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Organisational Behaviour is a study of what people think, feel, and do in an around organizations. As OB students we have learnt the individual, team and structural characteristics which influence the behaviour of an organization. Throughout the module we learnt the Individual learning styles and reflective learning of an organisation, Individual differences and perceptions, Team working, Motivation, Organisational structure, Communication, Organisational culture, Organisational conflict, Organisational power and Organisational politics. I am required to explain the theoretical areas which we covered during this module in individual basis. I have chosen to discuss my experience in the OB team with particular attention to the way that individual differences and perspectives interact with team working.
While working in a team I was able recognize the differences of individual behavior. Each team member was different in values, personality, perceptions, emotions & attitudes and stress. According to MARS model of individual behavior, there are four main factors which directly influence the behavior of an individual: Motivation, Ability, Role perceptions and Situational factors.
Motivation is the forces within a person that affect his or her direction, intensity, and persistence of voluntary behavior. Direction is goal oriented. It motivated me to reach the goal. Intensity is the amount of effort we put to reach the goal. When I was with my team, I gave my fullest effort to complete the project on time without any errors. But this differs from one person to another. Finally persistence is continuing the effort for certain amount of time. When applying this motivation factor to our team, I found that the word of praising from the team mates, and good remarks from the leader motivated me.
Ability is both the natural and aptitudes and learned capabilities required to successfully complete a task. Aptitudes are the natural talents of a person. I was good in analyzing and giving ideas to solve problems. The learned capabilities are the knowledge and skills that we acquired. While I was working with the team I was able to gain a lot of knowledge on team working, leadership, motivational skills, time management and etc. These may become useful in future, especially in team working.
Role perception is the person's beliefs about the specific tasks assigned to them, their relative importance, and the preferred behaviors to accomplish those tasks. When it comes to our project, I had a clear view on my task. I knew the importance of my membership and the responsibility. I was able to satisfy after the project by seeing the role I played in the team.
Situational factors also effect on individual behavior of a person. Situational factors are the conditions beyond the employee's immediate control that limit or facilitate his behavior and performance. When it is applied to an organization, the time, people, budget, and physical work facilities can be taken. In our team the situational factors were time, people and laboratory facilities only. I was able to utilize those situational factors efficiently.
People engage in many different kinds of behavior in organizational behavior. Mainly there are five types of work related behaviors: task performance, organizational citizenship, counter- productive work behaviors, joining/ staying with the organization and maintaining work attendance.
Task performance is goal directed behaviors under the individual's control that support organizational objectives. These include physical as well as mental processes leading to behaviors. In our team each of us was aware of our task. I was able to give my support to the team in identifying the issues and finding solutions for them.
Organizational citizenship means the behaviors that extend the employee's normal job duties. When we were doing our report writing we did not stick into our part in the project. I did not wait till the others do their part, and I helped the other members without thinking the workload or the credits. I helped the others members without selfish intent, actively in organizational activities, avoided unnecessary conflicts and gracefully tolerated impositions.
Counterproductive work behaviors are the voluntary behaviors that are potentially harmful to the organization's effectiveness. In our team we avoided abusing each other, work sabotage, threats, work avoidance and theft.
Joining and staying with an organization is a challenge for an employee. Because an organization worth one skilled employee than few amateurs. The directors or the team leaders select the most efficient members to their organization or team. I was lucky to get selected to a group which included efficient and talented members. I had to show my fullest strength during this team work.
Maintaining work attendance is another important work related behavior. Along with attracting and retaining employees, the organization need to show up for work at scheduled time. In our team work I was able to maintain our work attendance. But sometimes my team mates failed to participate for group meetings due to the situational factors such as rain, extra lectures and etc.
Sources of personality differences.
The events in the surrounding environment always influence in a person's behavior. But people individually bring something unique. This is called as personality.
Personality differences are formed with two main sources: heredity and environment.
Heredity means the deeply fixed views and beliefs of people towards a personality of a person in its genetic basis.
Environmental components include culture, family, group membership and life experiences. Culture is the typical ways that different human populations or societies organize their lives. Family is the primary group which influences personality. Parents and siblings play major roles here. Group membership is another factor which influences in personality. The school friends, lunch mates, sports teams, etc. affect the personality formation. Life experiences differ from each other. This also makes a person's life unique.
The individual's personality can be summarize with 'Big Five' personality factors.
Perception is the process of receiving information about and making sense of the world around us. When you are working in an organisation it is essential to perceive the world around them and learn about the consequences of their actions. Although it says that individuals with similar perspectives get into groups, the perceptions of the team members were different. So it helped us to look at a particular issue in different angles. Each individual's perceptions are based on their past experiences and their present socializations. The decision taken by an individual is a complex process involving the intake of data, screening, processing, and interpreting and evaluating of data, based on the perception of the individual.
Teams are groups of two or more people who interact and influence each other. They are mutually accountable for achieving common objectives, and perceive themselves as a social entity within an organisation.
There are many types of teams and other groups in organizations, namely: -
- Permanent work teams
- Team based organizations
- Quality circles
- Task forces
- Skunk works
- Virtual teams
- Informal groups
Departments are permanent work teams that are responsible for a specific set of tasks in the organization.
Some organisations have formed a team based organization. Team-based organizations rely heavily on Self Directed Work Teams (SDWTs) organized around work processes rather than specialized departments as core units. These teams complete an entire piece of work requiring several interdependent tasks. They are fairly autonomous, do not require supervision, and are cross-functional. SDWTs rely on people with diverse and complementary skills, knowledge and experience.
Quality circles are small teams of employees who meet for a few hours each week to identify quality and productivity problems, propose solutions to management, and monitor the implementation and consequences of these solutions in their work area. They are usually permanent and typically include co-workers in the same work unit.
Task forces are temporary teams that investigate a particular problem and disband when the decision is made.
Skunk workers are usually (but not always) temporary teams formed spontaneously to develop products or solve complex problems. Our team belongs to this category.
Virtual teams are cross-functional groups that operate across space, time and organizational boundaries with members who communicate mainly through electronic technologies.
Informal groups consist of two or more people who interact mainly to meet their personal needs. These groups emerge from the interactions of individuals, often within formal groups and are less likely to be far less structured. They may or may not be permanent, existing only for as long as they continue to serve the common interest or needs of their members. Examples are family, friends, colleagues who go out for a drink together etc.
I was able to support the team to gain team effectiveness. Team effectiveness refers to the extent to which a team achieves its objectives and achieves the needs and objectives of its members, and sustains itself over time.
Elements in the organisational and team environment that influence team effectiveness are reward systems, communication systems, physical space, organisational environment, organisational structure and organisational leadership. In our team the team effectiveness was increased with the praising of the team members and the rewarding of the leader.
According to the team design tasks are clear and easy to implement as members and they can learn their roles quickly and high task interdependence. In our team also the tasks were clear and we could easily catch up our roles and work out with the project.
The size of the group will also affect how the group works together and tasks are completed. Our group consisted of five members. We were able to share the work load among ourselves, which made the work easy. It did not take a long time to finish the project.
Team composition is also important for efficiency. The members must be highly motivated and able. It must be able to possess necessary skills and knowledge. The homogeneous teams vs. heterogeneous teams all the same teams vs. mixed teams. Our team consisted of two boys and two girls, which I think provide us a good opportunity to work in a mixed team. Working in a mixed team gave us another advantage. As a girl I could not stay for a long time at the institution in the evening, so the boys helped us to do our parts well.
This team work which was required to write a report, provide us the chance of work in a group. That was a great experience for me. This experience will be useful to me in future when I join to an organization. I will be able to overcome the problems which may occur in a future team. I will be able to avoid the conflicts which may try to disturb our team. I was able to bare the conflicts with patience, which was a disadvantage for me sometimes. I must try to overcome that weakness while keeping the rate of my patience at the same point. I was able to understand that different people have different perceptions. That may help in future team activities to work with a better understanding with the others. The differences of the individuals were identified by me. So if I will get a chance to work with the same individuals or individuals with similar characteristics I know how to tackle them ina team.