Four

Considering Individual States

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The challenge of explaining behavior in organizations includes considering stable attributes as well as the more dynamic states of individuals. These dynamic states—the way a person acts, thinks, or feels—can be related to individual attributes, but they also are influenced by contexts such as relationships and the workplace. This makes understanding individuals both complex and interesting. This chapter will consider a handful of important individual states that are related to OB.

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In his late 20s, Jack Dorsey co-founded Twitter, the ground-breaking social communications platform that surpassed 200 million users by its fifth birthday. Despite co-founding the company and serving as a CEO in Twitter's early years of explosive growth, Dorsey was forced out of daily operations and ultimately left the company after only a few years. He describes the move to depose him as feeling like a punch in the gut. After a few years, he recovered from the emotional bruise to his ego and returned to the company to oversee design and product development initiatives, but again he saw his role diminished and eventually turned his attention to pursuits outside ...

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