Higher Education

Classic Readings in Organizational Behavior, 4th Edition

  • J. Steven Ott University of Utah
  • Sandra J. Parkes University of Utah
  • Richard B. Simpson Colorado State University
  • ISBN-10: 0495094749  |  ISBN-13: 9780495094746
  • 512 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2003, 1996, 1989
  • © 2008 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $174.75



CLASSIC READINGS IN ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR is organized around the field's most discussed themes: leadership, motivation, teams and groups, effects of the work environment, power and influence, and organizational change. Within each of these thematic sections, the readings are presented chronologically so students can better understand the development of specific theories, as well as the overall development of the field of organizational behavior. Because of this effective organization and a thorough introduction, many instructors use this reader as the sole text for their courses.

Features and Benefits

  • Introductory essays open each chapter, and help put the readings in context. These essays focus on the most important concepts, themes, topics, and issues in each chapter; explain the importance of each reading that is reprinted in the chapter; provide a preview of what is to come, and help ease the transition from "classic" to present-day scholars for readers.
  • A "Chronology" of important publications in organizational behavior helps students understand the historical development of thought in the field.
  • The readings in each chapter are organized chronologically so that students can follow the development of important themes and topics over time.
  • The readings have been edited down�for brevity only�so that students can easily identify and grasp the key concepts.
  • A good mix of new and traditional readings help students understand the evolution of the field.

Table of Contents

1. Motivation.
2. Group and Intergroup Behavior.
3. Leadership.
4. Teams and Groups.
5. Effects of the Work Environment.
6. Power and Influence.
7. Organizational Change.

What's New

  • The readings and essays in this collection have been updated, introducing new emergent areas of thinking and bringing the themes of this text into the twenty-first century.
  • A revised structure makes this book easier for instructors and students to use.
  • New readings include: "The Power of Reframing: Reframing Leadership" (Lee G. Bolman and Terrence D. Deal, 2003), "The Role of Work Context in Work Motivation" (Bradley E. Wright, 2004), "What Should We Do About Motivation Theory? Six Recommendations for the 21st Century" (Edwin A. Locke and Gary P. Latham, 2004), "A Diversity Framework" (Roosevelt Thomas, 1995), "The New Self-Directed Work Teams: Mastering the Challenge" (Jack D. Orsburn and Linda Moran, 2000), "Can Absence Make a Team Grow Stronger?" (Ann Majchrzak, Arvind Malhotra, Jeffrey Stamps, and Jessica Lipnack, 2004), "The Abilene Paradox: The Management of Agreement" (Jerry B. Harvey, 1974), "The Psychological Contract and Motivation in Perspective" (Edgar H. Schein, 1980), "Three Kinds of Power: A Comparative Dimension" (Amitai Etzioni, 1975), "Power Failure in Management Circuits" (Rosabeth Moss Kanter, 1979), "Women and Power" (Janet O. Hagberg, 2003), "Transforming Organizations: Why Firms Fail" (John Kotter, 1996)

Efficacy and Outcomes


"I like the introduction to each section. It puts the articles in context, provides the reader with a view of what is to come, and helps make the transition from ’classic’ to present-day scholars. . . I think the editors do a great job with a very difficult discipline."

— Daniel Fahey, California State University, San Bernadino

"The text . . . . is indispensable for my organizational behavior course."

— Jeffrey Bumgarner, Minnesota State University

"I believe this text is the best single compendium of classic and contemporary readings in organizational theory spanning both private and public sectors."

— Mario A. Rivera, Regents, University of New Mexico


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Instructor's Edition  (ISBN-10: 0495381543 | ISBN-13: 9780495381549)

Meet the Author

Author Bio

J. Steven Ott

J. Steven Ott is a professor and dean emeritus at the University of Utah. He has written numerous books on organization theory, organizational behavior, nonprofit organizations, and organizational culture. His recent journal articles have appeared in the International Journal of Organization Theory and Behavior, Public Organization Review, Public Performance & Management Review, Public Administration Review, and Public Integrity. He teaches organizational behavior, organizational leadership and change, the nonprofit sector in society, nonprofit organization management, and organization theory. Ott worked as a management consultant to organizations in the nonprofit and public sectors for 26 years before joining the faculties at the universities of Maine and Utah. His Ph.D. is from the University of Colorado, his M.S. from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his B.A. form Pennsylvania State University.

Sandra J. Parkes

Sandra J. Parkes is the Associate Dean of Continuing Education at the University of Utah, where she also teaches in the Public Administration Program. Her primary teaching and research interests are in the areas of organizational behavior and development, organizational leadership and change, motivation, human resource management, transfer of training, arts administration, and the practice of management. Her most recent publication was a chapter in the HANDBOOK OF PUBLIC MANAGEMENT PRACTICE AND REFORM. She has been a management consultant and trainer in business, nonprofit organizations, and government and works extensively with the municipal clerk and fire service professions. Her doctorate is from Arizona State University, and her Master's degree from the University of Wyoming.

Richard B. Simpson

Richard B. Simpson is the Associate Provost, Division of Continuing Education, Colorado State University. He has been an adjunct professor of public administration and the Executive MBA program at the David Eccles School of Business at the University Utah. He is now affiliated academically with the Industrial/Organizational Psychology Department at Colorado State University He teaches courses in organizational behavior, motivation and leadership, administrative practice, and organizational and industrial psychology, in the executive MBA and MPA programs. For many years, Simpson has been an active management consultant and trainer in industry, government, higher education, and health care organizations. His Ph.D. is in Industrial Organizational Psychology, M.S. in Economics, and B.S. in Biology.