The Field Of Organizational Behavior Commerce Essay

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This chapter will describe about literature review which relates to the study in term of organizational behavior, the culture and psychological view of workers. The information was obtained from the journals, books and internet as sources to complete this chapter.

2.1 The Field of Organizational Behavior

Understanding the behavior of people in organizations has become increasingly important as management concerns such as employee productivity, the quality of work life, job stress, and career progression. Organizations achieve their goals by creating, communicating, and operating an organizational behavior system. Major elements of a good organizational behavior system are introduced and exist in every organization, but sometimes in varying forms.

Organizations have existed for as long as people have worked together. Organizational behavior could be defined as the study of what people think, feel, and do in and around organizations. Organizational behavior systematically study individual, team, and structural characteristic that influence behavior within organizations.

A more definitive definition of organizational behavior is the study of human behavior, attitudes, and performances within an organizational setting by drawing on theory, methods, and principles from such disciplines as psychology, sociology, and cultural anthropology to learn about individual perceptions, values, learning capacities, and actions while working in groups and within the total organization in terms of analyzing the external environment's effect on the organization and its human resources, missions, objectives, and strategies.

2.2 The Big Five Personality Dimension

The relationship between behavior and personality is perhaps one of the most complex matters to be understood. Speaking about an individuals' personality referred to a relatively stable set of feelings and behaviors that have been significantly formed by genetic and environmental factors. Although many aspects of personality formation, development, and expression are not perfectly understood, certain principles are generally being accepted as being true.

Personality is a term used to describe a great many feelings and behaviors. Literally hundreds of personality dimensions or traits have been identified by psychologist over the last 100 years. However, within the past 25 years or so, a consensus has emerged that, for the most part, the human personality can be described by five dimensions or factors.³ The Big Five personality dimensions include: extroversion, emotional, stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience.⁴ Each of the five factors is described below:

2.2.1 Extroversion

Extroversion refers to the tendency to be sociable, gregarious, assertive, talkative, and active. People high in extroversion tend to enjoy talking and interaction with co-workers, and they gravitate towards jobs that have a good deal of social interaction. Research indicates that extroverted people tend to perform well in sales and managerial jobs, tend to do better in training programs, and tend to have higher levels of overall job satisfaction.⁵ This suggest that organizations such as Avon and The Sharper Image, both of which rely heavily on the successful training and performance of their salesperson, would benefit from using a validity personality test to measure extroversion as part of an overall selection program.

2.2.2 Emotional Stability

This is where the tendency to experience positive emotional state, such as feeling psychologically secure, calm, and relaxed. Anxiety, depression, anger, and embarrassment are characteristic of low emotional stability. The low-stability individual is more likely to experienced job-related stress. Although the link between emotional stability and job performance does not appear to be a strong one, some interesting research findings relate to other important work behaviors. For example, a meta-analysis (a large research study that analyzes results from several previous studies) found that low levels of emotional stability were associated with low levels of employee motivation.⁶

2.2.3 Agreeableness

This trait is associated by being courteous, forgiving, tolerant, trusting, and softhearted. The employee described as "someone who gets along with others" is high on agreeableness. It is a dimension that can help make someone an effective team player and can pay off in jobs where developing and maintaining good interpersonal relationships and helping fellow employees is important.⁷ Individuals low on agreeableness are often described as rude, cold, uncaring, unsympathetic, and antagonistic. Jobs and professions that require individuals high in agreeableness include customer service, sales, auditing, nursing, teaching, and social work.

2.2.4 Conscientiousness

Those who are described as dependable, organized, thorough, and responsible are exhibited by this trait. Individuals who are conscientious also tend to persevere, work hard, and enjoy achieving and accomplishing things. It is not hard to understand why this is highly valued by all organizations. Employees who are low in conscientiousness tend to be sloppy, inefficient, careless, and even lazy. From a research perspective, conscientiousness is the most closely linked dimension to job performance. Put succinctly, conscientious employees perform better across a wide variety of occupations. Emerging research also indicates that conscientious individuals tend to exhibit higher levels of motivation and job satisfaction,⁸ as well as other important work behaviors which is retention, attendance, and fewer counterproductive behaviors.

2.2.5 Openness to Experience

This final personality dimension reflects the extent to which an individual has broad interests and is willing to take risks. Specifics traits include curiosity, broad-mindedness, creativity, imagination, and intelligence. People high in openness to experience tend to thrive in occupations where change is continuous and where innovation is critical. For example, people who create spectacular special effects for large-budget action films need to possess high levels of this personality dimensions.

2.3 The Importance of Values in the Workplace

Values are not new to organizational behavior, but the popularity of this topic has increased noticeably in recent years.⁹ One reason is that globalization has raised our awareness of and sensitivity to differences in value across cultures. Organizations rely on individuals to make decisions and take actions that achieve corporate objectives. Global organizations face the challenge of aligning people with diverse value toward a common set of goals, including consistent decisions and actions around the world. But aligning everyone's values may lead to conflict due to differences in personal, organizational, and culture values.¹°

2.4 The Ethical Values and Behaviour

Ethics is a natural extension of the discussion of values in the workplace.¹¹ As stated earlier, ethics refer to the study of moral principles or values that determine whether actions are right or wrong and outcomes are good or bad. Employees and customers value companies and their leaders with ethical values. Indeed, surveys indicate that the employer's integrity is an important to most employees as their income. Social responsibility refers to a person's or an organization's moral obligation toward others who are affected by his or her actions. People with a strong social responsibility norm are more motivated to assist others, whether or not this assistance will ever be repaid, and to avoid behaviors that interfere with others' goals.

2.4.1 The Three Ethical Principles

Philosophers and other scholars have identified several general ethical principles, each with a few variations that should guide ethical conduct. It is possible to condense most of these principles and variations down to three basic values. Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism advises to seek greatest good for the greatest number of people. In other words, the option providing the highest degree of satisfaction to those affected is to be chosen. This is sometimes known as a consequential principle because it focuses on the consequences of actions, not on how those consequences achieved. Unfortunately, utilitarianism can occasionally result in unethical choices because it judges morality by the results, not the means of attaining those results. Moreover, it accepts situations in which few people may be severely oppressed to benefit others. Individual rights

This ethical value is the belief that everyone has entitlements that let them act in a certain way. Some of the most widely cited rights are freedom of movement, physical security, freedom of speech, fair trial, and freedom from torture.¹² The individual rights principle is not restricted to legal rights. A person may have right to have privacy, but employers have a right to inspect everyone's e-mail messages. One problem with individual rights is that certain individual rights may conflict with others. The shareholders' right to be informed about corporate activities may ultimately conflict with an executive's right to privacy, for example. Distributive Justice

This ethical value suggest that inequality is acceptable if (1) everyone has equal access to the more favored positions in society and (2) the inequalities are ultimately in the best interest of the least well-off in society. The first part means that everyone should have equal access to high-paying jobs and other valued positions in life. The second part says that some people can receive greater rewards than others if this benefits those less well-off. For example, employees in risky jobs should be paid more if their risk taking benefits others who are less well-off. The problem with this principle is that society can't seem to agree on what activities provide the greatest benefit to the least well-off.

2.5 Emotions in the Workplace

Emotions are feelings experienced toward an object, person, or event that create a state of readiness.¹³ Emotional episodes are communication to persons. They make awareness of events that may affect important personal goals. In fact, strong emotions demand the attention and interrupt the train of thought. They also create a state of readiness to respond to those events. In other words, they generate the motivation to act toward the objective of attention.

Scholars have organized the different emotions into the six categories which are anger, fear, joy, love, sadness and surprise. Except for surprise, all these general emotional categories include various specific emotional experiences. For example, researchers have found that alarm and anxiety cluster together to form the general emotional category called fear. Emotions are experienced through thoughts, behaviors, and physiological reactions. A person may experience fear in a stressful situation by mentally sensing it, showing it through facial expression, and developing a faster heartbeat. Facial expressions and other behavior play an interactive role in the emotional experience. Emotions are directed toward someone or something. Experiencing joy, fear, and other emotional episodes toward tasks, customers, public speeches presented, software program used, and so on. This contrast with moods, which are less intense emotional states that are not directed toward anything in particular.¹â´

Figure: Types of Emotions in Workplace

2.5.1 Emotions, Attitude, and Behavior

Emotions are related to attitudes, but the two concepts are different. Attitudes represent the cluster of beliefs, assessed feelings, and behavioral intentions toward an object.¹âµ Emotions are experiences, whereas attitudes are judgments. People feel emotions, whereas thinking about attitudes. People experience most emotions briefly, whereas attitude toward someone or something is more stable over time.

Figure: Model of Emotions, Attitudes, and Behavior

2.6 The Nature of Employee Attitudes

Attitudes are feelings and beliefs that largely determine how employees will perceive their environment, commit themselves to intended actions, and ultimately behave. Attitudes form a mental set that affects how person view something else, much as a windows provides a framework for the view into or out of a building. The window allows seeing some things, but the size and shape of the frame prevent from observing other elements. In addition, the color of the glass may affect the accuracy of perception, just as the "color" of attitudes has an impact on how surroundings at work were view and judge. Managers of organizational behavior are vitally interested in the nature of the attitudes of their employees toward their jobs, toward their careers, and toward the organization itself.

Although many of the factors contributing to job satisfaction are under the control of managers, it is also true that people do differ in their personal dispositions as they enter organizations. Some people are optimistic, upbeat, cheerful, and courteous; they are said to have positive affectivity. Others are generally pessimistic, downbeat, irritable, and even abrasive; they are said to have negative affectivity. It appears that people are disposed to be satisfied or dissatisfied, and managers can only partially affect the responses of employees. Nevertheless, it is important to explore the nature and effects of job satisfaction.

2.6.1 Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction is a set of favorable or unfavorable feelings and emotions with which employees view their work and an affective attitude of feeling of relative like or dislike toward something. Job satisfaction typically refers to the single employee. When assessment of individual satisfaction are averaged across all members of a work unit, the general term used to describe overall group satisfaction is morale. Group morale is especially important to monitor since individuals often take their social cues from their work associates and adapt their own attitudes to conform to those of the group.

Figure: How Job Satisfaction Leads to Quality

Attitudes are generally acquired over a long period of time. Similarly, job satisfaction or dissatisfaction emerges as an employee gains, more and more information about the workplace. Nevertheless, job satisfaction is dynamic, for it can decline even more than it develops. Managers cannot establish the conditions leading to high satisfaction now and later neglect it, for employees needs and viewpoints may fluctuate suddenly. Managers need to pay attention to employee attitudes week after week, month after month, and year after year.

Life satisfaction is one part of job satisfaction. The nature of a worker's environment off the job indirectly influences his or her feelings on the job. Similarly, since a job is an important part of life for many workers, job satisfaction influences general life satisfaction.¹ Consequently, managers need to monitor not only the job and immediate work environment but also their employees' attitudes toward other parts of life.

Figure: Some Related Elements of Life Satisfaction

As the workers grow older, they initially tend to be slightly more satisfied with their jobs. Apparently, they lower their expectations to more realistic levels and adjust themselves better to their work situations. Later, their satisfaction may suffer as promotions are less frequent and they face the realities of retirement. Predictably, too, people with higher-level occupations tend to be more satisfied with their jobs. They are usually better paid, have better working conditions, and hold jobs that make fuller use of their abilities.

2.6.2 Job Involvement

Job involvement is the degree to which employees immerse themselves in their jobs, invest time and energy in them, and view work as a central part of their overall lives. Holding meaningful jobs and performing them well are important aspects of the employees own self-image, which help explain the traumatic effects of job loss on their esteem needs when they are laid off or fired. Job-involved employees are likely to believe in the work ethic, to exhibit high growth needs, and to enjoy participation in decision making. As a result, they seldom will be tardy or absent, they are willing to work long hours, and they will attempt to be high performers. Job involvement is quite similar to organizational identification, in which employees blend in so well and fit the organization's ethic and expectations that they experience a sense of oneness with the firm.

2.6.3 Organizational Commitment

Organizational commitment or employee loyalty is the degree to which an employee identifies with the organizations and wants to continue actively participating in it. Like a strong magnetic force attracting one metallic object to another, it is a measure of the employee's willingness to remain with a firm in the future. Commitment is akin to being strongly connected and engaged with the organization on an emotional level. It often reflects the employee's belief in the mission and goals of the firm, willingness to expend effort in their accomplishment, and intentions to continue working there. Commitment is usually stronger among long-term employees, those who have experienced personal success in the organization, those who have passed major hurdles to successful entry, and those working within a committed employee group.

Table: Factors that Inhibit and that Stimulate Employee Commitment

Inhibiting Factors

Stimulating Factors

Excessive blaming

Insincere gratitude

Failure to follow through

Inconsistencies and incongruities

Inflated egos and bullying

Clarity of rules and policies

Investments in employees (training)

Respect and appreciation for efforts

Employee participation for efforts

Employee participation and autonomy

Making employees feel valued

Reminders of employee investments

Providing support to employees

Making opportunities for employees to express caring for others

Organizationally committed employees will usually have good attendance records, demonstrate a willing adherence to company policies, and have lower turnover rates. It is useful to distinguish between three forms of organizational commitment.² Affective Commitment

Affective commitment is a positive emotional state in which employees want to exert effort and choose to remain in the organization. Normative Commitment

Normative commitment is the choice to stay attached because of strong cultural or familial ethics that drive employee to do so. They believe they ought to be committed because of others' belief system and their own internalized norms and feelings of obligation. Continuance Commitment

Continuance commitment encourages employees to stay because of their high investment in the organization such as time and effort and the economic and social losses they would incur if they left. Managers need to be aware of the levels of each type of commitment of their employees, and work to strengthen each type for the effective employees.

2.6.4 Work Moods

Attitudes are emotional states that are typically stable across time and focused on a particular element of one's job. Employees do have feelings towards their jobs that are both diffused and highly dynamic where they reflect overall views and can change within a day, hour, or minute. These variable attitudes toward their jobs are called work moods. An employees work mood can be described as ranging from negative ("I hate this task today") to positive ("Right now I am excited by this new challenge") and from weak to strong and intense. Strongly positive work moods are visible in workers' energy, passion, vitality, and enthusiasm. These positive types of work moods are important to a manager, because they will predictably result in closer attention to customer service, lower absenteeism, greater creativity, and interpersonal cooperation.

2.7 MARS Model of Individual Behavior and Performance

A useful model for understanding the drivers of individual behavior is the MARS model of individual behavior and performance. The MARS model shows the four factors which is motivation, ability, role perceptions, and situational factors have a combined effect on individual performance. If any factor weakens, employee performance will decrease which then lead to lower productivity

Figure: MARS model of individual Behavior and Performance

2.7.1 Employee Motivation

Motivation represents the forces within a person that affect the direction, intensity, and persistence of his or her voluntary behavior.¹â¶ Direction refers to the fact that motivation is goal-oriented, not random. People are motivated to arrive at work on time, finish a project a few hours early, or aim for many other targets. Intensity is the amount of effort allocated to the goal. For example, two employees might be motivated to finish their project a few hours early (direction), but only one of them puts forth enough effort (intensity) to achieve this goal. Finally, motivations involve varying levels of persistence that is, continuing the effort for a certain amount of time. Employees may sustain their effort until they reach goal, or they may give up beforehand.

2.7.2 Ability

A second influence on individual behavior and performance is the person's ability. Ability includes both the natural aptitudes and learned capabilities required to successfully complete a task. Aptitudes are the natural talent that helps employees learn specific task more quickly and perform them better. Learned capabilities are the skills and knowledge that have actually acquired which including the physical and mental possessed as well as the knowledge acquired and store for later use. Employee Competencies

The external environment is changing so rapidly that many organizations prefer to hire people for their generic competencies rather than for job-specific skills. Competencies are the characteristics of people that lead to superior performance.¹â· Along with natural and learned abilities; competencies include the person's value and personality traits. Person - Job Matching

There are three basic ways to match individuals and their competencies with job requirements. ¹â¸ One strategy is to select applicants whose existing competencies best fit the required task. This approach includes comparing each applicant's competencies with the requirements of the job or work unit. A second approach is to provide training so that employees develop required skills and knowledge. The third person job matching strategy is to redesign job so employees are given only those tasks that are within their job capabilities.

2.7.3 Role Perceptions

Role perceptions is where a person's belief about what behaviors are appropriate or necessary in a particular situation, including the specific tasks that make up the job, their relative importance, and the preferred behaviors to accomplish those tasks. Role perceptions clarify the preferred direction of effort.

How do organizations improve role perceptions? One strategy is to clearly describe each employee's required responsibilities and to show how those goals relate to organizational goals. Second, employees clarify their role perceptions as they work together over time and receive frequent and meaningful performance feedback.

2.7.4 Situational Factors

Job performance depends not just on motivation, ability, and role perceptions. It is also affected by the situation in which the employee works. Situational factors include conditions beyond the employee's immediate control that constrain or facilitate his or her behavior and performance. Some factors such as time, people, budget, and physical work facilities are controlled by others in the organization. Other situational characteristics such as consumer preferences and economic conditions originate from the external environment and, consequently, are beyond the employee's and organization's control. Motivation, ability, role perceptions, and situational factors affect all conscious workplace behaviors and performance outcomes.

2.8 Behavior Modification: Learning Through Reinforcement

One of the oldest perspectives on learning, called behavior modification which is also known as operant conditioning and reinforcement theory, takes the rather extreme view that learning is completely dependent on the environment. Behavior modification does not question the notion that thinking is a part of the learning process, but it views human thoughts as unimportant intermediate stages between behavior and the environment.¹â¹ Behavior modification emphasize voluntary behaviors. Researchers call them operant behaviors because they "operate" on the environment where they make the environment respond in ways that they want.²â° Operant behaviors are different from respondent behaviors. Respondent behaviors are involuntary responses to the environment, such as automatically withdrawing hand from a hot stove or automatically contracting eyes when turning on a bright light.

2.8.1 A-B-C's of Behavior Modification

Behavior modification recognizes that behavior is influenced by two environmental contingencies: the antecedents that precede behavior and the consequences that follow behavior. These principles are part of the A-B-C model of behavior modification where the central objective of behavior modification is to change behavior (B) by managing its antecedents (A) and consequences (C).

Antecedents are events preceding the behavior, informing employees that certain behaviors will have particular consequences. Although antecedents are important, behavior modification focuses mainly on the consequences of behavior. Consequences are events following a particular behavior that influence its future occurrence. This concept is based on the law of effect, which says that the likelihood that an operant behavior will be repeated depends on its consequences. If a behavior is followed by a pleasant experience, then the person will probably repeat the behavior. If the behavior is followed by an unpleasant experience or by no response at all, then the person is less likely to repeat it. The law of effect explains how people learn to associate behaviors with specific environmental responses.

Table: A-B-C's of Behavior Modification


What happens before the behavior


What the person says or does


What happens after the behavior

Warning light flashes on operator's console

Operator switches off the machine's power source

Co-workers thank operator for stopping the machine

New attendance bonus system is announced

Employee attends work at designated times

Employee receives attendance bonus