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Organizational Behavior


Eighth Edition

Joyce S. Osland

San Jose State University

David A. Kolb

Case Western Reserve University

Irwin M. Rubin


Marlene E. Turner

San Jose State University


Prentice Hall

Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Organizational behavior: an experiential approach / Joyce S. Osland . .. [et. al.]. —8th ed. p. cm.

Rev. ed. of: Organizational behavior / Joyce S. Osland, David A. Kolb, Irwin M. Rubin. 7th ed. c2001. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-13-144151-5.

I. Psychology, Industrial. 2. Organizational behavior. I. Osland, Joyce.

II. Osland, Joyce. Organizational behavior. HF5548.8.K552 2009

158.7—dc22 2006028549

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10 9

ISBN 0-13-144151-5


Front kr Hall



Asbjorn, Jessica, Michael, Katrina, Ellie,Joe, Zoe, and Anna

Alice and Jonathan Beth, Steven, and Corey Anthony and Tony


Foreword xi Preface xiii

Setting the Global Stage: Introduction to the Workbook xv Class Activity: Mapping the Multicultural Classroom xxv Learning Points xxvi

Part / Understanding Yourself and Other People at Work 1

Chapter / The Psychological Contract and Commitment 2

Objectives 2

Vignette: Creating a Great Place to Work 2 Class Preparation 5 The Knowledge Base 7

Class Activity: Instructor/Participant Interviews 16

Learning Points 19

Developing OB Expertise 20

Action Scripts 20

Personal Application Assignment 23

Chapter 2 Theories of Managing People 28

Objectives 28

Vignette: The Jack and Herb Show 28 Class Preparation 31 The Knowledge Base 34

Class Activity: Manager of the Year Acceptance Speech 41

Learning Points 42

Action Scripts 43

Personal Application Assignment 45

Chapter 3Individual and Organizational Learning 48

Objectives 48

Vignette: Why Dumb Things Happen to Smart Companies 48

Class Preparation 51

The Knowledge Base 56

Class Activity: The Learning Style Inventory 66

Creating a Diverse Learning Community 67 Learning Points 68 Action Scripts 69 Personal Application Assignment 70

Chapter U Decoding Human Behavior and Personality 74

Objectives 74

Vignette: Buzzsaws and Whistleblowers 74


Class Preparation 75 The Knowledge Base 79

Class Activity: The Donor Services Case: What To Do About Juana? 86

Learning Points 89

Action Scripts 90

Personal Application Assignment 91

Chapter 5Individual and Organizational Motivation 95

Objectives 95

Vignette: A Winning Recipe 95

How to Change Your Boss 97 Class Preparation 100 The Knowledge Base 101

Class Activity: Diagnosing Motivation in the Donor Services Department 114

The Motivated Classroom 115 Learning Points 116 Action Scripts 117 Personal Application Assignment 119

Chapter 6 Values and Workplace Ethics 123

Objectives 123

Vignette: Ray Anderson and The Natural Step 123 Class Preparation 125 The Knowledge Base 133

Class Activity: Weyco's Ban on Employee Smoking 144

Ethics in Everyday Worklife 145 Learning Points 146 Action Scripts 147 Personal Application Assignment 149

Chapter 7 Personal Growth and Work Stress 154

Objectives 154

Vignette: Overload—What's Causing It and How to Solve It 154 Class Preparation 157 The Knowledge Base 163

Class Activity: The Life Line, Who Am I?, and the Past Experience Inventory 175

Learning Points 179

Action Scripts 180

Personal Application Assignment 181

Part 2 Creating Effective Work Groups 187

Chapter 8Interpersonal Communication 188

Objectives 188

Vignette: Communication Mistakes Only Really Smart People Make 188

Class Preparation 191

The Knowledge Base 194

Class Activity: Active Listening Exercise 206

Learning Points 211

Action Scripts 212

Personal Application Assignment 214

Chapter 3 Perception and Attribution 218

Objectives 218

Vignette: The Blind Men and the Elephant 218

Class Preparation 219

The Knowledge Base 220

Class Activity: The Selection Committee 231

Learning Points 242

Action Scripts 243

Personal Application Assignment 244

Chapter 1'0Group Dynamics and Work Teams 247

Objectives 247

Vignette: Creating Hot Teams 247

Class Preparation 251

The Knowledge Base 252

Class Activity: The Inner-Outer Exercise 268

Learning Points 275

Action Scripts 276

Personal Application Assignment 278

Chapter i'/ Problem Solving 282

Objectives 282

Vignette: Why Not? 282

Class Preparation 285

The Knowledge Base 287

Class Activity: Cardiotronics Role-Play 297

Learning Points 307

Action Scripts 307

Personal Application Assignment 309

Chapter 1'2Managing Creativity 312

Objectives 312

Vignette: Bears and Honey Pots 312

Managing Creativity at SAS 313 Class Preparation 315 The Knowledge Base 319 Class Activity: Creativity Skits 327 Learning Points 327 Action Scripts 328 Personal Application Assignment 329

Chapter 1'3Conflict and Negotiation 337

Objectives 337

Vignette: Costa Rica's Alternative to Labor Conflict—Solidarismo 337

Class Preparation 338

The Knowledge Base 341

Class Activity: The Red-Green Game 353

Negotiation Exercise—The Film-making Equipment 354 Learning Points 357 Action Scripts 358 Personal Application Assignment 360



Chapter ^& Managing Diversity 363

Objectives 363

Vignette: What's Your Eccentricity Quotient? 363 Class Preparation 364 The Knowledge Base 366

Class Activity: Cross-Cultural/Diversity Competency Skits 379

Cross-Cultural Training 379 Learning Points 382 Action Scripts 383 Personal Application Assignment 384

Part 3 Leadership and Management 389

Chapter /5Leadership 390

Objectives 390

Vignette: What Makes an Effective Executive 390

Class Preparation 395

The Knowledge Base 397

Class Activity: The Perfect Square 409

Learning Points 411

Action Scripts 412

Personal Application Assignment 414

Chapter /6" Organizational Culture 421

Objectives 421

Vignette: The Fabric of Creativity 421

Class Preparation 424

The Knowledge Base 429

Class Activity: The Ecoquest Case 445

Assessing the Organizational Culture of Your Learning Group 447 Learning Points 448 Action Scripts 449 Personal Application Assignment 451

Chapter / 7 Decision Making 457

Objectives 457

Vignette: PajamaTalk 457

Jim Collins on Tough Calls 458 Class Preparation 463 The Knowledge Base 467

Class Activity: Team Analysis of Decision Cases 481

Learning Points 482

Action Scripts 483

Personal Application Assignment 485

Chapter /8Power and Influence 489

Objectives 489

Vignette: Getting Your Ideas Heard 489

Class Preparation 490

The Knowledge Base 492

Class Activity: Influence Role Play 502

Learning Points 516


Action Scripts 516

Personal Application Assignment 518

Chapter i3 Empowerment and Coaching 521

Objectives 521

Vignette: A Piece of Work 521

Class Preparation 524

The Knowledge Base 526

Class Activity: The Enterprise Merger Game 536

Learning Points 545

Action Scripts 545

Personal Application Assignment 547

Chapter 20 Performance Management 571

Objectives 571

Vignette: Leader as Developer 571 Class Preparation 572 The Knowledge Base 573

Class Activity: Performance Appraisal Role Plays 587

Learning Points 589

Action Scripts 590

Personal Application Assignment 592

Part U Managing Effective Organizations 597 Chapter 2'/ Organization Design 598

Objectives 598

Vignette: Permeability in Action—Case Study of a Boundaryless Organization 598

Class Preparation 601

The Knowledge Base 603

Class Activity: Structure, Inc. 618

Learning Points 619

Action Scripts 620

Personal Application Assignment 621

Chapter 22 Managing Change 624

Objectives 624

Vignette: Making Change 624

Rate your Readiness to Change 630 Class Preparation 635 The Knowledge Base 636 Class Activity: The Hollow Square Exercise 653 Learning Points 656 Action Scripts 657 Personal Application Assignment 658

Integrative cases 673

The donor Services Department 673 Custom chip, Inc. 677

Celestial's Global Customer Team 68S

Women and Global Leadership at Bestfoods 700

Index 725



This book-or better, the body of experiences it proposes-seeks to communicate some knowledge of general psychological principles, and some skills in applying that knowledge to social and organizational situations. Science tries to illuminate concrete reality by disclosing the general laws and principles that make the reality what it is. The generalization gives meaning to the con­crete instance, but the instance carries the generalization into the real world and makes it usable. Experiencing social situations and then analyzing that experience brings generalization and con­crete reality into effective union.

In teaching undergraduate and graduate management courses, I have frequently encountered students who hold a magical belief in a real world, somehow entirely different from any world they had hitherto experienced, and different, too, from the world of their textbooks. In teaching experienced executives, I have as frequently encountered people who balked at the proposal to apply general psychological principles to the concrete experiences of their everyday world. If there are skeptics of either variety in a group that undertakes one of these exercises, they can con­duct their own tests of the relevance of theory to experience and vice versa. That is what the exercises are about.

But are the exercises themselves "real"? Can you really simulate social or organizational phenomena in a laboratory? The answer hangs on what we know of people—of their readiness to take roles, or, more accurately, their inability not to take roles when they find themselves in appropriate social situations, but this in itself is a psychological generalization: people are role-takers. Like any generalization, it should be tested empirically; and the exercises do just that. Each participant can be his or her own witness to the reality—or lack of it—of what has gone on.

But the purpose of the exercises is not just to increase understanding of principles, or under­standing of concrete situations in terms of principles. They can be useful also as a means of developing skills for group situations: skills of observing, skills of self-insight, skills of under­standing the behaviors and motives of others, skills of adapting behavior to the requirements of a task and the needs of groups and persons.

There is no magic to it. Learning here, like all learning, derives from time and attention directed to relevant material. The exercises provide the material. The time, attention, and active participation must be supplied by those who take part in them.

Herbert A. Simon



The eighth edition of Organizational Behavior: An Experiential Approach, which we refer to as the "workbook," has been revised from cover to cover, line by painstaking line, to provide you with an up-to-date, easily understood textbook. This edition is the latest improvement on an experiment that began over 35 years ago. The first edition of this book, developed at MIT in the late 1960s, was the first application of the principles of experience-based learning to teaching in this field. Since then the field has changed, the practice of experience-based learning has grown in acceptance and sophistication, and we, the authors, have changed. We are delighted to announce the addition of a new coauthor, Marlene Turner, who is an example of that rare breed of well-rounded people who are good at everything. Dr. Turner wins awards for both her schol­arship and teaching and is highly skilled at practicing what she teaches at the College of Business at San Jose State University.

In comparison with previous editions, this edition is focused on teaching students to think like organizational behavior experts. Exercises and debriefings have been modified to accelerate the development of expertise by emphasizing pattern recognition of cues and the action scripts they elicit. We have added three new chapters-Setting the Global Stage (the introductory unit), Decod­ing Human Behavior and Personality, Chapter 4, and Creativity, Chapter 12. Even more emphasis has been placed on cross-cultural issues. We made substantial revisions in every chapter, adding recent research findings, new information on companies, and, in some chapters, new vignettes and experiential exercises. As always, our objective was not to overwhelm students with a comprehen­sive array of theories and findings, but to provide them with the essential content and experiences they need to become effective, expert managers and good employees. In every edition, our goal is to reflect the state of the art in the practice of experiential learning and to bring these approaches to bear on the latest thinking and research in the field of organizational behavior.

This book is intended for students and managers who wish to explore the personal relevance and conceptual bases of the phenomena of organizational behavior and to develop their expertise in this field. There are two goals in the experiential learning process. One is to learn the specifics of a particular subject matter. The other is to learn about one's own strengths and weaknesses as a learner (i.e., learning how to learn from experience). Thus, the book is focused upon exercises, self-analysis techniques, and role plays to make the insights of behavioral science meaningful and relevant to practicing managers and students. Each chapter is designed as an educational intervention that facilitates each stage of the experience-based learning process. Exercises and simulations are designed to produce experiences that create the phenomena of organizational behavior. Observation schemes and methods are introduced to facilitate your understanding of these experiences. Theories and models are added to aid in forming generalizations and mental models. And finally, the intervention is structured in a way that encourages learners to experi­ment with and test what they have learned, either in class or other areas of their lives. Our pur­pose is to teach students how to learn so that they will become continuous learners, capable of responding to demands for change and new skills throughout their career. Learning is no longer a special activity reserved for the classroom, but an integral and explicit part of work itself.

In addition to teaching students to be lifelong learners, the exercises and the order of the chapters are designed to facilitate self-knowledge and teamwork. Students should leave this course with a much clearer understanding of themselves and the effect their behavior has on oth­ers. Students work in the same learning groups throughout the course. In these groups, members share their experiences and provide support, advice, feedback, and friendship to each other. A by-product of this group approach is the creation of a class environment that facilitates learning.

A companion edited volume, The Organizational Behavior Reader, Eighth Edition, is also published by Prentice Hall. Many footnotes in the workbook make reference to complementary articles that have been reprinted there. These are simply cited as "Reader" in the endnotes.


A preface is a place to publicly thank the many people who have helped us. Our feelings of pride in our product are tempered by the great indebtedness we feel to many others whose ideas and insights preceded ours. It is a tribute to the spirit of collaboration that pervades our field that the origin of many of the exercises recorded here is unknown. We have tried throughout the man­uscript to trace the origins of those exercises we know about and in the process we may, in many areas, fall short of the original insight. For that we can only apologize. The major unnamed con­tributors are our students. In a very real sense, this book could never have been completed with­out their active participation in our explorations.

We wish to thank James Mclntyre, our coauthor in the first four editions of this book, for his generous and creative contributions. While much has changed and will continue to change through successive editions of this book, Jim's presence will always be there.

By sharing their experiences, resources, insights, and criticisms on previous editions, many instructors have been invaluable guides in the revision process. In particular, Nancy Adler, Janet Bennett, Allan Bird, Bruce Drake, Howard Feldman, Martin Gannon, Anne Lawrence, Don McCormick, Stan Malos, Bob Mehler, Stephen Miller, Asbjorn Osland, Rolanda Pollard, Anthony Pratkanis, Preston Probasco, Sully Taylor, Meg Virick, Joel West, George Whaley, Judith White, Robert Wood, and Bill Zachary were very helpful in a variety of ways. The review­ers did an excellent, thorough job.

Our greatest debt of gratitude goes to Pam Wells, research and teaching assistant extraordi­naire. We would also like to thank the wonderful students who have helped us at various stages of the "process: Angela Bywaters, Anu Sairaj, Arundhati Chatterjee, Liana Mortazavi, and Namrata Patel. Melanie Visalli did a terrific editing job by catching errors and making the book more understandable. We're grateful to Nicole Campbell, Prabha Chandrasekar, Kathryn Hetzner, Toby Matoush, Jodi Sanders, Barbara Somers, and Tehmina Wajahat for their help with this project and everything else we do. We were fortunate to have good managers of our own as we balanced revis­ing the workbook with our other tasks; Abdel El-Shaieb and William Jiang, chairs of the Depart­ment of Organization & Management, and Bruce Magid, Dean, at San Jose State University, were very supportive. It was a pleasure, as always, to work with the Prentice Hall crew—Keri Molinari, Charles Morris, Angela Pica, Ashley Santora, Jennifer Simon—and with Stefania Magaldi and Fran Daniele at Prepare Inc. Finally, we are extremely grateful to our spouses for their faith, patience, countless sacrifices, and good ideas. We owe you!

Joyce S. Osland David A. Kolb Irwin M. Rubin Marlene E. Turner


Cathleen McGrath, Loyola Marymount University Thomas Timmerman, Tennessee Technological University T. Roger Manley, Florida Institute of Technology Anne Harper, Humber College

Setting the Global Stage: Introduction to the Workbook


/ hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand


Organizations—and the way we choose to design them—profoundly affect how we live, work, and go about our daily lives. We spend an astonishing amount of time interacting with organiza­tions. The clothes you wear, the buildings in which you live, the school you attend, the books you read, the entertainment you enjoy, the food and water you consume—all are most likely products of people in organizations.

Organizations and the people who comprise them are the subject of the field of organiza­tional behavior. One of the criticisms sometimes leveled at organizational behavior is that it is just "common sense." There are several reasons why this is not always the case. First, in fact, many commonsense truisms are actually paradoxical—for example, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained" as opposed to "Better safe than sorry"or "Two heads are better than one" versus "Too many cooks spoil the broth." Which of these sayings should you follow? Which is true? Thus, common sense is not always so "common" nor is it always accurate. And so it is with common sense in relation to organizational behavior. Ask yourself the following question: Are workers who are satisfied with their jobs more productive than workers who are not satisfied with their jobs? Like many people, you probably answered yes to that question. But a great deal of research shows that there is very little relationship between a person's degree of job satisfaction and that person's performance.1 In this case, applying a commonsense answer to a common organiza­tional problem would be not so sensible.

Second, if organizational behavior is nothing more than common sense, all organizations should be wonderfully effective and profitable. Yet, as we know, truly outstanding organizations that stand the test of time are the exception rather than the norm. Indeed, the interesting question is, "If so much of organizational behavior is common sense, why isn't it common practice?" Our answer, not surprisingly, is that effective management of organizational behavior requires an exten­sive knowledge base and a number of critical skills that must be carefully developed, honed and practiced before they become "common sense."

Who Cares?

Perhaps a more fundamental question is: Who cares? Why should we worry about how organiza­tions are designed or how people behave in them? The most simple answer is because it makes a difference in how companies and organizations perform. A great deal of research has demon­strated positive relationships between how organizations manage their employees and various measures of firm performance including productivity, stock market value, sales, quality, turnover, commitment, and satisfaction.2 Moreover, such positive relationships have been observed in a number of different industries including the automotive, financial services, manu­facturing, airline transportation, and food service.3 One estimate shows that changing human resources practices just a tad results in a 10 to 20 percent increase in market value.4 There is no lack of examples of exceptional companies that place a premium value on their employees.




Toyota Motor Corporation, one of the most admired companies in the world, believes that people are its core and that challenging and respecting employees is critical to its success.5 Southwest Airlines, one of the few profitable airlines companies in the United States, has the following mission:

To Our Employees:

We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportu­nity for learning and personal growth. Creativity and innovation are encouraged for improving the effectiveness of Southwest Airlines. Above all, Employees will be provided the same concern, respect, and caring attitude within the organization that they are expected to share externally with every Southwest Customer.6

Notice that the mission statement is directed not at shareholders, not at financiers, and not even at customers. Rather, it tangibly demonstrates Southwest's belief that its employees are its core competitive advantage and that organizational success and profits rest squarely on their shoulders.

Based on research and best practices, the field of organizational behavior has compiled a great deal of knowledge over the years about what makes for successful businesses, leaders, managers, and employees. And yet, implementing this knowledge remains a fundamental chal­lenge.7 The expertise and skills needed to successfully craft and guide organizations are com­plex, subtle, and intricate. Throughout this book, you'll find research and tips on developing expertise that will help you be more successful in understanding the nuances of organizational behavior and the challenges and opportunities that lie before you.

What Is Organizational Behavior?

Organizational behavior (OB) is defined as afield of study that endeavors to understand, explain, predict, and change human behavior that occurs in the organizational context? The origin of the field dates back to the early 1940s and the group climate experiments of Kurt Lewin, known as the father of OB, and his associates in 1943. Early scholars in the field came from industrial and social psychology and later from sociology and organizational psychology. Today, however, fac­ulty obtain their Ph.D.s in organizational behavior. People with a master's degree in this field gen­erally work inside organizations in training, HR, and organizational development or as external consultants with a consulting firm or their own business. Ph.D.s in organizational behavior tend to teach in schools of business and executive education programs, publish research and books, and consult to organizations. Many famous management consultants and gurus have advanced degrees in organizational behavior. The field expanded from an industrial-business focus to a wider applica­tion of behavioral science knowledge in various professional fields, such as health care management, law, public administration, education, and so forth.

Characteristics of Organizational Behavior

Organizational behavior is characterized by the following traits. It is a relatively young multi-disciplinary field that pulls from the disciplines of psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science, and economics. It consists of three levels of analysis: individual, group, and organiza­tional. One of the basic tenets of organizational behavior is that behavior (B) is a function of the person and the environment, B = f(P)(E).9 People act in different ways in different settings,



different groups, and different organizations. Environmental forces have a major impact on behavior within organizations. External changes such as the global economy, industrial and eco­nomic conditions, labor market forces, and societal and political changes affect our expectations in the workplace and the psychological contract we have with employers.

Knowledge in the field is accumulated by using the scientific method, which means that the­ories and relationships are tested to see whether they can actually predict behavior. The field has a performance orientation, and much of the research looks at performance at all three levels of analysis. Researchers are constantly trying to determine what makes for success in organizations and determining the most effective way to do things. Therefore, organizational behavior is an applied science—its purpose is to develop knowledge that is useful to managers and employees. Because of the emphasis on performance and application, it comes as no surprise that OB is a change-oriented discipline. Strategies for improving performance or modifying behavior have always been important to the field, particularly the subfield of organizational development (OD).

Because of the variety and complexity of human behavior, there are few simple answers to questions about organizations. Organizational behavior scholars and consultants often respond to questions with "It depends," followed up by many questions about the particular situation and maybe even a request to observe what's going on. To managers and students looking for quick answers, such a response may seem evasive. However, the management literature abounds with examples of companies that made policy and management decisions based on a small fragment of the entire picture and lived to regret it. That is why this course is designed to broaden your appreciation of the complexity of organizational behavior.

Workbook Objectives—What's in It for You?

After completing this workbook, we hope that you will have developed your abilities to: (1) diagnose an organizational situation; (2) know what would be the most effective action to take; and (3) cultivate a behavioral repertoire of the skills you need to carry out the appropriate action. Our hope is that you will master the basic organizational behavior theories and concepts and be able to apply them to understand human behavior in any organization (work, home, etc.). We study this field because it helps us function more effectively in organizations. Regardless of our position in the hierarchy, mastering OB allows us to understand what is occurring around us and know how to make improvements. It teaches us the necessary skills to be an effective employee, team member, manager, or leader. Many people reach a plateau in their careers because they have risen as far as their technical skills allow. Good "people skills" are usually a prerequisite for higher management jobs. As one professor stated in an attempt to sell his OB course to students, "The difference between understanding organizational behavior and not understanding it is the difference between a six-figure and a five-figure salary." We can't promise you a six-figure salary if you master everything in this course. But, if you do your part, you should finish the course with: greater self awareness, more analytical skills, increased interper­sonal and team skills, and more organizational expertise. Plus, you will have a much greater chance of creating and running successful businesses and organizations.

Both employees and managers in today's business organizations work in an environment characterized by a more rapid rate of change and greater demands for adaptation, more interde­pendence in various types of partnerships and teams, more demand for intercultural skills as the workforce becomes more diverse and global, and higher performance demands in a more competitive global economy. Our responsibility as textbook authors is to keep an eye on the envi­ronment and predictions about the future to provide an up-to-date educational experience for stu­dents. The eighth edition of the Workbook has four overarching themes that set the stage for this course, which are described in the following sections.


setting the global stage: introduction to the workbook

Experiential Learning

We agree with Confucius in his quotation at the beginning of this Introduction—we think the best way to understand this field is by 'doing'. Organizational behavior is a complex, often intensely personal subject that does not always come alive sufficiently in traditional lectures. This book was the very first application of experiential learning in our field. We began developing and testing the feasibility of experiential learning methods for teaching organizational psychology and behavior almost four decades ago. Our initial attempts to substitute exercises, games, and role plays for more traditional educational approaches were met in many quarters by polite skepticism and resistance. Today, however, experiential learning approaches are an integral part of management school cur­ricula and management training programs everywhere. In experiential learning theory, knowledge is created through the transformation of experience—learning from your own experience.

Each workbook chapter begins with learning objectives and a vignette to illustrate the topic in a real life application. The Class Preparation questions ground students in their own experience and begin to draw out what you already know and want to learn about the subject. Most chapters have an assessment instrument to provide you with feedback on yourself or your organization. The Knowledge Base summarizes key theories and issues, providing you with mental frameworks and facts. The core of each chapter is an action-oriented behavioral simulation that allows you to generate your own data and lessons about each topic. Debriefing formats are provided to facilitate your ability to observe and share the personal reactions you have experienced, along with guide­lines for critiquing the skills you will practice. The summarized learning points help to integrate your learning. The action scripts for employees, managers, and organizational architects provide tips and practical advice. Finally, at the end of each chapter, there is a Personal Application Assignment to integrate your learning using one of your own experiences. This design takes stu­dents through the entire learning cycle in each chapter and facilitates two of the workbook's expe­riential learning goals: (1) learning how to learn from all of your experiences and (2) practicing and receiving feedback on the skills required of effective employees and managers.

Taking a Holistic Approach—The Role of Emotion, Cognition, and Context

Experiential learning lends itself to a holistic approach that includes both rational thought and feelings. Our thoughts and our feelings about those thoughts run simultaneously. In part because of a greater understanding of how the brain works, the idea of emotional intelligence has received increased attention lately from both researchers and business practitioners. Some man­agement scholars, however, have long understood the important role of emotions. To take just one example, Wills and Barham found that successful senior international managers displayed emotional self-awareness, emotional resilience, and cultural empathy about how people from other cultures both think and feel. They also demonstrated psychological maturity, which was based in part on a value system that guided their lives, and cognitive complexity, the ability to perceive and integrate many dimensions in a situation.10 This argues for a holistic approach in management development—a focus on feelings and thoughts accompanied by a consideration of the role of values and character. Context also plays a crucial role because organizational, cul­tural, and situational conditions all affect how we behave. In this edition, we take a more holistic approach that focuses on rational thought and feelings in context.

The next section builds on the idea of cognitive complexity, which correlates with higher levels of managerial performance and organizational effectiveness.11 The ability to perceive work situations in a more complex fashion and see multiple relationships and patterns among the various elements relates to expert cognition.

Becoming an Ob Expert

The focus of the workbook has always been to teach critical thinking in the field of organiza­tional behavior and help students perceive organizations through new lenses that capture greater



complexity. In this edition, however, we go a step farther with our third theme and try to teach you how to think like OB experts (e.g., highly skilled managers, management consultants, and professors who have mastered this field) and to develop the intuition on which they rely. Experts perform at higher levels because they perceive the world differently and use more sophisticated processes of insightful thinking.12 They differ from novices in the following ways.

1.When experts look at a problem, they differentiate more readily between relevant and irrelevant information.13 For example, expert managers are good at decoding the values, attitudes, behaviors and expectations of those with whom they work. Therefore, they can determine whether or not individual characteristics have to be taken into consideration. Is an executive against a new strategic proposal because in reality it is a bad idea, because he's currently depressed, or because he wasn't the first to come up with the idea and doesn't want a rival to get ahead? Novices sometimes overlook the significance of important cues or assign too much importance to red herrings, irrelevant cues.

2.Experts combine relevant information—sets of cues—into meaningful patterns to allow for a more accurate diagnosis of the problem.14 For instance, chess experts, known as grand masters, can recall approximately 50,000 significant patterns in the game.15 Patterns help experts of all types to tap into the knowledge that guides their subsequent decisions. In this way, pattern recognition functions like an index16 or a hyperlink to their knowledge base. Novices perceive fewer patterns when they look at situations.

3.Experts possess an encyclopedia of knowledge that is more extensive than that of novices, and they are better at determining the importance of different types of knowledge and the level of difficulty involved in specific problems.17 Knowledge alone, however, is not suffi­cient to develop expertise,18 which is one of the reasons this course goes beyond traditional lectures and tests to incorporate experiential learning and assignments that build expertise.

4. Experts are also better at perceiving the interaction among cues and understanding the meaning of invisible or absent cues.19 For instance, expert managers can drop into a meet­ing at a foreign subsidiary and notice that employees are not contributing ideas or taking ini­tiative to solve problems as they should be. They perceive what is missing by matching what is typical in their previous experiences against what they are seeing or, in this case, failing to see. A novice may not have learned that participation is usually crucial or they may mistak­enly assume that passive behavior is normal in that particular culture.

5.Experts are also better at reacting to nonroutine situations20 and making decisions under pressure. Expert chess players make quicker high-quality decisions under pressure than less skilled players.21 Experts are also more likely to generate a high-quality solution in their first attempt without needing to compare alternative solutions.22

6.Because of the knowledge base and the experience they accrue, experts' perceptions of their work become more complex than that of novices. For example, an exploratory study of cogni­tive complexity in French and British CEOs in four industries found that CEOs of firms with an international geographic scope or foreign parents had more complex cognitive maps of their own industry than did CEOs in the same industry whose jobs were less international.23

7.Although there is no difference in the way novices and experts reason analytically,24 experts complement their analytical skills with intuitive reasoning.25 Intuition is "a cogni­tive conclusion based on a decision maker's previous experiences and emotional inputs."26 Experts "chunk" information, grouping relevant patterns of information together, thereby allowing them to produce accurate observations and solutions speedily without appearing to engage in much rational analysis.27 This evolves into intuition— "a sophisticated form of reasoning based on chunking that an expert hones over years of job-specific experience."28

The development of expert thinking and intuition can be accelerated with the right kind of training,29 and we have modified the workbook to do just that. In each chapter, we've included the content information that we deem most useful to expert managers—the knowledge base you need to acquire. When possible, we tell you about differences in the way novices and experts tend to approach situations. The chapters contain information that experts use as cues to diagnose organizational behavior and action scripts they use to be effective. The group exercises



provide you with an opportunity to test your own expertise. You will be able to practice and get feedback on picking up on cues, distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant cues, starting to see patterns and interpreting them accurately, putting your knowledge base to work, and consid­ering alternative action scripts and their potential impact.

To visualize the kind of sense-making that can occur in any instance of organizational behavior, look at the simplified version of the Recognition-Primed Decision Model30 shown below in Exhibit 1.1. Gary Klein developed this model as a result of his work with expert deci­sion makers.31 In a given situation, cues are generated, which allow experts to recognize patterns. These patterns tell expert what to do and lead to specific action scripts that tell them how to do it. Rather than comparing numerous possible actions to select the best one, experts quickly perceive the action script or scripts that fit the pattern and then they "mentally game out an option to see if it will work."32 In mental simulation, they try to foresee how events and consequences might unfold. If they like what they "see," they proceed with that action. For mental simulation to be effective, however, we need accurate mental models. Gary Klein points out their importance in the following quotation.

Mental models are our beliefs about how various processes work. They direct our explana­tions and expectations. Effective executives understand the importance of helping their subor­dinates build better mental models. One explained to me how he would never hire a chief financial officer who only had experience in accounting. Once people gain accounting expe­rience, he believed they should switch to operations, as a plant controller or a group supervi­sor, or to production control, and then move up to corporate controller, followed by a stint managing a division. Only then can they understand the workings of the corporation well enough to become CF0.33

The more cues that are on your "radar screen," the better your understanding of organiza­tions and people. The more patterns and action scripts you have available, the more expertise you will have. Organizations are like puzzles that need to be decoded. In such a complex field, there is seldom one right answer. Instead, we will focus on seeing different perspectives and ways of thinking about behavior. Careful observation of how you and your classmates behave during group exercises, plus mastering the theories in the workbook, will help you develop mental mod­

Klein's RPD Model

EXHIBIT 1-1 Recognition-Primed Decision Model

Source: G. Klein, The Power of Intuition (New York: Doubleday, 2004): 26. Used with the author's permission.

setting the global stage: introduction to the workbook


els, pattern recognition, and action scripts. By the end of the book, we hope that you will be able to think and act more like an OB expert.

Developing a Global Mind-set

Our final theme is to globalize the workbook's content even more than we have in the past to bet­ter prepare students for global business. Whether or not businesses proactively seek to compete beyond the borders of their country globalization brings global competitors, employees, and practices to their doorstep. In addition to understanding the pros and cons of globalization, we see a growing need to learn how to work with people from other cultures, to understand different business practices, and to develop a global mind-set. A global mind-set is the ability to develop and interpret criteria for personal and business performance that are independent from the assumptions of a single country, culture, or context; and to implement those criteria appropri­ately in different countries, cultures, and contexts"^ Experts believe that global mind-set leads to higher performance35 in part because complex environments demand a matching degree of complexity in humans, which is known as Ashby's law of requisite variety?6

In recent years, increased outsourcing and the use of virtual, multicultural teams spurred a demand for greater intercultural knowledge and skills. Exhibit 1.2 lists some of the basic tools of this knowledge base, the cultural value dimensions that are frequently used to compare and con­trast cultures and to decode cultural behavior.37 The following paragraphs provide a brief description of each dimension and an example of work behavior that they influence. We will refer to these dimensions in later chapters.

Several values describe how individuals view and relate to the people, objects, and issues in their sphere of influence. Regarding their relationship with the surrounding world, they may see themselves as either mastering their environment or seeking to live in harmony with it.38 Mas­tery cultures tend to be more dynamic, competitive, and likely to use technology to manipulate the environment and achieve goals. Harmony cultures believe in understanding and integrating with the environment, rather than attempting to change it. This view extends to how people think they should control each other in the workplace.

A related dimension, locus of control, refers to beliefs about how much people either control their own destiny (internal locus of control or inner-oriented) or are at the mercy of uncontrollable forces, such as fate or luck (external locus of control or outer-oriented).39 These values can influ­ence how proactive people and organizations are in their strategy and planning efforts and how accountable employees are for their actions. The trustworthy-untrustworthy dimension influences how long it takes to establish trust.40 If members of a culture assume that human nature is basi­cally untrustworthy, they will approach new business relationships with more caution and employ more control mechanisms to guard against unethical behavior. Yet another dimension related to human nature concerns our beliefs about whether it is mutable or immutable—subject to change or set in stone. If a culture believes that humans cannot change, this determines who is hired (peo­ple who are fully developed versus those who simply show potential) and how much opportunity employees are given to learn more acceptable workplace behaviors.

Cultures have different beliefs about time, known as synchronic versus sequential41(also called poly chronic versus monochrome).42 A synchronic approach to time means that people do several things at the same time. They may easily work on a variety of projects at once while receiving different individuals or groups in their office whom they deal with simultaneously. The latter practice can be disconcerting to people from a sequential culture who are more likely to expect "first come-first served" norms. A sequential approach means that people tend to divide activities in a sequence, focusing more on one aspect at a time. Many jobs today involve multi­tasking, but we would expect to find more efforts to carve out blocks of uninterrupted time to dedicate to only one activity in sequential cultures. Another time-related belief concerns the dominant orientation to time as either past, present or future.^ For example, with regard to decision making, a focus on the past implies that more attention is given to following precedents and tradition, whereas a present orientation may lead to more immediate, short-term considera­tions. A future orientation raises more consideration of the long-term consequences of decisions.



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