Chris Argyris Case Study Analysis: Organizational Climate

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Chris Argyris Case Study Analysis: Organizational Climate

MidAmerica Nazarene University offers Organizational Behavior as a class in their adult education program (Courses, 2012) that this author teaches. Subsequently, Chris Argyris, a forerunner in organizational behavior research (Burke & Weir, 1978) and the discipline itself are of particular import to this writer. Argyris expanded on research analysis surrounding previously accepted norms of organizational examination that included "the formal, the personality, or the informal levels of analysis," (Argyris, 1958). Moreover, Argyris posited organizational behavior as a "living complexity, conveniently defined as the climate of the organization," (p. 502). This paper will examine organizational behavior as it relates to the case study published in 1958, the contribution of the researchers work, and the influence on the field of organizational psychology.

The Case Study

There is a fundamental reliance between organizations and the people that make up organizations. Businesses function with a menu of policies and procedures intended to shape the behavior of employees to deliver on goals set forth by the company. Employees have emotional qualities, skill sets, and other abilities that allow them to function in the business environment, Variables affect the organization, creating conflict between the demands of the organization and the needs of the employees. Argyris (1958) described this conflict as organizational behavior, or the “climate of the organization,” (p. 502). Organizational behavior as a separate analytical category to formal, informal, and personality analysis form the focus of his research.

Described as a “new and forth level of analysis,” (p. 502), Ar...

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...g Organizational Climate: A Case Study of a Bank. [Article]. Administrative Science Quarterly, 2(4), 501-520.

Argyris, C. (1974). Personality vs. organization. Organizational Dynamics, 3(2), 2-17. doi: 10.1016/0090-2616(74)90006-0

Argyris, C. (1978). Is capitalism the culprit? Organizational Dynamics, 6(4), 20-37. doi: 10.1016/0090-2616(78)90050-5

Argyris, C. (1985). Strategy, change and defensive routines. Southport PR9 9YF England: Pitman Publishing.

Burke, R. J., & Weir, T. (1978). Organizational Climate and Informal Helping Processes in Work Settings. [Article]. Journal of Management, 4(2), 91-105.

. Courses. (2012) Retrieved February 5, 2012, from

. Google Scholar. (2012) Retrieved February 5, 2012, from,26&sciodt=0,26&hl=en
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