Foundations of Individual Behavior-Behaviour in Organization-Lecture Slides, Slides for Organizational Behaviour. Mizoram University
devnarayan11 July 2012

Foundations of Individual Behavior-Behaviour in Organization-Lecture Slides, Slides for Organizational Behaviour. Mizoram University

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Dr. Lalita Shikha delivered this lecture at Mizoram University for Organizational Behaviour course. Its main points are: Foundation, Individual, Behavior, Ability, Intellectual, OB, Key, Biographical, Characteristics
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Robbins & Judge Organizational Behavior 13e

Bob Stretch Southwestern College

Robbins & Judge

Organizational Behavior 13th Edition

Foundations of Individual Behavior


Chapter Learning Objectives

After studying this chapter, you should be able to:

– Contrast the two types of ability.

– Define intellectual ability and demonstrate its relevance to


– Identify the key biographical characteristics and describe

how they are relevant to OB.

– Define learning and outline the principles of the three major

theories of learning.

– Define shaping, and show how it can be used in OB.

– Show how culture affects our understanding of intellectual

abilities, biographical characteristics, and learning.



An individual’s capacity to perform the various tasks in a


Made up of two sets of factors:

– Intellectual Abilities

• The abilities needed to perform mental activities.

• General Mental Ability (GMA) is a measure of overall


• Wonderlic Personnel Test: a quick measure of intelligence for

recruitment screening.

• No correlation between intelligence and job satisfaction.

– Physical Abilities

• The capacity to do tasks demanding stamina, dexterity,

strength, and similar characteristics.


Dimensions of Intellectual Ability

Intellectual Ability

Number Aptitude

Verbal Comprehension

Perceptual Speed

Inductive Reasoning

Deductive Reasoning

Spatial Visualization


E X H I B I T 2–1


Nine Basic Physical Abilities

Strength Factors

– Dynamic strength

– Trunk strength

– Static strength

– Explosive strength

Flexibility Factors

– Extent flexibility

– Dynamic flexibility

Other Factors

– Body coordination

– Balance

– Stamina

E X H I B I T 2–2


Biographical Characteristics

Objective and easily obtained personal characteristics.


– Older workers bring experience, judgment, a strong work

ethic, and commitment to quality.


– Few differences between men and women that affect job


Race (the biological heritage used to identify oneself)

– Contentious issue: differences exist, but could be more

culture-based than race-based.


Other Biographical Characteristics


– People with job tenure (seniority at a job) are more

productive, absent less frequently, have lower turnover, and

are more satisfied.


– Islam is especially problematic in the workplace in this post-

9/11 world.

Sexual Orientation

– Federal law does not protect against discrimination (but state

or local laws may).

– Domestic partner benefits are important considerations.

Gender Identity

– Relatively new issue – transgendered employees.



Any relatively permanent change in behavior that occurs

as a result of experience

Learning components:

Involves Change

Is Relatively


Is Acquired Through



Theories of Learning

Classical Conditioning

– A type of conditioning in which an individual responds to

some stimulus that would not ordinarily produce such a


Operant Conditioning

– A type of conditioning in which desired voluntary behavior

leads to a reward or prevents a punishment.

Social-Learning Theory

– People can learn through observation and direct experience.


Classical Conditioning

Pavlov’s Dog Drool

Key Concepts:

– Unconditioned stimulus

• A naturally occurring phenomenon.

– Unconditioned response

• The naturally occurring response to a natural stimulus.

– Conditioned stimulus

• An artificial stimulus introduced into the situation.

– Conditioned response

• The response to the artificial stimulus.

This is a passive form of learning. It is reflexive and not

voluntary – not the best theory for OB learning.


Operant Conditioning

B. F. Skinner’s concept of Behaviorism: behavior

follows stimuli in a relatively unthinking manner.

Key Concepts:

– Conditioned behavior: voluntary behavior that is learned, not


– Reinforcement: the consequences of behavior which can

increase or decrease the likelihood of behavior repetition.

– Pleasing consequences increase likelihood of repetition.

– Rewards are most effective immediately after performance.

– Unrewarded/punished behavior is unlikely to be repeated.


Social-Learning Theory

Based on the idea that people can also learn indirectly:

by observation, reading, or just hearing about someone

else’s – a model’s – experiences.

Key Concepts:

– Attentional processes

• Must recognize and pay attention to critical features to learn.

– Retention processes

• Model’s actions must be remembered to be learned.

– Motor reproduction processes

• Watching the model’s behavior must be converted to doing.

– Reinforcement processes

• Positive incentives motivate learners.


Shaping: A Managerial Tool

Systematically reinforcing each successive step that moves an individual closer to the desired response.

Four Methods of Shaping Behavior:

– Positive reinforcement

• Providing a reward for a desired behavior (learning)

– Negative reinforcement

• Removing an unpleasant consequence when the desired behavior occurs (learning)

– Punishment

• Applying an undesirable condition to eliminate an undesirable behavior (“unlearning”)

– Extinction

• Withholding reinforcement of a behavior to cause its cessation (“unlearning”)


Schedules of Reinforcement: A Critical Issue

Two Major Types:

– Continuous Reinforcement

• A desired behavior is reinforced each time it is demonstrated

– Intermittent Reinforcement

• A desired behavior is reinforced often enough to make the

behavior worth repeating but not every time it is demonstrated

• Multiple frequencies


Types of Intermittent Reinforcement


– Depends on the number of responses



– Depends on the time between



– Rewards are spaced at uniform time

intervals or after a set number of



– Rewards that are unpredictable or that

vary relative to the behavior.


Schedules of Reinforcement

E X H I B I T 2–3



Behavior Modification (OB Mod)

The application of reinforcement concepts to individuals

in the work setting

Follows the Five-Step Problem-Solving Model

1 • Identify critical behaviors

2 • Develop baseline data

3 • Identify behavioral consequences

4 • Develop and apply intervention

5 • Evaluate performance improvement


Problems with OB Mod and Reinforcement

OB Mod ignores thoughts and feelings.

OB Mod may not explain complex behaviors that

involve thinking and feeling.

Stimuli may not be consciously given as a means of

shaping behavior.

Modern managers and

OB theorists are using

cognitive approaches to

shaping behavior.


Global Implications

Intellectual Abilities

– Structures and measures of intelligence generalize across


Biographical Characteristics

– Not much evidence on the global relevance of the

relationships described in this chapter.

– Countries do vary dramatically on their biographical



– Again, not much evidence currently exists – we cannot

generalize at this point.


Summary and Managerial Implications

Three Individual Variables:

– Ability

• Directly influences employees level of performance.

• Managers need to focus on ability in selection, promotion, and


• Fine-tune job to fit incumbent’s abilities.

– Biographical Characteristics

• Should not be used in management decisions: possible source

of bias.

– Learning

• Observable change in behavior = learning.

• Reinforcement works better than punishment.


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any

means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Printed in the

United States of America.

Copyright ©2009 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall


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