Introduction to Organizational Behavior

Why do we study OB?

Organizational behavior focus on the invidious and groups in organizations. Studying OB helps us develop a better understanding about how people and gougers works in the organization. My primary goal is to better understand how organization works, then learn how to develop a more effective and productive organization, and as a return moving to higher place in the organization and achieve bigger success.

Wait, what is an organization?

Before we dive into OB, let’s first understand what is an organization first. In the context of a work setting, an organization is a collection of people working together in a divine of labor to achieve a common purpose.

There are a few important elements about the working organization:

  • Purpose

The purpose of an organization may be stated as the creation of goods or services for customers. The important part about the organization purpose is to understand that all the corporates are created for some economic purpose. True that many organizations are able to create cultures that make the employees feel like it is a home, to make friends, to explore their potentials. But after all, all the cultures are created for the purpose of creating a more effective organization to better achieve the economic purpose, either directly or indirectly.

  • Mission

The mission statement focus the attention of organizational members and external constituents on the core purpose. For example, the mission of my current company is simply stated as: to grow and empower local economies. Many times, mission statement are written to communicate a clear vision in respect to the long term goals and future aspirations.

Vision provides a North Star for the organization member, while challenging visions also help attract attention and help draw the members together in the quest for high performance.

  • Strategy

Organization pursues action strategies to accomplish the purpose and mission. For example, the following is the mission of my current company in order to achieve the mission above.

To grow an economy, we believe you must start with the merchant, the local businesses of all sizes and from all industries that provide 60%+ of a city’s GDP.

To help these merchants and achieve our North Star, we will build three things:

  • Last mile logistics platform
  • Merchant services
  • Membership program for the physical world

The organizations today

We must understand that organizations are not static, the organization today are totally different from he organizations 50 years ago. To better understand the organization, we need to:

  • Understand the overall trend of the organization
  • The typical organization in your industry
  • The sub organization of your own team

Overall, there are three important concepts about the modern organizations:

  • Intellectual capital is the sum total of knowledge, expertise, and energy available from organizational members.
  • Human resources are the people who do the work that helps organizations fulfill their missions.
  • Open systems transform human and material resource inputs into finished goods and services.

Organization can be viewed as an open system. It obtains resources from the environment and transfer them into outputs. Tech industry is different from other industry that intellectual capital is the most important part of the overall working competitive.

Organizational Culture

One clear signal that a term is abused is that everyone is using it, but no one really understand it. Culture is one of such terms.

We use culture to describe all types of social and organizational phenomenas:

  • When we say Facebook expects significant deliverables from their employee, we say Facebook’s culture is competitive.
  • when the interview candidate displays certain traits that are not directly align with the company values, we say they don’t fit our culture
  • When the interview candidate cares about how the company and the team works, they often ask: what’s the culture of the team?
  • When the company leadership wish to influence how people make their daily work decision process, they try to build the culture by setting an explicit value guide, sometimes they call it culture playbook.

It seems that culture can be anything: how the company recognize and reward their employee’s impact, the way that the daily work is organized, the values the company uses to guide the employee’s daily work and decision making process. But what is a company culture?

What is organizational culture?

By definition: organizational or corporate culture is the system of shared actions, values and beliefs that develops within an organization and guides the behavior of its members.

Two things stand out from this definition:

  • It is the shared actions, values and beliefs that are developed within the organization.
  • It is to guide the behavior of its members.

Too often we hear about build the culture for an organization: we mostly focus on the part of the culture that can be built or influenced by us directly. But just like the society culture, large part of the shared values and beliefs are developed naturally. In this situation, we use the term culture as a description to these shared actions, values and beliefs.

On the other hand, we also have to realize that all the culture building are for one purpose: the guide the behavior of its members. And in most of the time, it is to make the organization more productive.

Before we proceed to more details about the function of the corporate culture, I also want to define the boundary of corporate culture: corporate culture is an important element for the organization to successfully deliver the result, but is not the only element, there are other ones like the organization structure. We will continue to discuss the different function of these elements in later posts.

In order to understand the function of organizational culture, we must first understand what problem it tries to solve. There are two important problems the culture wants to solve: the external adaption and the internal integration.

The external adaption is about to answer the following question: what precisely needs to be accomplished, and how can it be done. While the internal integration process is to answer: how do members resolve the daily problems associated with living and working together.

How does culture solve the internal integration problem? For one example, how does the team members decides the statue of themselves on the team? While some company set title to indicate the level of seniority of the employees, and these titles in general will be transferred to the authority. While in other companies, there are way less titles, and they in general believe that the absent of titles would foster a more creative discussion. This is an example, how the corporate level culture would help shape the way the team member decide their status: how the team members should work together.

External adaption

The external adaption involves reaching goals and dealing with outsiders. And it involves a few concerns including: tasks to be accomplished, methods used to achieve the goal, the methods of coping with success and failure.

As a manager, it is critical to constantly think about this two process: does my team member knows what precisely needs to be done? Do they know how each should be done? And do they know how these activities will be rewarded? It is important to keep reinforce the mission of the whole team and to help them understand where are they in terms of the overall progress.

Internal integration

The internal integration is the process and flows how the team members should work together. Imaging the time you join a new organization, the first thing you want to know is: how people work, the goal of the organization, which part I am responsible for, who are my team members, what they are doing, how does my work related to theirs. The new team member will gradually figure out the answers to all these questions.

This two process applies to any level of organization. For a company or corporate, it is mainly to achieve the economic goal [try to find an example about the company culture]. For small teams, like one single engineering team, it is to help the bigger team to be successful.

Culture analysis

The goal of learning corporate culture is to be able to constantly change the culture so that the organization is in high performance. The first step is to be able to analyze the current culture, then to utilize the organization development skills to change the culture.

There are three levels of organizational culture: the observable aspect, the values, and the underlying assumptions.

The first level is observable culture, which means the way we do things in the workplace, it includes stories, ceremonies, and corporate rituals. In the start up company I am working on, the CEO will share the funding stories at the orientation: why he started this business and where the mission of the company comes from. These stories become a very important part of the company culture, and they will be told at many places by different people. This part servers the external adaption purpose: what goal does the organization want to achieve.

The second level is the shared values. This is also the most common seen part of the corporate culture. Organization for many times publish their shared values. And the company would invite the executives to share their story about these values as an example for the regular employees. The company also build the rewarding system: the performance evaluation system based on that. So in both the culture part and the rewarding system part, values is an essential part.

In the deepest level of culture analysis, is the common assumption. It is hard to tell what are the common assumptions, especially after people joining the organization for a while, these assumption becomes the basis for our daily work.

Company Values

Imaging that you are the founder of a company, how do you plan to run your organization? You must have questions like: what’s the mission of the organization? How do I make sure the entire organization is running effectively? On the early days, you might be able to achieve the goal by verbally talking to all the people in the team, but soon you will find out that the team grows outpace your capability to directly interact with everyone. And one of your solution will be: setting up a values that would help align the daily work and the decision making process of all the team members, and make sure the company’s rewarding system aligns with these values.

As a manager, it is important that you also make sure the team’s value align with the company’s value, though there could be different focus within each of your own domain.

Manage organizational culture

In general, there are two strategies for the managers to build the culture, the first one is to modify the observable culture, shared values, and common assumptions directly. The second is to use of organizational development techniques to modify specific elements of the culture. Managers can help foster a culture that provides answers to important questions concerning external adaption and internal integration.

So why should we understand how the organizational culture works? As a manager, it is critical to be able to build a high performance team. Except for setting the right talent level, building a good team culture is an important approach to influence the decision making process of the team. And through the influence, the manager an use the culture to shape the organization effectiveness.





  • 冲突的发生和归因


Peterson把其中会引起冲突的问题分为四种类型:第一种是Criticism,也就是任何口头的或者非口头的judge,第二种是illegitimate demands,也就是超出合理期待范围的请求。第三种是rebuffs,一方希望另一方作出某种回应,但另一方没能作出回应的情形。第四种是cumulative annoyances,即持续的引起不适的事情,这些事情往往琐碎,比如生活和卫生习惯上的差别。


  • demand/withdrawal模式







  • 人们处理冲突的方式一般分为哪些类型?


Caryl Rusbult 将这四种模式分别称为:主动的建设性处理冲突的voice模式,被动的但是建设性处理冲突的loyalty模式,主动的毁坏性处理冲突的exit模式,还有被动的毁坏性处理的negelet 模式。


  • 四种不同冲突处理类型的伴侣





是什么影响我们处理冲突的方式?有部分研究现实,我们常常把童年当中学到的处理冲突的方式带入我们成人之后的世界。我们在成长过程里会观察父母如何处理冲突,并会在不同程度上把这种模式当做原型。那么,我们处理冲突的方式是一成不变的吗?并不是的,不要因此感到绝望。有很多研究显示,大部分伴侣, 当然我说的是最终没有分开的那一部分都通过调整找到了合适的相处方式,而在人的一生当中处理冲突的能力和模式都会产生变化。

  • 冲突的结束

伴侣之间的冲突可以多种方式结束。第一种是separation,是冲突没有得到解决,但是双方都不想要继续讨论下去的情况。暂时从情感暴风的中心离开可以让双方冷静下来,也有助于避免更大的冲突。第二种情况是domination,也就是只有一方的需要得到满足,而另一方选择投降或者放弃的情况。当冲突的一方处于更加具有统治性的位置的时候这样的事情会发生,但是选择投降和放弃的一方也许会因此心生不满。第三种情况是comprise,也就是双方互有退让和牺牲,双方都没有完全获得自己想要的结果,但也不是一无所得。第四种情况是integrative agreement,双方的需要都得到了满足。最后一种情况被称为structural improvement,也就是说伴侣们不仅获得了自己想要的,还从冲突的过程中学习和成长了。 这种成长和改进发生的情况并不算多,而且多数时候是经过了激烈的冲突之后的结果。


  • 冲突有助于我们建立更好的亲密关系吗?




  • 自主和关联(autonomy and connection)


  • 开放和封闭(openness and closedness)


  • 稳定和变化(stability and change)


  • 融合和分离(integration and separation)






  • 相当大一部分的亲密关系都是以失败告终的,不论人们开始这段关系的时候是怀着怎样良好的愿望。
  • 我们大部分人没有预见到这种失败的可能性之高,其实正说明了我们对亲密关系的了解有多么缺乏,对于进入亲密关系的准备有多么不足。
  • 不幸福的亲密关系并不一定会破裂,因为结束一段关系是有很多成本的。
  • 能否很好的应对生活中的压力性事件对于婚姻的长期稳定非常重要。
  • 亲密关系的失败有很多客观因素,其中一个重要因素是人们在亲密关系之处对双方存在很多错觉,在一段时间之后才会对双方回归正确的认识。
  • 亲密关系解体的过程比我们预想的要有规律可循的多,它在不同的阶段会释放不同的信号。如果想要维护好一段关系,敏锐的捕捉到这些信号并且及时修正这些问题是非常必要的。
  • 亲密关系破裂所带来的痛苦很强烈,但它不会像我们想的那样持久。我们会努力创造叙事,这种叙事有时带有正当化的倾向。也会通过反思努力赋予失败关系以意义,这是自我疗愈的一部分,但是越是深刻的反思越有可能带来更深的成长。






当我们看到亲密关系破裂的时候,比如离婚或者分手,我们知道,不论原因是什么,他们选择分手是因为他们并不幸福。但我们常常忽略了事情的而另一面,即在没有分手的恋情当中,不幸福也是存在的。这是levinger的阻碍模型(Levinger’s Barrier Model)给我们的启发。



Karney和Bradbury的漏洞,压力和适应模型(Karney and Bradbury’s Vulnerability-Stress-Adaptation Model)对此有很好的揭示。模型对于我们最要的启示是:压力性的事件一定会不断发生,如何应对这些时间是决定婚姻是否失败的重要标识。这个模型认为,双方需要不断的调整以适应这些压力性事件,而这种适应性过程的好坏则更多的是由许多先天性的或者后天经验中习得的弱点决定的。














  • 怎样的婚姻会幸福?
  • 如何更好的判断婚姻的对象是否会走向幸福?





  • 他们更少的追求纯粹知识。
  • 他们大都是目标感很强的人,而且对于实现目标的路径没有任何的限制。
  • 他们在现实性的事务上都具有超出一般人的敏感性和处理能力。


  • 我假设我们所面临的大部分问题都是已知的,存在解决方案的,这个方案就是知识和经验。
  • 我相信行动的最好指导是这些知识和经验,而前人的经验和知识往往要比自己总结出来的方法有效。
  • 面对问题我会努力寻找解决问题的知识和框架,找到之后就会努力按照这样的框架解构问题。
  • 解构的过程也是对问题的重构,相当于已经先填充了一个框架,然后将问题分解然后还原到框架的特定部分。
  • 最后再按照这个框架来重述这个问题。




  • 更多的专注于知识的获得


  • 不抱有明确目的的学习


  • 对于具有更高解释能力的知识和思维框架具有偏好


  • 追求使用完整的框架阐释问题


  • 关注的领域集中在知识性问题而非技术性问题,非操作性领域而非可操作性领域




  • 错误的使用思维工具


  • 对知识本身的追求成了目的


  • 想要从知识和学习中寻求安全感


  • 对现实问题的兴趣因此降低




  • 支出预算和管理
  • 个人税务管理
  • 养老金计划
  • 投资保值
  • 房产管理:房产税,房屋价值判断模型,房租投资模型
  • 保险:健康保险,车祸保险,房屋保险
  • 子女教育投资
  • 健康管理:医疗保险,身体检查,健身和保健尝常识


  • 情绪管理
  • 亲密关系处理

Come On, Sweet Death


I know, I know I’ve let you down

I’ve been a fool to myself

I thought that I could live for no one else

But now through all the hurt and pain

It’s time for me to respect

The ones you love mean more than anything

So with sadness in my heart

I feel the best thing I could do

Is end it all and leave forever

What’s done is done it feels so bad

What once was happy now is sad

I’ll never love again my world is ending

I wish that I could turn back time

Cause now the guilt is all mine

Can’t live without the trust from those you love

I know we can’t forget the past

You can’t forget love and pride

Because of that, it’s kill in me inside

It all returns to nothing