Chapter I. What is Organizational Behaviour
Organizational behaviour (OB) is a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups, and structure have on behaviour within organizations, for the purpose of applying such knowledge toward improving an organization’s effectiveness. It studies three determinants of behavior in organizations: individuals, groups, and structure. In addition, OB applies the knowledge gained about individuals, groups, and the effect of structure on behavior in order to make organizations work more effectively. To sum up our definition, OB is the study of what people do in an organization and how their behavior affects the organization’s performance. And because OB is concerned specifically with employment-related situations, you should not be surprised that it emphasizes behavior as related to concerns such as jobs, work, absenteeism, employment turnover, productivity, human performance, and management. OB includes the core topics of motivation, leader behavior and power, interpersonal communication, group structure and processes, learning, attitude development and perception, change processes, conflict, work design, and work stress. Behaviour is not random. Rather, we can identify fundamental consistencies underlying the behavior of all individuals and modify them to reflect individual differences. Behavior is generally predictable, and the systematic study of behavior is a means to making reasonably accurate predictions. Evidence-based management (EBM) complements systematic study by basing managerial decisions on the best available scientific evidence. A manager might pose a managerial question, search for the best available evidence, and apply the relevant information to the question or case at hand. Systematic study and EBM add to intuition, or those “gut feelings” about what makes others (and ourselves) “tick.” Of course, the things you have come to believe in an unsystematic way are not necessarily incorrect, but relying on intuition is made worse because we tend to overestimate the accuracy of what we think we know. Organizational behavior is an applied behavioral science built on contributions from a number of behavioral disciplines, mainly psychology and social psychology, sociology, and anthropology. Psychology’s contributions have been mainly at the individual or micro level of analysis, while the other disciplines have contributed to our understanding of macro concepts such as group processes and organization. Psychology
Psychology seeks to measure, explain, and sometimes change the behavior of humans and other animals. Early industrial/organizational psychologists studied the problems of fatigue, boredom, and other working conditions that could impede efficient work performance. More recently, their contributions have expanded to include learning, perception, personality, emotions, training, leadership effectiveness, needs and motivational forces, job satisfaction, decision-making processes, performance appraisals, attitude measurement, employee-selection techniques, work design, and job stress. Social Psychology
Social psychology , generally considered a branch of psychology, blends concepts from both psychology and sociology to focus on peoples’ influence on one another. One major study area is change —how to implement it and how to reduce barriers to its acceptance. Social psychologists also contribute to measuring, understanding, and changing attitudes; identifying communication patterns; and building trust. Sociology
While psychology focuses on the individual, sociology studies people in relation to their social environment or culture. Sociologists have contributed to OB through their study of group behavior in organizations, particularly formal and complex organizations. Perhaps most important, sociologists have studied organizational culture, formal organization theory and structure, organizational technology, communications, power, and conflict....
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