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Work and Organizational Behaviour

Second edition

by Peter Sawchuk, Carolyn Forshaw, Militza Callinan & Martin Corbett

Learning objectives

Click on the links below to access learning objectives for each chapter of the book.

Part 1: Work and organizational behaviour

Part 2: Individuals and work

Part 3: Groups and social interaction

Part 4: Organizational change, processes and performance

Chapter 1: Capitalism and Organizational Behaviour

  • explain work organizations, their basic characteristics and their connections to the wider social context
  • define the term ‘organizational behaviour’
  • appreciate the meanings and complexities behind the words ‘management’ and ‘organization’
  • demonstrate an understanding of why behaviour may vary because of an organization’s strategy, structure, technology and environment
  • identify the key changes occurring in the world and the effect that they are likely to have on organizational behaviour
  • describe the contribution to the field of organizational behaviour of three disciplines: psychology, sociology and anthropology
  • describe the evolution of organizational behaviour as a field of research and learning, and explain an integrated framework for conceptualizing organizational behaviour
  • describe the challenges of conducting research on organizational behaviour
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Chapter 2: The social nature of work

  • explain the function and meaning of work
  • explain the relationship between work and an individual’s personal and social identity
  • summarise the historical dimensions of work, pre-industry, the factory system, occupational changes, and the emergence of knowledge work in the virtual worksite
  • identify some key strategic issues involved in designing work
  • discuss the debates around issues of emotional work and work–life balance
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Chapter 3: Studying work and organizations

  • explain the classical approaches to studying work through the ideas of Marx, Durkheim and Weber
  • explain contemporary theories of work organizations and the importance of theory to understanding work and behaviour in the workplace
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Chapter 4: Personality and identity

  • define personality and identity and understand their importance in the workplace
  • distinguish between the trait and psychodynamic theories of personality
  • understand how cultural and life-long social experience shapes personality
  • critically assess how individual identity affects and is affected by the organization
  • understand more of the main characteristics of your own personality and identity
  • apply the key findings of personality research to the workplace
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Chapter 5: Perception and emotion

  • understand the basic nature of human perception and its far-reaching influence on the nature of decision making, behaviour and relationships in organizations
  • identify and define the elements of the perception process, how they relate to each other, and why the sequence in which they occur will affect how individuals view people and situations
  • understand how our emotions affect, and are affected by, our perception of people and situations
  • explain the influence on perception of information-processing limitations and existing knowledge and expectations, including those arising from cultural background
  • discuss how a knowledge of perception processes can generate insight into phenomena of particular significance in the workplace, such as human error, interpersonal conflict, stereotyping, performance expectations and intergroup relations
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Chapter 6: Learning and innovation

  • explain the importance of learning in organizations
  • define learning and discuss the difference between formal, non-formal and informal learning
  • discuss the contested nature of behavioural, cognitive and social learning theories
  • articulate how adult learning theories add to our understanding of learning processes
  • identify the effects of social class, ethnicity and gender on learning and training opportunities in the organization
  • discuss how learning facilitates and enhances the potential for innovation
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Chapter 7: Motivation at work

  • define motivation and explain how motivation reflects the exchange embodied in the employment relationship
  • compare and contrast needs-based theories of motivation at work
  • describe the expectancy and equity theories of motivation
  • discuss the managerial implications of process-based motivation theories
  • understand the complexity of motivation at work through sociological insights, including alienation, culture and self-identity
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Chapter 8: Gender, race, disability and class

  • understand and explain how equity affects organizations
  • describe some of the principal means by which equity issues are handled in organizational practices
  • compare and contrast the current status of gender, race/ethnicity, disability and class policy in organizational life in major English speaking countries
  • outline relevant areas where further investigation is needed in the many areas relating to equity in the workplace
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Chapter 9: Work groups and teams

  • distinguish between informal and formal work groups
  • explain the current popularity of teams in work organizations
  • articulate how group norms and cohesiveness exert influence on individual and group behaviour
  • describe and critically evaluate the theories of team development
  • explain the pros and cons of using groups to make decisions
  • identify the different theoretical perspectives and paradoxes related to work teams
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Chapter 10: Organizational design

  • identify and define the foundation concepts of organizational structure and design
  • understand the meaning and significance of complexity, formalization and centralization
  • explain the relationships between strategy, size, technology and capitalist development, and the different forms of organizational design
  • describe the difference between classical and modern thinking about organizational design
  • describe some of the emerging contemporary forms of organizational design and identify the potential impact on workplace behaviour
  • explain and illustrate the basis of criticism of managerial thinking about organizational design with reference to power, gender and sexuality
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Chapter 11: Technology in work organizations

  • outline current trends in the relationship between technology and work organizations
  • understand and explain the following key concepts: participatory design, configurations, technology agreement, four key forms of technological thought, and Luddite revolt
  • compare and contrast major theoretical approaches to technology and work organizations including the post-industrialism thesis and the deskilling/enskilling debates
  • discuss possible implications of theories and research for workplace practice

Chapter 12: Organizational culture

  • explain the relationship between national culture and organizational culture
  • define organizational culture and be aware of its importance for understanding behaviour in the workplace and organizational performance
  • explain the three levels of organizational culture and notions of dominant culture, cultural diversity, subcultures and countercultures
  • explain mainstream and critical theoretical perspectives on organizational culture
  • describe how managers seek to manage cultures and how leaders strive to change the culture of their organization
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Chapter 13: Leadership and change

  • explain the meaning of leadership and how it differs from management
  • explain the different perspectives on studying organizational leadership
  • demonstrate how leadership influences organizational change and performance

    Chapter 14: Communications

    • discuss the importance of communication in the workplace
    • discuss alternative perspectives on managing diversity in the organization
    • explain the communication process, including non-verbal communication
    • understand the use of communication in the leadership process
    • understand the relationships between culture, gender and communication
    • appreciate the existence of paradox in communication processes in the workplace

    Chapter 15: Decision making

    • define organizational decision making
    • explain the rational model of decision process
    • compare and contrast the rational model with how managers actually make decisions
    • describe the benefits of employee involvement in decision making
    • explain the meaning of ethics, and business ethics
    • discuss the nature of corporate social responsibility
    • discuss structured group interventions to improve group process and the quality of group decisions

    Chapter 16: Power, politics and conflict

    • recognize and explain key debates concerning the concept of power in the context of the organizational behaviour field
    • understand and explain the following key concepts: systems of power, authority, influence and hegemony
    • compare and contrast major macro-theoretical approaches to the concept of power in the writings of Mann, Foucault, Lukes, Weber and Gramsci
    • discuss possible implications of theories and research for workplace practice

    Chapter 17: Human resource management

    • explain the nature of human resource management
    • summarise the key human resource management functions
    • explain the theoretical issues surrounding the human resource management debate
    • explain the meaning of strategic human resource management and give an overview of its conceptual framework
    • explain how developments in global capitalism affect corporate and human resource strategies in multinational corporations