Organizational Behavior: Improving Performance and Commitment in the Workplace
What is Organizational Behavior?
1.1 Organizational behavior is a field of study devoted to understanding and explaining the
attitudes and behaviors of individuals and groups in organizations. More simply, it focuses on
why individuals and groups in organizations act the way they do.
1.2 The two primary outcomes in organizational behavior are job performance and
organizational commitment. A number of factors affect performance and commitment, including
individual mechanisms (job satisfaction; stress; motivation; trust, justice, and ethics; learning and
decision making), individual characteristics (personality and cultural values, ability), group
mechanisms (team characteristics, team processes, leader power and influence, leader styles and
behaviors), and organizational mechanisms (organizational structure, organizational culture).
1.3 The effective management of organizational behavior can help a company become more
profitable, because good people are a valuable resource. Not only are good people rare, but they
are also hard to imitate. They create a history that cannot be bought or copied, they make
numerous small decisions that cannot be observed by competitors, and they create socially
complex resources such as culture, teamwork, trust, and reputation. Many scientific studies
support the relationship between effective organizational behavior and company performance.
Good OB policies have been linked to employee productivity, firm profitability, and even firm
1.4 A theory is a collection of assertions, both verbal and symbolic, that specifies how and why
variables are related, as well as the conditions in which they should (and should not) be related.
Theories about organizational behavior are built from a combination of interviews, observation,
research reviews, and reflection. Theories form the beginning point for the scientific method and
inspire hypotheses that can be tested with data.
1.5 A correlation is a statistic that expresses the strength of a relationship between two variables
(ranging from 0 to ±1). In OB research, a .50 correlation is considered "strong," a .30 correlation
is considered "moderate," and a .10 correlation is considered "weak." A meta-analysis
summarizes the results of several research studies. It takes the correlations from those research
studies and calculates a weighted average to give more weight to studies with larger samples.
2.1 Job performance is the set of employee behaviors that contribute to organizational goal
accomplishment. Job performance has three dimensions: task performance, citizenship behavior,
and counterproductive behavior.