Glossary of OB Terms

This is the beginning of a glossary of Organizational Behavior terms. I will be adding to it continually throughout the semester. If you have suggestions about items to add or changes in the definitions, please email me at or fill out the comments form -- I would really appreciate it!

1. A postulated relationship between a pair of variables. The reason for expecting the variables to be related should come from a theory. 2. Any theory-based prediction about some measurable data.
1. A corporation, government, club or similar entity whose membership is well-defined and consists of individuals or other organizations. 2. Abstractly, an orderly pattern or principle, as in "Is there any organization in this mess?"
1. Who reports to whom in the organization: the organization chart. 2. More generally, how the organization is divided into departments, how centralized the decision-making is, what rules and procedures are followed. 3. Sometimes, organization culture is seen as part of structure.
A general explanation of how something works. A theory says what is related to what and why. A theory is, in part, a collection of related hypotheses. However, a theory also contains a sense of process and mechanism -- a sense of understanding of why and how the variables are related the way they are. Desirable characteristics of a theory include: falsifiability, parsimony, truth, fertility, and beauty.