Skip to main content
Business LibreTexts

1.5: Glossary

  • Page ID
    • Contributed by

    Alienation The experience of being isolated from a group or an activity to which one should belong, or in which one should be involved.
    Ethics Moral principles that govern a person's behavior or the conducting of an activity.
    Executive managers Generally, a team of individuals at the highest level of management of an organization.
    First-line management The level of management directly managing nonmanagerial employees.
    Industrial competitiveness The ability to provide products and services more effectively and efficiently than competitors.
    Long-range planning A process of setting goals that outlines the path for the company's future. Macro-organizational behavior Macro-organizational behavioral research steps back and looks at an organization as a whole.
    Management The process of planning, organizing, directing, and controlling the activities of employees in combination with other resources to accomplish organizational objectives.
    Micro-organizational behavior Micro-organizational behavioral studies focus on individual and group dynamics within an organization.
    Middle management The managers in an organization at a level just below that of senior executives.
    Organization theory The study of organization designs and organization structures, relationship of organizations with their external environment, and the behavior of managers and workers within organizations.
    Organizational behavior The study of the actions and attitudes of individuals and groups toward one another and toward the organization as a whole.
    Organizational design A formal methodology that identifies dysfunctional aspects of workflow, procedures, structures and systems, and then realigns them to fit current business goals and develops plans to implement change.
    Organizational processes The activities that establish the business goals of the organization and develop processes, product and resource assets that when used will help to achieve business goals. Technology The application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes.
    Theory A set of principles on which the practice of an activity is based.
    Work All activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.

    Summary of Learning Outcomes

    1.1 The Nature of Work

    1. What is the meaning of work in a societal context?

    Work will almost inevitably be a large part of your life. An understanding of organizational behavior will aid you in making that part of life more productive and enjoyable for yourself as well those you are in a position to influence. In this course, our objective is to provide sound and relevant insights concerning individuals, groups, and overall organizational systems that will be helpful to you not just as an executive or CEO but also when you are starting your career as an individual contributor or subordinate.

    1.2 The Changing Workplace

    2. How do recognize and meet the challenges facing managers in the new millennium?

    The fundamental challenge facing managers is how to achieve performance goals while simultaneously providing for employee welfare and satisfaction. Work may be defined as an activity that produces something of value for other people. Work serves several functions, including economic, social, status, self-esteem, and self-actualization. As managers in today’s environment, several challenges arise, including international competition, new technologies, the need for increased quality, employee motivation and commitment, a diverse workforce, and ethical behavior. These challenges must be met by managers concerned about survival and competitiveness in the future.

    1.3 The Nature of Management

    3. What is expected of a manager?

    Management is the process of planning, organizing, directing, and controlling the activities of employees in combination with other resources to accomplish organizational goals. Managerial responsibilities include long- range planning, controlling, environmental scanning, supervision, coordination, customer relations, community relations, internal consulting, and monitoring of products and services. These responsibilities differ by level in the organizational hierarchy and by department or function. The twenty-first-century manager will differ from most current managers in four ways. In essence, he or she will be a global strategist, a master of technology, a good politician, and a premier leader-motivator.

    1.4 A Model of Organizational Behavior and Management

    4. What is the role of the behavioral sciences in management and organizations?

    Organizational behavior is the study of people in organizations. It can be studied on a micro level, which focuses on individual or group behavior, or on a macro level, which focuses on organization-wide actions and events. A model of organizational behavior is presented, consisting of five building blocks: individuals and groups, tasks and technology, organization design, organizational processes, and management.

    Chapter Review Questions

    1. Define work.
    2. What functions does work serve in modern society?
    3. Describe the extent and nature of the challenges facing the workplace in the next decade.
    4. What can be done about these challenges?
    5. Define management.
    6. How does the nature of management change according to one’s level and function in the organization?
    7. Discuss the role of management in the larger societal context. What do you think the managers of the

      future will be like?

    8. Identify what you think are the critical issues facing contemporary management. Explain.

    Critical Thinking Case

    New Management Challenges for the New Age

    Today’s news is littered with scandals, new allegations of sexual assault, and tragedy. Since 2017 and the #metoo movement, stemming from the Harvey Weinstein scandal, more and more public figures have been put into the spotlight to defend themselves against allegations from women around the globe.

    Not only publicly, but privately in companies around the world, there have been firings and investigations into misconduct from coworkers, managers, and CEOs. It is a relevant topic that is getting long-overdue publicity and encouraging more men and women to come forward to discuss openly rather than hide the events and injustices of the past. Other events showcase the tumultuous and on-edge society we are living in, such as the Charlottesville, VA, attack that left one dead and 19 injured when a person drove a car through a crowd of protestors during a white nationalist gathering.

    With unanticipated events on a daily business, it is important for companies to take a stand against racial hatred and harassment of any kind, and to have firm policies when such events occur. Take Netflix, for example, who in July 2018 fired their chief communications officer for saying the “N-word” in full form. This event occurred during an internal meeting in which the speaker was not directing the slur at anyone specific, but claimed it was being made as an emphatic point about offensive words in comedy programming. The “Netflix way,” the culture that is built around radical candor and transparency, was put to the test during this occurrence.

    The offender, Jonathan Friedland, attempted to apologize for his misdeed, hoping it would fade away and his apology would be accepted. However, it didn’t work that way; instead, the anger was palpable between coworkers and eventually led to the firing of Friedland after a few months of inaction.

    Netflixers are given a high level of freedom and responsibility within their “Netflix way” culture. Blunt feedback is encouraged, and trust and discretion are the ultimate gatekeeper, as employees have access to sensitive information and are ultimately trusted for how they expense items and take vacation time.

    In the insanely fast-paced streaming-services industry, it is hard to keep this culture at a premium, but it is imperative for the success of the company overall. “As you scale a company to become bigger and bigger, how do you scale that kind of culture?” said Colin Estep, a former senior engineer who left voluntarily in 2016. “I don’t know that we ever had a good answer.”

    In order to keep up, sometimes the company is seen as harsh in their tactics to keep the best of the best. “I think we’re transparent to a fault in our culture and that can come across as cutthroat,” said Walta Nemariam, an employee in talent acquisition at Netflix.

    Netflix has stayed true to their cultural values despite the pressures and sometimes negative connotations associated with this “cutthroat” environment. Their ability to remain agile, while displaying no tolerance for societal injustices, puts them at the forefront of new-age companies. It is a difficult pace to stay in line with, but it seems that they are keeping in stride and remaining true to who they are, for now.


    1. How has the current cultural environment of our country shaped the way that companies are looking at their own corporate cultural standards?
    2. What are the potential downfalls and positive influences of the “Netflix way”?
    3. How does Netflix’s internal culture negatively or positively affect their ability to stay competitive and deliver cutting-edge content?

    Sources: B. Stelter, “The Weinstein Effect: Harvey Weinstein scandal sparks movements in Hollywood and beyond,” CNN Business, October 20, 2017, weinstein/; L. Hertzler, “Talking #MeToo, one year after bombshell Weinstein allegations,” Penn Today, October 30, 2018,; S. Ramachandaran and J. Flint, “At Netflix, Radical Transparency and Blunt Firings Unsettle the Ranks,” Wall Street Journal, October 25, 2018, ranks-1540497174.