Must-Have Metrics for Today's Top Workplace Challenges & Human Capital Risks
What is Organizational Behavior, and Why is it Important?
The most successful business leaders are ones that continuously look for ways and strategies to drive performance, not just through improving employee productivity, but also their workplace experience and job satisfaction. This can be achieved by understanding how employees interact with each other and management, as well as what motivates them. One way to do this is to study the interrelationship between individual employees, teams, and management to identify what sets the most effective workers apart. Bodybuilding and winner: heat chartsread more fitness, physical training, nutrition and health: laws of bodybuilding. This is essentially what organizational behavior is all about.
Organizational behavior describes the behavioral dynamics that occur between groups and individuals in an organizational setting. The following five elements are key to studying organizational behavior:
- Social system
Understanding these elements and their dynamic interrelationships can help business leaders achieve short and long-term goals for improving employee productivity and success by informing strategies around training, ongoing development, collaboration, and workforce processes.
The importance of studying organizational behavior
At its core, organizational behavior analyzes the effect of social and environmental factors that affect the way employees or teams work. The way people interact, communicate, and collaborate is key to an organization’s success. By analyzing and understanding these parameters, you can leverage organizational behavior to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your workforce . It can also help you achieve the following organizational and work culture goals.
Better communication channels and protocols
Individual employees respond differently to various methods of communication and behave in certain ways due to the structure of the workplace and the organization’s culture, values, and goals. They tend to align better with teammates and managers who mirror their behavioral strengths. As such, a keen grasp of organizational behavior can enable middle management to build more effective teams and communicate better with frontline employees.
Leveraging insights from studying organizational behavior can help you understand whether your employees respond better to an autocratic or a supportive model of management. This ensures that you have a firm grasp of the policies, communication channels, and incentives that will best enable your employees to perform well.
Comfortable work environment
One of the key benefits of organizational behavioral analysis is the creation of a suitable workplace environment for employees. With many ped steroids for sale employees now working from home , it’s important for business leaders to create a positive and empowering work setting to facilitate seamless team communication and collaboration . As such, the study of organizational behavior is essential for businesses looking to adapt to the disruptions and challenges resulting from things like the pandemic or shifts in market forces.
Influencing management style
Savvy businesses use data to drive decision-making around the formation of their corporate structure. Having management looking over employees’ shoulders at every turn indicates distrust, engenders micromanagement, and leads to negative workplace culture.
By observing this trend through organizational behavioral analysis, many enterprises are adopting a flatter, more linear (rather than hierarchical) structure to provide employees with more freedom over how they perform their tasks or whom they collaborate with. Such a structure recognizes the unique differences among employees and enables employees to have a greater voice and contribute to decisions that affect them, their teams, and the larger organization. It also enables business leaders to build a stronger relationship rooted in communication, trust, and transparency with their employees.
Building a winning people strategy
Employees want to work for organizations with a positive culture and an appealing work environment. They also want to get along with other employees and management while working to achieve the organization’s goals and objectives. The challenge is creating a workplace that fosters trust, open communication, and seamless collaboration while simultaneously catering to the unique needs of individual employees or certain functions. Creating a winning people strategy requires business leaders to define how they interact with and nurture the development of employees and work culture. It is very much a relationship-focused effort, and organizational behavior is the facilitating linchpin.
Influencing human resource strategies
Business leaders can increase the value of their human capital by studying the complex nature of employees and their interrelationships with others. The insights that such a study provides can help drive human resources reforms and strategies, particularly with recent findings showing a collapse of work-life balance (due to more employees working from home). HR personnel can identify struggling groups needing more support and apply motivational tools (uniquely suited to the employees) to help them perform better by improving their workplace experience.
Proactive business leaders nip problems in the bud before they develop into full-scale confrontations. Measuring organizational behavior can help with preventive conflict resolution by identifying where and why your employees are having issues with fellow teammates and management. Behavioral dynamics can help you understand the cause of a problem, predict its course, and head off potential consequences before the issue escalates.
The core concept behind the study and application of organizational behavior is the certainty that a happy and productive workforce results in a successful organization. Drawing heavily on behavioral/social sciences and psychology, organizational behavior takes a human-centric approach to facilitating a performance-oriented workforce. As such, a deep understanding of organizational behavior and why it’s important can help business leaders increase the effectiveness of their workforce.
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What Is Organizational Behavior (OB), and Why Is It Important?
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What Is Organizational Behavior (OB)?
Organizational behavior is the academic study of how people interact within groups. The principles of the study of organizational behavior are applied primarily in attempts to make businesses operate more effectively.
- Organizational behavior is the academic study of how people interact within groups and its principles are applied primarily in attempts to make businesses operate more effectively.
- The study of organizational behavior includes areas of research dedicated to improving job performance, increasing job satisfaction, promoting innovation, and encouraging leadership and is a foundation of corporate human resources.
- The Hawthorne Effect, which describes the way test subjects' behavior may change when they know they are being observed, is the best-known study of organizational behavior.
- Organizational behavior is embedded in human resources such as employee retention, engagement, training, and culture.
- Organizational behavior is a subset of organizational theory which studies a more holistic way of structuring a company and managing its resources.
Understanding organizational behavior (ob).
The study of organizational behavior includes areas of research dedicated to improving job performance, increasing job satisfaction, promoting innovation, and encouraging leadership . Each has its own recommended actions, such as reorganizing groups, modifying compensation structures, or changing methods of performance evaluation .
Organizational Behavior Origins
The study of organizational behavior has its roots in the late 1920s, when the Western Electric Company launched a now-famous series of studies of the behavior of workers at its Hawthorne Works plant in Cicero, Ill.
Researchers there set out to determine whether workers could be made to be more productive if their environment was upgraded with better lighting and other design improvements. To their surprise, the researchers found that the environment was less important than social factors. It was more important, for example, that people got along with their co-workers and felt their bosses appreciated them.
Those initial findings inspired a series of wide-ranging studies between 1924 and 1933. They included the effects on productivity of work breaks, isolation, and lighting, among many other factors.
The Hawthorne Effect —which describes the way test subjects' behavior may change when they know they are being observed—is the best-known study of organizational behavior. Researchers are taught to consider whether or not (and to what degree) the Hawthorne Effect may skew their findings on human behavior.
Organizational behavior was not fully recognized by the American Psychological Association as a field of academic study until the 1970s. However, the Hawthorne research is credited for validating organizational behavior as a legitimate field of study, and it's the foundation of the human resources (HR) profession as we now know it.
Evolution of Organization Behavior
The leaders of the Hawthorne study had a couple of radical notions. They thought they could use the techniques of scientific observation to increase an employee's amount and quality of work, and they did not look at workers as interchangeable resources. Workers, they thought, were unique in terms of their psychology and potential fit within a company.
Over the following years, the concept of organizational behavior widened. Beginning with World War II, researchers began focusing on logistics and management science. Studies by the Carnegie School in the 1950s and 1960s solidified these rationalist approaches to decision-making.
Today, those and other studies have evolved into modern theories of business structure and decision-making. The new frontiers of organizational behavior are the cultural components of organizations, such as how race, class, and gender roles affect group building and productivity. These studies take into account how identity and background inform decision-making.
Organizational behavior is no different than other forms of psychological behavior analysis. It simply emphasizes how individuals operate and work together within a business setting.
Learning Organizational Behavior
Academic programs focusing on organizational behavior are found in business schools, as well as at schools of social work and psychology. These programs draw from the fields of anthropology, ethnography, and leadership studies, and use quantitative, qualitative, and computer models as methods to explore and test ideas.
Depending on the program, one can study specific topics within organizational behavior or broader fields within it. Specific topics covered include cognition, decision-making, learning, motivation, negotiation, impressions, group process, stereotyping, and power and influence. The broader study areas include social systems, the dynamics of change, markets, relationships between organizations and their environments, how social movements influence markets, and the power of social networks .
Organizational Behavior Study Methods
Organizational behavior can be studied using a variety of methods to collect data. Surveys are a popular research method in organizational behavior research. They involve asking individuals to answer a set of questions, often using a Likert scale. The goal of the survey is to gather quantitative data on attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions related to a particular topic. In a similar manner, companies may perform interviews to gather data about individuals' experiences, attitudes, and perceptions.
Companies can also gather data without directly interacting with study subjects. Observations involve watching individuals in real-life settings to gather data on their behaviors, interactions, and decision-making processes. Meanwhile, a company can perform case studies to perform an in-depth examination of a particular organization, group, or individual.
In situations where there isn't really precedent, companies can study organizational behavior by running experiments. By manipulating one or more variables at a time to observe the effect on a particular outcome, a company can get the best sense of how organizational behavior tweaks change employee disposition.
Organizational behavior data can be quantitative or qualitative.
Organizational behavior is an especially important aspect to human resources. By better understanding how and why individuals perform in a certain way, organizations can better recruit, retain, and deploy workers to achieve its mission. The specific aspects of organizational behavior relating to HR are listed below.
Organizational behavior research is used to identify the skills, abilities, and traits that are essential for a job. This information is used to develop job descriptions, selection criteria, and assessment tools to help HR managers identify the best candidates for a position. This is especially true for roles that may have technical aspects but rely heavier on soft skills .
Organizational behavior can be used to design and deliver training and development programs that enhance employees' skills. These programs can focus on topics such as communication, leadership, teamwork, and diversity and inclusion. In addition, organizational behavior can be used to be better understand how each individual may uniquely approach a training, allowing for more customized approaches based on different styles.
Organizational behavior is used to develop performance management systems that align employee goals with organizational objectives. These systems often include performance metrics, feedback mechanisms, and performance appraisal processes. By leveraging organizational behavior, a company can better understand how its personnel will work towards common goals and what can be achieved.
Organizational behavior is used to develop strategies to improve employee engagement and motivation. These strategies can include recognition and rewards programs, employee involvement initiatives, and career development opportunities. Due to the financial incentives of earning a paycheck , organizational behavior strives to go beyond incentivizing individuals with a paycheck and understanding ways to enhance the workplace with other interests.
Organizational behavior research is used to develop and maintain a positive organizational culture. This includes devising strategies that supports employee well-being, trust, and a shared vision for the future. As each individual may act in their own unique manner, it is up to organizational behavior to blend personalities, integrate backgrounds, and bring people together for a common cause.
Organizational Behavior vs. Organizational Theory
Organizational behavior and organizational theory are related fields of study, but they have some important differences. While organizational behavior is concerned with understanding and improving the behavior of individuals, organizational theory is concerned with developing and testing theories about how organizations function and how they can be structured effectively.
Organizational theory draws on concepts and theories from economics, sociology, political science, and other social sciences. It aims to understand how organizations are structured and how they operate. In some aspects, organizational behavior can be considered a subset of organizational theory.
Both fields are important for understanding and improving organizational performance, and they often overlap in their research topics and methods. However, organizational theory is often much broader and does not focus on individuals.
Examples of Organizational Behavior
Findings from organizational behavior research are used by executives and human relations professionals to better understand a business’s culture , how that culture helps or hinders productivity and employee retention, and how to evaluate candidates' skills and personality during the hiring process.
Organizational behavior theories inform the real-world evaluation and management of groups of people. There are several components:
- Personality plays a large role in the way a person interacts with groups and produces work. Understanding a candidate's personality, either through tests or through conversation, helps determine whether they are a good fit for an organization.
- Leadership—what it looks like and where it comes from—is a rich topic of debate and study within the field of organizational behavior. Leadership can be broad, focused, centralized or de-centralized, decision-oriented, intrinsic in a person’s personality, or simply a result of a position of authority.
- Power, authority, and politics all operate inter-dependently in a workplace. Understanding the appropriate ways these elements are exhibited and used, as agreed upon by workplace rules and ethical guidelines, are key components to running a cohesive business.
Why Is Organizational Behavior Important?
Organizational behavior describes how people interact with one another inside of an organization, such as a business. These interactions subsequently influence how the organization itself behaves and how well it performs. For businesses, organizational behavior is used to streamline efficiency, improve productivity, and spark innovation to give firms a competitive edge.
What Are the 4 Elements of Organizational Behavior?
The four elements of organizational behavior are people, structure, technology, and the external environment. By understanding how these elements interact with one another, improvements can be made. While some factors are more easily controlled by the organization—such as its structure or people hired—it still must be able to respond to external factors and changes in the economic environment.
What Are the 3 Levels of Organizational Behavior?
The first is the individual level, which involves organizational psychology and understanding human behavior and incentives. The second level is groups, which involves social psychology and sociological insights into human interaction and group dynamics. The top-level is the organizational level, where organization theory and sociology come into play to undertake systems-level analyses and the study of how firms engage with one another in the marketplace.
What Are Some Common Problems that Organizational Behavior Tries to Solve?
Organizational behavior can be used by managers and consultants to improve the performance of an organization and to address certain key issues that commonly arise. These may include a lack of direction or strategic vision for a company, difficulty getting employees on board with that vision, pacifying workplace conflict or creating a more amenable work environment, issues with training employees, poor communication or feedback, and so on.
Organizational behavior is the study of human behavior in an organizational setting. This includes how individuals interact with each other in addition to how individuals interact with the organization itself. Organizational behavior is a critical part of human resources, though it is embedded across a company.
Harvard Business School. " Harvard Business School and the Hawthorne Experiments (1924-1933) ."
Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. " A Brief History of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Inc. – A Division of the APA ."
Mie Augier. " Cyert, March, and the Carnegie School ," Page 1.
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1.2 Understanding Organizational Behavior
- Learn about the layout of this book.
- Understand what organizational behavior is.
- Understand why organizational behavior matters.
- Learn about OB Toolboxes in this book.
About This Book
The people make the place.
Benjamin Schneider, Fellow of the Academy of Management
This book is all about people, especially people at work. As evidenced in the opening case, we will share many examples of people making their workplaces work. People can make work an exciting, fun, and productive place to be, or they can make it a routine, boring, and ineffective place where everyone dreads to go. Steve Jobs, cofounder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc. attributes the innovations at Apple, which include the iPod, MacBook, and iPhone, to people, noting, “Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have.…It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it” (Kirkpatrick, 1998). This became a sore point with investors in early 2009 when Jobs took a medical leave of absence. Many wonder if Apple will be as successful without him at the helm, and Apple stock plunged upon worries about his health (Parloff, 2008).
Steve Jobs is known for developing innovative products by hiring the right people for the job and fostering a culture of hard work and creativity.
Wikimedia Commons – CC BY 3.0.
Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Inc., a billion-dollar cosmetics company, makes a similar point, saying, “People are definitely a company’s greatest asset. It doesn’t make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps” 
Just like people, organizations come in many shapes and sizes. We understand that the career path you will take may include a variety of different organizations. In addition, we know that each student reading this book has a unique set of personal and work-related experiences, capabilities, and career goals. On average, a person working in the United States will change jobs 10 times in 20 years (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2005). In order to succeed in this type of career situation, individuals need to be armed with the tools necessary to be lifelong learners. So, this book will not be about giving you all the answers to every situation you may encounter when you start your first job or as you continue up the career ladder. Instead, this book will give you the vocabulary, framework, and critical thinking skills necessary for you to diagnose situations, ask tough questions, evaluate the answers you receive, and act in an effective and ethical manner regardless of situational characteristics.
Throughout this book, when we refer to organizations, we will include examples that may apply to diverse organizations such as publicly held, for-profit organizations like Google and American Airlines, privately owned businesses such as S. C. Johnson & Son Inc. (makers of Windex glass cleaner) and Mars Inc. (makers of Snickers and M&Ms), and not-for-profit organizations such as the Sierra Club or Mercy Corps, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) such as Doctors Without Borders and the International Red Cross. We will also refer to both small and large corporations. You will see examples from Fortune 500 organizations such as Intel Corporation or Home Depot Inc., as well as small start-up organizations. Keep in mind that some of the small organizations of today may become large organizations in the future. For example, in 1998, eBay Inc. had only 29 employees and $47.4 million in income, but by 2008 they had grown to 11,000 employees and over $7 billion in revenue (Gibson, 2008). Regardless of the size or type of organization you may work for, people are the common denominator of how work is accomplished within organizations.
Together, we will examine people at work both as individuals and within work groups and how they impact and are impacted by the organizations where they work. Before we can understand these three levels of organizational behavior, we need to agree on a definition of organizational behavior.
What Is Organizational Behavior?
Organizational behavior (OB) is defined as the systematic study and application of knowledge about how individuals and groups act within the organizations where they work. As you will see throughout this book, definitions are important. They are important because they tell us what something is as well as what it is not. For example, we will not be addressing childhood development in this course—that concept is often covered in psychology—but we might draw on research about twins raised apart to understand whether job attitudes are affected by genetics.
OB draws from other disciplines to create a unique field. As you read this book, you will most likely recognize OB’s roots in other disciplines. For example, when we review topics such as personality and motivation, we will again review studies from the field of psychology. The topic of team processes relies heavily on the field of sociology. In the chapter relating to decision making, you will come across the influence of economics. When we study power and influence in organizations, we borrow heavily from political sciences. Even medical science contributes to the field of organizational behavior, particularly to the study of stress and its effects on individuals.
OB spans topics related from the individual to the organization.
Those who study organizational behavior—which now includes you—are interested in several outcomes such as work attitudes (e.g., job satisfaction and organizational commitment) as well as job performance (e.g., customer service and counterproductive work behaviors). A distinction is made in OB regarding which level of the organization is being studied at any given time. There are three key levels of analysis in OB. They are examining the individual, the group, and the organization. For example, if I want to understand my boss’s personality, I would be examining the individual level of analysis. If we want to know about how my manager’s personality affects my team, I am examining things at the team level. But, if I want to understand how my organization’s culture affects my boss’s behavior, I would be interested in the organizational level of analysis.
Why Organizational Behavior Matters
OB matters at three critical levels. It matters because it is all about things you care about. OB can help you become a more engaged organizational member. Getting along with others, getting a great job, lowering your stress level, making more effective decisions, and working effectively within a team…these are all great things, and OB addresses them!
It matters because employers care about OB. A recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) asked employers which skills are the most important for them when evaluating job candidates, and OB topics topped the list (NACE 2007 Job Outlook Survey, 2008).
The following were the top five personal qualities/skills:
- Communication skills (verbal and written)
- Interpersonal skills (relates well to others)
- Strong work ethic
These are all things we will cover in OB.
Finally, it matters because organizations care about OB. The best companies in the world understand that the people make the place. How do we know this? Well, we know that organizations that value their employees are more profitable than those that do not (Huselid, 1995; Pfeffer, 1998; Pfeffer & Veiga, 1999; Welbourne & Andrews, 1996). Research shows that successful organizations have a number of things in common, such as providing employment security, engaging in selective hiring, utilizing self-managed teams, being decentralized, paying well, training employees, reducing status differences, and sharing information (Pfeffer & Veiga, 1999). For example, every Whole Foods store has an open compensation policy in which salaries (including bonuses) are listed for all employees. There is also a salary cap that limits the maximum cash compensation paid to anyone in the organization, such as a CEO, in a given year to 19 times the companywide annual average salary of all full-time employees. What this means is that if the average employee makes $30,000 per year, the highest potential pay for their CEO would be $570,000, which is a lot of money but pales in comparison to salaries such as Steve Jobs of Apple at $14.6 million or the highest paid CEO in 2007, Larry Ellison of Oracle, at $192.9 million (Elmer-DeWitt, 2008). Research shows that organizations that are considered healthier and more effective have strong OB characteristics throughout them such as role clarity, information sharing, and performance feedback. Unfortunately, research shows that most organizations are unhealthy, with 50% of respondents saying that their organizations do not engage in effective OB practices (Aguirre et al., 2005).
In the rest of this chapter, we will build on how you can use this book by adding tools to your OB Toolbox in each section of the book as well as assessing your own learning style. In addition, it is important to understand the research methods used to define OB, so we will also review those. Finally, you will see what challenges and opportunities businesses are facing and how OB can help overcome these challenges.
Adding to Your OB Toolbox
Your ob toolbox.
OB Toolboxes appear throughout this book. They indicate a tool that you can try out today to help you develop your OB skills.
Throughout the book, you will see many OB Toolbox features. Our goal in writing this book is to create something useful for you to use now and as you progress through your career. Sometimes we will focus on tools you can use today. Other times we will focus on things you may want to think about that may help you later. As you progress, you may discover some OB tools that are particularly relevant to you while others are not as appropriate at the moment. That’s great—keep those that have value to you. You can always go back and pick up tools later on if they don’t seem applicable right now.
The important thing to keep in mind is that the more tools and skills you have, the higher the quality of your interactions with others will be and the more valuable you will become to organizations that compete for top talent (Michaels, Handfield-Jones, & Axelrod, 2001). It is not surprising that, on average, the greater the level of education you have, the more money you will make. In 2006, those who had a college degree made 62% more money than those who had a high school degree (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Organizations value and pay for skills as the next figure shows.
Education and training have financial payoffs as illustrated by these unemployment and earnings for workers 25 and older.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov .
Tom Peters is a management expert who talks about the concept of individuals thinking of themselves as a brand to be managed. Further, he recommends that individuals manage themselves like free agents (Peters, 1997; Peters, 2004). The following OB Toolbox includes several ideas for being effective in keeping up your skill set.
Your OB Toolbox: Skill Survival Kit
- Keep your skills fresh . Consider revolutionizing your portfolio of skills at least every 6 years.
- Master something . Competence in many skills is important, but excelling at something will set you apart.
- Embrace ambiguity . Many people fear the unknown. They like things to be predictable. Unfortunately, the only certainty in life is that things will change. Instead of running from this truth, embrace the situation as a great opportunity.
- Network . The term has been overused to the point of sounding like a cliché, but networking works. This doesn’t mean that having 200 connections on MySpace, LinkedIn, or Facebook makes you more effective than someone who has 50, but it does mean that getting to know people is a good thing in ways you can’t even imagine now.
- Appreciate new technology . This doesn’t mean you should get and use every new gadget that comes out on the market, but it does mean you need to keep up on what the new technologies are and how they may affect you and the business you are in.
Source: Adapted from ideas in Peters, T. (2007). Brand you survival kit. Fast Company . Retrieved July 1, 2008, from http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/83/playbook.html .
A key step in building your OB skills and filling your toolbox is to learn the language of OB. Once you understand a concept, you are better able to recognize it. Once you recognize these concepts in real-world events and understand that you have choices in how you will react, you can better manage yourself and others. An effective tool you can start today is journaling , which helps you chart your progress as you learn new skills. For more on this, see the OB Toolbox below.
OB Toolbox: Journaling as a Developmental Tool
- What exactly is journaling ? Journaling refers to the process of writing out thoughts and emotions on a regular basis.
- Why is journaling a good idea ? Journaling is an effective way to record how you are feeling from day to day. It can be a more objective way to view trends in your thoughts and emotions so you are not simply relying on your memory of past events, which can be inaccurate. Simply getting your thoughts and ideas down has been shown to have health benefits as well such as lowering the writer’s blood pressure, heart rate, and decreasing stress levels.
- How do I get started ? The first step is to get a journal or create a computer file where you can add new entries on a regular basis. Set a goal for how many minutes per day you want to write and stick to it. Experts say at least 10 minutes a day is needed to see benefits, with 20 minutes being ideal. The quality of what you write is also important. Write your thoughts down clearly and specifically while also conveying your emotions in your writing. After you have been writing for at least a week, go back and examine what you have written. Do you see patterns in your interactions with others? Do you see things you like and things you’d like to change about yourself? If so, great! These are the things you can work on and reflect on. Over time, you will also be able to track changes in yourself, which can be motivating as well.
Sources: Created based on ideas and information in Bromley, K. (1993). Journaling: Engagements in reading, writing, and thinking . New York: Scholastic; Caruso, D., & Salovey, P. (2004). The emotionally intelligent manager: How to develop and use the four key emotional skills of leadership . San Francisco: Jossey-Bass; Scott, E. (2008). The benefits of journaling for stress management. Retrieved January 27, 2008, from About.com: http://stress.about.com/od/generaltechniques/p/profilejournal.htm .
Isn’t OB Just Common Sense?
As teachers we have heard this question many times. The answer, as you might have guessed, is no—OB is not just common sense . As we noted earlier, OB is the systematic study and application of knowledge about how individuals and groups act within the organizations where they work. Systematic is an important word in this definition. It is easy to think we understand something if it makes sense, but research on decision making shows that this can easily lead to faulty conclusions because our memories fail us. We tend to notice certain things and ignore others, and the specific manner in which information is framed can affect the choices we make. Therefore, it is important to rule out alternative explanations one by one rather than to assume we know about human behavior just because we are humans! Go ahead and take the following quiz and see how many of the 10 questions you get right. If you miss a few, you will see that OB isn’t just common sense. If you get them all right, you are way ahead of the game!
Putting Common Sense to the Test
Please answer the following 10 questions by noting whether you believe the sentence is true or false .
- Brainstorming in a group is more effective than brainstorming alone. _____
- The first 5 minutes of a negotiation are just a warm-up to the actual negotiation and don’t matter much. _____
- The best way to help someone reach their goals is to tell them to do their best. _____
- If you pay someone to do a task they routinely enjoy, they’ll do it even more often in the future. _____
- Pay is a major determinant of how hard someone will work. _____
- If a person fails the first time, they try harder the next time. _____
- People perform better if goals are easier. _____
- Most people within organizations make effective decisions. _____
- Positive people are more likely to withdraw from their jobs when they are dissatisfied. _____
- Teams with one smart person outperform teams in which everyone is average in intelligence. ______
You may check your answers with your instructor.
This book is about people at work. Organizations come in many shapes and sizes. Organizational behavior is the systematic study and application of knowledge about how individuals and groups act within the organizations where they work. OB matters for your career, and successful companies tend to employ effective OB practices. The OB Toolboxes throughout this book are useful in increasing your OB skills now and in the future.
- Which type of organizations did you have the most experience with? How did that affect your understanding of the issues in this chapter?
- Which skills do you think are the most important ones for being an effective employee?
- What are the three key levels of analysis for OB?
- Have you ever used journaling before? If so, were your experiences positive? Do you think you will use journaling as a tool in the future?
- How do you plan on using the OB Toolboxes in this book? Creating a plan now can help to make you more effective throughout the term.
Aguirre, D. M., Howell, L. W., Kletter, D. B., & Neilson, G. L. (2005). A global check-up: Diagnosing the health of today’s organizations (online report). Retrieved July 25, 2008, from the Booz & Company Web site: http://www.orgdna.com/downloads/GlobalCheckUp-OrgHealthNov2005.pdf .
Elmer-DeWitt, P. (2008, May 2). Top-paid CEOs: Steve Jobs drops from no. 1 to no. 120. Fortune . Retrieved July 26, 2008, from CNNMoney.com: http://apple20.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2008/05/02/top-paid-ceos- steve-jobs-drops-from-no-1-to-no-120/ .
Gibson, E. (2008, March). Meg Whitman’s 10th anniversary as CEO of eBay. Fast Company , 25.
Huselid, M. A. (1995). The impact of human resource management practices on turnover, productivity, and corporate financial performance. Academy of Management Journal , 38 , 635-672.
Kirkpatrick, D. (1998). The second coming of Apple. Fortune , 138 , 90.
Michaels, E., Handfield-Jones, H., & Axelrod, B. (2001). The war for talent . Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.
NACE 2007 Job Outlook Survey. Retrieved July 26, 2008, from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Web site: http://www.naceweb.org/press/quick.htm#qualities .
Parloff, R. (2008, January 22). Why the SEC is probing Steve Jobs. Money . Retrieved January 28, 2009, from http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/22/technology/stevejobs_disclosure.fortune/?postversion=2009012216 .
Peters, T. (1997). The brand called you. Fast Company . Retrieved July 1, 2008, from http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/10/brandyou.html .
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The Importance Of Organizational Behavior
Imagine going to an office where you have nobody to report to. Everyone works as they please and no one…
Imagine going to an office where you have nobody to report to. Everyone works as they please and no one is accountable for their tasks. Doesn’t sound very organized, does it?
The practice of organizational behavior brings order to chaos. Structure, accountability and a defined work culture allow people to understand their roles and responsibilities in an organization.
Understanding human behavior and motivations helps the management set effective goals, encourage employees and achieve results.
Let’s discuss what is organizational behavior and why it is important. You’ll learn how it can help you navigate different work styles for effective results.
What Is Organizational Behavior?
Organizational behavior is the study of how individuals and groups interact with each other and with the organization. An effective organizational behavior strategy can help management motivate its employees to perform well. Achieving collective goals becomes easier and simple when everyone’s on the same page.
There are four elements of organizational behavior:
People who make up the organization
A structure that defines whether the organization is hierarchical or flat
Technology or the work processes and systems deployed by employees
Environment comprising the external environment within which an organization operates
The need and importance of organizational behavior arise when there’s a need to improve work performance and achieve optimal results. Several organizations employ effective management strategies to get everyone on the same page. Leaders guide their staff towards success by motivating and inspiring them to do their best.
Here are a few reasons why organizational behavior is important.
A well-designed organizational structure in place makes the decision-making process more effective. This means that every member of the team or the organization is well-versed in their roles and responsibilities. They find it easier to act independently, being proactive and taking initiative. Managers can delegate tasks swiftly and assign tasks according to varying degrees of skills and follow-up. This ensures that everything runs smoothly.
Organizational behavior helps the management understand people, their motivation and their skills and abilities. The management must be aware of subtle differences in work styles if they want to encourage teamwork . Everyone has personal goals that are aligned with professional goals. With a carefully-placed organizational structure, it’s easier to track progress and fulfill employee needs for the best results.
Navigating Workplace Conflicts
An organization works effectively if there is good communication, openness and trust. The importance of organizational behavior is that it helps teams function with minimal conflict. There’s accountability at every step because tasks are interdependent. Organizations also have a code of conduct and certain values that employees must abide by. This regulates the work environment, keeping everyone focused on larger goals.
Motivating employees, giving incentives and acknowledging hard work are the pillars of organizational behavior. This helps improve work performance because employees are inspired to put their best foot forward. If you feel that you’re valuable to the organization, you’re likely to work harder. The management must ensure that employees feel like a part of the organization to encourage them toward achieving short-term and long-term goals.
Healthy Work Environment
The significance of organizational behavior can be understood in the context of a healthy work environment—one where team members trust each other and work in tandem with each other. Being on good terms with your coworkers means that you can work together to achieve your objectives. Mutual respect across departments and levels constitutes an effective organizational behavior strategy.
The importance of organizational behavior isn’t restricted to how well employees perform. It also determines the smooth functioning of the day-to-day activities within an organization. Hence, the management should aspire to create a harmonious, flexible and accessible work environment.
You may prefer to work in an autonomous work environment as opposed to a traditional hierarchical setup. It’s important to identify what your strengths, values and beliefs are best suited for before you join an organization. Learn more about assessing your culture fit with Harappa’s Navigating Workplaces course. Identify stakeholders, make better decisions and understand power structures to get a deeper understanding of organizational behavior. Effective management is possible when roles are defined. Organizational behavior helps you do that and much more.
Explore topics such as Stakeholder Management , Stakeholder Analysis , Types of Stakeholders & Organizational Behavior Theory from Harappa Diaries and learn to navigate professional relationships better.
Essay on Organizational Behavior
Organizational behavior is the study of how individuals act within groups and how these behaviors impact the organization. Organizational behavior improves business operations such as job performance, increased innovation, high job satisfaction, and encouraging leadership. Organizational performance is considerably related to the employees’ attitudes. Understanding the various aspects of organizational behavior makes it easy for employers to access the feelings, attitudes, and motivation towards their job (Osland et al.,2015). The study introduces people to the concepts and theories about human behavior, which helps replace held notions. Organizational behavior is both a challenge and opportunity to employers due to the study’s focus on reducing absenteeism, increased job satisfaction, and productivity (Osland et al.,2015). The study also guides managers in providing better working conditions, ethical practice, and maximum respect in the workplace.
Every employee is unique, depending on the knowledge and experience they have about the job. Organizational behavior helps leaders to comprehend the motivational tools needed to help their employees reach their full potential (Osland et al.,2015). Leaders must evaluate the organizational structure that acts in the best interests of their employees. For example, recent years have seen corporations such as Google adopt flatter structures that allow employees to operate independently, thus encouraging them to exchange knowledge and acquire more control in decision making.
Performance and Office Characteristics
Behaviors affect employee’s performance. Multiple research pieces provide that employees with positive attitudes are creative and have low-stress levels at work—however, behaviors such as rudeness and gossip lower performance, productivity, and job satisfaction (Pinder, 2014). Organizations with many employees with negative attitudes have conflicts due to miscommunications that reduce overall working morale. The organization and setting of working offices can be a source of good or poor organizational behavior. An open office increases employee’s calmness with crowded offices, causing anxiety and exposure to diseases, breathing problems, among other issues. However, it is unwise to over-densify office spaces because small stations of work make collaboration difficult (Pinder, 2014). Employees take pride in working in successful companies with excellent organizational cultures and have many growth opportunities. A manager’s ability to recognize ways to improve workplace behaviors helps resolve pre-existing problems between workers and promote a healthy working environment.
Organizational behavior does not rely on analysis and conclusions made out of emotions and gut feeling but rather a manager’s ability to collect information concerning an issue in a methodical manner under controlled conditions (Mahek, 2019). The study involves using information and interpreting the findings to analyze the behavior of groups or individuals as desired. Companies exist to fulfill the needs of communities, and for them to survive in today’s competitive world, they must be growth-oriented. Respect for quality, high productivity, and zero errors in these companies ensure their growth merged with great focus on the teams and individuals that run the companies.
Characteristics of Organizational Behavior and Real-Life Application
The study involves rational rather than emotional thinking about individuals. The main aim of organizational behavior lies in explaining, predicting, and understanding human behavior in companies. The study is goal and action-oriented. Also, the study seeks to provide a balance in the technical and human values in the workplace (Mahek, 2019). Organizational behavior achieves productivity by maintaining and constructing worker’s growth, satisfaction, and dignity rather than sacrificing these values. Organizational behavior is an art and science since the study of human behavior leans heavily on science. For instance, modern studies of organizational behavior are critical, experimental, and interpretive, which makes it a revealing science in the search for meaning and knowledge (Mahek, 2019). The study also mixes behavioral sciences such as sociology and psychology, among others. The study has evolved with modern organizational behavior utilizing people’s culture and current events to gain facts and use available paradigms.
Organizational behavior is an important study in real life because it helps one understand their behavior and others (Mahek, 2019). For example, students can use organizational behavior to promote teamwork in school, improve communication, and ultimately promoting a peaceful learning environment. Organizational behavior has helped me understand my views of ethics both in school and in the community. I have always had a problem adapting to new environments and interacting with new people because of my inability to learn behaviors, making it hectic to make friends and express myself while in such places. Having learned about organizational behavior, its characteristics, and the remarkable results the study has on communication, productivity, and attitudes, I now know that I would have handled the situations differently. After the course, new environments and people are no longer a problem since I can effectively utilize the various organizational behavior theories to approach people while understanding their views on some issues, attitudes, and behaviors.
Leadership in Organizational Behavior
In today’s world of business, influential leaders are essential for binding the authority around them. Leadership has countless pitfalls that leaders must learn to avoid since leaders’ mistakes have grave consequences on the societies they lead, businesses, and administrations. Big companies need leadership that harmonizes thousands of people’s energies into a mutual goal, with startup enterprises requiring inspirational leaders that share similar values with their employees (Boekhorst, 2015). Therefore, leadership is a social influence process that aims to increase other people’s efforts in search of a common goal. Different kinds of leadership have different results ranging from effective to chaotic ones. Leaders must assess their personality, strengths, and weaknesses before becoming leaders. A leader in the workplace must connect with the employees and ultimately engage with them to gain their support, cooperation, and respect.
Characteristics and Abilities of Effective Leaders
Emotional intelligence refers to an individual’s ability to identify their emotions and understand what they are communicating to them. Emotional intelligence also involves a person’s perception of those around you, which creates harmony and respect (Boekhorst, 2015). A leader that does not understand how they feel cannot manage their relationship with others since it is hard for them to relate to their feelings. Emotional intelligence in a leader comprises self-knowledge (awareness), motivation, social skill, empathy, and self-regulation. Each of these facets determines how well a leader gets rounded, thus enabling him/her to excel in the business world.
Self-awareness is one of the most important qualities of a leader and trumps all. Every leader, manager, and entrepreneur purposing to make it in business must possess this quality. A leader who has self-awareness knows what motivates them and their decision-making process. When a leader understands their motivation, they can channel the same to the employees to acquire high productivity and harmony (Rao, 2020). Research provides that the energy a leader channels to his/her employees reflects who they are, meaning that a leader who instigates strength to his/her followers Is a strong person who knows their strengths and weaknesses. A self-aware leader is alert to their inner signals, which helps them recognize their feelings and their effects on their job performance. The moral compass helps in decision making, thus deducing the most practical course of action (Rao, 2020). A self-aware leader can see the bigger picture and is genuine about it, giving them the vision to lead and the ability to distinguish between their strengths and weaknesses.
Self-regulation refers to the ability to manage one’s emotions in an unrestrained environment. Self-regulation helps leaders to escape the bondage of one’s impulses. Leaders who possess this quality lean toward thoughtfulness and reflection, accepted change and indecision, honesty, and the ability to fight instincts. Self-regulation helps leaders to maintain a positive outlook on life (Rao, 2020). A leader must be able to cool themselves down when upset and cheer themselves up when down. A self-regulated leader is flexible and adapts to various styles or work with their employees and take charge of all situations no matter how challenging. The quality allows one to be an independent actor without needing other people to pull them out of greasy situations or provide the path towards their goals.
A leader cannot be an effective one if they cannot motivate other people. In the workplace, leaders must set goals to ensure a change in their companies and encourage them to follow the same direction (Rao, 2020). Employees mostly do what they have been instructed to do, and without a motivational leader, most would get lost. Successful leaders can motivate people even if it is one of the hardest things to do since people motivate themselves. The secret to being a leader that motivates his/her employees lies in valuing these people than oneself.
Empathy is the strength to relate with and comprehend the needs and views of other people. Empathic leaders can recognize other people’s feelings even when they are not obvious. Empathy sharpens a person’s communication skills in that it guides them on not saying the wrong things when another person is suffering on the inside (Rao, 2020). An empathic leader builds a feeling of importance and belonging to their employees by showing them that their leader cares and is not a heartless detached robot.
The quality refers to a person’s ability to tune into other people’s emotions and comprehend what they think about certain things. This ability helps a leader with team playing, collaboration, and negotiation skills. Active listening and excellent communication skills are important to this quality. Lack of social skills in a leader may result in companies’ collapse due to lack of representation from a coherent external environment (Rao, 2020). The modern world involves leaders assuming that they need to tweet more and send thousands of emails to have social skills, but one needs to be comfortable connecting with other people in person and on social channels.
Leadership theories are thoughts that explain why and how certain individuals become leaders. The theories focus on the leader’s characteristics in each school of thought. The theories are:
Great Man Theory
The theory vies leadership as an individual’s heroic act. The theory provides that something special exists about an individual’s combination of abilities and personality traits that sets them up as great leaders, thus distinguishing them from others (Amanchukwu et al., 2015). The theory clings to the fact that leaders are born and not made. Companies tend to focus on persons that possess the ability to inspire others toward a common zeal.
The behavioral theory focuses on the way leaders behave in the workplace. For instance, do leaders just provide rules and expect other people to follow them without question, or do they involve others in the decision-making process (Amanchukwu et al., 2015)? The theory believes leaders can be made from their behaviors and not born as the Great Man Theory holds. Depending on a leader’s behavior, they can become autocratic, democratic, or Laissez-faire leaders.
The theory focuses on the situational variables without terming one person’s leadership style as better than the others (Amanchukwu et al., 2015). The theory states that different situations call for different leadership styles and the maturity level of the followers.
The theory focuses on the relationship between leaders and their followers, emphasizing charismatic and inspirational leaders. The theory focuses on leaders who aim to change their follower’s performance on various tasks (Amanchukwu et al., 2015). Leaders in this theory get motivated by their ability to show their followers that specific tasks are vital and should be highly involved in performing them.
The theory assumes that leaders are born possessing certain leadership traits, which makes them more suitable for leadership roles than others who lack the natural characteristics (Amanchukwu et al., 2015). The theory upholds the qualities of responsibility, intelligence, accountability, and creativity that make them prosper in leadership.
In conclusion, organizational behavior is a study that focuses on the effect of individual and group behavior in the workplace. The science helps leaders access their employees’ attitudes, feelings, and motivation switches and guide them on their next steps. Through organizational behavior, companies can develop ways to reduce conflicts, improve productivity, build teamwork and create conducive working environments in the workplace. Leadership is a vital concept of organizational behavior and aims at defining the roles, traits, and theories of leadership suitable for different organizational structures and cultures.
Amanchukwu, R. N., Stanley, G. J., & Ololube, N. P. (2015). A review of leadership theories, principles and styles and their relevance to educational management. Management , 5 (1), 6-14.
Boekhorst, J. A. (2015). The role of authentic leadership in fostering workplace inclusion: A social information processing perspective. Human Resource Management , 54 (2), 241-264.
Mahek, S. (2019, September 28). Organisational behaviour: Meaning, scope, nature, models & importance . Economics Discussion. https://www.economicsdiscussion.net/management/organisational-behaviour/31869
Osland, J., Devine, K., & Turner, M. (2015). Organizational behavior. Wiley Encyclopedia of Management , 1-5.
Pinder, C. C. (2014). Work motivation in organizational behavior . psychology press.
Rao, S. (2020, March 23). The mini-guide to effective leadership in the workplace . A Blog About Payroll, Small Business and More | Wagepoint. https://blog.wagepoint.com/all-content/the-mini-guide-to-effective-leadership-in-the-workplace
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Importance of studying organizational behaviour Essay
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The environment of doing business is constantly undergoing major transformations. A significant number of managers have discovered that their role in the workplace is becoming more complex due to the increase in the duties available and tasks that require prompt outcomes.
Because of these complexities, a number of different fields of study have sprung up to address the ever-changing demands of the workforce. Among these, the study of organizational behaviour has been vital over the years in enhancing the management style of different organizations. This paper discusses the importance of studying organizational behaviour.
A working definition of organizational behaviour is “the systematic study of the nature of organizations: how they begin, grow, and develop, and their effect on individual members, constituent groups, other organizations, and larger institutions” (Kelly & Kelly, 1998, p.5).
The study of organizational behaviour scrutinizes the various types of employees in all kinds of diverse circumstances. The study seeks to benefit those in managerial and supervisory positions in a number of ways. It is important in all the different aspects of the organization. Organizational behaviour aims to understand the human behaviour in an organization and how its association with the organization.
Many of us, at some point in our working life, might have said, “I do not feel like going to my place of work today,” or “I dislike my work, I am disgusted with the job I am doing.” However, these utterances have little to do with the person saying them, his or her place of work or the job he or she is doing.
Poor management of organizational behavior is likely to be the cause of this problem! A good manager should be able to study workers to ensure that their positions in the organization are satisfying. As an example, if a manager has a worker who is young, timid, and softly spoken, he or she should not attempt to give the worker the task of collecting debts.
As an alternative, the manager should consider placing the worker in a less stressful situation such as the customer care position, which would go well with the worker’s nature in addition to assisting her or him develop self-confidence in tackling the various issues of the customers.
Workers in high spirits with their positions and the different issues they have to tackle make them to be more productive in undertaking their duties. This attribute is beneficial to the progress of the organization as well as enabling the workforce to be contented with their roles.
The best method of knowing if an employee is uncomfortable in various circumstances is by observing their body language. An example of the lack of a good relationship between the employee and the manager occurs when a manager is standing too close or if the employee is feeling uneasy with the presence of the manager behind him or her.
An employee can even lose his or her train of thought when having a conversation with the manager. These examples illustrate the benefits of a good organizational behavior since it can prevent this from taking place.
In the business environment, it is essential that the manager is able to motivate the workers, first by example. The manager or the supervisor ought to be self-motivating. When an individual has the capability of being self-motivating, it becomes uncomplicated to pass this trait to others.
An individual with good leadership qualities, who has the capability of inspiring others, can play a vital role in the success of any organization. Sometimes it becomes difficult when a manager is indolent and does not posses motivation skills. Currently, when one goes to apply for a position in any organization, a question always arises whether the job seeker has any skills in management.
This can be attributed to the fact that many organizations these days are searching for applicants who posses leadership qualities together with the desired level of educational attainment. It raises the concern that not everyone, either learned or experienced in the job, possesses management qualities. The study of organizational behaviour equips the learners with the important skills in leadership.
In a situation when a well-inspired individual controls the business enterprise, it depicts the aim of the organization and its ultimate success. When the manager maintains punctuality to the place of work in order to get things started on time, he or she sets a good example to the people under her or him.
This attribute is most of the times past automatically to the subordinates. No one can be heard saying, “I do not feel like going to my place of work today,” since there is no person who intends to be left behind when things are done in a definite way. No worker would like to stray away from the norms of the group. A motivated manager is of essence to the ultimate success of the business environment.
When employees make efforts to strike the right balance between their lives at home with their lives at the place of work, a number of them often are stressed and worked up. This may lead to increased cases of absenteeism and decrease in the level of productivity. Having a career is different from having a life.
Since most organizations have employees who are married, it is important to ensure that they have occasions when they can be outside the place of work and spend some quality time with their families. Griffin and Moorhead (2002, p.182) have proved that recognizing the needs of the employees outside work is an important aspect of realizing their dedication when undertaking various duties.
The manager of an organization must ensure that the workers are doing a commendable work. Achievement of this is by making the workers realize that their input in the organization is important, not just to be salaried at the end of the month. The quality of the work usually disintegrates when employees fail to recognize the value of their input in the organization.
A good manager has to encourage the workers that the place of work forms their second home and that they add value to the success of the organization. Individuals most of the time react better to a surrounding where their emotional well-being is properly taken care of. Rewards ought to be given to the most motivated employees to act as an encouragement to them.
Work performance is instrumental to the ultimate realization of an organization’s corporate goals. This task, which requires sound management principles to accomplish, is got through studying organizational behaviour.
Organizations are very important in the society since most of the activities we participate in mostly take place within the context of an organization. Studying organizational behaviour requires one to relate its connection with such areas as corporate responsibility and internal control systems.
Understanding these areas enables one to come to terms with a good organizational behavior and ways of maintaining it in the place of work. In addition, this makes one to be aware of the potential risks that may arise when a business falls short of its set standards. Understanding this aspect is essential in preventing a misfortune such as financial crisis from taking place.
A number of managers-to-be are not concerned of the significance of organizational behaviour and its meaning to them as future leaders in different organizations. The study of organizational behaviour focuses on the attitudes and the behaviours of the current workforce and strives to get the best methods of leading and sufficiently transforming them. This study assists future managers to have an increased understanding of their role and the people they oversee, which enables them to pursue a successful career in management.
The duties of managers usually involve working hand in hand with other individuals in the workplace therefore the learning of “people skills” is a vital and important resource. The study of organizational behavior assists in developing these “people skills” and enables managers and supervisors to be more efficient in undertaking their duties. Managers are endowed with humanistic task to give the workers duties that are challenging and which offers them the contentment they aspire to have (Robbins, 1994, p.2).
An important aspect of realizing a good organizational behaviour is to institute the correct career processes for career advancement of the employees. This aspect is vital in retaining the most experienced workforce. Any job that an employee has strived to accomplish within the set standards ought to be recognized and rewarded accordingly by the leadership.
Doing this makes the employees to work even harder in realizing the set targets as they have tangible incentives when they accomplish particular tasks well. The success of the organization depends on the treatment accorded to the employees towards their career advancement. Managers ought to realize and give workers what they may require. They reciprocate this by delivering quality service to their employers.
Many organizations are concerned about whether or not their workers are satisfied with their employment. Satisfied workers are generally more productive on the job. Employee dissatisfaction is capable of bringing the whole organization back to zero. It is within the mandate of an organization to institute candid ways of achieving employee satisfaction.
Work performance relates directly to job satisfaction. Presently, a number of organizations are having problems with retaining their workforce. Many of the workers enter a company with little experience and they leave the organizational after they have gained useful skills in the job. This often increases the expenses of the organization, as they have to re-train other people to undertake the same work.
The leadership of an organization should study the level of satisfaction of the employees as failure to do this makes them search for better opportunities that may crop in. In spite of the salary that the employees take home, if the employees are not satisfied with their current employment, leaving in search of greener pastures becomes the next resort. By studying organizational behaviour, the student learns vital skills in making the employees happy in the place of work, hence limiting their exit.
Another important ingredient to the success of any organization is communication. Effective communication is the key to optimal day-to-day running of an organization. A manager or supervisor has to adhere to good communication skills when addressing his or her subordinates. Undertaking various tasks requires efficient communication.
Communication involves keeping the workers conversant with the activities taking place behind the scenes in addition to rendering a listening ear to their needs. As stated earlier in the paper, workers generally respond well to an environment that cares for their emotions.
Most of the people in leadership positions tend to posses an autocratic management style and rewards tend to be based upon individual contributions, the prevailing culture within many organizations is the antithesis of teamwork (Wilson, 2001, p. 136).
Establishing team-based organizations is aimed at creating an empowered decision making process, flatten hierarchies and create collaborative work environment as a way of facilitating the development of a more adaptive and flexible set-up of the organization. The manager of an organization plays a vital role in fostering the culture of teamwork in the organization.
Employees are not to be treated as moneymaking machines. It is high time managers come to terms with the fact that employees are fundamental to the success of an organization. For that reason, organizational behaviour turns into the very culture that any business enterprise draws its practices.
The running of a business experiences a significant progress in its development when a good organizational behaviour is enacted. In summary, organizational behaviour is vital to any business, and if it is not present, rampant confusion sets in.
Griffin, R. & Moorhead, G., 2010. Organizational Behaviour: Managing People and Organizations. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
Kelly, J. & Kelly, L., 1998. An existential-systems approach to managing organizations. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group.
Robbins, P., 1994. Essentials of Organizational Behavior. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.
Wilson, E., 2001. Organizational behaviour reassessed: the impact of gender . London: Sage Publication.
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Importance Of Organizational Behavior
I want to define “what is Organizational Behavior? ” and after that we can understand why it’s importance. Organizational behavior studies the influence that individuals, groups and organizational structure have on behavior within organizations. (Robins & Judge, 10th,p. 2). From this definition, we can say if we learn Organizational behavior, it will help us understand and predict human behavior in an organization. There are many reasons make Organizational Behavior become important in an organization.
First of all, we have to know most people are born and educated in organizations, acquire most of the material possessions from organizations, and die as members of organizations.
And in our life, we can be consumers, member or employee in an organization. We can not say “I don’t belong to any organization so I don’t care about that”. Second, 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, if we study about organizational behavior, we can clarify the factors that affect how managers manage.
Why We Study Organizational Behavior
I also want to share my experience about work in the group. I studied about IT so in my major I don’t have chance to practice how to work in a group. But we always have a final project when we finish undergraduate program. And in that time, school just gave us the members of group, we don’t know each other before. Before we thought it’s fine because we are young so easy to contact each other.
Proficient in: Behavior
“ Amazing as always, gave her a week to finish a big assignment and came through way ahead of time. ”
But after that we understood a group is so complicate. Because we have different life style, different schedule and also we come from different area so it make we have culture and thinking different.
Especially, we have not had any experience about working in a group before. We are young so ourselves is really strong, everybody want to protect for their idea. Everything became stuff and very tired. Hopefully, our teacher is good, she made some appointments for us and solve the problems between us. We started to learn how to understand each other and accept other idea. I think if we studied about organizational behavior, we can easy to solve these problems for ourselves. We can understand why our member act like that…
Learning about organizational behavior in today’s business environment will help managers develop a better work related understanding of themselves and their subordinates. Today’s postindustrial hi-tech organization or other organization also requires knowledge intensive work environment and demands creativity form its workers. Most organizations are now encouraging team approach to solve problems. Workers are not only need to learn new technical skills but also how to communicate, delegate, negotiate, and motivate with each other.
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The importance of organizational behavior.
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The importance of Organizational Behavior (OB) can be simply stated by the concept that a business can not be successful without utilizing the study of OB. To explain that statement starts with an explanation of OB: OB strives to make businesses more effective, and in turn more successful, by studying the impact that people have on the business as a whole. In layman's terms, OB teaches the interpersonal skills that many business leaders will agree are necessary for their business to be successful. Interpersonal or "touchy-feely" skills include knowing how to properly communicate with, listen to, interact with, and motivate each other successfully. Those skills incorporate an understanding of the employee's values, attitudes, personality, motivation, perception, and learning ability. Opposing viewpoints suggest that businesses only need people with proper technical knowledge of their job to make the business successful. Those viewpoints fail to realize that technical ability is merely one aspect of understanding individual behavior and without that understanding business leaders won't be able to apply the technical ability as effectively as possible to their business. OB can help leaders understand their employees and guide them into being effective members of an organization and ultimately make their business successful. An individual's behavior at work is influenced by many elements. Technical ability is one of those elements and the rest, values, attitudes, personality, motivation, perception, and learning, comprise interpersonal skills. Everyone has these elements whether or not the business leader chooses to value them. For example, Everyday people come into work with certain ideas that they value. This could be as simple as just wanting to make some money. Those values then help make up their attitude, which in turn, affects the person's motivation and perception of the business around them.
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1. importance of organizational behavior.
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2. Organizational Behavior Importance
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5. Discussion on Importance of Organizational Behavior
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10. Organizational Behavior Importance
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Essay on Importance of Studying Organizational Behaviour
Organizational Behavior (OB) is one of the most critical factors that determine the success and sustainability of a given company (Wood, Zeffane, Fromholtz, & Fitzgerald, 2016). OB aims at providing a comprehensive comprehension of human behavior exhibited by different individuals available in a given firm. These stakeholders are mainly, employees, managers and the potential customers that the organization serves. It isimperative to understand the importance of studying organizational behavior in a given companyas a clear comprehension of the organizational behavior helps to the enterprise to achieve its desired growth and increase its sustainability (Hiriyappa, 2009).
There are numerous benefits associated with a proper understanding of organizational behavior. First, a precise knowledge of the definition of OB is useful not only for managers but also for organizational leaders. OB refers to the systematic study of different people and their work within an organization (Wood, Zeffane, Fromholtz, & Fitzgerald, 2016). Understanding the definition can also help individual employees to understand their behavior and establish how they can work jointly and collaboratively with others in different teams to achieve the organizational goals. A proper understanding of oneself helps in increasing organizational diversity which increases the firm's efficiency regarding operations and the overall output (Hiriyappa, 2009).
Secondly, OB helps in the efficient management of the human resources available in a given workplace (French, 2011). OB plays a critical role in developing and enhancing positive relationships in a work-related environment. OB can also reduce substantial associated losses and wastage by reducing the overall dysfunctional behavior such as employee dissatisfaction, absenteeism, and tardiness (King &Lawley, 2012).OB also helps in self-development which increases ones human values and ethics (Wood, Zeffane, Fromholtz, & Fitzgerald, 2016).
Besides, OB helps in enhancing managerial skills which increase competence among leaders and managers. OB is one of the most interesting subjects to study. OB helps leaders and managers to understand the behavior of an employee and identify the best teams to include them when planning on firm human resource management. OB entails the study of perception, attitude, learning and moral values at an individual's point while identifying potential areas of conflicts to offer satisfactory solutions.
In conclusion, it is important to have a wide understanding of the importance of studying organizational behavior in a given company as a clear comprehension of the organizational behavior helps the company to achieve its goals and increase its sustainability. There are numerous benefits associated with a proper understanding of organizational behavior such as greater collaboration among employees, enhanced relationships, and ensuring continues alignment to the achievement of the organizational set goals. As such, organizational managers should ensure that more resources are directed towards improving OB to increase its associated benefits.
French, R. (2011). Organizational behaviour. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.
Hiriyappa, B. (2009). Organizational behaviour. New Delhi: New Age International Publishers.
King, D., &Lawley, S. (2012). Organizational behaviour. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Wood, J. M., Zeffane, R., Fromholtz, M., & Fitzgerald, A. (2016). Organisational behaviour: Core concepts and applications. Milton, Qld: John Wiley & Sons.
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8 Ways You Can Improve Your Communication Skills
Your guide to establishing better communication habits for success in the workplace.
Mary Sharp Emerson
A leader’s ability to communicate clearly and effectively with employees, within teams, and across the organization is one of the foundations of a successful business.
And in today’s complex and quickly evolving business environment, with hundreds of different communication tools, fully or partially remote teams, and even multicultural teams spanning multiple time zones, effective communication has never been more important—or more challenging.
Thus, the ability to communicate might be a manager’s most critical skill.
The good news is that these skills can be learned and even mastered.
These eight tips can help you maximize your communication skills for the success of your organization and your career.
1. Be clear and concise
Communication is primarily about word choice. And when it comes to word choice, less is more.
The key to powerful and persuasive communication—whether written or spoken—is clarity and, when possible, brevity.
Before engaging in any form of communication, define your goals and your audience.
Outlining carefully and explicitly what you want to convey and why will help ensure that you include all necessary information. It will also help you eliminate irrelevant details.
Avoid unnecessary words and overly flowery language, which can distract from your message.
And while repetition may be necessary in some cases, be sure to use it carefully and sparingly. Repeating your message can ensure that your audience receives it, but too much repetition can cause them to tune you out entirely.
2. Prepare ahead of time
Know what you are going to say and how you are going to say before you begin any type of communication.
However, being prepared means more than just practicing a presentation.
Preparation also involves thinking about the entirety of the communication, from start to finish. Research the information you may need to support your message. Consider how you will respond to questions and criticisms. Try to anticipate the unexpected.
Before a performance review, for instance, prepare a list of concrete examples of your employee’s behavior to support your evaluation.
Before engaging in a salary or promotion negotiation, know exactly what you want. Be ready to discuss ranges and potential compromises; know what you are willing to accept and what you aren’t. And have on hand specific details to support your case, such as relevant salaries for your position and your location (but be sure that your research is based on publicly available information, not company gossip or anecdotal evidence).
Before entering into any conversation, brainstorm potential questions, requests for additional information or clarification, and disagreements so you are ready to address them calmly and clearly.
3. Be mindful of nonverbal communication
Our facial expressions, gestures, and body language can, and often do, say more than our words.
Nonverbal cues can have between 65 and 93 percent more impact than the spoken word. And we are more likely to believe the nonverbal signals over spoken words if the two are in disagreement.
Leaders must be especially adept at reading nonverbal cues.
Employees who may be unwilling to voice disagreements or concerns, for instance, may show their discomfort through crossed arms or an unwillingness to make eye contact. If you are aware of others’ body language, you may be able to adjust your communication tactics appropriately.
At the same time, leaders must also be able to control their own nonverbal communications.
Your nonverbal cues must, at all times, support your message. At best, conflicting verbal and nonverbal communication can cause confusion. At worst, it can undermine your message and your team’s confidence in you, your organization, and even in themselves.
4. Watch your tone
How you say something can be just as important as what you say. As with other nonverbal cues, your tone can add power and emphasis to your message, or it can undermine it entirely.
Tone can be an especially important factor in workplace disagreements and conflict. A well-chosen word with a positive connotation creates good will and trust. A poorly chosen word with unclear or negative connotations can quickly lead to misunderstanding.
When speaking, tone includes volume, projection, and intonation as well as word choice. In real time, it can be challenging to control tone to ensure that it matches your intent. But being mindful of your tone will enable you to alter it appropriately if a communication seems to be going in the wrong direction.
Tone can be easier to control when writing. Be sure to read your communication once, even twice, while thinking about tone as well as message. You may even want to read it out loud or ask a trusted colleague to read it over, if doing so does not breach confidentiality.
And when engaging in a heated dialogue over email or other written medium, don’t be too hasty in your replies.
If at all possible, write out your response but then wait for a day or two to send it. In many cases, re-reading your message after your emotions have cooled allows you to moderate your tone in a way that is less likely to escalate the conflict.
Browse our Communication programs.
5. Practice active listening
Communication nearly always involves two or more individuals.
Therefore, listening is just as important as speaking when it comes to communicating successfully. But listening can be more challenging than we realize.
In her blog post Mastering the Basics of Communication , communication expert Marjorie North notes that we only hear about half of what the other person says during any given conversation.
The goal of active listening is to ensure that you hear not just the words the person is saying, but the entire message. Some tips for active listening include:
- Giving the speaker your full and undivided attention
- Clearing your mind of distractions, judgements, and counter-arguments.
- Avoiding the temptation to interrupt with your own thoughts.
- Showing open, positive body language to keep your mind focused and to show the speaker that you are really listening
- Rephrase or paraphrase what you’ve heard when making your reply
- Ask open ended questions designed to elicit additional information
6. Build your emotional intelligence
Communication is built upon a foundation of emotional intelligence. Simply put, you cannot communicate effectively with others until you can assess and understand your own feelings.
“If you’re aware of your own emotions and the behaviors they trigger, you can begin to manage these emotions and behaviors,” says Margaret Andrews in her post, How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence .
Leaders with a high level of emotional intelligence will naturally find it easier to engage in active listening, maintain appropriate tone, and use positive body language, for example.
Understanding and managing your own emotions is only part of emotional intelligence. The other part—equally important for effective communication—is empathy for others.
Empathizing with an employee can, for example, make a difficult conversation easier.
You may still have to deliver bad news, but (actively) listening to their perspective and showing that you understand their feelings can go a long way toward smoothing hurt feelings or avoiding misunderstandings.
7. Develop a workplace communication strategy
Today’s workplace is a constant flow of information across a wide variety of formats. Every single communication must be understood in the context of that larger flow of information.
Even the most effective communicator may find it difficult to get their message across without a workplace communication strategy.
A communication strategy is the framework within which your business conveys and receives information. It can—and should—outline how and what you communicate to customers and clients, stakeholders, and managers and employees.
Starting most broadly, your strategy should incorporate who gets what message and when. This ensures that everyone receives the correct information at the right time.
It can be as detailed as how you communicate, including defining the type of tools you use for which information. For example, you may define when it’s appropriate to use a group chat for the entire team or organization or when a meeting should have been summarized in an email instead.
Creating basic guidelines like this can streamline the flow of information. It will help ensure that everyone gets the details they need and that important knowledge isn’t overwhelmed by extraneous minutia.
8. Create a positive organizational culture
The corporate culture in which you are communicating also plays a vital role in effective communication.
In a positive work environment—one founded on transparency, trust, empathy, and open dialogue—communication in general will be easier and more effective.
Employees will be more receptive to hearing their manager’s message if they trust that manager. And managers will find it easier to create buy-in and even offer constructive criticism if they encourage their employees to speak up, offer suggestions, and even offer constructive criticisms of their own.
“The most dangerous organization is a silent one,” says Lorne Rubis in a blog post, Six Tips for Building a Better Workplace Culture . Communication, in both directions, can only be effective in a culture that is built on trust and a foundation of psychological safety.
Authoritative managers who refuse to share information, aren’t open to suggestions, and refuse to admit mistakes and accept criticism are likely to find their suggestions and criticisms met with defensiveness or even ignored altogether.
Without that foundation of trust and transparency, even the smallest communication can be misconstrued and lead to misunderstandings and unnecessary conflict.
Communicating with co-workers and employees is always going to present challenges. There will always be misunderstandings and miscommunications that must be resolved and unfortunately, corporate messages aren’t always what we want to hear, especially during difficult times.
But building and mastering effective communication skills will make your job easier as a leader, even during difficult conversations. Taking the time to build these skills will certainly be time well-spent.
Want to build your skills? Find the program that’s right for you.
Browse all Professional Development Programs.
About the Author
Digital Content Producer
Emerson is a Digital Content Producer at Harvard DCE. She is a graduate of Brandeis University and Yale University and started her career as an international affairs analyst. She is an avid triathlete and has completed three Ironman triathlons, as well as the Boston Marathon.
Harvard Professional Development Participant Success Stories
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- 1.1 The Nature of Work
- 1.2 The Changing Workplace
- 1.3 The Nature of Management
- 1.4 A Model of Organizational Behavior and Management
- Summary of Learning Outcomes
- Chapter Review Questions
- Critical Thinking Case
- 2.1 Individual and Cultural Factors in Employee Performance
- 2.2 Employee Abilities and Skills
- 2.3 Personality: An Introduction
- 2.4 Personality and Work Behavior
- 2.5 Personality and Organization: A Basic Conflict?
- 2.6 Personal Values and Ethics
- 2.7 Cultural Differences
- Management Skills Application Exercises
- Managerial Decision Exercises
- 3.1 The Perceptual Process
- 3.2 Barriers to Accurate Social Perception
- 3.3 Attributions: Interpreting the Causes of Behavior
- 3.4 Attitudes and Behavior
- 3.5 Work-Related Attitudes
- 4.1 Basic Models of Learning
- 4.2 Reinforcement and Behavioral Change
- 4.3 Behavior Modification in Organizations
- 4.4 Behavioral Self-Management
- 5.1 An Introduction to Workplace Diversity
- 5.2 Diversity and the Workforce
- 5.3 Diversity and Its Impact on Companies
- 5.4 Challenges of Diversity
- 5.5 Key Diversity Theories
- 5.6 Benefits and Challenges of Workplace Diversity
- 5.7 Recommendations for Managing Diversity
- 6.1 Overview of Managerial Decision-Making
- 6.2 How the Brain Processes Information to Make Decisions: Reflective and Reactive Systems
- 6.3 Programmed and Nonprogrammed Decisions
- 6.4 Barriers to Effective Decision-Making
- 6.5 Improving the Quality of Decision-Making
- 6.6 Group Decision-Making
- 7.1 Motivation: Direction and Intensity
- 7.2 Content Theories of Motivation
- 7.3 Process Theories of Motivation
- 7.4 Recent Research on Motivation Theories
- 8.1 Performance Appraisal Systems
- 8.2 Techniques of Performance Appraisal
- 8.3 Feedback
- 8.4 Reward Systems in Organizations
- 8.5 Individual and Group Incentive Plans
- 9.1 Work Groups: Basic Considerations
- 9.2 Work Group Structure
- 9.3 Managing Effective Work Groups
- 9.4 Intergroup Behavior and Performance
- 10.1 Teamwork in the Workplace
- 10.2 Team Development Over Time
- 10.3 Things to Consider When Managing Teams
- 10.4 Opportunities and Challenges to Team Building
- 10.5 Team Diversity
- 10.6 Multicultural Teams
- 11.1 The Process of Managerial Communication
- 11.2 Types of Communications in Organizations
- 11.3 Factors Affecting Communications and the Roles of Managers
- 11.4 Managerial Communication and Corporate Reputation
- 11.5 The Major Channels of Management Communication Are Talking, Listening, Reading, and Writing
- 12.1 The Nature of Leadership
- 12.2 The Leadership Process
- 12.3 Leader Emergence
- 12.4 The Trait Approach to Leadership
- 12.5 Behavioral Approaches to Leadership
- 12.6 Situational (Contingency) Approaches to Leadership
- 12.7 Substitutes for and Neutralizers of Leadership
- 12.8 Transformational, Visionary, and Charismatic Leadership
- 12.9 Leadership Needs in the 21st Century
- 13.1 Power in Interpersonal Relations
- 13.2 Uses of Power
- 13.3 Political Behavior in Organizations
- 13.4 Limiting the Influence of Political Behavior
- 14.1 Conflict in Organizations: Basic Considerations
- 14.2 Causes of Conflict in Organizations
- 14.3 Resolving Conflict in Organizations
- 14.4 Negotiation Behavior
- 15.1 The Organization's External Environment
- 15.2 External Environments and Industries
- 15.3 Organizational Designs and Structures
- 15.4 The Internal Organization and External Environments
- 15.5 Corporate Cultures
- 15.6 Organizing for Change in the 21st Century
- 16.1 Organizational Structures and Design
- 16.2 Organizational Change
- 16.3 Managing Change
- 17.1 An Introduction to Human Resource Management
- 17.2 Human Resource Management and Compliance
- 17.3 Performance Management
- 17.4 Influencing Employee Performance and Motivation
- 17.5 Building an Organization for the Future
- 17.6 Talent Development and Succession Planning
- 18.1 Problems of Work Adjustment
- 18.2 Organizational Influences on Stress
- 18.3 Buffering Effects of Work related Stress
- 18.4 Coping with Work related Stress
- 19.1 Overview of Entrepreneurship
- 19.2 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs
- 19.3 Business Model Canvas
- 19.4 New Venture Financing
- 19.5 Design Thinking
- 19.6 Optimal Support for Entrepreneurship
- A | Scientific Method in Organizational Research
- B | Scoring Keys for Self-Assessment Exercises
Management and Organizational Behavior
Individual and cultural differences, perception and job attitudes, learning and reinforcement, diversity in organizations, perception and managerial decision making, work motivation for performance, performance appraisal and rewards, group and intergroup relations, understanding and managing work teams, communication, organizational power and politics, conflict and negotiations, external and internal organizational environments and corporate culture, organizational structure and change, human resource management, stress and well being, entrepreneurship.
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Access for free at https://openstax.org/books/organizational-behavior/pages/1-introduction
- Authors: J. Stewart Black, David S. Bright
- Publisher/website: OpenStax
- Book title: Organizational Behavior
- Publication date: Jun 5, 2019
- Location: Houston, Texas
- Book URL: https://openstax.org/books/organizational-behavior/pages/1-introduction
- Section URL: https://openstax.org/books/organizational-behavior/pages/references
© Mar 31, 2023 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License . The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.