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Welcome to Organizational Behavior, an OpenStax resource. This textbook was written to increase student access to high-quality learning materials, maintaining the highest standards of academic rigor at little to no cost.

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Organizational Behavior is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY) license, which means that you can distribute, remix, and build upon the content, as long as you provide attribution to OpenStax and its content contributors.

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Art Attribution

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About Organizational Behavior

The field of management and organizational behavior exists today in a constant state of evolution and change. Casual readers of publications like the New York Times, The Economist and the Wall Street Journal will learn about the dynamic nature of organizations in today’s ever-changing business environment. Organizational Behavior is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of the introductory course on Organizational Behavior. This is a traditional approach to organizational behavior. The table of contents of this book was designed to address two main themes. What are the variables that affect how, when, where, and why managers perform their jobs? What theories and techniques are used by successful managers at a variety of organizational levels to achieve and exceed objectives effectively and efficiently throughout their careers? Management is a broad business discipline, and the Organizational Behavior course covers many areas such as individual and group behavior at work, as well as organizational processes such as communication in the workplace and managing conflict and negotiation. No one individual can be an expert in all areas of management, so an additional benefit of this text is that specialists in a variety of areas have authored individual chapters. Finally, we all made an effort to present a balanced approach to gender and diversity throughout the text in the examples used, the photographs selected, and the use of both male and female in alternating chapters when referring to generic managers or employees.

Pedagogical Foundation

We have taken a structured approach in the writing of the chapters that reduces inconsistencies throughout and makes selecting topics to match the course syllabus easier for faculty.

Exploring Managerial Careers. Each chapter starts with a profile that describes a manager and illustrates how the content of the chapter is vital for a successful managerial career.

Consistent, integrated learning. Targeted learning outcomes are listed at the beginning of each chapter and then repeated throughout the chapter. The learning outcomes connect to the text and the additional resources that accompany Organizational Behavior. After reading each section, students can test their retention by answering the questions in the Concept Checks. Every learning goal is further reinforced by a summary at the end of the chapter.

Hundreds of business examples to bring concepts to life. This book is designed to speak to the typical student. We have done a lot of research about student needs, abilities, experiences, and interests, and then we have shaped the text around them. We have used experiences both inside and outside the classroom to create a book that is both readable and enjoyable. We believe that the real applications found throughout every chapter set the standard for readability and understanding of key concepts.

Learning business terminology, made easy. As students begin to study management, they will explore new words and concepts. To help them learn this language, we define each new term in the chapter, display the terms in bold, and offer a complete glossary at the end of the book.

Applied Features

Rather than provide a dry recitation of facts, we illustrate concepts with contemporary examples. In addition to the in-text examples, we have several boxed features that provide more extensive examples in areas of importance in today’s business environment. Each of the boxed features described below includes a series of critical thinking questions to prompt the student to consider the implications of each business strategy.

Ethics in Practice. Ethics in Practice features demonstrate how businesses are responsible not only to the bottom line, but to providing goods and services in a responsible manner.

Managing Change. The turbulent business climate requires companies to adapt their business strategies in response to a variety of economic, social, competitive, and technological forces. The Managing Change feature highlights how businesses have altered their business strategies in response to these forces.

Catching the Entrepreneurial Spirit. This feature highlights the challenges and opportunities available in small businesses and other entrepreneurial ventures.

Managerial Leadership. It is generally agreed that in a turbulent business climate leadership is an important function of management that helps to maximize efficiency and to achieve organizational goals. Leaders initiate action, motivate organizations, provide guidance, build morale, and create a sense of confidence within the organization and to outside stakeholders.

Sustainability and Responsible Management. This feature highlights the knowledge, skills, tools, and self-awareness that are needed to become responsible managers. While the area of corporate social responsibility and sustainability has gained wide general support and commentary, these featured boxed items should provide the reader with insights of how managers can embed responsible practices in their careers.

Activities and Cases That Put Knowledge to Work

Organizational Behavior helps students develop a solid grounding in the skills that they can apply throughout their managerial careers. These skill-building activities and resources help build and polish competencies that future employers will value.

Chapter Review Questions. These questions provide a broad set of challenging questions that students can use to assure themselves that they have mastered the chapter concepts.

Management Skills Application Exercises. These activities at the end of each chapter present real-world challenges and provide assignment material for students to hone their business skills.

Managerial Decision Exercises. These activities provide assignment material that challenge students’ decision-making processes. There are a variety of exercises for individual or team assignments.

Critical Thinking Case. The Critical Thinking case in each chapter invites students to explore business strategies of various companies, analyze business decisions, and prepare comments.

Answers to Questions in the Book

Answers to Summary of Learning Outcomes are provided directly below the questions. Answers are not provided for Concept Check Questions, Chapter Review Questions, or Managerial Decision Exercises. Answers to Management Skills Application Questions can be found in Appendix B of the text. Instructors can find additional details for Summary of Learning Outcomes as well as answers to Critical Thinking Case questions in the Instructor Answer Guide via the Instructor Resources page.

Additional Resources

Student and Instructor Resources

We’ve compiled additional resources for both students and instructors, including Getting Started Guides. Instructor resources require a verified instructor account, which you can apply for when you log in or create your account on

Instructor and student resources are typically available within a few months after the book’s initial publication. Take advantage of these resources to supplement your OpenStax book.

Comprehensive instructor’s manual. Each component of the instructor’s manual is designed to provide maximum guidance for delivering the content in an interesting and dynamic manner. The instructor’s manual includes an in-depth lecture outline, which is interspersed with lecture “tidbits” that allow instructors to add timely and interesting enhancements to their lectures.

Test bank. With nearly 1,000 true/false, multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and short-answer questions in our test bank, instructors can customize tests to support a variety of course objectives. The test bank is available in Word format.

PowerPoint lecture slides. The PowerPoint slides provide images and descriptions as a starting place for instructors to build their lectures.

Community Hubs

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To reach the Community Hubs, visit

Technology Partners

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Contributing Authors

J. Stewart Black, INSEAD
David S. Bright, Wright State University
Donald G. Gardner, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs
Eva Hartmann, University of Richmond
Jason Lambert, Texas Woman’s University
Laura M. Leduc, James Madison University
Joy Leopold, Webster University
James S. O’Rourke, University of Notre Dame
Jon L. Pierce, University of Minnesota-Duluth
Richard M. Steers, University of Oregon
Siri Terjesen, American University
Joseph Weiss, Bentley University


Susan Adams, Bentley University
Shane Bowyer, Minnesota State University
Kim S. Cameron, University of Michigan
Stephen J. Carroll, University of Maryland
Daniel R. Cillis, Molloy College
Linda Davenport, Klamath Community College
Diana L. Deadrick, Old Dominion University
James J. Freiburger, Southern New Hampshire University
Robert A. Giacalone, John Carroll University
Gregory O. Ginn, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
John Goldberg, University of California-Davis
Brian Graham-Moore, University of Texas
Regina Greenwood, Nova University
William F. Grossnickle, East Carolina University
Nell Tabor Hartley, Robert Morris University
Nai H. Lamb, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Kristie J. Loescher, University of Texas
Marcia Marriott, Monroe Community College
Therese Madden, Notre Dame de Namur University
Eleonor Moore, Kirtland Community College
Bonnie L. McNeely, Murray State University
Robert McNulty, Bentley University
Jeffrey Muldoon, Emporia State University
Karli Peterson, Colorado State University
Raymond Pfang, Tarrant Community College
Jodell Raymond, Monroe Community College
Richard Savior, SUNY Empire State
Amit Shah, Frostburg State University
Paul L. Starkey, Pennsylvania College of Technology
Carolyn Stevenson, Kaplan University
Dianna L. Stone, University of New Mexico
Maria Vitale, Chaffey College
Valerie Wallingford, Bemidji State University

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© Jan 9, 2024 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License . The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.