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THEORY AND RESEARCH: TOOLS FOR LEARNING ABOUT BEHAVIOR IN ORGANIZATIONS.

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Presentation on theme: "THEORY AND RESEARCH: TOOLS FOR LEARNING ABOUT BEHAVIOR IN ORGANIZATIONS."— Presentation transcript:

1 THEORY AND RESEARCH: TOOLS FOR LEARNING ABOUT BEHAVIOR IN ORGANIZATIONS

2 Theory in Organizational Research (Pp ) Theory - a set of statements about the interrelationships between concepts that allow us to predict and to explain various processes and events Theory - serves three important functions Organize large amounts of data into meaningful propositions Hypotheses - logically derived statements that follow from theory Summarize knowledge by making sense of bits of information Guide scientists to areas needing research Theory - must be testable - purpose of research is to test theory

3 Research is Conducted to test the hypotheses Hypotheses are derived from the theory Theory proposes relationships between concepts Confidence in theory is decreased Confidence in theory is increased Hypotheses Confirmed Hypotheses disconfirmed Theory is rejected Theory is modified Figure A.1 Theory Testing: The Research Process

4 Survey Research: The Correlational Method (Pp ) Surveys- questionnaires in which people report how they feel about various aspects of themselves, their jobs, and their organizations Three Steps in Survey Approach Identify variables of interest Measure variables as precisely as possible Determine how variables are related to one another Analyzing survey results Correlation coefficient - direction of relationship - strength of relationship - varies between +1.0 and stronger the relationship, more accurate predictions Limitations of Survey Research Correlation does not imply causality - several viable interpretations of a correlation

5 (High) (High)(High) (Low) (Low) (Low) Willingness to Help Co-workerInterest in Quitting Positive correlation (more of one variable is associated with more of another) Negative correlation (more of one variable is associated with less of another) Perceived Fairness of Pay Figure A.2 Positive and Negative Correlations

6 Experimental Research: The Logic of Cause and Effect (Pp ) Experimental Method - a research technique used to determine cause-and- effect relationships between the variables of interest (i.e., the extent to which one variable causes another) Experimental Logic - basic elements Random assignment of participants to experimental conditions Independent variable - a variable that is systematically manipulated by the researcher to determine its effects on behavior Dependent variable - the behavior that is being measured by a researcher that is dependent on the independent variable Drawing Valid Conclusions from Experiments - all experimental conditions other than the independent variable must be kept constant - differences in the dependent variable may be attributed to the independent variable

7 (High) (Low) LabField Experimental Setting Amount of Realism and Control Control Realism Figure A.5 Trade-offs Between Lab and Field Experimentation

8 Qualitative Research Methods (Pp. 51,52) Qualitative Research - a nonempirical type of research that relies on preserving the natural qualities of the situation being studied - two types Naturalist observation - a research technique in which people are systematically observed in situations of interest to the researcher Participant observation - people systematically observe what occurs in a setting by becoming an insider (i.e., part of that setting itself) - given its strengths and weaknesses, observational research considered useful in providing basic insights rather than definitive knowledge Case method - a research technique in which a particular organization is thoroughly described and analyzed to understand what occurred in that setting - results may have limited generalizability


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