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The study of organizational behavior has to proceed on a broad front. A central part of this study is the development of management thinking and what might be termed management theory. In order to help identify main trends of development of organizational behavior, it is usual to categorize the work of leading writers into various 'approaches' based on their views of organizations, their structure and management. This provides a simplistic framework on which to direct study and focus attention.
The classical writers placed emphasis on purpose and structure, on the technical requirements of the organization, and on the assumption of rational and logical behavior. The human relations writers emphasized the importance of the informal organization and the psychological and social needs of people at work. The systems approach focuses attention on the interactions between technical and social variables. The organization is seen in continual interaction with the external environment. Contingency theory highlights possible means of differentiating between alternative forms of structures and systems of management.
This four-fold categorization provides a useful starting point for the identification of main trends in the development of management thinking. Within this framework, however, it is possible to identify a number of other approaches or sub-divisions of approaches. The decision-making approach emphasizes the need for good information and channels of communication. Social action writers try to analyze the company from the point of employees who each of them has his/her own analysis of the work position in terms of satisfaction and the meaning of what the work has for them.
With the development of the information and technological age the need arises for alternative forms of corporate structure and systems. A more recent view is the idea of postmodernism. This rejects a rational systems approach to our understanding of organizations and management, and to accepted explanations of society and behavior. Postmodernism are arguably more of a generalized sociological concept rather than a specific approach to organization and management. Nevertheless, postmodernist organization can be seen as a healthy challenge to more traditional approaches and reminds us of the complexities in our understanding of management and organizational behavior.
Whatever form of categorization is adopted, the division of writers on organization and management into various approaches offers a number of advantages. It helps in organizational analysis and the identification of problem areas. It enables the manager to take from the different approaches those ideas that suit best the particular requirements of the job. In more recent years attention has been given to potential applications of Japanese management.
It might be that the study of organizations is moving towards a more scientific value approach. However, whatever the balance between philosophy and science, knowledge of management theory will help with the complexities of management in modern work organizations. It is necessary to view the relationships among the development of theory, behavior in organizations and management practice.
The application of organizational behavior and process of management style take place not in a vacuum but within the context of an organizational setting. There are many different types of organizations set up to serve different purposes and needs, and they come in all forms, shapes, and sizes. However, there are at least three common factors in any organization: people, objectives and structure. To which can be added a fourth factor - management. The qualities of these factors determine organizational effectiveness.
There are many ways of looking at leadership and many interpretations of its meaning, but essentially it is relationship where each person influences the actions as well as the behavior of the other people. The leader-follower relationship is reciprocal and effective leadership is a two-way process. Leadership is related to motivation, the process of communication, the activities of groups and the process of empowerment. The changing nature of business organizations has placed increasing importance on leadership.
There is a close relationship between leadership and management, especially in work organizations, and an increasing tendency to see them as synonymous. However, arguably there are differences between the two and it does not follow that every leader is a manager. Leadership maybe viewed in more general terms, with emphasis on interpersonal behavior in a broader context.
Due to its complex nature there are many alternative ways of analyzing leadership. Leadership maybe examined in terms of the qualities or traits approach, in terms of the functional or group approach, as a behavioral category, in terms of styles of leadership, through the situational approach and contingency models, and in terms of the distinction between transactional or transformational leadership.
Leadership style is the way in which the functions of leadership are carried out, the way in which the manager typically behaves towards the members of the group. The attention given to leadership style is based on the assumption that subordinates are most likely to work effectively for managers to adopt a certain style of leadership than they will for managers who adopt alternative styles.
There are many dimensions to leadership and many possible ways of describing leadership style, such as dictatorial, unitary, bureaucratic, benevolent, charismatic, consultative, participative and abdicatorial. The style of managerial leadership towards subordinate staff and the focus of power can however be classified broadly within a simplified three-fold heading.
The authoritarian or autocratic style is where the power is with the management and all interactions within the group move towards the management. The supervisor alone can do a decision-making and has the authority for determining a new policy, do the procedures for achieving goals/targets, work tasks and relationships, control of rewards and punishments.
Democratic style is where the power is more focused within its group and where the interaction is within the group members. The members of the group have the leadership functions shared and the supervisor is part of the team too. The group members have a greater say in decision-making, determination of policy, implementation of systems and procedures.
A laissez-faire (genuine) style is where the manager observes that members of the group are working well on their own. Management intentionally makes a decision to pass the power to its group members, to allow them freedom of action 'to do as they think best', and not to interfere, but is readily available if help is needed. There is often confusion over this style of leadership behavior. The word 'genuine' is emphasized because this is can be contrasted with the manager who could not care, who deliberately keeps away from the trouble spots and does not want to get involved. The manager just lets members of the group get on with the work in hand. Members are left to face decisions that rightly belong with the manager. This is more a non-style of leadership or it could perhaps be labeled as abdication.
The relationship between the organization and its members is influenced by what motivates them to work and the rewards and fulfillment that derive from it. The work organization, and the design and content of jobs, can have a significant effect on the satisfaction of staff and their levels of performance. The manager needs to know how best to elicit the co-operation of staff and direct their efforts to achieving the goals and objectives of the organization.
The study of motivation is concerned, basically, why people behave in a certain way. The underlying concept of motivation is strength within individuals by which they try to achieve their goals in order to fulfill some need or expectation. Individuals have a variety of changing, and often competing, needs and expectations which they attempt to satisfy in a number of ways. If a person's motivational driving force is blocked and they are unable to satisfy their needs and expectations, this may result either in constructive, problem-solving behavior or in frustration-induced behavior.
There are many competing theories that attempt to explain motivation at work. The different theories may be divided into two contracting groups: content theories and process theories. Content theories place emphasis on what motivates and are concerned with identifying people's needs and their relative strengths, and they pursue their goals in order to satisfy these needs. Main content theories include Maslow's hierarchy of needs model; Alderfer's modified need hierarchy model, Herzberg's two-factor theory and McClelland's achievement motivation theory.
MASLOW'S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS THEORY
Maslow's basic proposition is that people want beings, they always want more, and their wants depend on what they already have. He suggests that human needs are arranged in a series of levels, a hierarchy of importance.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs includes:
Based on Maslow's theory, once lower-level needs have been satisfied (say at the physiological and safety levels), giving more of the same does not provide motivation. Individuals advance up the hierarchy as each lower level need becomes satisfied. Therefore to provide motivation for a change in behaviour, the manager must direct attention to the next higher levels of needs (in this case love or social needs) that seek satisfaction.
Alderfer's modified need hierarchy model
This model condenses Maslow's five levels of need onto only three levels based on the core needs of existence, relatedness and growth
Existence needs are concerned with sustaining human existence and survival and cover physiological and safety needs of a material nature.
Relatedness needs are concerned with relationships to the social environment and cover love or belonging, affiliation and meaningful interpersonal relationships of a safety or esteem nature.
Growth needs are concerned with the development of potential and cover self-esteem and self-actualization.
Herzberg's two factor theory
Herzberg's original study consisted of interviews with 203 accountants and engineers, chosen because of their growing importance in the business world, from different industries in the Pittsburgh area of America. He used the critical incident method. Subjects were asked to relate times when they felt exceptionally good or exceptionally bad about their present job or any previous job. They were asked to give reasons and a description of the sequence of events giving rise to that feeling. Responses to the interviews were generally consisted and revealed that there were two different sets of factors affecting motivation and work. This led to the two-factor theory of motivation and job satisfaction.
McClelland's Achievement Motivation theory
McClelland's work originated from investigations into the relationship between hunger needs and the extent to which imagery of food dominated thought processes. From subsequent research McClelland identified four main arousal-based, and socially developed, motives:
The Achievement motive
The power motive
The affiliative motive
The avoidance motive
The first three motives correspond, roughly to Maslow's self-actualization, esteem and love needs. The relative intensity of these motives varies between individuals. It also tends to vary between different occupations. Managers appear to be higher in achievement motivation than in affiliation motivation. McClelland saw the achievement motivation than in affiliation motivation. McClelland saw the achievement need as the most crucial for the country's economic growth and success. The need to achieve is linked to entrepreneurial spirit and the development of available resources.
Process theories of motivation
The underlying basis of expectancy theory is that people are influenced by the expected results of their actions. Motivation is a task of the relationship between:
Effort expended and perceived level of performance
The expectation that rewards (desired outcomes) will be related to performance
The expectation that rewards (desired outcomes) is available.
Equity theory of motivation
This theory focuses on the feelings of the people if they are fairly treated in comparison with the other people's treatment. It is based on exchange theory. Social relationships involve an exchange process.
Application of motivation theory in Nestle:
In Nestle, the desire for promotion will result in high performance only if the employee believes there is a strong expectation that this will lead to promotion. If however, the employee believes promotion to be based solely on age and length of service, there is no motivation to achieve high performance. A Nestle company's employees' behavior reflects a conscious choice between the comparative evaluations of alternative behaviors. When the employee chooses between alternative behaviors which have uncertain outcomes, the choice is affected not only by the preference for a particular outcome but also by the probability that such an outcome will be achieved. Employees may develop a perception of the degree of probability that the choice of a particular action will actually lead to a desired outcome. This is expectancy. It is the relationship between a chosen course of action and its predicted outcome which is what employees at Nestle follow and so does the management.
Application of motivation theory in Marks n Spencer:
At Marks n Spencer, an employee may expect promotion as an outcome of a high level of contribution (input) in helping to achieve an important organizational objective. Employees may compare their own position with that of others. They determine the perceived equity of their own position. Their feelings about the equity of the exchange are affected by the treatment they receive when compared with what happens to other people. Most exchanges involve a number of inputs and outcomes. According to equity theory, employees place a weighting on these various inputs and outcomes according to how they perceive their importance. When there is an unequal comparison of ratios the person experiences a sense of inequality. Thus the management and employees at Marks n Spencer follow Equity theory of Motivation. The manager may seek to remove or reduce tension and perceived inequality among staff by influencing these types of behavior. Outcomes can be changed by-increasing pay, additional perks or improved working conditions, or by instigating an employee leaving the field through transfer or resignation.