Organizational Behavior

The organizational behavior group is dedicated to advancing research, teaching, and practice regarding the management of organizations.

The group’s faculty members research fundamental questions in organizational behavior, from both a social psychological and a sociological perspective, and publish their research in books and in the top management and social science journals.

MBA courses in organizational behavior help students to understand behavior at both the individual and organization levels. Topics at the individual or “micro” level include individual motivation and behavior, decision-making, interpersonal communication and influence, small group behavior, and individual, dyadic, and intergroup conflict and cooperation. At the organization or “macro” level, topics include organizational growth, organizational change, organizational learning, organizations and leadership, power, social networks, and social responsibility.

More generally, the organizational behavior curriculum helps prepare students for their managerial careers, providing them with frameworks for diagnosing and dealing with the problems and opportunities that typically arise in organizational settings.

Recent Journal Articles in Organizational Behavior

Elizabeth Pontikes, William P. Barnett
Administrative Science Quarterly. March
1 , 2017, Vol. 62, Issue 1, Pages 140-178

Salient successes and failures, such as spectacular venture capital investments or agonizing bankruptcies, affect collective beliefs about the viability of particular markets. We argue that collective sense-making in the wake...

William P. Barnett, Daniel Levinthal
Strategy Science. March
2017, Vol. 2, Issue 1, Pages i-v
David Daniels, Margaret Ann Neale, Lindred Leura Greer
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. March
2017, Vol. 139, Pages 92-105

Diversity research has long assumed that individuals’ perceptions of diversity are accurate, consistent with normative theories of judgments in economics and decision theory. We challenge this assumption. In six experiments,...

Elizabeth Pontikes, William P. Barnett
Strategy Science. March
2017, Vol. 2, Issue 1, Pages 64-82

A coevolutionary perspective on knowledge strategy is developed, where variant positions in knowledge space are predicted to result in differential advantages in product space.  In particular, advantages to being both...

Jeffrey Pfeffer, Dana Carney
Academy of Management. February
27 , 2017

Psychological stress can cause decreases in well-being, increases in disease, and faster cellular death. Because the workplace is one prominent source of stress, it is both practically and theoretically useful...

John-Paul Ferguson, Gianluca Carnabuci
Organization Science. February
8 , 2017, Vol. 28, Issue 1, Pages 133-151

Theories of innovation and technical change posit that inventions that combine knowledge across technology domains have greater impact than inventions drawn from a single domain. The evidence for this claim...

Nir Halevy
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. February
2017, Vol. 112, Issue 2, Pages 224-237

Preemptive strikes are costly and harmful. Existing models of defensive aggression focus narrowly on the role fear plays in motivating preemptive strikes. Theoretically integrating the literatures on conflict, decision making,...

Brent Simpson, Robb Willer, Ashley Harrell
Scientific Reports. February

The threat of free-riding makes the marshalling of cooperation from group members a fundamental challenge of social life. Where classical social science theory saw the enforcement of moral boundaries as...

Daniel A. Newark, Vanessa K. Bohns, Francis J. Flynn
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. January
20 , 2017, Vol. 139, Pages 18-29

Whether people seek help depends on their estimations of both the likelihood and the value of getting it. Although past research has carefully examined how accurately help-seekers predict whether their...

Wu Youyou, David Stillwell, Andrew Schwartz, Michal Kosinski
Psychological Science. January
1 , 2017, Vol. 28, Issue 3, Pages 1-9

Friends and spouses tend to be similar in a broad range of characteristics, such as age, educational level, race, religion, attitudes, and general intelligence. Surprisingly, little evidence has been found...

Catherine H. Tinsley, James B. Wade, Brian G. Main, Charles A. O’Reilly
ILR Review. January
2017, Vol. 70, Issue 1, Pages 160-189

Despite rhetoric supporting the advancement of women on corporate boards, meager evidence supports significant progress over the past decade in the United States. The authors examine archival board data (for...

Adina Sterling, Jennifer Merluzzi
ILR Review. January
2017, Vol. 70, Issue 1, Pages 105-131

While prior research has suggested that network-based hiring in the form of referrals can lead to better career outcomes, few studies have tested whether such career advantages differ across demographic...