Organisational behaviour is the study and application of knowledge about how people, individuals, and groups act in organisation. It does this by taking a system approach. That is, it interprets people-organisation relationships in terms of the whole person, whole group, whole organisation, and whole social system. Its purpose is to build better relationships by achieving human objective, organisational objectives, and social objectives. As you can see from the definition above, organisational behaviour encompasses a wide range of topics, such as human behaviour, change, leadership, teams, etc.
The study of organisational behaviour involves consideration of the interaction among the formal structure, the tasks to be undertaken, the technology employed and the methods of carrying out work, the behaviour of people, the process of management, and the external environment. Task 1 1. 1 An organisational structure consists of activities such as task allocation, coordination and supervision, which are directed towards the achievement of organisational aims. It can also be considered as the viewing glass or perspective through which individuals see their organisation and its environment.
Organization Behavior Essay Example
Every organisation made up of more than one person will need some form of organisational structure. An organisational chart shows the way in which the chain of command works within the organisation. An organisation can be structured in many different ways, depending on their objectives. The structure of an organisation will determine the modes in which it operates and performs. Organisational structure affects organisational action in two big ways. First, it provides the foundation on which standard operating procedures and routines rest.
Second, it determines which individuals get to participate in which decision-making processes, and thus to what extent their views shape the organisation’s actions. There are four main dimensions: * Specialization – the division of labour within the organisation, the distribution of official duties among a number of positions. * Standardization – procedures that occur regularly, are legitimized by the organisation, have rules that cover circumstances, and apply invariably.
Formalization – the extent to which rules, procedures, instruction, and communications are written. * Centralization – where the authority to make legitimate decisions that affect the organisation is located. There are three main types of structures: * Matrix structures – provides for reporting levels both horizontally as well as vertically. * Functional structures – it is the most common structure. It groups individuals by specific functions performed. * Hierarchical structures – a series of ordered groupings of people or things within a system.
Culture, in the organisational context, may be broadly defined as the sum of group’s way of thinking, believing, feeling and acting. Culture is the way of life of a group of people. More formally culture is defined as the complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, customs and any other capabilities and habits acquired by members of a society. There are four proposed criteria called dimensions for describing national culture: * Individualism versus collectivism
Large or small power distance * Strong or weak uncertainty avoidance * Masculinity versus femininity 1. 2 The relationship between organisational culture and organisational structure is an important theme that is often overlooked. The two can be difficult to clearly distinguish from one another and even more so to clearly define within an institution. Organisational structure works within an organisational culture, but it is not completely separate. The two are very much intertwined.
Organisational culture is more of a larger picture, a more general term that refers to a large umbrella of smaller topics and issues within an organisation. The structure refers to the infrastructure and the various methods and practises within that infrastructure that helps an organisational culture with the efficiency and consistency that should be the hallmark of any healthy organisational structure. This makes the structure an integral part of any organisational culture, but also narrows out a very specific segment of the culture as its own responsibility.
Organisational structure will deal primarily with the set-up of the culture. How management works, which specific responsibilities supervisors have, how a complaint is passed through the ranks, these are all issues within the organisational culture that are directly tied to how an organisational structure works. As you can see, the relationship between organisational culture and organisational structure can be hard to tell apart, but in a fully healthy culture that is exactly what should be expected when all is functioning normally. 1. 3
There are five major factors that influence individual differences in behavioural patterns: * Demographics factors – the demographic factors are socio economic background, education, nationality, race, age, sex, etc. organisations prefer persons that belong to good socio-economic background, well educated, young as they are believed to be performing better than the others. The young and dynamic professionals that have good academic background and effective communication skills are always in great demand. * Abilities and skills – the physical capacity of an individual to do something can be termed as ability.
Skill can be defined as the ability to act in a way that allows a person to perform well. The individual behaviour and performance is highly influenced by ability and skills. A person can perform well in the organisation if his abilities and skills are matched with job requirement. * Attitude – attitude can be defined as a tendency to respond favourably or unfavourably to certain objects, persons or situations. The factors such as family, society, culture, peers and organisational factors influence the formation of attitude.
Personality – personality can be defined as the study of the characteristics and distinctive traits of an individual, the inter-relations between them and the way in which a person responds and adjusts to other people and situations. The several factors that influence the personality of an individual are heredity, family, culture and situation. Task 2 2. 1 In the past several decades, management experts have undergone a revolution in how they define leadership and what their attitudes are toward it. They have gone from a very classical autocratic approach to a very creative, participative approach.
Somewhere along the line, it was determined that not everything old was bad and not everything new was good. Rather, different styles were needed for different organisation and each leader needed to know when to exhibit a particular approach. There are four basic leadership styles: * Autocratic leaders – which make decisions without consulting their teams. This is considered appropriate when decisions genuinely need to be taken quickly, when there’s no need for input, and when team agreement isn’t necessary for a successful outcome.
Democratic leaders – they allows the team to provide input before making a decision, although the degree of input can vary from leader to leader. This type of style is important when team agreement matters, but it can be quite difficult to manage when there are lots of different perspectives and ideas. * Laissez-faire leaders – they don’t interfere; they allow people within the team to make many of the decisions. This works well when the team is highly capable and motivated, and when it doesn’t need close monitoring or supervision.
However, this style can arise because the leader is lazy or distracted, and, here, this approach can fail. * Bureaucratic leaders – is where the manager managers “by the book”. Everything must be done according to procedure or policy. If it isn’t covered by the book, the manager refers to the next level above him or her. 2. 2 Organisational theory is the study of organisations for the benefit of identifying common themes for the purpose of solving problem, maximizing efficiency and productivity, and meeting the needs of stakeholders. It explains why organisation has the structure that they do like horizontal differentiation, vertical differentiation, mechanisms of co-ordination and control, formalisation and centralisation of power.
Classical theorist’s clams a single best way for organisation to be structured but theorists of today tend to believe that organisations vary considerably in structural attributes. Contingency theory claims that there is no one best way to organise. Contingency theory constraints or factor include: * The size of the organisation * How the firm adapts itself to its environment * Differences among resources and operations activities * Assumptions of managers about employees
Technologies being used 2. 3 Evaluate the different approaches to management and theories of management used by two organisations. 1. Burberry * Identity of contingency approach where the form structure and management of Burberry are relative to its situations embraced in the business environment. * The group management and their teams are challenged with the responsibility of maintaining the integrity and vitality of this extraordinary brand while continuing to develop a business which remains relevant to ever-revolving markets and consumer taste.
The Burberry brand is defined by its authentic British heritage, unique democratic positioning within the luxury arena, founding principles of quality, function and modern classic style, rooted in the integrity of its outerwear and globally recognised icon portfolio of the trench coat, trademark check and Prorsum horse logo. 2. Eurostar * The company highly flexible and expressive structure of Eurostar Company recognises the ability to change swiftly to meet the dynamic demands of the present business environment as a post-modern approach.
Eurostar has been at the leading edge of innovation in the rail industry, setting new standards for travel by train. It was one of the first rail operators to introduce business lounges and a loyalty programme. * The management supports the learning role of employees in providing workshops to share ideas and interaction. This approach develops a good and healthy working relationship with the organisation and the reliance on customer’s feedback. Task 3 3. 1 It was one once again evident from analysing the objectivist literature that the role of the leadership is critical to the successful management of a culture program.
Many argued that the primary role of any leader is to implement change and that without new leader or leadership team, coupled with a crisis, culture change is not possible. It describes how leaders have the responsibility to engage in ‘cultural visioning’ and to implement action plans that will attain the vision. New leadership has to come into place to bring a new set of assumptions and beliefs to the organisation, thus rectifying the crisis. The leadership also has to manage the conflict that inevitably comes with widespread organisational change.
It places significant responsibility on the leadership to guide the company through the three stages of organisational development that it’s identified. Without visionary leadership, significant culture changes will not occur. 3. 2 Traditional theory ‘X’ – Sigmund Freud * Theory X assumes that people are lazy; they hate work to the extent that they avoid it; they have no ambition, take no initiative and avoid taking any responsibility; all they want is security, and to get them to do any work, they must be rewarded, coerced, intimidated and punished.
This is the so-called ‘stick and carrot’ philosophy of management. If this theory were valid, managers will have to constantly police their staff, which they cannot trust and who will refuse to cooperate. In such an oppressive and frustrating atmosphere, both for the manager and the managed, there is no possibility of any achievement or any creative work. Theory ‘Y’ – Douglas McGregor * This is in sharp contrast to theory ‘X’. McGregor believed that people want to learn and that work is their natural activity to the extent that they self-discipline and self-development.
They see their reward not so much in cash payments as in the freedom to do difficult and challenging work by them-selves. The manager’s job is to ‘dovetail’ the human wish for self-development into the organisations need for maximum productive efficiency. The basic objectives of both are therefore met and with imagination and sincerity, the enormous potential can be tapped. Theory ‘Z’ – Abraham Maslow * This is a refreshing change from theory X of Freud, by a fellow psychologist, Abraham Maslow. Maslow totally rejects the dark and dingy Freudian basement and takes us out into the fresh, open, sunny and cheerful atmosphere.
Maslow’s central theme revolves around the meaning and significance of human work and seems to epitomize that work banishes the three great evils of boredom, vice and poverty. A man’s personality is the sum total of his works and that only his works survive a man at death. This is perhaps the essence of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, as it is more commonly known. The basic human needs, according to Maslow are physiological needs (Lowest), safety needs, love needs, esteem needs and self-actualization needs (Highest). TABLE 1| Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs|
Higher Level Needs| To Satisfy, Offer:| Self-actualization needs| Creative and challenging work| | | | | Esteem needs| Responsibility of an important job, promotion to higher status job, praise and recognition| Lower Level Needs| To Satisfy, Offer:| Social needs| Friendly co-workers, interaction with customers, pleasant supervisor| Safety needs| Safe working conditions, job security, base compensation and benefits| Physiological needs| Rest and refreshment breaks, physical comfort on the job, reasonable work hours| 3. 3
Understanding people’s perceptions, attitudes, motivations and behaviours is extremely important for achieving both managerial and organisational effectiveness. To get the very best out of people in work settings, managers constantly need knowledge about the behaviour of individuals and groups in organisation; they also need to be aware of the organisational and environmental variables that can potentially affect human behaviour. They need to understand, anticipate, modify and improve behaviours that are organisationally meaningful and relevant.
The contribution of people, through their motivation and commitment, and dedicated behaviour towards the goals and objectives of the organisation remains the single most important factor in making organisations better and more effective. Some people like their jobs and work harder as well as smarter. They are also very proud of the organisations for which they work for. Other people simply dislike their jobs and would do anything just to avoid working. They would also prefer, if given the choice, to leave the work for another person to perform for them.
There are many different ways in which motivational theory can be incorporated into the workplace for managers. Creating a program that incorporates motivational strategies into the organisation such as introducing new policy and procedure manual, rolling out an employee contest or developing a new feedback system. Conducting extensive training with the management staff that are responsible for employee motivation. Task 4 4. 1 Natures of groups – different types of groups are formed to achieve specific results in organisations. The definition of a group as given by Harold H. Kelley and J.W. Thibaut is “A collection of individuals.
The members accept a common task, become inter-dependant in their performance, and interact with one another to promote its accomplishment. ” There are three views on the nature of interaction between members of a group or group dynamics. The first view is the normative view, which describes how to carry out activities and organise a group. According to the second view, group dynamics consists of a set of techniques which include brainstorming, role play, team building, sensitivity training, self-managed teams, and transactional analysis.
The third view explains group dynamics from the viewpoint of the internal nature of the groups. The formation of groups, structure, individual, other groups, and the complete organisation. Group behaviour – the structure of a group shapes the behaviour of members and performance as a group. Variable such a formal leadership, roles, norms, group status, group size, and composition of group have influence on the performance of the group. To understand group behaviour, group processes such as communication patterns, power dynamics, behaviour of the leader, conflict within the group should be understood clearly.
The social loafing concept explains the differences in the performance of groups. Group processes should promote synergy where in the performance of the group is more than the sum of individual performances. The ‘social facilitation effect’ has an influence on performance of groups. According to this, there is a difference in the performance of individuals when tasks are performed in private and when performed in front of others. The group processes can be effective if the tasks are planned according to the comfort levels of peoples. 4. 2
There are many factors involved in the development of a good team. However, the three main factors in particular are communication, team balance and leadership. Communication is clearly an important part of interpersonal interaction and, of course, teamwork is all about interpersonal interaction. Open communication is a fundamental part of good teamwork in so far as it allows team members to understand each other’s point of view, to share ideas, to express feelings and to articulate plans. Poor communication can be a major barrier to effective teamwork.
Wrestling with the complexities of communications is therefore part of the challenge of developing an effective team. The balance of a team involves having people whose experience, skills, perspective, interests and contributions complement one another, rather than duplicate or counteract each other. For example, it is no good having a team full of creative people who have lots of new ideas, but do not have the people who have the stamina to see those ideas through to completion. Differences between team members can, in themselves, lead to conflict but
the diversity of the team and the balance that this can achieve, will generally more than make up for any such conflicts. Leadership refers to the ability to create and sustain a positive working culture to motivate or even inspire staff to play their part in creating a work environment in which there are high standards of practice, a high level of commitment and a positive approach. A key part of leadership is ‘vision’. This refers to the ability to keep a clear focus on what the team is trying to achieve, what its objectives are in terms of its overall strategy and aims.
Effective teamwork therefore depends on a good leader, the right balance of the right people and the channels of communication remaining open between them. If these three core ingredients can be brought together, then there is every chance of a very effective and successful team developing. 4. 3 New technology has been injected into the workplace at an exponentially increasing rate over the last few decades. Many companies see new technology as the means to increase profit margins and to remain competitive in a rapidly evolving marketplace. New developments in IT have led to an increasingly mobile workforce.
We are no longer tied to our desk in order to stay in the information loop. We can take our office with us wherever we go. Mobiles phones allow us to be reached almost anywhere. Blackberries and mobile laptops permit to access e-mail and other data products at a wide range of locations. A wide range of new technologies have given businesses access to faster communication, increased efficiencies, and the ability to work away from the office. New technology has opened a door of opportunities for organisation and employees willing to explore non-traditional work arrangements.
As telecommunicating becomes more popular, employers are realising the benefits, including productivity gains, reduced absenteeism, reduced employee turnover costs, reduced real estate costs, and reduced relocation costs to name a few. Companies implementing new technology must also take into account the social impact. Because teamwork is a crucial element of workplace functioning. This effect may be able to be mitigated with a hybrid virtual team, where members occasionally meet in a traditional physical location.
The only thing certain about the impact of technology in the workplace is that it will continue to change and evolve at an astounding rate. The organisation will need to understand the way that people – their employees and customer, will use and interact with them. Conclusion A very good reason to study organisation behaviour is to determine if the current behaviours are consistent with the future needs of the organisation. There are very good examples related to the behaviours of financial organisations. It is necessary to view the interrelationships between the development of theory, behaviour in organisations and management practise.
An understanding of the development of management thinking helps in understanding principles underlying the process of management. Knowledge of the history helps in understanding the nature of management and organisation behaviour. And many earlier ideas are still important and are often incorporated into modern current management thinking. Theory provides a sound basis for action but if the action is to be effective the theory must be adequate and appropriate to the task and to improved organisational performance.