Behavioural Science and its Contribution to Organizational Behavior Essay
Behavioural Science and its Contribution to Organizational Behavior
Behavioural science is the systematic analysis and investigation of human behaviour through controlled and naturalistic observation, and disciplined scientific experimentation. It attempts to accomplish legitimate, objective conclusions through rigorous formulations and observation. Behavioral sciences could be categorized into three main forms psychology, sociology and anthropology. Insights from several pure disciplines across behavioural sciences are explored by various applied disciplines and practiced in the context of everyday life and business. These applied disciplines of behavioural science include: organizational behavior, operations research, consumer behaviour and media psychology. Behavioural sciences abstract empirical data to investigate the decision processes and communication strategies within and between organisms in a social system. Behavioural sciences abstract empirical data to investigate the decision processes and communication strategies within and between organisms in a social system.
Scientists in this field looks at individuals and their behavior along with the behavior of societies, groups, and cultures, as well as processes that can contribute to specific behaviors. There is a great deal of overlap between this field and the social sciences, which can sometimes lead to confusion. The social sciences tend to focus more on structural systems and cultures, while behavioral science tends to look at the reactions within and between organisms that dictate behavioral trends Organizational Behavior is the study of individuals and their behavior within the context of the organization in a workplace setting. It is an interdisciplinary field that includes sociology, psychology, communication and management
Statement of the problem
Many modern organizations are faced with numerous challenges such as illegal and unethical behaviour in a number of business transactions. Managers are also faced with the challenge of evaluating the effect of this critical behaviour on the performance of such organizations. Again, many business managers operate their activities today, without keen interest of bothering whether their actions are right or wrong and the extent of employees understanding of the term ethics while the level of compliance is highly infinitesimal, (Oladunni 2002).The way Nigerian society cares little about the welfare of the employees tend to make some of these business operators to begin to wonder about the necessity of behavioural science in an organization.
Objective of research
The objectives of this research among others are to:[a]critically x-ray the effects of behavioral science on organizational performance.[b]establish whether behavioural science has any relationship with organizational performance.[c]show-case the necessity of behavioural science to the success and eventual institutionalization of an organization
Literature review Behavioral science is any of various disciplines dealing with the subject of human actions, usually including the fields of sociology, social and cultural anthropology, psychology, and behavioral aspects of biology, economics, geography, law, psychiatry, and political science. The term gained currency in the 1950s in the United States; it is often used synonymously with “social sciences,” although some writers distinguish between them. The term behavioral sciences suggests an approach that is more experimental than that connoted by the older term social sciences. Behavioral and social sciences research is a large, multifaceted field, encompassing a wide array of disciplines. The field employs a variety of methodological approaches including: surveys and questionnaires, interviews, randomized clinical trials, direct observation, physiological manipulations and recording, descriptive methods, laboratory and field experiments, standardized tests, economic analyses, statistical modeling, ethnography, and evaluation.
Yet, behavioral and social sciences research is not restricted to a set of disciplines or methodological approaches. Instead, the field is defined by substantive areas of research that transcend disciplinary and methodological boundaries. In addition, several key cross-cutting themes characterize social and behavioral sciences research. These include: an emphasis on theory-driven research; the search for general principles of behavioral and social functioning; the importance ascribed to a developmental, lifespan perspective; an emphasis on individual variation, and variation across sociodemographic categories such as gender, age, and sociocultural status; and a focus on both the social and biological contexts of behavior.
The core areas of behavioral and social sciences research are divided into basic or fundamental research and applied research. The basic and applied research distinction serves more of an organizational function for purposes of this definition, rather than representing firm boundaries within the field. Indeed, many studies have both basic and applied components. Moreover, basic and applied research is often complementary. Basic research frequently provides the foundation for subsequent applied research, and applied research often influences the direction of basic research.
Definition of “behavioral””
For purposes of this definition, the term “behavioral” refers to overt actions; to underlying psychological processes such as cognition, emotion, temperament, and motivation; and to biobehavioral interactions. Behavioral science a science or branch of learning, as psychology or sociology that derives its concepts from observation of the behavior of living organism.according to “prof B J Inyang 2008 behavioural sciences is the scientific study of human behaviour
Behavioral Sciences Literature
A considerable literature on individual behavior and public health has developed in the second half of the twentieth century. The general failure of public health to pick up and nurture the more macro social science perspectives to the same degree has limited the full potential of the impact of the social and behavioral sciences on public health, particularly because the historical roots of public health in the latter half of the nineteenth century included a strong social structural viewpoint. Since that time, the theoretical development of economics, political science, sociology, and anthropology has accelerated, but it was often not brought to bear on contemporary public health issues because these issues were often defined in terms of the characteristics of individuals rather than as characteristics of social structure. The argument is, then, that public health picked up the wrong end of the social science stick—the individual (micro) end rather than the sociocultural (macro) end. This assertion is supported by any perusal of public health journals or literature on social and behavioral science in public health in the second half of the twentieth century.
Nonetheless, as the end of the twentieth century in public health witnessed increasing concern with social concepts such as social inequity, inequality, and community interventions, the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, economics, and political science had a more important role in public health, for the determinants of health were being defined in terms of a social and behavioral perspective. For example, many individual behaviors were recognized as risk factors for poor health, but were also seen as embedded in a wider social context. In addition, a social science–informed healthful public policy was seen by many as a key to the development of public health strategies to improve health. Behavioral science research is a large, multifaceted field, encompassing a wide array of disciplines. The field employs a variety of methodological approaches including: surveys and questionnaires, interviews, randomized clinical trials, direct observation, physiological manipulations and recording, descriptive methods, laboratory and field experiments, standardized tests, economic analyses, statistical modeling, ethnography, and evaluation.
Yet, behavioral sciences research is not restricted to a set of disciplines or methodological approaches. Instead, the field is defined by substantive areas of research that transcend disciplinary and methodological boundaries. In addition, several key cross-cutting themes characterize social and behavioral sciences research. These include: an emphasis on theory-driven research; the search for general principles of behavioral and social functioning; the importance ascribed to a developmental, lifespan perspective; an emphasis on individual variation, and variation across sociodemographic categories such as gender, age, and sociocultural status; and a focus on both the social and biological contexts of behavior.
The core areas of behavioral and social sciences research are divided into basic or fundamental research and applied research. The basic and applied research distinction serves more of an organizational function for purposes of this definition, rather than representing firm boundaries within the field. Indeed, many studies have both basic and applied components. Moreover, basic and applied research is often complementary. Basic research frequently provides the foundation for subsequent applied research, and applied research often influences the direction of basic research. The social sciences are concerned with the study of human society and with the relationship of individuals in, and to, society. The chief academic disciplines of the social sciences are anthropology, economics, history, political science, and sociology. The behavioral sciences, particularly psychology, are concerned with the study of the actions of humans and animals. The key effort of the behavioral sciences is to understand, predict, and influence behavior.
The chief academic disciplines of the behavioral sciences are anthropology, psychology, and sociology, with the distinction between social and behavioral science often blurred when these disciplines are applied in public health research and practice, particularly in schools of public health and governmental agencies. Many, if not most, public health approaches are problem focused and lead to a multidiscipline solution encompassing several social and behavioral science disciplines and combinations of them (such as social psychology), in addition to other public health disciplines such as epidemiology and biostatistics. Anthropology. Anthropology is a broad social science concerned with the study of humans from a social, biological and cultural perspective. Historically it is a Western-based social science with roots in Europe and North America. It includes two broad areas of physical and sociocultural anthropology; both are relevant to public health.
Physical anthropology divides into two areas, one related to tracing human evolution and the study of primates, and the other concerned with contemporary human characteristics stemming from the mixture of genetic adaptations and culture. Medical anthropologists with this perspective are often concerned with the relationships between culture, illness, health, and nutrition. Sociocultural anthropology is concerned with broad aspects of the adaptation of humans to their cultures— with social organization, language, ethnographic details, and, in general, the understanding of culturally mitigated patterns of behavior. In recent decades this perspective has taken a more ecologically focused view of the human species. From a public health perspective, this approach to anthropology is probably most salient in terms of the methodological approaches used by anthropologists. They have a critical concern with understanding communities through participant observation. Indeed, participation is probably the key concept linking modern-day anthropological approaches to twentieth-century concepts of public health community interventions. Although the methodology of rapport-based structured interviews and observation is a highly developed methodology among anthropologists, it has had limited application in public health.
More recent efforts in public health to address issues of inequity at the community level have created more attention to anthropological approaches. Economics. Economics is perhaps the oldest of the social sciences, with its concern with wealth and poverty, trade and industry. However, current economic thinking generally dates from the last three centuries and is associated with the great names in economic thinking, such as Adam Smith, Robert Malthus, David Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, and Karl Marx. Present-day economics is an advanced study of production, employment, exchange, and consumption driven by sophisticated mathematical models. Basically, the field breaks into two distinctive areas: microeconomics and macroeconomics. Microeconomics is largely concerned with issues such as competitive markets, wage rates, and profit margins. Macroeconomics deals with broader issues, such as national income, employment, and economic systems. The relationship between economics and health is obvious because in developed countries the percentage of gross national product consumed by the health care industry is significant, generally ranging from 5 to 15 percent of the gross national product.
In the poorer countries, the cost of disease to the overall economy can prohibit the sound economic development of the country. In recent years there has been a concern with both the global economic burden of disease as well as with investment in health. That poverty is highly related to poor public health is a widely accepted tenet of modernday thinking in public health. However, economic systems ranging from free enterprise through liberal socialism and communism offer quite differing alternatives to the reduction of poverty and the distribution of economic resources. Psychology. Psychology is probably the most common disciplinary background found in the application of the social and behavioral sciences to public health. Modern psychology is a large field that encompasses physiological psychology, concerned with the nervous and circulatory systems, as well as social psychology, and concerned with the behavior of individuals as influenced by social stimuli. In general, psychology is concerned with the relationship of living organisms to their environment.
In addition to studies focused on physiological mechanisms, psychology is concerned with the broad area of human cognition, including learning, memory, and concept formation. The subfield of abnormal psychology is concerned with mental disorders, ranging from psychoses to neuroses. The subfield of clinical psychology offers direct patient-care mechanisms to treat mental problems in individuals. Thus the application of psychological approaches to health is quite apparent. However, the most salient branch of psychology for public health practice, and particularly for the task of understanding the determinants of health, is probably social psychology. A major focus of social psychology is on attitudes, opinions, and behaviors. Thus, there is an emphasis on understanding how groups and individuals interact with one another. The degree to which many interactions are easy or difficult can play a major role in determining the stability of groups and individuals. Therefore, broad concepts such as stress, social cohesion, peer influence, civic trust, and others derive strong theoretical and research support from social psychology. Sociology. Sociology is perhaps the broadest of the social science fields applied to public health.
It is also characterized by being eclectic in its borrowing from the other social sciences. Thus, sociology is also concerned with organizations, economics, and political issues, as well as individual behaviors in relation to the broader social milieu. A key concept in sociology, however, is an emphasis on society rather than the individual. The individual is viewed as an actor within a larger social process. This distinguishes the field from psychology. Thus the emphasis is on units of analysis at the collective level such as the family, the group, the neighborhood, the city, the organization, the state, and the world. Sociology is concerned with how the social fabric or social structure is maintained, and how social processes, such as conflict and resolution, relate to the maintenance and change of social structures. A sociologist studies processes that create, maintain, and sustain a social system, such as a health care system in a country. The scientific component of this study would be the concern with the processes regulating and shaping the health care system. Sociology assumes that social structure and social processes are very complex.
Definition of organizational behaviour
Organizational behavior is a field of study that investigates the impact of individuals, groups and structures upon behavior within an organization. It is an interdisciplinary field that includes sociology, psychology, communication, and management; and it complements the academic studies of organizational theory (which is focused on organizational and intra-organizational topics) and human resource studies (which is more applied and business-oriented). It may also be referred to as organizational science. The field has its roots in industrial and organizational psychology a Organizational studies encompass the study of organizations from multiple viewpoints, methods, and levels of analysis. For instance, one textbook divides these multiple viewpoints into three perspectives: modern, symbolic, and postmodern.
Another traditional distinction, present especially in American academia, is between the study of “micro” organizational behaviour — which refers to individual and group dynamics in an organizational setting — and “macro” strategic management and organizational theory which studies whole organizations and industries, how they adapt, and the strategies, structures and contingencies that guide them. To this distinction, some scholars have added an interest in “meso” scale structures – power, culture, and the networks of individuals and i.e. ronit units in organizations — and “field” level analysis which study how whole populations of organizations interact. Whenever people interact in organizations, many factors come into play. Modern organizational studies attempt to understand and model these factors.
Like all modernist social sciences, organizational studies seek to control, predict, and explain. There is some controversy over the ethics of controlling workers’ behavior, as well as the manner in which workers are treated (see Taylor’s scientific management approach compared to the human relations movement of the 1940s). As such, organizational behaviour or OB (and its cousin, Industrial psychology) have at times been accused of being the scientific tool of the powerful. Those accusations notwithstanding, OB can play a major role in organizational development, enhancing organizational performance, as well as individual and group performance/satisfaction/commitment. One of the main goals of organizational theorists is, according to Simms (1994) “to revitalize organizational theory and develop a better conceptualization of organizational life.” An organizational theorist should carefully consider levels assumptions being made in theory, and is concerned to help managers and administrators Behavioral science and organizational behaviour both interrelate and interdepend on each other thou the mean total different things.
This study shows that behavioural science does affect organizational behaviour negatively and positively, it could affect one negatively if one had a rough upbringing such as the environment, genetic treats, the person interpersonal relations skill would be poor thus reducing the persons productivity, it can affect positively if one is a good person at heart and is always happy to do the job then the organization may blossom.
It is highly recommended that managers observe and practice behavioral science amongst his employs so as to balance the organizational behaviour. Chief Executives should encourage behavioral consciousness in their organizations from the top down showing the support and care about ethical behaviour. There is the need for organizations to help their employees in dealings with ethical challenged by adhering to the following steps.
[a] Recognize and Clarify the Dilemma.
[b] Get all the possible facts
[c] List your options, all of them.
[d] Test each option by asking: ”Is it legal? Is it right? Is it beneficial?”
[e] Make your decision.
[f] Double check your decision by asking: ‘how would I feel if my family found out about this? How would I feel if my decision was printed in a local newspaper?
[g] Implement your action.
[h] Make a research and collect feedback on your implementation.
[I] Evaluation and control of the whole steps
It must be emphasized that the challenge of behavioural science must be met by organizations if they are truly concerned about survival uprightness, integrity, and competitiveness. What is needed in today’s complicated times is for more organization to step forward and operate with strong, positive and good organizational behaviours. Organizations must ensure that their employees know how to deal with behavioural issues in their everyday work lives. As a result, when the behavioural climate is clear and positive, everyone will know what is expected of him or her when the inevitable behavioural dilemmas occur. This will definitely give employees the confidence to be on the lookout for unwanted behaviours and act with the understanding that what they are doing is correct and will be supported by top management of the organization
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University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 18 March 2016
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