation and differentiation. Differentiation occurs by dividing the work and technical specialisation. One outcome of differentiation is that specialists in one field think differently than specialists in another field. However, if everyone is differentiating and there is too much differentiation, there won’t always be proper communication. There therefore also needs to be integration in an organisation. According to research, successful organisation have a high degree of differentiation and integration. Unsuccessful organisations don’t have a high degree of these two. In those organisations, there is no good balance between too much differentiation and not enough integration. Managers need to find and keep a balance between the increasing differentiation and a proper integration and coordination.

Which advantages do coordination of work and the right to make decisions have on organisations?

The division of work asks for the coordination to execute activities of an organisation. Coordination can be seen as a mechanism that processes information. Before coordination can take place, one needs to have information about the goals and tasks of an organisation. Coordination can be vertical or horizontal. Vertical is about direct supervision, formal rules and plans. Horizontal coordination is about different comities and liaison roles. Some coordinated tasks have become a routine and these can be carried out by a standard set of procedures. Other (unusual) situations need meetings, comities and cooperation. Every form of coordination has its advantages and disadvantages. Different forms of standardisation are ways to coordinate tasks. The standardisation of work means that different task are specified in a good manner and tasks become routine. Standardisation of output means that the results of a task are specified. This is about what needs to be accomplished, not how it needs to be accomplished. Standardisation of skills means that people with the same skills are being hired, like lawyers at a law firm. Standardisation of norms means that people are trained, influenced and hired because they have the same norms. These norms determine how people execute the tasks. Formalisation shows the level of rights and duties of employees. The bigger the organisation, the more formalisation is needed to maintain control. When there are many informal groups in an organisation and not much hierarchy, there is less formalisation.

In organisations, decisions need to be made in one way or the other. A hierarchy of authority is present in organisations. This hierarchy determines the communication network. Unity of command means that every employee needs to only report to one manager. When people need to report to more managers, organisations can become inefficient because conflicting orders can be present. The army has a unity of command. Managers need to make decisions. However, the manager of the accountancy department shouldn’t make decisions about marketing. Decisions needs to be made by people who are best informed about a subject.

What are the boundaries of an organisation and the other structural elements?

Coordination and taking decisions is also a matter of boundary. Supermarkets don’t make a lot of their own products. They often do produce some of their bread, but most products are delivered by other companies. Setting boundaries is about vertical integration (how many levels of production do we want?) and horizontal integration (how many different cases do we want to use?). This is also called the make-or-buy decision.

Every organisation has a formal and informal structure. People who work often together, will at a certain point develop relationships with each other that surpass the formal boundaries. Structures change throughout time and because of external influences. A big example of this is IT. Because of IT, many things in an organisation have changed.

What are the different organisational forms?

Organisation charts show the organisational form. Without text, you can’t understand the organisation form. You would only be able to see rectangles and you won’t understand what rectangle is which employee. In small organisation, one manager is enough. When more people enter an organisation, the amount of people a manager needs to maintain a relationship with, increases. When there is one manager and there are two employees, there are three relationships that need to be maintained (the manager with employee A, the manager with employee B and the relationship between employee A and employee B). If an extra employee comes into the picture, six relationships need to be maintained. The number of relationships grows faster than the amount of employees. The amount of employees a manager controls, is called the span of control. When an organisation gets large enough, it goes from a simple form to a functional form. This form has more managers and every department is led by a manager. Grouping people with the same background and tasks together facilitates the internal collaboration, control and efficiency. Sometimes, managers have too many problems and information to deal with and may lead to information overload. With a formal organisation, more coordination and cooperation is needed between the divisions than with a simple organisation.

Some organisations have decided to deal with things that don’t have much in common. In divisional organisations, all components of an organisation fall within the boundaries of the division. The units need to report to the division manager. Divisions can be organised in different ways (location, income). Every division can function as a profit centre and as an independent business. It can easily be put into an organisation or removed from an organisation. The headquarters of the corporation determines the goals of the division and decides how much autonomy a division will get. A division has different advantages. One of the advantages is that the division is closer to the market and therefore is able to act better on insecurities than a big headquarters. A disadvantage is that divisions can compete against each other.

Some organisations have a matrix form. This can be seen in figure 10.5. A matrix form is used when functional specialisation and cross-functional integration is needed. In a matrix form, every member of an organisation is part of a functional division and of a project. An advantage of a matrix is that functional expertise and product expertise are combined. Another advantage is that the additional values and use of individual experts are maximised. A disadvantage is that confusion can arise about the responsibilities and that conflicts can arise because of dual lines of authority.

Simple organisations are small, centralised, they have little differentiation, specialisation or formalisation and they rely on direct supervision. When organisations increase, functional organisations come into existence. The divisional form of an organisation is for large organisations (matrix form).

What organisational types exist?

Organisational forms and organisational types are different. Types are about the consistency of structural elements: division of labour, coordination and hierarchy of authority. A big change has occurred in organisational types the last couple of decades and these changes are based on the changes in companies. The first big companies at the beginning of the 20th century were focused on control, efficiency, developing mechanisms and bureaucracy. Later on, people realised mechanical organisations had shortcomings and more organisational types came into existence, like organic organisations (flexible organisations). Organisations can also be categorised as do-organisations and think-organisations. Organisations were focused on executing tasks efficiently, but nowadays organisations are more complex and more emphasis is on thinking and analysing of the environment,

What are bureaucratic organisations?

Max Weber used to think that the bureaucracy was the best form of an organisation. According to him, there were different types of organisations, all based on power and authority. The most ideal one, according to Weber, bases power and authority on objective criteria: the bureaucratic organisation. In bureaucratic organisations the rules and procedures are based on rationality and not on personality or habits. In bureaucratic organisations the roles are well defined and focused on the maximisation of efficiency. An organisation is a combination of roles and tasks and power arise from certain roles. Making decisions is completely rational and there are many rules, procedures and much control. This results in flexibility, complexity and inefficiency. People find it hard to function in these structures and Weber’s model has (because of this) a bad reputation. According to Weber, there are four factors that make bureaucratic models efficient:

  • A hierarchy of authority

  • Division of labour: people become proficient in standardised tasks when they keep on doing these tasks

  • Administrative impersonality: decisions about hiring and promotion should be based on competence, not on favouritism.

  • Rules: strict rules will result in predictable behaviour

Bureaucracies come in handy when people want standardised and uniform behaviour, but extreme forms of bureaucracy will result in dysfunction and inefficiency. Nowadays, bureaucracy is associated with being put on hold, being send from one building to another and waiting in line.

What are mechanistic and organic organisations?

Mechanistic organisations are rigid bureaucracies with strict rules, top-down communication and narrow defined tasks. An example of this is working at the McDonalds. Every job is divided into little steps and the whole process is automated. Organic organisations are flexible and exists of individuals with multiple talents and who perform more than one task. In mechanistic organisations, central decisions are taken, while this isn’t the case with organic organisations. The latter form is able to adapt better to the changing situation.

What are Mintzberg’s organisational types?

Mintzberg’s work has seven organisational types. According to Mintzberg there are five components in every organisation that reflects five types of tasks:

  • Strategic apex: managers and directors

  • Middle line: middle line managers have the responsibility over sub-elements of the organisation activities and the authority over the employees

  • Operating core: employees responsible for the core tasks of an organisation

  • Techno structure: staff members who take care of the administrative processes of the job of the core members (human resources, planning, accountants)

  • Supportive staff members: staff members who take care of the operational tasks, like communication, IT and marketing

The first of the seven types is the entrepreneurial organisation. This is a small organisation and it’s quit informal. The manager can control, manage and coordinate everything. This type can be found in start-ups, local firms and local supermarkets. These organisations came into existence to promote a new idea or product. A second type is the mechanical organisation. This can be found in bigger organisations that are active in mass production. Control and efficiency are important. The third type is the diversified organisation. These organisaions arise when a company expands its business. These companies have multiple products that are usually not related to each other. The size and diversity result in the company not being integrated very well and because of this, semi-autonomous companies must arise. The fourth type is the professional organisation. An example of this is a university. The professionals work in a functional structure, but independent of each other and with large decision-making capacities. This won’t result in informal flexible structures, but in bureaucratic organisations with strict rules and procedures. The flexibility is low, but the tasks are stable and routine, which results in standardisation. There is not much cooperation and integration between the different groups of professionals. An innovative organisation is organic and it’s the opposite of a bureaucratic form. The teamwork, decentralisation, little authority and rules and bottom-up decision making, will result in flexibility and a high degree of innovation and adaptability. However, efficiency is low and there is little control in the organisation. A missionary organisation is about a mission employees have in common. The values, norms and mission are what keeps the organisation together and a charismatic leader is present who looks over this mission. The operations within the company are decentralised, but there is a strong centralisation because of leadership. The leader is the one who binds the members of the organisation and he/she coordinates the tasks. Lastly, there is also a political organisation. This one is dominated by power and politics. All structural characteristics can be taken away in this organisation. Politics is the most important thing in this organisation. Hierarchical power is also undermined by political games.

What are some of the new organisation types?

The last couple of decennia have seen many new organisational types come into existence. The recent forms are less hierarchical than the classic forms and these new forms try to find more flexibility in their structure. Twenty years ago, people tried to make their organisations leaner. An organisation can become more lean by more decentralisation, focussing on core components and products, strategic alliance and networks and creating more flexibility. Flexibility can focus on different dimensions of an organisation, like the number of employees, divisions, products, costs, markets and production. However, flexibility is a threat to the integration of the organisation. Strong integration can’t be combined easily with leanness. New organisational types are developed because people want to act with more complexity. Companies have become more complex and people need to adjust to that.

Vertical organisations have functional units like marketing, finance and production, but horizontal organisations are built to satisfy the core processes of the customers. Horizontal organisations don’t just focus on the functional or financial goals, but they also try to satisfy the customer. The work is made more simple and related tasks are combined. In horizontal organisations, most employees are closely related to customers and they ask the clients questions, get feedback and they solve the customers’ problems. Employees will sometimes divide their time between different projects. However, the bit change will result in interpersonal conflict and personal stress. Another disadvantage is that making the customers happy might go against the costs and efficancy.

The hourglass organisation gets its name from the narrow middle. Middle managers aren’t needed constantly, because we have modern information technology which helps to coordinate the effort of different employees. There is much competition for promotion between the employees. A network organisation looks like a horizontal organisation. The links between the groups in the organisation are reciprocal communication patterns instead of hierarchical authority relations. The networks are formed around the same interests, tasks, products and goals. In that kind of organisation, trust and social control exist as forms of informal integration of the tasks. Virtual organisations are organisations that can reach something with the help of information technology, despite the geographical scatter of employees. These members usually don’t have face-to-face meetings, but they trust in e-mail and voicemail messages. Nowadays, Skype is also used. There are also organisations that arise to do a project. These are called project organisations. The resources are used for one or a couple of these projects. There are projects leaders and supporting staff members to do the administration. There are also platform organisations that combine the new flexible types with the classical organisational types. These are especially used in Japanese organisations. This has a hierarchical top structure, with flexible teams and a strong middle management that plays a role in the integration of the organisation and in combining the horizontal and vertical structures. Many of the new forms of organisation try to solve the coordination problems (through decentralisation). However, the costs will rise again and this will result in performances with which people aren’t happy with. Centralisation will control the costs, the financial performances will increase and people will be happy again. Then, decentralisation will follow again and this circle will continue.

What are the organisational designs? - Chapter 11

What is organisational fit?

The interaction between the way an organisation is construed and the situation in which an organisation is operating can be a fit or a misfit. The system theory approach states that every element belongs to a certain sub-system of a system that belongs to a higher order. A hierarchy of systems goes from the most simple form to the most complex form and the workings of the complex systems is based on the workings of the lower subsystems. The organisation can be seen as an open system which is in contact with its environment, the departments of the organisation can be seen as a subsystem and the individuals in these departments can also be seen as subsystems. There are open and closed systems. The difference between these two kinds is the degree. Every system can be partially open and partially closed and the big question that arises is: how big of a role does the environment play in the functioning of the system? Organisations dependent on their environment for the resources, but they are also influenced on different ways by their environment. There are no organisations that are completely closed, but some are more dependent on their environment than others. Closed systems don’t just look at the influences of the environment, but they adapt to their environment and they create a stable harmony with the environment. Open systems constantly keep having an interaction with the environment and this has a preference for these systems (instead of a stable harmony).

What is the contingency approach?

The contingency approach looks at a certain way at organisational fit. According to this approach, organisations are more effective when they are construed or designed to meet the needs of the situation. The contingency variables are technology, environment, culture, size, strategy and structure. A design based on contingency seeks a fit between these variables and a fit between structural variables and external contingencies. According to this approach, these problems are caused by a lack of fit. Research has shown that organisations loose profit when there is no good fit.

The environment brings a lot of insecurity and many organisations have to deal with many influences of the environment they can’t control. Those influences can arise because of different factors. Insecurity is caused because we can’t predict differences and because we can’t understand the complexity of the environment. Duncan has developed a two-dimensional model to classify the needs of the environment. You can see this in table 11.1. On the horizontal axis, there is a simple and complex axis. This axis focuses on the amount and the degree of equality of the factors in the environment. On the vertical axis, you can find the static-dynamic dimension. This dimension makes a distinction between the factors that stay the same over time and the things that change. When these two dimensions are combined, there are four situations that can tell something about the degree of insecurity of an organisation:

  • Simple and static: low perceived insecurity

  • Simple and dynamic: moderate high perceived insecurity

  • Complex and static: moderate low perceived insecurity

  • Complex and dynamic: high perceived insecurity

Some scientists have used this model and adapted it a bit (they added more elements). Mintzberg has added hostility and environmental diversity. Diversity means an organisation deals with different products or markets. Lowering the organisational diversity will result in less complexity. The contingency approach and the open-system approach think that the environment decides the organisational structure. Other scientists think that this isn’t the case. They think that factors like corporate strategy, size and core technology are leading for organisational structure.

How do strategy, size and design fit into contingency?

Strategies are processes that are design to create values, possibilities to seek and to reach goals. Some people think that structure follows strategy. Some scientists have found that structure can have an influence on strategy. It looks like structure and strategy influence each other mutually. Porter has developed three strategies to get a competitive advantage over organisations that are in the same market. These three strategies are cost leadership (products are offered at a low price and based on efficient low cost production), differentiation and focus (choosing a niche in the market in which the competition is low or absent). The two latter strategies ask for a structure in which close contact with customers is available. Miles and Snow have designed a typology of strategies that consists out of four categories. The first is defenders. These are organisations with little products or markets, but they are efficient in serving these markets. They can defend their markets by having small unit costs. The second category is analyser. Those organisations have their companies in a stable environment in which they emphasise efficiency and they don’t have to change their structure or products. The defender strategy looks at the environment and is ready to change when needed. The third category is prospector and these organisations are very innovative and they continuously seek change in their products, markets, processes and structure. They are doing this to be a step ahead of their competition. Efficiency is not important for this group. The fourth and last category is reactors. These are organisations that are forced by their environment to change and to react. They will only change when they are forced to change and this will result in a bad fit between structure and strategy.

Another contingency variable is organisation size. This has two ideas. The first is the ‘bigger is better’ model and this model states that the costs per unit decrease when the organisation blossoms. Bigger is seen as more efficient. The second model is called the ‘small is beautiful’ model. This approach states that big organisations and sub-units are plagued by expensive behavioural problems. Big and impersonal organisations can cause apathy and estrangement and this may result in the employees staying away. Size is important because it has an influence on the fit between the other contingency and structural elements. New results show that it’s better for the managers to follow a middle way between bigger is better and small is beautiful. This, because both models are too simple to explain everything.

What effect does technology have on structure?

Technology can be seen as a contingency variable. Many scientist who have studied organisations, looked at the relationship between structure and technology. Technology are all the processes, ways and instruments that are available in the organisation to let the organisation reach the goals it wants to reach. Woodward is one of the first who has found effective and ineffective structural patterns of technology in a company. According to her, there are three levels of complexity based on the type of production: small productions, mass productions and flow productions (continuous). The higher the complexity, the more specialisation and supervision is needed. James Thompson made another design based on technology. According to him there are different types of inter-dependency. One looks at the dependency between the members in relation to the tasks. There are three forms: pooled (tasks are handed from top to bottom), sequential (a task is handed from one person to the next, left to right) and reciprocal (tasks can be handed from left to right and from top to bottom and vice versa). A pooled tasks has a standardised coordination (like restaurant meals), sequential tasks have planning and schemes (computers) and reciprocal tasks have a common adaptation (product development). Many more models have been developed throughout the years.

What is the critique on the contingency approach?

Of course, people have critique on the contingency approach. One of the things people say, is that organisations exist out of processes and not out of stable structural elements. It has everything to do with processes that evolve continuously. Critics say that organisations, their processes and their environment don’t stay the same and that it is therefore impossible to find a proper fit between the elements. Another point of critique is that organisations don’t have much influence on their environment. Organisations need other organisations to get their resources and this will result into a natural source of insecurity. Researchers say that the contingency theory might come in handy, even if it is criticized. It offers us a systematic way to study organisational structures.

One study that looked at 97 small and medium big firms in Canada, showed that strategy and organisational structure are dependent of each other. Strategy had an influence on the structure and structure had an influence on strategy. This was especially the case with large, more innovative and successful companies. Many studies on the relation between technology and structure came to different conclusions. Evidence for contingency is problematic. First, scientists can only study companies that exist. Of course, there have been many companies that have tried to change, but that have not succeeded and (because of this) don’t exist anymore. The failure of the company may have been caused by the wanted change or it can be completely unrelated to that. These companies are (of course) not taken into the studies on company change.

What is organisation effectivity?

Organisation effectivity is the degree in which an organisation can reach its goals. It is difficult to answer if the organisation is effective. What do we look at? An organisation goal may be clear, but it is difficult to decide what criteria are going to be used to see if an organisation is moving towards the goal. There are four general effectivity criteria to decide whether an organisation is effective or not. These criteria can be used for small and big organisations and also for profit and non-profit organisations. These four criteria are:

  • Goal accomplishment: the organisational results are compared to goals. Deviations from these goals ask for action.

  • Resource acquisition

  • Strategic constituencies satisfaction: the expectations of important groups are met. Sometimes, this is difficult, because involved groups can have contradictive interests. For example, stakeholders want to have a high dividend, while consumers want to have low prices.

  • Internal processes: The organisation functions properly and with minimal resistance. Employees are loyal and satisfied with their job and there is proper exchange of information.

The goals of organisations have changed throughout the years. In the 1960s, companies tried to reach maximum efficiency. In the 1970s, people tried to increase the quality and decrease the costs. There was more competition between countries and customers wanted to get more and more. In the 1980s flexibility turned into a new goal. Customers asked a lot and there was a lot of competition, but because of the new technological inventions, companies could keep their head above water and become more flexible. According to some scientists, only companies that can combine conflicting goals (efficiency and flexibility) will survive.

Experts advise to look at the multidimensional approach to assess the effectivity of modern organisations. There is not a single criterion to assess all the phases of an organisation. Different criterion points need to be combined. In order to find a proper combination of effective criteria, one needs to prepare things. The goals need to be clear and measurable.

How can company decline be seen?

The downward spiral of an organisation is called organisational decline. It is defined as the decline in the resources of a company. Resources are in this case money, clients, talent, products and innovative ideas. Experts claim that decline is inevitable, unless deliberate steps are taken to prevent it. The first step is recognizing the signals of decline.

Managers who see the first signals of decline, can react on time and push reorganisations through in an effective way. Some signals are too many employees, tolerance for incompetence, few clear goals, decline of effective communication, resistance to change, lowered innovation and low morale. In companies in which little or no development has taken place in top directors, problems are ascribed to competition, the government and technological changes. In companies with many new employees, problems are ascribed to internal processes.

It’s usually advised to do something about organisational deterioration when things are going well. During successful periods, the seeds of deterioration are sawn. When things to well, people are too confident and not attentive. However, the world is changing and new competitors are coming. New technologies are replacing the old technologies. These external powers can make an organisation irrelevant. It’s not always the fault of a manager. Some things in life can’t just be prevented.

Organisational culture - Chapter 12

Edgar Schein defined culture as a pattern of key assumptions which are considered true. Culture comes in layers, from the inside to the outside these layers are: implicit basic assumptions, norms and values, and artefacts and products. See figure 12.

Employees are influenced by two kinds of cultures: societal culture and organisational culture, see figure 12.2.

Organisational culture are shared values and beliefs, which are hidden in the organisation identity. Three characteristics are:

  • Organisational culture is passed on to new employees by the solicitation process.

  • Organisational culture has influence on behaviour at the workforce.

  • Organisational culture works at two levels: Artefacts (visible) and values and beliefs (less or not visible)

The five key components of organisational values are:

  • Organisational values are concepts or beliefs

  • Refer to wanted results of behaviours

  • Overstep situations

  • A direct selection or assessment of behaviour and happenings

  • Arranged by comparative importance

Two kinds of values are Espoused values and enacted values.

  • Espoused values are explicit values, which are chosen by a founder or the top management.

  • Enacted values are implicit values, which represent actual employee behaviour.

Figure 12.3 shows a typology of organisational values. Organisation power structure is combined with organisational reward norms, which leads to four types of value systems:

  • Elite: centralised; equitable

  • Meritocratic: decentralised; equitable

  • Leadership: centralised; egalitarian

  • Collegial: decentralised; egalitarian

Figure 12.4 shows a model for observing and interpreting general manifestations of organisational culture. The four basic manifestations are objects (shared things), talk (shared sayings), behaviour (shared doings) and emotion (shared feelings).

The organisational culture has four functions: Sense-making device, Social system stability, Collective Commitment and Organisational Identity.

When flexibility is combined with internal/external focusses, we find four types of organisation cultures:

  • Adaptability culture: creativity and innovation

  • External control culture: market share, goal achievement and competition

  • Development culture: teamwork, cohesion and participation

  • Internal consistency culture: consistency, respect for hierarchy and rules

See figure 12.5.

Organisational solicitation is the process where new members learn to be part of the culture. The three phases are:

  • Anticipatory solicitation: the learning that takes place before the participant becomes part of the organisation.

  • Encounter: the participant observes what the organisation's culture implies.

  • Change and acquisition: the participant understands the skills and roles and adapts to values and norms.

During phase 1, the participant has to deal with a realistic job preview (RJP), which means that the participant gets an truthful view of the company. During phase 2, the participant experiences a reality shock, which are the surprised feelings after enduring unforeseen situations or events.

Normative beliefs are people’s expectations and thoughts about how members of an organisation approach their work and interact with others.

A strong culture is not always a good thing because it may override a system’s goals. The central values of a culture are more important than its strength. Culture stems from a founder’s beliefs. To embed a culture involves a process where organisational members teach each other by using the following mechanism:

  • Formal statements of the organisation (philosophy, mission, vision)

  • Design of physical space, work environments and buildings

  • Slogans and language

  • Role modelling, training programmes, coaching

  • Explicit rewards, status symbols

  • Stories, legends and myths

  • Organisational activities

  • Leader reactions to organisational crises

  • Workflow and organisational structure

  • Organisational systems and procedures

  • Organisational goals and criteria used for employee recruitment

Intercultural differences: cultural differences between countries and regions.

Intercultural aspects which are necessary in the recent globalising world:

  • Ethnocentrism: the belief that one’s native country, culture, language and modes of behaviour are superior to all others. It can be managed through education, greater cross-cultural awareness and international experience.

  • High-context and low-context cultures: high context consists of social trust, personal relations and goodwill and agreement by general trust. It is verbal. China/Korea. Low context consist of ‘business first’, expertise and performance, agreement by specific, legalistic contracts and efficient negotiations. It is non-verbal. Western countries.


Hostede’s cultural dimensions

  • Power distance: inequality in social constitutions

  • Individualism vs. collectivism: the bon between individuals and societal groups, loose / tight

  • Masculinity vs. femininity: to what extent do people embrace competitive masculine traits (assertiveness) and / or nurturing feminine traits (solidarity)?

  • Uncertainty avoidance: to what extent do people prefer structured vs. unstructured situations?

  • Long-term vs. short-term orientation: to what extent do people orientate towards future (saving and being persistent) or to the present/past (traditions)?

Conclusions from Hofstede’s research

  • Varying cultural values, theories and practices need to be adapted to the local culture.

  • Only high long-term orientation correlated positively with national economic growth.

  • Industrious cultural values are a necessary but insufficient condition for economic growth.


Trompenaars developed five dimensions according to a research about the cultural differences between 28 countries.

  • Universalism – Particularism: the first focusses on rules, legal contracts, ‘deal is a deal’. The second focusses on relationships, no legal contracts.

  • Individualism – Collectivism: the first uses ‘I’, prefer to achieve things alone and assume personal responsibility. The second uses ‘we’, prefer to achieve things within a group.

  • Neutral – Emotional: the first does not express what he or she thinks/feels and feels does not feel comfortable with physical contact outside his or her ‘private’ cycle. The second express his or her feelings and thoughts immediately and is easy with physical contact.

  • Specific – Diffuse: the first is more open in public space and more closed in private space. He or she separates work and private life. The second is more closed in public space and more open in private space. Work and private life is closely linked.

  • Achievement – Ascription: the first is about what you achieved. The second is about your personal addition.

Cultural perceptions of time, space and communication

Monochronic time: you prefer to do one thing at the time because time is limited.

Polychronic time: you prefer to do several things at the same time because time is flexible.

Interpersonal space has to do with proxemics, which are cultural expectations about interpersonal space. Hall distinguished four interpersonal distance zones:

  • Intimate

  • Personal

  • Social

  • Public

Three options are available to be able to communicate between different cultures, despite the different distance zones:

  • Stick to your own language

  • Rely on translators

  • Learn the local language

An expatriate is someone who lives or works in an other country than their home country. Seven common mistakes with expatriates are:

  • The family of the expatriate cannot adjust to the new country.

  • The expatriate cannot adjust to the new country.

  • The expatriate has problems within his or her family.

  • The expatriate cannot keep up with the foreign standards.

  • The expatriate is not technically adequate enough.

  • The expatriate does not have sufficient motivation for the assignment.

It is important to choose the right person for a foreign position. Figure 12.8 shows a model with four steps to make this easier and less costly.

  • Use selection training. Unrealistic expectations should be avoided. Cross-cultural training helps departing employees adjust to a foreign culture

  • Arrival and adjustment. A culture shock should be prevented.

  • Settling and acculturating. Support during the foreign assignment.

  • Returning home and readjusting. A re-entry shock should be avoided.

Decision-making process - Chapter 13

Decision-making is important for two reasons:

  • The quality of decision affects career opportunities, rewards and job satisfaction.

  • Decisions can conduce to success or failure of an organisation.

Decision-making includes the identification solutions and choosing of one that leads to a desired state of affairs.

There are several models of decision-making: The rational-, Carnegie, Incrementalist, ‘Garbage can’, and the Unstructured model.

The rational model describes the usage of a rational, four-step sequence when making decisions: identify the problem, generate solutions, select one solution and implement/evaluate it. The decision-maker is objective and possesses all the information needed to make the decision. The first step, the problem, occurs when the actual situation differs from the desired situation. An expert proposed to use one of the following methods to identify problems:

  • Historical cues: it assumes that the recent past is the best estimate of the future. Managers, hence, should rely on the past experience to identify future problems. Nevertheless, this method is highly subjective.

  • Planning approach: This method is more systematic and more accurate by using projections to evaluate the future.

  • Scenario technique: Based on environmental conditions, it is used to identify the future by setting up different scenarios. This way companies can devise alternative strategies to survive in various circumstances.

  • Perception of others

The second step is to generate solutions. Decisions that are made routinely (every day basis), rules for decision are formed (‘decision rules’). Otherwise, novel and unstructured decisions must be made.

Then, decision-makers select one solution that maximises the expected utility of the outcome. Other alternatives will be evaluated and judged according to standards or criteria. Once the solution is chosen, it will be implemented. Managers should try to avoid the three managerial tendencies that reduce the effectiveness of implementing solutions (see Table 13.1). It is necessary to understand, accept and motivate others. After implementation, the solution will be evaluated on its effectiveness. If the difference between the actual and the desired states are not reduced, the implementation was unsuccessful so that one of the four steps was wrongly performed.

The rational model is based on optimising (the aim to solve problems by means of the best possible solution). It assumes that managers have complete knowledge of all possible alternatives and its consequences. Further, optimising assumes managers to be well-organised and the ability to compare consequences and to determine the most preferred one.

The Carnegie model, named after the Carnegie Institute of Technology, attempts to identify the process managers use when making decisions. This process is constrained by a decision-maker’s bounded rationality, meaning that decision-makers are restricted by constraints when making decisions. These constraints have personal or environmental characteristics that reduce the rational decision-making. Unlike the rational model, the Carnegie model is characterised by limited information processing. Hence, the optimal not complete amount of information is used.

The constraints of bounded rationality (e.g. limited capacity of the human mind) cause decision-makers to fail to evaluate all potential alternatives. In addition, judgemental heuristics (=rules of thumbs) can reduce information processing demand. It helps decision-makers to reduce the uncertainty in the decision-making process as it represents the knowledge gained from past experiences. However, systematic errors may lower the quality of decisions. There are two common categories of heuristics: the available heuristic and the representativeness heuristic.

Satisficing means to meet some minimum qualifications by choosing a solution. It produces satisfactory solutions that are ‘good enough’.

The decisions made are subject to satisficing and heuristics by the organisation. The Carnegie model adapts to environmental uncertainty but remain rational thinking with a set of constraints.

The Incrementalist model, developed in the 1950s by Charles Lindblom, is about selecting those actions that differ slightly from the previously done. Small changes reduce the risk of doing something fatally wrong as well as the costs. This model is referred to as ‘muddling through’. This model assumes that information is incomplete beyond the immediate future. Hence, the model can deal with moderate uncertainty.

The ‘Garbage can’ model assumes that organisational decision making result from complex interaction between problems, solutions, participants and choice opportunities. These independent streams interact with each other but are not related. Problems are the gap between an actual and a desired situation but are independent from solutions. Solutions are the answers for questions that are represented as ideas. They occur when people have an idea of what they can get. Participants are members that dwell on the organisation. They contribute values, experiences an attitudes to the garbage can but are limited by time pressures. Choice opportunities are occasions in which organisations make their decisions. This model does not follow a rational process but implies that decision-making is more a function of chance encounters. Only when all four streams of events connect a decision is made. However, these connections occur randomly and decision quality generally depends on timing.

The Garbage Can model has four practical implications:

  • Many decisions are made by oversight of a salient opportunity

  • Political motives guide the process by which participants make decisions

  • The process is sensitive to load

  • Important problems are more likely to be solved that unimportant ones

The Unstructured model of decision making, proposed by Henry Mintzberg, follows three stages: identification, development and selection. Identification is the ability to sport changes that will necessitate decisions. Development seeks alternatives and tries to develop them. In the last stage, selection, managers arrive at the final decision by mixing judgement, negotiation and analysis. It mixes elements and it thus better suited to high uncertainty.

There are three dynamic aspects of decision-making: contingency considerations, decision-making styles and the problem of decision biases.

The contingency model for selecting decision strategies (see Figure 13.2) has three approaches at choice: aided-analytic, unaided-analytic and non-analytic. People using the aided-analytic strategy systematically use tools to analyse and evaluate alternatives.

When systematically comparing alternatives, the decision-maker uses an unaided-analytic strategy. The non-analytical strategy, however, is about using a simple rule formulated beforehand to make the decision. The characteristics of the decision task (divided into specific problem and environment) and those of the decision-maker determine which approach to use. The greater the demands and constraints the decision-maker encounters, the higher the probability of using the aided-analytic approach. This approach helps individuals to make more consistent decisions in less predicable and unstable situations. Research proved that aided-analytic strategies are more used by competent and motivated individuals.

In choosing one of these strategies, decision-makers must make a compromise between their desire to make correct decisions and the amount of time they want to spend on the decision-making process. Whereas analytical strategies are more likely used for irreversible problems, the non-analytic method is used for problems in which the decision can be reversed.

A decision-making style reflects the combination of the individual’s perception and comprehension and the general manner someone chooses to respond. This model is based on two different dimensions: value orientation and tolerance for ambiguity (see Figure 13.3). Value orientation is the extent to which an individual focuses on tasks and technical concerns or people and social concerns when making decisions. The other dimension, tolerance for ambiguity, is the extent to which a person needs structure in his or her life. The combination of these two dimensions forms four styles of decision –making: directive, analytical, conceptual and behavioural. People that use the directive style have a low tolerance for ambiguity and are oriented towards tasks and technical concerns. The action-oriented and decisive style is used to focus on facts. Individuals tend to be autocratic, exercise power and focus on the short run when applying this decision-making style. The analytical style has higher tolerance for ambiguity and tends to consider more alternatives than do directives. They are careful decision-makers that respond later but well to uncertain situations. People using the conceptual style have a high tolerance for ambiguity and tend to focus on the social aspects of a work situation. They like to consider many options and adopt a long-term perspective. Further, they rely rather on intuition and are good at finding creative solutions. Those people are willing to take risks but this style, on the other hand, can foster an indecisive approach to decision-making. The last decision-making style, the behavioural, focuses the most on the people aspect of decisions. They like social interactions in which opinions are exchanged.

The availability biases is the decision-maker’s tendency to base decisions on information that is simply available in memory. This is likely to cause people to overestimate the occurrence of unlikely events. The representativeness bias is the tendency to assess the likelihood of an event based on one’s impression about similar occurrences. The escalation of commitment is the tendency to stick to an ineffective course of action when it is unlikely that the bad situation can be reversed. For instance, to invest more money into an old car or to wait for a long time for a bus when you could have walked there. Anchoring occurs when the decision-maker pays too much emphasis on the first perception and not enough on information that comes later.

The confirmation bias has impact on the decision-making in the phase of collecting information on which we base the decision. When people come to believe that they have in fact predicted what really happened after the event occurred, it is called hindsight.

The framing bias occurs when the decision-maker values a gain more than a loss. The overconfidence bias occurs when people overestimate themselves: the greater the overconfidence the lower the intellectual and interpersonal abilities.

The knowledge of decision-making styles can be used in three ways:

  • It helps to understand yourself

  • It increases your ability to influence other by being aware of styles

  • Knowledge of styles gives you an awareness of how people can take in the same information and arrive at different decisions by applying a variety of decision-making strategies.

In general, there is no ideal decision-making style applicable to all situations.

Decision-making in groups can have its advantages and disadvantages. To start with the advantages, groups contain a greater pool of knowledge, provide more perspectives, create more comprehension, increase decision acceptance and create a training ground for inexperienced employees. However, the advantages must be balanced and the manager must determine in which extent to apply to the advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantages as well as the advantages of Group-Aided Decision-Making are listed in Table 13.3.

Employee involvement in decision-making and employee empowerment can increase productivity. Further, it increases employee satisfaction, commitment and performance. Nevertheless, the factors influence the effectiveness of employee involvement:

  • The design of work

  • The level of trust between management and employees

  • The employee’s competence and readiness to participate

Five issues need to be considered when using groups to make decisions:

  • Groups are less efficient than individuals but more confident about their judgement and choices. But group confidence does not guarantee a better quality of decision (e.g. groupthink).

  • A group's confidence overload can cause groupthink.

  • Group size negatively affects the decision quality

  • The greater the knowledge of the issue of each member in the group, the more accurate the decision-making. Inaccurate judgements can, hence, be downplayed by the group leader

  • The composition of a group affects its decision-making processes and performance.

Participative management increases employee job involvement, organisational commitment, creativity and perceptions. Managers should use the contingency approach when determining whether to include others in the decision-making process. High levels of participation are important for innovative groups. However, given time constraints it is recommendable to let the individual make the decision. Employee involvement is effective in certain situations and obtains positive results by using the contingency approach. When implementing employee involvement programs it is recommendable to: gain the support of employees who have managerial responsibility, to implement a broader totally- quality management programme and to monitor the process of implementing.

To arrive to a consensus decision (the overall agreement of a decision), groups come across barriers. To successfully achieving a consensus, groups should use active listening skills, involve all members and seek out reasons behind arguments and facts. They should not ‘horse trade’ or vote/agree just to avoid upsetting the process.

Experts have developed three group problem-solving techniques: brainstorming, the nominal group technique and the Delphi technique.

Brainstorming, developed by A.F. Osborn, increases creativity as it helps groups generate multiple ideas for solving problems. It reduces interference from the judgement reactions of other group members and it hence effective. Study has proven that collecting the brainstormed ideas anonymously is preferred. It is advised to follow four rules while brainstorming:

  • Generate and write down as many ideas as possible

  • Do not set limits

  • Do not criticise during the stage of idea generation

  • Ignore seniority and think freely

The nominal group technique (NGT) helps groups to generate ideas and to evaluate and select solutions. It is a structured group meeting where a particular issue is discussed. Individuals generate ideas in writing just after they understood the problem. These ideas are then recorded on a flip chart and discussed after all ideas are elicited. The ’30-second soap box’ technique (= 30secs to argue for or against an idea) can be applied. Finally, group members vote anonymously for their choices. The normal group technique reduces the obstacles by separating brainstorming from evaluation. Further, it balances participation between group members.

The Delphi technique is used by physically dispersed experts to general ideas or judgements. The ideas are anonymously obtained from questionnaires or via the Internet. The Delphi process starts with identifying the issue(s) to be investigated. Then, participants are identified; the questionnaire is developed and e-mailed to participants. The participants are then asked to

  • Review the feedback,

  • Prioritise the issues being considered and

  • Return the survey within a given time.

This technique is useful when face-to-face discussions are impractical (e.g. conflicts, groupthink). Computer-aided decision- making can reduce obstacles while collecting more information. There are two types of systems: chauffeur-driven and group-driven. Whereas chauffeur-driven systems ask participants to answer on electronic keypads or dials (e.g. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire), group-driven meetings are conducted in special facilities with individual computer workstations that are connected to each other. In general, computer driven processes can reduce obstacles to consensus: input is anonymous, the chance for everyone to contribute, and the production of greater quality and quantity of ideas. This process produces more ideas than groups with 5-10 members.

Creativity is the process of using imagination and skill to develop a new or unique object or product. There are three broad types of creativity: creation, synthesis, and modification. Even though researchers are uncertain of how creativity takes place, it is known that it involves by connecting events, ideas, physical objects or information that is stored in memory. The creative process underlies five stages (see Figure 13.4):

  • Preparation: Experts suggests that creativity starts from the knowledge and involves a convergence between tacit and explicit knowledge.

  • Concentration: The individual focuses on the problem at hand

  • Incubation: People engage in daily activities while their minds stew over information and make remote associations.

  • Illumination: associations are generated at this stage

  • Verification: the associations are verified, modified and tried out

The last three stages are often promoted by organisations. Research has proven that creativity can be enhanced by effectively managing the creativity process.

The model of organisational creativity and innovation (Figure 13.5) shows that organisational characteristics and the amount of creative behaviour within work groups directly influence creativity. Group creative behaviour is influenced by group characteristics and the individual creative behaviour that is formed by the characteristics of the individual (intellectual abilities, personality traits and intrinsic task motivation). Creative people are highly motivated of their field of interest and are not necessarily geniuses. Further, they are dissatisfied with the status quo and look, hence, for new solutions for problems. Suggestions for Improving Employee Creativity are shown in Table 13.4. In general, a cohesive environment supports open interaction and creativity as well as structured-solving procedures.

Power and politics - Chapter 14

Organisations struggle between individual and collective interests. Socialisation in family settings, for instance, developed in the notion of mutuality of interest. The term ‘mutuality of interest’ includes the win-win thinking and thus to serve one’s self-interest.

David Kipnis (1980) revealed in his study how people influence each other in organisations. There are nine generic influence tactics ranked in order of use in the workplace:

  • Rational persuasion: convincing someone by logic or facts (soft)

  • Inspirational appeals: building enthusiasm by appealing to other’s emotions (soft)

  • Consultation: convincing others to participate in planning (soft)

  • Ingratiation: being friendly and helpful to get someone in a good mood (soft)

  • Personal appeals: Making a request by referring to friendship (soft)

  • Exchange: Making implied promises (hard)

  • Coalition tactics: convincing others to support you effort to persuade someone (hard)

  • Pressure: Demanding compliance (hard)

  • Legitimating tactics: establishing a request on one’s authority (hard)

These tactics influence people on all directions (downward, upward or lateral). ‘Soft’ influence tactics are perceived as fair whereas ‘hard’ influence tactics are considered as unfair. If someone uses the exchange tactics to convince someone towards a direction, three possible influence outcomes may show up: Commitment, Compliance or Resistance. Commitment is more likely when people rely on consultation and when the influence involves something important.

Robert C. Cialdini offered research-based advice of sic principles of influence and persuasion (see Table 14.1). It is recommended to use these principles in combination for maximum impact.

A conflict is a process in which on party experiences its interests as being negatively affected by another party. Conflict can strengthen or weaken over time.

Frederick Taylor believed that conflicts threatened management’s authority and hence should be avoided. Later, researchers recognised the inevitability of conflicts. In the 1970s, OB specialists realised that conflicts had positive and negative outcomes that depend on its intensity and nature (see Figure 14.1). Too little conflicts leads thus to a lack of creativity. But excessive conflicts, on the other hand, can decrease the organisational performance due to workplace aggression and violence.

Conflicts are related to people’s personalities. As people have different traits and characteristics, conflicts are likely to occur.

Among situations that tend to produce either functional or dysfunctional conflicts belong, for instance, incompatible personalities, unclear job boundaries and competition for limited resources. Stimulating functional conflict sometimes is essential to gain value in the decision-making groups. Dean Tjosvold's cooperative model indicates three desired outcomes: Agreement, Stronger relationships and learning.

Personality conflicts often refer to people’s personalities. These personalities are stable and different. They can influence a number of other factors. Conflicts at the individual level can grow and endanger an organisation. The manager should thus protect the organisation by documenting the nature of the conflict. Conflicts among work groups (intergroup conflicts) are a threat to organisational competitiveness. Too much cohesiveness can lead to groupthink. Changes associated with increased group cohesiveness revealed that members of in-groups consider themselves as a collection of unique individuals but other groups as being similar. Further, outsiders are seen as threat but in-group members view themselves as morally correct. Finally, the perception of reality distorts as in-group members overact differences between their group and the other group.

Programmed conflict can be helpful as it means to raise different opinions apart from personal feelings. This way, contributors have to defend or criticise ideas based on personal preferences. Two programmed conflict techniques are:

  • Devil’s advocacy: This technique is about one individual playing the role of devil’s advocate and thus generate critical thinking (see Figure 14.3)

  • Dialectic method: This technique is time-honoured as it is referable to dialectic school of philosophy in Greece. It is about exploring opposite positions in a structured debate. However, this method requires more skill training than the devil’s advocacy and overshadows the issue.

Afzalur Rahim identified five different conflict-handling styles that are classified in high to low concern for self and low to high concern for others. These two variables produce five styles: integrating, obliging, dominating, avoiding and compromising. Each style has its strength and limitations so that there is no best style.

  • Integrating/problem-solving style: the problem of the issue is cooperatively identified in order to generate solutions and select one of them.

  • Strength: long-lasting impact; Weakness: time-consuming

  • Obliging/ smoothing style: it emphases on the commonalities and is appropriate in complex problems. Strength: encourages co-operating; Weakness: temporary fix

  • Dominating / forcing style: it has high concern for self and low concern for others and is appropriate in implementing an unpopular solution. Strength: speed; weakness: resentment

  • Avoiding tactic: it suppresses the issue and is appropriate for trivial issues. Strength: buys time in ambiguous situations; Weakness: temporary fix

  • Compromising: it involves moderate concern for self and others and is appropriate when parties possess equal power. Strength: democratic process; Weakness: keeps from creative problem solving

These types of styles are used when conflicts become dysfunctional.

Negotiation is a decision-making process that involves dependent parties with different preferences. There are two types of negotiation: distributive and integrative. The first type concerns that sharing of a fixed amount, whereas the integrative type of negotiation goes beyond. It calls for a win-win strategy where all can benefit. The added-value negotiation is an integrative approach (see Figure 14.5). However, the success of integrative negotiation depends on the quality of information exchanged. Unethical tactics in negotiations can erode trust and goodwill.

When conflicting parties are unable to integrative negotiation, third-party interventions are essential to abandon fixed-pie thinking (or win-lose thinking). The alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a more constructive and less expensive approach. In Table 14.3, the four ADR techniques are presented.

Power is essential for a host of reasons. It is a positive force in organisations. Social power is the ability to arrange resources (human, informational, material) to get something done. Power can be classified into two dimensions: the two types of power (socialised and personalised) and the five bases of power. Socialised power involves self-doubts, mixed outcomes and concerns for others, while personalised power expresses the set priority of personal aggrandisement.

Women have a higher need of socialised power than men. John French and Bertram Raven proposed that power arises from the following five bases:

  • Reward power: the extent to what a manager obtains compliance by promising rewards

  • Coercive power: the extent to what someone punishes another person

  • Legitimate power: the base of power is rooted to one’s authority

  • Expert power: the power of valued knowledge

  • Referent power: the power to consent to do something by charisma

Study revealed that expert, referent, reward and legitimate power had a positive impact on work outcomes (e.g. job performance, job satisfaction), whereas coercive power had a rather negative one. Further, expert and referent power resulted in favourable reactions from lower-level employees and have the best potential for increasing job satisfaction. Positive legitimate, expert and referent power foster commitment that is superior to compliance as it is powered by internal motivation.

Organisational politics is a positive force in modern organisations and ever-present in work life. It is defined as intentional acts of influence to protect the self-interest of individuals. However, when self-interests erode, politic behaviour becomes a negative force. Uncertainty triggers political intervention. Sources of uncertainty are unclear objectives, vague performance measures, ill-defined decision processes, strong individual completion and any type of change.

There are three levels of political action: the individual level, the coalition level and the network level (see Figure 14.6). At the first level, the individual pursues his/her personal self-interests. People with a common interest, form a coalition that it described as an informal group bound due to pursuit of a common issue. As the target of the coalition is resolved, the informal group bound disbands. The last level of political action is the network level. In contrast to coalition, networks are people-oriented and not issue-oriented. They seek for social support for their general self-interests and have a broader agenda.

Researchers have identified eight common political tactics in organisations such as blaming someone else for a mistake (see Table 14.4).

Impression management is a process by which people manipulate the reactions of others to their ideas. It is used to differentiate the organisation’s image for competitor companies and involves high self-monitoring employees (‘chameleons’ that adjust to their surroundings), systematic manipulation of attributions and organisational politics (focus on self-interest).

Four motives for making a poor impression are:

  • Avoidance: avoid additional work, stress, burnout or unwanted promotion.

  • Obtain concrete rewards: the employee wants pay raise or promotion.

  • Exit: employee wants to get fired or suspended.

  • Power: employee wants control, manipulate or intimidate others.

In the context of these motives, researchers identified five unfavourable upward impression management tactics:

  • Decreasing performance

  • Not working to potential

  • Withdrawing

  • Displaying a bad attitude

  • Broadcasting limitations

To manage employees making a bad impression, it is recommended to give employees, for instance, a more challenging work, greater autonomy and better feedback.

In conclusion, organisation politics are necessary and cannot be eliminated. Personal values, ethics and temperament create the individual’s degree of ‘politicalness’. Negative expressions of organisation politics can be avoided in organisation by, for example, screening out overly-political workers in the hiring process and creating an open-book system.

Empowerment means to release the power that people have in their knowledge, experience and internal motivation into the organisation. A unified information base in an organisation is a competitive advantage but comprises risks of betrayal as information sharing occurs to a large extent.

Power is not a zero-sum situation (person’s gain is another’s loss) and hence not threat. Empowerment should be considered as a matter of degree. The degree of empowerment from domination to delegation is illustrated in Figure 14.7. The goal is to increase productivity and competitiveness.

Randolph’s Empowerment Model, figure 14.8, consists of a three-pronged empowerment plan. Information sharing, trust, clear goals and training are necessary to build up the empowerment plan.

The highest degree of empowerment is delegating which empowers lower-level employees to make their own decisions. Barriers to delegation are the following:

  • belief in ‘do it better yourself’

  • lack of trust

  • low self-confidence

  • fear of considered to be lazy

  • fair of competition from below

  • vague job definition.

Other barriers are the lack of control and the reluctance to take risks when delegate tasks to employees. However, delegation is associated with competent employees that share manager’s task objectives. Further, it was associated with a manager’s positive relationship with employees and the view of lower-level person as supervisor.

But delegation requires trust. Evolving trust from consultation over participation leads to stage of delegation. One of the best manners to gain a supervisor's trust is by showing initiative (figure 14.9)

Personal initiative results form individuals taking an active approach to work and going beyond have a behaviour syndrome called personal initiative. It is characterised by consistency, long-term focus, goal-directness, persistence in facing barriers and being proactive.

Leadership - Chapter 15

Leaders drag people in directions they would not normally go and are successful when they can make a difference. They are culturally differing: While Americans are obsessively bound by the notion Netherlands and French only have vague concepts. Figure 15.1 describes the intensity of Supervision in 16 countries. It shows that supervision differs from very low in Switzerland to very high in the USA. But also concepts of leadership are different among the European countries: The Nordic countries of Europe, for instance, score high on ‘interpersonal directness and proximity’. In other countries (Georgia, Poland, Turkey and Slovenia) leaders are successful as they are self-interested, indirect and well organised. However, autonomy is very important to the Germanic cluster (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). Visionary and status conscious leaders are more seen as successful in the Latin cluster.

Organisational leadership can be defined as the influence in which leaders seeks subordinate’s participation in an effort to reach goals. A leader is able to influence, motivate and make others contribute towards organisational success. Individual leadership includes mentoring, coaching, inspiring and motivating. Leaders are able to build culture and teams. The ‘Conceptual Framework for Understanding Leadership’ (Figure 15.2) integrates components of different theories that, in turn, affect an individual’s ability to employ managerial behaviour.

However, there is a difference between leading and managing as the two activities entail a unique set of functions. Managing means to plan, investigate, organise and control whereas leading deals with the interpersonal aspects of a manager’s job. Management is about handling complexity; leadership is handling the change. The differences between ‘weak’/dedicated managers and ‘real’/’sick’ leaders can be found in Table 15.2 and 15.3.

There are two approaches that explain leadership: trait theories and behavioural theories. While the first theory identifies the personal traits that differs leaders from followers, the second one examines leadership from another perspective.

The leader trait is a born predisposition to be a leader. Ralph Stogdill and Richard Mann summarised leaders into five traits: intelligence, dominance, self-confidence, level of energy and activity, and task-relevant knowledge.

But research revealed that the five traits can not predict the future leaders in organisations. Among all the seven categories, Mann highlighted intelligence as the best predictor. Still the positive relationship between traits and leadership was weak (correlation: 0.15).

Modern studies by Robert Lord assume that people have leadership prototypes that affect perceptions of who is effective as leader and who is not. Leadership prototype is the mental concept of behaviours that you believe are possessed by leaders. Hence, people perceive others as a leader as he/she possesses the traits they look for. Traits associated with intelligence, masculinity and dominance are most perceived as leader’s characteristics. Studies revealed that males and those who are more behaviourally flexible are more seen to be leaders. Leadership prototypes, however, are culturally bound and influences by national cultural values. According to another research, the leader’s credibility is constituted by honesty, forward-lookingness, inspiration and competence.

Men and women differ in the type of leadership roles: Whereas men display more overall leadership, women display more social leadership. Moreover, women make the use of a more democratic and participative style while men employ a more autocratic and directive style. The outcome of a meta-analysis revealed three key findings:

  • Female and male leaders were classified as equally effective

  • Men are more effective leaders than women when their roles were more masculine defined and women are more effective leaders in less masculine defined roles

  • Male leaders were seen more effective than female when there was a greater percentage of male leaders and subordinates

Behavioural styles theory

The Ohio State studies states that two independent dimensions describe the behaviour of a leader: consideration and initiating structure. The first dimension focuses on group member’s needs and desires. The second dimension, the initiating structure, is leader behaviour that organises and defines what to do next to maximise the output. The Figure 15.3 illustrates the four leadership styles that derive from the two dimensions that are again scored either low or high on the dimension. As a result, the four leadership styles are: low structure, high consideration; low structure, low consideration; high structure, high consideration or high structure, low consideration.

The University of Michigan also studied leadership and identified two styles of leadership: leaders that either focus on the employee or on the job. In conclusion, effective leaders have a good relationship with their subordinates, use the group as a method of supervision, and set high goals.

The most popular leadership model is the Robert Blake and Jane Mouton Leadership Grid (See Figure 15.4). It is formed by the intersection of two dimensions of leader behaviour: ‘concern for production’ and ‘concern for people’. These dimensions involve attitudes and patterns of thinking and even specific types of behaviour. The five leadership styles that derive from the leadership grid are ‘country club management’, ‘impoverished management’, ‘middle-of-the-road management’, ‘team management’ and ‘authority compliance’. However, Blake and Mouton’s research is criticised as being self-serving.

The behavioural style approach declares that leaders are shaped by improving and developing their behaviour. Further, there is no best style of leadership as the effectiveness of leadership styles depend on the circumstances. Research also states that there is a difference between how frequently and how effectively managers exhibit various types of leadership behaviour.

Situational theories state that a different style of leader behaviour is only effective depending on the situation. As the situation changes, the style does too. There are three alternative situational theories of leadership: Fiedler’s contingency model, the path-goal theory and Hersey and Blanchard’s situational leadership theory.

The first model, developed by Fred Fiedler, is the oldest and most known model of leadership. It assumes that the performance of a leader depends on the degree to which the leader has control/influence and the leader’s basic motivation. Fiedler, thereby, believes that leaders are either task-motivated or relationship-motivated. Moreover, leaders have one dominant leadership style that is not modifiable.

Situational control is the amount of control and influence the leader has in his/her work environment. It ranges from high to low. The three dimensions of situational control are leader-member relations, task structure and position power.

  • Leader-member relations: the leader can depend on the group and ensure that the group tries to meet the leader’s objectives. It is the most important component of situational control.

  • Task Structure: the amount of structure within work tasks. It is the second most important component.

  • Position power: the leader’s formal power to reward or punish employees

These three dimensions form eight combinations of situational control (see Figure 15.5). Fiedler’s model is not agreed upon and is not confirmed for every possible variant. His main contribution is the recognition that leadership success is contingent on the situation and style.

The Path-goal theory focalises on the influence leaders have on followers’ expectations. It is based on the expectancy theory of motivation and states that employees only accept the leader’s behaviour when it is seen as a source of satisfaction. This theory avoids obstacles to goal accomplishments, supports and rewards employees and is, hence, motivational. It is an intuitive approach as leaders are always trying to change people’s behaviour to product better results.

In contrast to Fiedler, Roubert House argues that leaders do not use only one style of leadership. He states there are four styles that leaders use intermittently:

  • Directive leadership: Guiding and managing workers through knowledge

  • Supportive leadership: Looking after the employees’ needs and treating everyone as equal

  • Participative leadership: Considering others ideas and consulting with employees

  • Achievement-oriented leadership: To set high performance levels by challenging goals and thereby demonstrating confidence in the abilities of employees.

Research supports the idea of several leadership styles.

Contingency factors are situational factors that make one style of leadership a better choice than another. This model is divided into two variables: the employee characteristics and the environmental factors. The employee characteristics include locus of control, task ability, need for achievement, experience and need for clarity. The environmental factors are employee’s task, authority system and work group. These factors can either hinder or motivate employees.

The Situational leadership theory (SLT) developed by Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard states that effective leadership behaviour is dependant on the level of readiness the leaders’ followers have. Readiness is the amount of willingness someone possesses to complete a task. Willingness, thereby, is a mix of confidence, commitment and motivation. In Figure 15.6, the SLT model is shown.

It represents four leadership styles and declares which style to use depending on the level of readiness.

However, scientific research revealed that leadership effectiveness is not imputable to follower readiness and leadership style.

Two new theories of leadership have emerged over the last decades: The transactional leadership and the charismatic leadership. The transactional leadership tries to engage employees’ behaviour. This means leaders motivate employees by giving rewards and exert corrective action when performance goals are not obtained. The charismatic leadership enables followers to develop deep commitment. Leaders using this approach can transform followers by appealing to followers’ values and personal identity (self-concept). In Figure 15.7 the charismatic model of leadership is shown. The use of charismatic leadership is necessary in organisations with adaptive cultures. The charismatic leaders first three sets of leader behaviour that positively affects followers and, in turn, positively influences outcomes.

In addition, there are four more approaches to leadership: substitutes for leadership, servant leadership, and coaching.

Steven Kerr and John Jermier developed the first approach, which identifies the substitutes for leadership to improve leadership effectiveness. Different characteristics (of the subordinate, task and organisation) can determine different types of leader behaviour (see Table 15.4). Two leader behaviours are at choice depending on the individual characteristics: the relationship-oriented and the task-oriented leader behaviour.

The second approach to leadership is the servant-leadership by Robert Greenleaf. It assumes that leaders act as servants and serve the needs of others as priority. Characteristics of the Servant-Leader can be found in Table 15.5.

The last approach, coaching, includes different characteristics. Coaches must be committed to the goals and the team, they must spend much time educating and instructing the group (skill building) and support the team. Further, coaches are team builder by bridging gaps between unique members, and results-oriented in their discipline.

Organisational change - Chapter 16

Nowadays, companies have to be flexible for change to keep up with their dynamic environment. Figure 16.1 shows the stages and the struggles of a growing company.

There are external and internal forces of change.

External forces for change come from outside the company.

  • Demographic characteristics: age, education, gender

  • Technological advances: automation

  • Market changes: fusions, mergers, recessions

  • Social and political pressures: wars, values, leadership

Internal forces for change come from within the company.

  • Size changes

  • Human resource problems and prospects

See figure 16.2

Individual diagnosis for change many be initiated by demographics, job title and job assigned. Also employee record can be relevant. Also effectiveness and well-being are important. A diagnosis of communication checks how people within the company perceive, attribute and whether external signals are received and understood the way the way they were intended to. Perception is very hard to diagnose. When motivation is diagnosed, it is important the look at more factors than just financial incentives.

Groups and teams can be diagnosed with the team diagnostic survey by Wageman, Hackman and Lehman. It is a legit method, however, it does not measure conflict in groups and teams. Organisational climate diagnosis can be based on the eight dimensions of table 9.1. Some conflict is desired within as long as it provided positive outcomes.

When structure and design are diagnosed, it is important to relate it with the company's environment. The organisation's form and type needs to be identified. Furthermore it important to look at the company's strategy.

A company's culture is hard to measure because it is invisible. The most common diagnosis for organisational culture is based on the competing values framework. There are many alternatives for measuring organisational culture.

Lewin developed a model which explains how to initiate, manage and stabilise the change process. The model implies that change can only take place when there is motivation for change. The model has three stages:

  • Unfreezing: It focusses on making the employees unsatisfied with the old way, so they get motivated for change. Benchmarking is a process where a company compares their company with the most important organisations in their industry.

  • Changing: New information an models are suggested to the employees. The employees should learn a new point of view on certain concepts.

  • Refreezing: Changes are being stabilised by supporting the employees with the new way of doing things.

Figure 16.3 displays a three-way typology of change:

  • Adaptive change: lowest in complexity, cost and uncertainty. It implements a change which has already been implemented by the business unit or another business unit.

  • Innovative change: mediocre in complexity, cost and uncertainty.

  • Radically innovative change: high in complexity, cost and uncertainty. They are hard to implement and can be a threat to managerial thrust and employee job security.

There are two ways to implement change methods. These approaches are called Theory E and Theory O. Theory E stands focuses on the financial aspect of the company, whereas theory O focusses on the development of the organisation by learning. Table 16.2 shows the dimensions of these theories and of the theories combined.

Kotter states that organisational change usually fails due to senior management errors. He created sequential steps to lead organisational change:

  • Create a sense of need for change

  • Establish the guiding coalition

  • Develop a vision and strategy

  • Communicate the vision of the change

  • Enable broad-based action

  • Create short-term wins and improvements

  • Develop more gains and consolidate more change

  • Secure the new approaches in the culture

Pettigrew and Whip studied operational and strategic changes. The high performers were different from the lesser performers because the high performers:

  • managed external assessment more profoundly

  • led change

  • created a link between strategic and operational change

  • managed their human resources as assets and liabilities

  • managed agreement in the entire process of competition and change

Episodic change is irregular, discontinuous but intended change.

Continuous change is constant, evolving and cumulative change.

Resistance to change is an emotional/behavioural response to real or perceived work changes.

Nine reasons why people resist to change are:

  • Surprise and fear of the unknown

  • Climate of distrust

  • Anxiety of failure

  • Loss of status or job security

  • Peer pressure

  • Interruption of cultural traditions or group relations

  • Personality conflicts

  • Absence of tact or bad timing

  • Non-reinforcing reward systems

Before any organisation wants to change it should always be prepared. Therefore it is important that before the change:

  • The managers should have a positive emotional evaluation towards change.

  • The employees should be well informed about the change.

  • Be aware that the resistance to change is not always conscious.

  • Make sure employees perceive that the changes provides more benefits than personal costs

When an organisation is ready for the change, the organisation can use various alternative strategies to overcome resistance to change:

  • Education + communication

  • Participation + involvement

  • Facilitation + support

  • Negotiation + agreement

  • Manipulation + co-optation

  • Explicit +explicit coercion

See table 16.4.

Organisation development (OD) are techniques or tools used to implement organisational change through commitment, co-ordination and competence.

Ten important dependent variables of OD are:

  • Promote organisational renewal

  • Engage organisational change of culture

  • Increase profitability and competitiveness

  • Secure the health and well-being of the organisation and the employees

  • Assist learning and development

  • Enhance problem-solving

  • Introduce and/or manage change

  • Empower system and process advancement

  • Support adaptation to change

Four characteristics of OD are:

  • OD and profound change: change agents usually use OD for significant, long-lasting improvement.

  • OD is value-loaded: many OD consultants bring certain values or biases into the client organisation. So do they prefer co-optation over conflict, self-control over institutional control, and democrative and participative management over autocratic management.

  • OD is a cycle of diagnosis and prescription: OD consultants near the 'sick' organisation, 'diagnose' the illness, 'prescribe' and implement a cure and 'monitor' progress.

  • OD is process-oriented: OD consultants focus on how things are done more than the content of activities.

Organisational Behaviour - Sinding & Waldstrom - Practice questions

Chapter 1

  • What does organisational behaviour mean?

  • What are the major differences between the theories of Taylor and Fayol?

  • What was the new aspect of the human relations movement?

  • How can people interpret organisations?

  • How can organisational behaviour be applied in real life?

Chapter 2

  • What are the different aspects of the individual?

  • What are the six pillars for self-esteem?

  • What are the sources of self-efficacy?

  • Is strong self-monitoring always a positive competence?

  • What are the different types of personality according to Myers and Briggs?

  • Is intelligence born or learned?

  • What are the cognitive styles?

  • How can learningstyles be combined?

Chapter 3

  • What is the difference between instrumental values and terminal values?

  • What are the three components which explain attiturde?

  • Which variables, besides attitude, explain behaviour?

  • What is the difference between emotion and affection?

  • The ripple effect is an example of …?

  • What are the five Cs that improve workflow?

Chapter 4

  • What is perception?

  • What factors influence perception?

  • What are the four fases of the social information-processing model of perception?

  • Which theories about attributes are important?

  • What are the four biases which cause wrong interpreted behaviour?

  • What is self-fulfilling prophesy?

  • How are the content level and the relation level of communication related?

  • What are the four barriers for effective communication?

  • What is the difference between verbal and non-verbal communication?

  • What are the three styles of communication?

  • What is the difference between hierarchical communication and communication through the grapevine?

  • How do men and women differ in communication?

  • Which two phenomena's arise because of asymmetric information?

  • How do you choose the right medium to transfer information?

Chapter 5

  • What is motivation?

  • What is the difference between content theories and process theories?

  • What are the differences between Maslow and Alderfer?

  • Which needs are essential in the need theory of McClelland?

  • What is 'job enrichment' according to Herzberger?

  • What is the formula of MPS?

Chapter 6

  • What is true according to the expectancy theory?

  • What does instrumentality mean?

  • Why can the expectancy theory be criticised?

  • What are the three components for application of the equity theory?

  • What is the difference between positive and negative inequity?

  • What are Locke's four motivational mechanisms?

  • Why does setting specific, difficult goals lead to poorer performance?

  • For which words is SMART an abbreviation?

  • What determines the recipient's openness to feedback?

  • What are the three types of awards?

  • Besides the different types of rewards, which four organisation's reward norms dictate the nature of exchange?

  • What are the three general criteria for the distribution of rewards?

Chapter 7

  • What are the two specific types of informal groups?

  • What are the two basic functions of a group?

  • What are the tree kinds of people in social networks?

  • What are the five stages of the Tuckman model of group forming?

  • What are the four reasons norms are embedded?

  • What is the optimal size of groups which make high quality decisions?

  • What are the major threats to group effectiveness?

  • What are four symptoms of group thinking?

  • What are the four explanations for social loafing?

Chapter 8

  • What are the four criteria to call a group a team?

  • What are the do-roles, think-roles and social-roles of Belbin?

  • What are interpersonal KSAs and what are self-management KSAs?

  • What are the most common symptoms of failure of teams?

  • What are the four purposes of team-building according to Richard Beckhard?

  • What are the six guidelines to build and maintain trust?

  • What is the difference between socio-emotional cohesiveness and instrumental cohesiveness?

  • How are groups of workers that are given ‘administrative oversight’ such as planning, monitoring and staffing for their task domains called?

Chapter 9

  • What is the difference between culture and climate?

  • What is the four-step process of stereotyping?

  • What is the 'glass ceiling'?

  • What are eight action options that can be used to address diversity issues?

  • What are three diversity practices?

  • What are the three dimensions of Karasek's job demand-control model?

  • What are the most important types of stressors?

  • What are the three phases of a burn-out?

  • What are the three coping strategies?

Chapter 10

  • What is the definition of an organisation?

  • What four things do organisations have in common?

  • What is an advantage of unity of command?

  • What is a difference between mechanistic and organic organisations?

Chapter 11

  • What are the six contingency variables?

  • What are the analysers (Miles and Snow)?

  • What do Miles and Snow call a strategy in which an organisation is very innovative and continuously seeks to change products and markets to stay ahead of the competition?

  • What is the ‘bigger is better’ principle?

  • What is organisational decline?

  • With which four things can one assess organisational effectivity?

Chapter 12

  • What are the two levels of organisational culture?

  • Which values are usually made up by the founders, espoused values or enacted values?

  • What are the two centralised types of organisational values?

  • What are the four types of organisation cultures?

  • What are the three phases of the solicitation process?

  • During which phase of the solicitation process do people experience a reality shock?

  • What is the difference between high-context and low-context cultures?

  • What are the five cultural dimensions of Hofstede?

  • What are the five dimensions of Trompenaars?

  • What is the difference between monochronic time and polychronic time?

  • What are proxemics?

  • What is an expatriate?

Chapter 13

  • Which three methods can be used to identify problems according to the rational model?

  • What are the two categories of judgemental heuristics?

  • What are the four independent streams of the garbage can model?

  • What are the three strategies of the contingency model?

  • What are the four styles of decision-making?

  • How is the tendency to stick to an ineffective course of action when it is unlikely that the bad situation can be reversed called?

  • Call two advantages of decision-making in groups.

  • What are the four rules of brainstorming?

  • What does the '30-second soap box' mean?

  • What are the five stages of creativity?

Chapter 14

  • Name two 'soft' and two 'hard' influence tactics.

  • What are three possible influence outcomes when someone uses the exchange tactics?

  • What are three desired outcomes of conflicts?

  • Name three negative aspects of groupthink.

  • What are five alternatives to solve dysfunctional conflicts?

  • What are the two types of negotiation?

  • What are French and Raven's five bases of power?

  • What are the four motives for making a poor impression?

  • What is the highest form of empowerment?

Chapter 15

  • What is the difference between trait theories and behavioural theories?

  • What is the difference between consideration structure and initiating structure?

  • What are the five leadership styles according to the Robert Blake and Jane Mouton Leadership Grid?

  • What are the two kind of leaders Fiedler separates?

  • What are the three dimensions of situational control?

  • What are the four leadership styles of the path-goal theory?

  • What are contingency factors?

  • What does readiness mean?

  • What is the difference between transactional leadership and charismatic leadership?

  • What are the five characteristics of coaching?

Chapter 16

  • What are two extern and two intern forces of change?

  • What are the three phases of Lewis' model of planned change?

  • What does benchmarking mean?

  • What is the difference between theory E and theory O?

  • Call the first three steps of Kotter's plan to lead organisational change.

  • What is the difference between episodic change and continuous change?

  • What are three reasons for resistance to change?

  • What are two alternative strategies to cope with resistance to change?

  • What are the four characteristics of organisational development?


Chapter 1

  • What does organisational behaviour mean?

It is an interdisciplinary fied which focusses on understanding and managing people on the working field.

  • What are the major differences between the theories of Taylor and Fayol?

Fayol doesn't completely divide working and thinking, Taylor does. Also, for Fayol 'Unity of command is an important aspect. This is not the case for Taylor.

  • What was the new aspect of the human relations movement?

People were seen as individuals in stead of parts of a machine, which made labor unions demand better working conditions for employees and scientist demanded more attention for the human factor within an organisation.

  • How can people interpret organisations?

As machines, organisms, brains, political systems, physical prisons, flux and transformation systems or dominance instruments.

  • How can organisational behaviour be applied in real life?

By instrumental use, conceptual use or symbolic use.

Chapter 2

  • What are the different aspects of the individual?

Pesonallity and self-concept. Self-concept contains self-esteem, self-efficacy, self-monitoring and locus of control.

  • What are the six pillars for self-esteem?

Live consiously, be self-accepting, take personal responsibility, be self assertive, live purposefully and have personal integrity.

  • What are the sources of self-efficacy?

Previous experience, behavioural models, persuasion of others, and emotional/physical state.

  • Is strong self-monitoring always a positive competence?

No, too strong self-monitoring makes an unfair and untrustworthy person, which can adjust very well to different situations.

  • What are the different types of personality according to Myers and Briggs?

Sensing-thinking, intuiting-thinking, sensing-feeling, intuiting-feeling.

  • Is intelligence born or learned?

Intelligence is a combination of learned competences (nurture) and qualities a person is born with (nature).

  • What are the cognitive styles?

According to Krirton: Adaptive and innovative. According to Riding: wholists, analytics, verbalisers and imagers.

  • How can learningstyles be combined?

Four ways: diverger, assimilator, converger and accomodator

Chapter 3

  • What is the difference between instrumental values and terminal values?

    Instrumental values are desired behaviour to reach a certain goal. Terminal values are the goals a person wants to reach.What are the working values?

    Intrinsic, extrinsic, social and prestige values.

  • What are the three components which explain attiturde?

    Coginitive component, affective component and behavioural component.

  • Which variables, besides attitude, explain behaviour?

    Subjective norm and perceived control of behaviour.

  • What is the difference between emotion and affection?

Emotions are complex human responds to personal achievements and setbacks. Affection is about the general feeling people experience, it contains emotions and moods.

  • The ripple effect is an example of …?

    Emotional contagion.

  • What are the five Cs that improve workflow?

    Clarity, centre, choice, commitment and challenge.

Chapter 4

  • What is perception?

Perception is a cognitive process which enables interpretation and understanding of the environment.

  • What factors influence perception?

The perceivers, the receiver and the setting.

  • What are the four fases of the social information-processing model of perception?

Fase 1: selective attention/comprehension, fase 2: encoding and simplification, fase 3: storage and retention, fase 4: retrieval and response.

  • Which theories about attributes are important?

There are three important theories: 1) the Correspondent inference theory of Jones and Davis. 2) the Co-variation theory of Kelley. 3) Weiner's attribution model.

  • What are the four biases which cause wrong interpreted behaviour?

Fundamental error, actor-behaviour effect, self serving bias and fundamental attribution error.

  • What is self-fulfilling prophesy?

Expectations of people determine there performance. People behave in a way to make there expectations come true.

  • How are the content level and the relation level of communication related?

The content level is about 'What' and contains factual and congintive information. The relation level is about 'How' and contains information about our emotional status and attitudes regarding to our environment.

  • What are the four barriers for effective communication?

Process barriers, personal barriers, physical barriers and semantic barriers.

  • What is the difference between verbal and non-verbal communication?

Verbal communication is more clear and aware and contains actual words or written signs. Non-verbal communication's signals are more automatic and unconscious.

  • What are the three styles of communication?

Assertive communication, aggressive communication and non-assertive communication.

  • What is the difference between hierarchical communication and communication through the grapevine?

Hierarchical communication is the exchange of information between managers and employees. The information flows from the manager to the employee. The grapevine is the unofficial communication system of the informal organisation.

  • How do men and women differ in communication?

Men and women have different linguistic styles. Man communicate with report talk an women communicate with raport talk.

  • Which two phenomena's arise because of asymmetric information?

Averse selection and moral hazard.

  • How do you choose the right medium to transfer information?

Make sure the information richness matches with the complexity of the situation or the problem.

Chapter 5

  • What is motivation?

Motivation is the professional process which causes excitement, guidelines and persistence.

  • What is the difference between content theories and process theories?

Content theories explain what motivates people and process theories explain the process itself that motivates people.

  • What are the differences between Maslow and Alderfer?

1) ERG states that more than one need can motivate at the same time. Maslow does not stat this. 2) ERG states a continuum, Maslow's hierarchical model does not state this. 3) ERG is more consistent in individual differences.

  • Which needs are essential in the need theory of McClelland?

Need for achievement, need for power and need for affiliation.

  • What is 'job enrichment' according to Herzberger?

The employee should have the opportunity to experience improvement by vertical expansion.

  • What is the formula of MPS?

MPS = {(skill var. + task id. + task sign.)/3} x autonomy x feedback

Chapter 6

  • What is true according to the expectancy theory?

It is the idea that people’s actions are driven by expected consequences.

  • What does instrumentality mean?

A person’s belief that a particular outcome depends on performing at a specific level (performance --> outcome perception).

  • Why can the expectancy theory be criticised?

Because the theory is difficult to test and because measures used to asses expectancy, instrumentality and valence have questionable validity.

  • What are the three components for application of the equity theory?

1) Awareness of the major components of the individual-organisation exchange relationship, which are inputs and outputs. 2) this relationship is important for giving the employees the idea of what is equity and inequity. 3) the equity theory focuses on what people are motivated to do when they feel like they are treated unfair and want to reduce this inequity.

  • What is the difference between positive and negative inequity?

Positive inequity is when the outcome to input ratio is greater than of the other person and negative inequity is when the individual enjoys greater outcomes for similar inputs.

  • What are Locke's four motivational mechanisms?

1) Goals are personally meaningful and direct one's attention on what is relevant and important. 2) goals motivate us to act so that the level of effort expended proportionately to the difficulty of the goal. 3) the effort expended on a task over an extended period of time is represented by persistence. 4) goals can encourage people to develop strategies and action plans enabling them to achieve their goals.

  • Why does setting specific, difficult goals lead to poorer performance?

Because employees are not likely to make an increased effort to achieve complex goals unless they support them. Another reason is because novel and complex tasks take employees longer to complete.

  • For which words is SMART an abbreviation?

Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Result-oriented, and Time bound.

  • What determines the recipient's openness to feedback?

Self-esteem, needs, self-efficacy, goals and desire for feedback.

  • What are the three types of awards?

Financial awards, social awards and psychic awards.

  • Besides the different types of rewards, which four organisation's reward norms dictate the nature of exchange?

Profit maximisation, equity, equality and need.

  • What are the three general criteria for the distribution of rewards?

1) performance in terms of result. 2) Performance in the therms of actions and behaviours. 3) non-performance consideration.

Chapter 7

  • What are the two specific types of informal groups?

Friendship groups and interest groups.

  • What are the two basic functions of a group?

Organisational functions and individual functions.

  • What are the tree kinds of people in social networks?

Star, isolate and bridge builder.

  • What are the five stages of the Tuckman model of group forming?

Forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning.

  • What are the four reasons norms are embedded?

Group/organisational survival, clarification of behavioural expectations, avoidance of embarrassment and clarification of central values/unique identity.

  • What is the optimal size of groups which make high quality decisions?

Three to five people.

  • What are the major threats to group effectiveness?

The Asher affect, groupthink and social loafing.

  • What are four symptoms of group thinking?

For example: Invulnerability, Inherent mortality, Rationalisation, Stereotyped views of opposition, Self-censorship, Illusion of unanimity, Peer pressure and Mind guards

  • What are the four explanations for social loafing?

Equity of effort, Loss of personal accountability, Motivational loss due to sharing rewards and Co-ordination loss as more people perform the task

Chapter 8

  • What are the four criteria to call a group a team?

Group members share the same goals in relation to their work, in order to achieve these goals the members should interact with each other, every team member has their own clear and rated roles.

  • What are the do-roles, think-roles and social-roles of Belbin?

Do-roles: Implementer, shaper, completer-finisher. Think-roles: Specialist, Monitor-evaluator, Plant. Social-roles: Resource Investigator, Teamworker, Co-ordinator.

  • What are interpersonal KSAs and what are self-management KSAs?

Interpersonal KSAs: Conflict resolution KSAs, Collaborative problem-solving KSAs and Communicative KSAs. Self-management KSAs: Goal-setting and performance management KSAs and Planning and task co-ordination KSAs.

  • What are the most common symptoms of failure of teams?

Hidden agendas, lack of understanding, wrong mix of team members and unhealthy team environment.

  • What are the four purposes of team-building according to Richard Beckhard?

The four purposes of team building are: 1. to set goals, 2. to analyse the way work is performed, 3. to examine the way a group is working and its processes, 4. to examine relationships among the people.

  • What are the six guidelines to build and maintain trust?

Communication, support, respect, fairness, predictability, and competence.

  • What is the difference between socio-emotional cohesiveness and instrumental cohesiveness?

Socio-emotional cohesiveness develops when individuals derive emotional satisfaction from team participation. Instrumental cohesiveness develops when team members are mutually dependent on one another as they do not believe in achieving the team’s goal alone.

  • How are groups of workers that are given ‘administrative oversight’ such as planning, monitoring and staffing for their task domains called?

Self-managed teams.

Chapter 9

  • What is the difference between culture and climate?

Culture is resistant to change and is about the examination of underlying values and assumptions. Climate, however, only examines surface level manifestations.

  • What is the four-step process of stereotyping?

Categorising people into groups, inferring that people within a category possess the same traits, forming expectations, interpreting their behaviour.

  • What is the 'glass ceiling'?

An invisible barrier separating women from advancing into top management.

  • What are eight action options that can be used to address diversity issues?

Include/exclude, deny, assimilate, suppress, isolate, tolerate, build relationships and foster mutual adaption.

  • What are three diversity practices?

Accountability practices, development practices and recruitment practices.

  • What are the three dimensions of Karasek's job demand-control model?

Psychological demand of a job, amount of autonomy and social support.

  • What are the most important types of stressors?

Individual, group, organisational and those outside the organisation.

  • What are the three phases of a burn-out?

Emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and feeling a lack of personal accomplishment.

  • What are the three coping strategies?

Control strategy, escape strategy and symptom management strategy.

Chapter 10

  • What is the definition of an organisation?

Organisations are defined as systems of coordinated activities and they exist in order to get things of a group of people done.

  • What four things do organisations have in common?

All organisations have four things in common: division of labour, hierarchy of authority, coordination of effort and the people in an organisation have a goal in common.

  • What is an advantage of unity of command?

Unity of command means that every employee has to report to only one manager. When people report to more managers, organisations might become inefficient because there are conflicting demands.

  • What is a difference between mechanistic and organic organisations?

Mechanistic organisation are rigid bureaucracies with strict rules, top-down communication and narrow defined tasks. Organic organisations are flexible and exists out of individuals with multiple talents that execute different tasks.

Chapter 11

  • What are the six contingency variables?

The contingency variables are technology, environment, culture, size, strategy and structure. A design based on contingency seeks a fit for these variables and a fit between structural variables and external contingencies.

  • What are the analysers (Miles and Snow)?

They have their companies in stable environments in which they can emphasise efficiency and they don’t have to change their structure.

  • What do Miles and Snow call a strategy in which an organisation is very innovative and continuously seeks to change products and markets to stay ahead of the competition?


  • What is the ‘bigger is better’ principle?

The bigger is better model states that the costs per unit production decline when the organisation grows. Bigger is seen as more efficient.

  • What is organisational decline?

It is defined as the decline in resources of the organisation (resources are customers, employees, ideas, products and money).

  • With which four things can one assess organisational effectivity?

In order to assess organisational effectivity, you have to look at goal accomplishment (results), the resources, satisfaction of strategic constituencies and internal processes (the organisation is functioning well and there is little resistance).

Chapter 12

  • What are the two levels of organisational culture?

The visible level: artefacts, and the less or not visible level: values and believes.

  • Which values are usually made up by the founders, espoused values or enacted values?

Espoused values

  • What are the two centralised types of organisational values?

Elite and leadership.

  • What are the four types of organisation cultures?

Four types are: 1. Adaptability culture, 2. External control culture, 3. Development culture, 4. Internal consistency culture.

  • What are the three phases of the solicitation process?

Anticipatory solicitation, encounter, and change and acquisition.

  • During which phase of the solicitation process do people experience a reality shock?

During phase two: encounter.

  • What is the difference between high-context and low-context cultures?

High context consists of social trust, personal relations and goodwill and agreement by general trust. Low context consist of ‘business first’, expertise and performance, agreement by specific, legalistic contracts and efficient negotiations.

  • What are the five cultural dimensions of Hofstede?

The five dimensions are: 1. Power distance, 2. Individualism vs. collectivism, 3. Masculinity vs. femininity, 4. Uncertainty avoidance, 5. Long-term vs. short-term orientation.

  • What are the five dimensions of Trompenaars?

The five dimensions are 1. Power distance, 2. Individualism vs. collectivism, 3. Masculinity vs. femininity, 4. Uncertainty avoidance, 5. Long-term vs. short-term orientation.

  • What is the difference between monochronic time and polychronic time?

Monochronic time means you prefer to do one thing at the time because time is limited.

Polychronic time means you prefer to do several things at the same time because time is flexible.

  • What are proxemics?

Cultural expectations about interpersonal space.

  • What is an expatriate?

Someone who lives or works in an other country than their home country.

Chapter 13

  • Which three methods can be used to identify problems according to the rational model?

Historical cues, planning approaches and perceptions of others.

  • What are the two categories of judgemental heuristics?

Available heuristic and the representativeness heuristic.

  • What are the four independent streams of the garbage can model?

Problems, solutions, participants and choice opportunities.

  • What are the three strategies of the contingency model?

Aided-analytic, Unaided-analytic and non-analytic.

  • What are the four styles of decision-making?

The four styles are: directive, analytical, conceptual and behavioural.

  • How is the tendency to stick to an ineffective course of action when it is unlikely that the bad situation can be reversed called?

Escalation to commitment

  • Call two advantages of decision-making in groups.

For example: groups contain a greater pool of knowledge, provide more perspectives, create more comprehension, increase decision acceptance and create a training ground for inexperienced employees.

  • What are the four rules of brainstorming?

The four rules are: 1. Generate and write down as many ideas as possible, 2. do not set limits, 3. do not criticise during the stage of idea generation, 4. Ignore seniority and think freely.

  • What does the '30-second soap box' mean?

It is a problem-solving technique where one has 30 seconds to argue for or against an idea.

  • What are the five stages of creativity?

Preparation, concentration, incubation, illumination and verification.

Chapter 14

  • Name two 'soft' and two 'hard' influence tactics.

Examples for soft: Rational persuasion, Inspirational appeals, Consultation, Ingratiation, Personal appeals. Examples for hard: Exchange, Coalition tactics, Pressure, Legitimating tactics.

  • What are three possible influence outcomes when someone uses the exchange tactics?

Commitment, compliance or resistance.

  • What are three desired outcomes of conflicts?

Agreement, stronger relationships and learning.

  • Name three negative aspects of groupthink.

Three negative aspects are: 1. members of in-groups consider themselves as a collection of unique individuals but other groups as being similar. 2. Outsiders are seen as threat but in-group members view themselves as morally correct. 3. The perception of reality distorts as in-group members overact differences between their group and the other group.

  • What are five alternatives to solve dysfunctional conflicts?

Integrating, obliging, dominating, avoiding and compromising

  • What are the two types of negotiation?

Distributive and integrative. The first type concerns that sharing of a fixed amount, whereas the integrative type of negotiation goes beyond. It calls for a win-win strategy where all can benefit.

  • What are French and Raven's five bases of power?

Reward power, coercive power, legitimate power, expert power and referent power.

  • What are the four motives for making a poor impression?

Avoidance, obtain concrete rewards, exit and power.

  • What is the highest form of empowerment?


Chapter 15

  • What is the difference between trait theories and behavioural theories?

Traits theories state that leaders are born with leadership skills and behavioural theories state that leader are shaped by improving and developing their behaviour.

  • What is the difference between consideration structure and initiating structure?

Consideration structure focuses on group member’s needs and desires. The initiating structure is leader behaviour that organises and defines what to do next to maximise the output.

  • What are the five leadership styles according to the Robert Blake and Jane Mouton Leadership Grid?

Country club management, impoverished management, middle-of-the-road management, team management and authority compliance.

  • What are the two kind of leaders Fiedler separates?

Task-oriented and Relation-oriented.

  • What are the three dimensions of situational control?

Leader-member relations, task structure and position power.

  • What are the four leadership styles of the path-goal theory?

Directive leadership, supportive leadership, participative leadership and achievement-oriented leadership.

  • What are contingency factors?

Situational factors that make one style of leadership a better choice than another.

  • What does readiness mean?

Readiness is the amount of willingness someone possesses to complete a task. Willingness, thereby, is a mix of confidence, commitment and motivation.

  • What is the difference between transactional leadership and charismatic leadership?

The transactional leadership tries to engage employees’ behaviour. This means leaders motivate employees by giving rewards and exert corrective action when performance goals are not obtained. The charismatic leadership enables followers to develop deep commitment. Leaders using this approach can transform followers by appealing to followers’ values and personal identity.

  • What are the five characteristics of coaching?

Commitment, skill building, support, team builder en result oriented.

Chapter 16

  • What are two extern and two intern forces of change?

External examples: Demographic characteristics, Technological advances, Market changes, Social and political pressures. Internal examples: Size changes, Human resource problems and prospects

  • What are the three phases of Lewis' model of planned change?

Unfreezing, changing, refreezing.

  • What does benchmarking mean?

A process where a company compares their company with the most important organisations in their industry.

  • What is the difference between theory E and theory O?

Theory E stands focuses on the financial aspect of the company, whereas theory O focusses on the development of the organisation by learning.

  • Call the first three steps of Kotter's plan to lead organisational change.

The three steps are: 1. Create a sense of need for change. 2. Establish the guiding coalition. 3. Develop a vision and strategy.

  • What is the difference between episodic change and continuous change?

Episodic change is irregular, discontinuous but intended change. Continuous change is constant, evolving and cumulative change.

  • What are three reasons for resistance to change?

For example: 1. Surprise and fear of the unknown, 2. Climate of distrust, 3. Anxiety of failure, 4. Loss of status or job security, 5. Peer pressure, 6. Interruption of cultural traditions or group relations, 7. Personality conflicts 8. Absence of tact or bad timing, 9. Non-reinforcing reward systems

  • What are two alternative strategies to cope with resistance to change?

For example: Education + communication, Participation + involvement, Facilitation + support, Negotiation + agreement, Manipulation + co-optation, Explicit +explicit coercion

  • What are the four characteristics of organisational development?

OD and profound change, OD is value-loaded, OD is a cycle of diagnosis and prescription,OD is process-oriented.

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