Business

1

After studying this chapter you should be able to:

Define organizational behavior (OB).

Show the value of systematic study to OB.

Identify the major behavioral science disciplines that contribute to OB.

Demonstrate why few absolutes apply to OB.

Identify managers’ challenges and opportunities in applying OB concepts.

Compare the three levels of analysis in this text’s OB model.

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Management and Organizational Behavior

Good people skills are important

Good places to work have superior financial performance

Developing managers’ interpersonal skills helps attract and keep high-performing employees

There is a strong association between the quality of workplace relationships and employee job satisfaction, stress, and turnover

Increasing OB principles can foster social responsibility awareness

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Since the late 1980s, business schools have recognized the link between understanding human behavior and managerial effectiveness. Managers cannot succeed on technical skills alone. They also need good people skills.

The more you can learn about people and how to manage them, the better prepared you will be to be a good manager.

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The Field of Organizational Behavior

Organizational behavior studies the influence that individuals, groups, and structure have on behavior within organizations

Its chief goal is to apply that knowledge toward improving an organization’s effectiveness

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Organizational behavior looks at how individuals, groups, and structure can influence the behavior within an organization. This study is done so that we can use the knowledge to improve organizational outcomes and thereby their effectiveness.

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Focal Points of OB

Motivation

Leader behavior and power

Interpersonal communication

Group structures and processes

Attitude development and perception

Change processes

Conflict and negotiation

Work design

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Some core topics that are included in the study of OB and employment situations are motivation, leader behavior and power, and interpersonal communication. OB also includes the study of group structures and processes, attitudes development and perception, as well as change processes, conflict and negotiation, and work design. In sum, OB is the study of what people do in an organization and the way their behavior affects the organization’s performance.

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Effective versus Successful Managerial Activities

Traditional management

Decision making, planning, controlling

Communication

Exchanging routine information and processing paperwork

Human resources management

Motivating, disciplining, managing conflict, staffing, and training

Networking

Socializing, politicking, and interacting with outsiders

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Why are some managers more effective than others? Research shows that there is a link between communication and effective management. Those managers who explain their decisions and seek information from colleagues and employees are the most effective.

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Complementing Intuition with Systematic Study

Intuition: your “gut feeling” explanation of behavior

Systematic study improves ability to accurately predict behavior

Assumes behavior is not random

Fundamental consistencies underlie behavior

These can be identified and modified to reflect individual differences

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Often our intuition leads us in the decision-making process. Our intuition relies on gut feelings, individual observation, and common sense. Although our intuition is extremely useful in the decision-making process, it does not give us the complete picture. By engaging in a systematic study of behavior we can enhance our effectiveness.

It is not an either relationship. Rather, intuition and systematic study can work effectively together to predict behavior.

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Systematic Study

Examines relationships

Attempts to attribute causes and effects

Bases conclusions on scientific evidence:

Data is gathered under controlled conditions

Data is measured and interpreted in a reasonably rigorous manner

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When we talk about engaging in a systematic study, we are talking about looking at relationships. By doing so, we can better determine cause and effect, and then, by applying scientific evidence to our conclusions, we are better able to predict behavior.

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Evidence-Based Management

Evidence-based management: Bases decisions on the best available scientific evidence

Complements systematic study

Forces managers to become more scientific in their thinking

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Evidence-based management (EBM) complements systematic study by applying scientific evidence to managerial decisions.

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Big Data

Big data: the extensive use of statistical compilation and analysis

Identify persistent and predictive statistics

Create targeted marketing strategies

Using big data for managerial practices:

Define objectives, develop theories of causality, test the theories to see which employee activities are relevant to the objectives

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Big data can be used together with intuition to help make decisions.

10

Contributing Disciplines to the OB Field

Micro:

The Individual

Macro:

Groups &

Organizations

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Organizational behavior (OB) is interdisciplinary in nature as it is an applied behavioral science. The theory in OB relies on contributions from multiple behavioral disciplines. These disciplines include Psychology, Social Psychology, Sociology, and Anthropology.

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Psychology

Social Psychology

Sociology

Anthropology

Few Absolutes in OB

Impossible to make simple and accurate generalizations

Human beings are complex and diverse

OB concepts must reflect situational conditions: contingency variables

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There are few absolutes in organizational behavior. When making decisions, you must always take into account situational factors that can change the relationship between two variables.

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Challenges and Opportunities for OB

Responding to continuing globalization

Understanding workforce demographics

Managing workforce diversity

Impact of social media

Employee well-being at work

Creating a positive work environment

Improving ethical behavior

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In the workplace today there are many challenges and opportunities in the area of organizational behavior. Understanding OB has never been more important for managers, as organizations are changing at a much more rapid pace than historically seen.

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Employment Options

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As shown in this exhibit, today’s employment options have adapted to include new opportunities for workers.

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Responding to Globalization

Increased foreign assignments

Working with people from different cultures

Adapting to differing cultural and regulatory norms

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Organizations now exist in an environment with no national borders. As a result, managers’ jobs have changed. They need to have a broader perspective when making decisions and be able to anticipate and adapt their approaches accordingly.

As foreign assignments increase, you will need to be able to manage a workforce that is different from what you may be used to and may bring different needs, aspirations, and attitudes to the workplace.

You will also have individuals coming to work in your own country that come from different cultures, and you will need to find ways to accommodate their needs and help them assimilate to your workplace culture.

You will need to be aware of, and appreciate, the cultural norms in each country in which you do business. In addition, it’s important to consider country and local regulations that could affect how you do business.

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