EXAM 1 & Exam 2 Study Guide
EXAM 1 & Exam 2 Study Guide MGT 304
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Management 304 Final Study Guide Emilie Croonenberghs 3 Organizational Behavior Overview 339 Organizational Behavior Research Methods 3 Organizational Behavior 0 Organizational Behavior Organizations 339 Organizational Behavior 339 Organizational Behavior 339 Organizational Behavior 239 Organizational Behavior 0 Organizational Behavior 00 Organizational Behavior Behavior Part 1 339 Organizational Behavior Behavior Part 2 3 Organizational Behavior 3 Organizational Behavior 0 Communications 00 Organizational Behavior Pa rt 1 00 Organizational Behavior Part 2 339 Organizational Behavior Organizations Part 1 0 Power Dependence Goal Compatibility The Direction of In uence Formal Power Coercive Power Reward Power Legitimate Power Personal Power 1 Organizational Behavior 2 Managerial Challenges amp 3 Attitudes amp Job Satisfaction 4 Emotions amp Moods in 5 Personality amp Values 6 Diversity in Organizations 7 Perceptions 8 Decision Making 9 Motivation Concepts 10 Foundations of Group 11 Foundations of Group 12 Understanding Work Teams 13 Communication 14 Leadership in Organizations 15 Leadership in Organizations 16 Power amp Politics in Management 304 Final Study Guide Emilie NonSubstitutable Power Tactics Sexual Harassment 3930 Organizational Behavior 17 Power amp Politics in Organizations Part 2 30 Organizational Behavior 18 Con ict amp Con ict Management 0 Con ict o The Traditional View of Con ict o The Interactionist View of Con ict Types of Con ict Con ictIntensity Continuum The Con ict Process 0 Dimensions of Con ictHandling Intentions Con ict Management Strategies 0 Con ict Management Techniques 0 Cultural Difference in Con ict Resolution 339 Organizational Behavior 19 Negotiations Negotiation o Distribute Versus Integrative Bargaining Strategic Essentials 0 Bargaining Zone 0 Staking Out the Bargaining Zone 0 Distributive Negotiation o Integrative Negotiation o The Negotiation o Negotiation Pitfalls 0 Individual Difference in Negotiation Effectiveness Personality Traits in Negotiation Moods and Emotions in Negotiation Culture in Negotiations 0 Gender Differences in Negotiations 0 The Roles and Functions of ThirdPart Negotiation Croonenberghs Expert Power 0 Referent Power 0 General Dependency Power 0 Importance 0 Scarcity O O O Management 304 Final Study Guide Emilie Croonenberghs 393 Organizational Behavior 20 Foundations of Organizational Structure 0 Organization Chart 0 The Six Elements of an Organization s Structure 0 Work Specialization Economies and Diseconomies of Work Specialization Departmentalization Chain of Command Contrasting Spans of Control 0 Centralization and Decentralization Formalization Bureaucracy The Matrix Structure 0 A Virtual Organization 0 The Boundaryless Organization 0 The Leaner Organization Mechanistic versus Organic Models 0 The StrategyStructure Relationship 0 ThreeDimensional Model of the Environment 0 The Behavioral Implications 0 Organization Structure 3930 Organizational Behavior 21 Organizational Culture 0 Organizational Culture 0 Organizational Culture Characteristics Iceberg Model of Organizational Culture Layers of Cultural Analysis 0 Organizational Culture Three Level Analysis 0 Organizational Culture Functions 0 Effects of Organizational Culture on People amp Organizations 0 Factors that Create Organizational Culture Socialization Transmitted Culture to Employees 0 Ethical Culture 0 Positive Organizational Culture Spiritual Culture 0 Organizational Culture amp National Culture 0 Organizational Culture Analysis oz Organizational Behavior 22 Organizational Change amp Stress Management Management 304 Final Study Guide Emilie Croonenberghs Stress Potential Sources of Stress Model of Stress Consequences of Stress InvertedU Relationship Between Stress and Job Performance Approaches to Managing Stress Organizational Forces for Change Planned amp Unplanned Change Sources of Resistance to Change Resistance to Change Approaches to Managing Organizational Change Lewin s ThreeStep Change Model Unfreezing the Status Quo Kotter s Eight Step Plan for Implementing Change Ways of Creating a Culture for Change The difference between good and bad management can be the difference between pro t and loss or uti mately between survival and failure In good times understanding how to reward satisfy and retain employees is at a premium In bad times issues like stress decision making and coping come to the fore Responding to Globalization The world has become a global village In the process the manager s job has changed Increased Foreign Assignments you ll have to manage a workforce very different in needs aspirations and attitudes from those you are used to back home Working with People from Different Cultures To work effectively with people from dif ferent cultures you need to understand how their culture geography and re ligion have shaped them and how to adapt your management style to their differences Management practices need to be modified to re ect the values of the different countries in which an organization operates Overseeing Movement of Jobs to Countries with LowCost Labor Managers face the difficult task of balancing the interests of their organization with their responsibilities to the communities in which they operate Managing Workforce Diversity organizations is adapting to people who are different Is called workforce diversity work force diversity addresses differences among people within given countries Workforce diversity acknowledges a workforce of women and men many ra cial and ethnic groups individuals with a variety of physical or psychological abili ties and people who differ in age and sexual orientation Improving Customer Service ervice jobs include technical sup port representatives fastfood counter workers sales clerks waiters and waitresses nurses automobile repair technicians consultants credit represen tatives financial planners and ight attendants The common characteristic of these jobs is substantial interaction with an organization s customers Management needs to create a customerresponsive culture OB can provide considerable guidance in helping managers create such cultures in which em ployees are friendly and courteous accessible knowledgeable prompt in respond ing to customer needs and willing to do what s necessary to please the customer Improving People Skills Stimulating Innovation and Change Today s successful organizations must foster innovation and master the art of change or they ll become candidates for extinction Coping with Temporariness orga nizations have to be fast and exible if they are to survive The result is that most manag ers and employees today work in a climate best characterized as temporary Workers must continually update their knowledge and skills to perform new job requirements Today s managers and employees must learn to cope with temporariness exibility spontaneity and unpredictability Working in Networked Organizations Networked organizations allow people to communicate and work together even though they may be thousands of miles apart Motivating and leading people and making collaborative decisions online requires different techniques than when individuals are physically present in a single location Helping Employees Balance Work Life Con icts Employees are increasingly complaining that the line between work and nonwork time has become blurred creating personal con icts and stress Employees increasingly recognize that work infringes on their personal lives and they re not happy about it Organizations that don t help their people achieve work life balance will find it increasingly difficult to attract and retain the most capable and motivated employees Creating a Positive Work Environment Organizations are trying to realize a competitive advantage by fostering a positive work environment A real growth area in OB research is positive organizational scholarship also called positive organizational behavior which studies how organizations develop human strengths foster vitality and resilience and unlock potential Although positive organizational scholarship does not deny the value of the negative such as critical feedback it does challenge researchers to look at OB through a new lens and pushes organizations to exploit employees strengths rather than dwell on their limitations Improving Ethical Behavior ethical dilemmas and ethical choices in which they are required to identify right and wrong conduct Determining the ethically correct way to behave is especially difficult in a global economy because different cultures have different perspectives on certain ethical issues They re writing and distributing codes of ethics to guide employees through ethical dilemmas They re offering seminars workshops and other training programs to try to improve ethical behaviors They re providing inhouse advisors who can be contacted in many cases anony mously for assistance in dealing with ethical issues and they re creating protec tion mechanisms for employees who reveal internal unethical practices Today s manager must create an ethically healthy climate for his or her em ployees where they can do their work productively with minimal ambiguity about what right and wrong behaviors are Coming Attractions Developing an OB Model A model is an abstraction of reality a simplified representation of some real world phenomenon It proposes three types of variables inputs processes and outcomes at three levels of analysis individual group and organizational Notice that the model also shows that outcomes can in uence inputs in the future Inputs Inputs are the variables like personality group structure and organizational culture that lead to processes These variables set the stage for what will occur in an organization later Many are determined in advance of the employment relationship Processes Processes are actions that individuals groups and organizations engage in as a result of inputs and that lead to certain outcomes Outcomes Outcomes are the key variables that you want to explain or predict and that are affected by some other variables Attitudes and Stress Employee attitudes are the evaluations employees make ranging from positive to negative about objects people or events Stress is an unpleasant psychological process that occurs in response to environmental pressures Ample evidence shows that employees who are more satisfied and treated fairly are more willing to engage in the aboveandbeyond citizenship behavior so vital in the contemporary busi ness environment Task Performance The combination of effectiveness and efficiency at doing your core job tasks is a re ection of your level of task performance performance relate to the core duties and responsibilities of a job and are often directly related to the functions listed on a formal job description Citizenship Behavior The discretionary behavior that is not part of an employee s formal job requirements and that contributes to the psychologi cal and social environment of the workplace is called citizenship behaviorwill provide performance beyond expectations Evidence indicates organizations that have such employees outperform those that don t Withdrawal Behavior Withdrawal behavior is the set of actions that employees take to separate themselves from the organization ranging from showing up late or failing to attend meetings to absentee ism and turnover A high rate of turnover can also disrupt the efficient running of an organization when knowledgeable and experienced per sonnel leave and replacements must be found to assume positions of responsibility If the right people are leaving the organization the marginal and submarginal employees turnover can actually be positive n today s changing world of work reasonable levels of employee initiated turnover improve organiza tional exibility and employee independence and they can lessen the need for management initiated layoffs Group Cohesion Group cohesion is the extent to which members of a group support and validate one another at work In other words a cohesive group is one that sticks together When employees trust one another seek common goals and work together to achieve these common ends the group is cohesive when employees are divided among themselves in terms of what they want to achieve and have little loyalty to one another the group is not cohesive picking the right people to be on the team in the first place might be an effective way to enhance cohesion Group Functioning Group functioning refers to the quantity and quality of a group s work output group functioning in work organizations is more than the sum of individual task performances different types of activities will be required to get the most from the team Productivity organization is productive if it achieves its goals by transforming inputs into outputs at the lowest cost Thus productivity requires both effectiveness and ef ciency effectiveness The degree to which an organization meets the needs of its clientele or customers efficiency The degree to which an organization can achieve its ends at a low cost Popular measures of organizational efficiency include return on investment profit per dollar of sales and output per hour of labor By training em ployees to improve the employee customer interaction Survival The final outcome we will consider is organizational survival which is simply evidence that the organization is able to exist and grow over the long term The survival of an organization depends not just on how productive the organization is but also on how well it fits with its environment APPENDIX A an un derstanding of research methods will make you a more skilled evaluator of the OB studies you will encounter in business and professional journals So an appreciation of behavioral research is important because 1 it s the foundation on which the theories in this text are built and 2 it will benefit you in future years when you read reports of research and attempt to assess their value Purposes of Research Research is concerned with the systematic gathering of information Its purpose is to help us in our search for the truth ongoing research adds to our body of OB knowledge by supporting some theories contradicting others and suggesting new theories to replace those that fail to gain support Research Terminology Variable A variable is any general characteristic that can be mea sured and that changes in amplitude intensity or both examples of OB variables are job satisfaction employee productivity work stress ability personality and group norms Hypothesis A tentative explanation of the relationship between two or more variables is called a hypothesis Until confirmed by empirical research a hypothesis remains only a tentative explanation Dependent Variable A dependent variable is a response that is affected by an in dependent variable In terms of the hypothesis it is the variable that the researcher is interested in explaining In organizational behavior research the most popular dependent variables are productivity absenteeism tum over job satisfaction and organizational commitment Independent Variable An independent variable is the presumed cause of some change in the dependent variable Popular independent variables studied by OB researchers include intelligence personality job satisfaction experience motivation reinforcement patterns leadership style reward allocations selection methods and organization design Moderating Variable A moderating variable abates the effect of the indepen dent variable on the dependent variable It might also be thought of as the contingency variable If X inde pendent variable then Y dependent variable will oc cur but only under conditions Z moderating variable To translate this into a reallife example we might say that if we increase the amount of direct supervision in the work area X then there will be a change in worker productivity Y but this effect will be moderated by the complexity of the tasks being performed Z Causality A hypothesis by definition implies a relationship That is it implies a presumed cause and effect This direc tion of cause and effect is called causality Changes in the independent variable are assumed to cause changes in the dependent variable However in behavioral re search it s possible to make an incorrect assumption of causality when relationships are found For example early behavioral scientists found a relationship between employee satisfaction and productivity They concluded that a happy worker was a productive worker Follow up research has supported the relationship but discon firmed the direction of the arrow The evidence more correctly suggests that high productivity leads to satis faction rather than the other way around Correlation Coefficient It s one thing to know that there is a relationship be tween two or more variables It s another to know the strength of that relationship The term correlation coe i cient is used to indicate that strength and is expressed as a number between 100 a perfect negative relation ship and lOO a perfect positive correlation When two variables vary directly with one another the correlation will be expressed as a positive number When they vary inversely that is one increases as the other decreases the correlation will be expressed as a negative number If the two variables vary indepen dently of each other we say that the correlation be tween them is zero For example a researcher might survey a group of employees to determine the satisfaction of each with his or her job Then using company absenteeism reports the researcher could correlate the job satisfaction scores against individual attendance records to deter mine whether employees who are more satisfied with their jobs have better attendance records than their counterparts who indicated lower job satisfaction Let s suppose the researcher found a correlation coefficient of O50 between satisfaction and attendance Would that be a strong association There is unfortunately no precise numerical cutoff separating strong and weak relationships A standard statistical test would need to be applied to determine whether the relationship was a significant one A final point needs to be made before we move on A correlation coefficient measures only the strength of association between two variables A high value does not imply causality The length of women s skirts and stock market prices for instance have long been noted to be highly correlated but one should be careful not to infer that a causal relationship between the two exists In this instance the high correlation is more happen stance than predictive Theory The final term we introduce in this section is theory The ory describes a set of systematically interrelated concepts or hypotheses that purports to explain and predict phe nomena In OB theories are also frequently referred to as models We use the two terms interchangeably There are no shortages of theories in OB For in stance we have theories to describe what motivates people the most effective leadership styles the best way to resolve con icts and how people acquire power In some cases we have half a dozen or more separate theories that purport to explain and predict a given phenomenon In such cases is one right and the oth ers wrong No They tend to re ect science at work researchers testing previous theories modifying them and when appropriate proposing new models that may prove to have higher explanatory and predictive powers Multiple theories attempting to explain com mon phenomena merely attest that OB is an active dis cipline still growing and evolving Evaluating Research As a potential consumer of behavioral research you should follow the dictum of caveat emptor let the buyer beware In evaluating any research study you need to ask three questions4 Is it valid Is the study actually measuring what it claims to be measuring A number of psychological tests have been discarded by employers in recent years because they have not been found to be valid measures of the applicants ability to do a given job successfully But the validity issue is relevant to all research studies So if you find a study that links cohesive work teams with higher productivity you want to know how each of these variables was measured and whether it is actually measuring what it is supposed to be measuring Is it reliable Reliability refers to consistency of mea surement If you were to have your height measured every day with a wooden yardstick you d get highly reliable re sults On the other hand if you were measured each day by an elastic tape measure there would probably be con siderable disparity between your height measurements from one day to the next Your height of course doesn t change from day to day The variability is due to the unre liability of the measuring device So if a company asked a group of its employees to complete a reliable job satisfac tion questionnaire and then repeat the questionnaire six months later we d expect the results to be very similar provided nothing changed in the interim that might sig nificantly affect employee satisfaction Is it generalizable Are the results of the research study generalizable to groups of individuals other than those who participated in the original study Be aware for example of the limitations that might exist in research that uses college students as subjects Are the findings in such studies generalizable to fulltime employees in real jobs Similarly how generalizable to the overall work population are the results from a study that assesses job stress among 10 nuclear power plant engineers in the hamlet of Mahone Bay Nova Scotia Research Design Doing research is an exercise in tradeoffs Richness of information typically comes with reduced generaliz ability The more a researcher seeks to control for con founding variables the less realistic his or her results are likely to be High precision generalizability and control almost always translate into higher costs When researchers make choices about whom they ll study where their research will be done the methods they ll use to collect data and so on they must make some concessions Good research designs are not perfect but they do carefully re ect the questions being addressed Keep these facts in mind as we review the strengths and weaknesses of five popular research designs case stud ies field surveys laboratory experiments field experi ments and aggregate quantitative reviews Case Study You pick up a copy of Soichiro Honda s autobiography In it he describes his impoverished childhood his deci sions to open a small garage assemble motorcycles and eventually build automobiles and how this led to the creation of one of the largest and most successful cor porations in the world Or you re in a business class and the instructor distributes a 50page handout covering two companies WalMart and Kmart The handout de tails the two firms histories describes their corporate strategies management philosophies and merchandis ing plans and includes copies of their recent balance sheets and income statements The instructor asks the class members to read the handout analyze the data and determine why WalMart has been so much more successful than Kmart in recent years Soichiro Honda s autobiography and the WalMart and Kmart handouts are case studies Drawn from real life situations case studies present an indepth analysis of one setting They are thorough descriptions rich in details about an individual a group or an organization The primary source of information in case studies is obtained through observation occasionally backed up by interviews and a review of records and documents Case studies have their drawbacks They re open to the perceptual bias and subjective interpretations of the observer The reader of a case is captive to what the observercase writer chooses to include and exclude Cases also trade off generalizability for depth of infor mation and richness of detail Because it s always dan gerous to generalize from a sample of one case studies make it difficult to prove or reject a hypothesis On the other hand you can t ignore the indepth analysis that cases often provide They are an excellent device for initial exploratory research and for evaluating reallife problems in organizations Field Survey A lengthy questionnaire was created to assess the use of ethics policies formal ethics structures formalized activ ities such as ethics training and executive involvement in ethics programs among billiondollar corporations The public affairs or corporate communications office of all Fortune 500 industrial firms and 500 service cor porations were contacted to get the name and address of the officer most responsible for dealing with ethics and conduct issues in each firm The questionnaire with a cover letter explaining the nature of the study was mailed to these 1000 officers Of the total 254 re turned a completed questionnaire for a response rate just above 25 percent The results of the survey found among other things that 77 percent had formal codes of ethics and 54 percent had a single officer specifically assigned to deal with ethics and conduct issues5 The preceding study illustrates a typical field survey A sample of respondents in this case 1000 corporate officers in the largest US publicly held corporations was selected to represent a larger group that was under examination billiondollar US business firms The respondents were then surveyed using a questionnaire or interviewed to collect data on particular characteris tics the content and structure of ethics programs and practices of interest to the researchers The standard ization of response items allows for data to be easily quantified analyzed and summarized and for the re searchers to make inferences from the representative sample about the larger population The field survey provides economies for doing re search It s less costly to sample a population than to obtain data from every member of that population There are for instance more than 5000 US business firms with sales in excess of a billion dollars and since some of these are privately held and don t release fi nancial data to the public they are excluded from the Fortune list Moreover as the ethics study illustrates field surveys provide an efficient way to find out how people feel about issues or how they say they behave These data can then be easily quantified But the field survey has a number of potential weaknesses First mailed questionnaires rarely obtain 100 percent returns Low response rates call into ques tion whether conclusions based on respondents an swers are generalizable to nonrespondents Second the format is better at tapping respondents attitudes and perceptions than behaviors Third responses can suf fer from social desirability that is people saying what they think the researcher wants to hear Fourth since field surveys are designed to focus on specific issues they re a relatively poor means of acquiring depth of information Finally the quality of the generalizations is largely a factor of the population chosen Responses from executives at Fortune 500 firms for instance tell us nothing about small or mediumsized firms or notfor profit organizations In summary even a welldesigned field survey trades off depth of information for breadth generalizability and economic efficiencies Laboratory Experiment The following study is a classic example of the laboratory experiment A researcher Stanley Milgram wondered how far individuals would go in following commands If subjects were placed in the role of a teacher in a learn ing experiment and told by an experimenter to admin ister a shock to a learner each time that learner made a mistake would the subjects follow the commands of the experimenter Would their willingness to comply decrease as the intensity of the shock was increased To test these hypotheses Milgram hired a set of subjects Each was led to believe that the experiment was to investigate the effect of punishment on memory Their job was to act as teachers and administer pun ishment whenever the learner made a mistake on the learning test Punishment was administered by an electric shock The subject sat in front of a shock generator with 30 levels of shock beginning at zero and progressing in 15volt increments to a high of 450 volts The demar cations of these positions ranged from Slight Shock at 15 volts to Danger Severe Shock at 450 volts To increase the realism of the experiment the subjects re ceived a sample shock of 45 volts and saw the leamer a pleasant mildmannered man about 50 years old strapped into an electric chair in an adjacent room Of course the learner was an actor and the electric shocks were phony but the subjects didn t know this Taking his seat in front of the shock generator the subject was directed to begin at the lowest shock level and to increase the shock intensity to the next level each time the learner made a mistake or failed to respond When the test began the shock intensity rose rap idly because the learner made many errors The sub j ect got verbal feedback from the learner At 75 volts the learner began to grunt and moan at 150 volts he demanded to be released from the experiment at 180 volts he cried out that he could no longer stand the pain and at 300 volts he insisted that he be let out yelled about his heart condition screamed and then failed to respond to further questions Most subjects protested and fearful they might kill the learner if the increased shocks were to bring on a heart attack insisted they could not go on with their job Hesitations or protests by the subject were met by the experimenter s statement You have no choice you must go on Your job is to punish the learner s mis takes Of course the subjects did have a choice All they had to do was stand up and walk out The majority of the subjects dissented But dissension isn t synonymous with disobedience Sixtytwo percent of the subjects increased the shock level to the maximum of 450 volts The average level of shock administered by the remaining 38 percent was nearly 370 volts6 In a laboratory experiment such as that conducted by Milgram an artificial environment is created by the researcher Then the researcher manipulates an inde pendent variable under controlled conditions Finally since all other things are held equal the researcher is able to conclude that any change in the dependent variable is due to the manipulation or change imposed on the independent variable Note that because of the controlled conditions the researcher is able to imply causation between the independent and dependent variables The laboratory experiment trades off realism and generalizability for precision and control It provides a high degree of control over variables and precise mea surement of those variables But findings from labora tory studies are often difficult to generalize to the real world of work This is because the artificial laboratory rarely duplicates the intricacies and nuances of real or ganizations In addition many laboratory experiments deal with phenomena that cannot be reproduced or ap plied to reallife situations Field Experiment The following is an example of a field experiment The management of a large company is interested in de termining the impact that a fourday workweek would have on employee absenteeism To be more specific management wants to know if employees working four 10hour days have lower absence rates than similar em ployees working the traditional fiveday week of 8 hours each day Because the company is large it has a number of manufacturing plants that employ essentially similar workforces Two of these are chosen for the experiment both located in the greater Cleveland area Obviously it would not be appropriate to compare two similarsized plants if one is in rural Mississippi and the other is in ur ban Copenhagen because factors such as national cul ture transportation and weather might be more likely to explain any differences found than changes in the number of days worked per week In one plant the experiment was put into place workers began the fourday week At the other plant which became the control group no changes were made in the employees fiveday week Absence data were gathered from the company s records at both 10 cations for a period of 18 months This extended time period lessened the possibility that any results would be distorted by the mere novelty of changes being imple mented in the experimental plant After 18 months management found that absenteeism had dropped by 40 percent at the experimental plant and by only 6 percent in the control plant Because of the design of this study management believed that the larger drop in absences at the experimental plant was due to the introduction of the compressed workweek The field experiment is similar to the laboratory ex periment except it is conducted in a real organization The natural setting is more realistic than the laboratory setting and this enhances validity but hinders control In addition unless control groups are maintained there can be a loss of control if extraneous forces intervene for example an employee strike a major layoff or a cor porate restructuring Maybe the greatest concern with field studies has to do with organizational selection bias Not all organizations are going to allow outside research ers to come in and study their employees and operations This is especially true of organizations that have serious problems Therefore since most published studies in OB are done by outside researchers the selection bias might work toward the publication of studies conducted almost exclusively at successful and wellmanaged organizations Our general conclusion is that of the four research designs we ve discussed to this point the field experi ment typically provides the most valid and generaliz able findings and except for its high cost trades off the least to get the most7 Aggregate Quantitative Reviews What s the overall effect of organizational behavior modification OB Mod on task performance There have been a number of field experiments that have sought to throw light on this question Unfortunately the wide range of effects from these various studies makes it hard to generalize To try to reconcile these diverse findings two re searchers reviewed all the empirical studies they could find on the impact of OB Mod on task performance over a 20year period8 After discarding reports that had inadequate information had nonquantitative data or didn t meet all conditions associated with principles of behavioral modification the researchers narrowed their set to 19 studies that included data on 2818 individuals Using an aggregating technique called metaanalysis the researchers were able to synthesize the studies quanti tatively and to conclude that the average person s task performance will rise from the 50th percentile to the 67th percentile after an OB Mod intervention The OB Mod task performance review done by these researchers illustrates the use of metaanalysis a quantitative form of literature review that enables re searchers to look at validity findings from a comprehen sive set of individual studies and then apply a formula to them to determine if they consistently produced sim ilar results9 If results prove to be consistent it allows researchers to conclude more confidently that validity is generalizable Metaanalysis is a means for overcom ing the potentially imprecise interpretations of qualita tive reviews and to synthesize variations in quantitative studies In addition the technique enables researchers to identify potential moderating variables between an independent and a dependent variable In the past 25 years there s been a surge in the popu larity of this research method Why It appears to offer a more objective means for doing traditional literature reviews Although the use of meta analysis requires re searchers to make a number of judgment calls which can introduce a considerable amount of subjectivity into the process there is no arguing that metaanalysis reviews have now become widespread in the OB literature Ethics in Research Researchers are not always tactful or candid with sub jects when they do their studies For instance questions in field surveys may be perceived as embarrassing by re spondents or as an invasion of privacy Also researchers in laboratory studies have been known to deceive par ticipants about the true purpose of their experiment because they felt deception was necessary to get honest responses 10 The learning experiments conducted by Stanley Milgram which were conducted more than 30 years ago have been widely criticized by psychologists on ethical grounds He lied to subjects telling them his study was investigating learning when in fact he was concerned with obedience The shock machine he used was a fake Even the learner was an accomplice of Milgram s who had been trained to act as if he were hurt and in pain Yet ethical lapses continue For instance in 2001 a professor of organizational behavior at Columbia University sent out a common letter on university let terhead to 240 New York City restaurants in which he detailed how he had eaten at this restaurant with his wife in celebration of their wedding anniversary how he had gotten food poisoning and that he had spent the night in his bathroom throwing up11 The letter closed with Although it is not my intention to file any reports with the Better Business Bureau or the Depart ment of Health I want you to understand what I went through in anticipation that you will respond accord ingly I await your response The fictitious letter was part of the professor s study to determine how restau rants responded to complaints But it created culinary chaos among many of the restaurant owners managers and chefs as they reviewed menus and produce deliv eries for possibly spoiled food and questioned kitchen workers about possible lapses A followup letter of apol ogy from the university for an egregious error in judg ment by a junior faculty member did little to offset the distress it created for those affected Professional associations like the American Psycho logical Association the American Sociological Associa tion and the Academy of Management have published formal guidelines for the conduct of research Yet the ethical debate continues On one side are those who ar gue that strict ethical controls can damage the scientific validity of an experiment and cripple future research Deception for example is often necessary to avoid con taminating results Moreover proponents of minimiz ing ethical controls note that few subjects have been appreciably harmed by deceptive experiments Even in Milgram s highly manipulative experiment only 13 percent of the subjects reported negative feelings about their experience The other side of this debate focuses on the rights of participants Those favoring strict ethical controls argue that no procedure should ever be emotionally or physically distressing to subjects and that as professionals researchers are obliged to be completely honest with their subjects and to protect the subjects privacy at all costs Summary The subject of organizational behavior is composed of a large number of theories that are research based Research studies when cumulatively integrated become theories and theories are proposed and fol lowed by research studies designed to validate them The concepts that make up OB therefore are only as valid as the research that supports them The topics and issues in this book are for the most part research derived They represent the result of sys tematic information gathering rather than merely hunch intuition or opinion This doesn t mean of course that we have all the answers to OB issues Many require far more corroborating evidence The generalizability of others is limited by the research methods used But new information is being created and published at an acceler ated rate To keep up with the latest findings we strongly encourage you to regularly review the latest research in organizational behavior
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