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   Course Title    Organizational Behavior
Lecturer    Galina Sen
Institution    Kazak State National University named after al-Farabi
Country    Ukraine



This course is aimed at giving the opportunity for our students to receive theoretical knowledge about human behavior within organizational settings and to develop practical skills for managing this behavior.


The course «Organizational Behavior» has three primary objectives:

  • To examine central theories and concepts in organizational behavior which provide students with in-depth understanding of human behavior issues in organizations.
  • To develop students analytical and problem solving skills as they relate to organizational behavior issues.
  • To develop students’ appreciation of the relevance of organizational behavior in understanding the effectiveness of organizations.



This course will be taught in third year of study for our university students. Before that they took such courses as «Basis of Psychology and Pedagogics», «Philosophy», «Sociology». After this course, in the fourth year of study, the students will take the course « Psychology of Management». 




In order to increase the learning activity of students, to improve students’ teamwork, and team management I plan  to use active methods of teaching. Students will be expected to participate in the class discussions, role plays, case studies, brainstorms; to take the tests and to use video equipment.




Organizational Behavior: a Historical Overview and Contemporary Perspectives  /lecture/


Organizational behavior has an interdisciplinary focus and a descriptive nature. The field of organizational behavior is relatively new. The importance of organizational behavior stems from its relevance to the manager’s job and the human context of managerial work. 


Concepts of the field can be grouped into four broad categories: individual concepts (individual behavior), social concepts (groups and interpersonal processes), organizational concepts (organization itself), concepts of change .


The Nature of Personality. Personality and Work. /lecture +seminar/


Personality is the set of elements and characteristics that can be used to compare individuals. Personality plays a major role in determining the behavior of employees at work. A vatiety of personality traits directly relevant to the workplace have been studied. Key traits include locus of control, authoritarianism, Type A and Type B personalities, and self-monitoring.


During the seminar students take the computer set of personality tests and discuss the application of these tests in personnel management.


Individual Learning and Creativity. Initiative Behavior. /lecture+seminar/


Learning can be defined as a relatively permanent change in behavior or behavior potential that results from direct or indirect experience. Related aspects of learning include stimulus generation, stimulus discrimination, vicarious learning, and punishment.


Creativity is the process of developing original, innovative, and imaginative perspectives on situations. The fundamental stages of creativity are preparation, incubation, insight, and verification. Creativity may be maintained and enhanced by such techniques as the reward system, brainstorming and synectics.


The seminar includes brainstorming about one of the typical job-related problems.


Motivation and Needs: Basic Concepts and Theories. /lecture/


Motivation is the set of factors that causes people to behave in various ways. The basic motivation framework suggests that motivation follows a cyclical process: needs and motives, action to attain a goal perceived as capable of satisfying the need or motive, evaluation of the goal after its achievement, and reinforcement.


According to Abraham Maslow, human needs are arranged in a hierarchy of importance. In Herzberg’s two-factor theory, satisfaction and dissatisfaction are two distinct dimentions instead of opposite ends of the same dimension. Two sets of factors, motivation and hygene, are presumed to influence them.


The equity theory of motivation assumes that people want to be treated fairly. Expectancy theory follows from the assumption that people are motivated to work toward a goal if they want it and think they have a reasonable chance of achieving it.


Employee Attitudes and Behavior. Behavior Modification and Reinforcement Theory.  /lecture + seminar/


The fundamental employee attitude is job satisfaction, which is influenced by a variety of organizational, group, and personal factors. Besides job satisfaction, employees develop attitudes about other job-related factors, particularly commitment and involvement.


Basic employee behaviors are productivity and performance. The relationships between attitudes and behavior are very complex. Behavior modification is the application of reinforcement principles and concepts to organizational settings.


During the seminar the students consider the case study working in small groups.


Groups and Group Dynamics. Team-building. /lecture/


The work group is the primary means by which managers coordinate individual behavior to achieve organizational goals. Groups are differentiated on the basis of relative permanence and degree of formality. Group formation, composition, and development have important effects on the performance of the group. Groups develop in several stages.


Additional factors can affect group performance: size, norms, roles and cohesiveness. The most organizationally productive groups are highly cohesive and have goals that are compatible with the organization’s. In managing groups in organizations, the manager should consider the goals of the group as well as the factors that affect the cohesiveness of the group. 


Leadership: Concepts, Theories and Application. /seminar/


Leadership is both a process and a property. Early leadership research tried to identify important traits of leaders. The contingency theories tried to identify appropriate leadership styles on the basis of the situation. More recent theories are: leadership substitutes, the interactive view, the vertical-dyad linkage model, charismatic leadership, and attributional perspectives.


During the seminar the students work in small groups on the exercises and discuss the results.


Appraisal and Reward System in Organizations./lecture/


Performance appraisal is the process by which work behaviors are measured and compared with established standards, the results recorded and communicated. Performance appraisal methods include individual assessment methods (checklists, essays and so on) and comparative techniques (ranking, forced distribution and paired comparison).


Rewards take the form of pay, benefits, prerequisites, incentives. The process of the reward system is to attract, retain, and motivate qualified employees and to maintain a pay structure that is internally equitable and externally competitive.


Organizational Decision Making and Problem Solving. /seminar/


The basic elements of decision making include the goal, the alternative courses of action, information available regarding alternatives, the outcomes of each alternative, the value of the outcomes relative to the goal, and the choice of one alternative, based on evaluation of the outcomes. Decisions are either programmed or nonprogrammed. Both individuals and groups make decisions in organizations. There are such phenomenons  as  group polarization and groupthink.  Brainstorming, the nominal group technique, and the delphi technique are three methods of improving group decision making.


During the seminar the students will consider the case study.


Organization Communication and Information Processing. /lecture/.


Information and communication are involved in all activities of the organization. Communication networks are systems of information exchange within an organization. They affect the emergence of group leadership, problem-solving effectiveness, and morale. Typical group communications patterns include the wheel, chain, circle, and all-channel networks. Communication may be written, oral, or nonverbal. Communication problems are a function of the communication process and organization process and organizational factors. The electronic office may change the social system of the office, including interpersonal relationships among coworkers, communication networks and power and authority relationships.


Organization Structure and Design. /seminar/


The structure of an organization is a system of tasks, reporting, and authority relationships within which the work of the organization is done. An organizational chart shows reporting relationships, departments, and formal lines of communication. Operational aspects of structure are policies or guidelines that prescribe or restrict behaviors of employees in their organizational activities. Operational aspects can be defined as specialization, formalization, and centralization. A final aspect of organization structure is the dual concept of authority and responsibility. The dominant themes of current organizational design strategies are the effects of technological (or environmental) change, the importance of people, and the necessity of staying in touch with the customer.


Conflicts in Organization. Conflict Management. /seminar/


Conflict occurs at two levels within organizations: interpersonal and intergroup. The distinction between functional conflict and dysfunctional conflict pivots on whether the organization’s interests are served. Managers have to know the antecedents of conflict.

People tend to handle conflicts in patterned ways referred to as styles. Negotiation and third-party intervention are used in intergroup conflict. An absence of conflict may indicate that the organization is stagnant and employees are content with the status quo. Conflict can be a catalyst for creativity and change in the organization. Conflict stimulation is the creation and constructive use of conflict by a manager.


During the seminar the small groups of students take part in role plays with video-equipment and discuss the results.


Stress in Organizational Settings: Causes, Diagnostics, Management and

Preventive Measures./lecture/


People may experience stress as a result of work. Stress reactions seem to be a consequence of chronic work frustrations and a disparity  between the individual’s perception of where he or she should be in a work organization in contrast to reality. Career-development conditions seen as stressful include overpromotion, underpromotion, status incongruence, lack of security, and threated ambition. Physical demands of the job can lead to stress . Interpersonal demands can cause stress also. There are professional burnout and coping strategies at work. Stress-reduction techniques include muscle relaxation, biofeedback, meditation, cognitive restructuring, and holistic wellness.


Change and Development Process in Organizations. /seminar/


The areas in which the pressures for change are seen to be most powerful are people, technology, information (communication, and competition).Organization development is the process of planned change and improvement of organizations. The most comprehensive change is the attempt to alter the structure of the organization through reorganizations of departments, reporting relationships or authority systems. Changing the tasks and the organization’s technological base causes changes in other elements of the social system. Frequently used group and individual approaches to organizational change are training and management development programs, team building, and survey-feedback techniques. Major problems in achieving changes in organizations are resistance, power, control and task redifinition.





1.      Disel P. M., Mac-Keenly R. Organization Behavior. Moscow. 1993.

2.      Masterbruck U. Crises Situation Management and Organization Development. Moscow, 1996.

3.      Kazmirenko W. Social Psychology of the Organizations. Kiev. 1993.

4.      Krasovsky Y. Management Behavior in Firm. Moscow. 1997.



1.      Aphonin A.S. Basis of Motivation to Work. Kiev. 1994.

2.      Eddose M., Stanfeeld P. Methods of Decision Making. Moscow. 1997.

3.      Litvak B. G. Managerial Decisions. Moskow.1998.

4.      Muchin Y. The Science of Managing People. Moscow.1995.

5.      Keeney R. L. Value-Focused Thinking. A Path to Creative Desionmaking. Harvard University Press. 1996.

6.      Kreiter R., Kinicki A. Organizational Behavior. Mc Graw-Hill Com.1998.

7.      Tutushkina M. and others. Practical Psychology for Managers. Moscow. 1997

8.      Wichanski O. S., Naumov A. Y. Mamagement: Man, Strategy, Organization, Process. Moscow. 1998.


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