I’ve spoken earlier about OB and how it is used within businesses, but I thought that it might be useful to be a lot more detailed. So, over the course of this year expect regular posts on this topic which you can use in your own learnings.
Organizational behaviour can be defined as the study of how people interact within groups. This study is generally applied in an attempt to come up with more efficient business organizations. The main idea of the study of organizational is that organizations can apply a scientific approach to manage their workers. Generally, the theories of organizational are used for human resources to maximize the individual output of people from group members.
A Breakdown of Organizational Behaviour
There are different philosophies and models of organizational behaviour. The focus on these different areas of study is:
- Increasing job satisfaction,
- Improving job performance,
- Encouraging leadership and promoting innovation.
Managers may adopt different management tactics to achieve the desired results. These tactics may include modifying compensation structures, reorganizing groups and changing the evaluation of performance.
Brief History of OB
The field of organizational behaviour dates back to the late 20s when a company called Hawthorne electric company set up experiments. The experiments were designed to discern how environmental change changed employees productivity.
Between 1924 and 1933, various studies were conducted by Hawthorne electric company. The studies included the study of the effects of different types of breaks on the productivity of employees. The most famous finding from the studies is what is known as the Hawthorne Effect, the change in people’s behavior when they know they are being observed.
Some people have argued that the focus on the finding is to ignore a wider set of different studies that would be credited for the development of organizational behaviour as the human resources professional and as a field of study. The idea of looking at behaviour and productivity in an organization scientifically with the aim of increasing the quality and amount of work an employee can do was backed up with the idea that employees were not resources to be used interchangeably. Instead, workers are unique regarding their potential fit with the company and their psychology.
Organizational behavior has focused on different topics. During the 1940s, organizational behavior focused on management science and logistics. The emphasis was mainly on statistical analysis and mathematical modeling to find the best answers for problems that were deemed complex.
In the 70s, theories of institutions and contingency, as well as resource dependence, organizational ecology, and bounded rationality, came to lead the study as the field concentrated more on quantitative research. These sets of theories and findings helped organizations to understand how they can improve decision making and business structure.
Since the 70s, a good amount of work being done in the field of organizational behaviour has based on cultural components of organizations, and this includes gender roles, class, cultural relativism and gender roles and their unique roles on productivity and group building. The studies take into account the ways in which background and identity can inform decision making.
Focusing On The Academic
You can find academic programs that focus on organizational behavior in business schools. You can also find them in the schools of psychology and social work. They draw from the field of leadership studies, anthropology, computer models and ethnography and use qualitative, computer models and quantitative as methods of exploring and testing ideas. One can study different topics within the field of organizational behavior depending on the program.
Organizational Behaviour in Practice
Human relations professionals and executives can use organizational behavior to understand better the culture of the business and how the culture can hinder or facilitate employee retention and productivity. Executives and human resource managers can also use organizational behavior to evaluate the skills of candidates and the candidate’s personality during the hiring process.
The knowledge or theory application from the field of organizational behaviour can be narrowed down to the following sections:
- job satisfaction,
- reward management,
- authority, and
There is no single way of assessing the suitable way of managing any of these things, but researching organizational can be used to provide topics and guidelines to follow.
- Job satisfaction theories are different, but some people dispute that a satisfying job is composed of compelling work, concrete reward system, satisfactory working conditions, and good supervisors.
- Personality plays a significant role in the way people interact with groups and do work. You can know the personality of a person through a conversation or a series of tests. Knowing the personality of a person can give you an idea of whether they are the perfect fit for the particular environment you want to hire them into. You will also know how best you can motivate the employees.
- Authority, power, and politics depend on each other in an organization. It is therefore essential to understand the appropriate ways and adhere to the rules at the workplace, and the general ethical guidelines in which the elements are used and exhibited are the main components of running a cohesive business.
Why Managers Should Study Organizational Behaviour
The pressures on firms continue to mount, and companies around the world need to utilize their resources in the best way possible.
The success of every organization depends on the effectiveness of the management of the employees. The people’s behaviour in an organization is governed by feelings, ideas, and activities. For businesses to effectively manage people, it is vital to perceive their needs. However, the behaviour of people can differ from one individual to another. This makes it impossible to come up with standard solutions to the problems in an organization.
For this reason, it is crucial to consider the social and psychological aspects when designing solutions to solve different issues in an organization, and that is why managers should study organizational behaviour.