behavior is the study and application of knowledge about how people&-&-
as individuals and groups&-&-act in organizations. Its goals are to
make mangers more effective at describing, understanding, predicting, and
controlling human behavior. Key elements to consider are people, structure,
technology, and the external environment. Previously known as human relations,
organizational behavior has emerged as an interdisciplinary field of value to
managers. It builds on anincreasingly solid research
foundation that was begun in the 1920s, and it draws upon useful ideas and
conceptual models from many of the behavioral sciences.
concepts of organizational behavior relate to the nature of people (individual differences, a whole
person, motivated behavior, desire for involvement, perception, and value of the person) and to the nature of
organizations (social system and mutual
interest). Managerial actions should be oriented holistically to attain
superordinate goals of interest to employees, the organization, and society.
This can best be done by the understanding and use of human resource.
contingency,productivity, and systems
Every firm has an
organizational behavior system. It includes the stated or unstated philosophy,
values, visions and goals; the quality of leadership communications, and group
dynamics; the nature of both the formal and informal organizations; and the
influence of the social environment. These items combine to create a culture in
which the personal attitudes of employees and situational factors can produce
motivation and goal achievement.
Four models of
organizational behavior are the autocratic, custodial, supportive, and
collegial. The supportive and collegial models are more consistent with
contemporary employee needs and, therefore, will predictably obtain more effect
results in many situations. Managers need to examine the model they are using,
determine whether it is the most appropriate one, and remain flexible in their
use of alternative and emerging models.
The idea of organizational
behavior models will be extended in Chapter 3, as we discuss social systems,
roles, and status. Specifically, we will look at the creation and impact of
organizational cultures which help employees sense which organizational behavior model is in use.
When people join a
work group, they become part of that organization's social system. It is the
medium by which they relate to the world of work. The variables in an
organizational system operate in a working balance called social equilibrium.
Individuals make a psychological contract that defines their personal
relationship with the system. When they contribute to the organization's
success, we call their behavior functional.
The broad environment
that people live in is their social culture, and a major change in it can lead
to cultural shock. People need to accept and appreciate the value that cultural
differences can contribute to the success of an organization. Other important
cultural factors include the work ethic and corporate attitudes toward social
Role is the patten
of action expected of a person in activities involving others. Related ideas
are role perceptions mentors, role conflict, and role ambiguity. Status is the
social rank of a person in a group, and it leads to status systems and possibly
status anxiety. Status symbols are sought as if they were magical herbs,
because they often provide external evidence of status for their possessors.
cultures reflect the assumptions and values that guide a firm. They are intangible but powerful
influences on employee behavior. Participants learn about their organization's
culture through the process of socialization and influence it through individualization.
The world of
business has been transformed into a global economy. Many U.S. businesses have
become multinational, extending their operations into other countries.
Similarly, corporations in other countries have begun extensive operations in
the United States and elsewhere. Managers of these firms encounter a wide
variety of social, political, and economic environments as well as unique
individual differences. Among many other factors, the difficulty in
understanding local views of productivity can be a major barrier to
improvement. However, when expatriate managers are effective, they help create
a training multiplier effect, providing skills which become multiplied many
times in the host country.
another nation may have difficulty adapting to
it because of their parochialism, ethnocentrism, or differences in
cultural distance among nations. Cultural shock is a potential barrier to
success, but it can be prevented or minimized through careful selection,
trainings and counseling. Returning employees also need attention so that their
reentry will be smooth and productive.
managers must recognize that their organizational behavior practices cannot be transferred
directly from one country to another, especially if the host country is less
developed. Models for understanding and managing people need to be adapted to
the particular social culture. The best results occur when neither the home
country's nor the host nation's traditional practices are used. Theory Z an
example of organizational approaches that integrate the most workable ideas
from both sets of existing practices. Transcultural managers&-those who
can adapt successfully to a number of other cultures and still achieve their
goals of improved productivity&-will be increasingly needed.
effective communication in downward, upward, lateral directions. It is the transfer
of information and understanding from one person to another person. The two&-way
communication process consists of these eight steps: develop an idea, encode,
transmit, receive, decode, accept, use, and provide feedback.
personal, physical, and semantic barriers, managers must pay close attention to
communication symbols, such as words, pictures, and nonverbal actions. This
requires study and use of semantics&-the science of meaning&-to
Managers play a
key role in downward and upward communication, sometimes even delaying or
filtering the flow of information. Many tools are available for their use, such
as providing performance feedback and social support or establishing open&-door
policies and holding employee meetings. Listening, however, remains one of the
most powerful tools. Networks have become popular ways for employees to find
out what is going on around them, while the rapid acceptance of computers has
madepossible electronic mail systems
and telecommuting for some employees.
When people join
an organization, they bring with them certain drives and needs that affect
their on&-the&-job performance. Sometimes these are immediately
apparent, but often they not only are difficult to determine and satisfy but
also vary greatly from one person to another. It is useful, though, to
understand how needs create tensions which stimulate effort to perform, and
this brings the satisfaction of rewards.
approaches to understanding internal drives and needs within employees were examined. Each model makes a contribution
to our understanding of motivation, and all the models share some similarities.
In general, they encourage managers not only to consider lower&-order, maintenance,
and extrinsic factors but to use higher&-order, motivational, and
intrinsic factors as well.
Behavior modification focuses on the external environment by
stating that a number of employee
behaviors can be affected by manipulating their consequences. Various
alternatives for doing this include positive and negative reinforcement,
punishment and extinction. Reinforcement can be applied according to either
continuous or partial schedules.
A blending of
internal and external approaches is obtained through considerations of social
learning theory. Managers are encouraged to use cues&-such as goals that
are accepted challenging, and specific&-to stimulate desired employee
behavior. In this way goal setting combined with the reinforcement of performance
feedback, provides a balanced approach to motivation.
additional approaches to motivation presented in this chapter are the
expectancy, equity, and attribution models. The expectancy model states that
motivation is a product of how much one wants something and the probabilities
that effort will lead to task accomplishments and reward. The formula is
valence x expectancy x instrumentality = motivation. Valence is the strength of
a person's preference for an outcome. Expectancy is the strength of belief that
one's effort will be successful
in accomplishing a task.
Instrumentality is the strength of belief that successful performance will be
followed by a reward.
motivational models specifically relate to the employee's intellectual
processes. The equity model has a double comparison in it&-a match between
an employee's perceived inputs and outcomes, coupled with a comparison to some
referent persons' rewards for their input Level. The attribution process
examines the way people interpret behavior and assign cause to it. Attributions
differ, depending on who is making the judgement and whether the behavior was
successful or not. Four general attributions are made. Ability and effort are
personal factors, while two situational explanations involve the difficulty of
the task and luck.
that focus on internal states and mental processes dominate thinking about
motivational, but behavior modification, discussed in Chapter 5, also is useful.
Most attention has been given to micromotivation, but in order to build a
complete motivational environment, increased emphasis must be given to
provide social as well as economic value. They play a key role within several
motivational models, blending with expectancy, equity, behavior modification, and need&-based
approaches. Employees perform a rough cost&-reward comparison and work
somewhat near but below the break&-even point.
appraisal provides a systematic basis for assessment of employee contributions
and distribution of economic rewards. Modern appraisal philosophy focuses on
performance. objectives, and goal setting. Nevertheless, the appraisal interview
can be difficult for both manager and employee.
provide different amounts of pay in relation to some measure of performance.
They tend to increase employee expectations that rewards will follow
performance, although the delay may range from a week to a year. Incentives
often stimulate greater productivity, but also tend to produce some offsetting
negative consequences. Wage incentives reward greater output by individuals or
groups, while profit sharing emphasizes mutual interest with the employer to
built a successful organization. Gain sharing emphasizes improvement in various
indices of organizational performance, while skill&-based pay rewards
employees for acquiring greater levels or types of skills.
have different needs to be served, many types of pay are required for a
complete economic reward system. In some organizations, flexible benefit
programs allow employees to select individual combinations of economic rewards.
are important to monitor, understand, and manage. They develop is the
consequences of the feelings of equity or inequity in the reward system (as
discussed in Chapter 8), as well as from supervisory treatment (which will be
addressed in Chapter 10). Managers are particularly concerned with three types
of attitudes job satisfaction, job involvement, and organizational commitment.
dissatisfaction may lead to increased absenteeism, turnover, and other undesirable
behaviors, and so employers want to develop satisfaction among their employees.
The vast majority of workers in the United States report that they are
satisfied with their jobs, although they may be dissatisfied with specific
aspects of them. Older employees and higher occupational levels especially tend
to have higher satisfaction.
involvement leads to dedicated, productive workers. High performance and
equitable rewards encourage high satisfaction through a performance&-satisfaction&-effort
loop. Higher job satisfaction usually is associated with lower turnover, and
fewer absences. Committed employees are also more likely to embrace company
values and beliefs (its culture).
We can obtain
useful attitudinal information by using questionnaires and interviews, as well
as by examining existing human resource data. Information is communicated to
managers through survey feedback that uses summary data, makes relevant
companions, and supports the conclusions with actual employee comments. Follow&-up
is accomplished by committees to assure employees that appropriate action is
taken after a survey. Ultimately information on employee attitudes is useful
it influences managers to improve their performance.
Leadership is the
process of influencing and supporting
others to work enthusiastically toward achieving objectives. It is determined
partially by traits, which provide the potential for leadership, and also by
one's role behavior. Leaders' roles combine technical, human, and conceptual
skills, which leaders apply in different degrees at various organizational
levels. Their behavior as followers is also important to the organization.
different leadership styles, ranging from free&-rein to autocratic.
Although a positive, participative, considerate leader tends to be more
effective in many situations, the contingency approaches suggest that a variety
of styles can be successful. Leaders must first analyze the situation and
discover key factors in the task, employees, or organization that suggest which
style might be best for that combination. Leaders should also recognize the
possibility that they are not always directly needed because of available
substitutes or enhancers. Also, it may be desirable to develop employees into
self&-leaders through the exercise of superleadership behaviors.
want to become more empowered. If allowed to play a meaningful role in the
organization, their feelings of self&-esteem will increase and they will
contribute their abilities and efforts to help the or organization succeed.
an important vehicle for empowering employees. Participation is the mental and
emotional involvement of persons in group situations that encourages them to
contribute to group goals and share responsibility for them. For employees it
is the psychological result of supportive management.
Participation is a
sharing process that may increase the power of both employees and the manager,
because power is an expandable resource. When the prerequisites of
participation are met, it can provide a variety of benefits for both employees
and employers. Some employees desire more participation than others, and so it
is most effective when it reasonably matches their needs. Where there is
underparticipation or overparticipation, both satisfaction and performance may
A number of
participative programs can be effective, and they vary in the degree to which
they meet the criteria for full involvement. All have their benefits as well as
their limitations. A program that is desirable for some employees is not
necessarily good for all of them. Labor unions typically support management's
effort to allow more participation, but they have been somewhat reserved about
becoming officially involved in these efforts until recently.
everywhere and its pace is increasing. The work environment is filled with
change that, while positive in intent, upsets the social system and requires
employees to adjust. When they do, employees respond with their emotions as
well as rational reasoning. Resistance to change can focus on the change itself
or on the way it was introduced. Further, it can be logical, psychological, or
Change has costs
as well as benefits, and both must be considered to determine net effects.
Employees tend to resist change because of its costs, including its psychic
costs. Management reduces resistance by influencing the supporting and restraining forces for change. Managers
are encouraged to apply a systematic change procedure spanning unfreezing, change, and refreezing
activities. Since there is an organizational learning curve for change, time is
required for the potential benefits of change to occur.
leadership can be instrumental in bringing about effective changes. Leaders
need to create and share a vision to inspire followers through their charisma,
and to encourage them to become double&-loop learners so that future
changes will be even more successful. A wide range of activities to support
change can also be used, such as participation, shared rewards, and adequate
development is the systematic application of behavioral science knowledge at
various levels to bring about planned change. It emphasizes the whole
organization as an operating system. The OD process covers such steps as
diagnosis, data collection, feedback and confrontation, action planning, team
building, intergroup development, and follow&-up. OD consultants make a
variety of assumptions that guide their behavior, and rely on a range of skills
such as process consultation and feedback
development makes heavy use of experiential learning methods, such as role
playing, simulation, and behavior modeling. Three major intervention approaches
include encounter groups, team building, and survey feedback.
Although OD has
limitations, it is an excellent practice for introducing change,improvements,
and self&-renewal in organizations. It differs sharply from traditional
training methods by its focus on the entire system and its advocacy of
humanistic values. OD programs typically use a change agent to assist with
action research and feedback, and apply a variety of experiential learning
methods within a contingency framework.
organizational structure is established
by functional and scalar division of works and it is communicated to
participants by means of delegation. Organization brings immense technical
advantages, but there often are human costs. An example is specialization.
Essentially, classical structure is strong in task support but weak in psychological support. Highly structured
organizations are known as bureaucracies.
structure tends to exist in a contingency relationship with other variables,
but certain general tendencies are evident. Generally, mechanistic organization
is more appropriate for stable, mass&-production environments in which
employees desire security. Organic organization is more appropriate in dynamic
environments with unit or continuous production and flexible employees. Matrix
organization is a useful way to adapt to dynamic environments especially when
large technical projects are involved.
Technology is a
powerful economic and social tool that can bring substantial benefits to
society. Its effects are variable, but it tends to require higher worker
skills, more white&-collar work, and more multiprofessional employees. The
result is a knowledge society. Labor unions generally accept technology as
beneficial to society as a whole, but they want security provisions and
retraining programs to protect individuals dislocated by it.
The flow of work
especially affects people in organizations. It determines who initiates action
on whom, influences the degree to which employees can work together as a team,
affects communication patterns, creates possibilities of red tape, and may
cause alienation. The conclusion is that the relationships of workers in a
system can be just as important as the relationships of the work in that
Quality of work
life (QWL) refers to the favorableness or unfavorableness of the job
environment for people. Since people and the environment are constantly
changing increased attention must be given to improving the QWL. This is never
an easy task, since QWL exists in the minds and perceptions of employees.
Jobs vary in their
breadth and depth. Job enrichment applies to any efforts to humanize jobs by
the addition of more motivators. Core dimensions of jobs that especially
provide enrichment are skill variety, task identity, task significance,
autonomy, and feedback. In spite of its objective desirability, job
enrichment's cues must be perceived by employees and valued by them to have
substantial impact. Consequently, enrichment is more applicable in some
situations than others.
systems move beyond the individual level to that of natural work modules and
natural work teams and total organizational systems. The sociotechnical systems
approach seeks to provide complete employment enrichment through a balanced
emphasis on both human and technical factors. Major experiments with these
systems have been made by many firms, such as Volvo, General Motors/Toyota, and
Digital Equipment. There are costs as well as benefits, but results generally
Some areas of
potential individual&-organization conflict are conformity, legitimacy of
organizational influence, rights of privacy, and. discipline. The main concern
is to ensure that the employee's activities and choices are not unduly
controlled by the organization to the detriment of the employee. In order to
protect both the organization and the worker, companies usually develop
policies to guide their decisions about privacy, alcohol and drug&-abuse
programs, genetic testing, sexual harassment, and
and corrective discipline are important to ensure appropriate behavior.
Preventive discipline encourages employees to maintain discipline among
themselves. Corrective discipline is applied when employees materially fail to
meet standards. Due process and the hot&-stove rule are useful guidelines.
Most firms use progressive discipline, and some use a counseling approach that
is consistent with the supportive organizational behavior model.
transaction of employment is a two&-way street with mutual
responsibilities between the individual and the organization. The employee
should be a good organizational citizen, exercise ethical leadership, or resort
to whistle&-blowing if necessary. Benefits will accrue to individuals, the
organization, and society when this social exchange is fulfilled.
intergroup conflicts often arise when there is disagreement regarding goals or
the methods of attaining them. These conflicts can be either constructive or
destructive for the persons involved. Several methods exist for resolving
conflict (avoiding, smoothing, forcing, and confronting), and they vary in
their potential effectiveness. A key issue revolves around intended outcomes
for oneself and others: Does an individual want to win or to lose, and what is
desired for the other party? Assertive behavior is a useful response in many
situations where a person's legitimate needs have been disregarded.
analysis is the study of social transactions between people. One useful
approach is the classification of Parent, Adult, and Child ego states. An Adult&-to&-Adult
complementary transaction is especially desirable at work. Crossed transactions
tend to cut off communication and produce conflicts. Stroking is sought in
social transactions, because it contributes to the satisfaction of recognition
needs and reinforces an "I'm OK&-You're OK" life position.
Power is needed to
run an organization. The five bases of power are personal legitimate, expert,
reward, and coercive. Each of these has a different impact on employees,
ranging from resistance to commitment. Organizational politics is the use of
various behaviors that enhance or protect a person's self&-interest. In
general, political behaviors in organizations are common, necessary to success,
and increasingly important at higher levels. However, overemphasizing politics
can also backfire.
Group dynamics is
the process by which people interact face to face in small groups. Groups have
properties different from those of their members, just as molecules are
different from the atoms composing them. Meetings are a widely used form of
group activity, and they can create quality decisions that are supported by the
structures used in group problem solving are brainstorming, nominal groups, the
Delphi technique, and dialectic inquiry. Weaknesses of groups include the time
and cost involved in reaching a decision, the leveling effect, polarization,
escalating commitment, and divided responsibility. Future developments may
occur in the areas of contingency models and group decision support systems.
cooperative groups that maintain regular contact and engage in coordinated
action. They strive to achieve a high degree of teamwork, which is aided by a
supportive environment, proper skills, superordinate goals, and team rewards.
Newly formed teams often move through a series of developmental stages. They
are also expected to confront and resolve a number of potential problems before
attaining long&-term success. Team building, discussed in Chapter 13 on
Organization Development, can help create fully functioning teams.
systems exist in all organizations. They arise naturally from the interaction
of people. Informal organizations have major benefits, but they also lead to
problems that management cannot easily ignore. Informal organizations are
characterized by a status system that produces informal leaders. Informal norms
also emerge, which are powerful influences on member behavior.
communication, called the grapevine, develops in the form of a cluster chain.
Its accuracy in normal situations tends to be above 75 percent, but sometimes
key details are inaccurate and rarely is the whole story communicated. The
grapevine is fast and influential. Employees tend to depend on it for
information, even though they often view it as a negative factor.
Rumor is grapevine information communicated without secure
standards of evidence. It occurs when there is ambiguity and interest in
information, and it appears in both positive and negative forms. Managers can
have some influence on the grapevine, and their basic objective is to integrate
interests of the formal and informal systems so that they can work together
occasionally is necessary for employees because of job and personal problems that
subject them to excessive stress. The conditions that cause stress are called
stressors and include work overload, time pressures, role ambiguity, financial
problems, and family problems. Stress affects both physical and mental health
and results in burnout when it occurs chronically. The stress&-performance
model indicates that excessive stress reduces job performance, but a moderate
amount mat help
employees respond to job
challenges. Type A people tend to show more stress than type B people.
discussion of a problem that usually has emotional content with an employee in
order to help the employee cope with it better. Its goal is better mental
health, and it is performed by both managers and professional counselors. Major
counseling functions are advice, reassurance, communication release of
emotional tension, clarified thinking, and reorientation. The most appropriate
type of counseling for nonprofessionals is participative counseling. Counseling
programs deal with both job and personal problems, and there is extensive
cooperation with community counseling agencies.
PROMISE OF A BETTER TOMORROW
organizational behavior does have limitations, these limitations should not
blind us to the tremendous potential that O. B. can contribute to the
advancement of civilization. It has provided and will provide much improvement
in the human environment. By building a better climate for people,
organizational behavior will release their creative potential to help solve
major social problems. In this way organizational behavior may contribute to
social improvements that stretch far beyond the confines of any one
organization. A better climate may help some person a major breakthrough in
solar energy, health, or education.
organizational behavior is not easy to apply. But the opportunities are there.
It should produce a higher quality of life in which there is improved harmony
within each person, among people, and among the organizations of the future.