Individual And Group Behaviour

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Introduction - Organisational Behaviour

A simple definition of organisational behaviour is the study of people, individuals and groups in which it tells about their behaviour within the organization and it includes their understanding, communications, actions and attitude.

Authors like Laurie J.Mullins describe Organisational behaviour as “The study and understanding of individual and group behaviour and patterns of structure in order to help improve organisational performance and effectiveness.”

Other authors like Leigh Thompson define Organisational behaviour “The study of how thoughts, feelings and behaviours of individuals and groups in organizations are influenced by the actual implied or imagined presence of others.”

In order to understand people behaviour in depth, one has to realize the interrelationships among all the factors that comprise the entire organization which includes the understanding of management process, the organisational context, execution of work and interactions of external environment. The dimensions of organisational behaviour can be known as the individual, group, organisation and the environment which influences the behaviour of a working organisation.

The Individual - Organisations are made up of individual members. Individuals are the central characteristic of organisational behaviour. If the needs and demands of the organisation and the individuals are incompatible it leads to contradiction.

The Group - It acts as the vital part for the organisations work and performance. In group people develop their own leaders and hierarchies. Group pressure is one of the factors which have an impact on individual's performance and capabilities.

The Organisation - The structure of the organisation is formed by the management in order to create a relationship between the group and individuals which provides order and systems and directs them towards the aim and objectives.

The Environment - Technological and scientific development, economic activities, cultural and social influences and management actions are some of the factors which affect the organisation through external environment.

Individuals at Work:

“An organisation, by its very nature, is composed of individuals who are organised in some way or form in order to achieve certain objectives.”

(I. Brooks, 2006, p.14)

The concerns of the people vary extremely in size and condition which keeps on changing from time to time with the individual and the situation. The success of the organisation depends on the behaviour and performance of the individuals.

Personality is considered as the initial point for analysing an individual's behaviour in the organisation. Personality reflects the features of an individual like posture, perception, importance, belief and other quantities which determines the individual's nature and motivation in specific way. The individuals approach, values and ability are related to the determinants of their personality. The causes are categorised in two ways biologically or surrounding based, sometimes the individuals personality can be shaped up by a combination of both. A person's attitude and behaviour must be analysed first to understand and have an idea of how they would behave in a work environment. It is very important for the employee to have good an approach, intelligence, interests and abilities to excel in their work place. Therefore organisational analysts take keen interest in studying the employee's personality and behaviour to have a fair idea to find out if the employee would meet the organisations requirement in future.

Every individual behaviour and performance at work depends mainly on his/her ability to act in particular way and along with motivation to perform, the opportunity to behave in the expected manner and perception to achieve. These are the issues in which individuals are moderated to perceive the world along with surrounding influences.

Employee Motivation - It is an internal factor that affects an individual's ability to perform within the organisation. There are three significant factors for motivating an employee namely direction, intensity and persistence:

  • Direction denotes that the motivation given to the employee must always be focused towards the goal. When motivation is random instead of goal oriented, the individual's capacity will be deviated.
  • Intensity indicates the amount of effort put in to motivate the individual towards the goal to be achieved.
  • Persistence refers to the consistent effort applied in motivating the people. Continuous motivation for a period of time will help the employee to achieve the goal.

Employee ability - In spite of other external factors, personal capabilities that an employee possess within him and the skills one learns in his daily life also affects the behaviour and performance of an individual. There are two ways in which a person's skills can be expressed:

Personal competency where the person possesses inborn skills as well as his learned skills that help him to give excellent performance.

Other criteria includes where the person is selected according to the job to be done. Here either person qualified for the particular job is selected or the employee is trained to do the job assigned to him. If both are not applicable then the job itself is redesigned according to the abilities of the individual.

Employee role of Perception - Perception is what we understand from the things we learn. An employee must understand what behaviour is expected from him in order to achieve the goal assigned to him. Three important points must be perceived by the employee, they are as follows:

  • Firstly he must understand the task assigned to him in order to perform.
  • Then he must understand the importance of the task he is to perform so that he gives all his attention to perform it in the best manner.
  • Finally he must understand what type of behaviour is expected from him in order to accomplish his task successfully.

Situational factors - The factors are those which are beyond the reach of the employee's short term control as these factors also determine the behaviour and performance of the individual. Various situational factors are as follows:

  • Time: Time limits and shortage greatly affect an individual's ability as time constraints can put on pressure on the individual's performance.
  • People: Higher officials, co-workers and customers greatly influence the performance of the individual.
  • Budget: The pressure to complete the task within in the available resource also determines the behaviour of the individual.
  • Work facilities: The surroundings in which a person works, the facilities provided to him has yet another role to play in the performance and behaviour of an employee.

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