Viva-Voce – Organizational Behavior Terms for Job Interviews | BBA & MBA Review of Basic Terms


Organizational Behavior Glossary for Job Interviews

absenteeism Failure to show up for work.

acceptance theory of authority The theory that the manager’s authority depends on the subordinate’s acceptance of the manager’s right to give directives and to expect compliance with them.

accommodation Occurs when the parties’ goals are compatible and the interaction between groups is relatively unimportant to the goals’ attainment.

adhocracy This structure is typically found in young organizations in highly technical fields. Within it, decision-making is spread throughout the organization, power resides with the experts, horizontal and vertical specialization exists, and there is little formalization.

administrative hierarchy The system of reporting relationships in the organization, from the lowest to the highest managerial levels. (16)
affect A person’s feelings toward something.

affinity group Collections of employees from the same level in the organization who meet on a regular basis to share information, capture emerging opportunities, and solve problems.

agreeableness A person’s ability to get along with others.

all-channel network In this type of network, all members communicate with all other members.

applied research Conducted to solve particular problems or answer specific questions.

assimilation The process through which a minority group learns the ways of the dominant group. In organizations, this means that when people of different types and backgrounds are hired, the organization attempts to mold them to fit the existing organizational culture.

attitudes A person’s complexes of beliefs and feelings about specific ideas, situations, or other people.

attribution theory Suggests that we attribute causes to behavior based on observations of certain characteristics of that behavior. Employees observe their own behavior, determine whether it is a response to external or internal factors, and shape their future motivated behavior accordingly.

authoritarianism The belief that power and status differences are appropriate within hierarchical social systems such as organizations.

authority Power that has been legitimized within a particular social context.

autonomous work groups Groups used to integrate an organization’s technical and social systems for the benefit of large systems.

avoidance (negative reinforcement) The opportunity to avoid or escape from an unpleasant circumstance after exhibiting the behavior. Avoidance occurs when the interacting parties’ goals are incompatible and the interaction between groups is relatively unimportant to the attainment of the goals.

basic research Involves discovering new knowledge rather than solving specific problems. (Appendix A)

behavioral approach Approach to leadership that tries to identify behaviors that differentiated effective leaders from non-leaders. It uses rules of thumb, sub-optimizing, and satisficing in making decisions.

benefits An important form of indirect compensation.
“big five” personality traits A set of fundamental traits that are especially relevant to organizations.

bounded rationality The idea that decision makers cannot deal with information about all the aspects and alternatives pertaining to a problem and therefore choose to tackle some meaningful subset of it.

brainstorming A technique used in the idea-generation phase of decision making that assists in the development of numerous alternative courses of action.

burnout A general feeling of exhaustion that develops when an individual simultaneously experiences too much pressure and has too few sources of satisfaction.

career A perceived sequence of attitudes and behaviors associated with work-related experiences and activities over a person’s life span.

career pathing The identification of a certain sequence of jobs in a career that represents a progression through the organization

career planning Process in which individuals evaluate their abilities and interests, consider alternative career opportunities, establish career goals, and plan practical development activities.

career stages The periods in which an individual’s work-life is characterized by specific needs, concerns, tasks, and activities. (Appendix B)

career management The process of implementing organizational career planning.

case study An in-depth analysis of one set.

centralization A structural policy in which decision-making authority is concentrated at the top of the organizational hierarchy.

certainty Condition under which the manager knows the outcomes of each alternative.

chain network In this type of network, each member communicates with the person above and below, except for the individuals on each end who communicate with only one person.

change agent A person responsible for managing a change effort.

channel noise A disturbance in communication that is primarily a function of the medium.

charisma A form of interpersonal attraction that inspires support and acceptance from others.

charismatic leadership A type of influence based on the leader’s personal charisma.

circle network In this type of network, each member communicates with the people on both sides but with no one else.

classical conditioning  A simple form of learning that links a conditioned response with an unconditioned stimulus.

classical organization theory An early approach to management that focused on how organizations can be structured most effectively to meet their goals.

coercive power The extent to which a person has the ability to punish or physically or psychologically harm someone else.

cognition The knowledge a person presumes to have about something.

cognitive dissonance The anxiety a person experiences when he or she simultaneously possesses two sets of knowledge or perceptions that are contradictory or incongruent.

collaboration Occurs when the interaction between groups is very important to goal attainment and the goals are compatible. (11)

collectivism The extent to which people emphasize the good of the group or society. (3)

command group A relatively permanent, formal group with functional reporting relationships; usually included in the organization chart.

communication The social process in which two or more parties exchange information and share meaning. (10)

communication and decision-making The stage of group development where members discuss their feelings more openly and agree on group goals and individual roles in the group. (11)

communication networks Networks that form spontaneously and naturally as the interactions among workers continue over time. (10)

compensation package The total array of money (wages, salary, commission), incentives, benefits, perquisites, and awards provided by the organization to an employee. (8)

competition Occurs when the goals are incompatible and the interactions between groups are important to meeting goals. (11)

competitive strategy An outline of how a business intends to compete with other firms in the same industry. (2)

compressed work week A situation in which employees work a full forty-hour week in fewer than the traditional five days. (7)

compromise Occurs when the interaction is moderately important to meeting goals and the goals are neither completely compatible nor completely incompatible. (11)

conceptual skills Used to think in the abstract. (2)

configuration An organization’s shape, which reflects the division of labor and the means of coordinating the divided tasks. (16)

conflict A disagreement among parties. It has both positive and negative characteristics. (11)

conflict model A very personal approach to decision making because it deals with the personal conflicts that people experience in particularly difficult decision situations. (15)

conflict resolution Occurs when a manager resolves a conflict that has become harmful or serious. (11)

conflict stimulation The creation and constructive use of conflict by a manager. (11)

conscientiousness The number of goals on which a person focuses. (4)

consideration behavior Involves being concerned with subordinates’ feelings and respecting subordinates’ ideas. (13)

contingency approach An approach to organization design where the desired outcomes for the organization can be achieved in several ways. (17)

contingency perspective Suggests that, in most organizations, situations and outcomes are contingent on, or influenced by, other variables. (1)

contingency plans Alternative actions to take if the primary course of action is unexpectedly disrupted or rendered inappropriate. (15)

continuous improvement Perspective suggesting that performance should constantly be enhanced. (8)

continuous reinforcement With this type of reinforcement, behavior is rewarded every time it occurs. (6)

contributions An individual’s contributions to an organization include such things as effort, skills, ability, time, and loyalty. (4)

control and organization The stage of group development where the group is mature; members work together and are flexible, adaptive, and self-correcting. (11)

controlling The process of monitoring and correcting the actions of the organization and its members to keep them directed toward their goals. (2)

cosmopolite Links the organization to the external environment and may also be an opinion leader in the group. (10)

creativity A person’s ability to generate new ideas or to conceive of new perspectives on existing ideas. (4)

cultural values The values that employees need to have and act on for the organization to act on the strategic values. (18)

decision making The process of choosing from among several alternatives. (15)

decision-making roles There are four basic decision-making roles: the entrepreneur, the disturbance handler, the resource allocator, and the negotiator. (2)

decision rule A statement that tells a decision-maker which alternative to choose based on the characteristics of the decision situation. (15)

decoding The process by which the receiver of the message interprets its meaning. (10)

defensive avoidance Entails making no changes in present activities and avoiding any further contact with associated issues because there appears to be no hope of finding a better solution. (15)

delegation The transfer to others of authority to make decisions and use organizational resources. (16)

Delphi technique A method of systematically gathering judgments of experts for use in developing forecasts. (15)

departmentalization The manner in which divided tasks are combined and allocated to work groups. (16)

diagnostic skills Used to understand cause-and-effect relationships and to recognize the optimal solutions to problems. (2)

distress The unpleasant stress that accompanies negative events. (9)

division of labor The way the organization’s work is divided into different jobs to be done by different people. (16)

divisionalized form This structure is typical of old, very large organizations. Within it, the organization is divided according to the different markets served. Horizontal and vertical specialization exists between divisions and headquarters, decision-making is divided between headquarters and divisions, and outputs are standardized. (17)

downsizing The process of purposely becoming smaller by reducing the size of the workforce or shedding divisions or businesses. (2)

dual-structure theory Identifies motivation factors, which affect satisfaction, and hygiene factors, which affect dissatisfaction. (5)

dysfunctional behaviors Those that detract from organizational performance. (4)

effort-to-performance expectancy A person’s perception of the probability that effort will lead to performance. (6)

employee-centered leader behavior Involves attempting to build effective work groups with high performance goals. (13)

empowerment The process of enabling workers to set their own work goals, make decisions, and solve problems within their sphere of responsibility and authority. (7, 18)

encoding The process by which the message is translated from an idea or thought into transmittable symbols. (10)

entry stage (exploration stage) Characterized by self-examination, role tryouts, and occupational exploration. (Appendix B)

environmental complexity The number of environmental components that impinge on organizational decision making. (17)

environmental dynamism The degree to which environmental components that impinge on organizational decision making change. (17)

environmental uncertainty Exists when managers have little information about environmental events and their impact on the organization. (17)

equity The belief that we are being treated fairly in relation to others. (6)

equity theory Focuses on people’s desire to be treated with what they perceive as equity and to avoid perceived inequity. (6)

ERG theory Describes existence, relatedness, and growth needs. (5)

escalation of commitment The tendency to persist in an ineffective course of action when evidence reveals that the project cannot succeed. (15)

establishment stage (settling-down stage) Stage in which the individual gets more recognition for improvement. (Appendix B)

ethics An individual’s personal beliefs about what is right and wrong or good and bad. (2, 15)

eustress The pleasurable stress that accompanies positive events. (9)

exit (withdrawal) stage Characterized by a pattern of decreasing performance as individuals prepare to move on or retire. (Appendix B)

expectancy theory Suggests that people are motivated by how much they want something and the likelihood they perceive of getting it. (6)

expert power The extent to which a person controls the information that is valuable to someone else. (14)

extinction Decreases the frequency of a behavior by eliminating a reward or desirable consequence that follows that behavior. (6)

extraversion The quality of being comfortable with relationships; the opposite extreme, introversion, is characterized by more social discomfort. (4)

feedback The process in which the receiver returns a message to the sender that indicates receipt of the message. (10)
fidelity The degree of correspondence between the message intended by the source and the message understood by the receiver. (10)
field experiment Similar to a laboratory experiment but is conducted in a real organization. (Appendix A)
field survey Typically relies on a questionnaire distributed to a sample of people selected from a larger population. (Appendix A)
fixed-interval reinforcement Provides reinforcement on a fixed time schedule. (6)
fixed-ratio reinforcement Provides reinforcement after a fixed number of behaviors. (6)
flexible reward system Allows employees to choose the combination of benefits that best suits their needs. (8)
flexible work schedules (flextime) These schedules give employees more personal control over the hours they work each day. (7)
formal group Formed by an organization to do its work. (11)
formalization The degree to which rules and procedures shape the jobs and activities of employees. (16)
friendship group A group that is relatively permanent and informal and draws its benefits from the social relationships among its members. (11)

gatekeeper An individual who has a strategic position in the network that allows him or her to control information moving in either direction through a channel. (10)

general adaptation syndrome (GAS) Identifies three stages of response to a stressor: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. (9)

general environment The broad set of dimensions and factors within which the organization operates, including political-legal, sociocultural, technological, economic, and international factors. (17)

goal A desirable objective. (8)

goal acceptance The extent to which a person accepts a goal as his or her own. (8)

goal commitment The extent to which a person is personally interested in reaching a goal. (8)

goal compatibility The extent to which the goals of more than one person or group can be achieved at the same time. (11)

goal difficulty The extent to which a goal is challenging and requires effort. (8)

goal specificity The clarity and precision of a goal. (8)

grapevine An informal system of communication that coexists with the formal system. (10)

group Two or more people who interact with one another such that each person influences and is influenced by each other person. (11)

group cohesiveness The extent to which a group is committed to staying together. (11)

group composition The degree of similarity or difference among group members on factors important to the group’s work. (11)

group performance factors Composition, size, norms, and cohesiveness. They affect the success of the group in fulfilling its goals. (11)

group polarization The tendency for a group’s average post-discussion attitudes to be more extreme than its average prediscussion attitudes. (15)

group size The number of members of the group; it affects the number of resources available to perform the task. (11)

groupthink Occurs when a group’s overriding concern is a unanimous decision rather than critical analysis of alternatives. (11, 15)

hardiness A person’s ability to cope with stress. (9)

Hawthorne studies Conducted between 1927 and 1932, these studies led to some of the first discoveries of the importance of human behavior in organizations. (1)

Hersey and Blanchard model Identifies different combinations of leadership presumed to work best with different levels of organizational maturity on the part of followers. (13)

hierarchy of needs theory Maslow’s hierarchy that assumes human needs are arranged in a hierarchy of importance. (5)

human organization Rensis Likert’s approach that is based on supportive relationships, participation, and overlapping work groups. (16)

human relations Movement based on the assumption that employee satisfaction is a key determinant of performance. It marked the beginning of organizational behavior. (1)

human relations approach Suggested that favorable employee attitudes result in motivation to work hard. (5)

human resource planning Forecasting the organization’s human resource needs, developing replacement charts (charts showing planned succession of personnel) for all levels of the organization, and preparing inventories of the skills and abilities individuals need to move within the organization. (Appendix B)

hygiene factors These factors are extrinsic to the work itself. They include factors such as pay and job security. (5)

hypervigilance A frantic, superficial pursuit of some satisficing strategy. (15)

ideal bureaucracy Weber’s model that is characterized by a hierarchy of authority and a system of rules and procedures designed to create an optimally effective system for large organizations. (16)

impression management A direct and intentional effort by someone to enhance his or her own image in the eyes of others. (14)

incentive systems Plans in which employees can earn additional compensation in return for certain types of performance. (8)

incremental innovation Continues the technical improvement and extends the applications of radical and systems innovations. (18)

incubation A period of less intense conscious concentration during which a creative person lets the knowledge and ideas acquired during preparation mature and develop. (4)

individual differences Personal attributes that vary from one person to another. (4)

individualism The extent to which people place primary value on themselves. (3)

inducements The tangible and intangible rewards provided by organizations to individuals. (4)

inequity The belief that we are being treated unfairly in relation to others. (6)

influence The ability to affect the perceptions, attitudes, or behaviors of others. (14)

informal group A group that is established by its members. (11)

informational roles The monitor, the disseminator, and the spokesperson. (2)

initiating-structure behavior Involves clearly defining the leader-subordinate roles so that subordinates know what is expected of them. (13)

innovation The process of creating and doing new things that are introduced into the marketplace as products, processes, or services. (18)

insight The stage in the creative process when all the scattered thoughts and ideas that were maturing during incubation come together to produce a breakthrough. (4)

intention A component of an attitude that guides a person’s behavior. (4)

interactionalism Suggests that individuals and situations interact continuously to determine individuals’ behavior. (1)

interest group A group that is relatively temporary and informal and is organized around a common activity or interest of its members. (11)

interpersonal demands Stressors associated with group pressures, leadership, and personality conflicts. (9)

interpersonal roles There are three important interpersonal roles: the figurehead, the leader, and the liaison. (2)

interpersonal skills Used to communicate with, understand, and motivate individuals and groups. (2)

intrapreneurship Entrepreneurial activity that takes place within the context of a large corporation. (18)

isolate Individual who tends to work alone and to interact and communicate little with others. (10)

isolated dyad Two people who tend to work alone and to interact and communicate little with others. (10)

jargon The specialized or technical language of a trade, profession, or social group. (10)

job analysis The process of systematically gathering information about specific jobs to use in developing a performance measurement system, to write job or position descriptions, and to develop equitable pay systems. (8)

job characteristics approach Focuses on the motivational attributes of jobs. (7)

job characteristics theory Identifies three critical psychological states: experienced meaningfulness of the work, experienced responsibility for work outcomes, and knowledge of results. (7)

job design How organizations define and structure jobs. (7)

job enlargement Involves giving workers more tasks to perform. (7)

job enrichment Entails giving workers more tasks to perform and more control over how to perform them. (7)

job hopping Occurs when an individual makes fewer adjustments within the organization and moves to different organizations to advance his or her career. (Appendix B)

job rotation Systematically moving workers from one job to another in an attempt to minimize monotony and boredom. (7)

job satisfaction The extent to which a person is gratified or fulfilled by his or her work. (4)job sharing A situation in which two or more part-time employees share one full-time job. (7)

job specialization Advocated by scientific management. It can help improve efficiency, but it can also promote monotony and boredom. (7)

job-centered leader behavior Involves paying close attention to the work of subordinates, explaining work procedures, and demonstrating a strong interest in performance. (13)

laboratory experiment Involves creating an artificial setting similar to a real work situation to allow control over almost every possible factor in that setting. (Appendix A)

leader-member exchange (LMX) This model of leadership stresses the fact that leaders develop unique working relationships with each of their subordinates. (13)

leadership Both a process and a property. As a process, leadership involves the use of noncoercive influence. As a property, leadership is the set of characteristics attributed to someone who is perceived to use influence successfully. (13)

Leadership Grid Evaluates leadership behavior along two dimensions, concern for production and concern for people, and suggests that effective leadership styles include high levels of both behaviors. (13)

leadership substitutes Individual, task, and organizational characteristics that tend to outweigh the leader’s ability to affect subordinates’ satisfaction and performance. (14)

leading The process of getting the organization’s members to work together toward the organization’s goals. (2)

learning A relatively permanent change in behavior or behavioral potential resulting from direct or indirect experience. (6)

learning organization An organization that works to facilitate the lifelong learning and personal development of all of its employees while continually transforming itself to respond to changing demands and needs. (8)

least-preferred coworker (LPC) scale Presumes to measure a leader’s motivation. (13)

legitimate power Power that is granted by virtue of one’s position in the organization. (14)

liaison An individual who serves as a bridge between groups, tying groups together and facilitating the communication flow needed to integrate group activities. (10)

life change Any meaningful change in a person’s personal or work situation; too many life changes can lead to health problems. (9)

life trauma Any upheaval in an individual’s life that alters his or her attitudes, emotions, or behaviors. (9)

linking role A position for a person or group that serves to coordinate the activities of two or more organizational groups. (11)

locus of control The extent to which people believe their circumstances are a function of their own actions versus external factors beyond their control. (4)

long-term orientation Focused on the future. (3)

LPC theory of leadership Suggests that a leader’s effectiveness depends on the situation. (13)

Machiavellianism A personality trait. People who possess this trait to behave to gain power and to control the behavior of others. (4)

machine bureaucracy This structure is typical of large, well-established organizations. Work is highly specialized and formalized, and decision making is usually concentrated at the top. (17)

management by objectives (MBO) A collaborative goal-setting process through which organizational goals cascade down throughout the organization. (8)

management functions Set forth by Henri Fayol; they include planning, organizing, command, coordination, and control. (16)

management teams Consist of managers from various areas; they coordinate work teams. (12)

masculinity The extent to which the dominant values in a society emphasize aggressiveness and the acquisition of money and material goods, rather than concern for people, relationships among people, and the overall quality of life. (3)

mastery stage The stage where individuals develop a stronger attachment to their organizations and lose some career flexibility; performance may vary. (Appendix B)

matrix design Combines two different designs to gain the benefits of each; typically combined are a product or project departmentalization scheme and a functional structure. (17)

mechanistic structure This structure is primarily hierarchical. Within it, interactions and communications are typically vertical, instructions come from the boss, knowledge is concentrated at the top, and loyalty and obedience are required to sustain membership. (17)

medium The channel or path through which the message is transmitted. (10)

mentoring Occurs when an older, more experienced person helps a younger employee grow and advance by providing advice, support, and encouragement. (Appendix B)

Michigan leadership studies These studies defined job-centered and employee-centered leadership as opposite ends of a single leadership continuum. (13)

motivation The set of forces that lead people to behave in particular ways. (5)

motivation and productivity The stage of group development in which members cooperate, help each other, and work toward accomplishing tasks. (11)

motivation factors These factors are intrinsic to the work itself. They include factors such as achievement and recognition. (5)

motive A factor that determines a person’s choice of one course of behavior from among several possibilities. (5)

multicultural organization The multicultural organization has six characteristics: pluralism, full structural integration, full integration of informal networks, an absence of prejudice and discrimination, equal identification among employees with organizational goals for majority and minority groups, and low levels of intergroup conflict. (3)

mutual acceptance The stage of group development that is characterized by members sharing information about themselves and getting to know each other. (11)

need Anything an individual requires or wants. (5)

need for achievement The desire to accomplish a task or goal more effectively than in the past. (5)

need for affiliation The need for human companionship. (5)

need for power The desire to control the resources in one’s environment. (5)

need theories of motivation These theories assume that need deficiencies cause behavior. (5)

negative affectivity People who possess this trait are generally downbeat and pessimistic, see things in a negative way, and seem to be in a bad mood. (4)

negative emotionality Characterized by moodiness and insecurity; those who have little negative emotionality are better able to withstand stress. (4)

negative reinforcement (avoidance) The opportunity to avoid or escape from an unpleasant circumstance after exhibiting behavior. (6)

negotiation The process in which two or more parties (people or groups) reach an agreement even though they have different preferences. (15)

noise Any disturbance in the communication process that interferes with or distorts communication. (10)

nominal group technique Technique in which group members follow a generate-discussion-vote cycle until they reach an appropriate decision. (15)

nonprogrammed decision A decision that recurs infrequently and for which there is no previously established decision rule. (15)

norm A standard against which the appropriateness of a behavior is judged. (11)

occupation A group of jobs that are similar with respect to the type of tasks and training involved. (Appendix B)
Ohio State leadership studies These studies defined leader consideration and initiating-structure behaviors as independent dimensions of leadership. (13)
open system A system that interacts with its environment. (17)
openness The capacity to entertain new ideas and to change as a result of new information. (4)
optimism The extent to which a person sees life in relatively positive or negative terms. (9)
organic structure This structure is set up like a network. Within it, interactions and communications are horizontal, knowledge resides wherever it is most useful to the organization, and membership requires a commitment to the organization’s tasks. (17)
organization A group of people working together to attain common goals. (16)
organization chart A diagram showing all people, positions, reporting relationships, and lines of formal communication in the organization. (16)
organization climate Current situations in an organization and the linkages among work groups, employees, and work performance. (18)
organization culture The set of values that helps the organization’s employees understand which actions are considered acceptable and which are unacceptable. (18)
organization development The process of planned change and improvement of the organization through application of knowledge of the behavioral sciences. (19)
organization structure The system of task, reporting, and authority relationships within which the organization does its work. (16)
organizational behavior The study of human behavior in organizational settings, the interface between human behavior and the organization, and the organization itself. (1)
organizational behavior modification (OB mod) The application of reinforcement theory to people in organizational settings. (6)
organizational citizenship The extent to which a person’s behavior makes a positive overall contribution to the organization. (4)
organizational commitment A person’s identification with and attachment to an organization. (4)
organizational downsizing A popular trend aimed at reducing the size of corporate staff and middle management to reduce costs. (17)
organizational environment Everything outside an organization. It includes all elements, people, other organizations, economic factors, objects, and events that lie outside the boundaries of the organization. (17)
organizational goals Objectives that management seeks to achieve in pursuing the firm’s purpose. (16)
organizational politics Activities carried out by people to acquire, enhance, and use power and other resources to obtain their desired outcomes. (14)
organizational socialization The process through which employees learn about the firm’s culture and pass their knowledge and understanding on to others. (18)
organizational stressors Factors in the workplace that can cause stress. (9)
organizational technology The mechanical and intellectual processes that transform inputs into outputs. (17)
organizing The process of designing jobs, grouping jobs into units, and establishing patterns of authority between jobs and units. (2)
outcome Anything that results from performing a particular behavior. (6)
overdetermination Occurs because numerous organizational systems are in place to ensure that employees and systems behave as expected to maintain stability. (19)

participation The process of giving employees a voice in making decisions about their own work. (7)
path-goal theory of leadership suggests that effective leaders clarify the paths (behaviors) that will lead to desired rewards (goals). (13)
perception The set of processes by which an individual becomes aware of and interprets information about the environment. (4)
performance behaviors The total set of work-related behaviors that the organization expects the individual to display. (4)
performance measurement (performance appraisal) The process by which someone (1) evaluates an employee’s work behaviors by measurement and comparison with previously established standards, (2) documents the results, and (3) communicates the results to the employee. (8)
performance plan An understanding between an employee and a manager concerning what and how a job is to be done such that both parties know what is expected and how success is defined and measured. (8)
performance-to-outcome expectancy An individual’s perception of the probability that performance will lead to certain outcomes. (6)
perquisites Special privileges awarded to selected members of an organization, usually top managers. (8)
personal power Resides in the person, regardless of the position he or she fills. (14)
personality The relatively stable set of psychological attributes that distinguish one person from another. (4)
person-job fit The extent to which the contributions made by the individual match the inducements offered by the organization. (4)
physical demands Stressors associated with the job’s physical setting, such as the adequacy of temperature and lighting and the physical requirements the job makes on the employee. (9)
planning The process of determining an organization’s desired future position and the best means of getting there. (2)
pluralistic organization An organization that has diverse membership and takes steps to fully involve all people who differ from the dominant group. (3)
position power Resides in the position, regardless of who is filling that position. (14)
positive affectivity People who possess this trait are upbeat and optimistic, have an overall sense of well-being, and see things in a positive light. (4)
positive reinforcement A reward or other desirable consequence that a person receives after exhibiting behavior. (6)
power The potential ability of a person or group to exercise control over another person or group. (14)
power distance The extent to which less powerful persons accept the unequal distribution of power. (3)
practical approach The approach to decision making that combines the steps of the rational approach with the conditions in the behavioral approach to create a more realistic process for making decisions in organizations. (15)
PRAM model This model guides the negotiator through the four steps of planning for agreement, building relationships, reaching agreements, and maintaining relationships. (15)
prejudices Judgments about others that reinforce beliefs about superiority and inferiority. (3)
preparation Usually the first stage in the creative process. It includes education and formal training. (4)
primary dimensions of diversity Factors that are either inborn or exert extraordinary influence on early socialization: age, ethnicity, gender, physical abilities, race, and sexual orientation. (3)
primary needs The basic physical requirements necessary to sustain life. (5)
problem-solving A form of decision making in which the issue is unique and alternatives must be developed and evaluated without the aid of a programmed decision rule. (15)
problem-solving teams Temporary teams established to attack specific problems in the workplace. (12)
procedural justice The extent to which the dynamics of an organization’s decision-making processes are judged to be fair by those most affected by them. (18)
process-based perspectives These perspectives focus on how people behave in their efforts to satisfy their needs. (6)
product development teams Combinations of work teams and problem-solving teams that create new designs for products or services that will satisfy customer needs. (12)
productivity An indicator of how much an organization is creating relative to its inputs. (2)
professional bureaucracy This structure is characterized by horizontal specialization by professional area of expertise, little formalization, and decentralized decision making. (17)
programmed decision A decision that recurs often enough for a decision rule to be developed. (15)
psychological contract A person’s set of expectations regarding what he or she will contribute to the organization and what the organization, in return, will provide to the individual. (4)
punishment An unpleasant, or aversive, consequence that results from behavior. (6)set of features and characteristics of a product or service that determine its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs. (2)
quality circles Small groups of employees from the same work area who regularly meet to discuss and recommend solutions to workplace problems. (12)
quality of work-life The extent to which workers can satisfy important personal needs through their experiences in the organization. (19)

radical innovation A major breakthrough that changes or creates whole industries. (18)
rational decision-making approach A systematic, step-by-step process for making decisions. (15)
receiver The individual, group, or organization that perceives the encoded symbols; the receiver may or may not decode them and try to understand the intended message. (10)
reengineering The radical redesign of organizational processes to achieve major gains in cost, time, and provision of services. (17)
referent power Exists when one person wants to be like or imitates someone else. (14)
refreezing The process of making new behaviors relatively permanent and resistant to further change. (19)
reinforcement The consequences of behavior. (6)
reinforcement discrimination The process of recognizing differences between behavior and reinforcement in different settings. (6)
reinforcement generalization The process through which a person extends recognition of similar or identical behavior-reinforcement relationships to different settings. (6)
reinforcement theory This theory is based on the idea that behavior is a function of its consequences. (6)
reliability The extent to which a measure is consistent over time. (Appendix A)
research design The set of procedures used to test the predicted relationships among natural phenomena. (Appendix A)
responsibility An obligation to do something with the expectation of achieving some act or output. (16)
rethinking Looking at organization design in totally different ways, perhaps even abandoning the classic view of the organization as a pyramid. (17)
reward power The extent to which a person controls rewards that another person values. (14)
reward system The system that consists of all organizational components, including people, processes, rules and procedures, and decision-making activities, involved in allocating compensation and benefits to employees in exchange for their contributions to the organization. (8)
risk Condition under which the decision maker cannot know with certainty what the outcome of a given action will be but has enough information to estimate the probabilities of various outcomes. (15)
risk propensity The degree to which a person is willing to take chances and make risky decisions. (4)
role A set of expected behaviors associated with a particular position in a group or organization. (9)
role ambiguity Arises when a role is unclear. (9)
role conflict Occurs when the messages and cues constituting a role are clear but contradictory or mutually exclusive. (9)
role demands Stressors associated with the role a person is expected to play. (9)
role overload Occurs when expectations for the role exceed the individual’s capabilities. (9)

satisficing Examining alternatives only until a solution that meets minimal requirements is found. (15)
schedules of reinforcement Indicate when or how often managers should reinforce certain behaviors. (6)
scientific management One of the first approaches to management. It focused on the efficiency of individual workers and assumed that employees are motivated by money. (1, 5)
scientific research The systematic investigation of hypothesized propositions about the relationships among natural phenomena. (Appendix A)
secondary dimensions of diversity Factors that are important to us as individuals and to some extent define us to others but are less permanent and can be adapted or changed: educational background, geographic location, income, marital status, military experience, parental status, religious beliefs, and work experience. (3)
secondary needs The requirements learned from the environment and culture in which the person lives. (5)
selective perception The process of screening out information that we are uncomfortable with or that contradicts our beliefs. (4)
self-efficacy The extent to which we believe we can accomplish our goals even if we failed to do so in the past. (4, 8)
self-esteem The extent to which a person believes he or she is a worthwhile and deserving individual. (4)
self-reactions Comparisons of alternatives with internalized moral standards. (15)
semantics The study of language forms. (10)
short-term orientation Focused on the past or present. (3)
simple structure This structure is typical of relatively small or new organizations and has little specialization or formalization. Within this structure, power and decision making are concentrated in the chief executive. (17)
social learning Occurs when people observe the behaviors of others, recognize their consequences, and alter their own behavior as a result. (6)
social loafing The tendency of some members of groups to put forth less effort in a group than they would when working alone. (11)
social responsibility An organization’s social responsibility is its obligation to protect and contribute to the social environment in which it functions. (2)
social subsystem Includes the interpersonal relationships that develop among people in organizations. (17)
socialization The process through which individuals become social beings. (18)
sociotechnical systems approach An approach to organization design that views the organization as an open system structured to integrate the technical and social subsystems into a single management system. (17)
source The individual, group, or organization interested in communicating something to another party. (10)
span of control The number of people who report to a manager. (16)
stereotypes Rigid judgments about others that ignore the specific person and the current situation. Acceptance of stereotypes can lead to the dangerous process of prejudice toward others. (3)
stereotyping The process of categorizing or labeling people on the basis of a single attribute. (4)
strategic values The basic beliefs about an organization’s environment that shape its strategy. (18)
strategy The plans and actions necessary to achieve organizational goals. (17)
stress A person’s adaptive response to a stimulus that places excessive psychological or physical demands on that person. (9)
structural change A systemwide organization development involving a major restructuring of the organization or instituting programs such as quality of work life. (19)
structural imperatives The three structural imperatives, environment, technology, and size, are the three primary determinants of organization structure. (17)
suboptimizing Knowingly accepting less than the best possible outcome to avoid unintended negative effects on other aspects of the organization. (15)
superleadership Occurs when a leader gradually and purposefully turns over power, responsibility, and control to a self-managing work group. (14)
superordinate goal An organizational goal that is more important to the well-being of the organization and its members than the more specific goals of interacting parties. (11)
surface value The objective meaning or worth a reward has to an employee. (8)
symbolic value The subjective and personal meaning or worth a reward has to an employee. (8)
system A set of interrelated elements functioning as a whole. (1, 17)
systems innovation Creates a new functionality by assembling parts in new ways. (18)

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task demands Stressors associated with the specific job a person performs. (9)
task environment This environment includes specific organizations, groups, and individuals that influence the organization. (17)
task group A relatively temporary, formal group established to do a specific task. (11)
team A small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, common performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable. (12)
technical (task) subsystem The means by which inputs are transformed into outputs. (17)
technical skills The skills necessary to accomplish specific tasks within the organization. (2)
technology The mechanical and intellectual processes used to transform inputs into products and services. (2)
telecommuting A work arrangement in which employees spend part of their time working off-site. (7)
Theory X Concept described by Douglas McGregor indicating an approach to management that takes a negative and pessimistic view of workers. (1)
Theory Y Concept described by Douglas McGregor reflecting an approach to management that takes a positive and optimistic perspective on workers. (1)
360-degree feedback Performance management system in which people receive performance feedback from those on all sides of them in the organization: their boss, their colleagues and peers, and their own subordinates. (8)
total quality management (TQM) A form of management that focuses on the customer, an environment of trust and openness, working in teams, breaking down internal organizational barriers, team leadership and coaching, shared power, and continuous improvement. Use of this approach often involves fundamental changes in the organization’s culture. (8)
trait approach This approach attempted to identify stable and enduring character traits that differentiated effective leaders from nonleaders. (13)
transformational leadership The set of abilities that allows the leader to recognize the need for change, to create a vision to guide that change, and to execute that change effectively. (14)
transition management The process of systematically planning, organizing, and implementing change. (19)
transmission The process through which the symbols that represent a message are sent to the receiver. (10)
trial stage (socialization stage) Stage in which individuals more specifically explore jobs and performance begins to improve. (Appendix B)
turnover When people quit their jobs. (4)
type A People who are extremely competitive, highly committed to work, and have a strong sense of time urgency. (9)
type B People who are less competitive, less committed to work, and have a weaker sense of time urgency. (9)
Type Z firm This type of firm is committed to retaining employees; evaluates workers’ performance based on both qualitative and quantitative information; emphasizes broad career paths; exercises control through informal, implicit mechanisms; requires that decision making occur in groups and be based on full information sharing and consensus; expects individuals to take responsibility for decisions; and emphasizes concern for people. (18)

uncertainty Condition under which the decision-maker lacks enough information to estimate the probability of possible outcomes.
uncertainty avoidance The extent to which people prefer to be in clear and unambiguous situations.
unconflicted adherence Continuing with current activities if doing so does not entail serious risks.
unconflicted change Involves making changes in present activities if doing so presents no serious risks.
unfreezing The process by which people become aware of the need for change.
universal approach An approach to organization design where prescriptions or propositions are designed to work in any circumstance. (17)

valence The degree of attractiveness or unattractiveness a particular outcome has for a person.
validity The extent to which a measure actually reflects what it was intended to measure.
valuing diversity Means putting an end to the assumption that everyone who is not a member of the dominant group must assimilate. The first step is to recognize that diversity exists in organizations so that we can begin to manage it.
variable-interval reinforcement Varies the amount of time between reinforcements.
variable-ratio reinforcement Varies the number of behaviors between reinforcements.
verification The final stage of the creative process where the validity or truthfulness of the insight is determined. The feedback portion of communication in which the receiver sends a message to the source indicating receipt of the message and the degree to which he or she understood the message. (10)
vigilant information processing Involves thoroughly investigating all possible alternatives, weighing their costs and benefits before making a decision, and developing contingency plans.
virtual organization A temporary alliance between two or more organizations that band together to undertake a specific venture. (17)
virtual teams Teams that work together by computer and other electronic communication utilities; members move in and out of meetings and the team itself as the situation dictates.
Vroom’s decision tree approach to leadership This model attempts to prescribe how much participation subordinates should be allowed in making decisions.

wheel network In this type of network, information flows between the person at the end of each spoke and the person in the middle.
work teams Include all the people working in an area, are relatively permanent, and do the daily work, making decisions regarding how the work of the team is done.
workforce diversity The similarities and differences in such characteristics as age, gender, ethnic heritage, physical abilities and disabilities, race, and sexual orientation among the employees of organizations.
work-life relationships The interrelationships between a person’s work life and personal life.
workplace behavior The pattern of action by the members of an organization that directly or indirectly influences organizational effectiveness.

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