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The Biological Foundations of Organizational Behavior

In recent years, evolutionary psychology and behavioral genetics have emerged as prominent theoretical perspectives within the social sciences. Yet despite broad levels of commonality between the disciplines—including an emphasis on adaptation, evolved mechanisms that guide behavior, and consequences of mismatch between these mechanisms and novel environments—studies that apply these perspectives on social behavior to organizations  remain relatively rare.

The Biological Foundations of Organizational Behavior brings together contributors who shed light on the potential that behavioral genetics and evolutionary psychology offer for studies of organizational behavior. In addition to examining the extant literature integrating these disciplines and organizational behavior, the book reconsiders a wide range of topics through the lens of biology within organizational behavior, including decision making, leadership and hierarchy, goals and collective action, and individual difference. Contributions also explore new areas of potential application and provide a critical assessment of the challenges that lie ahead. With accessible insights for scholars and practitioners, The Biological Foundations of Organizational Behavior marks a promising step forward in what is increasingly perceived to be an underdeveloped area of organizational behavior.

368 pages | 3 halftones, 4 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 2014

Economics and Business: Business--Business Economics and Management Studies


“In any important new research area, the first comprehensive book on the subject stands alone, and that is the case with this book. At a time when the standard social science model with its exclusively environmental assumptions is increasingly being challenged by new research findings demonstrating biological influences on human behavior, this book is unique in summarizing virtually all the new research.”

Frank L. Schmidt, University of Iowa

"Organizations are made of people, and people were made by natural selection to function in small groups. This book fills a giant gap in the study of organizational behavior, and it brings readers up to speed on current thinking about evolution and genetics. The chapters are lively and accessible. We have needed this book for a long time."

Jonathan Haidt, New York University Stern School of Business, author of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

“This impressive volume showcases the best of cutting-edge science for how biology informs organizational behavior. The book highlights useful insights for both path-shaping researchers and managers.”

Vladas Griskevicius, University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, author of The Rational Animal

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Biology and Organizational Behavior
Stephen M. Colarelli and Richard D. Arvey
Genetics, Individual Differences, and Work Behavior
2. Progress in Molecular Genetics and Its Potential Implications in Organizational Behavior Research
Zhaoli Song, Wendong Li, and Nan Wang
3. Genetic Influences on Attitudes, Behaviors, and Emotions in the Workplace
Remus Ilies and Nikolaos Dimotakis
4. The Biological Basis of Entrepreneurship
Scott Shane and Nicos Nicolaou
5. Fitness, Adaptation, and Survival: The Role of Socio-Anthropic Characteristics, Personality, and Intelligence in Work Behavior
Timothy A. Judge and Robert Hogan
Physiology and Organizational Behavior
6. Neurobiological Systems: Implications for Organizational Behavior
Jayanth Narayanan and Smrithi Prasad
7. Physiological Functioning and Employee Health in Organizations
Zhen Zhang and Michael J. Zyphur
Evolution and Organization
8. The Service-for-Prestige Theory of Leader-Follower Relations: A Review of the Evolutionary Psychology and Anthropology Literatures  
Michael E. Price and Mark Van Vugt
9. Evolved Decision Makers in Organizations
Peter DeScioli, Robert Kurzban, and Peter M. Todd
10. Primal Business: Evolution, Kinship, and the Family Firm
Nigel Nicholson
11. Evolution and Cooperation:  Implications for Organizational Behavior and Management Theory
Roderick E. White and Barbara Decker Pierce
Challenges Ahead
12. Biology, Evolution, and Organization: Promises and Challenges in Building the Foundations
Glenn R. Carroll and Kieran O’Connor


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