Organisational behavior Human being is a social animal and there is a natural instinct that exists in him to work and
live together with others in social groupings as a family, a clan, community or friendship group or organization. The individuals are bound together in a network of stable social relationships. Hence, our society is organizational with large and complex organizations that exist in every sphere of human activity. Organisations play an important role in the quality of human life. Hence, the study of organizations has become imperative. Organisations are usually studied from two perspectives – • Micro • Macro Micro perspective focuses on human beings in the organization. It studies human beings as individuals – an individual’s psychological make-up, his interaction with other individuals and groups, variables determining his behavior in the organization and the strategies that can be adopted to govern his behavior as a desirable one in the organization. The micro perspective of organizational study is taken care of in “OB”. Macro perspective considers organization as a unit of analysis. It emphasizes on the study of human behavior as a collectivity of people, how organizations are structured, how technology affects people in the organization and how organization interacts with the environment. The macro aspect of organizational study is taken care of in “Oganisational Theory”. Any definition of OB should put emphasis on 3 features – • Organisational Behaviour is the study of human behavior. • The study is about behavior in organizations. • Knowledge about human behavior would be useful in improving an organisation’s effectiveness.
Definitions • “Organisational Behaviour” is the study and application of knowledge about how people – as individual and as groups – act within organizations. • It 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 towards improving an organisation’s effectiveness.
Organisational Behaviour means the study of behavior of individuals, and groups in organizations and organizations themselves, as they act and interact to attain desired outcomes.
OB is a scientific study in which a number of research studies and conceptual developments are taking place. It is also an applied science wherein information about effective practices in one organization is being extended to many others. OB provides a useful set of tools at many levels of analysis – It helps managers to understand the behavior of individuals within an organization; understand the interpersonal relationships, when two people (coworkers or a superior – subordinate pair) interact; to understand the dynamics or relationships within small groups, both formal teams and informal groups; to understand the intergroup relationships; and finally understand the organizations as whole systems that have interorganisational relationships (Eg – Mergers and Joint ventures). Goals of OB • To describe – The first objective is to describe – how people behave under a variety of conditions.
To understand – as to why people behave as they do. To predict – Predicting future employee behavior is another goal of OB. Managers would have the capacity to predict which employees may be dedicated and productive or which ones might be absent or disruptive on a certain day so that the manager could take preventive actions.
It helps in understanding and predicting the behaviour of individuals. It provides a rational thinking about people and their behaviour. Managers also want to make an impact on employee behavior. skill development. Organisational behaviour draws a rich array of research from these disciplines. research and application associated with a growing concern for people at the workplace. A Field of Study. OB is a field of study backed by a body of theory. Inter-disciplinary Approach. It helps in demolishing ‘incorrect’ assumptions one may hold about behaviour. What makes it a field in its own right is the attempt to integrate various aspects and levels of behaviour. The prominent among these are psychology.•
To control – The final goal of OB is to control and develop some human activity at work. OB is a human tool for human benefit. Its study helps in understanding the human behaviour in work organizations. OB is a part of general management and not the whole of management. It provides
Managers should be able to improve the results through their own and their employee’s actions. Human Tool. sociology and anthropology. The major goals of organisational behaviour are to understand. OB involves three levels of analysis of behaviour – individual behaviour. group behaviour and behaviour of the organisation itself. explain and predict human behaviour in the organisational context so that it may be moulded into result-yielding situations. team effort and productivity. The field of organisational behaviour is heavily influenced by several other behavioural sciences and social sciences. OB has assumed the status of a distinct field of study. OB is an action – oriented and goal-directed discipline. Levels of Analysis. Goal-Oriented. It is significant to note that because of the importance of human behaviour in organisations.
Features of Organisational Behaviour
The essential characteristics of organisational behaviour are as follows:
An Integral Part of Management. It represents behaviour approach to management. It provides a rational thinking about people. It includes creative thinking among the managers to solve human problems in organisations.
The systematic knowledge about human behaviour is a science.
. but it is difficult to apply predictive models in all situations. (vii) Science and Art. (viii) Satisfaction of Employees’ Needs. Every employee in the organisation wants to fulfill his needs through organisational activities. It is the organisation’s responsibility to provide congenial climate in the organisation so that people may get need satisfaction and the organisation may attain its objectives. It cannot provide specific answers to all organisational problems. The application of behaviour knowledge and skills clearly leans towards being an art. It is possible to predict relationships between variables on a broad scale. organisation behaviour is not an exact science like physics or chemistry. However. The exact prediction of behavior of people in organisations is also not possible.generalisations that managers can use to anticipate the effects of certain actions on human behaviour. Thus. both organisation and individuals can be benefited by each other. OB seeks to fulfill employees’ need and aspirations. OB is both a science as well as an art.
groups (say class or section) and the institute as a whole – are all important and outstanding performance of each individual and group is recognized and highlighted. and (iii) Organisation.
.. Behaviour at all three levels is interdependent and interrelated. The performance of individuals. viz.(i) Individual (ii) Group.Levels of Analysis of OB
Organisational Behaviour focuses on three levels of analysis.
Dynamics of Change Formal and Informal Organisation Status and Roles GROUP Organisational Behaviour
SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Change in Attitude and Behaviour Group Processes : Norms Communication Group Decision-making ANTHROPOLOGY Organisation System Level : Organisational Culture Stress Management Organisational Change and Development Morale and Productivity Cross-cultural Analysis POLITICAL SCIENCE Organisational Power Politics Conflicts Coalitions
. Cultural and Other Factors Work Stress SOCIOLOGY Group Level : Groups and Teams Leadership Communication Conflict. Perception Attitudes and Values Individual Decision-making Learning Motivation.PSYCHOLOGY Individual Level: Personality. Job-satisfaction Social.
learning. At times. attitudes. Inter group relationships may be in the form of cooperations or competition. The individual is a central feature of organisational behaviour. The behaviour of individuals is a complex phenomenon and is affected by a large number of factors such as personality. The study of behaviour from the perspective of the whole organisation is also referred to as macro organisational behaviour. etc. social. while they may fight for change in certain situations.
. in response to expectations of the organisation.) Behaviour at the Organisation Level .1. motivation.An organisation is a system
composed of several interdependent individuals and groups. Individuals and groups operate within the structure of formal organisation.) Behaviour at the Individual Level .) Behaviour at the Group Level . Stress caused by the activities of individuals and groups has to be managed at the organisational . cultural and other factors. Understanding the effect of group relationships is important for managers in today’s organisations. The study of behaviour of an individual working in the organisation is also known as microorganisational behaviour. cohesiveness.
2. Understanding of group dynamics is essential to reduce conflicts and improve morale and productivity. they may resist change. group and individual levels.Organisations are made up of their
individual members. Several factors influence the behaviour of groups such as group goals. norms.Behaviour pattern of individuals is also
influenced by the groups to which they belong. They particapte in shaping the culture of the organisation and also in organisation development. Research studies have shown people behave differently in groups than as individuals. communication. or as a result of influence of the external environment.
3. The co-operative relationships help the organisation in achieving its objectives. leadership. perception. whether acting in isolation or as part of a group.
If an employee is slow in his work. perception. the basic issue may not be demand for more wages. the awareness of the nature of individual and social process has an immediate or long term contribution to the success or the failure of the enterprise. or if his productivity is readily declining. Hence the relations between the management and the employees are often strained for reasons which are personal but not technical. Similarly. This can be due to any other reasons like the indifferent attitude of the boss towards the worker which in turn can lead to the worker loosing interest in his work gradually. higher bonus.
4) OB helps in the field of marketing.
5) OB helps in predicting the behaviour of individual and thus help the
organization to be effective having good ‘people skills’ which includes the ability to understand one’s employees and to use this knowledge to make them work efficiently is a vital requirement if a person has to succeed as a manager. a better canteen etc.IMPORTANCE OF OB
1) OB helps an individual to understand himself and others better.
. OB is a discipline which enables a manager to motivate his subordinates towards higher productivity and better results. Attitudes.
3) The field of OB will be successful in maintaining cordial industrial
will improve interpersonal relations considerably. transactional analysis and conflicts can also be understood better with the study of OB. leaderships. reluctance of the management to talk to union leaders may provoke them to give a strike. In the dynamic mechanism of the
flow of goods and services from producer to consumer. communication.
2) A manager in a business establishment is concerned with getting
things done through others.
6) Effective management means competent utilization of technical and
financial resources. He will be successful in his job when he can motivate his subordinates to work for better results. OB will help the manager understand the basis of motivation and what he should do to motivate his subordinates.
2. People work in the organization to achieve their objectives. other have a complex structure as a result of mergers. methods & resources.Structure defines the formal relationship and use of people in organization.Forces Affecting Organizational Behaviour
The four key forces that affects Organization Behaviour 1. however is very diverse in terms of their educational backgrounds. Some organization have resorted to a flatter structure (containing fewer levels. Some companies have developed a sense of caring. really listening to the employees.People make up the internal social system of the organization. The structure defines the authority-responsibility relationship. Some organizations have hired contingent workforces (tempory. empowering some without exploiting others. The managements’ leadership practices have to be tuned to the diverse workforce. One has the authority & the others have a duty to obey him. a goal attained by cutting middle management position). It defines the roles & relationship of people in an organization.Technology provides the resources with which people work & affects e task that they perform. the dramatic shift from a manufacturing to a service
. Technology. 2. There are unofficial informal groups & official formal groups. Structure . building pride without devaluing others. Different jobs are performed by different people in an organization & these people are related to each other in some structural way so as to coordinate their work effectively. People. part-time or contract employees). Groups are dynamic in the sense that they form. The people are given the assistance of machines. The workforce of an organization. talents & perspectives to their jobs.Increasing use of robots & automated control systems in assembly lines. Technology allows people to do more & better work but it adds to the cost for examples. 3. acquisitions & new ventures. change & disband. confidence. People Structure Technology Environment
1. developing the competence level of the employees. 3. some firms have developed a team-based structure. demonstrating openness. That system consists of individuals & group & large groups as well as small ones. 4. authentic compassion and vulnerability.
Any change in the environment creates demands on organizations. 4. Citizens expect organisations to be socially responsible. Environment. there are new products & competition for customers.Organisations are influenced by external environment which include socio-cultural. use of internet & improved quality of goods & services at acceptable prices. All these technical advancements exerts an increased pressure on OB to maintain a delicate balance b/w technical & social systems. affects working conditions & provides competition for resources & power. advances in computer hardware & software capabilities. People
Disciplines contributing to OB
OB is not a discipline in itself but it uses knowledge concepts & principles from the other relevant disciplines. It influences the attitudes of people. economic. It draws concepts & principles from behavioural. Any organization is influenced by its external environment. geographical forces. It
. politico-legal. An organisation is always a part of a larger system with elements like government. All organisations operate within an internal & external environment.economy. the family & other organizations.
adolescence. Sociology 3. Psychology is a science of behaviour. Psychology 2. Economics 2. feeling & personality. society. It studies the shared human behaviour. Sociology of religion
. perception. pattern of influence. legal. Industrial sociology 3.draws concepts & principles from behavioural sciences & the core disciplines of behavioural sciences are1. sensation. individual & group decision making.normal. old age etc. Sociology – It uses the scientific method in accumulating knowledge about man’s social behaviour. social behaviour. childhood. motivation. Psychology. thinking. 2. customs. Its subfields are1. personnel selection & training. It also studies process of human behaviour like learning.The term “psychology comes from the Greek word “psyche”
meaning soul or spirit. status. social. Its contributions to behavioural science are in the field of learning. It studies social groups. There is also a separate branch of industrial psychology which deals with the application of psychological facts & principles to the problem concerning human relations in organization. Educational sociology 6. Political Science Contributions of core disciplines of behavioural sciences to OB
1. the way in which people act towards one another. and change in organization group process. vocational choice and satisfaction. institutions. Family sociology 4. industrial. perception. emotion. Anthropology OB draws concepts from social sciences also1. social mobility and prestige. social class. memory. the term behaviour. Sociology lf Law 5. abnormal. History 3. Psychology studies behaviour in various conditions. Political sociology 2. communication.
group level and inter group level. grp dynamics effect of industrialsation on the social behaviour etc. 2) POLITICAL SCIENCE: It provides the basis for the conflicts in organisation. 3. OTHER DISCIPLINES
1) ECONOMICS: Economics contributes in understanding the decision
process. social. norms.“Anthropology” combines the Greek stem ‘anthropo” meaning man & “Logy” meaning science. It studies civilization. cultural etc. speech and relationship among languages.To the managerial practice. effects of value systems. OB integrates these factors in order to understand human behaviour. Anthropology contributes in understanding the cultural effects on organization behaviour. Human behaviour is a complex phenomenon and is affected by a number of factors like psychological. forms of cultures & their impact on individual & grps. OB helps to understand relationships in terms of superior
. role structures social system theory. Interpersonal Level : Human behaviour has to be understood in terms interpersonal interactions because human beings have a natural tendency to socialize. cohesion and interaction. its contribution is in the field of bureaucracy. biological factures of man and evolutionary pattern.
UNDERSTANDING HUMAN BEHAVIOUR
OB helps to understand human behavior in the organisation – at the individual level. Hence. power and authority structure and overall administrative process. sentiments. Anthropology.
Individual Level: OB helps to understand why and how an individual behaves in a particular way. Anthropology is the sciences of man. and methods of allocating scarce resources in organizations and the impact of economic policy on organizations. interpersonal level.
Particularly where the employees can be motivated by physiological needs. The organizational process is formal.e downward.In an autocratic model.
Group Level: Individuals are times modified by group pressures. Managers see authority as the only means to get the things done. A strict supervision is read to obtain a desirable performance from them. i. So there is a high dependence on boss. transactional analysis etc. But t is still a useful way to accomplish performance. leadership and membership.
. & employees are expected to follow orders. managerial orientation is towards power. There is little interaction s/w mangers & employees. communic” is mostly one. However. Hence it becomes important to study groups and group dynamics with special reference to norms. peer relationships. goals. cohesion.subordinates relationships. The model is largely based on the theory x assumptions of McGregor wherein the human beings are distasteful to work & try to avoid respeonsiblity. An understanding of group behaviour is important organizational moral and productivity. The autocratic model represents traditional thinking which is based on the economic concept of the man. with changing times. threats punishment & occasional rewards. Way. its acceptability is to a limited extent. This usually happens at lower strata of the organization.
MODELS OF OB
AUTOCRATIC MODEL. This dependence is possible: employees live on the subsistence level. OB helps to understand and achevie cooperative group relationships through interaction. rotation of members among groups. The Management decides what is the best action for the people. His system (exploitative authoritative) in which motivation depends on physical security & some use of desire for status & better performance is ensured through jear.
Inter Group Level: Inter group relationships may be in the form cooperation or competition. role analysis. communication pattern. avoidance of win-loose situation and focuses on total group objectives. Likert’s Management system can be compared with a model of OB.
leacdership. The employees are highly dependent on the organization. Manager’s role is to help employees achieve their work rather than supervising them closely. The organizational processes like communication. This model is specially effective with nations with affluence and complex technology because it caters to higher-order needs and provides intrinsic motivational factors. control and influence help employees to fulfill their higher order needs like self-actualisation and esteem. The supportyive model is based on the assumptions that human beings move to the maturity level and they expect the organizational climate which supports this expectation. The model is based on “Principles of Supportive relationships” of Likert. the managerial orientation is towards the use of money to pay for employee benefits.In this model. An organizational dependence reduces personal dependence on boss. decision making. Hence not a suitable model for matured employees.
. These maintenance factor provide security but do not provide strong motivation the employees working under custodial model feel happy get adequate rewards & organization security but their performance level is not high as are not given any authority to decide what benefits / rewards they should get. The supportive model is best suited when employees are self motivated. The employees are able to satisfy their security needs (Maintenance factors in case of herzberg’s theory). interaction. the focus is not on the economic resources of the organization but its human aspect. Hence. This approach is quite similar to patrimonial approach where the Management decides what benefits are best suited for the employees. The focus is on employee participation in managerial decision making process. The model depends on the economic resources of the organization & its ability to pay for the benefits. It is similar to the assumptions of Mc Gregor’s Theory Y. SUPPORTIVE MODEL – This model depends on managerial leadership rather than on the use of power or money. which is the basic ingredient of his system 4(participative).CUSTODIAL MODEL . The aim of managers is to support employees in their achievement of results.
Collegial and System Model) of OB are based on the assumption of the human characteristics and how they can work best. Supportive. the same model cannot be used for all of them. SYSTEM MODEL – It is one of the emerging models of OB. the employees realize and recognize the mutuality of company-employee obligations in a system model. self-actualisation). the managers demonstrate caring and a compassionate attitude and are sensitive to the needs of a diverse workforce. esteem. hence are self motivated. The term “Collegial” refers to a body of people having a common purpose. the employees needs are higher-order needs (social. The employees take a responsibility for their own goals and actions. It can be more beneficial with unprogrammed work requiring behavioural flexibility and intellectual environment and job freedom. They look for a work that is ethical. In turn. As the need hierarchy differs for different people.It is more suitable for employees at managerial levels rather than on operative levels. Hence. Employees need a little direction and control from the management. They are basically constructed around need hierarchy. they want more than a pay check & job security from their jobs. COLLEGIAL MODEL – This model is an extension of supportive model. Custodial. It is based on the team concept in which employee develops a high degree of understanding towards others and shares common goals. enfused with integrity & trust and provides an opportunity to experience a growing sense of community among co-workers. autonomy. The role of a manager is to facilitate employee accomplishments through a variety of actions. there is a strong search for a higher meaning at work by the employees.
. Herein. Control is through self disciple from the team members. status. The collegial model is conducive to self fulfillment & self-actualisation.
The various models (Autocratic. “Responsibility” is expected out of the employees. To accomplish this. There is a sense of psychological ownership for the organization and its products / services.
Challenges and Opportunities for OB • Responding to Globalisation – Organisations are no longer limited by national borders. more difficult communication and more interpersonal conflicts. one needs to manage a workforce which is different in needs. while at the same time not discriminating. aspirations and attitudes. Being a manager. it leads to a higher turnover. thus. how it has shaped them and how can the management style be adapted to suit their differences. Managing workforce diversity – While globalization focuses on differences between people from different countries. If diversity is not properly managed. workforce diversity focuses on differences among people with given countries.
• • Improving Quality and Productivity – The managers often confront
challenges to improve their organization’s productivity and the quality of products and services they offer. personality factors and the type of work environment. they often have to implement programs of Quality management and Process Reengineering. Quality Management – (i) Constant attainment of customer satisfaction through the continuous improvement of all organizational processes. is to make themselves more accommodating to diverse groups of people by focusing on their different lifestyles. one needs to understand their culture. This involves providing diversity training. family needs and workstyles. Workforce diversity means that organizations are heterogenous in terms of gender.The need hierarchy changes with the level of a person. and revamping benefit programs to accommodate the different needs of different employees. For this. race and ethnicity. Managers have to be capable enough to work with people across cultures. Diversity. level of his education.
. The challenge for organizations. To work effectively with these people. can increase creativity and innovation in organizations as well as improve decision making by providing different perspectives on problems. if properly managed.
(iv) Empowerment of employees – Quality management involves the people in the improvement process. prompt in responding to customer needs and willing to do what’s necessary to please the customer. (iii) Accurate measurement – Quality Management uses statistical techniques to measure the performance variables and then compare them with the standards / benchmarks. Newer recruitment and retention strategies have to be developed with the help of OB. During labour shortage. In 1990s. It is also predicted that there will be a labour shortage for atleast 10-15 years. to improve upon the listening skills and to create effective teams. Also.
. The management should focus on creating a customer – responsive culture – a culture in which employees are friendly and courteous. expanded social security benefits and a healthy stock market. • Improving people skills – Techniques should be developed to design motivating jobs. It was difficult to fill vacancies with skilled workers. accessible.(ii) Improvement in the quality of everything that the organization does – how the organization handles deliveries. knowledgeable. how rapidly it responds to complaints etc. • Responding to the labour shortage – Economic ups and downs are difficult to predict. In 2001. Teams are used in QM programs as empowerment vehicles for finding and solving problems. the labour markets were tight as the world economy was robust. there was an economic recession – lot of layoffs took place and hence the skilled workers were in plenty. Process Reengineering – helps managers to reconsider how work would be done and the organization restructured if they were starting over from the scratch. there was a huge increase in the number of women entering the workforce which was a new supply of talented and skilled workforce. • Improving customer service – OB can contribute to improving an organisation’s by showing managers how employee attitudes and behavior are associated with customer satisfaction. In the latter part of the 20th century. good wages and benefits are not the only means to get and keep skilled employees. the older workforce seem to be less interested to work which can be attributed to improved pension plans.
By empowering employees. creating personal conflicts and stress. continuously improve their quality in order to beat competition. Employees have started having a full control of their work. Work groups are also in a state of flux. So there was security in working with the same people. The services of Dominos has brought an end to a number of pizza parlours in the city. and employees know how to take responsibility for their work and make appropriate decisions. Decision making now happens at the operating level.
• Coping with “Temporariness” – Unlike yesteryears. The challenge for managers is to stimulate the employees’ creativity.• Empowering people – There has been a complete change in the
relationship between managers and the employees.
Helping employees balance work / life conflicts – The line between the work and non work time of employees has become blurred. Organisations also continuously reorganize their divisions. to live with flexibility. “managing” today
includes long periods of ongoing change. The managers and employees should know to cope with temporariness. sell-off poor performing businesses. spontaneity and unpredictability. This can be due to the following reasons –
Creation of global organizations – Employees are required to work
24*7. work groups are temporary wherein members are from different departments and members keep changing and employee rotation is practiced to fill constantly changing work assignments.
. Earlier. subcontract non-critical services and operations to other organisations and replace permanent employees with temporary workers. interrupted occasionally by short periods of stability. employees were assigned to a specific work group which was permanent. But now. There is also a concept of self-managed teams wherein workers operate largely without bosses. Example. The workers need to update their knowledge and skills continually to perform new job requirements. managers are learning how to give up control. • Stimulating Innovation and Change – The organizations should foster innovation.
For example.e. they provide with protection mechanisms for employees who reveal internal unethical practices. • Improving ethical behavior – Employees at times. face ethical dilemmas i. Also. So. workshops.productive organizational outputs is lost. Dual-career couples – as a result married couples have lesser time to
fulfill commitments back home. similar training programs to try and improve
o Seminars. Equally.
Longer hours put in by the employees. if a person is
. situations in which individuals are required to define right and wrong conduct. Communication technology – People do their work from any place at
any time. managers should help in making their workplace and jobs such that it helps the employee deal with work / life conflicts.
for an in-house advisor who can be contacted (anonymously) for assistance in dealing with an ethical issue. It is more like a tunnel vision in which people have narrow viewpoints as if they were looking through a tunnel. It is wrong to assume that the objective of OB is simply to create a satisfied workforce without worrying about customer service and productivity.
Limitations of OB
• Behavioural bias – Behavioral bias gives a narrow viewpoint to the employees
that emphasizes satisfying employee experiences while overlooking the broader system of the organization. Should they follow orders with which they don’t personally agree? Should they uncover illegal activities taking place in the company? Managers and organizations are trying to tackle this problem by – o Writing and distributing codes of ethics to guide the employees. The concern for employees can be so greatly overdone that the original purpose of bringing people together.
• Unethical manipulation of people – The knowledge and techniques of OB are
at times used to manipulate people unethically as well as to help them develop their potential. such as recognition or participation.Too much of care can make the employees dependent and unproductive. this law states that at some point. there is a decline in returns. For any situation. People who lack respect for the basic dignity of the human being could use OB for selfish ends and use people in unethical ways. Behavioural bias can harm the employees as well as the organizations. increases of a desirable practice produce declining returns. They may find excuses for failure and avoid taking responsibility for progress. eventually zero returns.
• The Law of Diminshing Returns – The Law of diminishing Returns is a
limiting factor in OB as in Economics which produces negative results. For example. organizational effectiveness is achieved not by maximizing one human variable but by working all system variables together in a balanced way.continuously concerned with production outputs without regard for employee needs is misapplying OB. When that point is exceeded. They lack self discipline and self respect. too much security may lead to less employee initiate and growth. there is an optimum amount of a desirable practice. Hence. and then negative returns asmore increases are added.