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Organisational behavior

Human being is a social animal and there is a natural instinct that exists in him to
work and live together with others in social groupings as a family, a clan,
community or friendship group or organization. The individuals are bound together
in a network of stable social relationships.

Hence, our society is organizational with large and complex organizations that
exist in every sphere of human activity.

Organisations play an important role in the quality of human life. Hence, the study
of organizations has become imperative.

Organisations are usually studied from two perspectives –
• Micro

• Macro

Micro perspective focuses on human beings in the organization. It studies human
beings as individuals – an individual’s psychological make-up, his interaction with
other individuals and groups, variables determining his behavior in the
organization and the strategies that can be adopted to govern his behavior as a
desirable one in the organization.
The micro perspective of organizational study is taken care of in “OB”.

Macro perspective considers organization as a unit of analysis. It emphasizes on
the study of human behavior as a collectivity of people, how organizations are
structured, how technology affects people in the organization and how organization
interacts with the environment.
The macro aspect of organizational study is taken care of in “Oganisational

Any definition of OB should put emphasis on 3 features –
• Organisational Behaviour is the study of human behavior.

• The study is about behavior in organizations.

• Knowledge about human behavior would be useful in improving an
organisation’s effectiveness.

• “Organisational Behaviour” is the study and application of knowledge about
how people – as individual and as groups – act within organizations.

• It is a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups and
structure have on behavior within organizations for the purpose of applying
such knowledge towards improving an organisation’s effectiveness.

• Organisational Behaviour means the study of behavior of individuals, and
groups in organizations and organizations themselves, as they act and
interact to attain desired outcomes.

OB is a scientific study in which a number of research studies and conceptual
developments are taking place.

It is also an applied science wherein information about effective practices in
one organization is being extended to many others.

OB provides a useful set of tools at many levels of analysis – It helps managers
to understand the behavior of individuals within an organization; understand
the interpersonal relationships, when two people (coworkers or a superior –
subordinate pair) interact; to understand the dynamics or relationships within
small groups, both formal teams and informal groups; to understand the
intergroup relationships; and finally understand the organizations as whole
systems that have interorganisational relationships (Eg – Mergers and Joint

Goals of OB
• To describe – The first objective is to describe – how people behave
under a variety of conditions.

• To understand – as to why people behave as they do.

• To predict – Predicting future employee behavior is another goal of OB.
Managers would have the capacity to predict which employees may be
dedicated and productive or which ones might be absent or disruptive on
a certain day so that the manager could take preventive actions.

OB is a field of study backed by a body of theory. It includes creative thinking among the managers to solve human problems in organisations. Features of Organisational Behaviour The essential characteristics of organisational behaviour are as follows: (i) An Integral Part of Management. OB is a human tool for human benefit. It is significant to note that because of the importance of human behaviour in organisations. (vi) Human Tool. OB involves three levels of analysis of behaviour – individual behaviour. Its study helps in understanding the human behaviour in work organizations. The field of organisational behaviour is heavily influenced by several other behavioural sciences and social sciences. OB is an action – oriented and goal-directed discipline. explain and predict human behaviour in the organisational context so that it may be moulded into result-yielding situations. research and application associated with a growing concern for people at the workplace. group behaviour and behaviour of the organisation itself. Managers also want to make an impact on employee behavior. It represents behaviour approach to management. • To control – The final goal of OB is to control and develop some human activity at work. It provides . It provides a rational thinking about people. It provides a rational thinking about people and their behaviour. It helps in understanding and predicting the behaviour of individuals. skill development. OB has assumed the status of a distinct field of study. (v) Goal-Oriented. OB is a part of general management and not the whole of management. (iv) Levels of Analysis. sociology and anthropology. Organisational behaviour draws a rich array of research from these disciplines. team effort and productivity. The prominent among these are psychology. (ii) A Field of Study. (iii) Inter-disciplinary Approach. The major goals of organisational behaviour are to understand. It helps in demolishing ‘incorrect’ assumptions one may hold about behaviour. Managers should be able to improve the results through their own and their employee’s actions. What makes it a field in its own right is the attempt to integrate various aspects and levels of behaviour.

OB seeks to fulfill employees’ need and aspirations. generalisations that managers can use to anticipate the effects of certain actions on human behaviour. but it is difficult to apply predictive models in all situations. It is possible to predict relationships between variables on a broad scale. . Every employee in the organisation wants to fulfill his needs through organisational activities. organisation behaviour is not an exact science like physics or chemistry. (viii) Satisfaction of Employees’ Needs. Thus. The systematic knowledge about human behaviour is a science. both organisation and individuals can be benefited by each other. (vii) Science and Art. OB is both a science as well as an art. However. It cannot provide specific answers to all organisational problems. The exact prediction of behavior of people in organisations is also not possible. The application of behaviour knowledge and skills clearly leans towards being an art. It is the organisation’s responsibility to provide congenial climate in the organisation so that people may get need satisfaction and the organisation may attain its objectives.

(i) Individual (ii) Group. viz. The performance of individuals.. Levels of Analysis of OB Organisational Behaviour focuses on three levels of analysis. . Behaviour at all three levels is interdependent and interrelated. groups (say class or section) and the institute as a whole – are all important and outstanding performance of each individual and group is recognized and highlighted. and (iii) Organisation.

Perception Attitudes and Values INDIVIDUAL Individual Decision-making Learning Motivation. Job-satisfaction Social. Cultural and Other Factors Work Stress SOCIOLOGY Organisational Group Level : GROUP Behaviour Groups and Teams Leadership Communication Conflict. Dynamics of Change Formal and Informal Organisation Status and Roles SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Change in Attitude and Behaviour Group Processes : Norms Communication Group Decision-making ANTHROPOLOGY Organisation System Level : Organisational Culture Stress Management ORGANISATION Organisational Change and Development Morale and Productivity Cross-cultural Analysis POLITICAL SCIENCE Organisational Power Politics Conflicts Coalitions . PSYCHOLOGY Individual Level: Personality.

social. whether acting in isolation or as part of a group. group and individual levels. The study of behaviour from the perspective of the whole organisation is also referred to as macro organisational behaviour. communication. Research studies have shown people behave differently in groups than as individuals. Stress caused by the activities of individuals and groups has to be managed at the organisational . 3. in response to expectations of the organisation. cultural and other factors. .Behaviour pattern of individuals is also influenced by the groups to which they belong.) Behaviour at the Group Level . norms.An organisation is a system composed of several interdependent individuals and groups. They particapte in shaping the culture of the organisation and also in organisation development. The study of behaviour of an individual working in the organisation is also known as micro- organisational behaviour. At times. leadership. or as a result of influence of the external environment.) Behaviour at the Organisation Level . they may resist change. The individual is a central feature of organisational behaviour. etc. cohesiveness. motivation. Understanding the effect of group relationships is important for managers in today’s organisations.) Behaviour at the Individual Level . The behaviour of individuals is a complex phenomenon and is affected by a large number of factors such as personality. 2.1. Understanding of group dynamics is essential to reduce conflicts and improve morale and productivity. Individuals and groups operate within the structure of formal organisation. perception. The co-operative relationships help the organisation in achieving its objectives. Several factors influence the behaviour of groups such as group goals. Inter group relationships may be in the form of cooperations or competition. while they may fight for change in certain situations. attitudes.Organisations are made up of their individual members. learning.

higher bonus. a better canteen etc. 2) A manager in a business establishment is concerned with getting things done through others. Attitudes. the awareness of the nature of individual and social process has an immediate or long term contribution to the success or the failure of the enterprise. the basic issue may not be demand for more wages. 3) The field of OB will be successful in maintaining cordial industrial relations. reluctance of the management to talk to union leaders may provoke them to give a strike. OB will help the manager understand the basis of motivation and what he should do to motivate his subordinates. If an employee is slow in his work. Hence the relations between the management and the employees are often strained for reasons which are personal but not technical. In the dynamic mechanism of the flow of goods and services from producer to consumer. communication. . leaderships. perception. or if his productivity is readily declining. 4) OB helps in the field of marketing. He will be successful in his job when he can motivate his subordinates to work for better results. This can be due to any other reasons like the indifferent attitude of the boss towards the worker which in turn can lead to the worker loosing interest in his work gradually. This will improve interpersonal relations considerably. IMPORTANCE OF OB 1) OB helps an individual to understand himself and others better. transactional analysis and conflicts can also be understood better with the study of OB. 6) Effective management means competent utilization of technical and financial resources. Similarly. OB is a discipline which enables a manager to motivate his subordinates towards higher productivity and better results. 5) OB helps in predicting the behaviour of individual and thus help the organization to be effective having good ‘people skills’ which includes the ability to understand one’s employees and to use this knowledge to make them work efficiently is a vital requirement if a person has to succeed as a manager.

Some organizations have hired contingent workforces (tempory. however is very diverse in terms of their educational backgrounds. change & disband. The people are given the assistance of machines. some firms have developed a team-based structure. Environment 1.Technology provides the resources with which people work & affects e task that they perform. The structure defines the authority-responsibility relationship. a goal attained by cutting middle management position). acquisitions & new ventures. Technology 4.Structure defines the formal relationship and use of people in organization. One has the authority & the others have a duty to obey him. methods & resources. People 2. building pride without devaluing others. There are unofficial informal groups & official formal groups. That system consists of individuals & group & large groups as well as small ones. 2. confidence. empowering some without exploiting others. 3. Structure 3. Structure . The managements’ leadership practices have to be tuned to the diverse workforce. Technology. People. Forces Affecting Organizational Behaviour The four key forces that affects Organization Behaviour 1. Groups are dynamic in the sense that they form. developing the competence level of the employees. It defines the roles & relationship of people in an organization. The workforce of an organization.Increasing use of robots & automated control systems in assembly lines.People make up the internal social system of the organization. People work in the organization to achieve their objectives. part-time or contract employees). Technology allows people to do more & better work but it adds to the cost for examples. really listening to the employees. demonstrating openness. the dramatic shift from a manufacturing to a service . other have a complex structure as a result of mergers. Different jobs are performed by different people in an organization & these people are related to each other in some structural way so as to coordinate their work effectively. authentic compassion and vulnerability. talents & perspectives to their jobs. Some organization have resorted to a flatter structure (containing fewer levels. Some companies have developed a sense of caring.

advances in computer hardware & software capabilities. Any organization is influenced by its external environment.economy. economic. use of internet & improved quality of goods & services at acceptable prices. Citizens expect organisations to be socially responsible. People Environment Environment ORGANISATION Structure Technology Environment Disciplines contributing to OB OB is not a discipline in itself but it uses knowledge concepts & principles from the other relevant disciplines. affects working conditions & provides competition for resources & power. It . An organisation is always a part of a larger system with elements like government. there are new products & competition for customers. Environment. geographical forces. All these technical advancements exerts an increased pressure on OB to maintain a delicate balance b/w technical & social systems. All organisations operate within an internal & external environment. 4. It draws concepts & principles from behavioural. It influences the attitudes of people. politico-legal. Any change in the environment creates demands on organizations. the family & other organizations.Organisations are influenced by external environment which include socio-cultural.

Anthropology OB draws concepts from social sciences also- 1. legal. Sociology 3. institutions. It studies social groups. perception. social behaviour. the term behaviour. Sociology lf Law 5. social class. customs. personnel selection & training. Psychology. motivation. and change in organization group process. Its contributions to behavioural science are in the field of learning. perception. industrial. It also studies process of human behaviour like learning. Its subfields are- 1. Sociology of religion . feeling & personality. Industrial sociology 3. Psychology studies behaviour in various conditions. Educational sociology 6. thinking. memory. communication.The term “psychology comes from the Greek word “psyche” meaning soul or spirit.draws concepts & principles from behavioural sciences & the core disciplines of behavioural sciences are- 1. the way in which people act towards one another. pattern of influence. childhood. social mobility and prestige. There is also a separate branch of industrial psychology which deals with the application of psychological facts & principles to the problem concerning human relations in organization. individual & group decision making. old age etc. abnormal. emotion. society. Political sociology 2.normal. Economics 2. adolescence. History 3. It studies the shared human behaviour. status. Sociology – It uses the scientific method in accumulating knowledge about man’s social behaviour. vocational choice and satisfaction. 2. social. Family sociology 4. sensation. Psychology 2. Psychology is a science of behaviour. Political Science Contributions of core disciplines of behavioural sciences to OB 1.

group level and inter group level. 2) POLITICAL SCIENCE: It provides the basis for the conflicts in organisation. its contribution is in the field of bureaucracy. Anthropology. Anthropology contributes in understanding the cultural effects on organization behaviour. power and authority structure and overall administrative process. and methods of allocating scarce resources in organizations and the impact of economic policy on organizations. norms. i) Individual Level: OB helps to understand why and how an individual behaves in a particular way. interpersonal level. Anthropology is the sciences of man. social. Hence. forms of cultures & their impact on individual & grps. OTHER DISCIPLINES 1) ECONOMICS: Economics contributes in understanding the decision process. OB helps to understand relationships in terms of superior . speech and relationship among languages. cohesion and interaction. OB integrates these factors in order to understand human behaviour. To the managerial practice. cultural etc. effects of value systems. UNDERSTANDING HUMAN BEHAVIOUR OB helps to understand human behavior in the organisation – at the individual level. 3. Human behaviour is a complex phenomenon and is affected by a number of factors like psychological. grp dynamics effect of industrialsation on the social behaviour etc. sentiments. biological factures of man and evolutionary pattern.“Anthropology” combines the Greek stem ‘anthropo” meaning man & “Logy” meaning science. It studies civilization. ii) Interpersonal Level : Human behaviour has to be understood in terms interpersonal interactions because human beings have a natural tendency to socialize. role structures social system theory.

This dependence is possible: employees live on the subsistence level. A strict supervision is read to obtain a desirable performance from them. The model is largely based on the theory x assumptions of McGregor wherein the human beings are distasteful to work & try to avoid respeonsiblity. i. iii) Group Level: Individuals are times modified by group pressures. Way. subordinates relationships. His system (exploitative authoritative) in which motivation depends on physical security & some use of desire for status & better performance is ensured through jear. The Management decides what is the best action for the people. transactional analysis etc. The organizational process is formal. with changing times. But t is still a useful way to accomplish performance. The autocratic model represents traditional thinking which is based on the economic concept of the man. MODELS OF OB AUTOCRATIC MODEL. communication pattern. Likert’s Management system can be compared with a model of OB. There is little interaction s/w mangers & employees. & employees are expected to follow orders. cohesion. Managers see authority as the only means to get the things done. However. its acceptability is to a limited extent. iv) Inter Group Level: Inter group relationships may be in the form cooperation or competition.In an autocratic model. rotation of members among groups. OB helps to understand and achevie cooperative group relationships through interaction. communic” is mostly one. Particularly where the employees can be motivated by physiological needs. peer relationships. leadership and membership. avoidance of win-loose situation and focuses on total group objectives. role analysis. This usually happens at lower strata of the organization. managerial orientation is towards power. An understanding of group behaviour is important organizational moral and productivity. . threats punishment & occasional rewards. Hence it becomes important to study groups and group dynamics with special reference to norms. So there is a high dependence on boss.e downward. goals.

control and influence help employees to fulfill their higher order needs like self-actualisation and esteem. The aim of managers is to support employees in their achievement of results. The supportyive model is based on the assumptions that human beings move to the maturity level and they expect the organizational climate which supports this expectation. leacdership. The supportive model is best suited when employees are self motivated. An organizational dependence reduces personal dependence on boss. It is similar to the assumptions of Mc Gregor’s Theory Y. interaction.In this model. Hence. Hence not a suitable model for matured employees. . Manager’s role is to help employees achieve their work rather than supervising them closely. The employees are able to satisfy their security needs (Maintenance factors in case of herzberg’s theory). which is the basic ingredient of his system 4(participative). The employees are highly dependent on the organization. The organizational processes like communication. The model is based on “Principles of Supportive relationships” of Likert. This model is specially effective with nations with affluence and complex technology because it caters to higher-order needs and provides intrinsic motivational factors. The model depends on the economic resources of the organization & its ability to pay for the benefits. The focus is on employee participation in managerial decision making process. CUSTODIAL MODEL . This approach is quite similar to patrimonial approach where the Management decides what benefits are best suited for the employees. the managerial orientation is towards the use of money to pay for employee benefits. SUPPORTIVE MODEL – This model depends on managerial leadership rather than on the use of power or money. These maintenance factor provide security but do not provide strong motivation the employees working under custodial model feel happy get adequate rewards & organization security but their performance level is not high as are not given any authority to decide what benefits / rewards they should get. the focus is not on the economic resources of the organization but its human aspect. decision making.

They are basically constructed around need hierarchy. hence are self motivated. Hence. To accomplish this.It is more suitable for employees at managerial levels rather than on operative levels. Control is through self disciple from the team members. esteem. Supportive. autonomy. . there is a strong search for a higher meaning at work by the employees. “Responsibility” is expected out of the employees. It is based on the team concept in which employee develops a high degree of understanding towards others and shares common goals. The collegial model is conducive to self fulfillment & self-actualisation. self-actualisation). It can be more beneficial with unprogrammed work requiring behavioural flexibility and intellectual environment and job freedom. The employees take a responsibility for their own goals and actions. Employees need a little direction and control from the management. As the need hierarchy differs for different people. The role of a manager is to facilitate employee accomplishments through a variety of actions. COLLEGIAL MODEL – This model is an extension of supportive model. SYSTEM MODEL – It is one of the emerging models of OB. Custodial. the managers demonstrate caring and a compassionate attitude and are sensitive to the needs of a diverse workforce. The term “Collegial” refers to a body of people having a common purpose. Herein. the same model cannot be used for all of them. they want more than a pay check & job security from their jobs. The various models (Autocratic. In turn. the employees needs are higher-order needs (social. They look for a work that is ethical. There is a sense of psychological ownership for the organization and its products / services. status. Collegial and System Model) of OB are based on the assumption of the human characteristics and how they can work best. the employees realize and recognize the mutuality of company-employee obligations in a system model. enfused with integrity & trust and provides an opportunity to experience a growing sense of community among co-workers.

one needs to understand their culture. This involves providing diversity training. If diversity is not properly managed. • Improving Quality and Productivity – The managers often confront challenges to improve their organization’s productivity and the quality of products and services they offer. is to make themselves more accommodating to diverse groups of people by focusing on their different lifestyles. more difficult communication and more interpersonal conflicts. For this. and revamping benefit programs to accommodate the different needs of different employees. family needs and workstyles. level of his education. aspirations and attitudes. race and ethnicity. personality factors and the type of work environment. Quality Management – (i) Constant attainment of customer satisfaction through the continuous improvement of all organizational processes. Managers have to be capable enough to work with people across cultures. . if properly managed. maturity level. one needs to manage a workforce which is different in needs. workforce diversity focuses on differences among people with given countries. The challenge for organizations.The need hierarchy changes with the level of a person. while at the same time not discriminating. they often have to implement programs of Quality management and Process Reengineering. Being a manager. how it has shaped them and how can the management style be adapted to suit their differences. thus. can increase creativity and innovation in organizations as well as improve decision making by providing different perspectives on problems. Workforce diversity means that organizations are heterogenous in terms of gender. • Managing workforce diversity – While globalization focuses on differences between people from different countries. Diversity. To work effectively with these people. Challenges and Opportunities for OB • Responding to Globalisation – Organisations are no longer limited by national borders. it leads to a higher turnover.

Teams are used in QM programs as empowerment vehicles for finding and solving problems. During labour shortage. accessible. how rapidly it responds to complaints etc. • Responding to the labour shortage – Economic ups and downs are difficult to predict. • Improving customer service – OB can contribute to improving an organisation’s by showing managers how employee attitudes and behavior are associated with customer satisfaction.(ii) Improvement in the quality of everything that the organization does – how the organization handles deliveries. good wages and benefits are not the only means to get and keep skilled employees. • Improving people skills – Techniques should be developed to design motivating jobs. the older workforce seem to be less interested to work which can be attributed to improved pension plans. (iv) Empowerment of employees – Quality management involves the people in the improvement process. to improve upon the listening skills and to create effective teams. expanded social security benefits and a healthy stock market. (iii) Accurate measurement – Quality Management uses statistical techniques to measure the performance variables and then compare them with the standards / benchmarks. Also. Newer recruitment and retention strategies have to be developed with the help of OB. It was difficult to fill vacancies with skilled workers. In 1990s. the labour markets were tight as the world economy was robust. Process Reengineering – helps managers to reconsider how work would be done and the organization restructured if they were starting over from the scratch. knowledgeable. . In 2001. there was a huge increase in the number of women entering the workforce which was a new supply of talented and skilled workforce. In the latter part of the 20th century. there was an economic recession – lot of layoffs took place and hence the skilled workers were in plenty. It is also predicted that there will be a labour shortage for atleast 10-15 years. The management should focus on creating a customer – responsive culture – a culture in which employees are friendly and courteous. prompt in responding to customer needs and willing to do what’s necessary to please the customer.

work groups are temporary wherein members are from different departments and members keep changing and employee rotation is practiced to fill constantly changing work assignments. • Coping with “Temporariness” – Unlike yesteryears. interrupted occasionally by short periods of stability. Organisations also continuously reorganize their divisions. Example. So there was security in working with the same people. spontaneity and unpredictability. Employees have started having a full control of their work. subcontract non-critical services and operations to other organisations and replace permanent employees with temporary workers. There is also a concept of self-managed teams wherein workers operate largely without bosses. continuously improve their quality in order to beat competition. But now. sell-off poor performing businesses. The workers need to update their knowledge and skills continually to perform new job requirements. The managers and employees should know to cope with temporariness. This can be due to the following reasons –  Creation of global organizations – Employees are required to work 24*7. The challenge for managers is to stimulate the employees’ creativity. and employees know how to take responsibility for their work and make appropriate decisions. Earlier. • Empowering people – There has been a complete change in the relationship between managers and the employees. managers are learning how to give up control. to live with flexibility. • Helping employees balance work / life conflicts – The line between the work and non work time of employees has become blurred. By empowering employees. The services of Dominos has brought an end to a number of pizza parlours in the city. “managing” today includes long periods of ongoing change. Decision making now happens at the operating level. • Stimulating Innovation and Change – The organizations should foster innovation. employees were assigned to a specific work group which was permanent. Work groups are also in a state of flux. . creating personal conflicts and stress.

e. It is more like a tunnel vision in which people have narrow viewpoints as if they were looking through a tunnel. if a person is . For example. situations in which individuals are required to define right and wrong conduct. • Improving ethical behavior – Employees at times. face ethical dilemmas i.  Communication technology – People do their work from any place at any time. o Seminars. similar training programs to try and improve ethical behavior. Equally.  Dual-career couples – as a result married couples have lesser time to fulfill commitments back home. It is wrong to assume that the objective of OB is simply to create a satisfied workforce without worrying about customer service and productivity. Limitations of OB • Behavioural bias – Behavioral bias gives a narrow viewpoint to the employees that emphasizes satisfying employee experiences while overlooking the broader system of the organization. Should they follow orders with which they don’t personally agree? Should they uncover illegal activities taking place in the company? Managers and organizations are trying to tackle this problem by – o Writing and distributing codes of ethics to guide the employees.productive organizational outputs is lost. workshops. o Provision for an in-house advisor who can be contacted (anonymously) for assistance in dealing with an ethical issue.  Longer hours put in by the employees. they provide with protection mechanisms for employees who reveal internal unethical practices. Also. The concern for employees can be so greatly overdone that the original purpose of bringing people together. managers should help in making their workplace and jobs such that it helps the employee deal with work / life conflicts. So.

For any situation. Hence. • The Law of Diminshing Returns – The Law of diminishing Returns is a limiting factor in OB as in Economics which produces negative results. continuously concerned with production outputs without regard for employee needs is misapplying OB. there is an optimum amount of a desirable practice. this law states that at some point. Behavioural bias can harm the employees as well as the organizations. • Unethical manipulation of people – The knowledge and techniques of OB are at times used to manipulate people unethically as well as to help them develop their potential. organizational effectiveness is achieved not by maximizing one human variable but by working all system variables together in a balanced way. there is a decline in returns. too much security may lead to less employee initiate and growth. When that point is exceeded. such as recognition or participation. . eventually zero returns. They lack self discipline and self respect. They may find excuses for failure and avoid taking responsibility for progress. and then negative returns asmore increases are added. In OB. People who lack respect for the basic dignity of the human being could use OB for selfish ends and use people in unethical ways. For example. increases of a desirable practice produce declining returns.Too much of care can make the employees dependent and unproductive.