BulletPoints Organizational Behavior Robbins & Judge

Chapter 1: What is organizational behavior?

  • In organizational behavior, one of the key principles is to improve interpersonal skills. When managers have good developed interpersonal skills, this will lead to attraction of more high-performing employees for the organizations. A second important benefit of studying organizational behavior is that it can help to make a workplace great, instead of just good. And, since it is known that companies that are seen as a 'good place to work'  generate superior financial performance, it is good to make companies a good place to work. Thirdly, the quality of workplace relationships has strong connections to things such as job satisfaction, stress and turnover. Social relationships among coworkers and supervisors is also strongly related to overall job satisfaction, lower stress at work and lower intentions to quit. The fourth benefit of having knowledge about organizational behavior is that it can foster social responsibility awareness. This is important because corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an important topic. CSR will be discussed in Chapter 2.
  • Organizational behavior studies the impact of three determinants of behavior within organizations: individuals, groups and structure. The goal of organizational behavior is to make organizations more effective, by using knowledge about these three determinants of behavior within organizations. In other words, organizational behavior is the study of people in organizations and the way that their actions affect the organization. Organizational behavior is especially concenred with employment-related situations, such as job satisfaction, absenteeism, employment turnover, productivity, human performance and management.
  • The core topics in organizational behavior are: motivation; leader behavior and power; interpersonal communication; group structure and processes; attitude development and perception; change processes; conflict and negotiation and work design.
  • There is a difference between effective and succesful managers. Effective managers are those who have a good quality of performance and have satisfied employees, which they are committed to. Succesful managers are those who promote fastly in organizations. Luthan and associates looked at this difference by studying 450 managers, who engaged in four managerial activities:
  1. Traditional management; decision making, planning, controlling;
  2. Communication: exchanging routine information and processing paperwork;
  3. Human resources (HR) management: motivating, disciplining, managing conflict, staffing and training;
  4. Networking: socializing, politiciking and interacting with outsiders.
  • Attitudes are evaluative statements or judgements concerning objects, people or events. They are complex. To understand them better, they are seperated in three components: cognitive, affective and behavioral. The cognitive component of attitudes are the thought individuals have about something. This leads to a feeling, the affective component. The behavioral component is the description of how someone is behaving or is going to behave. These three components often overlap each other. The behavioral component of attitudes is the most important for organizations.
  • The exit-voice-loyalty-neglect framework model helps to understand the consequences of job dissatisfaction. It contains four responses that differ on two dimensions: constructive/destructive and active/passive:
  1. Exit: The exit response is dissatisfaction expressed through leaving an organization (looking for a new position or resigning). To measure the effects of this response, researchers look at the collective turnover, which is the total loss to the organization of employee knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics;
  2. Voice: The voice response is dissatisfaction expressed through actively and constructively attempting to improve conditions;
  3. Loyalty: The loyalty response is dissatisfaction expressed by passively waiting for the conditions to improve. This also includes fighting against external criticism and trusting the organization and management in that they will do the right thing;
  4. Neglect: The neglect response means that dissatisfaction is expressed through allowing that conditions worsen and includes things such as chronic absenteeism or showing up late, reducing effort and increased error rates.

Exit is active and destructive, voice is active and constructive, loyalty is active and constructive, neglect is passive and destructive.

Chapter 2: What are attitudes and how do they influence behavior?

  • Attitudes are evaluative statements or judgements concerning objects, people or events. They are complex. To understand them better, they are seperated in three components: cognitive, affective and behavioral. The cognitive component of attitudes are the thought individuals have about something. This leads to a feeling, the affective component. The behavioral component is the description of how someone is behaving or is going to behave. These three components often overlap each other. The behavioral component of attitudes is the most important in organisational behavior.
  • For attitudes, the most important moderators are the importance of the attitude; the correspondence to behavior; the accessibility; the presence of social pressures and whether a person has direct experience with the attitude. Discrepancies between attitude and behavior occur when social pressures (such as organizations) lead individuals to behave in certain ways. Attitudes that are frequently expressed are more likely to be remembered and attitudes that our memory can easily access are more likely to predict our behavior. Another predictor of when attitudes lead to behavior is when an attitude refers to something that someone had personal experience with.

The exit-voice-loyalty-neglect framework model helps to understand the consequences of job dissatisfaction. It contains four responses that differ on two dimensions: constructiv/destructive and active/passive:

  1. Exit: The exit response is dissatisfaction expressed through leaving an organization (looking for a new position or resigning). To measure the effects of this response, researchers look at the collective turnover, which is the total loss to the organization of employee knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics;
  2. Voice: The voice response is dissatisfaction expressed through actively and constructively attempting to improve conditions;
  3. Loyalty: The loyalty response is dissatisfaction expressed by passively waiting for the conditions to improve. This also includes fighting against external criticism and trusting the organization and management in that they will do the right thing;
  4. Neglect: The neglect response means that dissatisfaction is expressed through allowing that conditions worsen and includes things such as chronic absenteeism or showing up late, reducing effort and increased error rates.
  • Job dissatisfaction predicts counterproductive work behavior. Counterproductive work behavior is about employee behavior that is not beneficial to the organization and is even counterproductive. Things included are stealing at work, gossiping, absenteeism, undue socializing and tardiness. Employees often choose different behaviors, due to idiosyncratic factors (individual factors). One might choose to quit, another might choose to surf the Internet instead of working at something for their job. Therefore it is not simple to fight against CWB. The best thing an employer can do is to increase the job satisfaction of the employees.

Chapter 3: What are emotions?

  • There are three different terms that are closely related: affect, emotions and moods. Affect means the broad range of feelings that people experience, emotions are intense feelings towards something or someone and moods are feelings that are less intense than emotions and that have no direct specific contextual cause. So, emotions are more likely to be caused by a specific event than moods. Emotions are also seen as more action-oriened (lead to immediate action) than moods, which may be more cognitive which means that they might cause people to think.
  • There is a lot of debate about which basic emotions there are. There are six different universal emotions decided on right now: anger, fear, sadness, happiness, disgust and surprise.
  • Cultures have different 'rules' regarding emotional expression, so while in the U.S. a smile can be seen as a sign of happiness, in the Middle East a smile is often seen as an expression of sexual attraction. 
  • There also seems to be a difference between individualistic countries and collectivistic countries regarding emotions. Individualistic countries are those in which people see themselves as independent and desire personal goals and personal control. Collectivistic countries are those in which people see themselves as interdependent and the group and community is very important. In collectivistic countries, people think that emotional expressions are connected to the personal relationship one has with another. In individualistic countries, people often do not think that emotional expressions are directed at them.
  • Emotions can be divided in felt and displayed emotions. Felt emotions are what people actually feel, displayed emotions are emotions that employees need to show regarding their work and their job. These are learnt emotions (think about the flight attendants who need to be cheerful). 
  • When people display fake emotions, they suppress their real ones. Surface acting is the term for when someone's inner emotions are hidden and instead of that they show a fake emotion, because that is required for their job.  It is also called 'putting on a face'. Surface acting can lead to exhaustion, work-family conflict and insomnia. In the workplace, surface acting leads to exhaustion and fewer OCBs, increased stress and decreased job satisfaction. Employees that have to vary their surface-acting responses, show lower job satisfaction than those who have stable surface-acting responses. For employees that engage in surface acting, relaxation and rest is important to experience less negative consequences.
  • Deep acting is when the emotions that one needs to express, are also tried to be felt. So, if someone has to smile for their job, but also tries to feel good at the same time, this is called deep acting. This may have positive effects on job satisfaction and leads to less exhaustion than surface acting.

Chapter 4: What is personality?

  • Personality can be defined as the sum of total ways in which an individual reacts to and interacts with others. When someone exhibits certain traits such as shyness, laziness, dominant, ambitious over a long period of time and in different situations, these are called personality traits. 
  • The Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is the most used personality-assessment instrument in the world. This is a 100-question personality test that asks people to state how they feel or act in certain situations. The respondents can be classified as extraverted or introverted (E or I), sensing or intuitive (S or N), thinking or feeling (T or F) and judging or perceiving (J or P).
  • Extraverted versus Introverted: Extraverted individuals are outgoing, sociable and assertive. Introverted individuals are quiet and shy.
  • Sensing versus Intuitive: Sensing individuals are practical and prefer routine and order and focus on details. Intuitive individuals rely on unconscious processes and look at the 'big picture'.
  • Thinking versus Feeling: Thinking individuals use reason and logic to handle their problems. Feeling individuals rely on their personal values and emotions.
  • Judging versus Perceiving: Judging individuals want control and prefer order and structure. Perceiving individuals are more flexible and spontaneous.
  • Unlike the MBTI, the Big Five Model has a lot of supporting evidence. The test scores on these five traits predict how people act in a variety of real-life situations. The test scores are also reliable, with some daily fluctuations. The Big Five factors are:
  1. Conscientiousness. This measures one's reliability. Someone who scores high on conscientiousness is responsible, organized, dependable and persistent. People low on conscientiousness are easily distracted, disorganized and unreliable.
  2. Emotional stability. This measures how well someone can withstand stress. People who score high on emotional stability are calm, self-confident and secure. They are also more likely to be positive and optimistic. The converse of emotional stability is neuroticism. High neuroticism is linked with nervosity, anxiety, depression and insecurity.
  3. Extraversion. This is about one's comfort level with relationships. People who are highly extravert are assertive and sociable. They are also often happier than the converse, introversion. Introverts are more thoughtful, reserved, timid and quiet.
  4. Openness to experience. This dimension is about the range of a person's interest and their fascination with novelty. People who score high on openness to experience are creative, curious and artistically sensitive. People who score low on openness to experience are conventional and like the familiar.
  5. Agreeableness. This dimension describes someone as good natured, cooperative and trusting. People who score low on agreeableness are often cold and antagonistic.
  • Next to the Big Five traits, researchers have identified three other socially undesirable traits that all people have in varying degrees and which are also relevant to organizational behavior: machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy. 
  • There are four components to situation strength:
  1. Clarity. This is the degree to which cues are clear and available. For instance, when you work as a banker, you have more clear cues than when you are a nanny.
  2. Consistency. This is when all the cues are pointing at the same direction. For example, you have two bosses, and they both expect you to do the same.
  3. Constraints. Jobs with many constraints are strong situations, because someone gets forced to adapt to the norms.
  4. Consequences. Jobs with important consequences are strong situations, because the environment is heavily structured against mistakes. For example, a surgeon's job has higher consequences than a foreign language teacher's. 
  • Hofstede found that managers and employees vary on five value dimensions of national culture:
  1. Power distance. This is the degree to which people in a country accept that the power in institutions and organizations is distributed unequally. A high rating on power distance means that there are large inequalities of power and wealth that are tolerated in the culture (for example, a class system). A low power distance means that it is a society that stresses equality and opportunity.
  2. Individualism versus collectivism. Individualism is the degree to which people prefer to act as individuals rather than as members of a group. Collectivism is when people in a group expect others in their group to look after them and protect them. In collectivist cultures, people see themselves as interdependent and community and group goals are important. The U.S. and the Netherlands are examples of individualistic cultures, while countries such as Japan and China are collectivistic.
  3. Masculinity versus feminity. Masculinity is the degree to which the cultue facors traditional masculine roles such as achievement, power, and control. High masculinity means that the culture has seperate roles for men and women, in which men dominate. High feminity means that a culture sees little difference between men and women and treats them as equals of men in all respect.
  4. Uncertainty avoidance. This is the extent to which a society feels threatened by uncertain and ambiguous situations and tries to avoid them. Cultures with high uncertainty have people that worry about uncertainty and ambiguity and they use laws and controls to reduce uncertainty.

Chapter 5: What are perceptual processes?

  • There are some factors that shape and sometimes distort perception:
  1. Perceiver. The perceiver's personal characteristics such as attitude, personality, motives, interests, past experiences and expectations influence what he or she sees. 
  2. Target. We do not see targets in isolation: we see them in relationship to the background. We also have a tendency to group close and similar things together. 
  3. Context. The time at which an object is seen, the location, the light, heat and situational factors can all influence the way we perceive it.
  • Person perceptions are most important in OB. The attribution theory tries to explain how we explain other's behavior. We do this by determining causation, distinctiveness, consensus and consistency.
  1. Internal and external causation. When we observe someone's behavior, we determine whether this was internally or externally caused. Internally caused means that someone's behavior is in his or her own personal control. Externally caused behavior is when we think that the situation has forced someone to act in a certain way. There are three criteria for distinguishing between internal and externally caused behavior: distinctiveness; consensus and consistency. 
  2. Distinctiveness refers to whether an individual displays different behaviors in different situations. In other words, is this behavior unusual for this person? If it is unusual for the person to show some kind of behavior, we will probably judge it as external.
  3. Consensus is when everyone in the same situation responds the same. If someone's behavior is something that everyone else is doing, there is a lot of consensus and we will probably not say that it is caused by internal factors. An example is that of when all employees take the same route and are all late. We will say that there is something about the situation. However, if all employees take the same route and one person is late, there is not a lot of consensus and we would attribute his or her lateness to an internal cause.
  4. Consistency is about whether a person responds in the same way over time. The more consistent a person's behavior is, the more we are inclined to attribute it to internal causes. For example, does someone always come late or was it just this one time? 
  • Errors and biases lead us to make wrong attributions. One of such an error is that when we look at other people's behaviour, we underestimate the influence of external factors and overestimate the influence of internal personal factors. This is called the fundamental attribution error. 
  • Creative behavior occurs in four steps, each of which leads to the next:
  1. Problem formulation. This is the stage in which a problem or opportunity is identified that requires a solution.
  2. Information gathering. This is the stage in which knowledge is sought and possible solutions to a problem are gathered.
  3. Idea generation. This is the process of creative behavior in which we develop possible solutions to a problem from relevant information and knowledge.
  4. Idea evaluation. This is the process in which potential solutions to the problem are evaluated and the best one is chosen.

Chapter 6: What is the value of diversity?

  • There have been some rapid changes in the workplace demographics. Demographics are characteristics of a population such as race, sex, age, education and profession. The most noticeable change in demographics is that the workforce is now more gender-balanced and multiethnic compared to being predominantly white male. Women are also more likely than before to be employed full time. The earning gap in the United States between Whites and other racial and ethnic groups has decreased due to the increase of minorities in the workplace. 
  • Demographics reflect surface-level diversity and not thoughts and feelings and can lead to things such as stereotyping and discrimination. Deep-level diversity is when diferences in values, personality and work preferences become progressively more important for determining similarity. So, when people see themselves as sharing deep-level diversity, than they are less concerned with demographic differences such as race. So deep-level similarities can overshadow surface-level differences.
  • By treating employees as individuals and not highlighting group differences could help to combat stereotype threat. The following changes be successful in reducing stereotype threat: 
  1. Increasing awareness of how stereotypes may be perpetuated;
  2. Reducing differential and preferential treatment through objective assessment;
  3. Banning stereotyped practices and messages;
  4. Confronting even small, seemingly harmless aggressions against minority groups and adopting transparent practices that signal the value of all employees.

Chapter 7: What is basic motivation?

  • Motivation is defined as the processes that account for an individual's intensity, direction and persistence of effort toward attaining a goal. 
  • Intensity is about how hard a person tries. High intensiy can turn into wanted outcomes, but only if the effort is directed towards a specific goal. Persistence is about how long an individual maintains their effort.
  • Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs is the best known theory of motivation. This theory states that every individual has five needs: physiological (hunger, thirst, shelter, sex, and other bodily needs), safety-security (security and protection from physical and emotional harm), social-belongingness (affection, belongingness, acceptance and friendship), esteem (self-respect, autonomy and achievement, and external factors such as status, recognition and attention), self-actualization (the drive to become what we are capable of becoming; growth, achieving our potential, self-fulfillment). So to reach the fifth need, self-actualization, someone needs to be fulfilled and satisfied regarding the other needs. When one need is satisfied, the next one beccomes dominant. So, when you want to motivate someone, you should determine in which level of the hierarchy the person is at the moment and focus on satisfying the needs at or above that level. Maslow's theory is widely accepted, although research has not shown it's cross-cultural validity. 
  • McClelland describes needs as motivating factors, as opposed to needs for survival (as Maslow did). There are three motivating factors or needs:
  1. Need for achievement (nAch). This is the drive to excel, to achieve in relationship to a set of standards, and to strive to succeed;
  2. Need for power (nPow). This is the need to make others behave in a way they would not have otherwise.
  3. Need for affiliation (nAff). This is the desire for friendly and close interpersonal relationships.
  • There are three factors of influence on the goal-performance relationship: goal commitment, task characteristics and national culture.
  1. Goal commitment. Goal commitment is when an individual is committed to their goal and determined not to lower or abandon it. Goal commitment is likely to occur when goals are made public, when the individual has an internal locus of control, when the goals are self-set rather than assigned, and when they are based on individual ability. When there is goal commitment, the individual believes that he or she can achieve the goal and the individual wants to achieve it.
  2. Task characteristics. The characteristics of the goal affect performance more when they are simple rather than complex, when they are well learned rather than novel, when they are independent rather than interdependent, and when they are on the high end of achievable.
  3. National culture. Goals have different effects varying from culture to culture. In collectivistic cultures with high power-distance, moderate goals can be more motivating than difficult ones. More research is needed to assess how goals differ accros cultures.

Chapter 8: How can we apply motivation?

  • Job design refers to the way in which elements in a job are organized. This can influence employee effort. The job characteristics model (JCM) describes jobs in terms of five core job dimensions.
  1. Skill variety. This refers to the degree to which a job requires different activities using specialized skills and talents. For example, the work of a garage-owner is more varied than that of a body shop worker who sprays paint eight hours a day.
  2. Task identity. This is the degree to which a job requires completion of a whole and identifiable piece of work. For example, a cabinetmaker who designs furniture scores high on task identity, while a job scoring low in task identity is that of someone who only has to do one thing (for example, operating a lathe solely to make table legs).
  3. Task significance. This is the degree to which a job affects the lives or work of other people. The job of a nurse is one with high task significance, because it has a lot of influence on other people's lives. 
  4. Autonomy. This is the degree to which a job provides freedom, independence and discretion in scheduling work. For example, someone who sets her own schedule and has not a lot of supervision, has a highly autonomous job. 
  5. Feedback. This is the degree to which carrying out work activities generate direct and clear information about one's performance. A job with high feedback is testing and inspecting iPads.
  • There are two major forms of employee involvement: participative management and representative participation. Participative management refers to the process in which subordinates share a significant degree of decision-making power with their immediate superiors. This can be formally (briefings or surveys) or informally (daily consultations). For participative management to be effective, followers must have trust and confidence in their leaders. It is not a sure means for improving performance.
  • Representative participation is about workers participating in organizational decision making thorugh a small group of representative employees. The two most common forms of representative participation are works councils and board representatives. Works councils are groups of nominated or elected employees who must be consulted when management makes decisions about employees. Board representatives are employees who sit on a company's board of directors and represent employee's interests. 

Chapter 9: What is communication?

  • Communication is needed in groups and organizations to share meaning among its members. Communication includes both the transfer and the understanding of meaning. 
  • Communication has five functions within a group or organization: management, feedback, emotional sharing, persuasion and information exchange. They are all equally important and almost every communication that takes place involves one of these five functions.
  • For communication to take place, there needs to be a purpose. One message has to be sent between a sender and a receiver. The sender encodes the message and passes it to the receiver, who decodes it. This results in transfer of meaning from one person to another.
  • The communication process consists of the sender; encoding; the message; the channel; decoding; the receiver; noise and feedback. 
  • The message is the result of the sender's encoding. When we speak, the speech is the message and when we write, the writing is the message. The channel is the medium through which the message is transfered. The sender decides on the channel and chooses between formal channels and informal channels. Formal channels are communication channels that are established by an organization to transmit messages related to professional activities. Informal channels are communication channels that are created spontaneously and that emerge as responses to individual choices (personal or social messages).
  • The receiver is the person to who the message is directed and who has to translate the 'symbols' of the message into an understandable form. This is what called decoding of the message. Noise is the term for barriers that lead to less clarity in perception, such as perceptual issues, information overload, cultural differences or literally too much noise in the environment in which the message is conveyed. The final part of communication, feedback, is the check on how successful the message has been transfered.
  • Channel richness refers to the amount of information that can be transmitted during a communication episode. Channels are called rich when they can handle multiple cues simultaneously; facilitate rapid feedback; and be very personal. The opposite of richness is called lean. Lean channels score low on these factors. Face-to-face conversations have the highest channel richness.
  • There are two kinds of processing that humans use for information. The first is automatic processing, which is the relatively superficial consideration of evidence and information making use of heuristics. It takes little time and effort, so it is especially useful when messages are related to topics that you do not care a lot about. However, when you want to make a good decision, it would be better to engage in controlled processing. Controlled processing is a detailed consideration of evidence and information that relies on facts, figures and logic. It requires effort and energy. There are different factors that decide whether an audience makes use of automatic or controlled processing.

Chapter 10: What are groups?

  • Groups consist of two or more individuals who interact and depend on each other and who together must achieve certain goals or outcomes (objectives). Groups can be both formal and informal. Formal groups are groups that belong to organizations and in which organizational goals are pursued. Informal groups are social groups. An example is a group consisting of three individuals who have lunch or go to the movies together.
  • An in-group has different degrees and variants. A very strong in-group is a group in which there is a strong sense of cohesion and a sense of security. There is a “we versus them”-mentality. Another example of this is a very close group of friends who do not tolerate others in their group. In-group favoritism means that people who belong to the in-group are seen as better. Also members of the in-group are not all seen the same. The out-group is the counterpart of the in-group and people belonging to this out-group are seen as 'unsafe and dangerous outsiders'. When talking about an out-group, people immediately refer to several people who pose a threat to the unity of the out-group. However, an out-group does not always have to be considered threatening and can simply be a collective name for 'all others who do not belong to the in-group'.
  • Groupthink is a phenomenon in which the norm for consensus overrides the realistic appraisal of alternative courses of action. Managers can prevent groupthink by keeping an eye on group size. They can also appoint leaders who ensure that all individual members are heard. One member can also be given the role of the devil. This means that he or she critically assesses the input of the group members.
  • Brainstorming means that a fair number of members come together. The group leader mentions a problem and clarifies it for everyone. Subsequently, members can name as many solutions as possible. There is no criticism, so even bizarre solutions may be mentioned. Brainstorming can lead to ideas, but is often not effective. An explanation for this is "production blocking". This means that many people talk in a group at the same time, which means that individuals cannot think properly and therefore cannot share their ideas.
  • The nominal group technique means that individuals come together, but act independently of each other. A problem is presented and then the following steps are followed: Each member writes down his idea about the problem. After this period, each member presents one idea to the group. After each member has presented an idea, there is a period of discussion. Finally, each member organizes the ideas. The idea with the highest score wins. Nominal group techniques are more effective than brainstorming.

Chapter 11: What are teams?

  • Teams have become very popular because they can achieve things that individuals cannot achieve. Teams are more flexible and can respond better to changes compared to individuals. A workgroup is a group that works together to exchange information and to help each member perform within his or her area of responsibility. A work team is a group in which the efforts of all individuals together ensure higher performance compared to individual efforts.
  • The difference between workgroups and work teams is therefore in the goals, the synergy, the responsibilities and the skills. The purpose of working groups is to exchange information and that of working teams is collective performance. The synergy of working groups is neutral, and that of working teams is positive. The responsibilities in workgroups lie with the individuals, and with work teams the individuals and the team both are responsible. Finally, the skills of working groups vary, while the skills of working teams are complementary.
  • Social loafing means that individuals do not exert a lot of effort in a group. Social loafing can be prevented by applying individual performance evaluations.

Chapter 12: What characterizes leaders?

  • Leadership is defined as the capacity to influence others in order to achieve certain group goals. There are theories about personality traits that influence leadership. There are now two conclusions about personality traits in relation to leadership: personality traits can predict leadership and these traits are better at predicting the emergence of leadership, rather than predicting the effectiveness of leadership.
  • Personality traits help to predict leadership. However, they do not explain leadership. Behavioral theories help to distinguish between leaders and non-leaders and answer the question of what specific behavior belongs to leadership. There are two dimensions that belong to leadership: initiation structure and consideration.
  • The initiation structure is the extent to which a leader organizes work well and roles are well distributed. The tasks are divided among followers, a standard for performance is set and deadlines are emphasized. A good initiation structure leads to more productivity and positive performance evaluations.
  • Considerations are about the degree of the relationships that a leader has with his followers that are characterized by trust and respect. A leader who scores high on consideration, helps employees with their personal problems, is friendly and approachable.
  • This theory states that group performance depends on a good match between the leadership style and the extent to which a situation gives a leader control and power. The first step in this model is to determine whether a leader has a task or a relationship orientation. This is done with the help of the least preferred coworker (LPC) questionnaire. In this questionnaire, people must describe which colleague they least like to work with. If people describe that person in favorable terms, the respondent is relationship-oriented. When the respondent describes his or her colleague in unfavorable terms, he or she is task-oriented. After finding a score, a fit must be found between the organizational situation and the leadership style of a person in order to predict the effectiveness of leadership.
  • Fiedler distinguishes three situational dimensions:
  1. Leader-member relations. This is about the degree of trust and respect that followers have for their leader.
  2. Task structure. This is about the extent to which tasks are standardized.
  3. Position power. This is about the degree of influence the leader has over power variables such as hiring, firing, promotions and salary increases.

Based on these three factors in combination with the leadership style, effective leadership can be predicted.

  • This form of leadership is based on the personal qualities of the leader and the recognition of these qualities by their followers. Charismatic leaders often have a clear vision, are willing to take risks to achieve that vision, and are sensitive to the needs of their followers show extraordinary behavior. A vision is a long-term strategy for achieving goals.
  • Individuals can be born with traits that make them charismatic. Personality is also related to charisma. People with charisma are often extrovert, confident and performance-oriented.
  • Individuals are especially sensitive to charismatic leadership when there is a crisis, when they are under stress or when their lives are threatened.
  • Transactional leaders are leaders who motivate their followers to achieve a certain goal by setting clear roles and requirements. Transformational leaders are leaders who focus on change, in which the leader has an inspiring vision and motivates his employees to follow this vision. This leads to more results in the long term. A combination of transactional leadership with transformational leadership is best.

Chapter 13: What about power and politics in organizations?

  • In organizations, power refers to the fact that A influences the behavior of B so that it fits A's wishes, just because A has something that B would like. Power is a potential: someone can have power without using it. The most important part of power is that of dependence. Dependence arises when B sees no other alternatives and considers what A has to be important. So someone only has power over you when he or she has something that you would like to have. Leaders use power as a means to achieve goals, often in groups. The difference between power and leadership is that with leadership there must be compatibility between the goals of the leader and those of the group. With power this is not necessary, there just has to be dependence. The direction of influence is also different. With leadership this influence is from top to bottom, with power this is not always the case. A third difference is that in research, the style of leadership is often emphasized. Research into power often looks at tactics that can be used. The final difference between power and leadership is that leadership is often about an individual, while power can be used by multiple groups and / or individuals.
  • Dependence is the most important aspect of power. The general postulate of dependence states that the greater the dependence of B on A, the more power A has over B. By having something that someone else would like, others become dependent on you and you gain power over them. However, if something is abundant, then possessing it will not lead to more power.
  • So the more you have yourself, the less you depend on others and others are less powerful. This explains why many organizations have multiple suppliers instead of one supplier. This also explains why many people want to be financially independent: others have less power on you.Dependence arises when something is important, scarce and nonsubstitutable.
  • To view the exchange of resources in organizations, the social network analysis can be used. This analysis looks at the different patterns of communication between members of the organization, to determine how the information flows between them. Every individual in the network is a node and the links between them are called connections. The more often individuals communicate with each other, the stronger the connection. There are also people who serve as 'brokers’ in communication. The representation of these connections in a social network is called a sociogram. The difference with an organization chart is that an organization chart shows how authority should go, while a sociogram shows how the connections really work. nThe individuals who play the role of brokers in a sociogram have the most power because they have contact with multiple groups. Many people depend on these brokers.
  • Researchers have identified nine different power tactics. Power tactics are ways of using power to achieve a specific action.
  1. Legitimacy. This means that people use their authoritarian position to get things done.
  2. Rational persuasion. This means that people use arguments and facts to show that a certain goal is desired.
  3. Inspirational appeals. This means that people try to unleash emotions by appealing to someone's values, needs and hopes.
  4. Consultation. This means that someone is involved in the plan in order to increase support for the plan.
  5. Exchange. This means that people are rewarded for following a request.
  6. Personal considerations. This means that someone is asked to comply by pointing him or her to friendship or loyalty.
  7. Ingratiation. This means that someone flatters, praises or behaves very kindly in order to achieve a certain goal.
  8. Pressure. This means that someone is threatened and thus put under pressure to adapt.
  9. Coalitions. This means that others are used to help convince someone.

Chapter 14: What is conflict in organizations?

  • Conflict is about difference in perceptions. Before anything can be a conflict, both parties must realize that there is a conflict. Conflict is defined as the process that starts when a party thinks that another party (another person) has influenced or will negatively influence something that one party cares about.
  • Conflict starts during interaction when people begin to disagree with each other. Some approaches say that there are types of conflict based on their effect. Functional conflict is a type of conflict that supports the goals of the group and ensures better performance. Dysfunctional conflict is conflict that hinders the performance of a group, also known as destructive conflict.
  • By looking at the type of disagreement that exists, conflict can be better understood. Researchers have established three categories for conflict: relationship conflicts, task conflicts and process conflicts. Relationship conflict is about conflict in interpersonal relationships.
  1. Task conflicts are about conflicts that have to do with the content and goals of a certain task. Process conflicts are about how work is completed.
  2. Relationship conflicts are almost always dysfunctional and often very exhausting for the individuals in the conflict. This kind of conflict is often concerned with problems related to personality. Because personality cannot be easily changed, relationship conflicts are destructive to the working atmosphere.An average level of task conflicts is considered optimal for performance. For example, a study has shown that it would increase creativity. Too high a level of task conflicts reduced team performance. The personalities of the team members also had influence. For example, individuals who scored high in openness and emotional stability were better able to experience the positive effects of task conflicts.
  3. Process conflicts are often about roles and these conflicts are very personal. Therefore, process conflicts often change quickly into relationship conflicts, which are therefore destructive.
  • Recognizing disagreements can lead to less dysfunctional conflicts. By allowing different groups to choose from a solution based on what is most important to them, conflicts can be reduced. Open discussion can therefore lead to fewer conflicts. Multiple interests must also be emphasized. Groups that use a cooperative style and identify strongly with the goals of the group are more effective than groups where there is a competitive style.
  • There are two types of negotiation: distributive negotiation and integrative negotiation. These types differ in goals, motivation, focus, interests, information exchange and the duration of the relationship.
  • Distributive negotiation means that there is a win-loss situation. One party wins and the other loses. Distributive negotiation is about negotiating about a fixed pie (a standard amount of services or products) that must be distributed. Negotiators who negotiate distributively have a specific target. This is what the negotiator wants to achieve or achieve. Each also has a resistance point. This is the lowest possible outcome of the negotiation. The space between the target and the resistance point is called the aspiration area. If both aspiration areas match, then a point can be chosen in which both interests are satisfied. It is recommended to make an aggressive bid first during distributive negotiation. This radiates power. There is also anchoring bias, which means that people often focus on initial information.
  • Integrative negotiation is negotiation in which the aim is to achieve a win-win situation.
  • There are four factors that determine how effectively individuals negotiate: personality, mood or emotions, culture and gender.

Chapter 15: What is organizational structure and design?

  • The structure of an organization is about how tasks are divided, grouped and coordinated. There are seven important elements in the design of an organizational structure:
  1. Work specialization
  2. Departmentalization
  3. Chain of command,
  4. Span of control
  5. Centralization and decentralization
  6. Formalization 
  7. Boundary spanning
  • There is a key question for each element.
  • There are three common organizational structures: the simple structure, the bureaucracy and the matrix structure.
  • Organizations with a simple and flat structure are called organizations with a simple structure. This means that there is a low degree of departmentalization, wide spans of control, authority centralized in a single person and little formalization. The advantages of this structure are that it is fast and flexible. In addition, it is also cheaper than other structures. A disadvantage of the simple structure is that this structure could be insufficient when an organization grows, because there is little formalization, and a lot of centralization that leads to that the leading person experiences an overload of information. 
  • In the bureacracy structure, rules and procedures are very important. The work processes are all standardized, so there is high formalization. There is also departmentalization, centralization, low spans of control and there is a command structure. The advantage of a bureaucratic structure is that standardized activities can be carried out quickly and efficiently. The disadvantages are that it could be too much focused on profit, production and rules. 
  • There are two aspects of bureaucracies: functional and divisional structures. The functional structure is about employees being grouped based on their common skills, roles and or duties. This works well if an organization focuses on one product or service. Communication between the different departments can be difficult, because sometimes there are many different departments. This is a disadvantage of a functional structure. The divisional structure means that employees are grouped on the basis of products, services, customers or geographical area. There is high formalization. This structure facilitates communication within the groups.
  • The matrix structure means that employees report to several people. This facilitates communication when an organization performs multiple tasks. However, it can cause confusion, power conflicts and can be uncomfortable for employees.

Chapter 16: How can an organization culture be created and maintained?

  • The definition of an organizational culture is that it is a system in which members have a shared opinion that distinguishes them from other organizations. There are seven characteristics of an organizational culture:
  1. Innovation and risk-taking. This is about the extent to which employees are encouraged to be innovative and take risks.
  2. Attention to detail. This is about the extent to which employees are expected to be precise and attentive to detail.
  3. Outcome orientation. This is about the extent to which management focuses on results or outcomes rather than on techniques and processes.
  4. People orientation. This is about the extent to which management choices take into account the effect of the outcomes on people within an organization.
  5. Team orientation. This is about the extent to which work activities are organized around teams rather than around individuals.
  6. Aggressiveness. This is about the extent to which people are aggressive and competitive instead of easygoing.
  7. Stability. This is about the extent to which organizational activities emphasize maintaining the status quo rather than focusing on growth and development.
  • Strong cultures are cultures in which the observers share the same opinions about the missions of the organization and the values. If opinions differ greatly, there is a weak culture. A strong culture ensures less staff turnover, because it leads to agreement between employees. This in turn leads to more cohesion, loyalty and organizational commitment. The stronger a culture is, the less an organization has to establish rules of conduct.
  • Rules are determined through culture. First, a culture has a border-defining role: it provides a distinction between different organizations. Second, it creates an identity for members of the organization. Third, it ensures commitment to a larger goal. It also ensures the stability of the social system. Culture can serve as a 'social glue' that holds the organization together by setting standards for behavior. Finally, culture can serve as a way to design and guide the attitudes and behaviors of employees.
  • An organization can also have a negative culture. There are a number of factors that decide whether a culture leads to inefficiency.
  1. Institutionalization. If an organization has high institutionalization, this means that the organization becomes known for the organization itself, and not for the products or services that it creates.
  2. Barriers to change. Sometimes there are things that prevent change. For example, when an organization changes very quickly, the current culture may no longer be appropriate.
  3. Barriers to diversity. Creating diversity by hiring staff that differ in age, gender or culture, for example, creates a paradox. This is about that organizations want diversity, but it is still important that new employees assimilate to the prevailing culture as quickly as possible.
  4. Strengthening dysfunctions. Dysfunctional management has negative effects on an organization. Local organization cultures in which there are low levels of job satisfaction is lead to higher staff turnover, even if the general culture of an organization is a positive culture.
  5. Barriers to acquisitions and mergers. When companies merged in the past, financial benefit was an important determining factor. Now it is more important that cultures are compatible: that they match. If two cultures do not match, this can be disastrous for the new organization..
  • There are three factors that influence the maintenance of a culture: selection, top management and socialization.
  1. Selection. This means that individuals with specific knowledge, skills and capacities are chosen. People are also chosen based on how well their values ​​match the values ​​of the organization. Selection is a two-way street, because employees can also withdraw if they find that they do not fit well with the organization or vice versa.
  2. Top management. The actions that the top executives perform are very important for the culture of an organization. Senior executives create standards, such as whether or not it is good to take risks, what suitable clothing is and which actions are rewarded.
  3. Socialization. Socialization is the process in which a new employee adapts to the organizational culture. It consists of three phases: the prearrival, the encounter and the metamorphosis phase.

Chapter 17: How can change be achieved in organizations?

  • Change can be planned or reactionary. It usually takes place in one or more of the following six dimensions:
  1. The characteristics of the staff are changing. Changes that organizations now have to deal with are things such as multiculturalism, demographic changes and immigration.
  2. Technology. This causes many changes and it may even be that offices no longer have to exist in the future.
  3. Economic shocks. These are things like crises that have a lot of influence on organizations.
  4. Competition. Due to globalization, there is now much more competition located around the whole world.
  5. Social trends. Consumers, employees and organizational leaders are under the influence of changing social trends.
  6. Changes in world politics. There have been many different changes in world politics lately. Examples are the financial crisses, the increased influence and power of China and the problems in the Arab countries.
  • Change means that things have changed. Planned change means that change takes place based on an intentional and goal-oriented process. The goals of planned change are that the organization is better able to respond to changes in the environment. Change agents are people who cause this change in organizations. They plan a future for an organization, called a vision. Change agents can be managers, non-managers, current or new employees and outside consultants.
  • There are eight ways in which change agents can reduce resistance.
  1. Communication. Changes are most effective when they are communicated with employees. Formal information sessions reduce the fears of the employees and ensure more commitment from their side.
  2. Participation. Employee participation during decision making can also reduce resistance. In addition, it increases the commitment and can increase the quality of the choice for change. The disadvantages of participation can be that it can lead to a poor choice and that it often takes a lot of time.
  3. Building support and commitment. Employees show more commitment and dedication to change when they are committed to the organization. Thus, increasing commitment can lead to less resistance. Tools for this are counseling, therapy, learning new skills or offering short, paid leave.
  4. Developing positive relationships. Employees accept change faster when they trust the managers who want to implement the changes.
  5. Implementing changes fairly. Resistance is reduced when employees see the reasons for change and when they think the changes have been implemented in a fair way.
  6. Manipulation and cooptation. Manipulation is trying to influence someone else in a covert way. Examples of manipulation are distorting facts, withholding information and creating false rumors. Cooptation is a combination of manipulation and participation. An example of cooptation means is buying off the leaders of a resistance group.
  7. Selecting people who accept change. Some personality traits, such as being open to new experiences, influence how resistant or open people are to change. People with a higher need for growth or development and people with a higher general intelligence are also more open to change. This can be taken into account when selecting employees.
  8. Coercion. Coercion means trying to persuade people to think differently through threating them. Examples are threatening with withholding a promotion or giving negative peformance evaluations.
  • The paradox theory with regard to management means that there is never a perfect, optimal status for an organization. There is a constant process of trying to find a balance, an equilibrium. This is because things are constantly changing, such as the environment and staff of the organization.
  • There are structural variables that can lead to innovation. Four are discussed.
  1. Organic structures. These are organizations with less vertical differentiation, formalization and centralization. These organizations facilitate innovation because they are more flexible and more open to adaptation.
  2. Long tenure in management. Managers who have been employed for a long time can ensure innovation through credibility and knowledge.
  3. Slack resources. If an organization has an abundance of resources, then innovation is easier to achieve.
  4. High interunit communication. Organizations with high interunit communication are organizations where there are many committees, task groups and cross-functional teams that ensure a lot of interaction between different departments. This is desirable for creating innovation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ages: 
16+
Education Category: 
General

Contributions

Add new contribution

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.