Healthcare managers, like all managers in other industries, are responsible for effectively using the material, financial, information, and human re- sources of their organizations to deliver services.
Manager’s role requires a wide range of both technical and interpersonal skills. Leadership, motivation, managing healthcare professionals, and teamwork are some of the most important interpersonal skills of a manager.
Human cognition (or thinking) provides valuable insight about communication skills and organizational behavior to help future healthcare managers understand human behavior at work. It will help appreciate how the science of organizational behavior and management thinking can be used to work with others in a way that leads to beneficial outcomes for both people and organizations.
THE FIELD OF
Organizational behaviour is a broad area of management that studies how people act in organizations. Managers can use theories and knowledge of organizational behavior to improve management practices for effectively working with and influencing employees to attain organization goals. The field of organizational behavior has evolved from the scientific study of management during the industrial era, administrative theories of the man- ager’s role, principles of bureaucracy, and human relations studies of employees’ needs (Scott, 1992). Organizational behavior is an interdisci- plinary field that draws on the ideas and research of many disciplines that are concerned with human behavior and interaction. These include psy- chology, social psychology, industrial psychology, sociology, communications, and anthropology (Robbins, 2003). In this chapter, we will highlight ideas from cognitive psychology (the science of human thinking) and their extensions to organizational behavior.
CONTRIBUTION TO MANAGEMENT
The most successful organizations make the best use of their employees’ talents and energies (Heil, Bennis & Stephens, 2000; Huselid, 1995). Firms that effectively manage employees hold an advantage over their competitors. Pfeffer (1998) estimates that organizations can reap a 40% gain by managing people in ways that build commitment, involvement, learning, and organizational competence. Because employees are key to an organization’s success, how well the manager interacts and works with a variety of individuals is key to a manager’s success. A manager who is skilled in organizational behavior will be able to work effectively with employees and colleagues across the organization, assisting and influencing them to support and achieve organization goals.
KEY TOPICS IN
Organizational behavior is a broad field comprised of many subject areas. Work behaviors are typically examined at different levels—individual behavior, group behavior, and collective behavior across the organization with different issues salient at each level. Studying individual behavior helps managers understand how perceptions, attitudes, and personality influence work behavior, motivation, and other important work outcomes, such as satisfaction, commitment, and learning. Examining interactions in the group setting provides insight into the challenges of leadership, teamwork, communication, decision making, power, and conflict. Studying organization-wide behavior (sometimes referred to as organization theory) helps explain how organizations structure work and power relationships, how they use systems for decision making and control, how an organization’s culture affects behavior, how organizations learn, and how they adapt to changing competitive, economic, social, and political conditions.
ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR ISSUES
IN HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS
Organizational behavior, whether in a healthcare or other type of organization, is concerned with behavior that occurs under the conditions posed by an organizational situation. While a specific...
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