• Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

68 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
DEF: Consisting of elements that are not of the same kind or nature

REL: There is less separation in today's organizations. Proximity between groups of "others" (e.g., managers and workers) has increased. White, male, middle-class managers are no longer separated from nonwhite people or from women. This also means that the work-life balance is shifting; no longer are employees willing to treat home & work as "containers" that are separate and independent of each other. (p. 42-43)
Butterfly effect & unintended consequences
DEF: the phenomenon whereby a small change at one place in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere, e.g., a butterfly flapping its wings in Rio de Janeiro might change the weather in Chicago

REL: The parts of a system are interdependent and interconnected, and so a change to one parts affects the other parts and may produce unintended consequences. This is true of of the relationships between parts of an organization as well.
Blended relationship
DEF: Having more than one kind of relationship with a person at the same time (i.e., relationships including superior/subordinate, customer/client, co-workers/colleagues, inspector/regulator, friends, lovers)

Input, throughput, & output
DEF: The process of a system. All systems receive inputs, process those inputs (throughput), and produce outputs

REL: Systems theory can be used to consider an organization as a biological organism, and knowing the way that the system handles and shares information is important in understanding causes and effects.
Open v. closed systems
DEF: Systems differ in how responsive they are to their environments. For example, an open system (e.g., phone technology) is very responsive, whereas a closed system (e.g., funeral homes) is not very responsive.

To survive, systems need to exist within the parameters of acceptable conditions (temperature, moisture, light, etc.). If conditions go outside those parameters, mechanisms kick in that bring it back in line

REL: An organization, too, has acceptable conditions (e.g., an acceptable range of change) that, if it goes out of line, will be reigned in. (Class example: Not enough change --> "We need to break out of our rut here."; Too much change --> "We need to standardize procedures.")
Systemic causes
DEF: Because all the variables in a system are linked together, it is impossible to find a single ultimate cause for a problem/success. This puts less focus on individual choices/actions, and more on structures and the connections between parts.

DEF: Variables in a system that are particularly important because they stand at a central point in the system where they are in a position to influence a number of other variables, or where they can filter/moderate the effects of other variables

DEF: Achieving the same result through different means

Equifinality is the principle that in open systems a given end state can be reached by many potential means. The term is due to Ludwig von Bertalanffy, the founder of General Systems Theory. He prefers this term, in contrast to "goal", in describing complex systems' similar or convergent behavior. It emphasizes that the same end state may be achieved via many different paths or trajectories. In closed systems, a direct cause-and-effect relationship exists between the initial condition and the final state of the system: When a computer's 'on' switch is pushed, the system powers up. Open systems (such as biological and social systems), however, operate quite differently. The idea of equifinality suggests that similar results may be achieved with different initial conditions and in many different ways (Wikipedia's entry)

Loose & tight coupling
DEF: Refers to how closely connected the different parts are (e.g., an airline is tightly coupled, whereas a university is loosely coupled)
Dialectical tensions
DEF: All relationships are characterized by sets of opposing needs, meaning that the parties have a basic need, & at the same time need its opposite; neither can be eliminated.

For example:
Autonomy v. connection (in org comm: individual needs v. organizational needs)
Openness v. closedness (in org comm: sharing v. concealing info)
Novelty v. predictability (in org. comm: adaptability v. history)
Destructive strategic ambiguity
DEF: Sometimes creating/maintaining uncertainty fulfills strategic goals.

When done for destructive purposes, it's done to: avoid accountability; conceal wrongdoing; avoid responsibility/procrastinate; manipulate & control (keep them guessing)
Constructive strategic ambiguity
DEF: Sometimes creating/maintaining uncertainty fulfills strategic goals.

When done for constructive purposes, it's done to: save face; allow people to violate rules/expectations that need to be violated (necessary but forbidden); allow different people to interpret the same message differently; allow diversity of perspectives
Double-bind messages
DEF: When you send a message, then send a contradictory message at the same time, then deny the contradiction and make the other person feel mad/bad for pointing it out

"I'm NOT angry!"
"Oh, don't pay any attention to me."
"We value employee input. (But we never use it.)"
"You get 3 weeks vacation. (But good EEs don't use theirs.)"
Bureaucracy (underlying concepts)
DEF: Specialization of skills and tasks for efficiency and effectiveness; arranged in a hierarchy; decision making and control are centralized. Decisions made by members of the organization are based on policies and procedures established at the top.
Scientific management
The idea that improved accountability could lead to improved efficiency. Fathered by Frederick Taylor, this management strategy originally was begun to combat the problem of managers blaming and punishing workers for the manager's bad decisions. This gave the managers no incentive to improve.
Theory X
(by McGregor)

1. Workers must be supervised as closely as possible, either through direct oversight or by tight reward and/or punishment systems.
2. Work is objectionable to most unless it is made offensive the the actions of organizations.
3. Most people have little initiative, have little capacity for being creative or solving organizational problems, do not want to have responsibilities, and prefer being directed by someone else.
4. People are motivated by economic factors and a need for security.
Theory Y
1. People usually do not require close supervision and will, if given a chance to control their own activities, be productive, satisfied, and fulfilled.
2. Work is natural and enjoyable to people.
3. People are ambitious, desire autonomy and self-control, and can use their abilities to solve problems and help their organizations meet their goals. Creativity is distributed "normally" across the population, just as is any other characteristic.
4. People are motivated by a variety of needs only some of which involve economics or security.
Intrinsic motivation
DEF: The incentive to undertake an activity based on the expected enjoyment of the activity itself, rather than external benefits that might result
Extrinsic motivation
DEF: The desire or push to perform a certain behavior based on the potential external rewards that may be received as a result.
Filtering paradox
DEF: Decision-makers depend on the free flow of info from subordinates. However, if info was to flow freely, managers would be overwhelmed (is the solution to most org problems "more communication"?) So, subordinates edit.
Overspecialization & trained incapacity
DEF: As people are trained in an increasingly specialized set of skills, they become less and less capable of performing other tasks, and develop a "trained incapacity". The most obvious incapacity involves differences b/w upper management and lower-level workers. This can create miscommunication problems and an inability to view multiple perspectives.
Participatory Decision-Making
DEF: An organizational structure/philosophy in which:
1. Subordinates want to be involved in decision making, are involved in complex tasks, and are given substantial control over how they complete their tasks.
2. Supervisors are willing to allow their subordinates to participate legitimately and listen and respond to their ideas and encourage them to contribute
3. The issues being discussed are important to the participants.
4. All participants have expertise and information relevant to the problems being discussed
5. Managers foster and support the beliefs, values, and attitudes necessary to legitimate PDM (e.g., through recognition)
Refers to not actually having rights, or, in the case of relational strategies of organizing, it refers to NOT actually having a voice/vote despite being told by management that you do. This is a dangerous possible consequence of PDM in that, if it occurs, it can lead to cynicism among EEs.
Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) Theory
DEF: The theory that supervisors (leaders) form different relationships with different subordinates (members); some of these relationships are "in-group" (i.e., High LMX) and enjoy mutual trust, reciprocal support, and more interaction.

However, there are consequences to LMX, such as the Pelz Effect and Role Modeling.
Pelz Effect
DEF: A subordinate's relationship with his or her supervisor depends on the supervisor's relationship with his or her supervisor.

For example, if the supervisor seems to have influence with "higher-ups", his or her relationship with subordinates is better
Role Modeling
DEF: The more a supervisor withholds info, the more the subordinate withholds from the supervisor
Task cohesion & social cohesion
DEF: Task cohesion is the willingness to make the group's goals your own. Social cohesion is the attractiveness of the group to each member. Cohesion is NOT the absence of disagreement or too much socializing at the expense of task accomplishment
Centripetal & centrifugal forces
DEF: Centripetal forces are attractors; factors that make members want to participate and stay involved (i.e., Material rewards (money, connections, skills learned); Social rewards (feeling of belonging, safety in numbers); Esteem rewards (internal and external prestige); and Self-actualization/Work rewards).

Centrifugal forces are repellers; factors that make members want to withdraw (i.e., time; Anxiety/frustration (from dependence on others, conflict, the need to compromise, cynicism from pseudo-involvement); Obligation/commitment)
DEF: A learned system of beliefs, values, and meanings that guide, usually nonconsciously, the ways in which people make sense of their surroundings and choose how to act in those surroundings.
Cultural artifacts
DEF: Symbols, architecture, dress styles, meaningful objects. These artifacts express and reproduce the underlying levels of culture, but they are not the culture itself.
Cultural demarcation
DEF: Setting boundaries for who's in and who's out. (E.g., with jargon)
DEF: Groups of people whose shared interpretation of the organization helps bind them together and separate them from other groups of employees. (It is more likely that an org will be composed of many distinct and different subcultures rather than a homogeneous culture consciously defined and guided by upper mgmt.) Subculture formation is a result of communication patterns. Groups that talk to each other frequently form their own subcultures; groups that don't talk frequently tend to differentiate.
Berger's stages of identification
Newcomers face two challenges: 1. Making sense out of their new surroundings, and 2. Negotiating a role for themselves

There is an anticipatory stage, an encounter stage (reality shock), and a metamorphosis stage

Stages of identification:
1. Externalization (newcomers notice how other interpret and respond to their surroundings; to fit in, they imitate, the 'locals')
2. Objectification (begin to believe this is the only right way to do things)
3. Internalization (they begin to evaluate themselves and their actions in terms of org values)

Absorbing the culture means internalizing the norms and rules
Newcomer assimilation: stages
New EEs bring with them a lengthy and complex history. But every org is unique in some ways. Consequently, all newcomers experience some degree of reality shock - the sudden realization that what they took for granted in their previous org is not what people take for granted in their new one. So, first challenge is making sense of the new org and coping w the surprises that their new experiences bring. Eventually, the new situation makes enough sense that individuals can begin to seek out additional info about how the org works.
Unobtrusive control
Controlling EEs by making them care about org norms; EEs choose to act in ways desired by the org while perceiving that they are freely choosing to do so. In effect, org surveillance then becomes self-surveillance. Unobtrusive control is simultaneously the most potent and most fragile form of control. Persuading people to change deeply held values, beliefs, and identities is an exceptionally difficult process.
Controlling the masses by getting them to think of hierarchies and domination as "normal" and "natural"
Emotional labor
Many jobs require EEs to express certain emotional states
* Smile occupations (reception, greeters, flight attendants)
* Frown occupations (security, police, bill collectors, repo men)
* Poker face occupations (journalist, judge, 9-1-1 operators)
Ways for newcomers to discover the culture
* Direct questions
* Indirect questions/hinting
* Finding a mentor
* Third party
* Self-disclosure
* Test the limits (Garfinkeling)
* Observation
Surface acting
A process by which EEs may pretend that they feel the emotions that they display
Deep acting
Learning to actually feel the emotions that you need to display in the performance of your job
DEF: A weather metaphor for the state of the organization or parts of the organization.


How's the weather? (stormy, turbulent, calm, cold, warm, heated)
How is morale?
how trusting? Blaming? Fearful? Despairing?
What emotions predominate?
Hostile work environment?
How do EEs treat each other?
How personal does it get?
Frontstage performers
DEF: Part of impression management. The primary focus of frontstage performers is to create and maintain the identity of the organization
Region = areas the public is meant to have access to
Behavior = acceptable to be seen by the public
Backstage performers
Part of impression mgmt.

"reserves of unimpressive-looking labor" (Goffman) valued for technical rather than expressive skills
Region = behind-the-scenes
Behavior = activities (necessary or unnecessary) that would hurt the reputation of the organization
The public/customers/clients/citizens/voters/stakeholders/investors/govt/internal audience/other

There are target audiences, unintended audiences, and hostile audiences

Internal mktg. can turn the backstage performers into the audience
Backstage can also become frontstage (Abu Ghraib, bribery)
Backstage performers thrust into the spotlight: Lynddie England, athletic tutors)
Previously frontstage performers (high level officials) become audience: "we had no idea this was going on"
a party that can affect or be affected by the actions of the organization
Facework strategies
Apology (admit wrongdoing, feel sorry, promise of a remedy)
Justification (admit behavior, give reason why they did it)
Excuse (explain bad outcome w/o admitting wrongdoing)
Internal marketing
Turns the backstage performers into the audience. (Telling long-term backstagers what their org is like can increase cynicism, but what happens if you neglect internal mktg.?)
Transactional leadership
A view of leadership that focuses on the development of particular kinds of supervisor-subordinate relationships. Although supervisors tend to have a greater i mpact on communicative relationships than their subordinates because of their formal authority, interpersonal relationships develop because of the mutual exchanges that take place between the parties. (This is the primary assumption underlying transactional views of leadership. Leaders, according to this model, must legitimate their position -- formal rank alone does not make one a leader -- but legitimation is a two-way street. They negotiate a trusting relationship.) It recognizes that neither person is wholly in charge of the process and that supervisors will often have different kinds of relationships with different subordinates.
Transformational leaders
Like transactional leaders, transformational leaders maintain close communicative ties with their subordinates. But transformational leaders' authority is based on charisma -- the image that they possess some divine, supernatural, or otherwise special talents or attributes. At the heart of the charismatic leadership is the ability to create a vision of where the org is going. Transformational leadership also involves framing -- persuading EEs to view their org world in a particular way.
Persuading EEs to see their organizational world in a particular way. It begins when a leader develops her or his own view of reality and makes sense of the org's past, present, and future in terms of that view. It continues when she/he communicates that view to subordinates. In this sense, the key to framing lies in EEs memories.
Leadership emergence
General findings: it is a process of elimination; is highly unpredictable; it is centered around communication styles; and is largely determined by lieutenants (supporters of one leader contender)

Leadership emergence research is important because it can help head off emergent-v.-appointed-leader conflict; helps us understand what behaviors make people dismiss others as potential leaders (too quiet/univolved; too overbearing/rigid; incompetence)
- The primary supporter of the leader (or leader contender)
- Generally not a leader contender themselves (but their support can influence others' perceptions of leaders)
Leadership theories
Trait theories -- Leaders are born as leaders -- you either have it or you don't (Traits tend to be inconclusive; there are too many kinds of leaders; takes context out of the equation)

Style Theories -- Democratic or authoritarian -- which is best?

Situational Theories -- Match leadership styles to situations

Functional theories -- leadership behaviors (regardless of who does them)
Technological determinism v. social determinism
Technological determinism is a theory that presumes that a society's technology drives the development of its social structure and cultural values; social determinism is the opposing theory that says we develop the technology we want
Knowledge work/information work
Knowledge work is work that involves creating and applying knowledge (as opposed to production work). Information work , which supports knowledge work, involves gathering, entering, formatting, and processing information. (e.g., clerical jobs, data entry, and telemarketing). Knowledge work includes engineering, financial analysis, etc.
1st order effects of technology; 2nd order effects of technology
What a technology is designed for (1st order); what it's used for (2nd order)
Asynchronous communication
Asynchronous communication is a form of communication in which the sender and receiver are not concurrently engaged in communication. (Email is asynchronous.) It can be a problem in that it means you're never really "off-duty".
Less inhibited communications that express extreme emotions overtly (may include swearing, name-calling, sarcasm, obscenity, persistent, and vicious attacks). These may happen as the result of a lack of social cues (can't see the hurt faces) and the delay in response due to asynchronous comm.

Groups of people develop and enforce cultural expectations that require users to refrain from flaming
Media richness theory
A framework developed for media choice based on the relative richness of the media. Depends on the number of cues the medium can carry, the timeliness of feedback via the medium,t he variety of languages that can be used int he medium, and the degree to which the medium allows the message to be personalized. Messages should be adapted to the proper richness level.
Critical mass theory
Refers to the diffusion of innovations:

1. Innovators - seek out & embrace new innovations (roughly 1/6 of the org)
2. Early Adopters - willing to try something new; opinion leaders (1/3)
CRITICAL MASS POINT: Enough users to make the technology useful & attractive to org members
3. Late Adopters - willing to try the technology only after it has caught on (roughly 1/3)
4. Laggards - behind the times (“I don’t know how to send an internet”) (1/6)
Strong ties v. weak ties
Weak ties: connections to others with whom one has only occasional contact.

Strong ties: connections to other with whom one has regular contact.

The source of new ideas is more often the weak ties in a communication network.
Sets of people who are tightly interconnected. (Subgroups)

Can arise from formal work groups or units whose members interact a lot.
Network roles
Liasons/bridges: connect different cliques (bridges belong to both groups; liasons belong to neither)

Opinion leaders: heavily influential within their group (unofficial leader)

Communication star: an actor highly central to a network

Gatekeepers: mediate or control the flow between one part of the network and another

Boundary spanners: "Cosmopolites" -- spend as much (or more) time interacting with people outside the org as with people in the org (e.g., sales reps); they are a vital sourc eof info flow into the org, and identity-management out to the public (though divided loyalties is a common issue)

Isolates: Have no links or relatively few links to others.
Virtual organizations
Have no physical location. No building, no campus, no office. Exists across a computer network. (i.e., some catalog companies)
Pooled interdependence
Work does not flow between units, but instead the units work on their own product/services and the total output of the org is the pooled work of the individual units. At this low level of interdependence, substitutes for communication are sufficient.
Sequential interdependence
Units are arrayed in a series and the output of one dept. is the input for another. In this case, how well each successive unit can perform depends on how well the previous units have done their work. Increases coordination needs and requires higher levels of communication than pooled interdependence.
Reciprocal interdependence
Highest level of interdependence. All units are involved together in the work; the outputs of each unit become the inputs of the others, and vice versa. Units work together intensively when there is reciprocal interedependence, and so require a great deal of communication and coordination. At this high a level of interdependence, horizontal, unscheduled , and continuous communication is required.