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Coming in to this I had little to no knowledge about what organizational behavior (OB) entailed. Organizational behavior defined OB as “a field of study devoted to understanding, explaining, and ultimately improving the attitudes and behaviors of individuals.” (Colquitt and LePine, 2018, p. 6) I really didn’t put much thought into the idea that there was a field of management focused on how to improve the attitudes and behaviors of individuals. After this semester of organizational behavior, I think my interest in this subject has grown.
I’ve learned that within an organization someone’s behavior can taint or help improve the organization as a whole.
Q.2) What has been the most valuable learning experience for you? Discuss two or more. What two topics were the most useful? Why?
One of the most valuable learning experiences for me was working in a group to complete the two case studies. Working in a group taught me rudimentary skills correlated with working as a collective component towards a general goal.
In working my group, I found there to be an array of skills that will be beneficial to me in the future, these skills include communication, time management, understanding/compromise and a mutual effort. In our group, we had to float ideas around and agree on which route we were going to go when answering the question and agree on who would be in charge of each question when it came time to edit the case before turning it in. We came to understand the strengths of each group member and used this to our advantage when delegating work.
I also believe the case studies themselves were an extremely valuable learning experience. These case studies required us to manage our time in and out of class, balancing the case at times was difficult when I had exams or other projects in my other classes. There were times that I found it hard to focus on the case in class knowing that right after MGMT 340 I had to go take an health care economics exam, however I knew I didn’t want to work on the case outside of class so I made the case my main focus.
One of the topics that I found that will be the most useful in my future was the discussion of the four types of employees and how to identify them. These four types of employees include stars, citizens, lone wolves, and apathetics. Stars have high organizational commitment and task performance, citizens have high organizational commitment and low task performance, lone wolves have low organizational commitment and high task performance, and apathetics have low organizational commitment and low task performance.
The other topic I found to be the most helpful is Kohlberg’s Theory of Cognitive Moral Behavior and how to create an ethical culture. This theory has three stages, preconventional, where you make a choice or act to avoid punishment, conventional, where you act to meet expectations, and the principled stage, where you act according to your own principles/values/morals. Knowing that roughly 20 percent of people fall into the principled stage allows you to think of how the other 80 percent of people behave. To create an ethical culture we discussed five ideas, be a visible role model, communicate ethical expectations, provide ethical training, reward ethical behavior/punish unethical behavior, and put policies in place to protect reporting of unethical actions.
Q.3) How will you continue to learn about these topics now that the course has ended?
In my major, health care administration, my senior year will be a practicum experience at a nursing home. During this practicum experience I will be an administrator in training and will spend 11 months learning from the administrator and staff of the facility I will be at, which in my case is Oak Park Place in Madison. There, during the first half of my practicum, I will go through rounds with each department, working with people from different backgrounds and with different capabilities. It will be a vital part of my training, with the help of the administrator, to learn how to best harness these differing capabilities to promote an effective workforce.
Each of these individuals will be motivated in a different way. In one of the first lectures we discussed if organizational behavior actually mattered, in a 1995 study of 968 firms, Mark Huselid talked about the fact that the effectiveness of highly skilled employees would be limited if they were not properly motivated to perform, it however mentioned that human resource management practices can affect employee management by encouraging them to work both harder and smarter (Huselid, 1995). Knowing how to best motivate these employees is vital in the success of the organization.
I don’t believe there is a point that I will stop learning about this topic, people change so their behaviors in turn will change. And as I stated in the first question, OB is defined as “a field of study devoted to understanding, explaining, and ultimately improving the attitudes and behaviors of individuals.” (Colquitt & LePine, 2018, p.6)
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