Organizational Behaviour

Course book

Langton, N., Robbins S. P. & Judge T. A. (2019). Organizational Behaviour: Concepts, Controversies, Applications (8th Canadian ed.). Toronto: Pearson.

This eText must be purchased from within the online course space. Details will be emailed to each enrolled student prior to the term start date.

Course description

This course 12 week course – Organizational Behaviour – is concerned with the theory and practice of how individuals perform within organizations. It attempts to determine why people do things (or do not do things) that they are supposed to do as part of their job. Among the people who work for municipal, provincial and federal governments there is a vast diversity of educational levels, gender, cultural, ethnic, racial, social, political and religious attitudes and backgrounds which cause individuals to perceive the same things differently. How can this diversity become an organizational strength rather than a weakness?

Anyone wishing to occupy a position as a manager or supervisor in any of the three levels of government as well as other organizations must learn how to coordinate and effectively supervise the work of his/her subordinates or team. Organizational behaviour studies the particular properties of behaviour which can result in improved supervision and improved leadership. There are properties such as worker personality, job satisfaction, motivation, work group dynamics, intra- and inter-group conflict and organizational politics. These will all be the subjects of the next four units.

Virtually all textbooks written on organizational behaviour are written from the perspective of business administration rather than public administration. Probably this is because business administration incorporates the content of industrial psychology and sociology of organizations. There is a strong need for a textbook which concentrates on organizational behaviour in public administration in Canada.

The material in this course is designed to help you think about human behaviour as something that can actually be studied and observed. If you do this you will become more sensitive to the needs of the individuals who work with you. By being more sensitive to the needs of others and to your own needs, you can help your employees or co-workers satisfy their own needs as well as those of the organization.

Please try to evaluate your behaviour (inherited and learned) as you proceed through this course, and to experiment with ideas and practices that may help to increase your effectiveness, both as a manager and as a human being working with other human beings.

Learning outcomes

Module 1: Understanding the workplace

After studying this module, you should be able to:

  • Define Organizational Behaviour
  • Identify workplace challenges that provide opportunities to apply OB concepts
  • Define perception and explain the factors that influence it
  • Describe personality, the way it is measured, and the factors that shape it
  • Understand emotional intelligence
  • Identify strategies for emotional regulation and their likely effects
  • Identify the main causes and consequences of job satisfaction
  • Know and understand other people’s values
  • Describe how organizations can effectively manage diversity

Module 2: Motivation and performance effective interaction

After studying this module, you should be able to:

  • Understand elements of motivation
  • Understand relationships between achievement and productivity
  • Apply the theories of motivation to the organizational life
  • Demonstrate how the different types of variable-pay programs can increase employee motivation
  • Compare the main ways jobs can be redesigned
  • Explain how autonomy, creativity and feedback contribute to job satisfaction and employees’ involvement
  • Describe how employee involvement programs can motivate employees
  • Identify the stages of group development and characteristics of effective teams
  • Decide when to use individuals instead of teams
  • Manage the level of conflicts in groups

Module 3: Sharing the organizational vision

After studying this module, you should be able to:

  • Define and understand power
  • Identify power/influence tactics and their contingencies
  • Identify the causes and consequences of political behaviour
  • Understand impression management and apply impression management techniques
  • Describe the common characteristics of organizational culture
  • Identify the factors that create and sustain an organization’s culture
  • Demonstrate how an organizational culture can be created
  • Understand the main theories of leadership
  • Discuss the effective leadership and its impact on an organization

Module 4: Reorganizing the workplace

After studying this module, you should be able to:

  • Understand the rational model of decision making
  • Describe common decision biases and errors
  • Define creativity and explain the model of creativity
  • Describe criteria used in making ethical decisions
  • Identify elements of an organization’s structure
  • Demonstrate how organizational structures differ
  • Analyze different organizational designs
  • Compare main approaches to managing organizational change
  • Describe the ways to create a culture to change