The Blackwell Handbook of Principles of Organizational Behavior

By Gade, Christian | Management Revue, October 1, 2004 | Go to article overview

The Blackwell Handbook of Principles of Organizational Behavior


Gade, Christian, Management Revue


Locke, Edwin A. (Ed.): The Blackwell Handbook of Principles of Organizational Behavior Blackwell Publishers, Oxford, UK/Maiden MA, USA (Blackwell Handbooks in Management), Hardback: September 2000, 464 pp., US $ 83.95, ISBN: 0631215050, Paperback: July 2003, 488 pp., US $ 39.95, ISBN: 0631215069

A good harvest of OB-HRM research results

As editor of this handbook, Edwin A. Locke presents central results in the field of Organizational Behavior (OB) which - after more then 30 years of research - would be ripe to be presented in a generalizing approach. Locke is right in criticizing lots of books about OB for only putting together long lists of disconnected theories - most of them about a single topic - without looking at the whole. And he wanted to edit a book which not only presents single results of OB and Human Resource Management (HRM) research (which overlap considerably and can hardly be separated from each other) but integrates them into a whole.

The book is published in the Blackwell Series Handbooks in Management, covering sub-disciplines of the functional areas of management. Handbooks in this series should provide a comprehensive and authoritative survey of the field. To achieve this purpose, each volume should be edited by some of the best known figures on the international academic scene.

Locke is Professor (Emeritus) of Leadership and Motivation at the University of Maryland. He is an expert on organizational behavior. He studied psychology at Harvard and received his Ph.D. in Industrial Psychology from Cornell University. Till know, Locke has published over 240 chapters, notes and articles on work motivation, job satisfaction, incentives and the philosophy of science. He is also author or editor of ten books, that all reached a wide dissemination. He is internationally known for his research on goal-setting. Locke's work has been supported by numerous research grants and awards in research and teaching. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, of the American Psychological Society and of the Academy of Management. He also works as a consultant.

With this handbook Locke wants to serve undergraduates, MBAs, and managers as well as academics. Them all he wants to give an idea about the field of organizational behavior, especially about the connections in the field and possible applications of research results. In order to achieve this, Locke asked all contributors to work out OB principles that give generalized orientations for successful behavior in organizations and point out research results more than case study work could - which is very popular in MBA courses.

In order to give a good overview over OB Locke distinguishes eight central topics of the field in which 29 relevant aspects of behavior in organizations are discussed. The articles of the handbook follow this structure - some more and some less:

* identification of the principle and needed sub-principles,

* justification of the principle(s),

* specification of implementation and/or contingency factors,

* illustrations of the principles through the use of some positive and negative case examples.

The authors are all experts on their field. They were confronted with the challenge of identifying principles and were asked to do that in a not too academic style. Chapters of the handbook are for example on Selection (Part I) "Select on Intelligence" (Frank L. Schmidt and John E. Hunter), on Training and Performance Appraisal (Part II) "Design Performance Appraisal Systems to Improve Performance" (Angelo S. DeNisi and Jorge A. Gonzales), on Turnover and Satisfaction (Part III) "Promote Job Satisfaction through Mental Challenge" (Timothy A. Judge), on Motivation (Part IV) "Cultivate Self-efficacy for Personal and Organizational Effectiveness" (Albert Bandura), on Team Dynamics (Part V) "Compose Teams to Assure Successful Boundary Activity" (Deborah Ancona and David Caldwell), on Leadership (Part VI) "Use Power Effectively" (Gary Yukl), on Organizational Processes (Part VII) "Lead Organizational Change by Creating Dissatisfaction and Realigning the Organization with New Competitive Realities" (Michael Beer), and on Work, Family, Technology, and Culture (Part VIII) "Make Management Practice Fit the National Culture" (Miriam Erez). …

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