December 2013
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Month December 2013

Organizational Behavior Glossary G–I


Gain sharing, a formula-based group incentive plan

Goal-setting theory, a theory that says that specific and difficult goals, with feedback, lead to higher performance

Grapevine, an organization’s informal communication network

Groups, two or more individuals, interacting and interdependent, who have come together to achieve particular objectives

Groupshift, a change in decision risk between a group’s decision and an individual decision that a member within that group would make; the shift can be toward either conservatism or greater risk

Groulithink, a phenomenon in which the norm for consensus overrides the realistic appraisal of alternative courses of action


Halo effect, the tendency to draw a general impression about an individual on the basis of a single characteristic

Heredity, factors determined at conception; one’s biological, physiological, and inherent psychological makeup

Hierarchy of needs, Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of five needs—physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization—in which, as each need is substantially satisfied, the next need becomes dominant

High-context culture, culture that relies heavily on nonverbal and subtle situational cues in communication

Hindrance stressors, stressors that keep you from reaching your goals (for example, red tape, office politics, confusion over job responsibilities)

Hindsight bias, tendency for us to believe falsely, after an outcome is actually known, that we would have accurately predicted the outcome

Hygiene factors, factors—such as company policy and administration, supervision, and salary—that, when adequate in a job placate workers; when these factors are adequate, people will not be dissatisfied


Idea champions, people who actively and enthusiastically promote the idea, build support, overcome resistance, and ensure that the innovation is implemented

Illegitimate political behavior, actions that violate the implied rules of the game

Illusory correlation, the tendency of people to correlate two events when in reality there is no connection

Imitation strategy, a strategy that seeks to move into new products or new markets only after their viability has already been proven

Impression management (IM), process by which individuals attempt to control the impression others form of them

Individualism, the degree to which people prefer to act as individuals rather than as members of groups and believe in individual rights above all else

Informal channels, communication channels that are created spontaneously and that emerge as responses to individual choices

Information overload, a condition in which information inflow exceeds an individual’s processing capacity

Initiating structure, the extent to which a leader is likely to define and structure his or her role and those of employees in the search for goal attainment

Innovation, a new idea applied to initiating or improving a product, process, or service

Innovation strategy, a strategy that emphasizes the introduction of major new products and services

Institutionalization, a condition that occurs when an organization takes on a life of its own, apart from any of its members, and acquires immortality

Instrumental values, preferable codes of behavior or means of achieving one’s terminal values

Integrative bargaining, negotiation that seeks one or more settlements that can create a win/win solution

Intentions, decisions to act in a given way

Interacting groups, typical groups in which members interact with each other face-to-face

Interactional justice, the perceived degree to which individual is treated with dignity, concern, and respect

Interactionist view of conflict, the belief that conflict is not only a positive force in a group but is also an absolute necessity for a group to perform effectively

Interest groups, people working together to attain a specific objective with which each is concerned

Intergroup development (ID), efforts to change the attitudes, stereotypes, and perceptions that groups have of each other

Intuition, a gut feeling not necessarily supported by research

Intuitive decision making, an unconscious process created out of distilled experience

Organizational Behavior Glossary D–F


Deep acting, trying to modify one’s true inner feelings based on display rules

Defensive behaviors, reactive and proactive behaviors to avoid action, blame, or change

Demands, responsibilities, pressures, obligations, and even uncertainties that individuals face in the workplace

Departmentalization, basis by which jobs are grouped together

Dependency, B’s relationship to A when A possesses something that B requires

Deviant workplace behavior, voluntary behavior that violates significant organizational norms and, in so doing, threatens the well being of the organization or its members; also called workplace misbehavior or workplace incivility

Displayed emotions, the emotions that the organization requires workers to show and consider appropriate in a given job

Distributive bargaining, negotiation that seeks to divide up a fixed amount of resources; a win/lose situation

Dominant culture, a culture that expresses the core values that are shared by a majority of the organization’s members

Driving forces, forces that direct behavior away from the status quo

Dysfunctional conflict, conflict that hinders group performance


Emotional contagion, the process by which people’s emotions are caused by the emotions of others

Emotional dissonance, inconsistencies between the emotions people feel and the emotions they project

Emotional intelligence (El), one’s ability to be self-aware, detect emotions in others, and manage emotional cues and information

Emotional labor, an employee’s expression of organizationally desired emotions during interpersonal transactions at work

Emotional stability, a personality dimension that characterizes someone as calm, self-confident, and secure (positive) versus nervous, depressed, and insecure (negative)

Emotions, intense feelings that are directed at someone or something

Employee engagement, individuals’ involvement with, satisfaction with, and enthusiasm for, the work they do

Employee involvement, a participative process that uses the input of employees and is intended to increase employee commitment to an organization’s success

Employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), a company-established benefit plan in which employees acquire stock, often at below-market prices, as part of their benefits

Employee-oriented leaders, leaders who emphasizes interpersonal relations, takes a personal interest in the needs of employees, and accepts individual differences among members

Encounter stage, the stage in the socialization process in which a new employee sees what the organization is really like and confronts the possibility that expectations and reality may diverge

Environment, institutions or forces outside the organization that potentially affect the organization’s performance

Equity theory, a theory that says that individuals compare their job inputs and outcomes with those of others and then respond to eliminate any inequities

Escalation of commitment, an increased commitment to a previous decision in spite of negative information

Ethical choices, decisions made on the basis of ethical criteria, including the outcomes of the decision, the rights of those affected, and the equitable distribution of benefits and costs

Ethical dilemmas, situations in which members of organizations are required to define right and wrong conduct

Evidence-based management (EBM), the basing of managerial decisions on the best available scientific evidence

Exit, dissatisfaction expressed through behavior directed toward leaving the organization

Expectancy theory, a theory that says that the strength of a tendency to act in a certain way depends on the strength of the expectation that the act will be followed by a given outcome and on the attractiveness of that outcome to the individual

Expert power, influence based on special skills or knowledge

Extraversion, a personality dimension describing someone who is sociable, gregarious, and assertive


Feedback, the degree to which carrying out the work activities required by a job results in the individual obtaining direct and clear information about the effectiveness of his or her performance

Felt conflict, emotional involvement in a conflict that creates anxiety, tenseness, frustration, or hostility

Felt emotions, an individual’s actual emotions

Femininity, a national culture attribute that indicates little differentiation between male and female roles; a high rating indicates that women are treated as the equals of men in all aspects of the society

Fiedler contingency model, the theory that effective groups depend on a proper match between a leader’s style of interacting with subordinates and the degree to which the situation gives control and influence to the leader

Filtering, a sender’s purposely manipulating information so that it will be seen more favorably by the receiver

Five-stage group-development model, the five distinct stages groups go through: forming, storming, forming, performing, and adjourning

Fixed pie, the belief that there is only a set amount of goods or services to be divided up between the parties

Flexible benefits, a benefits plan that allows each employee to put together a benefit package individually tailored to his or her own needs and situation

Flextime, flexible work hours

Formal channels, communication channels established by an organization to transmit messages related to the professional activities of members

Formal power, a designated work group defined by an organization’s structure

Formalization, degree to which jobs within the organization are standardized

Forming stage, the first stage in group development, characterized by much uncertainty

Friendship groups, groups that forms because the individual members have one or more common characteristics

Full range of leadership model, describes a wide variety of possible management and leadership styles, including laissez faire, management by exception, contingent rewards, individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation, and idealized influence

Functional conflict, conflict that supports the goals of the group and improves its performance