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Essay example: Organizational Behavior Issue



Organizational Behavior is the study and use of knowledge about how people in general, and individuals and groups in particular, act in organizations. It does this by using a system approach in this case. It explains relationships between people and organizations in terms of the person, the entire group, all the organization, and all the social system. Its objective is to establish better relationships by achieving human purposes, organizational purposes, and social purposes. Organizational behavior includes many topics, such as human behavior, change, leadership, teams, etc.

Historical Background of Organizational Behavior

Taylorism and Scientific Management

The Industrial Revolution that began from the development of steam power and the founding of big factories in the late Eighteenth Century result in great alterations in the production of fabrics and other products. The factories that developed created great difficulties to organization that had not existed before. Governing these new factories and then new entities like railways with the requirement of governing large flows of material, staff, and information over great distances caused the need for some ways of dealing with the recent management problems (Krug 1998).

The most significant of those who began to found a science of management was Frederic Taylor. He was one of the first who tried to analyze human behavior at a work place systematically. His sample was the machine with inexpensive, interchangeable details, each of which executes only one certain function. Taylor tried to do to great organizations what workers have done to machines. Just as machine details are easily interchangeable, inexpensive, and passive, so should people be the same in the machine sample of organizations.

Taylor tried to make a science for every aspect of work and restrict conduct ways facing employee. Taylor looked at interplay of human characteristics, social milieu, objective, and physical milieu, capacity, speed, duration, and price. The overall purpose was to remove human alteration.

The outcomes were serious. Efficiency under Taylorism went up greatly. New departments appeared such as personnel, industrial engineering, and quality check. There was also increase in middle management as there developed a separation of planning from controlling. Reasonable rules replaced test and mistake; management became formalized and effectively grew. Certainly, this did not happen without opposition. First the old group of managers opposed the fact that management was a science to be explored not something that was born with. After that of course, many employees opposed what some thought the "dehumanization of work." To be just, Taylor also studied problems such as lassitude and security and urged management to learn the relation between job breaks, and the length of the work day and efficiency and persuaded many companies that the careful performance of breaks and a shorter day could increase efficiency. However, the industrial worker with his stop watch and clip-board, standing over you measuring every little part of the work and one's motions became a hated person and caused to much sabotage and group opposition.

The basic elements of scientific management are popular nowadays. While a portrait of a factory of about 1900 might look like as something out of Dickens, one should not think the basic notions of scientific management have been forgotten. They have merely been changed and improved (Lindquist 2008).

While many people consider bureaucracy in negative notions, this sample in its pure type was a dramatic improvement over the last sample of organization which was a feudal sample based on arranged status and position by birth, not disadvantage and unquestioned authority.

The Human Relations Movement

In spite the economic development brought about in part by scientific management, critics were calling attention to the "obscure side of progress," which consisted of severe labor conflict, apathy, weariness, and spent in vain human resources. These notions made a number of researchers to study the discrepancy between how an organization was expected to work against how the workers actually conducted. In addition, notions like World War I, progress in psychology and later the depression all resulted into question some of the main notions of the scientific management school. One of the main critics of that time, Elton Mayo, said that this "estrangement" appeared from the violation of the social frameworks caused by industrialization, the factory structure, and its related results like increasing urbanization.

The Hawthorne Studies

The most known of these studies was the Hawthorne Studies which displayed how job groups provide mutual backing and efficient resistance to management samples to increase production. This study considered that workers did not correspond to classical motivational methods as it was thought in the scientific management and Taylor approaches, but rather employees were also interested in the bonuses and penalties of their own job group. These studies, led in the 1920's began as a simple attempt to define the relationship between work environment and efficiency. The outcomes of the research led investigators to feel that they had a business with socio-psychological factors that were not covered by classic theory which emphasized the formal organization and formal leadership. The Hawthorne Studies made us see that an organization is much more than a formal order of functions but is also a social structure (Gursoy, Maier and Chi 2008).

Traditional statements:

  1. People attempt to content one class of need at workplace - economic need;
  2. There is no conflict between person and organizational purposes;
  3. People act reasonably to maximize bonuses;
  4. People act individually to content individual requirements.

Human relations statements:

  1. Organizations are social structures, not simply technical economic structures;
  2. People are motivated by many requirements;
  3. People do not always think logically;
  4. People are interdependent; our conduct is often formed by the social basis; informal work group is the main factor in defining attitudes and achievement of individual employees;
  5. Management is just one factor that influences conduct; the informal group often has a stronger influence;
  6. Work roles are more difficult than work descriptions usually suggest; people conduct in different ways not covered by work descriptions;
  7. There is no automatic proportion between personal and organizational requirements; communication sources cover both economic elements of an organization and personal feelings;
  8. Teamwork is basis for collaboration and sound technical solutions;
  9. Leadership should be changed to include basis notions of human relations;
  10. Job content leads to higher work efficiency;
  11. Management needs efficient social skills, not just technical practice;

Outcomes of the Hawthorne Studies

This research added many notions to the knowledge of human conduct in organizations and created stress for management to shift the traditional methods of managing human resources. The Human Relationships Movement jogged managers toward achieving participative backing of lower levels of the organization in a solution of organization needs. The movement also encouraged a more open and trusting milieu and a greater stress on groups rather than simply separate persons.

Elements of Organizational Behavior

The organization's foundation lies on management's philosophy, principles, view and objectives. This leads to the organizational culture which is made of the formal organization, informal foundation, and the social milieu. The culture defines the type of guidance, communication, and group dynamics in the organization. The employees realize this as the quality of work life which rules their degree of motivation. The final results are performance, individual content, and personal growth and progress. All these parts are combined and build the sample or structure that the organization directs from (Smola and Sutton 2002).

Models of Organizational Behavior

There are four main models or structures that organizations perform out of:

1) Autocratic - The base of this sample is power with a managerial direction of authority. The workers in turn are directed towards docility and dependence on the leader. The worker need that is met is ability to live. The performance outcome is minimal.

2) Custodial - The foundation of this sample is economic possibilities with a managerial direction of money. The workers in turn are directed towards security and profits and dependence on the organization. The worker need that is met is safety. The performance outcome is passive collaboration.

3) Supportive - The foundation of this sample is leadership with a managerial direction of support. The workers in turn are directed towards job accomplishment and participation. The worker need that is met is position and recognition. The performance outcome is awakened drives.

4) Collegial - The root of this sample is partnership with a managerial direction of teamwork. The workers in turn are directed towards responsible conduct and self-discipline. The worker need that is met is self-actualization. The performance outcome is reasonable enthusiasm (Hellriegel and Slocum 2009).

Although there are four particular samples, almost no organization acts only in one. There is customary a dominant one, with one or more places over-lapping in the other samples. The first sample, autocratic, had its bottoms in the industrial revolution. The managers of this kind of organization act out of McGregor's Theory X. The following three samples begin to base on McGregor's Theory Y. They have each developed over a period of time and there is no one more “perfect" model. The collegial sample should not be considered as the last or the best sample, but the start of a new sample or paradigm.

Social Systems and Individualization

A social system is a complicated set of human relationships interplaying in many methods. In the organization, the social system means implication of all the people and their relationships to each other and to the world outside the organization. The conduct of one person can have an influence, either directly or indirectly, on the conduct of others. Also, the social system does not have borders; it makes an exchange of products, information, etc. with the milieu around it.

Culture is the usual conduct of a society that includes opinions, knowledge, technology and practice. It has an impact on human behavior, even though it not often comes into their conscious ideas. People hinge on culture because it gives them stability, security, comprehension, and the ability to answer in the given situation. That is why people are afraid of change. They are afraid of that the system will become unstable, they will lose their security, they will not understand the new advancements, and they will not know how to conduct in the new situations.

Individualization is when workers successfully use impact on the social system by contributing the culture (Alvesson 2002). This can be rather balancing act. Individualism promotes individual rights, freely joins social networks, self respect, as well as personal bonuses and careers. Socialization promotes the group and harmony. Organizations require people for asking questions and making experiments while still sustaining the culture that involves them into a social system.

Organization Development

Organization Development is the systematic usage of behavioral scientific knowledge at different levels, such as group or organization for accomplishing planned change. Its purposes are: a higher quality of work-life, labor productivity and efficiency. It performs this by changing views, principles, strategies and structures so that the organization can accommodate oneself to competitive acts, technological progress, and the fast speed of change in the surroundings (Keyton 2010).

There exist seven characteristics of Organization Development:

1) Human worth: positive opinions about the potential of workers.

2) Systems purpose: all details of the organization including structure, workers and technology should work together.

3) Practice studying: the people’s experiences in the training milieu should be the type of human problems they interfere at workplace. The training should not be only theory.

4) Problem solution: tasks are determined, information is gathered, accurate action is taken, advancement is valued, and changes in the problem solving process are made as required.

5) Possible orientation: acts are selected and accommodated to correspond to the need.

6) Change factor: stimulate, promote, and coordinate alteration.

7) Levels of mediations: problems can happen at one or more level in the organization so the strategy will need one or more mediations.

Quality of Work Life

Quality of Work Life is favorable or unfavorable for the job environment. Its objective is to develop jobs and working stipulations that are perfect for both the employees and the organization. One of the methods of performing Quality of Work Life is with the help of job design. Some of the variants available for betterment of job design are:

Leave the work as it is but employ only people who like the strict environment or routine job. Some people enjoy the protection and task backing of these types of jobs (Griffin and Moorhead 2009).

While remaking jobs there are two spectra to be attentive with - job enlargement and job enrichment. Job enlargement means adding a more diversity of tasks and duties to the work so that it is not routine one. This means the size of the job. That is, the amount of various tasks that an employee accomplishes. This can also be performed by job alternation.

Job enrichment, on the other hand, means adding supplementary motivators. It means adding depth to the job - more control, responsibility, and discretion to the way how the job is accomplished. This gives higher order requirements to the employee, in comparison with the job enlargement which just gives more diversity.

The advantages of enriching jobs are the following:

1) Growth of a person,

2) People have better job content,

3) Self-actualization of a person,

4) Better employee accomplishment for the organization,

5) Organization receives motivated employees,

6) Less truancy, fluctuation of labor, and complaints for the organization,

7) Full application of human resources in society,

8) Society gets more efficient organizations.

There is a diversity of methods for amending job enrichment:

  1. Skill diversity:accomplish various tasks that require various skills. This differs from work enlargement which might demand the employee to accomplish more tasks, but need the same set of skills.
  2. Task determination:create or accomplish all the work. This gives a sense of accomplishment and responsibility for the performed work.
  3. Task signification:this is the amount of work influence on other people as the employee understands.
  4. Independence: this gives employees discretion and check of work related decisions.
  5. Feedback: information that tells workers how well they are accomplishing. It can come directly from the work (task feedback) or in a verbally form.


The Organizational Behavior is an interdisciplinary field that helps to become a leader of change. People learn how to perform leadership roles for meeting the difficulties that experience today’s organizations. Globalization, cultural variety, technology progress, competition, communication and information are the factors that influence the efficiency of organizations.

Through a stress on critical thinking and self-supporting judgment, you can become an active explorer of organizational change. By using and studying theoretical fundamentals in the workplace, you can become an active participator in your own learning.

The Organizational Behavior is a study that helps you to develop awareness and understanding of self, others, society and the world; to analyze how cognitive, behavioral, and emotional results contribute to maintain organizations; to demonstrate competence in skills pertinent to professionals; to use simultaneously organizational behavior theory to practice in the organization, and society; to work effectively with varied individuals and groups applying broad, interdisciplinary liberal arts foundation.


Alvesson, M. (2002). Understanding organizational culture. SAGE.

Hellriegel, D. and Slocum, J. W. (2009). Organizational behavior. South-Western, 12th ed., 640 pp. ISBN-10 0-324-57872-5

Griffin, R. and Moorhead, G. (2009). Organizational Behavior: Managing People and Organizations. (9th ed.). Cengage Learning.

Gursoy, D., Maier, T. A. and Chi, C. G. (2008). Generational differences: An examination of work values and generational gaps in the hospitality workforce. International Journal of Hospitality Management 27(3): 448-458.

Keyton, J. (2010). Communication and Organizational Culture: A Key to Understanding Work Experiences. (2nd ed.). SAGE.

Krug, J. (1998). Understanding Generation X. Journal of Management in Engineering 14(6): 18-19.

Lindquist, M. (2008). Recruiting the millennium generation: The new CPA. The CPA Journal 78(8): 56-59.

Wey Smola, K. and Sutton, C. D. (2002). Generational differences: revisiting generational work values for the new millennium. Journal of Organizational Behavior 23 (4): 363-382.


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