Organizational Behavior Glossary R–T


Rational decision-making model, a decision-making model that describes how individuals should behave in order to maximize some outcome

Referent power, influence based on identification with a person
who has desirable resources or personal traits

Refreezing, stabilizing a change intervention by balancing and restraining forces
Relationship conflict, conflict based on interpersonal relationships

Representative participation, a system in which workers participate in organizational decision making through a small group of representative employees

Resources, things within an individual’s control that can be used to resolve demands

Restraining forces, forces that hinder movement from the existing equilibrium

Reward power, compliance achieved based on the ability to distribute rewards that others view as valuable

Risk aversion, the tendency to prefer a sure gain of a moderate amount over a riskier outcome, even if the riskier outcome might have a higher expected payoff

Rituals, repetitive sequences of activities that express and reinforce the key values of the organization

Role conflict, when an individual finds that compliance with one role requirement may make it difficult to comply with another

Role expectations, how others believe a person should act in a given situation

Role perception, an individual’s view of how he or she is supposed to act in a given situation

Roles, a set of expected behavior patterns attributed to someone occupying a given position in a social unit


Selective perception, any characteristic that makes a person, object, or event stand out will increase the probability that it will be perceived

Self-actualization, the drive to become what a person is capable of becoming

Self-concordance, the degree to which people’s reasons for pursuing goals are consistent with their interests and core values

Self-determination theory, a theory of motivation that is concerned with the beneficial effects of intrinsic motivation and the harmful effects of extrinsic motivation

Self-efficacy, an individual’s belief that he OF she is capable of performing a task

Self-managed work teams, groups of 10–15 people who take on responsibilities of their former supervisors

Self-monitoring, a personality trait that measures an individual’s ability to adjust his or her behavior to external, situational factors

Self-serving bias, the tendency for individuals to attribute their own successes to internal factors and put the blame for failures on external factors

Short-term orientation, a national culture attribute that emphasizes the past and present, respect for tradition, and fulfillment of social obligations

Simple structure, an organization structure characterized by a low degree of departmentalization, wide spans of control, authority centralized in a single person, and little formalization

Skill variety, the degree to which a job requires a variety of different activities

Skill-based pay plan, a pay plan that sets pay levels on the basis of how many skills employees have or how many jobs they can do

Social loafing, the tendency for individuals to expend less effort when working collectively than when working individually

Social psychology, focuses on people’s influences on one another

Socialization, a process that adapts employees to the organization’s culture

Socialized charismatic leadership, a leadership concept that states that leaders convey values that are other-centered versus self-centered and role-model ethical conduct

Sociology, the study of people in relation to their social environment or culture

Span of control, the number of subordinates a manager can efficiently and effectively direct

Status, a socially defined position or rank given to group or group members by others

Status characteristics theory, a theory that states that differences in status characteristics create status hierarchies within groups

Stereotyping, when we judge someone on the basis of our perception of the group to which he or she belongs

Storming stage, the second stage in group development, characterized by intragroup conflict

Stress, a dynamic condition in which an individual is confronted with an opportunity, a demand, or a resource related to what the individual desires and for which the outcome is perceived to be both uncertain and important

Strong culture, a culture in which the core values are intensely held and widely shared

Subcultures, mini-cultures within an organization, typically defined by department designations and geographical separation

Substitutes, attributes, such as experience and training, that can replace the need for a leader’s support or ability to create structure

Surface acting, hiding one’s inner feelings and foregoing emotional expressions in response to display rules

Survey feedback, the use of questionnaires to identify discrepancies among member perceptions; discussion follows and remedies are suggested

Systematic study, looking at relationships, attempting to attribute causes and effects, and drawing conclusions based on scientific evidence


Task conflicts, conflicts over content and goals of the work

Task groups, individuals working together to complete a task or job

Task identity, the degree to which job requires completion of a whole and identifiable piece of work

Task significance, the degree to which a job has a substantial impact on the lives or work of other people

Task structure, the degree to which the job assignments are procedurized

Team building, high interaction among team members to increase trust and openness

Team efficacy, the degree to which the members of a team believe in their ability to achieve future success

Technology, the way in which an organization transfers its inputs into outputs

Telecommuting, working from home at least two days a week on a computer that is linked to the employer’s office

Terminal values, desirable end-states of existence; the goals a person would like to achieve during his or her lifetime

Text messaging (TM), the transfer and understanding of meaning

Theory X, the assumption that employees dislike work, are lazy, dislike responsibility, and must be coerced to perform

Theory Y, the assumption that employees like work, are creative, seek responsibility, and can exercise self-direction

Three-component model of creativity, the proposition that individual creativity require expertise, creative thinking skills, and intrinsic task motivation

Traditional view of conflict, the belief that all conflict is harmful and must be avoided

Trait theories of leadership, theories that consider personal qualities and characteristics that differentiate leaders from non-leaders

Transactional leaders, leaders who guide or motivate their followers in the direction of established goals by clarifying the role and task requirements

Transformational leaders, leaders who inspire followers to transcend their own self-interests and who are capable of having a profound and extraordinary effect on followers

Trust, a positive expectation that another will not act opportunistically

Two-factor theory, a theory that relates intrinsic factors to job satisfaction, while associating extrinsic factor with dissatisfaction; also called motivation-hygiene theory

Type A personality, aggressive involvement in a chronic, incessant struggle to achieve more and more in less and less time and, if necessary, against the opposing efforts of other things or other people

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