Management Organizational Behavior
by
Ricky W. Griffin, Nicole Fuller
  • LAST REVIEWED: 19 May 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 22 February 2018
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199846740-0001

Introduction

Organizational behavior (OB) is the study of human behavior in organizational settings, of the interface between human behavior and the organization, and of the organization itself. OB is multidisciplinary in nature, synthesizing several other fields of study, and this is reflected in the literature. Perhaps the greatest contribution is from psychology, especially industrial and organizational psychology. Sociology has also had a major impact on the field of organizational behavior. Other contributing disciplines include anthropology, political science, economics, and industrial engineering.

Textbooks

Organizational behavior textbooks generally follow the same dominant framework that is used to organize the field itself and to partition it into subfields. More precisely, textbooks tend to devote coverage to the history and environment of the field, especially as it relates to the broader domain of management, individual behaviors and processes, interpersonal processes, and organizational processes and characteristics. Because of the rapid advancements in the field and the necessity that examples, statistics, and cases be as current as possible, most textbooks today are revised and published as new editions every two or three years. While there are minor variations across books, they tend to be more similar than dissimilar. Two widely used representative textbooks are Robbins and Judge 2017, now in its 17th edition, and Colquitt, et al. 2017, now in its 5th edition. Hitt, et al. 2015 is also a popular textbook bridging organizational behavior and strategic management.

  • Colquitt, Jason A., Jeffery A. LePine, and Michael Wesson. Organizational Behavior: Improving Performance and Commitment in the Workplace. 5th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2017.

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    This textbook introduces organizational behavior and discusses its interaction with individual characteristics and individual, group, and organizational mechanisms.

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  • Hitt, Michael A., C. Chet Miller, and Adrienne Colella. Organizational Behavior. 4th ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley, 2015.

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    This textbook highlights traditional organizational behavior topics such as motivation, personality, and diversity, and specifies the ways in which they contribute to the firm’s overall strategy.

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  • Robbins, Stephen P., and Timothy Judge. Organizational Behavior. 17th ed. Harlow, UK: Pearson Education, 2017.

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    One of the most widely used organizational behavior textbooks in the world. Robbins and Judge cover introductory topics, individual behavior, group and social behavior, and macro- organizational behavior.

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Reference Sources

Because organizational behavior is a relatively new field of study, academic journals comprise the most common sources of new information. There is, however, an emerging set of other reference sources that students of the field must consider. Both the Annual Review of Psychology and the Annals of the Academy of Management often feature chapters that relate to the field of organizational behavior. As far as encyclopedic works go, Nicholson, et al. 2005 sets the standard with an entire volume devoted to organizational behavior. Handbooks are another good reference resource. Lorsch 1987 offers a highly readable overview of basic OB themes and topics. Zedeck 2011 is a more recent and more comprehensive handbook. It is a high-level resource meant for graduate students and scholars in the field. Finally, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology Division (Division 14 of the American Psychological Association [APA]) publishes books in a series called Organizational Frontiers. Each volume is devoted to an area of emerging interest within the field of OB such as team effectiveness (see Work Teams) or work motivation (see Employee Motivation). These books are not published on a regular schedule; in some years multiple books may be published while there are no publications in other years. There are no original online reference sources that have attained high levels of academic recognition in organizational behavior. However, most of the print sources listed here are also available online.

  • Annals of the Academy of Management. 2007–.

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    A relatively new annual publication of the Academy of Management (AOM) starting in 2007; each volume consists of original commissioned chapters that provide literature reviews of particular topics in management; each volume generally contains multiple review chapters that relate to the field of organizational behavior.

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  • Annual Review of Psychology. 1950–.

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    An annual compilation of original commissioned chapters, each of which reviews a topic area within the general field of psychology; has been published for more than fifty years. The content and topical coverage varies from year to year but most volumes generally contain multiple review chapters that relate to the field of organizational behavior.

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  • Lorsch, Jay W., ed. Handbook of Organizational Behavior. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1987.

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    A relatively brief handbook composed of multiple invited chapters that review and summarize various topical areas within the field of OB; chapters are highly readable and can be of value to both upper-level undergraduate and graduate students.

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  • Nicholson, Nigel, Pino Audia, and Madan Pillutla, eds. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management. Vol. 11, Organizational Behavior. 2d ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2005.

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    Part of a twelve-volume set; sets the standard for reference works on OB; highly readable even at the undergraduate level.

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  • Organizational Frontiers Series. New York: Routledge, 1983–.

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    Published under the auspices of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (Division 14 of the APA); a series of edited books, each of which is devoted to an emerging interest area within the field of OB. Recent examples include Work Motivation: Past, Present, and Future, edited by Ruth Kanfer, Gilad Chen, and Robert D. Pritchard (New York: Routledge, 2008), and Team Effectiveness in Complex Organizations: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives and Approaches, edited by Eduardo Salas, Gerald F. Goodwin, and C. Shawn Burke (New York: Routledge, 2009).

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  • Zedeck, Sheldon, ed. APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

    DOI: 10.1037/12169-000Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A comprehensive three-volume reference source published under the auspices of the APA; Volume 1 examines the building blocks of organizations; Volume 2 looks at selecting members of the organization; Volume 3 focuses on maintaining, expanding, and contracting the organization; chapters were commissioned and prepared by leading authorities in the field; useful for graduate students and scholars in the field.

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Journals

Journals are the most commonly used reference sources in organizational behavior. Because the field of OB is so dynamic and its core content is still emerging, journals generally provide the most up-to-date and pathbreaking avenues for the creation and dissemination of knowledge about the field. The leading journals are published by the Academy of Management (AOM) and the American Psychological Association (APA). The AOM journals include the Academy of Management Journal, the flagship journal for empirical research, and Academy of Management Review, which publishes theoretical and conceptual articles. The leading APA journal for issues related to OB is the Journal of Applied Psychology. Other journals worth consulting include the Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Management, Personnel Psychology, Harvard Business Review, and Organizational Dynamics. All of the journals noted here are available in an online format, however, and subscribers can usually access forthcoming publications before they appear in print.

History and Trends

The field of OB can be traced back to the early 20th century. Münsterberg 1913 played a pivotal role in the birth of the field by relating principles of psychology to human behavior at work. This work, along with others, spawned considerable research on the interface between people and organizations. Wrege and Perroni 1974, however, documents flaws and shortcomings that were present in some of this early work. Wren 2005 summarizes the evolution of the entire field of management, including OB. Kantrow 1986 describes why today’s managers need to be aware of the history of management thought. In 1978 Larry Cummings took stock of where the field of OB stood in its evolution and helped shape the directions the field should take going forward (Cummings 1978). Colquitt and Zapata-Phelan 2007 summarizes how empirical research on management, including OB, has continued to evolve since the 1950s. Rynes and Trank 1999 provides a detailed discussion of the role of behavioral sciences in a business school education. Gelfand, et al. 2017 reviews the last century of research on cross-cultural industrial and organization psychology and organizational behavior.

Environmental Context

The study of OB generally acknowledges the importance of the environmental context. Kast and Rosenzweig 1972 helps establish the importance of environmental context by applying systems concepts from other fields to the study of organizations. The authors of that study also pointed out that there are few “one best ways” to approach OB (see Kast and Rosenzweig 1973); instead behaviors are almost always “contingent” on other factors. Terborg 1981 and Schneider 1983 advance the concepts of environmental context and OB by introducing the concept of interactional psychology, or interactionalism. Interactionalism attempts to explain how people select into, interpret, and explain various situations. Barney and Ouchi 1986 add an additional element to the environmental context of OB by introducing the role of economic theories and models to the study of human behavior in organizations. De Geus 1997 advances the concept of the learning organization, an emerging part of the environmental context of OB.

  • Barney, Jay B., and William G. Ouchi, eds. Organizational Economics. Jossey-Bass Management Series. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1986.

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    Provides a detailed analysis of linkages between economics and organizations, as well as increased awareness of transactions costs and their role in OB.

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  • de Geus, Arie. The Living Company: Habits for Survival in a Turbulent Business Environment. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1997.

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    Applied but serious discussion of the concept of the learning organization: a learning organization is one that works to facilitate the lifelong learning and personal development of all its employees while continually transforming itself to respond to changing demands and needs.

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  • Kast, Fremont E., and James E. Rosenzweig. “General Systems Theory: Applications for Organization and Management.” Academy of Management Journal 15.4 (December 1972): 447–465.

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    Establishes the importance of environmental context by applying systems concepts from other fields (most notably the biological sciences) to the study of organizations; systems theory as applied to organizations suggests that open systems (including work groups and the organization itself) both affect and are affected by their environments.

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  • Kast, Fremont E., and James E. Rosenzweig. Contingency Views of Organization and Management. Chicago: Science Research Associates, 1973.

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    Adds the contingency perspective to the study of OB; this perspective helped advance the field of OB by increasing the predictive validity of many of its theories and concepts. The contingency perspective argues that the effects of various actions such as leadership may be contingent on situational factors including the environmental context.

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  • Schneider, Benjamin. “Interactional Psychology and Organizational Behavior.” In Research in Organizational Behavior: An Annual Series of Analytical Essays and Critical Reviews. Vol. 5. Edited by Larry Cummings and Barry Staw, 1–32. Greenwich, CT: JAI, 1983.

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    Expands the concept of interactional psychology and its place in OB; focuses on the premise that people select situations (for instance, taking a particular job), that situations select people (by hiring a particular person, for example), and that people and situations then continue to affect each other through a continuous interactional process.

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  • Terborg, James. “Interactional Psychology and Research on Human Behavior in Organizations.” Academy of Management Review 6.4 (October 1981): 569–576.

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    Introduces interactionalism (the concept of interactional psychology), which attempts to explain how people select into, interpret, and explain various situations; interactionalism is important because it introduced the premise that people and their settings influence each in a reciprocal manner.

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Organizational Culture

Organizational culture is another major part of the environmental context of OB. Deal and Kennedy 1982 is an applied book that helped introduce culture as an important organizational construct. Barney 1986 helps establish the academic legitimacy of organizational culture as a viable topic by theoretically relating it to organizational strategy. Schneider, et al. 2011 presents a detailed and thorough review of recent theory and research related to organizational culture. Kegan and Lahey 2016 describes a novel perspective on organizational culture wherein employee development is at the core.

  • Barney, Jay B. “Organizational Culture: Can It Be a Source of Sustained Competitive Advantage?” Academy of Management Review 11.3 (July 1986): 656–665.

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    Milestone article that focuses attention on the strategic value of organization culture; interesting and useful theoretical arguments for the importance of culture; helped promote the idea that culture is something that should be actively created and managed so as to help facilitate competitiveness.

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  • Deal, Terrence E., and Allan A. Kennedy. Corporate Cultures: The Rites and Rituals of Corporate Life. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1982.

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    Applied book that helped introduce the concept of organizational culture into mainstream OB; very practitioner-based and easily accessible by undergraduate and graduate students.

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  • Kegan, Robert, and Lisa L. Lahey. An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press, 2016.

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    A fresh approach to creating a corporate culture that leverages the potential of all employees rather than focusing efforts solely on the highest achievers.

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  • Schneider, Benjamin, Mark Ehrhart, and William Macey. “Perspectives on Organizational Climate and Culture.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 1, Building and Developing the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 373–414. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

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    Thorough review of recent developments in theory and research on organizational culture; intended for graduate students and researchers.

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Individual Behaviors and Processes

The study of individual behavior is at the center of OB as an academic discipline. Key individual behaviors and processes include psychological contracts and individual differences. These concepts represent the Foundations of Individual Behavior in organizations. Other key concepts that are central to the study of individual behaviors and processes are theories and concepts of motivation, methods, and practices used to motivate people; Stress and Stress Management, and individual Decision Making.

Foundations of Individual Behavior

The study of individual behavior in organizations is generally approached from the perspective of individual differences. Individual differences are personal attributes that vary from one person to another. Individual differences may be physical, psychological, and emotional. The individual differences that characterize a specific person make that person unique. Rousseau and Parks 1993 lays the foundation of current thinking about the study of individual differences with a detailed explication of the role of psychological contracts in organizations; Rousseau 2011 expands the framework of psychological contracts after reviewing recent research. Kristof 1996 advanced thinking about person-organization fit. Taken together, the concepts of psychological contracts and person-organization fit help provide a useful and comprehensive framework for better understanding the relationship between employees and organizations. Chernyshenko, et al. 2011 reviews other important perspectives on individual differences in organizations. Beyond the general issues associated with individual differences, personality traits and dimensions, attitudes, and affect and emotion are generally seen as separate areas of study. There is also a small but growing international perspective on individual behavior in organizations (see International Perspectives).

  • Chernyshenko, Oleksandr, Stephen Stark, and Fritz Drasgow. “Individual Differences: Their Measurement and Validity.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 2, Selecting and Developing Members for the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 117–152. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

    DOI: 10.1037/12170-000Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Methodological article that focuses on the measurement of individual differences in organizations; especially important for scholars who study individual differences.

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  • Kristof, Amy L. “Person-Organization Fit: An Integrative Review of its Conceptualizations, Measurement, and Implications.” Personnel Psychology 49.1 (Spring 1996): 1–49.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-6570.1996.tb01790.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Important work that introduced the concept of person-organization fit; while previous research examined person-job fit, this article extended the concept of fit to the organizational level.

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  • Rousseau, Denise. “The Individual-Organization Relationship: The Psychological Contract.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 3, Maintaining, Expanding, and Contracting the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 191–220. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

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    Significant review chapter that summarizes the last fifteen years of research on psychological contracts and synthesizes current thinking about psychological contracts.

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  • Rousseau, Denise M., and Judi McLean Parks. “The Contracts of Individuals and Organizations.” In Research in Organizational Behavior: An Annual Series of Analytical Essays and Critical Review. Vol. 15. Edited by Larry L. Cummings and Barry M. Staw, 1–43. Greenwich, CT: JAI, 1993.

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    Important seminal work that describes the concept of psychological contracts, a person’s expectations regarding what he or she will contribute to the organization and what the organization will provide in return.

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Personality

Personality is the relatively permanent set of psychological attributes that distinguishes one person from another. Rotter 1966 identifies locus of control, one of the first personality traits specifically linked to behavior in organizations. Adorno, et al. 1950 identifies and studies the concept of the authoritarian personality. Barrick and Mount 1991 is credited with framing the most widely used organizational behavior perspective on personality at work, the Big Five model. The Big Five model centers around the personality traits of agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, extraversion, and openness. Oswald and Hough 2011 provides a recent comprehensive review of personality in organizations. Judge, et al. 2014 explains how experiences at work influences deviations from personality.

  • Adorno, Theodor W., Else Frenkel-Brunswik, Daniel J. Levinson, and Robert N. Sanford. The Authoritarian Personality. Studies in Prejudice. New York: Harper & Row, 1950.

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    Introduced authoritarianism, the extent to which a person is willing to accept authority from someone of a higher hierarchical position in an organization; another widely studied personality trait in organizations.

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  • Barrick, Murray R., and Michael K. Mount. “The Big Five Personality Dimensions and Job Performance: A Meta-Analysis.” Personnel Psychology 44.1 (1991): 1–26.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-6570.1991.tb00688.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A seminal work; reviews hundreds of studies of personality at work; synthesizes the findings into what is generally known as the Big Five model of personality; suggests that five key personality traits (agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, extraversion, and openness) are consistent predictors of job performance.

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  • Judge, Timothy A., Lauren S. Simon, Charlice Hurst, and Ken Kelley. “What I Experienced Yesterday is Who I Am Today: Relationship of Work Motivations and Behaviors to Within-Individual Variation in the Five-Factor Model of Personality.” Journal of Applied Psychology 99.2 (2014): 199–221.

    DOI: 10.1037/a0034485Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Recent empirical work on how within-individual personality traits vary across situations at work.

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  • Oswald, Frederick, and Leaetta Hough. “Personality and its Assessment in Organizations: Theoretical and Empirical Developments.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 2, Selecting and Developing Members for the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 153–184. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

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    Major review of recent theoretical developments and methodological refinements in personality research; key resource for anyone doing research on personality in organizations.

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  • Rotter, Julian B. “Generalized Expectancies for Internal versus External Control of Reinforcement.” Psychological Monographs: General and Applied 80.1 (1966): 1–28.

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    Introduced locus of control, the extent to which people believe their behavior has a real effect on what happens to them; one of the most studied personality traits in organizations.

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Attitudes

Attitudes are complexes of beliefs and feelings that people have about specific ideas, situations, objects, or other people. Researchers originally believed that worker attitudes would lead to worker behaviors; more recently, however, researchers have determined that the attitude-behavior relationship is much more complicated than originally assumed. Festinger 1957 helped establish the primacy of attitudes in organizations with this work on cognitive dissonance, the situation when a person has two attitudes that are not consistent with one another. Job satisfaction, the most widely studied job-related attitude, is established as a key variable in Smith, et al. 1969. Schleicher, et al. 2011 provides a comprehensive review of the theoretical and empirical literature on job satisfaction.

  • Festinger, Leon. A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. Mass Communication Series 2. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1957.

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    Seminal book that helped establish the importance of attitudes in organizations; described the concept of cognitive dissonance as conflict between attitudes or between beliefs and behaviors.

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  • Schleicher, Deidra, S. Duane Hansen, and Kevin Fox. “Job Attitudes and Work Values.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 3, Maintaining, Expanding, and Contracting the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 137–190. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

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    Recent comprehensive review of research on job attitudes, including job satisfaction; intended for graduate students and researchers.

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  • Smith, Patricia C., Lorne M. Kendall, and Charles Hulin. The Measurement of Satisfaction in Work and Retirement: A Strategy for the Study of Attitudes. Rand McNally Psychology Series. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1969.

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    Developed the first widely used questionnaire to measure job satisfaction, the Job Descriptive Index (JDI); ease of use, evidence for instrument reliability and validity, and the presence of normative data combine to make the JDI one of the most widely used measures in OB, and job satisfaction one of its most widely studied variables.

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Affect and Emotion

Affect and emotion refer to the extent to which an individual tends to be relatively upbeat and optimistic, have an overall sense of well-being, and be prone to seeing things in a positive light, as opposed to being generally downbeat and pessimistic, seeing things in a negative way, and being prone to being in a bad mood. While affect and emotion are closely related to attitudes, in recent years they have emerged as a separate area of study. George and Jones 1996 helps establish the significance of affect and emotion to OB, while Brief and Weiss 2002 reviews the literature on affect and helps define its boundary and structural composition. Goleman 1995 introduces the importance of emotion to a more widespread audience.

International Perspectives

A limited but growing body of work has examined individual differences and behaviors in different countries and in different cultural contexts. Hofstede 1980 was among the first to identify individual differences that vary systematically across different cultures. Ronen and Shenkar 1985 identifies clusters of countries whose cultures tend to have consistent patterns of individual differences. Erez 2011 recently reviewed the major cross-cultural and global issues in OB, with a particular emphasis on individual differences.

  • Erez, Miriam. “Cross-Cultural and Global Issues in Organizational Psychology.” In AP Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 3, Maintaining, Expanding, and Contracting the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 807–854. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

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    Recent comprehensive review of international OB; special attention to individual differences.

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  • Hofstede, Geert. Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values. Cross-Cultural Research and Methodology Series 5. Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE, 1980.

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    First major publication dealing with individual differences across cultures; using a sample of 116,000 IBM employees, identified social orientation, power orientation, uncertainty orientation, goal behavior, and time orientation as important individual differences that varied across cultures.

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  • Ronen, Simcha, and Oded Shenkar. “Clustering Countries on Attitudinal Dimensions: A Review and Synthesis.” Academy of Management Review 10.3 (July 1985): 435–454.

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    Identifies countries that are similar and dissimilar to one another in terms of patterns of individual differences; defines interesting and important theoretical perspectives that have helped guide subsequent work on individual differences across cultures.

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Employee Motivation

Employee motivation has generally been approached from need-based and process-based perspectives. The basic premise of need-based theories and models is that humans are motivated primarily by deficiencies in one or more important needs or need categories. Need theorists have attempted to identify and categorize the needs that are most important to people. (Some observers call these “content theories” because they deal with the content, or substance, of what motivates behavior.) The best-known need theories are the hierarchy of needs (Maslow 1943) and the two-factor theory (Herzberg, et al. 1959). Process-based perspectives, meanwhile, focus more on the dynamic processes that underlie motivated behavior. The major process theories are equity theory (Adams 1963) and expectancy theory (Vroom 1964). Porter and Lawler 1968 extends expectancy theory and helps integrate motivation theory with the literature on attitudes. Steers, et al. 1996 and Pinder 2008 are excellent textbooks that provide an overview of motivation. Diefendorff and Chandler 2011 provides a recent comprehensive review of the literature on work motivation. Cerasoli, et al. 2014 summarizes existing literature on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in employee job performance.

  • Adams, J. Stacy. “Towards an Understanding of Inequity.” Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 67.5 (November 1963): 422–436.

    DOI: 10.1037/h0040968Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    First process-based perspective on motivation; suggests that people form a subjective ratio of their contributions to their organization (talent, experience, effort, etc.) relative to what they receive in return (pay, recognition, responsibility, etc.) and then compare this ratio with a comparison other; they then experience feelings of equity or inequity; motivation then follows as they attempt to achieve or maintain equity.

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  • Cerasoli, Christopher P., Jessica M. Nicklin, and Michael T. Ford. “Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Incentives Jointly Predict Job Performance: A 40-Year Meta-Analysis.” Psychological Bulletin 140.4 (2014): 980–1009.

    DOI: 10.1037/a0035661Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Thorough evaluation of existing research on how extrinsic incentives influence employees’ intrinsic motivation and job performance.

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  • Diefendorff, James, and Megan Chandler. “Motivating Employees.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 3, Maintaining, Expanding, and Contracting the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 65–136. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

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    Comprehensive review and summary of recent theory and research on employee motivation; required reading for motivation scholars.

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  • Herzberg, Frederick, Bernard Mausner, and Barbara Snyderman. The Motivation to Work. New York: Wiley, 1959.

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    First motivation theory developed specifically to predict motivation in work settings; suggests that two different factors influence motivation; many premises of theory have been called into question by subsequent research, but this still among the most widely known theories of motivation among practicing managers.

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  • Maslow, Abraham H. “A Theory of Human Motivation.” Psychological Review 50.4 (1943): 370–396.

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    First major content theory of motivation; posits five sets of human needs (psychological, security, belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization) organized into a hierarchy of importance; most widely known theory of human motivation.

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  • Pinder, Craig. Work Motivation in Organizational Behavior. 2d ed. New York: Psychology Press, 2008.

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    Advanced textbook; thorough review of key theories of employee motivation; accessible for both upper-level undergraduates and graduate students.

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  • Porter, Lyman W., and Edward E. Lawler. Managerial Attitudes and Performance. Irwin-Dorsey Series in Behavioral Science. Homewood, IL: R. D. Irwin, 1968.

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    Significant scholarly book that extends expectancy theory; suggests that if motivated behavior results in rewards, positive attitudes such as job satisfaction will result.

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  • Steers, Richard M., Gregory A. Bigley, and Lyman W. Porter. Motivation and Leadership at Work. 6th ed. McGraw-Hill Series in Management. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996.

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    Major text within motivation literature; consists of both reprints of key journal articles and original (commissioned) articles; written for graduate students.

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  • Vroom, Victor. Work and Motivation. New York: Wiley, 1964.

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    Introduces expectancy theory (also known as instrumentality theory); suggests people are motivated to pursue outcomes that they want and think they have a reasonable opportunity to achieve; has been the basis of much subsequent research.

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Job Design

How can organizations implement the various theories of motivation in applied ways? Job design is one of the most common techniques and practices of Employee Motivation. It refers to how organizations define and structure jobs. Hackman and Oldham 1976 introduces the job characteristics theory, the most dominant theory of job design. Grant, et al. 2011 provides a recent comprehensive review of the job design literature since Hackman and Oldham’s theory was introduced. More recently, Oldham and Fried 2016 reviews historical and contemporary research on job design.

  • Grant, Adam, Yitzhak Fried, and Tina Juillerat. “Work Matters: Job Design in Classic and Contemporary Perspectives.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 1, Building and Developing the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 417–453. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

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    A comprehensive review of the job design literature since Hackman and Oldham’s theory (see Hackman and Oldham 1976) was introduced; intended for graduate students and researchers; excellent integration of job design with other concepts.

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  • Hackman, J. Richard, and Greg Oldham. “Motivation Through the Design of Work: Test of a Theory.” Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 16.2 (1976): 250–279.

    DOI: 10.1016/0030-5073(76)90016-7Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Introduces the job characteristics theory, the most dominant theory of job design; suggests jobs can be described in terms of five core characteristics; the more the characteristics are present in a job, the more likely the job holder will experience internal work motivation and satisfaction and exhibit high performance, low absenteeism, and low turnover.

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  • Oldham, Greg R., and Yitzhak Fried. “Job Design Research and Theory: Past, Present and Future.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 136 (September 2016): 20–35.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2016.05.002Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A comprehensive review of existing research on job design approaches with an emphasis on job crafting, and the influence of generational and cultural differences on employees’ reactions to various designs.

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Employee Participation

Employee participation, like Job Design, is a common technique for Employee Motivation. Employee participation refers to the extent to which employees have a voice in decisions about how to perform their work and are enabled to set their own work goals, make decisions, and solve problems within the scope of their responsibility and authority. Wagner 1994 provides a detailed review of the research on participation and empowerment.

  • Wagner, John A, III. “Participation’s Effects of Performance and Satisfaction: A Reconsideration of Research Evidence.” Academy of Management Review 19.2 (April 1994): 312–330.

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    Review of the literature on employee participation and empowerment and how they impact performance and satisfaction; thorough and detailed analysis.

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Flexible Work Arrangements

A flexible work arrangement is a common motivation technique. It typically refers to a work arrangement where the individual performing the work has some degree of flexibility over when and/or where the work is performed. One example is a flexible work schedule where the employee can set his or her own hours (usually within some known parameters); an alternative is telecommuting, where the employee works from a home office or other setting away from the location where the job is traditionally performed. Cohen and Gadon 1978 provides a comprehensive discussion of early approaches to and experiments in flexible work arrangements. Kossek and Michel 2011 provides a comprehensive review of recent theory and research relating to flexible work arrangements. Allen, et al. 2013 examines existing research on flexible work arrangements to highlight trends across the literature.

  • Allen, Tammy D., Ryan C. Johnson, Kaitlin M. Kiburz, and Kristen M. Shockley. “Work-Family Conflict and Flexible Work Arrangements: Deconstructing Flexibility.” Personnel Psychology 66.2 (2013): 345–376.

    DOI: 10.1111/peps.12012Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A review of previous research on the relationship between work-family conflict and flexible work arrangements, taking into consideration multiple interpretations of the idea of work flexibility.

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  • Cohen, Allen R., and Herman Gadon. Alternative Work Schedules: Integrating Individual and Organizational Needs. Addison-Wesley Series on Organization Development. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1978.

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    A comprehensive discussion of early approaches to and experiments in flexible work arrangements; written for upper-level undergraduates and graduate students.

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  • Kossek, Ellen, and Jesse Michel. “Flexible Work Schedules.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 1, Building and Developing the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 535–572. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

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    A comprehensive review of recent theory and research relating to flexible work arrangements; intended for graduate students, scholars, and practicing industrial psychologists.

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Goal-Setting and Organizational Rewards

Goal-setting is a motivational technique that involves employees having a voice in setting clear and precise performance goals for themselves. Locke 1968 first established the theoretical basis for how goal-setting can impact motivation; Latham and Yukl 1975 reviewed hundreds of studies on goal-setting and used the findings to frame a more precise theoretical framework for how goal-setting should be used in organizations to motivate employee performance. Rewards are those tangible things (pay, benefits, recognition, promotion opportunities, and so forth) that an organization provides to its employees in return for their performance. Martocchio 2011 provides a thorough review of contemporary issues in organizational reward systems.

  • Latham, Gary P., and Gary Yukl. “A Review of Research on the Application of Goal Setting in Organizations.” Academy of Management Journal 18.4 (December 1975): 824–845.

    DOI: 10.2307/255381Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Major review of hundreds of studies on goal-setting; uses the findings to frame a more precise theoretical framework for how goal-setting should be used in organizations to motivate employee performance; intended for graduate students but is accessible by upper-level undergraduate students as well.

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  • Locke, Edwin A. “Toward a Theory of Task Motivation and Incentives.” Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 3.2 (1968): 157–189.

    DOI: 10.1016/0030-5073(68)90004-4Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    First established the theoretical basis for how goal-setting can impact motivation; major article that spawned hundreds of follow-up studies on goal-setting and how it impacts performance in organizations.

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  • Martocchio, Joseph. “Strategic Reward and Compensation Plans.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 1, Building and Developing the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 343–372. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

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    A thorough review of contemporary issues in organizational reward systems; intended for graduate students, scholars, and senior compensation executives.

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Learning and Reinforcement Theory

Learning is a relatively permanent change in behavior or behavioral capability that results from direct or indirect experience. The earliest approach to learning, called classical conditioning, assumed that learning occurred when a conditioned response was linked with an unconditioned stimulus. The more contemporary perspective assumes that learning is a cognitive process. Bandura 2001 provides a detailed theoretical analysis of cognitive perspectives on learning. Reinforcement theory, the most widely accepted cognitive theory, assumes that behavior is a function of its consequences. Luthans and Kreitner 1975 and Luthans and Kreitner 1985 present important theoretical and applied perspectives on reinforcement theory and its applicability to organizational settings.

  • Bandura, Albert. “Social Cognitive Theory: An Agentic Perspective.” Annual Review of Psychology 52 (2001): 1–26.

    DOI: 10.1146/annurev.psych.52.1.1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Provides a detailed theoretical analysis of cognitive perspectives on learning; discusses historical developments and current thinking on learning as a cognitive process; intended for graduate students and scholars.

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  • Luthans, Fred, and Robert Kreitner. Organizational Behavior Modification. Management Applications Series. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman, 1975.

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    Classic text devoted to reinforcement theory; provides thorough literature review and general discussion of how reinforcement theory is relevant to organizations; dated but still considered to be an important review. Suitable for upper-level undergraduates and above.

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  • Luthans, Fred, and Robert Kreitner. Organizational Behavior Modification and Beyond: An Operant and Social Learning Approach. Management Applications Series. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman, 1985.

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    Detailed treatment of how organizations can use principles of reinforcement theory to sustain employee motivation; suitable for upper-level undergraduates and above.

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Stress and Stress Management

Stress is a person’s adaptive response to a stimulus that places excessive psychological or physical demands on that person. Selye 1976 introduces the concept of stress from an applied perspective—how stress affects people in their daily lives, including at work. Friedman and Rosenman 1974 also elevated awareness of stress when they identified two general personality patterns they called Type A and Type B. The Type A individual is extremely competitive, very devoted to work, and has a strong sense of time urgency. The Type B person, in contrast, is less competitive, is less devoted to work, and has a weaker sense of time urgency. The original findings suggested that Type A individuals may be more prone to experience stress-related illnesses such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Another body of work looks more precisely at the specific causes of stress. For example, Kahn, et al. 1964 examines how role ambiguity and role conflict lead to stress, while Holmes and Rahe 1967 discusses how life change and trauma can induce stress. A related stress concept is burnout. Burnout is a general feeling of exhaustion that develops when a person simultaneously experiences too much pressure and has too few sources of satisfaction. Lee and Ashforth 1996 review the causes and consequences of burnout. The social and financial costs of stress-related illnesses have increased the importance of stress management research. Macik-Frey, et al. 2007 provides a review of the literature related to occupational health and describes methods for stress management. Griffin and Clarke 2011 provide an authoritative review of research on stress and well-being at work. More recently, Ganster and Rosen 2013 evaluates previous research on stress and well-being as it relates to employee health outcomes.

  • Friedman, Meyer, and Ray H. Rosenman. Type A Behavior and Your Heart. New York: Knopf, 1974.

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    Elevates awareness of stress by identifying two general personality patterns the authors call Type A and Type B; original findings suggested that Type A individuals were more prone to experience stress-related illnesses such as heart disease and high blood pressure; more recent research has questioned this pattern, but this is still an important treatment of the topic.

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  • Ganster, Daniel C., and Christopher C. Rosen. “Work Stress and Employee Health: A Multidisciplinary Review.” Journal of Management 39.5 (2013): 1085–1122.

    DOI: 10.1177/0149206313475815Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A cross-disciplinary review of existing research on the impact of work stress on employee health outcomes including blood pressure, heart disease, and depression.

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  • Griffin, Mark, and Sharon Clarke. “Stress and Well-Being at Work.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 3, Maintaining, Expanding, and Contracting the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 359–398. Handbooks on Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

    DOI: 10.1037/12171-000Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Comprehensive review of the literature on stress and well-being at work; intended for graduate students, scholars, and organizational psychologists.

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  • Holmes, Thomas H., and Richard H. Rahe. “The Social Readjustment Rating Scale.” Journal of Psychosomatic Research 11.2 (1967): 213–218.

    DOI: 10.1016/0022-3999(67)90010-4Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Discusses how life change and trauma can induce stress; assigns weights (100 maximum) to life events such as legal and financial problems, family difficulties, and holidays; attempts to quantify how aggregated weights lead to health risks.

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  • Kahn, Robert L., Donald M. Wolfe, R. P. Quinn, J. D. Snoek, and Robert A. Rosenthal. Organizational Stress: Studies in Role Conflict and Ambiguity. New York: Wiley, 1964.

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    Examines how role ambiguity and role conflict lead to stress; a landmark book that positions the concepts of role conflict and role ambiguity as central elements to the study of group dynamics and as causes of work-related stress.

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  • Lee, Raymond T., and Blake E. Ashforth. “A Meta-Analytic Examination of the Correlates of the Three Dimensions of Job Burnout.” Journal of Applied Psychology 81.2 (1996): 123–133.

    DOI: 10.1037/0021-9010.81.2.123Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Exhaustive and comprehensive literature review of the causes and consequences of burnout; intended for graduate students and scholars.

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  • Macik-Frey, Marilyn, James Campbell Quick, and Debra Nelson. “Advances in Occupational Health: From a Stressful Beginning to a Positive Future.” Journal of Management 33.6 (2007): 809–840.

    DOI: 10.1177/0149206307307634Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Reviews the literature on occupational health with special emphasis on stress management; describes specific stress management methods that can be of value to individuals and organizations; intended for graduate students and scholars but can also be of value to upper-level undergraduates and organizational psychologists.

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  • Selye, Hans. The Stress of Life. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1976.

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    Introduces the concept of stress from an applied perspective and describes how stress affects people in their daily lives, including at work; describes the causes and consequences of stress; intended for general reading audiences but solidly based on scientific research findings.

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Decision Making

Decision making is the process of identifying alternatives in response to an event, problem, or other initiating stimulus and then selecting the best alternative. For decades, scholars assumed that decision makers used rational and logical thinking as they made decisions that were always in the best interest of the organization. Simon 1976, however, introduces the idea that decision makers actually have bounded rationality and that their decisions are frequently influenced by nonrational and/or behavioral factors. Huber 1980 provides an overview of all elements of decision making. Creativity is one key element in making effective decisions. Woodman, et al. 1993 presents a theory of organizational creativity with numerous implications for decision making. It should also be noted that decision making is among the more applied areas of OB. This stems from the fact that much of what managers do involves decision making. Tichy and Bennis 2007 provide useful and practical insights into the role of judgment in managerial decision making. Strategic decision making is also of importance, especially in current thinking about strategic management. Eisenhardt 1989 was among the first works to discuss the concept of strategic decision making. Bromiley and Rau 2011 provide a recent review of the literature pertaining to strategic decision making.

  • Bromiley, Philip, and Devaki Rau. “Strategic Decision Making.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 1, Building and Developing the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 161–182. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

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    Recent comprehensive review of the literature pertaining to strategic decision making; intended for graduate students, scholars, and organizational psychologists interested in decision making and strategic management.

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  • Eisenhardt, Kathleen M. “Making Fast Strategic Decisions in High-Velocity Environments.” Academy of Management Journal 32.3 (September 1989): 543–576.

    DOI: 10.2307/256434Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Seminal article that introduces the concept of strategic decision making; strategic decision making has become a key element in current thinking about strategic management.

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  • Huber, George P. Managerial Decision Making. Management Applications Series. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman, 1980.

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    Excellent text that covers all aspects of decision making, including a thorough discussion of decision making under conditions of certainty, risk, and uncertainty; suitable for upper-level undergraduate students and above.

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  • Simon, Herbert A. Administrative Behavior: A Study of Decision-Making Processes in Administrative Organization. 3d ed. New York: Free Press, 1976.

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    Introduces the idea that decision makers are not always rational but that instead their decisions are frequently influenced by nonrational and/or behavioral factors; describes the process of “satisficing” through which decision makers search for alternatives only until they find one that meets minimum requirements for the situation; essential for all readers interested in decision making.

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  • Tichy, Noel, and Warren Bennis. Judgment: How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls. New York: Portfolio, 2007.

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    Insightful book that describes how managers can make decisions more effectively; emphasizes the role of judgment in decision; written for practicing managers but can also be useful for decision-making scholars.

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  • Woodman, Richard W., John E. Sawyer, and Ricky W. Griffin. “Toward a Theory of Organizational Creativity.” Academy of Management Review 18.2 (April 1993): 293–321.

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    Widely cited article that builds a theory of organizational creativity; creativity is a key element in effective decision making.

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Interpersonal Processes in Organizations

By their very nature, organizations function through interpersonal processes. Very few jobs are performed in total isolation, and social interaction among people is the fabric that holds organizations together. The field of organizational behavior addresses interpersonal processes through the study of working relationships, groups, teams, communication, leadership, power, political behavior, justice, conflict, and negotiation.

Interpersonal and Group Behavior

The nature of working relationships in an organization is as varied as the individual members themselves. Gabarro 1987 presents an excellent overview of how working relationships are developed. Reich and Hershcovis 2011 presents a comprehensive review of recent theory and research on interpersonal relationships at work. Most working relationships occur within the context of a group. A group is two or more persons who interact with one another such that each person influences and is influenced by each other person. Social psychologists have studied groups for decades. Shaw 1981 and Davis 1969 are both classic texts that focus on group dynamics. A related topic is group decision making. Janis 1982 discusses the theory and research associated with the classic group decision-making problem known as groupthink.

  • Davis, James H. Group Performance. Topics in Social Psychology. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1969.

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    Classic brief text that outlines key factors that affect group performance; a bit dated but still highly informative and useful.

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  • Gabarro, John J. “The Development of Working Relationships.” In Handbook of Organizational Behavior. Edited by Jay W. Lorsch, 172–189. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1987.

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    Excellent overview of how working relationships are developed; describes the development of working relationships from both applied and theoretical perspectives; very accessible and suitable for upper-level undergraduate students and above.

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  • Janis, Irving. Groupthink: Psychological Studies of Policy Decisions and Fiascoes. 2d ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1982.

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    Introduces the concept of groupthink; groupthink is a flawed group decision-making process that evolves from a variety of circumstances; a must-read by anyone interested in group decision making; suitable for all students as well as the lay reader.

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  • Reich, Tara, and M. Sandy Hershcovis. “Interpersonal Relationships at Work.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 3, Maintaining, Expanding, and Contracting the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 223–248. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

    DOI: 10.1037/12171-000Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Comprehensive review of recent theory and research on interpersonal relationships at work; develops a very useful framework for understanding and describing interpersonal relationships; suitable for graduate students, researchers, and organizational psychologists.

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  • Shaw, Marvin E. Group Dynamics: The Psychology of Small Group Behavior. 3d ed. McGraw-Hill Series in Psychology. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1981.

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    Excellent text that summarizes decades of theory and research on group dynamics; draws from decades of theory and research; can be used by serious upper-level undergraduate students and above.

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Work Teams

While groups in organizational settings have been studied for almost a century, the concept of work teams is a relatively new one. Teams have been studied under many names and organizational programs: self-directed teams, self-managing teams, autonomous work groups, participative management, and many other labels. Groups and teams are not exactly the same thing, however, although the two words are often used interchangeably in popular writing. Essentially, a team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable. Katzenbach and Smith 1993 provide an excellent overview of the effectiveness of teams in organizations. Marks, et al. 2001 presents a model of team development based on time and outlines a taxonomy of team processes. Horwitz and Horwitz 2007 summarize the literature that looks how team diversity affects team outcomes. Mathieu, et al. 2017 surveys previous work on the performance of teams and the individuals with them.

  • Horwitz, Sujin K., and Irwin B. Horwitz. “The Effects of Team Diversity on Team Outcomes: A Meta-Analytic Review of Team Demography.” Journal of Management 33.6 (2007): 987–1015.

    DOI: 10.1177/0149206307308587Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Meta-analysis of the effects of team diversity on team outcomes; comprehensive and insightful; suitable for graduate students and teams researchers.

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  • Katzenbach, Jon R., and Douglas K. Smith. The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1993.

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    An excellent overview of the effectiveness of teams in organizations; suitable for all students as well as practicing managers.

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  • Marks, Michelle, John Mathieu, and Stephen Zaccaro. “A Temporally Based Framework and Taxonomy of Team Processes.” Academy of Management Review 26.3 (July 2001): 356–376.

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    Authors describe how teams develop over time; outlines a taxonomy of team processes; excellent theoretical treatment of how teams function.

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  • Mathieu, John E., John R. Hollenbeck, Daan van Knippenberg, and Daniel R. Ilgen. “A Century of Work Teams in the Journal of Applied Psychology.” Journal of Applied Psychology 102.3 (2017): 452–467.

    DOI: 10.1037/apl0000128Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A review of existing literature on teams, highlighting the shift from an emphasis on the individual within the team to the overall team itself, as well as an analysis of the implications of team characteristics, composition, and dynamics.

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Communication

Communication is the social process in which two or more parties exchange information and share meaning. Communication has been studied from many perspectives. Baskin and Aronoff 1980 provide an accessible but research-based overview of interpersonal communications in organizations. Katz and Kahn 1978 is a landmark early treatment of how social psychology applies to organizational settings. Communication networks are first introduced and discussed here. Poole 2011 presents a complete and detailed scholarly review of the field of communication as it relates to organizations.

  • Baskin, Otis W., and Craig E. Aronoff. Interpersonal Communication in Organizations. Goodyear Series in Management and Organizations. Santa Monica, CA: Goodyear, 1980.

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    Very accessible but research-based overview of interpersonal communication in organizations; describes both theoretical and practical aspects of communication in organizations; older work but still very relevant.

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  • Katz, Daniel, and Robert L. Kahn. The Social Psychology of Organizations. 2d ed. New York: Wiley, 1978.

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    Classic but essential discussion of the social psychological process in organizations, including organizational communication networks; this book should be required reading for all students of organizational behavior.

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  • Poole, Marshall. “Communication.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 3, Maintaining, Expanding, and Contracting the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 249–270. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

    DOI: 10.1037/12171-000Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Thorough review of recent theory and research on communication in organizations; author discusses communication within the context of organization theory and other macro constructs; intended for researchers and graduate students.

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Leadership

From an organizational viewpoint, leadership is vital because it has such a powerful influence on individual and group behavior. Leadership research has progressed through three general eras. The first sought to identify key traits (such as intelligence and physical appearance) that differentiated leaders from nonleaders. When this work found little in the way of predictive validity, attention shifted to the identification of key kinds of leader behaviors that would most likely result in positive outcomes. Finally, this work was extended into the realm of situational models. These models are also based on leader behaviors but acknowledge that the likely consequences of different kinds of leader behaviors vary based on elements of the situation. Fiedler 1967, House 1971, and Vroom and Yetton 1973 each present seminal early situational theories of leadership. Vroom 2000 introduces a revised and extended version of the Vroom and Yetton 1973 model. Jago 1982 presents an overview of the field of leadership and introduces the important distinction between leadership as both process and property. Barling, et al. 2011 provides a scientific literature review of recent theory and research pertaining to leadership. Bass and Bass 2008 also provides a literature review but goes into much more detail and description. Sharma and Kirkman 2015 summarizes the literature on empowering leaders who embolden employees to take on greater responsibility.

  • Barling, Julian, Amy Christie, and Colette Hoption. “Leadership.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 1, Building and Developing the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 183–240. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

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    Thorough review of the last two decades of theory and research on leadership; intended for researchers, graduate students, and organizational psychologists.

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  • Bass, Bernard, and Ruth Bass. Handbook of Leadership: Theory, Research, and Application. 4th ed. New York: Free Press, 2008.

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    Highly detailed review of the field of leadership; covers history, theories, and empirical evidence; a key introduction and reference for serious leadership scholars.

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  • Fiedler, Fred E. A Theory of Leadership Effectiveness. McGraw-Hill Series in Management. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967.

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    First leadership theory that takes a contingency orientation; suggests that a leader’s behavior is relatively constant based on personality; different patterns of leadership are predicted to be more or less effective depending on the situation.

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  • House, Robert J. “A Path Goal Theory of Leader Effectiveness.” Administrative Science Quarterly 16.3 (September 1971): 321–339.

    DOI: 10.2307/2391905Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Second contingency theory of leadership; relates leadership to the expectancy theory of motivation in a thorough and insightful manner; essentially argues that a leader’s function is to provide clear guidance to subordinates about how they can achieve personal goals by working toward organizational goals; required reading for all leadership scholars.

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  • Jago, Arthur G. “Leadership: Perspectives in Theory and Research.” Management Science 28.3 (March 1982): 315–336.

    DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.28.3.315Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Insightful review of leadership; helps make an important distinction between leadership as both a process and a property.

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  • Sharma, Payal N., and Bradley L. Kirkman. “Leveraging Leaders: A Literature Review and Future Lines of Inquiry for Empowering Leadership Research.” Group & Organization Management 40.2 (2015): 193–237.

    DOI: 10.1177/1059601115574906Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Review of previous research on leadership focused on fostering more autonomy among employees.

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  • Vroom, Victor H. “Leadership and the Decision-Making Process.” Organizational Dynamics 28.4 (Spring 2000): 82–94.

    DOI: 10.1016/S0090-2616(00)00003-6Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Revised version of the decision tree; presents two different approaches: one for when the leader needs to get a decision made quickly, and the other for when the leader wants to develop subordinates; highly applied and accessible article but with scientific merit and value.

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  • Vroom, Victor H., and Philip W. Yetton. Leadership and Decision-Making. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1973.

    DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt6wrc8rSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Develops a decision tree that helps leaders decide how much participation to allow in decision making; excellent overview and integration of leadership, decision making, and participation.

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Power and Politics

Power is the potential ability of a person or group to exercise control over another person or group. Power is distinguished from influence due to the element of control—the more powerful control the less powerful. Thus, power might be thought of as an extreme form of influence. French and Raven 1959 provides a classic framework for helping understand different kinds of power. Allen and Porter 1983 presents an edited compilation of original and reprinted chapters covering a variety of issues related to power. Both Mintzberg 1983 and Pfeffer 1981 present book-length reviews of the literature on power and propose theoretical frameworks for understanding it. A concept closely related to power in organizational settings is politics, or political behavior. Organizational politics are activities people perform to acquire, enhance, and use power and other resources to obtain their preferred outcomes in a situation where there is uncertainty or disagreement. Thus political behavior is the general means by which people attempt to obtain and use power. Ferris and Hochwarter 2011 provides a detailed and systematic scholarly review of the last fifteen years of theory and research on political behavior in organizations. Cavanagh, et al. 1981 presents an interesting and insightful analysis of the role of ethics in political behavior and discusses conditions under which the use of political behavior is more or less ethical.

  • Allen, Robert W., and Lyman W. Porter, eds. Organizational Influence Processes. Glenview, IL: Scott Foresman, 1983.

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    Edited volume of original and reprinted chapters about power and influence; provides a broad, comprehensive introduction to various kinds of influence in organizations.

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  • Cavanagh, Gerald F., Dennis J. Moberg, and Manuel Velasquez. “The Ethics of Organizational Politics.” Academy of Management Review 6.3 (July 1981): 363–374.

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    Interesting and insightful analysis of the role of ethics in political behavior; demonstrates conditions under which the use of political behavior is more or less ethical; introduces a model that decision makers can use to assess the ethics of potential political actions.

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  • Ferris, Gerald, and Wayne Hochwarter. “Organizational Politics.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 3, Maintaining, Expanding, and Contracting the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 435–460. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

    DOI: 10.1037/12171-000Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Detailed and systematic scholarly review of the last fifteen years of theory and research on politics and political behavior in organizations; intended for scholars, graduate students, and organizational psychologists.

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  • French, John R. P., and Bertram Raven. “The Bases of Social Power.” In Studies in Social Power. Edited by Dorwin Cartwright, 150–167. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1959.

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    Classic discussion of different kinds of power in organizations—legitimate, reward, coercive, expert, and referent; still among the most widely used and referenced frameworks of power.

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  • Mintzberg, Henry. Power in and around Organizations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1983.

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    Comprehensive review of power in organizations; draws from a strategic framework; provides detailed coverage of macro power linkages between organizations and the environment.

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  • Pfeffer, Jeffrey. Power in Organizations. Marshfield, MA: Pitman, 1981.

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    Comprehensive review of power in organizations; uses a macro-organization theory perspective; outstanding theoretical analysis; required reading for anyone doing research on power.

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Organizational Justice

Organizational justice is an important phenomenon that has recently been introduced into the study of organizations. There are four basic forms of organizational justice. Distributive justice refers to people’s perceptions of the fairness with which rewards and other valued outcomes are distributed within the organization. Procedural justice is individual perceptions of the fairness used to determine various outcomes. Interpersonal justice relates to the degree of fairness people see in how they are treated by others in their organization. Informational justice refers to the perceived fairness of information used to arrive at decisions. Greenberg and Colquitt 2005 provides a comprehensive discussion and review of the literature on justice in organizations in a handbook format. Greenberg 2011 is a detailed and systematic scholarly review of the last fifteen years of theory and research on justice in organizations.

  • Greenberg, Jerald. “Organizational Justice: The Dynamics of Fairness in the Workplace.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 3, Maintaining, Expanding, and Contracting the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 271–328. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

    DOI: 10.1037/12171-000Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Emphasizes justice-related procedures from a fairness perspective; includes a thorough and systematic scholarly review of the last fifteen years of theory and research on justice in organizations; intended for scholars, graduate students, and organizational psychologists.

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  • Greenberg, Jerald, and Jason Colquitt. Handbook of Organizational Justice. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2005.

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    A comprehensive discussion and review of the literature on justice in organizations from a variety of perspectives; consists of invited review chapters by leading researchers in the justice field; essential resource for anyone doing research in the justice area.

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Conflict and Negotiation

Conflict is a process resulting in the perceptions of two parties that they are working in opposition to each other in ways that result in feelings of discomfort and/or animosity. Robbins 1974 is a classic treatment of conflict and a key starting place for anyone interested in studying conflict. Thomas 1976 provides a solid research-based review of the literature on conflict through the mid-1970s. De Dreu 2011 presents a detailed and systematic scholarly review of the last fifteen years of theory and research on conflict at work. Negotiation is the process in which two or more parties (people or groups) reach agreement on an issue even though they have different preferences regarding that issue. There are four primary approaches to the study of negotiation: individual differences, situational characteristics, game theory, and cognitive approaches. Rubin and Brown 1975 presents one of the first theoretical treatments of negotiation and approaches the negotiation process from a social psychological perspective. Lewicki and Litterer 1985 is an excellent discussion of the theory and research pertaining to negotiation. Bazerman and Neale 1992 presents a comprehensive discussion of negotiation drawing from principles of rationality and proposes how negotiators can work together to achieve mutually acceptable outcomes. Gelfand, et al. 2011 provides a detailed and systematic scholarly review of the last fifteen years of theory and research on negotiation and mediation which is intended for scholars and graduate students. Methasani, et al. 2017 covers a review on the role of emotions in negotiations.

  • Bazerman, Max H., and Margaret A. Neale. Negotiating Rationally. New York: Free Press, 1992.

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    Comprehensive discussion of negotiation; uses principles of rationality to propose how negotiators can work together to achieve mutually acceptable outcomes; intended for all serious students of negotiation, including practicing managers.

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  • de Dreu, Carsten. “Conflict at Work: Basic Principles and Applied Issues.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 3, Maintaining, Expanding, and Contracting the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 461–494. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

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    Covers both theoretical and practical elements of conflict in organizations; includes a comprehensive and systematic scholarly review of the last fifteen years of theory and research on conflict at work; intended for scholars, graduate students, and organizational psychologists.

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  • Gelfand, Michele, Ashley Fulmer, and Laura Severance. “The Psychology of Negotiation and Mediation.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 3, Maintaining, Expanding, and Contracting the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 495–554. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

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    Using a psychological perspective, presents a detailed and systematic scholarly review of the last fifteen years of theory and research on negotiation and mediation; intended for scholars, graduate students, and organizational psychologists.

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  • Lewicki, Roy J., and Joseph A. Litterer. Negotiation. Irwin Series in Management and the Behavioral Sciences. Homewood, IL: R. D. Irwin, 1985.

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    Excellent discussion of the theory and research pertaining to negotiation; can be read and understood by serious undergraduates and above; provides comprehensive literature review and implications for applied usage.

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  • Methasani, Redona, Joseph P. Gaspar, and Bruce Barry. “Feeling and Deceiving: A Review and Theoretical Model of Emotions and Deception in Negotiation.” Negotiation and Conflict Management Research 10.3 (2017): 158–178.

    DOI: 10.1111/ncmr.12095Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Considers previous theoretical and empirical research, and introduces a novel model on emotions and deception in the negotiations process.

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  • Robbins, Stephen P. Managing Organizational Conflict: A Nontraditional Approach. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1974.

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    Classic treatment of conflict; highly accessible and of value to both undergraduate and graduate students; a key starting place for anyone interested in studying conflict; a bit dated now but still well worth reviewing.

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  • Rubin, Jeffrey Z., and Bert R. Brown. The Social Psychology of Bargaining and Negotiation. New York: Academic Press, 1975.

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    One of the first theoretical treatments of negotiation; describes the negotiation process from a social psychological perspective; excellent starting point for anyone starting a research program in the areas of bargaining and negotiation.

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  • Thomas, Kenneth. “Conflict and Conflict Management.” In Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Edited by Marvin Dunnette, 889–935. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1976.

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    Solid research-based review of the literature on conflict; provides a thorough overview of the literature (both theoretical and empirical) through the mid-1970s.

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Organizational Processes and Characteristics

Organizational processes and characteristics focus on macro elements of organizations. Often referred to as organization theory, this is generally considered to be a separate area of study, albeit one with close connections with core organizational behavior topics. Organization structure and design represent the primary focus of this area. Culture and change and development are also important organizational processes and characteristics.

Organization Structure and Design

Organization structure and design focus on how organizational elements are configured and grouped into a coherent overall entity. March and Simon 1958 is a classic and essential treatise on organizations. Huber 2011 provides a detailed and systematic scholarly review of the last two decades of theory and research on organization structure and design.

  • Huber, George. “Organizations: Theory, Design, Future.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 1, Building and Developing the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 117–160. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

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    Summarizes theory and research on organizations from a macro perspective; discusses both the current state and future directions for the study of organizations; represents a detailed and systematic scholarly review of the last two decades of theory and research on organization structure and design; intended for scholars, graduate students, organizational psychologists, and organizational sociologists.

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  • March, James G., and Herbert A. Simon. Organizations. New York: Wiley, 1958.

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    Classic treatment of organization structure and design; landmark book that is required reading for anyone interested in organizational processes and characteristics.

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Culture

Organization culture is the set of values, beliefs, behaviors, customs, and attitudes that helps the members of the organization understand what it stands for, how it does things, and what it considers important. Culture is an amorphous concept that defies objective measurement or observation. Nevertheless, because it is the foundation of the organization’s internal environment, it plays a major role in shaping managerial behavior. Deal and Kennedy 1982 provides a very applied discussion of culture that is accessible by undergraduate students and above. Barney 1986 presents a significant scholarly work that discusses culture from a strategic perspective. This is a highly cited seminal work that is required reading by all scholars interested in culture. Schneider, et al. 2011 provides a detailed and systematic scholarly review of recent theory and research on organizational culture in book format and more recently, in 2013, in a journal article.

  • Barney, Jay B. “Organizational Culture: Can It Be a Source of Sustained Competitive Advantage?” Academy of Management Review 11.3 (July 1986): 656–665.

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    Significant scholarly work that discusses culture from a strategic perspective; highly cited seminal work that is required reading by all scholars interested in the potential functional nature of culture.

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  • Deal, Terrence E., and Allan A. Kennedy. Corporate Cultures: The Rites and Rituals of Corporate Life. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1982.

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    Important early treatment of culture from an applied perspective; still relevant today, however; accessible by undergraduate students and above.

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  • Schneider, Benjamin, Mark Ehrhart, and William Macey. “Perspectives on Organizational Climate and Culture.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 1, Building and Developing the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 373–414. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

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    Discusses both organizational culture and climate; provides a detailed and systematic scholarly review of recent theory and research on organizational culture; intended for scholars and graduate students.

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  • Schneider, Benjamin, Mark Ehrhart and William Macey. “Organizational Culture and Climate.” Annual Review of Psychology 64 (2013): 361–388.

    DOI: 10.1146/annurev-psych-113011-143809Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Provides a summary of existing research on the idea of culture and the role it plays in organizational behavior. The authors propose integrating research on culture and climate.

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Change and Development

Organization change is any substantive modification to some part of the organization. Thus change can involve virtually any aspect of an organization: work schedules, bases for departmentalization, span of management, machinery, organization design, people themselves, and so on. It is important to keep in mind that any change in an organization may have effects extending beyond the actual area where the change is implemented. Martins 2011 presents a detailed and systematic scholarly review of the last two decades of theory and research on change and development.

  • Martins, Luis. “Organization Change and Development.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 3, Maintaining, Expanding, and Contracting the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 691–728. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

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    Comprehensive and systematic scholarly review of the last two decades of theory and research on change and development; intended for scholars, graduate students, organizational psychologists, and practicing engaged change agents.

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Outcome Behaviors

Outcome behaviors are patterns of action by the members of an organization that directly or indirectly influence the organization’s effectiveness. One way to talk about workplace behavior is to describe its impact on performance and productivity, absenteeism and turnover, other dysfunctional behaviors, and organizational citizenship. Organ 1994 is a seminal article that relates the concept of organizational citizenship behavior to personality, while Organ, et al. 2011 provides a detailed and systematic scholarly review of theory and research on organizational citizenship behavior from the last two decades. Bindl and Parker 2011 introduces the concept of proactive work behavior and reviews the extant body of literature to support its inclusion as a major outcome variable for the field of organizational behavior. O’Leary-Kelly, et al. 1996 was among the first articles to provide serious treatments of aggression and workplace violence as important outcome variables in organizational behavior. Barclay and Aquino 2011 provides a detailed and systematic scholarly review of theory and research on workplace violence and aggression, focusing primarily on the last two decades. Kaplan and Tetrick 2011 examines and summarizes recent research dealing with workplace safety and accidents, other important outcome variables. Schilpzand, et al. 2016 offers a review of existing research on workplace incivility.

  • Barclay, Laurie, and Karl Aquino. “Workplace Aggression and Violence.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 3, Maintaining, Expanding, and Contracting the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 615–640. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

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    Comprehensive and systematic scholarly review of theory and research on workplace violence and aggression, with emphasis on the last two decades; intended for scholars, graduate students, and organizational psychologists.

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  • Bindl, Uta, and Sharon Parker. “Proactive Work Behavior: Forward-Thinking and Change-Oriented Action in Organizations.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 2, Selecting and Developing Members for the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 567–598. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

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    Detailed and systematic scholarly review of theory and research on proactive work behavior; proactive work behavior is a relatively new outcome behavior introduced in organizational behavior. This article will be a key starting point for future theory and research on proactive behavior; intended for scholars, graduate students, and organizational psychologists.

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  • Kaplan, Seth, and Lois Tetrick. “Workplace Safety and Accidents: An Industrial and Organizational Psychology Perspective.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 1, Building and Developing the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 455–472. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

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    Scholarly review of the theory and research on workplace safety and accidents; frames workplace safety and accidents as key outcome variables; intended for scholars, graduate students, and organizational psychologists.

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  • O’Leary-Kelly, Anne, Ricky W. Griffin, and David J. Glew. “Organization-Motivated Aggression: A Research Framework.” Academy of Management Review 21.1 (January 1996): 225–253.

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    Widely cited article that was among the first serious treatments of aggression and workplace violence.

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  • Organ, Dennis W. “Personality and Organizational Citizenship Behavior.” Journal of Management 20.2 (1994): 465–478.

    DOI: 10.1177/014920639402000208Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Seminal article that relates the concept of organizational citizenship behavior to personality; an excellent starting point and a key article for serious scholars interested in organizational citizenship behavior.

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  • Organ, Dennis, Philip Podsakoff, and Nathan Podsakoff. “Expanding the Criterion Domain to Include Organizational Citizenship Behavior: Implications for Employee Selection.” In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 2, Selecting and Developing Members for the Organization. Edited by Sheldon Zedeck, 281–324. Handbooks in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

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    Thorough and systematic scholarly review of the last two decades of theory and research on organizational citizenship behavior; intended for scholars, graduate students, and organizational psychologists.

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  • Schilpzand, Pauline, Irene E. DePater, and Amir Erez. “Workplace Incivility: A Review of the Literature and Agenda for Future Research.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 37.S1 (2016): S57–S88.

    DOI: 10.1002/job.1976Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Reviews literature from the last fifteen years on workplace incivility to highlight three categories of incivility: experienced, witnessed, and instigated.

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