To understand how the concept of organizational behavior can be applied and described through the work environment of My Company, I will first explore a general definition of what Organizational Behavior is and then relate how the individual components apply. According to Stephen Robbins, author of our Organizational Behavior textbook, “Organizational behavior is a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups, and structure have on behavior within organizations for the purpose of applying such knowledge toward improving an organization’s effectiveness”(9). The first component of this definition is to see the impact that the individuals have, followed by the impact of the groups, and then finally the impact of the structure. I will expand on each of these areas and relate them to the current practices within My Company.
It is probable that the single most prevalent aspect of organizational behavior through the eyes of an employee would be the impact that they personally have on the company. What this implies, is that when I try to describe the impact individuals have to the company, it will be solely from my perspective as a non-managerial employee. Had my perspective been from that of an employee in a management-level position, it would most likely differ. From the experiences that I have had in the two and a half years that I have worked at My Company, it seems to me that individuals are encouraged to take the initiative to make their work as productive as possible. I have been part of many changes that have been initiated by non-management level employees to try and streamline and improve efficiencies within the company. This has led me to believe that one of the ‘in-use’ espoused values is that of empowering all levels of employees with the ability to make changes that will directly affect their particular areas.
When evaluating the group component and how that relates to the My Company environment, I am going to make the assumption that a group is the equivalent of a department. These departmental segregations help to increase internal accountability and define what each group will be responsible for. Each group has its own independent structure and operates a little differently depending on the style of the individual manager. Many of these groups (departments) can be broken down into subgroups to further delegate components of work. The outcome is that within each department or group there is a hierarchy where you will find different forms of leadership. Some of these subgroup leaders lead by being experts in their fields rather than having a title of being a manager. Within my group there is a distinct leader that I work for.
I have found that if I am struggling with a project or if I cannot define the scope of a job that I am working on often times I can rely on help from the leader of my group to help achieve the desired results. If for some reason components (individuals) within my subgroup started to perform poorly, the outcome could have serious consequences to the productivity of our entire department. Conversely, if we were able to drastically improve performance metrics for our areas of responsibility, we would then be able to offset some work from other areas within the group. This interdependence of the subgroups has helped our group to have more control of the aspects that will impact how productively the company will continue to be going forward.
Through the process of defining the groups within My Company, I have made reference to the internal group structure. Instead of rehashing this same information and tying it back to the structural component mentioned in the definition of organizational behavior, I am going to relate how my manager is able to structure her team to be as effective and productive as possible. Looking through the four essential management functions (Robbins 5) defined in our reading material, (planning, organizing, leading and controlling) I am able to see how my manager struggles to constantly apply these ideas in her day to day responsibilities. Our group organizes weekly meetings where we try to plan what tasks we would like to undertake in the near future.
My manager is responsible for keeping these meetings in focus so that overall group objectives are met. Through controlling and delegating within these meetings, she has shown the ability to lead our group and utilize different strengths of individuals to maximize our effectiveness. Being able to take more of an observational role in this situation has helped me to understand the different idiosyncrasies that exist within our company and department. By identifying these ‘quirks’ I feel that I am able to better understand how many of the different internal components and people must work together in order to achieve desired results. This has helped me to recognize, at least at the group level, how one can utilize many of the resources to maximize efficiencies within My Company.
Robbins, Stephen. Organizational Behavior. New Jersey: Pearson, 2001.