Learning Objectives

10-1. Define behavior and organizational behavior (OB), state the goals of OB, and explain the relationship between thoughts and self-confidence and self-esteem.

Behavior is the things we do and say, or our actions. OB is the study of actions that affect performance in the workplace. The goal of OB theorists is to understand, explain, predict, and influence behavior to improve performance. Thoughts affect behavior and what happens to people, so thoughts also affect self-confidence to perform a specific task, and overall self-esteem is influenced by thoughts.

10-2. Describe each of the Big Five personality dimensions.

Extroversion lies on a continuum between extrovert and introvert; agreeableness between easy and difficult to work with; emotionalism between stability and instability; conscientiousness between responsible/dependable and irresponsible/undependable; and openness to experience between willing to try new things and not being willing to do so.

10-3. Explain the perception and attribution processes, and describe five perception biases.

Perception is the process of selecting, organizing, and interpreting environmental information. Attribution is the process of determining the reason for someone’s behavior and whether that behavior is situational or intentional. Situational behavior is either accidental or out of the control of the individual, whereas intentional behavior is done on purpose. Five biases to perception include selectivity, using information to support desired outcomes; frame of reference, seeing things from one’s own point of view; stereotyping, using generalizations about a group to judge individuals; expectations, hearing what we anticipate; and the “like me” assumption, believing others perceive things as we do and that our way is the best.

10-4. Recall how attitudes affect job satisfaction and how employee and managerial attitudes affect employee performance.

Job satisfaction is a person’s positive or negative attitude toward the job. Generally, people with positive attitudes about their jobs have higher levels of job satisfaction, and vice versa. Employees’ job attitudes tend to lead to living up or down to their performance expectations through the self-fulfilling prophecy. Through the Pygmalion effect, managers’ attitudes toward and expectations and treatment of employees largely determine their performance. Having employees with positive “I can do this” attitudes with managerial support leads to higher levels of performance.

10-5. List the six OB foundations, summarize how to shape your own and your management foundations, and discuss managing diversity in three critical foundations.

The six OB foundations are thought, self-confidence, self-esteem, personalities, perceptions, and attitudes. To continuously improve your own behavior and performance in each of the foundation areas, you need to make a conscious effort and work at it. To shape your management behavior, you need to realize that the OB foundations affect how you man-age employees and to continually work on them. Employees have a diversity of OB foundations, and managers need to hire for these positive foundations and avoid hiring people with poor foundations. Also, managers need to continually work with employees to improve their OB foundations. Three critical foundations to work on begin with employee thoughts because they affect all the other foundations. A second critical foundation is perception congruence of employee performance, and third is to implement the Pygmalion effect because these foundations also affect the other OB foundations.

10-6. Discuss the relationship between organizational power and politics, and their importance to organizational performance.

Power is the ability to influence others’ behavior. Politics is the process of gaining and using power. Like money, power and politics in and of them-selves are neither good nor bad. They are simply means of getting what we want—meeting objectives. Leadership is the process of influencing employees to work toward achieving objectives, so power and politics go hand in hand with leadership because power and politics are the means used to achieve organizational objectives.

10-7. Identify the four parts of the negotiation process, define the five conflict management styles, and explain the stress tug-of-war.

The negotiation process includes (1) planning for the negotiation, (2) conducting the negotiation, (3) possibly postponement, and (4) reaching an agreement or not. The five conflict management styles include (1) The user of the avoiding conflict style attempts to passively ignore conflict rather than resolve it. (2) The user of the accommodating conflict style attempts to resolve the conflict by passively giving in to the other party. (3) The user of the forcing conflict style attempts to resolve conflict by using aggressive behavior to get his or her own way. (4) The user of the negotiating conflict style attempts to resolve conflict through assertive give-and-take concessions. (5) The user of the collaborating conflict style assertively attempts to resolve conflict by working together with the other party to find an accept-able solution. In the stress tug-of-war, you are in the center, where stress is functional and performance is high. On your left are the causes of stress trying to pull you off center. On your right are the stress-management techniques you use to keep yourself in the center. If the causes of stress pull you off center, the stress turns dysfunctional, and as a result, your performance decreases. If there is an absence of stress, performance is also decreased.