What is Organizational Behaviour?

Organizational Behaviour (“OB”) studies how people interact within groups. It looks at how people use communication and collaboration to achieve their goals. It also examines how an organisation’s structure can impact its members’ behaviour.

One way the principles of OB are applied is through studying human resources management. HRM looks at how to attract, hire, and develop employees to create a productive workforce. It also examines how to manage employee relations and compensation. By understanding the principles of OB, businesses can create a more effective and productive workplace.

OB is a field of study that has grown in popularity recently. This is due, in part, to the increasing complexity of organizations and the need for managers to understand how to manage them effectively. Organizational Behaviour is also relevant to many other fields, such as psychology, sociology, and anthropology.

At the core, OB has the philosophy that people — not capital, assets, or intellectual property — are the most crucial component in any organisation.

How do we ensure that people flourish, are appropriately rewarded, have the right level of motivation and independence in their work, are doing meaningful work, and are growing, productive, and effective?

There are many different theories of OB. The most popular ones are Social Exchange Theory, Equity Theory, and Goal Setting Theory.

OB is a critical topic for managers to understand because it can help them to manage their employees more effectively. It can also help managers understand why employees behave as they do.

Organizational Behaviour is a field of study that is constantly evolving. new theories and research are continually being published. As such, it is essential for managers to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in this field.

The key objectives when studying OB are:

  • Learning how one can be an effective leader, team member, or subordinate.
  • Gaining an understanding of how emotions can impact behaviour in the workplace.
  • Acquiring tools to manage stress and conflict in the workplace.
  • Developing strategies for improving communication and collaboration within groups.
  • Understanding how an organization’s structure can impact employee behaviour.
  • Developing our negotiation and communication skills with a considerable measure of emotional intelligence.
  • Learning how to create effective change.

OB covers many areas such as organising groups, modifying compensation structures to ensure that you have the right incentives in place, and creating clear performance evaluation metrics.

The study of organizational behaviour has its roots in the late 1920s, when the Western Electric Company launched a study of worker productivity. This study was motivated by the desire to improve worker productivity and find ways to reduce the number of employees leaving the company.

This was undertaken at its Hawthorne Works plant in Cicero, Ill.

The critical hypothesis on the researchers was how to improve workers’ productivity through environmental changes such as design improvements and better lighting. But, what they found out was that the environment was not as important as social factors such as getting along with co-workers and having appreciative managers.

This series of studies eventually spawned a finding called the Hawthorne Effect — when people change their behaviour when they know they are being watched.

The Hawthorne studies were critical because they demonstrated that employee behaviour is influenced by more than just their job duties. It also showed that managers must be aware of the social factors that can impact employee behaviour.

Since the Hawthorne studies, there have been many other significant contributions to the field of OB. One of the most influential has been Social Exchange Theory.

George Homans first proposed Social Exchange Theory in 1958. It suggests that people weigh the costs and benefits of their relationships with others before deciding whether or not to maintain them.

This theory has had a significant impact on how businesses manage their employees. For example, many businesses use this theory when designing employee compensation packages. They try to create packages that offer employees enough benefits to outweigh the costs of working for the company.

Equity Theory was first proposed by John Stacey Adams in 1963. It suggests that people perceive fairness based on how they compare their situation to others.

If people feel like they are being treated unfairly, they will likely experience negative emotions such as anger or resentment. This can lead to decreased motivation and productivity.

Goal Setting Theory was first proposed by Edwin Locke in 1968. It suggests that people are motivated to achieve specific goals.

This theory has had a significant impact on how businesses manage employee performance. For example, many businesses use this theory when setting employee performance goals. They try to set goals that are specific, challenging, and attainable.

These are just a few of the major theories that have influenced the field of organizational behavior. OB is a complex and ever-evolving field, with new insights and discoveries always being made. As our understanding of human behaviour continues to grow, so will our ability to create more effective organizations.

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