CHAPTER SUMMARY – CHAPTER 14
Why Look at Individual Behavior?
Explain why the concept of an organization an iceberg is important to
understanding organizational behavior.
Describe the focus and goals of organizational behavior.
Define the six important employee behaviors that managers want to explain,
predict, and influence.
The idea of an iceberg reflects the fact that there are hidden aspects that affect
how employees behave at work. (See Exhibit 14-1.)
Organizational behavior focuses on two areas: individual behavior and group
behavior. The goals of OB are to explain, predict, and influence employee behavior.
The six employee behaviors include: employee productivity – a performance
measure of both efficiency and effectiveness; absenteeism – the failure to report to work;
turnover – voluntary and involuntary permanent withdrawal from an organization;
organizational citizenship behavior – discretionary behavior that’s not part of an
employee’s formal job requirements; job satisfaction – an individual’s attitude towards
his or her job; and workplace misbehavior – any intentional employee behavior that has
negative consequences for the organization or individuals in the organization.
Describe the three components of an attitude.
Discuss the three job-related attitudes.
Describe the impact job satisfaction has on employee behavior.
Explain how individuals reconcile inconsistencies between attitudes and behavior.
Attitudes are evaluative statements concerning people, objects, or events. The
three components of an attitude include the cognitive (beliefs, opinions, knowledge or
information), the affective (the emotional or feeling part), and the behavioral (an
intention to behave in a certain way).
Job satisfaction is an important attitude that can affect productivity (correlation is
fairly strong); absenteeism (satisfied employees typically have lower levels); turnover
(satisfied have lower levels); customer satisfaction (satisfied employees increase
customer satisfaction and loyalty); and workplace misbehavior (dissatisfied employee
will respond somehow).
Individuals reconcile inconsistencies between attitudes and behaviors aligning
their attitudes and behaviors so they appear rational and consistent or when there is an
inconsistency by taking steps to make it consistent.
Contrast the MBTI and the big-five model of personality.
Describe the five personality traits that have proved to be the most powerful in
explaining individual behavior in organizations.
Explain how emotions and emotional intelligence impact behavior.
The MBTI is a popular approach to classifying personality traits. It looks at social
interaction (extrovert or introvert), preference for gathering data (sensing or intuitive),
preference for decision making (feeling or thinking), and style of making decisions
(perceptive or judgmental). The Big Five model looks are five basic personality
dimensions (extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and
openness to experience) that underlie all others and encompass most of the signification
variation in human personality.
The five personality traits that have proved to be the most powerful in explaining
individual behavior in organizations include locus of control, Machiavellianism, selfesteem, self-monitoring, and risk-taking.
Emotions and emotional intelligence impact behavior because emotions,
especially how we respond emotionally and how we deal with our emotions, can be
functions of our personality.
Explain how an understanding of perception can help managers.
Describe the key elements of attribution theory.
Discuss how the fundamental attribution error and self-serving bias can distort
Name three shortcuts used in judging others.
Perception is a process by which individuals give meaning to their environment
and managers need to understand how perception explains, predicts, and influences
The key elements of attribution theory (see Exhibit 14-6) are observation of
behavior, interpretation of behavior (distinctiveness, consensus, consistency), and
attribution of cause (external or internal).
The fundamental attribution error is the tendency to underestimate the influence
of external factors and overestimate the influence of internal or personal factors. Selfserving bias describes how individuals attribute their own successes to internal factors
while putting the blame for personal failure on external factors.
Three shortcuts used in judging others include assumed similarity (“like me”
effect), stereotyping (judging someone on the basis of a group to which he or she
belongs), and halo effect (letting a single characteristic form our general impression).
Explain how operant conditioning helps managers understand, predict, and
Describe the implications of social learning theory for managing people at work.
Discuss how managers can shape behavior.
Operant conditioning says that behavior is a function of its consequences and it
helps managers understand, predict, and influence behavior.
Social learning theory says that people learn through observation and direct
Managers can shape behavior by using positive reinforcement (administering
something positive to get desired behavior), negative reinforcement (withdrawing
something unpleasant to get desired behavior), punishment (penalizing undesirable
behavior to eliminate it), and extinction (ignoring behavior to eliminate it).
Contemporary OB Issues
Describe the challenges managers face in managing Gen Y workers.
Explain what managers can do to deal with workplace misbehavior.
Managing Gen Y workers presents some unique challenges especially when it
comes to appearance, technology, and management style. (See Exhibit 14-7.)
To manage workplace misbehavior, managers need to recognize that it exists and
then try to prevent it. It can also be important to monitor employee attitudes because
negative behavior can show up there as well.