An introduction to organizational behavior in companies


"Organizational Behavior a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups and structure has on behavior within organizations, for the purpose of applying such knowledge toward improving an organization's effectiveness."

The other words we can say that organizational behavior is concerned with the study of what people do in an organization and how that behavior affects the performance of the organization. And because OB is specifically concerned with employment related situations, you should not be surprised to find that it emphasizes behavior as related to jobs, works, absenteeism, employment turnover, productivity, human performance, and management.




and Turnover





What Manager Do?

Let's begin by briefly defining the terms manager and the place where managers work-the organization. Then let's look at the manager's job; specifically, what do managers do?

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Managers get things done through other people. They make decisions allocate resources, and direct the activities of the others to attain goals. Managers do their work in an organization. This is a consciously coordinated social unit, composed of two or more people that function on a relatively continuous basis to achieve a common goal or set of goals. On the basis of this definition, manufacturing and service firms are organizations and so are schools, hospitals, churches, military units, retail stores, police departments, and local, state, and federal government agencies. The people who oversee the activities of others and who are responsible for attaining goals in these organizations are managers (although they're sometimes called administrators, especially in non-for-profit organizations).


Today, we have condensed those down to four: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling.

1) PLANNING: Planning function encompasses defining an organization's goals, establishing an overall strategy for achieving those goals, and developing a comprehensive hierarchy of plans to integrate and coordinate activities.

2) ORGANIZING: It includes the determination of what tasks are to be done, which is to do them, how the tasks are to be grouped, who reports to whom, and where decisions are to be made.

3) LEADING: When managers motivate subordinates, direct the activities of others, select the most effective communication channels, or resolve conflicts among members, they are engaging in leading.

4) CONTROLLING: Monitoring activities to ensure they are being accomplished as planned and correcting any significant deviation.


There are three important roles of management: Interpersonal roles, information rules, and decisional roles.

1) INTERPERSONAL ROLES: All managers are required to perform duties that are ceremonial and symbolic in nature. When the president of a college hands out diplomas at commencement or a factory supervisor gives a group of high school student a tour of the plant, he or she is acting in a figurehead role. This role includes hiring, training, motivation, and disciplining employees. The third role within the interpersonal grouping is the liaison role. Mintzberg described this activity as contacting outsiders who provide the manager with information. These may be individuals or groups inside or outside the organization. These sales managers who obtains information from the personnel manager in his or her own company has an internal liaison relationship. When that sales manager has contacts with other sales executives through a marketing trade association, he or she has an outside liaison relationship.

2) INFORMATION ROLES: All managers, to some degree, collect information from organizations and institutions outside their own. Typically, they get information by reading magazines and talking with other people to learn of changes in the public's tastes, what competitors may be planning, and the like Mintzberg called this the monitor role. Managers also act as a conduit to transmit information to organizational members. This is the disseminator role. Managers additionally perform a spokesperson role when they represent the organization to outsiders.

3) DECISIONAL ROLES: Finally, Mintzberg identified four roles that revive around the making of choices. In the entrepreneur role, managers initiate and oversee new projects that will improve their organization's performance. As disturbance handlers, managers take corrective action in response to unforeseen problems. As resource alligators, managers are responsible for allocating human, physical, and monetary resources. Last, managers perform a negotiator role, in which they discuss issues and bargain with other units to gain advantages for their own unit.


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Still another way of considering what managers do is to look at the skills or competencies thy need to successfully achieve their goals. Robert Katz has identified three essential management skills: technical, human, and conceptual.

1) TECHNICAL SKILLS: The ability to apply specialized knowledge or expertise. When you think of the skills held by professionals such as civil engineers or oral surgeons, you typically focus on their technical skills.

2) HUMAN SKILLS: The ability to work with, understand, and motivate other people, both individually and in groups, describes human skills. Many people are technically proficient but interpersonally incompetent. They might be poor listeners, unable to understand the needs or others or have difficulty managing conflicts. Since managers get things done through other people, they must have good human skills to communicate, motivate, and delegate.

3) CONCEPTUAL SKILLS: The mental ability to analyze and diagnose complex situations. These tasks require conceptual skills. Decision making, for instance, requires managers to spot problems, identify alternatives that can correct them, evaluate those alternatives, and select the best one. Managers can be technically and interpersonally competent yet still fail because of an inability to rationally process and interpret information.


Systematic Study: Looking of relationships, attempting to attribute causes and effects, and drawing conclusions based on scientific evidence. Systematic study replaces intuition a feeling not necessarily supported by research.

Following are the reasons to study organizational behavior:

To learn about yourself and how to deal with others.

You are part of an organization now, and will continue to be a part of various organizations.

Organizations are increasingly expecting individuals to be able to work in teams, at least some of the time.

Some of you may want to be managers or entrepreneurs.

The importance of studying organizational behavior (OB)

OB applies the knowledge gained about individuals, groups, and the effect of structure on behavior in order to make organizations work more effectively. It is concerned with the study of what people do in an organization and how that behavior affects the performance of the organization. There is increasing agreement as to the components of OB, but there is still considerable debate as to the relative importance of each: motivation, leader behavior and power, interpersonal communication, group structure and processes, learning, attitude development and perception, change processes, conflict, work design, and work stress. It is also important because it focus on the following areas.

OB is a way of thinking.

OB is multidisciplinary.

There is a distinctly humanistic orientation with OB.

The field of OB is performance oriented.

The external environment is seen as having significant impact on OB.

Challenges of Today's Organizations

1. Globalization and Culture: Understanding and managing global organizational behavior begins with understanding the nature of the differences between national cultures and then tailoring an organization's strategy and structure so that the organization can manage its activities as it expands abroad. To succeed, global companies must help their managers develop skills that allow them to work effectively in foreign contexts and deal with differences in national culture.

A global organization is an organization that produces or sells goods or services in more than one country. Global companies treat the world as one large market. The presence of organizations in countries other than their home country is so common that local people assume they are domestic companies. Organizations expand globally to gain access to resources as inputs and to sell outputs.

A national culture is a set of economic, political, and social values in a particular nation. People who move to a foreign country feel confused and bewildered by the country's customs and will have difficulty adapting. This is known as culture shock. Culture shock can include homesickness, and citizens living abroad tend to buy national newspapers or frequent stores or restaurants similar to those in the home country.

2. High Quality and Low Cost: Technology is changing people's jobs and their work behavior. Quality management and its emphasis on continuous process improvement can increase employee stress as individuals find that performance expectations are constantly being increased. Process reengineering is eliminating millions of jobs and completely reshaping the jobs of those who remain, and mass customization requires employees to learn new skills. The e-organization, with its heavy reliance on the Internet, increases potential workplace distractions. Managers need to be particularly alert to the negative effects of cyber-loafing. In addition, the e-org will rely less on individual decision-making and more on virtual-team decision-making. Probably the most significant influence of the e-org is that it is rewriting the rules of communication. Traditional barriers are coming down, replaced by networks that cut across vertical levels and horizontal units. An understanding of work design can help managers design jobs that positively affect employee motivation. For instance, jobs that score high in motivating potential increase an employee's control over key elements in his or her work. Therefore, jobs that offer autonomy, feedback, and similar complex task characteristics help to satisfy the individual goals of employees who desire greater control over their work. Of course, consistent with the social information-processing model, the perception that task characteristics are complex is probably more important in influencing an employee's motivation than the objective task characteristics themselves. The key, then, is to provide employees with cues that suggest that their jobs score high on factors such as skill variety, task identity, autonomy, and feedback.

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Workspace design variables such as size, arrangement, and privacy have implications for communication, status, socializing, satisfaction, and productivity. For instance, an enclosed office typically conveys more status than an open cubicle, so employees with a high need for status might find an enclosed office increases their job satisfaction.

3. Multiple Stakeholders: Organizations expand globally to gain access to the valuable resources found throughout the world. Global expansion also provides an enlarged customer base and the opportunity for greater profit. As to the effect of culture on the decision where to expand, organizations tend to expand into countries with a similar national culture. This results in the least amount of conflict. The cost of expansion is an important factor and may ultimately drive the decision-making process. The ability to compromise in terms of culture is important. Organizations can make use of electronic communication media, global networks, and global teams to develop and transmit a strong global culture. Technologies assist in the communication of norms and values while global networks (and teams) socialize managers into these values and norms. Transferring managers between subsidiaries enables them to internalize norms and values. Organizations need strong and clear top-management norms and values, communicated from the top down. Managing global organizations shares some of the challenges inherent in managing domestic operations. Differences in cultures add to the difficulty of managing global organizations. Given today's increasingly global environment, most managers will need to enter the global environment where they will experience these additional challenges.

4. Rapid Pace of Change: The need for change has been implied throughout this text. "A casual reflection on change should indicate that it encompasses almost all our concepts in the organizational behavior literature. Think about leadership, motivation, organizational environment, and roles. It is impossible to think about these and other concepts without inquiring about change." If environments were perfectly static, if employees' skills and abilities were always up to date and incapable of deteriorating, and if tomorrow were always exactly the same as today, organizational change would have little or no relevance to managers. The real world, however, is turbulent, requiring organizations and their members to undergo dynamic change if they are to perform at competitive levels. Managers are the primary change agents in most organizations. By the decisions they make and their role-modeling behaviors, they shape the organization's change culture. For instance, management decisions related to structural design, cultural factors, and human resource policies largely determine the level of innovation within the organization. Similarly, management decisions, policies, and practices will determine the degree to which the organization learns and adapts to changing environmental factors. We found that the existence of work stress, in and of itself, need not imply lower performance. The evidence indicates that stress can be either a positive or negative influence on employee performance. For many people, low to moderate amounts of stress enable them to perform their jobs better by increasing their work intensity, alertness, and ability to react. However, a high level of stress, or even a moderate amount sustained over a long period of time, eventually takes its toll and performance declines. The impact of stress on satisfaction is far more straightforward. Job-related tension tends to decrease general job satisfaction. Even though low to moderate levels of stress may improve job performance, employees find stress dissatisfying.

Contributing Disciplines to the OB Field

Organizational behavior is an applied behavioral science that is built upon contributions from a number of behavioral disciplines. The predominant areas are psychology, sociology, social psychology, anthropology, and political science.

1. Psychology: Psychology is the science that seeks to measure, explain, and sometimes change the behavior of humans and other animals.

2. Sociology: Sociologists study the social system in which individuals fill their roles; that is, sociology studies people in relation to their fellow human beings.

3. Social Psychology: An area within psychology that blends concepts from psychology and sociology and that focuses on the influence of people on one another.

4. Anthropology: The study of societies to learn about human beings and their activities.

5. Political science: The study of the behavior of individuals and groups within a political environment.

Organization Behavior: