The study of people at work is generally referred to as the study of organizational behavior. This chapter will start by defining the term organizational behavior and briefly reviewing its origins. Organizational behavior is the systematic study of the actions and attitudes that people exhibit within organizations.
Each person regularly uses intuition or our “gut feelings” in trying to explain phenomena. For example, a friend catches a cold and we’re quick to remind him that he “didn’t take his vitamins”. The field of organizational behavior seeks to replace intuitive explanations such as this example with systematic study. The objective, of course, is to draw more accurate conclusions (Wilson 1994). What does organizational behavior study? Actions (or behaviors) and attitudes. The behaviors that get the bulk of attention in organizational behavior are three, which have proven to be very important determinants of employee performance. They are productivity, absenteeism, and turnover (Wilson 1994). The importance of productivity is obvious. Managers are clearly concerned with the quantity and quality of the work their employees are performing. But absence and turnover are particularly cause for concern because of the adverse affect it may have on an employee’s productivity.
In terms of absence, it’s hard for an employee to be productive if he or she isn’t at work. High rates of employee turnover increase costs and tend to place less experienced people into jobs (Daniels 1994). Organizational behavior is also concerned with employee job satisfaction, which is an attitude. There are three reasons why managers should be concerned with their employees’ job satisfaction. First, there is a link between satisfaction and productivity. Second, satisfaction appears to be negatively related to absenteeism and turnover. Third managers have a humanistic responsibility to provide their employees with jobs that are challenging and rewarding (Daniels 1994). The second part of organizational behavior’s definition that needs to be explained is “organization”. For our purposes organizational behavior is specifically concerned with work-related behavior-and that takes place in organizations. An organization is a formal structure of planned coordination, involving two or more people, in order to achieve a common goal (Daniels 1994). Organizational behavior is about studying and understanding people and human nature.
Do employee ever make efforts on behalf of their employing organization’s interests or fellow employees’ interest when it is not in their direct self-interest to do so? This question exists in any organization must be address. The problem addressed here is a conflict of self-interest. The question here should be very interesting to people in organization. People should try to understand and address counterintuitive behavior in certain situation (Young 1998). For instance, why does moral hazard exists in organization? Organizational behavior success or failure depends on its goal setting, such as group cohesiveness and productivity. In a case study of 2 groups several researchers have suggested that goal acceptance moderates the relationship between group cohesiveness and group productivity. In Study 1, goal acceptance was found to moderate the relationship between group cohesiveness and the quantity of performance of 40 machine crews in a paper mill located in the northeastern United States. In Study 2, the extent to which leaders fostered the acceptance of group goals was found to moderate the relationships between group cohesiveness and quantitative measures of group productivity in 71 insurance agency units located throughout the United States. The companies’ success or failure in this study will be explained in organizational behavior (Jacob 1985)
Goals of Organizational Behavior
The field of most organizational behavior has an amount of common goals. In order to reach these goals, people need to effectively predict, explain, and manage the behavior that occurs in our organizations. In order to change behavior, one needs to accept that any behavior is rational and logical to the person exhibiting it because his or her goals may differ from others. If an organization is able to predict which reward systems is most effective in motivating the employees, then one can explain the reasons for this effectiveness and describe how managers can enforce effective reward systems.
Our everyday lives are about predictions. Predicting the behavior in an organization is usually wondering “when people will make ethical decisions, create innovative products, or engage in sexual harassment” (Johns 1996). The behavior in our organizations licenses us the prediction of its future circumstance. Predictions are not always accurate, however. The field of organizational behavior offers a “Scientific foundation” (Johns 1996). That helps upgrade predictions of these events. But, being able to predict these organization behaviors do not guarantee a hundred percent that he can explain the reason why this particular behavior had developed.
A manger needs to be able to get things accomplished, reach all goals, take control, and knows everything that is going on in their company I know that there varieties of management styles to be effective, depending on the situation. There are some cases when a manager acts without investigation, just looking for that quick solution to solve a problem usually results in an unhappy ending. If an organizational behavior “Can be predicted and explained, it can often be controlled or managed” (Johns 1996). A great manager would be able to predict a certain behavior and have an act on it before it’s too late. Remember, our lives would be more easier if we anticipate when our friends are anger, what our professors expect out of us, and whose lying and telling the truth, “Regardless of who we are our actions are in response to a variety of motivations” (Wilson 1994). When one understands, one will understand human behavior. Use the predicting. Explaining, and managing principles, and any manger will have the ability to reach your goals through the efforts of others. The four goals of organizational behavior are:
1. To describe systematically how people behave under variety of conditions
2. To understand why people behave as they do
3. To predict future employee behavior
4. to control & develop human activity at work
Theory X and Theory Y
Theory X and Theory Y are theories of human motivation created and developed by Douglas McGregor at the MIT Sloan School of Management in the 1960s that have been used in human resource management, organizational behavior,organizational communication and organizational development. They describe two contrasting models of workforce motivation. Theory X and Theory
Y have to do with the perceptions managers hold on their employees, not the way they generally behave. It is attitude not attributes.
There are two kinds of reinforcement, positive and negative. “Positive reinforcement causes a behavior to increase because a desired, meaningful consequences follows the behavior. Negative reinforcement causes a behavior to increase in order to escape or avoid some unpleasant consequence” (Daniels 1994).
Models of Organizational Behavior
There are four major models or frameworks that organizations operate out of, Autocratic, Custodial, Supportive, and Collegial (Cunningham, Eberle, 1990; Davis ,1967): o
Autocratic — The basis of this model is power with a managerial orientation of authority. The employees in turn are oriented towards obedience and dependence on the boss. The employee need that is met is subsistence. The performance result is minimal.
Custodial — The basis of this model is economic resources with a managerial orientation of money. The employees in turn are oriented towards security and benefits and dependence on the organization. The employee need that is met is security. The performance result is passive cooperation.
Supportive — The basis of this model is leadership with a managerial orientation of support. The employees in turn are oriented towards job performance and participation. The employee need that is met is status and recognition. The performance result is awakened drives.
Collegial — The basis of this model is partnership with a managerial orientation of teamwork. The employees in turn are oriented towards responsible behavior and self-discipline. The employee need that is met is self-actualization. The performance result is moderate enthusiasm. Although there are four separate models, almost no organization operates exclusively in one.
There will usually be a predominate one, with one or more areas over-lapping in the other models. The first model, autocratic, has its roots in the industrial revolution. The managers of this type of organization operate mostly out of McGregor’s Theory X. The next three models begin to build on McGregor’s Theory Y. They have each evolved over a period of time and there is no one best model. In addition, the collegial model should not be thought as the last or best model, but the beginning of a new model or paradigm.