Organizational Behavior is a field of study that investigates how individuals, groups and structure affect and is affected by behavior within organizations, for the purpose of applying such knowledge towards improving an organization effectiveness. A consciously coordinated social unit composed of two or more people that functions on a relatively continuous basis to achieve a common goal or set of goal. An Organization is a structured social system consisting of groups and individuals working together to meet some agreed goals and objectives.
An organization is a social organization which controls the goals and objectives of the company. This report is based on the theoretical concept of organizational behavior and how these behaviors will affect the managerial decision making and improve the performance of the organization. Organization behavior helps to learn about yourself and how to deal with others. You’re part of an organization now, and will continue to be a part various organizations. Organizations are increasingly expecting individuals to be able to work in teams, at least some of the time. The main purpose of this report is to critically evaluate all these theories and reasons for studying the organizational behaviour and ways of improving the knowledge on this field. The following questions will discuss some of the important aspect of organizational behaviour.
Organizational Structure is a topic seldom contemplated by most people working in organizational settings. We all go to work every day, go to assigned locations, and perform our jobs — and we don’t ever think about how our organization is arranged. However, Organizational Structure is critical both for a company and its employees. People should think very carefully about the organizational structure of the companies for which they work or of companies for which they intend to work. In the long run, Organizational Structure can spell the difference between success and failure for a company, as well as for the individuals who work there.
Comparing organisational structure types involves identifying related objectives of the organisations being compared and then cross-comparing those objectives with the different strategies, policies, and procedures available in accomplishing them. Functional vs. Line organisational structures – functional organisations provide support, assistance, and labour to other departments or other organisations that make an actual product. Line organisations are responsible for making a product.
Line-and –staff vs. Network organisational structures – line and staff organisational structure is combination of both a line and functional organisational structure. A network organisational structure outsources procedural tasks and exports manufacturing duties to independent organizations. Network organisations export tasks involved in making products to independent entities, those entities inherit the liability associated with providing services to network organisations. In contrast, bureaucratic organizational structures have product departments that are supervised by the organisation itself. Matrix organizational structures create tailor-made teams to addresses specific problems. Network organizational structures may harness volunteer labour and leverage user-generated problem solving to address a specific issue.
Culture consists of the learned patterns of behaviour common to members of a given society – the unique lifestyle of a particular group of people. Organisational culture is defined as a complex set of values, beliefs, assumptions, and symbols that define the way which firm conducts its business. Cultural differences and their implications for organisations have been studied by many researchers, but the way culture has been treated as a variable central to the study differs quite considerably. Cultural continuity and coherence between organisations and the society within they operate is the aspect which has to be addressed fully while doing any cross cultural research. The opinion on cultural influence on organizational structure fully represents own point of view. In order to find more general and proved relationships between culture and organisations structure dimensions wide research need to be done.
There are some factors which influence individual behaviour at workplace. Demographic factors are socio economic background, education, nationality, race, age, sex, etc. Organisations prefer persons that belong to good socio-economic background, well educated, young etc as they are believed to be performing better than the others. Abilities and skills factors are a physical capacity of an individual to do something can be termed as ability. Skills can be defined as the ability to act in a way that allows a person to perform well. The individual behaviour and performance is highly influenced by ability and skills.
Furthermore, Attitude factor can be defined as tendency to respond favourably or unfavourably to certain objects, persons or situations. The employees can perform better in the organisation if they form a positive attitude. The factors such as family, society, culture, peers and organisational factors influence the information of attitude. At last but not least, Personality factor which can be defined as the study of the characteristics and distinctive traits of an individual, the inter-relations between them and the way in which a person responds and adjusts to other people and situations.
Leadership styles and organisational theories
Research and investigation into different management leadership styles has been fragmented and inconsistent. There are various types of leaderships styles like: Autocratic leadership, Democratic, Bureaucratic, Laissez faire, and Paternalistic. In Autocratic Leadership managers seeks to make as many decisions as possible, they have the most authority and control in decision making, managers seeks to retain responsibility rather than utilise complete delegation. Moreover, managers are less concerned with investing their own leadership development, and prefer to simply work on commanded subordinates. Democratic leadership is the style that promotes the sharing of responsibility, the exercise of delegation and continual consultation. In these leadership managers seeks consultation on all major issues and decisions. Manager effectively delegate tasks to subordinates and give them full control and responsibility for those tasks.
The bureaucratic leadership style is concerned with ensuring workers follow rules and procedures accurately and consistently. Leaders expect employees to display a formal, business-like attitude in the workplace and between each other. Managers gain instant authority with their position, because rules demand that employees pay them certain privileges, such as being able to sign off on all major decisions. As a result, leaders suffer from ‘position power’.
Taylor’s scientific management theory developed by Taylor is based on the concept of planning work to achieve efficiency, standardisation, specialisation and simplification. Taylor developed the following four principles of scientific management for improving productivity:
Science, not rule-of-thumb Old rules-of-thumb should be supplanted by a scientific approach to each element of a person’s work.
Scientific selection of the worker Organizational members should be selected based on some analysis, and then trained, taught and developed.
Management and labour cooperation rather than conflict Management should collaborate with all organizational members so that all work can be done in conformity with the scientific principles developed.
Scientific training of the worker Workers should be trained by experts, using scientific methods.
Another theory which known as Weber’s approach (1947) based the concept of the formal organisation on the following principles:
Structure In the organization, positions should be arranged in a hierarchy, each with a particular, established amount of responsibility and authority.
Specialization Tasks should be distinguished on a functional basis, and then separated according to specialization, each having a separate chain of command.
Predictability and stability The organization should operate according to a system of procedures consisting of formal rules and regulations.
Rationality Recruitment and selection of personnel should be impartial.
Administrative theory (Fayol, 1949) relates to accomplishment of tasks, and includes principles of management, the concept of line and staff, committees and functions of management.
Division of work or specialization increases productivity in both technical and managerial work.
Authority and responsibility is imperative for an organizational member to accomplish the organizational objectives. Discipline Members of the organization should honour the objectives of the organization. They should also comply with the rules and regulations of the organizations.
Unity of command means taking orders from and being responsible to only one superior. Unity of direction Members of the organization should jointly work toward the same goals. Subordination of individual interest to general interest – interest of the organization should not become subservient to individual interests or the interest of a group of employees.
Remuneration of personnel can be based on diverse factors such as time, job, piece rates, and bonuses, profit-sharing or non-financial rewards. Centralization Management should use an appropriate blend of both centralization and de-centralization of authority and decision making.
Motivational theories & organisations
There are a number of different views as to what motivates workers. The most commonly held views or theories are discussed below and have been developed over the last 100 years or so. Unfortunately these theories do not all reach the same conclusions!
Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856 – 1917) put forward the idea that workers aremotivated mainly by pay. His Theory of Scientific Management argued the following:
Workers do not naturally enjoy work and so need close supervision and control. Therefore managers should break down production into a series of small tasks.
Workers should then be given appropriate training and tools so they can work as efficiently as possible on one set task. Workers are then paid according to the number of items they produce in a set period of time- piece-rate pay.
Taylor’s methods were widely adopted as businesses saw the benefits of increased productivity levels and lower unit costs. The most notably advocate was Henry Ford who used them to design the first ever production line, making Ford cars. This was the start of the era of mass production.
Taylor’s approach has close links with the concept of an autocratic management style (managers take all the decisions and simply give orders to those below them) and Macgregor’s Theory X approach to workers (workers are viewed as lazy and wish to avoid responsibility).
Elton Mayo (1880 – 1949) believed that workers are not just concerned with money but could be better motivated by having their social needs met whilst at work (something that Taylor ignored). He introduced the Human Relation School of thought, which focused on managers taking more of an interest in the workers, treating them as people who have worthwhile opinions and realising that workers enjoy interacting together.
From this Mayo concluded that workers are best motivated by:
Better communication between managers and workers (Hawthorne workers were consulted over the experiments and also had the opportunity to give feedback)
Greater manager involvement in employees working lives (Hawthorne workers responded to the increased level of attention they were receiving)
Working in groups or teams (Hawthorne workers did not previously regularly work in teams)
Abraham Maslow (1908 – 1970) along with Frederick Herzberg (1923-) introduced the Neo-Human Relations School in the 1950’s, which focused on the psychological needs of employees. Maslow put forward a theory that there are five levels of human needs which employees need to have fulfilled at work.
All of the needs are structured into a hierarchy (see below) and only once a lower level of need has been fully met, would a worker be motivated by the opportunity of having the next need up in the hierarchy satisfied. For example a person who is dying of hunger will be motivated to achieve a basic wage in order to buy food before worrying about having a secure job contract or the respect of others.
A business should therefore offer different incentives to workers in order to help them fulfil each need in turn and progress up the hierarchy (see below). Managers should also recognise that workers are not all motivated in the same way and do not all move up the hierarchy at the same pace. They may therefore have to offer a slightly different set of incentives from worker to worker.
Frederick Herzberg (1923) had close links with Maslow and believed in a two-factor theory of motivation. He argued that there were certain factors that a business could introduce that would directly motivate employees to work harder (Motivators). However there were also factors that would de-motivate an employee if not present but would not in themselves actually motivate employees to work harder (Hygiene factors)
Motivators are more concerned with the actual job itself. For instance how interesting the work is and how much opportunity it gives for extra responsibility, recognition and promotion. Hygiene factors are factors which ‘surround the job’ rather than the job itself. For example a worker will only turn up to work if a business has provided a reasonable level of pay and safe working conditions but these factors will not make him work harder at his job once he is there. Importantly Herzberg viewed pay as a hygiene factor which is in direct contrast to Taylor who viewed pay and piece-rate in particular. Herzberg believed that businesses should motivate employees by adopting a democratic approach to management and by improving the nature and content of the actual job through certain methods.
Motivation plays a huge role in any organization or company. The level of motivation can directly affect not only the quality of life but can strengthen or weaken the bottom line. Every manager and or leader should know and work to make sure they keep their employees motivated no matter what place those employee’s are in their careers. Managers can keep their employees motivated by identifying individual factors that influence behaviour, understanding and applying motivation theories and enacting effective behaviour modification that encourages a higher level of motivation for the individual employee. A motivated workforce can make any company or organization a competitive force. Employees who are motivated usually produce at a higher level, create a better product or service and can be fertile ground for innovative ideas.
Nature of groups and technology
The term group can be defined as two or more persons interacting and working together for a common purpose. When people work in groups rather than as individuals, the goals of the Organization can be easily achieved. However, working in a group is a complex task. Group dynamics refers to the interactions between the members of a group. A work group of an organization is the main foundation for the social identity of employees in that organization. Hence, performance at work and relationships outside the organization are influenced by the nature of groups in the organization. In this unit, we will discuss the nature and types of groups and the stages in development of groups along with the structure, tasks, and processes of groups.
Different types of groups are formed to achieve specific results in organizations. There are three views on the nature of interaction between members of a group or group dynamics. The first view is the normative view, which describes how to carry out activities and organize a group. According to the second view, group dynamics consists of a set of techniques which include brainstorming, role play, team building, sensitivity training, self-managed teams, and transactional analysis. The third view explains group dynamics from the viewpoint of the internal nature of the groups. The formation of groups, structure, processes, and functioning are discussed in this view along with the effect of groups on individuals, other groups, and the complete organization.
The use of new technologies can improve and in some cases hider team functioning. As technology changes teams must update and maintain their knowledge in order to function effectively. There are technologies like e-mail, mobile phones, groupware and computers which have improved team functions. E-mail allows asynchronous communication which team members do not be in the same place at the same time in order to communicate effectively. Mobile phones have come a long way from yuppie bricks of the 1980s and there are now more mobile phones in the UK then there are people. Groupware enables teams to plan meetings, collaborate, delegate all within a virtual environment which can often be accessed remotely from anywhere in the world. Computers allow team members to carry out various tasks and communicate more effectively. Laptop computers allow you to do this anywhere.
According to my opinion company should have use different leadership styles, motivational theories of different theorist or economist, and other organisational behaviour strategies for business operations. Basically, this report describes all these things. Company should critically evaluate all the issues of management which can directly or indirectly affecting the business operations. Many employers now expect employees to understand their own performance and to know how to adapt to meet times of increased workload, stressful situations or conditions of change. Employees are expected to respond well to change. Whilst some employers offer training, it is more typical for employers to expect graduates to arrive ready to manage both their own performance and the performance of other people.
Organizational Structure is critical both for a company and its employees. People should think very carefully about the organizational structure of the companies for which they intend to work. In the long run, Organizational Structure can spell the difference between success and failure for a company, as well as for the individuals who work there. Furthermore, culture and organisation’s structure should be interred related with each other. As I mentioned earlier about how culture affects on organisation as well as individual behaviour at work. Evaluation of theories using technologies can helps organisation to improve and growth of company.
d) Class notes and self knowledge
a)Mr. Brooks (2008), Organisational Behaviour: groups and organisation, 4th edition, Prentice Hall
b)Laurie J. Mullins (1995), Organisational Behaviour and Management, 4th revised edition, FT Prentice Hall