The Study Of Human Behavior In Organizations Business Essay

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According to Brooks (1999) OB is "the study of human behaviour in organizations with a focus on individual and group processes and actions". Organisational behaviour is one not like other sciences. It is viewed from different point of views. It does not provide us with any specific structure to be followed; in fact it allows an individual to see through the situation and environment of an Organisation from his/her own perspective. Hence, we can say, Organisational behaviour is the study of the operations and channels in a firm through which the work is processed, and the reactions of employees before, during and after the work.

There are three main disciplines, which play an important role in explaining the approaches which lead to the understanding of organisational behaviour.

1- Psychology defines the behaviour and thinking of an individual. Industrial part of psychology relies, on the explanation of how people behave at work. It is usually concentrated in the most approaches except the classical approach (explained ahead).

2- Sociology blends with psychology and looks at the social aspects of human behaviour such as how society affects human behaviours. It concentrates the relations at work, whether they are calm or conflicting. It also considers if the work should be done by a man or woman with respect to physical and ethical requirement of task. Sociology also takes an account of the human needs which should be fulfilled for a paid work done by a worker.

3- Anthropology mainly concerns with the cultural environment, how it influences the structures and behaviour of people in different parts of the world.

These three disciplines are more or less related to each other because they focus on people from different aspects.

Further, there are Organisation systems (approaches), which contribute in giving a better understanding of how different organisations work. Their core purpose is to ensure that organisations achieve their objectives.

Classical Approach

This approach suggests that the planning of work and formal structure are more important than any other issue. Writers with classical approach, Henri Fayol and Frederick Taylor explained it as 'one best way' to organise every organisation. This includes transparent and narrow chain of command which shows clearly hierarchical relationships, detailed job descriptions and work procedures. Classical approach can be further categorised between scientific management and bureaucracy.

FW Taylor, said to be the 'father' of scientific management says that there is a specific best machine for each job and a best way of performing every task. This method can be achieved by analysing the work in parts, and rearranging the parts of every task. Taylor also focused on the training of labour, scientific selection, division of work and responsibility.

Bureaucracy is a structure usually found in very large firms. It basically emphasises on the importance of administration, based on rules made by experts and senior officials. Bureaucracy shows clear division of labour (senior staff and junior labour) and demands high level of expertise for every task. Decisions are reached by following clear rules and coordinating with authorities in structure.

Overall evaluation of this approach tells us that it stifles the initiative by workers due to lack of flexibility to changing circumstances. Bureaucracy tends towards tall hierarchical structures. It requires too many offices which are either procedural or non-productive and exerts pressure on people working at the front line. This approach also restricts psychological growth but these days such problems have been layered out by delegation to staff, greater specialisation, job enrichment and hiring staff with technical knowledge.

The Human Relations Approach.

This approach focuses on social factors and behaviour of employees (psychology) within the work place. The famous research on this approach was the Hawthorne Experiments conducted by the Western Electric Company in America. Elton Mayo (1880-1949) was one of the people who wrote about these experiments. He emphasised that task should be adapted according to the abilities of the person doing the work. The research also considers that social elements such as work relationships, decision-making and group attitudes have a great impact on task performed.

The findings of this approach describe that monetary rewards are not always the key to better productivity, but attitudes of employees which were usually influenced by management styles and practices, also played an important role.

Examining all findings, this approach ignored environmental factors such as national and cultural differences and the study of complex behaviours in an organisation, which included struggle for power and management conflict (political science). Etc.

The Systems Approach.

This theory is an attempt to the combine Classical and Human Relations approach. The diagram given below shows a summarised view of this approach.

The input process relates to every necessary input required for best output such as human input, financial, physical and etc. The transformation process considers technological aspect in relation to production. And then the outcome is the product or service provided by the organisation.

Lastly this approach emphasises on the analysis of output, the difference between the real outcome and results expected according to the firms objectives. Then considering other factors such as competition from market, government policies Etc. Coming up with a thorough analysis of the factors affecting the aims of the business, amendments are made to the process of production and policies accordingly, before next cycle of production, to gain best possible results.

Contingency Approach.

This approach can best possibly be described as 'It all depends' on the situation. Different situations are effected by different factors, therefore universal principles cannot be applied to manage an organisation; in fact every situation should be analysed separately and managed accordingly. This theory considers a flexible structure and interprets that an organisation should adapt to internal and external changes occurring. In the nut shell we may say there is no one perfect pattern to perform any task.

Hence, looking on the above theories we can conclude that there are different perspectives, from which a business situation can be monitored to diagnose the problems, and derive to possible solutions accordingly.

There are different types of organisations which operate in the market e.g. For-profit and Non-profit organisations. Their aims and objectives differ from each other and therefore their working is also different. For- profit organisations operate to maximise their profit and expand, vice versa a Non-profit organisation works for the welfare of people, and usually aims to cover its operating cost only(usually by raising funds).

Though the objectives of every organisation are different from others but still two common frameworks can be used by every business to analyse its progress, known as the Pestle Framework and the Swot Analysis.

Pestle framework can help to analyse different factors which might have an effect on an organisation.

Politics: To what extent do the national or international policies affect an organisation and what possible alternative can help to prevent from the negativity of changes in policies e.g. government might restrict imports from a specific country due to ill political terms. In this case business might need to import its raw material from another supplier country.

Economics: Any current or upcoming economic (national or international) issues which might affect the business such as inflation.

Social factors: Any social developments or changes in trends might affect the firm e.g. a firm making clothes must notice the upcoming trend of fashion in society.

Technology: The upcoming technology related to business to reduce the chance for competitors, to gain a cutting edge by using more efficient machinery.

Laws: The legal aspects are monitored by the business, such as, the taxation policies which might differ every year in the home country or the supplier country.

Environment: It helps an organisation to analyse the environmental factors such as pollution created (chemical dumped into sea) by another business, might make it difficult for a business to catch healthy fish to store (poor product quality).

This way a firm can analyse different factors which might affect the business and the possible solutions which might be adopted to deal with them.

SWOT analysis is one of the analytical tools to help an organization develop a preferred future.

"S" denotes the strengths of the firm in comparison to its competitor's e.g. more modern machinery.

"W" shows the weaknesses of the organisation such as shortage of specialised labour than its competitor.

"O" stands for the opportunities a firm might have, for instance, if a business has flexible machinery to make several different products, it has more opportunities to decide which product should be produced to earn maximum profit.

"T" symbolizes threats to the business, for example, if two large firms intend to merge, this can be a big threat to a smaller firm in the competition, because they might afford to use the penetration pricing strategy, which can create a risk to the existence of a smaller business in the market.

Summing up, the writing above showed how main disciplines, approaches and different issues might have an impact on the organisation. And how the two analysis frameworks can help in defining problems of a business and come up with possible solutions.

(1504 words)

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