About of Organizational Behavior; Organizational behavior is a delicate and complex process. The knowledge and information explosion, global competition, total quality, and diversity are some of the bitter realities that the managers are facing today. There are many solutions being offered to deal with these complex challenges. Yet the simple but most profound solution may be found in the words of Sam Walton, the richest person in the world and the founder of Wal-Mart. Sam was once asked the key to successful organizations and management. Sam quickly replied, “People are the key”.
What do you know about Organizational Behavior?
The term paradigm comes from the Greek word “Paradigma”, which means ”model, pattern or example”. First introduced over thirty years ago, by the philosophy and science historian Thomas Khun, the term “paradigm” is now used as, a broad model, a framework, a way of thinking, and a scheme for understanding reality. The impact of information technology, total quality, and diversity mentioned earlier has led to a paradigm shift.
The organizational behavior has a goal to help the managers make a transition to the new paradigm. Some of the new paradigm characteristics include coverage of second-generation information technology and total quality management such as empowerment, re-engineering and benchmarking, and learning organization for managing the diversity of work. The new paradigm sets the stage for the study, understanding, and application of the time-tested micro-variables, dynamics, and macro-variables. One must know why management needs a new perspective to meet the environmental challenges and to shift to a new paradigm.
A NEW PERSPECTIVE FOR MANAGEMENT:
Management is generally considered to have three major dimensions—technical, conceptual and human. The technical dimension consists of the manager’s expertise in particular functional areas. They know the requirements of the jobs and have the functional knowledge to get the job done. But the practicing managers ignore the conceptual and human dimensions of their jobs.
Most managers think that their employees are lazy, and are interested only in money and that if you could make them happy in terms of money, they would be productive. If such assumptions are accepted, the human problems that the management is facing are relatively easy to solve.
But human behavior at work is much more complicated and diverse. The new perspective assumes that employees are extremely complex and that there is a need for theoretical understanding given by empirical research before applications can be made for managing people effectively.
MODERN APPROACH TO ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR:
The modern approach to organizational behavior is the search for the truth of why people behave the way they do. Organizational behavior is a delicate and complex process. If one aims to manage an organization, it is necessary to understand its operation. The organization is the combination of science and people. While science and technology are predictable, the human behavior in organization is rather unpredictable. This is because it arises from the deep needs and value systems of people.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND FOR MODERN ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR
The following are below;
Scientific Management Approach:
Scientific management approach was developed by F.W. Taylor at the beginning of the 20th century. This theory supported the use of certain steps in scientifically studying each element of a job, selecting and training the best workers for the job arid making sure that the workers follow the prescribed method of doing the job. It provided a scientific rationale for job specialization and mass production. His assumption was that employees are motivated largely by money. To increase the output, Taylor advised managers to pay monetary incentives to efficient workers.
Yet, his theory was criticized by many employers and workers. Workers objected to the pressure of work as being harder and faster. Critics worried that the methods took the humanity out of labor, reducing workers to machines responding to management incentives. Therefore, Taylor’s view is now considered inadequate and narrow due to the points given by the critics.
While scientific management was focusing on the interaction between workers and the task, me researchers were studying how to structure the organization more effectively. Instead of trying to make each worker more efficient, classical organization theory sought the most effective overall organizational structure for workers and managers.
The theory’s most prominent advocate, Max Weber, proposed a ‘bureaucratic form’ of structure, which he thought would work for all organizations. Weber’s idea! bureaucracy was, logical, rational and efficient. He made the naive assumption that one structure would work best for all organizations.
Henry Ford, Henry Fayol and Frederick W. Taylor, the early management pioneers, recognized the behavioral side of management. However, they did not emphasize the human dimensions. Although there were varied and complex reasons for the emerging importance of the behavioral approach to management, it is generally recognized that the Hawthorne studies mark the historical roots for the field of organizational behavior.
Even, as Taylor and Weber brought attention with their rational, logical approaches to more efficient productivity, their views were criticized on the ground that both approaches ignored worker’s humanity.
The real beginning of applied research in the area of organizational behavior started with Hawthorne Experiments. In 1924, a group of professors began an inquiry into the human aspects of work and working conditions at the Hawthorne plant of Western Electric Company, Chicago. The findings of these studies were given a new name ‘human relations’ the studies brought out a number of findings relevant to understanding human behavior at work. The Human element in the workplace was considerably more important. The workers are influenced by social factors and the behavior of the individual worker is determined by the group.
Hawthorne studies have been criticized for their research methods and conclusions are drawn. But their impact on the emerging field of organizational behavior was dramatic. They helped usher in a more human-centered approach to work.
There are mainly four approaches to organizational behavior. They are:
- Human resources approach.
- Contingency approach.
- Productivity approach, and.
- Systems approach.
Human Resources Approach:
The human resources approach is concerned with the growth and development of people towards higher levels of competency, creativity, and fulfillment because people are the central resource in any organization. This approach helps employees become better in terms of work and responsibility and then it tries to create a climate in which they can contribute to the best of their improved abilities. This approach is also known as ‘supportive approach’ because the manager’s primary role changes from the control of employees to provide active support for their growth and performance.
A Contingency Approach:
A contingency approach to organizational behavior implies that different situations require different behavioral practices for effectiveness instead of following a traditional approach for all situations. Each situation must be analyzed carefully to determine the significant variables that exist in order to establish more effective practices. The strength of this approach is that it encourages an analysis of each situation prior to action. Thus, it helps to use all the current knowledge about people in the organization in the most appropriate manner.
Productivity is a ratio that compares units of output with units of input. It is often measured in terms of economic inputs and outputs. Productivity is considered to improve if more outputs can be produced from the same amount of inputs. But besides economic inputs and outputs, human and social inputs and outputs also arc important.
A system is an interrelated part of an organization or a society that interacts with everyone related to that organization or society and functions as a whole. Within the organization ‘people’ employ ‘technology’ in performing the ‘task’ that they are responsible for, while the ‘structure’ of the organization serves as a basis for coordinating all their different activities.
The systems view emphasizes the interdependence of each of these elements within the organization if the organization as a whole is to function effectively. The other key aspect of the systems view of the organization is its emphasis on the interaction between the organization and its broader environment, which consists of social, economic, cultural and political environment within which they operate.
Organizations are dependent upon their surrounding environment in two main ways:
First, the organization requires ‘inputs’ from the environment in the form of raw material, people, money, ideas and so on. The organization itself can be thought of as performing certain ‘transformation’ processes, on its inputs in order to create outputs in the form of products or services.
Secondly, the organization depends on the environment such as public to accept its output. The systems view of the organization thus emphasizes the key interdependencies that organizations must manage. Within themselves, the organizations must trade off the interdependencies among people, tasks, technology, and structure in order to perform their transformation processes effectively and efficiently. Organizations must also recognize their interdependence with the broader environments within which they exist.
CONTEMPORARY ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR:
A Separate Field of Study; Organizational behavior can be treated as a distinct field of study. It is yet to become a science. Now efforts are being made to synthesize principles, concepts, and processes in this field of study.
Organizational behavior is basically an interdisciplinary approach. It draws heavily from other disciplines like psychology, sociology, and anthropology. Besides, it also takes relevant things from economics, political science, law, and history. Organizational behavior integrates the relevant contents of these disciplines to make them applicable to organizational analysis. e.g. it addresses issues, which may be relevant to the case, such as the following:
- What facilitates accurate perception and attribution?
- What influences individual, group and organizational learning and the development of individual attitudes toward. work?
- How do individual differences in personality, personal development, and career development affect an individual’s behaviors and attitudes?
- What motivates people to work, and how. do the organizational reward system influence worker’s behavior and attitudes?
- How can conflict (between groups or between a manager and subordinates) be resolved or managed?
- What contributes to effective decision-making?
- What are the constituents of effective communication?
- How do managers build effective teams?
- How can power be secured and used productively?
- What are the characteristics of effective communication?
- What factors contribute to effective negotiations?
- How can jobs and organizations be effectively designed?
- How can managers help workers deal effectively with change?
An Applied Science:
The basic objective of organizational behavior is to make the application of various researches to solve organizational problems, particularly related to the human behavioral aspect.
Normative and Value Centered:
Organizational behavior is a normative science. A normative science prescribes how the various findings of researches can be applied to get organizational results, which are acceptable to society. Thus, what is acceptable by society or individuals engaged in an organization is a matter of values of the society and people concerned.
Humanistic and Optimistic:
Organizational behavior focuses on the attention of people from a humanistic point of view. It is based on the belief that the needs and motivation of people are of high’ concern. Further, there is optimism about the innate potential of man to be independent, creative, predictive and capable of contributing positively to the objectives of the organization.
Oriented towards Organizational Objectives:
Organizational behavior is oriented towards organizational objectives. In fact, organizational behavior tries to integrate both individual and organizational objectives so that both are achieved simultaneously.
A Total System Approach:
An individual’s behavior can be analyzed keeping in view his psychological framework, interpersonal-orientation, group influence, and social and cultural factors; Thus, individual’s nature is quite complex and organizational behavior by applying systems approach tries to find solutions for this complexity.