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The Ultimate Reality Show
Three years ago, when the previous edition of this book was published, Enron and WorldCom were successful and highly acclaimed companies, involvement in a dot-corn was an assured path to riches, and September ii was just a date on the calendar. Today, that's all changed. In a very short time, it's become a different world, especially the business world. Companies that once moved "from bricks to clicks" today are returning to bricks, but are keeping the clicks as well. Many organizations that downsized in a sagging economy subsequently rehired employees, only to downsize once more. And, workplaces that used to be considered safe havens from the uncertainties of a sometimes-evil world, today are considered far more vulnerable than ever.
Because the field of OB is constantly adjusting to reality, we think of it—and this book—as "the ultimate reality show." As in the TV show, Survivor, only the most adaptable individuals and teams in the workplace can be expected to make it to tomorrow. And, as in the TV show, Big Brother, relationships with other people also hold the key to success at work. Finally, just as winners in these television programs stand to receive large sums of money and are likely to enjoy the experience of playing the game, so too do employers and employees benefit financially and personally when they have mastered OB. Unlike these so-called reality shows, with their carefully scripted scenarios and meticulously chosen casts, however, behavior in organizations is reality. Its effects are ongoing and profound. And this is why we consider it to be "the ultimate"in reality, and why we put so much care into preparing this book.Topic Coverage: Old and New
You would not have a serious OB book without paying attention to Weber's concept of bureaucracy, Maslow's need hierarchy theory, and dozens of other classic theories and studies. Such works are to be found on these pages. Competing for space are an equal number of more contemporary approaches to OB that also have received our attention. Consider, for example, just a few of the many new topics covered in this book:
Ethics audits, corporate social responsibility, e-training, Chief Knowledge Officer, successful intelligence, emoticons, organizational compassion', religious intolerance, cyber-venting and much more!
|Ch. 1||The Nature and Study of Organizations||1|
|Ch. 2||Work in the Twenty-First Century: The Changing World of People and Organizations||33|
|Ch. 3||Perception and Learning: Understanding and Adapting to the Work Environment||70|
|Ch. 4||Individual Differences: Personality and Abilities||107|
|Ch. 5||Motivation in Organizations||140|
|Ch. 6||Work-Related Attitudes: Feelings About Jobs, Organizations, and People||175|
|Ch. 7||Career Development and Work Stress||211|
|Ch. 8||Group Dynamics and Teamwork||247|
|Ch. 9||Interpersonal Communication in Organizations||287|
|Ch. 10||Decision Making in Organizations||329|
|Ch. 11||Helping, Cooperation, and Conflict in Organizations||367|
|Ch. 12||Influence, Power, and Politics in Organizations||400|
|Ch. 13||Leadership: Its Nature and Impact in Organizations||431|
|Ch. 14||The Work Environment: Culture and Technology||468|
|Ch. 15||Organizational Structure and Design||503|
|Ch. 16||Organizational Change and Development||543|
Three years ago, when the previous edition of this book was published, Enron and WorldCom were successful and highly acclaimed companies; involvement in a dot-com was an assured path to riches, and September 11 was just a date on the calendar. Today, that's all changed. In a very short time, it's become a different world, especially the business world. Companies that once moved "from bricks to clicks" today are returning to bricks, but are keeping the clicks as well. Many organizations that downsized in a sagging economy subsequently rehired employees, only to downsize once more. And, workplaces that used to be considered safe havens from the uncertainties of a sometimes evil world, today are considered far more vulnerable than ever.
To be sure, in preparing the eighth edition of Behavior in Organizations, we have taken careful notice of today's ethical scandals, the always shifting—and sometimes troubled—economy, and underlying concerns about terrorism that reside in our consciousness. Then again, doing otherwise would be impossible. As chroniclers of the world of work and organizations, we cannot help but come across these themes. These issues, and many others, are on the minds of the students we teach in the classroom (undergraduates, MBA candidates, and doctoral students), the workers we train on the job (ranging from minimum-wage laborers to top CEOs), and the officials from the companies to whom we provide consulting services (from start-ups to Fortune 500 firms). Whatever is on their minds also is on ours. And, these concerns get translated into coverage in this book.
For the mostpart, what everyone wants is relevance. "Theories and research are important," our students acknowledge, so long as they offer insight into what's happening in individual's heads, what's going on in work teams, and how people are interacting with their organizations. "Tell me something I need to know," they clamor; so we listen, and we deliver. And, if those plaques acknowledging our teaching and scholarship that line the walls of our offices mean anything, we have been delivering precisely what's deeded in an effective manner for more than 60 years combined. In preparing this book, our mission was to capture this relevance in a form that could enlighten our target audience—college students who desire to learn about the complexities ,of human behavior in organizations.
Fortunately, we are in a good position to appreciate these complexities. When not plying our trade in the classroom or the executive suite, we can be found conducting research that contributes to the scholarly contributions that are the foundation of our field. Indeed, this is our fundamental task as professors who work in universities at which scholarship is not only valued, but demanded. And, we are proud of the body of knowledge our field's research has generated—not just our own work, but also the research of our many colleagues in the field. After all, without such scholarly contributions, we would have no basis for knowing—let alone, teaching—anything about behavior in organizations that went beyond mere speculation based on personal experience. Of course, as a field, organizational behavior (OB) is firmly grounded in science—and these scientific underpinnings also are highlighted in this book. Indeed, this has been a hallmark of Behavior in Organizations throughout the quarter-century of its life. The hundreds of professors who have adopted earlier editions of this book throughout the years, and the thousands of students who have read it, have valued our research-based approach. These individuals, our core constituency, surely will be pleased to find that this orientation has been retained in this edition of the text.
Thus far, we have referred to this book as practical in orientation and also research-based. Indeed, we have taken extensive steps to ensure that it is the best of these seemingly disparate worlds. This is not a contradiction. Rather, this duality echoes the fundamental orientation of the field of OB. It is based on theory and research, but it is not pure, "ivory tower" research. It is work that offers key insights into the world of work. Because the field of OB is a blend of research, theory, and practical application, so too, quite deliberately, is this book.
We think of organizational behavior as an ever—shifting terrain-and, our job is to map that terrain for current travelers. It is a scientific field that chronicles the ongoing nature of real organizations and the behavior of those individuals and teams that work within them. As economic, technological and social conditions change, so too does the field. Some topics grow in popularity as others wane. Issues and problems that at one time may have seemed so important now may seem outdated. And of course, as advances in research and theory occur, new insight is provided about phenomena that shape the course of managerial practice.
Because the field of OB is constantly adjusting to reality, we think of it—and this book—as "the ultimate reality show" As in the TV show, Survivor, only the most adaptable individuals and teams in the workplace can be expected to make it to tomorrow. And, as in the TV show, Big Brother, relationships with other people also hold the key to success at work. Finally, just as winners in these television programs stand to receive large sums of money and are likely to enjoy the experience of playing the game, so too do employers and employees benefit financially and personally when they have mastered OB. Unlike these so-called "reality" shows, with their carefully scripted scenarios and meticulously chosen casts, however, behavior in organizations is reality. Its effects are ongoing and profound. And this is why we consider it to be "the ultimate" in reality, and why we put so much care into preparing this book.
We think of this book's coverage as offering a carefully balanced approach to OB. Some competing textbooks focus a great deal on one topic or another. Others invest all their intellectual capital in a particular conceptual or pedagogical approach. These presentations are then justified as selling points. We do not do take this approach. Although such books are unique, their uniqueness comes at a cost: Skewed approaches do not reflect what today's field of OB is really like. To us, characterizing the field as it is, is crucial—and, a responsibility we don't take lightly. For this reason, we focus on representing OB as the balanced, integrated field it is.
To illustrate this point, let's consider how our balanced approach comes across in three major respects—topic coverage, mix of theory and practice, and pedagogical focus.
You would not have a serious OB book without paying attention to Weber's concept of bureaucracy, Maslow's need hierarchy theory, and dozens of other classic theories and studies. Such works are to be found on these pages. Competing for space are an equal number of more contemporary approaches to OB that also have received our attention. Consider, for example, just a few of the many new topics covered in this book.
In an old TV commercial, two people are found arguing whether the product in question is a candy mint or a breath mint. Shortly into the debate (albeit not quick enough for our tastes), we are spared by someone who proposes a resolution: "Stop," she says, "You're both right." We are reminded of this drama whenever we hear similar discussions about OB. To those who wish to argue that "OB is a theoretical field" or that "OB is an applied field," we issue the same admonishment: "Stop, you're both right."
Indeed, our image of the field of OB is that it is an applied science—that is, science undertaken with practical applications in mind. Those of us who are involved in OB think of ourselves as scientist-practitioners. We conduct "pure" scientific research for purposes of understanding fundamental individual, group, and organizational processes. We then put this knowledge to use in organizations. And, based on what we learn, we then go back to the drawing board, revising our underlying theories as dictated, and conduct more research. This leads to more application, and so the cycle continues. This, we believe makes the field of OB so special, so unique, and so important.
We have gone out of our way in this book to capture this process of moving from theory, to research, to application, back to theory. This is a broad and dynamic approach, making it difficult to capture, but we believe we have done so—at least, wherever the various pieces of the puzzle are identifiable. For example, in Chapter 2 we cover both theories of learning and how these theories are involved in such organizational practices as training and organizational behavior modification. We designed parallels between theory and practice in Chapter 5, where we consider theories of job satisfaction and organizational commitment, as well as ways these approaches may be applied to improving these important organizational attitudes. And, we do the same in Chapter 6, where we highlight the practical implications of each of the theories of motivation we discuss.
More than simply indicating how various theories may be applied, we identify precisely how they are being applied in today's organizations. So, for example, in Chapter 7, we not only describe the mentorship process, but precisely the forms it is taking today. Similarly, our discussion of diversity management programs in Chapter 5 not only analyzes the various forms such programs take, but brings these abstractions to life by identifying exactly what certain companies are doing by way of diversity management. These are just a few examples. We systematically discuss actual organizational practices throughout this book. Our reasons for doing so are straightforward: It not only brings the theoretical material to life, but it also illustrates the simple truth that the practice of OB is crucial in today's organizations. To talk only about theory, or research, or practical application (potential or actual), would be misleading. Because the field of OB is all these things. So too have we incorporated all of these elements into this book.
Educators tell us that there is a fundamental distinction between teaching people about something—providing knowledge—and showing them how to do something—developing their skills. In the field of OB, this distinction becomes blurred. After all, to fully appreciate how to do something you have to have the requisite knowledge. For this reason, we pay attention in this book to both knowledge and skills.
As an illustration, consider how the two orientations come together in Chapter 14. We not only describe how the process of creativity works, but we also provide tools for developing one's own creativity. The same duality also may be seen in Chapter 9. In the course of describing organizational communication we discuss the process of listening. Then, to help readers become effective listeners, we present an exercise designed to promote active listening skills. By doing this—not only in these two examples, but throughout the book—we intend to enable readers to understand OB, and also to help them practice it in their own lives.
Taken together, our coverage of classic and cutting-edge topics, our attention to the blend between theory, research, and practice, and our dual emphasis on knowledge and skills reflects what we consider a balanced and realistic orientation to OB. This is the essence of the field as it exists today, and this book, as we present it to you here.
In the course of revising this book we made many changes. Some of these came in the process of seeking that balance to which we just referred, and others were necessitated by our commitment to advancing the latest advances in the field. Many of the changes we made are subtle, referring only to how a topic was framed relative to others. A good many other changes are more noticeable, and involve the shifting of major topics into new places and the addition of brand new topics. Doing this required the creation of several new chapters and the addition of new features.
Readers who are already familiar with this book will immediately note some new and newly organized chapters. Some examples:
A new feature of this book is designed to make it easier than ever for readers to access material of special applied interest. In addition to many in-text examples, each chapter also contains a section entitled "Best Practices:" These sections provide a close-up look at OB in practice—extended examples of current organizational practices that illustrate key concepts from the book. This brings the material to life and makes it more relevant to students. Some examples include:
Another applied feature of the book is more hands-on in nature. Special sections called, "How to Do It;" present several concrete tips for readers to follow when attempting to carry out some practice related to the field of OB. Examples include the following.
A third new feature of this book is designed to help readers understand how the field of OB influences and is influenced by rapid advances in information technology. These special sections, called, "OB in an E-World," highlight one of the most potent sources for organizational change today. Some examples are as follows.
A fourth new feature included in this book is entitled "OB in A Diverse World:" The material in these special sections highlights two critical features of today's workplace: the global and international nature of organizations, and the high level of racial and ethnic diversity found in organizations. The emphasis is on how OB practices differ in various nations and for various ethnic groups within the North American workplace. Here are just a few selected examples:
At the end of each chapter, two groups of pedagogical features may be found. The first, named "Points to Ponder;" includes three types of questions:
The second category of pedagogical features found at the end of each chapter is referred to as "Experiencing Organizational Behavior." This includes the following four types of experiential exercises.
Fans of the previous edition of this book needn't worry about the whereabouts of the book's most popular special features. These are back, and better than ever. These include the following:
Instructors adopting this book have available a wide array of ancillary materials designed to help them teach their courses. Likewise, students using this book have access to many useful tools to help them use this book more effectively. These supplements are designed specifically for this book and are carefully coordinated with its content and features.