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Organizational Behavior

Real Research for Real Managers

Fourth Edition

Jone L. Pearce

400 pages, Paperback: $59.95 | E-chapters: $4.99

PB ISBN: 978-0-9973084-1-9

Purchase the paperback or individual e-chapters from Amazon.

Request an exam copy or view a detailed flyer.

What's New in the Fourth Edition: 

This new edition represents a significant expansion and updating of earlier versions. New additions include the practical implications of new research on off site work, narcissistic leaders and distributed leadership, dynamic delegation, and nepotism.  Each of the chapters has been updated with the latest scholarly research; this book reflects our best knowledge in organizational behavior through 2016. Most significantly, there is a new Chapter 8, Creating Effective Teams.  Organizations rely on teams to do much of their work, and teams can be extraordinarily difficult to manage and a source of frustration to their members. This new chapter takes what we have learned from the large body of research on teams doing organizational work and applies it to the practical problems managers face.

This is a different kind of textbook. Organizational Behavior: Real Research for Real Managers addresses those practical problems managers face in doing their organizational work. It looks to systematic organizational behavior research seeking to discover which organizational actions and practices actually do and do not work. Unlike other organizational behavior textbooks, Organizational Behavior: Real Research for Real Managers actually translates this scholarly research for real managers seeking to understand and control organizations. Other textbooks in the field of organizational behavior have failed to do this. One reflection of that failure is Ohio State’s Organizational Behavior faculty's recent finding that 80% of the top-50 MBA programs in the country did not use textbooks in their introductory organizational behavior classes. Why is this so?

  • Existing organizational textbooks are targeted to large undergraduate courses where the students have little practical experience of organizations. These textbooks are chasing the largest classes: more students, more book sales. There is no need for these textbooks to address practical management problems because their readers have not yet managed anything.

  • Other textbooks are not actually indigestible collections of facts, because so many of their “facts” have long been discredited by scholars. Too many organizational behavior textbooks review familiar but discredited theories, after which the most honest of them will note that the ideas are “controversial.” Doesn’t controversy require someone arguing for the other side? When all evidence points to the contrary, who is arguing for movement up and down a Maslovian hierarchy of needs, or for Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory of Motivators? These old ideas are long discredited, so why waste a reader’s time by explaining them? Other organizational behavior textbooks are a disservice to students, as well as to those scholars who have worked so hard to produce new knowledge.

  • With a need to keep the attention of teenagers, other textbooks resort to long lists of this month’s trendy topics and cartoons. Rather than this straining-too-obviously for relevance, Organizational Behavior: Real Research for Real Managers helps readers with their own practical organizational problems.

  • Other textbooks often do contain practical advice but make no pretense of being based in research, usually just reprinting advice from popular management books.

With increasing numbers of experienced professionals and managers taking part-time and Executive MBA courses and enrolling in university-based non-degree executive education courses in organizational behavior, there is a need for a book that clearly, honestly and accurately conveys what the field of organizational behavior can say to experienced managers. These students have no patience for dull lists of seemingly unconnected facts, and those trained in organizational behavior want to be able to share the knowledge from their field, not assign well packaged consultant’s anecdotes and advice. This book was written to fill that need.

The book is organized by managers’ practical organizational problems, but care is taken to draw on the most careful research. Readers will see extensive endnotes to that scholarly research. Because most of those works are difficult scholarly studies, student readers are not expected to consult these sources. However, their instructors may find them useful, particularly in subfields outside their own specialties. Because this book is intended to be useful to practicing managers and experienced professionals, practical advice is developed from the scholarly research; however, these generalizations are clearly identified as generalizations from research as boxed Applications.

For instructional support materials please contact the author, Jone Pearce, at

New Chinese-language edition of ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR is available fall 2021. Contact Beijing Huazhang Graphic Information Co. Ltd. for information.

Faculty Praise for the book:

Jone Pearce's Real Research for Managers provides practical and research tested ideas for anyone interested in what works and what does not work in people management. This great book works wonders in the MBA or Executive Education Programs.                                                                                                                                                                                                         Boris Groysberg, Harvard Business School

My students love Organizational Behavior Real Research for Real Managers. They enjoy every chapter and come away believing that there is a lot of good research that they can use in their everyday work as managers, team members, and professionals. My highest recommendation.                                                                                                                                                          Denise M. Rousseau, Carnegie Mellon University

Most textbooks give you a laundry list of theories and models, but do not explain their relevance or application to practice. In this book, Jone Pearce answers the, so what? question. The advice in the book is well-grounded in research, but the reader is not overwhelmed by having to go through all the details to get to the take-away.                                                          Steven Sommer, University of California, Riverside

We have been using this book for our graduate level Organizational Behavior class for a couple of years now, in conjunction with supplementary readings.  The feedback from the students is consistently and overwhelmingly positive.  The book is well-written, and eminently practical, yet solidly grounded in research.  I have not found any other book that so successfully bridges the academic-practitioner divide, and translates research so effectively for the student. The new chapter on leadership in the third edition is equally well-written, and a very welcome addition.  I cannot recommend this book highly enough.                                                                                                      Lucy R. Ford, Saint Joseph’s University

I’ve found that the more management experience my students have, the more they like Organizational Behavior Real Research for Real Managers. This is a book that cuts through the fuzz to get to what matters to working, practicing managers. It’s the book I wish I’d had when I started my career in the army and in industry.                                                                      John N. Davis, Hardin-Simmons University   

Executive MBA Students Praise the Relevant Content:

Professor Pearce's book was extremely well written. It is a super reference for managers. I have used it in my job and will refer back to it in the future. When the new expanded version comes out, I will be the first to buy a copy.

Undergraduate Students Praise the Accessible Style:

I actually enjoy reading this textbook very much--it is interesting, applicable even to undergraduate students, and it is fairly easy to read. I like the application boxes because they sum up all the important facts from the section. I also like the fact that it gives a lot of examples.

I think the textbook is very useful and easy to understand. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed reading it. Breaking down into smaller sections was helpful and I really enjoyed reading the applications. Not only did I learn concepts, I learned how to apply them in my daily life.

Table of Contents:
1.  Why Organizational Behavior               
2.  Why Managers
3.  How to Hire
4.  Making Sense of Feelings at Work
5.  Managing Performance
6.  Managing Incentives
7. Understanding the Social Environment
8. Creating and Managing Effective Teams
9. Understanding Cultures
10. Mastering Power
11. Leading Others
12.  Final Dilemmas: How To Fire, Retain, and Give Honest References                 
Endnotes | What the Research Says: True or False | About the Author

About the Author:

Jone L. Pearce is Dean’s Professor of Leadership in The Paul Merage School of Business, University of California, Irvine. She has published 100 scholarly articles in her field of organizational behavior, has edited several volumes, and has authored four previous books. She is a Fellow and past president of the Academy of Management, a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Association for Psychological Science, and International Association of Applied Psychology, and has received numerous honors and teaching excellence awards.

For those who teach Organizational Behavior and Management in the public or nonprofit area, you might also be interested in:

Organizational Behavior
Real Research for Public and Nonprofit Managers
Jone L. Pearce and Jessica E. Sowa
384 pp. Paperback: $69.95 | eBook: $59.95
PB ISBN: 978-0-99923597-3
Purchase the paperback and eBook from Amazon.
Request an exam copy or view a detailed flyer.

This is a different kind of textbook. Organizational Behavior: Real Research for Public and Nonprofit Managers addresses the practical problems managers face in doing their day-to-day organizational work in a variety of public and nonprofit organizations. It looks to systematic research on organizations, seeking to discover which actions and practices actually do and do not work. Unlike other textbooks, 

Organizational Behavior actually translates this scholarly research for those managers seeking to understand and successfully manage their public or nonprofit organization and provides useful guidance, cases, and tools for making sense of working in the public service. See reverse side for full table of contents.

Praise for the book:
“This is an exciting text for faculty who teach organizational behavior to public and nonprofit managers. The authors have designed a book that is comprehensive, pedagogically advanced, practical and research-based.  It will be my choice next time I teach this course.”  
                                                                                                                           —James L. Perry, Indiana University, Bloomington

“Managing public service organizations is hard work. Beset by multiple missions, changing political priorities, the gravitational pull of discrete performance measures, and, oh yes, complications due to human behavior and group dynamics, MPA students must learn how to harness organizational behavior and make it work for mission-accomplishment, not against it. This book is designed to do exactly that. It marries two subjects – management and organizational behavior—to provide a great textbook for students learning how to lead public service organizations.”                                                                                                                              —Mary E. Guy, University of Colorado Denver

Table of Contents:
List of Applications | List of Cases | Preface
1.  Why Organizational Behavior
2.  Why Managers
3.  How to Hire
4.  Making Sense of Feelings in Public Service Work
5.  Managing Performance
6.  Encouraging and Rewarding Performance
7. Understanding the Social Environment in Public Service Organizations
8. Creating and Managing Effective Teams
9. Understanding Cultures in the Public Service
10. Using Power Effectively in Public Service Organizations
11. Leading Others in the Public Service
12.  Final Dilemmas: How To Fire, Retain, and Give Honest References
Endnotes | What the Research Says: True or False? | About the Authors

Subpages (1): Public Administration