Organisation behaviour is the study and application of knowledge about how people -as individuals and as groups- act within organisations. Organisational behaviour comes from two words: – * Organisation and
Organisation is a place where two or more people work together in a structured way to achieve a specific goal or set of goals. Behaviour is response of an individual to stimulation. So organisational behaviour is the behaviour of an individual in an organisation to achieve some objective.
Organisational behaviour is the study of what people think, feel and do in and around organisations. Organisational behaviour researchers systematically study individuals, teams and structural characteristics that influence behaviour of individuals within organisations.
IMPORTANCE OF ORGANISATION BEHAVIOUR
Organizational behavior is the study of attitudes and behavior of individuals and groups in organizations. Organizational behavior tries to examine different types of workers in all types of different situations. Organizational behavior aims to help managers and supervisors in many ways. It plays a role in all facets of an organization. Finance, marketing, and production are just departments within an organization. It studies the human behavior within the organization and the relationship between human behavior and the organization. There are many reasons for the importance of organizational behavior in an organization. First, most people are born and educated in organizations, acquire most of the material possessions from organizations, and die as members of organizations. In addition, we can be consumers, employees, or investors in an organization. Second, the study of organizational behavior can greatly clarify the factors that affect how managers manage.
Third, the value of organizational behavior is that it isolates important aspects of the manager’s job and offers specific perspectives on the human side of management. Finally, an understanding of organizational behavior can play a vital role in managerial work. Many future managers aren’t aware of the importance of organizational behavior and don’t understand what relevance it has to them as managers in the business environment. Organizational behavior studies these attitudes and behaviors of workers today and tries to determine the best ways to effectively manage and change them. Organizational behavior also studies how organizations can be more effective and how events in the external environments affect organizations. Learning about organizational behavior in today’s business environment will help managers develop a better work related understanding of themselves and their subordinates. This understanding can help future managers obtain a successful career in the business world.
CONTRIBUTING DISCIPLINES TO ORGANISATION BEHAVIOUR
Organizational behaviour is an applied behavioural science that is built upon contributions from a number of behavioural disciplines. The predominant areas are psychology, sociology, social psychology, anthropology, and political science. Psychology:
– Psychology is the science that seeks to measure, explain, and sometimes change the behaviour of humans and other animals. – To use psychological and organizational theory and research to improve organizational effectiveness and the work life of all individuals. – Psychologists concern themselves with studying and attempting to understand individual behaviour – Learning, perception, personality, emotions, training, leadership effectiveness, needs and motivational forces, job satisfaction, decision-making process, performance appraisals, attitude measurement, employee selection techniques, work design and job stress.
– Sociologists study the social system in which individuals fill their roles – Sociology studies people in relation to their fellow human beings to improve organizational performance. – Study of group behaviour in organisations, group dynamics, design of work teams, organisational culture, formal organisational theory and structure, organisational technology, communications, power and conflict
– An area within psychology that blends concepts from psychology and sociology and that focuses on the influence of people on one another. – Major area: change – how to implement it and how to reduce barriers to its acceptance – Study areas: measuring, understanding and changing attitudes, communication patters, building trust, the ways in which group activities can satisfy individual needs, group decision-making processes.
– The study of societies to learn about human beings and their activities. – Study on culture and environment has helped us understand differences in fundamental values, attitudes, and behaviour between people in different countries and within different organisations.
– The study of the behaviour of individuals and groups within a political environment – Study areas: structuring of conflicts, allocations of power, how people manipulate power for individual self-interest.
Role of ORGANISATION BEHAVIOUR in management practices
Organizational behavior examines how and why people act, think, and feel in corporate and other organized settings. The ﬁeld is concerned with timeless questions such as the nature of leadership, how to motivate people, how to resolve interpersonal conﬂicts, and how to develop effective teams. We say “timeless” because the fundamental issues in organizational behavior—the rapidly changing workplace notwithstanding—aren’t new. In fact, the ﬁeld’s roots go back thousands of years.
During late 1800s period, several famous “experiments” in human behavior were conducted in organizations. Robert Owen, for example, was a textile manufacturer who experimented with “innovations” such as providing breaks and hot meals for his employees. Likewise, the Pullman factory town was seen by many as innovative in its day.
Up until this point, efforts to improve worker productivity were largely conﬁned to a handful of behavioral tinkerers. But 1900 marked the birth of the ﬁrst systematic effort to scientiﬁcally study human behavior. In fact, for the next 40–50 years, scientiﬁc management was the dominant behavioral perspective in the U.S. Its champion was Frederick Taylor. An engineer by training, Taylor felt that applying scientiﬁc principles to human behavior was a practical and efficient way to maximize ﬁrm performance. Just as machines could be designed to optimally perform a certain task, he reasoned, so too could people be taught the ideal way to perform their speciﬁc jobs.
Uncovering those “ideal ways” required a systematic analysis. The idea was to observe people doing actual work, discovers the “human problems” preventing better performance, and then minimizes them by training employees to do things correctly. Taylor conducted many experiments that tested whether worker movements, action sequences, physical positions, and job locations would raise or lower production. For instance, Taylor collected detailed information about how workers loaded coal bins, including how far apart workers kept their feet and how they used their hands to move a shovel. After studying this information, Taylor produced a blueprint for the “best” way to “scientiﬁcally” shovel coal. Taylor was willing to do whatever was necessary to organize people in ways that would optimize their output. That usually meant designing very narrow and speciﬁc jobs. The role of management was to ensure that employees had the right skills and to insist that they follow correct procedures when performing tasks.
The impact of Taylor’s approach endures to this day. But critics suggested that Taylor’s view of people was implicitly negative—that “human problems” were the source of all woes. In fact, this reaction to Taylor spawned an alternative movement led by Elton Mayo and others called the human relations approach. Mayo felt that the best way to improve production was to respect workers and show concern for their needs. In essence, Mayo’s perspective was the opposite of Taylor’s “cog-in-the-machine” approach to employees. The human relations approach was popular in the 1920s and remained inﬂuential throughout the 1950s. It was also responsible for launching research into topics such as leadership effectiveness and group dynamics.
Perhaps the most famous experiments associated with the human relations perspective were performed at Western Electric’s Hawthorne plant in the mid-1920s. Originally designed to investigate the effects of lighting on worker productivity, researchers were puzzled when performance stayed the same or improved no matter what—even when employees were subjected to blinding brightness or virtual darkness. Later studies suggested that this outcome occurred because employees felt that someone cared enough about them to investigate their working conditions. That attention boosted morale and improved employee productivity. Eventually referred to as the Hawthorne Effect, the reactions of Western Electric employees were considered the ﬁrst direct and tangible evidence that people’s needs, feelings, and attitudes impact productivity.
While scientiﬁc management and the human relations approach both have an enduring legacy, neither is dominant today. Instead, the contingency approach holds sway over thinking about organizational behavior. This perspective argues that there’s no single best way to manage behavior. What works in any given context depends on the complex interplay between a variety of personal and situational factors. For example, employees’ needs and sense of motivation are clearly related to their behavior. But also inﬂuential are management’s skills, abilities, perceptions, and history of behavior toward employees. Plus, most employees work with others in a team, a department, or a unit. So employees usually behave within a group context of some kind. As a result, group norms, expectations, and cohesiveness can impact behavior as well.
Situational factors are also important. Factors internal to the ﬁrm might include the corporate culture, the company’s procedures, and the organizational structure within which employees work. All can inﬂuence individual behavior. Finally, the external context matters too. For example, when a company does poorly in the marketplace, employee morale often suffers and anxiety rises. Many people will shift their attention away from their work and worry instead about being ﬁred or updating their resumes. Likewise, when companies have done well, it can boost employee conﬁdence, if not create an annoying level of hubris.
In this text we embrace the contingency approach. But we also understand the frustration managers have with it. To many, “it depends” means “you have no answers for me.” And in a sense, that’s correct. The key to successful behavior management is for you to develop the skills needed to ﬁnd your own answers.
At the same time, we know organizational behavior has an empirical bias that makes everything seem complex. Most scholars in the ﬁeld rely on the same approaches and data collection methods used in other sciences to conduct research. As a result, knowledge in organizational behavior accumulates incrementally through scientiﬁc study, just like it does in physics or biology. That can lead to confusion when studies are viewed superﬁcially and independently. And that promotes an all-too-common reaction to science in general— that there are no clear answers. But while this is an understandable reaction, it isn’t accurate. Being a good consumer of scientiﬁc information requires work and effort. Studies that appear inconsistent actually may be presenting a very clear picture, especially when viewed in an integrative fashion. Adopting that integrative approach will be helpful as you go through this book. Each chapter presents studies that collectively will help you unravel the many threads involved in managing behavior effectively.
At a broader level, many people have a difficult time viewing behavior as something that can be “studied” in the ﬁrst place. And that makes empirical approaches all the more attractive for those of us “in the business.” But there’s really no substitute for using the basic principles and methods found in all sciences to study behavior in the workplace. While experience, opinions, and common sense are valuable starting points for understanding organizational behavior, they provide notoriously inconsistent information about how to manage people. One comment we hear often is that effective behavior management is nothing more than common sense. Then why aren’t there more good managers? After all, most of us have common sense! But seriously, common sense is usually little more than a post hoc justiﬁcation for whatever it is that you’ve already decided to do. In fact, you can ﬁnd common sense maxims that make diametrically opposed “predictions” about the best course of action to take. For example, say you need to decide whether to make a decision yourself or delegate it to a couple of subordinates. Common sense covers both possibilities with “two heads are better than one” and “too many cooks spoil the broth.”
FRAMEWORK FOR EFFECTIVE BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT
A contingency approach to organizational behavior can provide a great deal of practical help to managers. In this section we present a framework that will guide your exploration of organizational behavior from a managerial perspective. We’ve developed this framework, which takes a contingency perspective, as a way of keeping the “big picture” in view. It provides a snapshot of both the skills needed to manage behavior effectively and the general process by which behavior is maintained, changed, or improved.
Four sets of skills provide the building blocks for effective behavior management in organizations: 1. Outstanding self-insight and perceptual skills: Excellent managers understand their own behavioral styles and tendencies as well as their unique strengths and weaknesses. They know, for instance, what their preferred style or approach is when leading, resolving conﬂicts, communicating, and so on. But they also grasp the fact that what’s comfortable for them may not be the best ﬁt in all situations. Likewise, excellent managers are aware of the assumptions that they make about the people around them and how this impacts their decision making. In short, they know what kind of “rose-colored glasses” they use to make sense of their corporate world. Such self-insight helps control, if not eliminate, prejudicial thinking and stereotyping. And that makes managers more open to diversity and better able to consider decisions from different perspectives. Armed with these skills, managers are more accurate when perceiving others. In other words, they are better able to understand what employees have to offer, what motivates them, and why they behave as they do.
2. The ability to analyze situations correctly: Effective behavior management also requires the ability to analyze the context accurately. People don’t work in a vacuum. They operate in a multilayered organizational situation that includes groups, task requirements, the company culture, and the competitive environment, just to name a few. This is where a contingency perspective clearly comes into play. For example, a manager should know how cohesive a work group is and whether its values are fully aligned with the company’s before trying to motivate group members. Why? Because the group may play a major role in how individual employees behave. In short, the group might make motivation more difficult in some cases (e.g., when group norms are strong but inconsistent with company goals) and easier in others (e.g., when group norms are strong and largely overlap with company goals). Excellent managers are sensitive to the important factors that need to be “sized up” in a situation. They begin by ﬁguring out the management implications of those factors and then design their behavioral strategies to match.
3. The ability to inspire, motivate, and lead people: But there’s more to behavior management than knowing “what makes other people tick” and being able to diagnose situations. You may have excellent perception and diagnostic skills but still fail to effectively manage behavior. For instance, knowing what motivates subordinates in a particular context is useless unless the manager also has the ability to lead. Of course, there’s no ﬁxed set of skills that constitutes that “ability.” It might be more accurate to say that a particular constellation of characteristics and skills increases the odds that someone will be successful in a leadership role (e.g., conﬁdence, interpersonal savvy, and so on). And which subset of those characteristics and skills is the most important also varies across situations. Generally speaking, however, “leadership ability” includes being able to develop personal sources of power and then leverage them to inﬂuence subordinates in a positive way. And the inﬂuence tactics used could range from a rational argument presented in an understandable form to a persuasive vision of the future that appeals to employees’ emotions.
4. Personal ﬂexibility and adaptability: That brings us to what is often the biggest behavior management challenge. Let’s say that you’ve thought about how to motivate a subordinate and now feel that the best solution requires a behavioral approach that you are uncomfortable with, perhaps because it intersects with one of your weaknesses. For instance, a manager who must help warring subordinates move beyond their interpersonal conﬂict may decide that a mediation approach is the best way to proceed, despite the fact that imposing a solution feels easier, quicker, and more comfortable. An unwillingness or inability to adapt, especially when it requires stepping outside of a personal “comfort zone,” is a big reason why managers sometimes come up short, especially if they otherwise have good skills. Some managers cope by seeking out only those situations where they’ll feel comfortable. But these days, few situations are static for long. Change is often unpredictable and rapid, with managers ﬁnding their “preferred context” morphing into something else at the drop of a hat. And that means that managers need to be ﬂexible enough to either stretch and challenge themselves in weak areas or leave when the time comes for greener corporate pastures.
Challenges and opportunities for organisation behaviour
1. Globalization to Respond: Organizations are no longer constrained by national borders, world become global village. * Increased foreign assignment: Transferred to your employer’s operating division in another country, once there, you’ll have to manage workforce, aspiration from employees, and attitudes from those you are used to back home.
* Working with different people: Working with bosses, peers and other employees who were born and raised in different culture, to work effectively with them you’ve to understand how their culture, geographic and religion have shaped them.
* Coping with Anti-capitalism backlash: “soak the rich” means fine should be charged with respect of income you earn. Managers at global companies have come to realize that economic values are not universally transferable, need to modify by managers to reflect economic values in those countries they’re working.
* Overseeing Movement of jobs to countries with low cost labor: In a global economy, jobs tend to flow to places where lower cost provides business firms with comparative advantages.
* Managing people during the war on terror: An understanding of OB topics such as emotions, motivation, communication and leadership can help managers to deal more effectively with their employees’ fear about terrorism.
2. Managing workforce diversity: The people in organization are becoming heterogeneous demographically, Workforce diversity whereas globalization focuses on differences between people from different countries, mix of people in terms of gender, age, race, and sexual orientation.
3. Improving Quality and productivity: World added capacity in response to increase demand. Excess capacity translates in increase competition, is forcing managers to reduce costs and, at the same time; improve the organization quality and productivity.
4. Improving Customer service: OB can contribute to improving an organization’ performance by showing that how employees’ attitude and behavior are associated with customer satisfaction.
5. Improving people skills: Designing motivating jobs, how creating effective teams, techniques for improving interpersonal skills.
6. Stimulating innovation and change: Victory will go the organization maintaining their flexibility, continually improving their quality and beating their competition in market place. An organization’s employees can be major block in change, the challenge to the manager to stimulate their creativity and tolerance for change.
7. Coping with Temporariness: Survival for the organization, is need to move fast and flexible and innovative in their products, jobs are redesigned, task are done by flexibility, trained old employees with new technology, better understanding of change, overcome resistance to change, create organizational culture.
8. Working in network organization: Global working through one link i.e. INTERNET, technology changes the people to work together and communicate at thousand miles, people can work from their home and non office locations.
9. Helping employees Balance work-life conflicts: Flexible Working hours, reporting time, create opportunities for employees, job security, design workplace and job.
10. Creating positive Work Environment: Human strength, vitality, right person appointed at right place, effort on what good for organization.
11. Improving Ethical Behavior: Manager shouldn’t place an order on which subordinate don’t agree, define clearly the right and wrong conduct, fair policy and appropriate system, increase confidence and trust over organization, have some logic against order you place to employees.