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Organizational Behavior: Analysis of Articles Essay

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Updated: Jul 8th, 2022


For the purposes of this assignment, the author located two recent articles pertaining to organizational behavior and analyzed them. They found both papers using the Google Scholar search engine and the keywords “organizational behavior.” The “Since 2017” filter was set to ensure that the articles in question were contemporary and reflected recent developments in research on the topic. Both of the documents selected were chosen because they were in open access, whether directly through a publisher or through an alternate scientific database. They also come from reputable journals and have been published already instead of being relegated to online-only advance print articles. The information necessary to access each article is contained within the References section, which has DOI links available. The following section will provide a summary and critique of each of the articles based on the author’s reading of them.

Unethical Pro-Organizational Behavior and Positive Leader–Employee Relationships

The first article discussed is that by Bryant and Merritt (2019), which concerns instances of unethical pro-organizational behavior (UPB) and their relationship with leader-employee relationships. The authors recruited 378 workers at Amazon Mechanical Turk and used a number of surveys to quantitatively assess their unethical behavior, perceived interpersonal justice, leader-member exchange, moral identities, and positive reciprocity beliefs. They came to the following conclusions:

  1. A positive supervisor-employee relationship may make the latter more likely to behave unethically in the company’s favor;
  2. UPB is prosocially-motivated to a large extent, as opposed to other types of unethical activities;
  3. Employees who believe they are treated fairly are less likely to engage in UPB than counterparts who perceive their treatment as just;
  4. Individual moral values do not moderate the relationship between leader-member exchanges and UPB significantly;
  5. UPB is based on trust that the behavior will be rewarded and is not associated with cognitive positive reciprocity beliefs.

The article challenges the traditional views on UPB, which tend to assert that, like other varieties of unethical behavior, it tends to stem from negative worker traits. Moreover, there is an assumption that the corporate environment tends to pressure workers into acting unethically to preserve their jobs, whether due to fear of the company suffering economic damage and having to lay them off or retribution for refusing immoral requests. Per this study, the decision to take such actions may instead be informed by loyalty to the company, with the employee willing to take a personal risk because they believe the business will acknowledge and compensate them. The narrative appears to be compelling, at least for workers in positions without significant responsibilities, such as those investigated in the study. With that said, it presents a new paradigm that may call current guidelines on organizational culture and behavior into question. Additional research is necessary before the suggestions created by this research can be incorporated into management theory and practice.

Cross-Cultural Industrial Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior

The second article is written by Gelfand et al. (2017) and provides a historical overview of the evolution of cross-cultural organizational psychology and organizational behavior as disciplines over the past 100 years. To do so, they conduct a literature review of significant articles and trends over that time, subdividing the period into four smaller stages. Using the findings, they highlight several issues in contemporary research in the disciplines as well as suggestions for its further development in the future. The key takeaways from the article are as follows:

  1. Early on, organizational psychology focused on American culture, requiring other cultures to conform to it.
  2. After 1949, the importance of cultural differences was recognized and explored in more detail, resulting in the addition of more organizational behavior dimensions.
  3. Between 1980 and 2000, specific models linking culture and organizational psychology as well as behavior emerged and were adopted in theories.
  4. After 2000, practical needs have spurred the rapid development of cross-cultural theory, investigating the relationship between cultures and contexts and improving sophistication overall.
  5. Overall, throughout the 20th century, organizational psychology and behavioral research in the United States has increasingly considered cross-cultural contexts.
  6. In the future, the discipline will need to broaden its scope, apply specific measurements to cultures to understand them better, acknowledge their dynamic natures, analyze global contexts, explore cultural constructs, and focus on diversity in methods and disciplines.


Overall, the article provides an engaging overview of the evolution of views on organizational behavior. The narrative and timelines that it provides appear to be accurate, considering that organizational behavior as a discipline is still developing actively, particularly in its cross-cultural aspect. With that said, it should be noted that the paper focuses extensively on the journal in which it is written, highlighting its overall failure to keep up with the trends. As such, there may have been developments in the broader field that the authors may have missed due to their narrow focus. With that said, the article is still useful as an overview of the faults of current cross-cultural organizational behavior research and some of the advances that will need to happen in the future.


Bryant, W., & Merritt, S. M. (2019). . Journal of Business Ethics, 168, 1-17.

Gelfand, M. J., Aycan, Z., Erez, M., & Leung, K. (2017). . Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(3), 514-529.

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