Organizational Behavior Glossary U–Z


Uncertainty avoidance, a national culture attribute that describes the extent to which a society feels threatened by uncertain and ambiguous situations and tries to avoid them

Unfreezing, changing to overcome the pressures of both individual resistance and group conformity

Unity of command, the idea that a subordinate should have only one superior to whom he or she is directly responsible

Utilitarianism, a system in which decisions are made solely on the basis of their outcomes or consequences and to provide the greatest good for the greatest number


Value system, a hierarchy based on a ranking of an individual’s values in terms of their intensity

Values, basic convictions that a specific mode of conduct or end-state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end-state of existence

Variable-pay program, a pay plan that bases a portion of an employee’s pay on some individual and/or organizational measure of performance

Virtual organization, a small, core organization that outsources major business functions

Virtual teams, teams that use computer technology to tie together physically dispersed members to achieve a common goal

Vision, a long-term strategy for attaining a goal or goals

Vision statement, a formal articulation of an organization’s vision or mission

Voice, dissatisfaction expressed through active and constructive attempts to improve conditions


Wellness programs, organizationally supported programs that focus on the employee’s total physical and mental condition

Whistle-blowers, individuals who report unethical or illegal practices by their employers to outsiders

Work group, a group that interacts primarily to share information and to make decisions to help each group member perform within his or her area of responsibility

Work specialization, the degree to which tasks in an organization are subdivided into separate jobs

Work teams, a group whose individual efforts result in a performance that is greater than the sum of the individual inputs

Workforce diversity, the concept that organizations are becoming more heterogeneous in terms of gender, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and inclusion of other diverse groups


Zero-sum approach, an approach to bargaining in which the gains made by one side come at the expense of the other side, and vice versa

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