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Introduction to OB

Study of Organizational Behavior

What is OB?
The field that seeks increased knowledge
of all aspects of behavior in organizational
setting by systematically studying
individual, group, and organizational
OB Characteristics
Applies the scientific method to practical
managerial problems
How can goals be set to enhance peoples job
Under what conditions do individuals make better
decision than groups?
Focuses on three level of analysis:
Individuals (work attitude, motivation)
Groups (communication)
Organizations (structure)
OB Characteristics
Is multidisciplinary in nature
Seeks to improve organizational
effectiveness and the quality of life at work
OB Fundamental Assumptions
OB recognizes the dynamic nature of
OB assumes that there is no one best
What is the most effective way to motivate
What style of leadership works best?
Should groups of individuals be used to make
important organizational decision?
When OB came?
Org. theory prior to 1900: Emphasized the
division of labor and the importance of
machinery to facilitate labor
Scientific management(1910s-)--Described
management as a science with employers
having specific but different responsibilities;
encouraged the scientific selection, training, and
development of workers and the equal division
of work between workers and management
When OB came?
Classical school (1910s) Listed the duties of a
manager as planning, organizing, commanding
employees, coordinating activities, and controlling
performance; basic principles called for specialization of
work, unity of command, scalar chain of command, and
coordination of activities
Human relations(1920s) Focused on the importance of
the attitudes and feelings of workers; informal roles and
norms influenced performance
Classical school revisited (1930s):Re-emphasized the
classical principles
When OB came?
Group dynamics(1940s) Encouraged
individual participation in decision-making;
noted the impact of work group on
Bureaucracy--(1940s) Emphasized order,
system, rationality, uniformity, and
consistency in management; lead to
equitable treatment for all employees by
When OB came?
Leadership (1950s) Stressed the importance of
groups having both social task leaders;
differentiated between Theory X and Y
Decision theory (1960s) Suggested that
individuals "satisfice" when they make decisions
Sociotechnical school (1960s) Called for
considering technology and work groups when
understanding a work system
When OB came?
Envir. and tech. system (1960s) Described the
existence of mechanistic and organic structures and
stated their effectiveness with specific types of
environmental conditions and technological types
Systems theory (1970s): Represented organizations as
open systems with inputs, transformations, outputs, and
feedback; systems strive for equilibrium and experience
Contingency theory (1980s): Emphasized the fit
between organization processes and characteristics of
the situation; called for fitting the organization's structure
to various contingencies
The Evolution of Management
Scientific Management Theory
Evolution of Modern Management
Began in the industrial revolution in the late 19th
century as:
Managers of organizations began seeking ways to better
satisfy customer needs.
Large-scale mechanized manufacturing began to supplanting
small-scale craft production in the ways in which goods were
Social problems developed in the large groups of workers
employed under the factory system.
Managers began to focus on increasing the efficiency of the
worker-task mix.
Job Specialization and
the Division of Labor
Adam Smith (18th century economist)
Observed that firms manufactured pins in one
of two different ways:
Craft-styleeach worker did all steps.
Productioneach worker specialized in one step.
Realized that job specialization resulted in
much higher efficiency and productivity
Breaking down the total job allowed for the division
of labor in which workers became very skilled at
their specific tasks.
F.W. Taylor and Scientific
Scientific Management
The systematic study of the relationships
between people and tasks for the purpose of
redesigning the work process for higher
Defined by Frederick Taylor in the late 1800s to
replace informal rule of thumb knowledge.
Taylor sought to reduce the time a worker spent on
each task by optimizing the way the task was
Four Principles of Scientific
Principles to increase efficiency:
1. Study the ways jobs are performed now and
determine new ways to do them.
Gather detailed time and motion information.
Try different methods to see which is best.
2. Codify the new methods into rules.
Teach to all workers the new method.
3. Select workers whose skills match the rules.
4. Establish fair levels of performance and pay a
premium for higher performance.
Workers should benefit from higher output
Problems with Scientific
Managers frequently implemented only the
increased output side of Taylors plan.
Workers did not share in the increased output.
Specialized jobs became very boring, dull.
Workers ended up distrusting the Scientific
Management method.
Workers could purposely under-perform.
Management responded with increased use of
machines and conveyors belts.
Frank and Lillian Gilbreth
Refined Taylors work and made many
improvements to the methodologies of
time and motion studies.
Time and motion studies
Breaking up each job action into its components.
Finding better ways to perform the action.
Reorganizing each job action to be more efficient.
Also studied worker-related fatigue
problems caused by lighting, heating, and
the design of tools and machines.
Administrative Management
Administrative Management
The study of how to create an organizational
structure that leads to high efficiency and
Max Weber
Developed the concept of bureaucracy as a
formal system of organization and
administration designed to ensure efficiency
and effectiveness.
Principles of
Figure 2.2
Webers Five Principles of
Authority is the power to hold people
accountable for their actions.
Positions in the firm should be held based on
performance, not social contacts.
Position duties are clearly identified so that
people know what is expected of them.
Lines of authority should be clearly identified
such that workers know who reports to who.
Rules, standard operating procedures (SOPs),
and norms guide the firms operations.
Fayols Principles of
Division of Labor: allows for job
Fayol noted jobs can have too much
specialization leading to poor quality and
worker dissatisfaction.
Authority and Responsibility
Fayol included both formal and informal
authority resulting from special expertise.
Unity of Command
Employees should have only one boss.
Fayols Principles of
Management (contd)
Line of Authority
A clear chain of command from top to bottom
of the firm.
The degree to which authority rests at the top
of the organization.
Unity of Direction
A single plan of action to guide the
Fayols Principles of
Management (contd)
The provision of justice and the fair and
impartial treatment of all employees.
The arrangement of employees where they
will be of the most value to the organization
and to provide career opportunities.
The fostering of creativity and innovation by
encouraging employees to act on their own.
Fayols Principles of
Management (contd)
Obedient, applied, respectful employees are
necessary for the organization to function.
Remuneration of Personnel
An equitable uniform payment system that motivates
contributes to organizational success.
Stability of Tenure of Personnel
Long-term employment is important for the
development of skills that improve the organizations
Fayols Principles of
Management (contd)
Subordination of Individual Interest to the
Common Interest
The interest of the organization takes
precedence over that of the individual
Esprit de corps
Comradeship, shared enthusiasm foster
devotion to the common cause (organization).
Behavioral Management Theory
Behavioral Management
The study of how managers should behave to
motivate employees and encourage them to
perform at high levels and be committed to
the achievement of organizational goals.
Focuses on the way a manager should
personally manage to motivate employees.
Behavioral Management
Mary Parker Follett
An influential leader in early managerial
Held a horizontal view of power and authority
in organizations
Suggested workers help in analyzing their jobs for
improvementsthe worker knows the best way to
improve the job.
If workers have relevant knowledge of the task,
then they should control the task.
The Hawthorne Studies
Studies of how characteristics of the work
setting affected worker fatigue and
performance at the Hawthorne Works of
the Western Electric Company from
Worker productivity was measured at various
levels of light illumination.
Researchers found that regardless of whether
the light levels were raised or lowered, worker
productivity increased.
The Hawthorne Studies
Human Relations Implications
Hawthorne effectworkers responded to the
attention they received and were more
Managers should be behaviorally trained to
manage subordinates to elicit their
cooperation and increase their productivity.
Gave rise to the field of Organizational
The study of the factors that have an impact on
how individuals and groups respond to and act in
Theory X and Theory Y
Douglas McGregor proposed the two different
sets of assumptions about workers.
Theory X assumes the average worker is lazy,
dislikes work and will do as little as possible.
Managers must closely supervise and control through reward
and punishment.
Theory Y assumes workers are not lazy, want to do a
good job and the job itself will determine if the worker
likes the work.
Managers should allow workers greater latitude, and create
an organization to stimulate the workers.
Theory X versus Theory Y
OB vs Trends
Technology has changed the way
managers operate.
International business and globalization
means diversity
Shifting demographics of the workforce
More woman
Racial and ethnic diversity
Longer working time
OB Responds to Trends
Leaner organization: downsizing and
Virtual organization
Flexible hours
Permanent temporary employees
Parttime, freelancers, on-call
Compressed workweek
Job sharing
Voluntary reduced work time