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Since the 1980s organizational behavior faces unprecedented challenges. External environment system has the trend of changes increases, weakened stability and complexity increases, deterministic weakened. On one hand, the traditional organizational design value principles and methods of strict division was shaked. On the other hand, updated the organizational development value standard and value orientation, asks the group established new benefit and new ecology. Meanwhile, groups of people also appear the change trends of work values diversity, structure differentiation, diversification of tasks and nature of the work, these require organizations can respond to these changes in the way of ensure workers’ stability. But the extensive application of information technology are changing and will further change the organization’s management technology and process, will promote the organization from building clear rigid organization boundary into boundaryless management or permeable boundary management. Organizational behavior faces all sorts of challenges of organizational behavior research, puts forward the challenge, raising a series of changes of the position of organizational behavior from object to research methods. Each period of management theory and method inherit and develop the first period of exploration and research. Therefore, the study of organizational behavior will also ceaselessly innovate and develop in management theory and management practice in the historical evolution.
Whilst new ideas are emerging on the horizon they appear to be stirring controversy amongst those already entrenched in the discipline. This discussion is caused by the strike of Luthans and Avolio to positive OB by Hackman, and followed latterly by the likes of Davis striking at the very core of Hackman and Oldham’s Job Characteristics Model and also Kilduff & Brass who call for a re-visit of the model. This report considers as the environment changes and the deepening of the research development, ideas should also with changes.
2. Literature review
2.1 Theory of OB
Researches of organizational behavior originated in the 1930s Hawthorne’s test. The 1990s to the 1950s, the behavioral science began to prevail, the study of organizational behavior also entered a new phase classical management theory from the economics of the behavior of the individual research paradigm. The new phase of research focused on solving cooperation of organizations middleman/machine and people/things, showed on the stress on efficiency and utility. They organized the internal structure of the scientific nature, emphasize precision and discipline, depicted highly structured, formal, impersonal features of the organizational structure for people (Mayer & Salovey, 2000). Classical management theories try to provide with universal meaning for the organization’s management idea and scientific method.
Organizational behavior is a science to research organization of human behavior and mental regular. It is a branch of behavioral science, with the development of society, especially the development of economy prompted enterprise organization’s development, organizational behavior gets more and more attention by people. Organizational behavior has many branches, such as enterprise organization, behavior and school organizational behavior, hospital organization, behavior and army organizational behavior, etc (Bandura, 1991). At present, there are many researches about enterprise organization &behavior, these researches get wide application. Therefore, organizational behavior and enterprise organization &behavior is treated as equally by people. There are many definitions about organization behavior. Beyer, J. M. (1997) thought organizational behavior is a research field, it discusses the individual, group and structure on the internal organizational behavior, and the influence of the application of these knowledge to improve organizational effectiveness (Pond & Sue, 1989).
2.2 research of positive OB
Positive Organizational Behavior is the product of positive psychology methods, which emphasizes the important value of individuals in the organizations, positive features, status and behavior as the research object (Luthans & Youssef, 2007). It is the research and application of human resources of positive orientation advantages and psychological capital. These advantages and resources are measurable, developmental and effective cure for realizing rational, they have stimulative effect to achieve their organizational goal, their goal is performance improvement. Related research powerful display, positive organization has unique role to explain the phenomenon of organizational variables. Thompson (2005) made a groundbreaking study of commercial team and confirmed the important index to separate the vigorous development team and the weak teams is the positive communication between team members with support expression. The analysis on oral report shows that encourage, support and thank are features for positive reports, and refused, cynicism and irony are features for negative report criterions. Researches show that successful team show more positive effect, thought and innovation, but in low performance teams, the positive effects and thought is restricted by different degrees, employees lack of creativity, and hold a negative attitude towards the future (Rob, 2001).
On emotional reaction and emotional management researches, Conti, R.(2000) used hierarchy method examined the effects of financial advisers emotional ability. In their two dimensional model, emotional ability is related to the positive state. The results also proof positive psychological state of employees has influence to customer’s positive psychology. That is to say, this positive state has potential value on the company. Brief & Weiss (2002) developed a set of dynamic model aimed at the working team appeared in positive emotion. The study proof, positive organizational behavior does not only focus on simple causal link to power, mutual benefit, through an analysis of the relationship between, it could develop into a gain of organization and individuals spiral, create a strong impetus of development (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000).
2.3 Job characteristics model
The earliest concept of job characteristics was from Taylor proposed “scientific management” four principles. The four principles are professional, systematic, simplicity and standard into work design. Bandura (1982) put forward the work nature, working environment, compensation and benefits, work safety and work feedback, the skills to work, work, work, work challenging autonomy learning and development opportunities, relationships and the availability of inner work reward all belong to job characteristics. Thus, broadly speaking, all the work related factors or attributes may call it job characteristic (Wright & Staw, 1999).
Gist (1989) thought job characteristics include six dimensions, they are diversity, integrity, autonomy, feedback and cooperation and friendship opportunities. That is job characteristics model. Jones (1986) has adjusted the model, increased the factor importance, and removed the factor friendship task opportunities and cooperative. And he divided feedback into work feedback and others feedback. Based on the above researches, Oldham and Hackman put forward the following theory: Work design itself should include some basic features that can inspirit employees’ motives. The concept of job characteristic model, Oldham and Hackman summarized characteristics of interaction and individual differences of conceptual and five core work characteristics on the basis of previous researches (Snyder, 2002).
Anyhow, the job characteristic theory of Oldham and Hackman suggests that if a job needs many skills, and employees could complete a task and finish this work to produce certain effects on others words, employees can experience of meaning and value from the work (Luthans, 2002); if in the process of employee’s work, employees are gave more freedom of choices, responsibility of employees could be formed; if in the process of employee’s work, employees could get the feedback of their work performance, could make perception results (Snyder, 2002). Therefore, the work potential score obtained from core work characteristics could affect these three key psychological states, and consist of internal work motivation and employees’ other active work results (Hackman & Oldham2006).
3.1 The causes of the discussion
In the process of research development of organizational behaviour, many new opinions appeared, such as the discussion happened recent, that positive OB by Hackman evoking a strong counter-attack by Luthans and Avolio, followed latterly by the likes of Davis striking at the very core of Hackman and Oldham’s Job Characteristics Model and also Kilduff & Brass who call for a re-visit of the model. Since the 1980s, as the organization of external and internal environment profound changes, organizational behavior faced unprecedented challenges. This report considers that with the development of researches and changes of internal environment and external environment, organization needs do some changes in the new situation (Luthans, 2002). So, the theories should also changes with the changes of environment. Judging from the organization’s external environment, external environment system has changed, the changes shake the traditional organizational design value principles and methods of strict division, organization structure also appears the trend of organic type and flattening type. Judging from the organization’s internal environment, sustainable development comprehensively updates organizational development value standard and value orientation. At the same time, the trend of organization staff’s values diversity, workers structure differentiation, tasks and diversification of the nature of the work, demands organizations could respond to these changes in a stability way. But the extensive application of information technology are changing and will further change the organization’s management technology and process, promotes the organization from building clear rigid organization boundary into boundaryless management or permeable boundary management. All of these changes will cause the redefine of organization’s own value, prompt the changes of organizational behavior and will cause a series of important changes of organization management.
3.2 The challenges faced by positive OB
The biggest challenges that positive OB faces is the change of organization development sense. Organization development sense means the value of guiding organizational development standard and value orientation, is the survival and development guiding of organization. During the 1990s, in the backdrop of global environmental degradation and the energy crisis, international academic appeared the theory of sustainable development, this theory emphasizes the relationship to coordinate environment and development. Sustainable development asks the group establishing new benefit sense. Sustainable development promotes the change of modern organization function, and the transition of the modern organization function has become one of the essential elements of organizational change. It stresses the organization’s social service function, asks thae group to take a set of social responsibilities (Wright, 2003). Organizations should establish an internal constraint mechanism, effectively avoid the tendency of only consider their own interests regardless the social interests in making decisions, organizations should comprehensive analysis of society restricts factors and social effects of decision objectives, and actively evaluate if decision target may cause social problems, and timely correction decision-making goals may lead to negative social consequences according to social value. This means that organization should pay great attention to the overall social benefits. As a member of society, organization should even pay more attention to impacts from social organization behavior of the ecological environment, social welfare undertakings and welfare, social spiritual civilization and other aspects. The sustainable development asks the group to establish new ecology sense. The sustainable development theory more stresses ecosystem of the organization, the ecological concept reflects the organization dealing with various kinds of internal and external relations of a kind of new thought, new rules.
Judging from the external relations, facing cooperators and competitors, organizations must put equality and mutual benefit as a way to deal with various standards of conduct. Organization through cooperative competition but not scattered competition way to establish cooperation and sharing resources with cooperators and competitors, and then build continuous symbiotic relationship, so as to create a harmonious and orderly competition environment.
Judging from the internal relations, symbiotic idea requests to build the organization as a ‘life community’ between built owners, operators and workers. This should improve work, quality of life, build appropriate organization climate, improve the internal ecological environment, staff and organization, closely related weal and woe.
3.3 The challenges faced by job characteristics model
The changes of job characteristics show at the diversity of work values firstly. The diversity of work values not only lie not only in inner work value and external work value is more differentiation at the demographic characteristics, different jobs, education, age and sex, while their sociology characteristics have become increasingly obvious. The employment standards of workers in different regions, different cultural background, different organization field also utterly different. Hence its character and behavior shows different organization environment characteristics from traditional ones. The dependence of knowledge workers to the organization is lower, they’re more value about work autonomy and despise the command and control from organization, they are more value about work significance and not just pay attention to work results connection.
Secondly, the structure of workers is showed the differentiation trend. The differences in workers’ family background, education background, knowledge structure, work experience, lifestyle and religious beliefs are increasing, this means that workers in an organization will show the different cultural values, work attitude and communication mode. The differentiated workers’ structure will cause organizational culture changes from integrated to multi-dimensional, from enclosed to open. How to change management philosophy, and how to construct the organization culture, to enable an organization could respond to organizational behavior to ensure the stability of difference workers, it puts forward a new topic. If management is undeserved, may cause high turnover, communication obstacles and more conflict.
At last, workers’ work tasks and nature are also showing diversity trend. Traditionally people use ‘blue-collar’, ‘white-collar’ to say the task of organization staff and character. Nowadays, people use more ‘collar’ to say organization work of different roles and appeared ‘gold-collar’ in high technology fields and ‘gray-collar’, etc. The trend promotes the changes of organization’s work system, emerges a flexible working hour and flexible working group, that is allow workers in particular period of time, free to decide time to go to work. So as to realize the elastic working group, forming work share, and even appeared telecommuting, through the office networking with organization computer consult with the business, complete the various reports, analytical processing information.
3.4 The future of organizational behaviour research
Positive organizational behavior not only focus on the quantitative study of personal micro behavior level, its current infrastructure on the systemic is limited, not think about the influence of factors on organizational performance in the macroscopic level consider the organizational environment, organization structure, organizational culture, leadership, system, policy. Organizational behavior faces all sorts of challenges, and puts forward the challenges, thus research sparked a series of changes from research position to research objects and research methods.
3.4.1 The change of research position
Research position reflects the researchers’ value judgment and value orientation. An important shift on research position is the understanding of people to the performance of human behavior. The understanding of human nature in a certain extent determines their study angle and research content. Through the research on human nature, will be helpful for managers in understanding human core based on the management of established values, and determine reasonable management mode for management activities. The change of research position is helpful for managers to establish flexible management style, and by creating a humanist organization culture atmosphere, advocating workers’ initiative and self-discipline. In the meanwhile of realizing personal social value, realize the win-win situation to individuals and organizations.
3.4.2 The change of research objects
The research content transfers from individual behavior and group activities to the interaction of organizational behavior and organization environment. With the continuous development of management practices, the new management theories and methods are constantly emerging. The research efforts of organizational behavior reflect the change of organization management, enable an organization could design a more reasonable organizational structure and establish more effective management style according to organization environment, development target, technology and personnel structure change and development. Research objects transfer from the commonness of general organization turn to classification organization character.
3.4.3 The change of research methods
The traditional method is laboratory experimental study and field tests based on the process ‘hypothesis – observation – verification’ to objective descript research objects and use observation and experiment data material on the research object to analysis. The defects of this research method are: from personal perspective, people as a whole of biology, physiology and sociological, human behavior is complex, difficult to accurately measure and accurate predictions. From organization perspective, modern organization’s differences, changes, complexity and uncertainty factors are increasing, simple model and mathematical method has been difficult to explain in complex variables of organizational behavior.
According to discussion above, organizational behavior research method begins to turn to a lot of case studies and scale survey. The development of the modern information technology provides possibility for case studies and scale survey. The empirical research method has practical value at getting general conclusion to explain and defining the specific application to organizational success or failure. This report bases on the discussion of OB theory recently, discusses the development of organizational behaviour. Organizational behaviour faces huge challenges not only on positive OB but also on job characteristics model. The internal and external environment has changed these years. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the system of management form has experienced 100 years of research history. Each period of management theory and method inherited to the first period of exploration and research achievements, so the study of organizational behavior will also has a period of constantly innovation and development in management theory and management practice in the historical evolution.
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