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Interactional Psychology and Organizational Behavior.
MICHIGAN STATE UNIV EAST LANSING DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
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This paper first reviews some of the classic recent writings on interactional psychology and then presents an interpretation of current thinking about job attitudes, socialization to work, and leadership from the interactionist perspective. In the review, the debate between Mischel and Bowers is discussed, the former representing the situationist, the latter the interactionist position. Then, a summary of other interactionist writers is organized around three key interactionist themes 1 human behavior is both internally and externally controlled with the person as well as the situation playing an active role in the resultant observed behavior 2 there is no one best way to collect data on human behavior but the laboratory experiment has inherent problems in that it fails to allow for naturally occurring person-situation interactions and the unfolding of behavior in situ and 3 the term interaction has many conceptual and statistical meanings only one of which is captured by the ANOVA X as in A X B interaction. After exploring each of these three themes, the research on job attitudes, socialization, and leadership is shown to be quite situationist in perspective with a concentration, respectively, on socially constructed rather than interactionist realities, what the organization does to newcomers rather than how newcomers and settings influence each other, and how behavior is a function of the decision situation rather than how leader attributes and setting interact.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE