Organizational Behavior

A Statement of Purpose

From early childhood, any person has to deal with many organizations and become a member of some of them. Organizations of all kinds are a significant part of the human environment that has diverse groups of people and communities (social, work, professional, national, cultural, and others). These complex elements largely determine the nature and specificity of the nation, the state, and humanity. Behavior and actions of individual organizations as well as individuals within the organization are what welfare of many people in the world and even the existence of humanity depend on. That is why knowledge of the concepts of organizational behavior is so important for managers at all levels of management. The purpose of the term paper is to determine the basis of theoretical knowledge on modern forms and methods of influence on individual behavior to increase the efficiency of the organization.

To do this, it is proposed to consider issues such as the history of formation of organizational behavior, the essence of organizational behavior, categories of behavior in the organization, and to draw the correct conclusions.

The History of Formation of Organizational Behavior

Organizational behavior is a combination of at least two traditional sciences in schools of business – Scientific Management and Human Relations. Scientific Management, or classical school of business, describes the work of a number of managers, consultants, and researchers (for example, Taylor, Fayol, Ford et al.) whose concepts and ideas have a lot in common, despite the fact that the approach to the study of organizations has different points of view (Robbins & Judge, 2013). These ideas were very popular in the early decades of the last century.

Human Relations school of business puts the individual and the group factor in the spotlight. According to Wagner & Hollenbeck (2010), it originated in the 1920s in the United States as a result of research and experimentation in the company in Hawthorne, near Chicago, and then it appeared in other countries. Together with a group of colleagues, professor Elton Mayo (1880-1949) conducted experiments in Hawthorne at factories of the Westinghouse Company. The experiments took place in the framework of the study of life in the United States in the “Work in America” in the factories of large companies. Female- immigrants silently worked every day in a dull pace, as all of them were burdened by financial problems (Miner, 2006). The program set a goal to clarify the effect of the workplace atmosphere on workers’ labor. These conditions gradually started to change, productivity increased dramatically, and after a while, it was stabilized.

Over a very short period of time, Mayo managed to turn the ‘economic/rational’ man to ‘social’. Later generations of behavioral scientists believed that such people were completely independent, which allowed them to apply their potential in full. Mayo’s findings have shown that the teaching of disciplines such as management and business psychology does not fully reflect the needs of managers.

A relatively new element in the development of organizational behavior is a direction for the study of individual behavior in virtual organizations; there is an association of concepts of ‘behavior’ and ‘organization’ in the virtual space, which might suggest further research. Currently, organizational behavior becomes a particular area of scientific knowledge related to the practice of effective management of today’s complex organizations. In the future, this trend should be further strengthened.

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The changes occurring in the external and internal environment of the organization, the emergence of new types of organizations, new paradigms, and knowledge about human behavior make it necessary to develop and implement practical new models of organizational behavior that meet the requirements of time. The new models make managers the embodiment of the idea of partnership, teamwork, inclusion, self-control, and focus on the needs of a higher order fulfillment and quality of working life. In addition, organizational culture becomes increasingly important in the behavior of the organization. An example of this is the emergence of new types of organizations, the hallmark of which is the organizational culture (entrepreneurial organization, and learning organization).

One should also say a few words about the impact of the environment on organizational behavior. The environment of modern organizations is characterized by a high level of complexity, turbulence, and uncertainty. The need for studying the behavior of the organization in the external environment has never been greater, as well as the further development of the problems of organizational behavior at the organizational level, research approaches and methods of adaptation and interaction, the impact on the environment.

Until recently, the international dimension was not important in business. However, the implementation of many international projects went with greater difficulties than expected due to the fact it did not consider the human factor related to the difference in the behavior of people in different cultures. As Jex & Britt (2008) stated, there was an understanding that it was necessary to study the characteristics of national cultures and their impact on organizational behavior. This trend will continue in the direction of research of features of organizational behavior in the multinational companies, the development of approaches and methods to increase cross-cultural interaction, cultural adaptation, motivation, leadership, decision-making, and personnel management. The ratio of a science of organizational behavior with related disciplines, in which its basic ideas and theories developed for a long time, helps improve understanding of the subject of this science, its possibilities, and importance.

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The Essence of Organizational Behavior

Organizational behavior is the science that studies the behavior of people (individuals and groups) in organizations with a goal of practical use of the knowledge gained to improve the efficiency of employment rights. In addition, organizational behavior can be defined as understanding, prediction, and management of human behavior within organizations. The subject of organizational behavior is the relationship of all levels of management with a focus on the development of effective management in a competitive environment of operation.

Baron & Greenberg (2008) identify the objects of study of organizational behavior, which are the behavior of individuals in the organization, problems of interpersonal relationships in the interaction of two individuals, dynamics of relationships within the small groups (both formal and informal), emerging intergroup relations, and the organization as an integrated system, which form the basis of intra-organizational relationships.

The goals of organizational behavior are the systematic description of people’s behavior le in a variety of emerging situations in the labor process, the explanation of acts of individuals in certain circumstances, prediction of employees’ behavior in the future, and mastery of skills to manage people’s behavior at work as well as their improvement (Baron & Greenberg, 2008).

Organizational behavior studies the behavior of people in the organization and assesses its impact on the results of its operations. Therefore, the main objectives of this discipline are identification of the behavioral relationship between the leader and his or her subordinates, including relationship between colleagues, providing a psychological climate, with the exception of conflict situations, and creating an atmosphere of creative potential of employees (Baron & Greenberg, 2008). Organizational behavior also deals with a systematic description of people’s behavior in a variety of emerging situations in the labor process, explanation of actions of people in certain circumstances, the ability to foresee the situation, and learn how to control the behavior of people in the process and the search for ways to improve their performance (Baron & Greenberg, 2008).

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The basis of organizational behavior is the use of the social and psychological methods of management. Social and psychological methods are methods of control that are based on the use of social and psychological factors and aimed at the management of social and psychological processes taking place in the team, to influence them in the interest of achieving the objectives of the organization.

According to Michel, Shoda, and Smith (2004), the social impact is carried out by purposeful formation of the organization’s personnel, moral incentives, and the use of individual behavior management techniques as well as through the implementation of collective action of workers and the use of their social activity. The psychological impact is based on the use of methods of psychological motivation, considering the individual characteristics of workers (temperament, character, ability, personality orientation, and needs), and psychological aspects of human activity (attention, emotions, will, speech, skills, and abilities).

Therefore, in the study of organizational behavior, researchers use such methods as surveys (interviews, questionnaires, and tests), the collection of fixed information (the study of documents), observation, and experimentation. Interviews may be conducted personally, during phone interviews, or using computers. A large number of standardized questionnaires (profiles) are developed for this purpose. For example, they help to measure job satisfaction and organizational climate. In the study of organizational behavior, method of structured observation is widely used.

The scientific foundation of organizational behavior is that data are collected systematically, their reliability and validity are monitored, and explanations of the facts are thoroughly checked. More to say, as the laws that can be used in practice, they only repeatedly confirmed strong links and relationships.

Organizational behavior is the complex study of behavior in organizations and relationships within an organization. The behavior of people in an organization is not accidental. The effectiveness of an organization is largely determined by the behavior of its employees and the culture of this organization. Each person is unique, but the attitude and behavior of employees in an organization can be explained and even predict when analyzed at three levels: individual, group, and organizational. The main elements within an organization are the relationships and communication activities.

In modern science, there are different approaches to the study of human behavior in organizations. One of the main distinguishing features of the science of organizational behavior is its interdisciplinary nature. Another feature of organizational behavior is a system that is based on the results of studies and conceptual development. The third feature of organizational behavior is the constantly growing popularity of theories and studies in practicing managers. Modern managers are open to new ideas; they support the study of organizational behavior and they are interested in new models of practice.

Categories of Behavior in the Organization

Human behavior is determined by its properties, the influence of conditions of formation of individual activities, especially the group in which it is included, and the conditions of the joint activities, especially the organization and the country in which such organization operates.

At the heart of the interaction between an individual and an organization, there are the psychological and economic contracts that determine the conditions of psychological and economic involvement of personnel in joint ventures. They reflect the significant expectations of a person (interesting work, decent pay, good psychological environment, respect for the individual, job satisfaction, and the possibility of using their creativity) and the corresponding expectations of an organization (high performance of employee commitment to the organization, hard work, and organizational culture).

The psychological contract is a certain exchange of values, and it reflects people’s desire to work in this organization and wish of the organization to hire them. When a person is hired, this exchange is only expected. In the process, expectations can be confirmed or not confirmed. In this regard, the manager must constantly ensure that the employee and the organization continued to receive what they expect from each other, i.e., the implementation of the psychological contract. In the case of equal exchange, in accordance with the psychological contract, it is possible to talk about the ideal position: the balance between costs and remuneration. In this case, it is possible to count on the fact that the employee will feel good about his work and will be pleased with relationship with the organization. If the exchange was perfect unequally, the results will be quite opposite. People, whose expectations are not met, could form a negative attitude to their work, they might lose the desire to work hard, and they will cease to be considered their work as the best work.

In a comparative analysis of the expectations of employees and expectations of the organization, these expectations will prove to be incompatible. Employees naturally react to such incompatibility in a variety of ways. For example, some of them may try to get a promotion within the firm, hoping that at higher levels of the hierarchy, they will be able to meet their diverse needs with the help of professional development and the use of their knowledge and skills. However, if the prospect of promotion is limited or impossible in the near future, there is a risk that the employee’s reaction will be quite negative. Such negative reactions are manifested in layoffs, participation in trade union strikes, reducing output, and emergency, even sabotage or theft of products or equipment.

People adapt to different living conditions. There are three types of people as characterized by their ability to adapt. Representatives of the first type are oriented to date, easy to adapt to the environment. They can make effective decisions here and now. Representatives of the second type are tied to the past and are able to operate within a rigid structure with clear permissions and prohibitions. The actions of these people are rational within the existing structure. The third type is people looking into the future, and their behavior is inadequate. They do not adapt to the hierarchical structure, but they generate useful ideas rather well.

Knowledge of the opportunities and types of people’s adaptation to the organizational environment allows building business relations with them. Subordinates expect respect for them, and also want to feel the importance of the work performed. The organization requires its employees to rely on the organizational goals and guidelines to follow its mission and fulfilled its tasks.

An effective manager must understand the significance of the impact of employees’ individual characteristics on the quality of their work. A manager’s task is to achieve consistency between the individual characteristics of a person and the requirements of the employer. It is important to remember that the basis for high productivity is conformities of job requirements and features of an individual.

It is also important to find what status of an individual is. According to Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn (2004), status defines the position of a man in relation to other members of the group, and a change of the status is an important event for most people. Systems of social roles and values are formed on the basis of the social status of the individual. Status, roles and values, creating a primary class of personal properties, determine the characteristics of the structure and motivation of behavior, and in cooperation with them, the nature and inclination of man.

If a manager can relate the status of a worker to the actions to achieve the objectives of the company, the motivation of employees, aimed at addressing the problems of the organization, increases dramatically. The extreme manifestation of status is a status symbol that is visible, outward signs that belong to the person or the workplace and support their social rank. Typical symbols of status are furniture and interior decoration of the office, the location of the workplace, quality equipment in the workplace, type of work clothes, benefits, job title, or organizational level, attached workers, the right to manage finances, membership in organizations.

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Managers should be aware that there are differences in status and they need to be managed. An organization gives a status to an employee, and it owns his or her rank as well. Sources of status are numerous. The most important of them are levels of education and position, while no less important are also the human ability, qualifications, and type of work performed. Other sources of status are the level of pay, seniority, and age.

One should also look at group behavior in an organization. All kinds of groups can be classified according to certain components. Groups are divided into large and small, management and production, high developed and underdeveloped, etc. In groups and teams, personal and acquired qualities, that are not just individual features, can be varied. Personalities affect the lives of a group or a team, but they are changed under the influence of the changes and evolution of the contact groups. Groups and teams are central in coordination and monitoring organizational processes. They are important both in the formal and informal organizational structures. Leaders can both encourage and discourage the formation of groups and teams, depending on the situation, perceptions, and policies. Depending on a goal set for them, some groups cannot be sustained. When the mission is completed or when members lose interest in it, the group disintegrates. Other groups may persist for several years and have an impact on its members or even to an external environment.

Conclusion

Organizational behavior is interdisciplinary science. It includes elements of theories, methods, principles, and models borrowed from a variety of disciplines. Organizational behavior is an area where the process of formation and development of the theoretical foundations is currently under way.

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The subject of discipline is aimed at all levels of relationship management with a focus on the development of effective management in a competitive environment, the functioning of organizations. Thus, the basis of organizational behavior as a science is the scientific analysis of the behavior of individuals, groups and the entire organization in a complex dynamic environment.

There are three levels of organizational behavior. The problem of decision-making at the individual level is the study of individual characteristics, abilities, skills and limitations inherent to decision-makers. The level of individual activity – it is a problem of decision-making models. Level group presupposes analysis of the characteristics of decision-making, depending on the characteristics of the group (size, uniformity, and the type of the group) and the situation. At the level of joint activities, there are problems of individual members and a leader in the process of decision-making methods of the group, and at the level of the organization, there are standards and norms, the requirements of the decisions set out within the organizational culture.

 

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