You are on page 1of 130

National Institute of

Business Management
Master of Business
Administration (MBA)
Organizational Behaviour

CONTENTS
Chapter

Title

Page No.

WHAT IS ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR

II

PERSONALITY

26

III

LEARNING

35

IV

WHAT IS PERCEPTION AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

44

MOTIVATION

55

VI

FOCUS ON THE INDIVIDUAL

69

VII

FOCUS ON INTERPERSONAL AND


GROUP PROCESSES

92

VIII

LEADERSHIP

102

IX

CONFLICT

109

FOCUS ON THE ORGANIZATION

115

XI

DECISION MAKING

127

CHAPTER I

WHAT IS ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR


OBJECTIVES
This chapter will give an idea to the reader about Management Functions, Management
Roles, Management Skills, Management Activities, Organisational Behaviour and its different major
aspects.
INTRODUCTION
In the 1990s, weve come to understand that technical skills are necessary, but insufficient,
for succeeding in management. In todays increasingly competitive and demanding workplace, managers
cant succeed on their technical skills alone. They also got to have good people skills.
What Managers Do
Lets begin by briefly defining the terms manager and the place where managers work the
organization. Then lets look at the managers job; specifically, what do managers do?
Managers get things done through other people. They make decisions allocate resources,
and direct the activities of others to attain goals. Managers do their work in an organization. This is a
consciously coordinated social unit, composed of two or more people, that function on a relatively
continuous basis to achieve a common goal or set of goals. Based on this definition, manufacturing
and service firms are organizations and so are schools, hospitals, churches, military units, retail stores,
police departments, and local, state, and federal government agencies. The people who oversee the
activities of others and who are responsible for attaining goals in these organizations are their managers
(although theyre sometimes called administrators, especially in non-for-profit organizations).
Management Functions
In the early part of this century, a French industrialist by the name of Henri Fayol wrote that
all managers perform five management function; they plan, organize, command, coordinate, and control.
They, may be condensed down to four: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling.
If you dont know where youre going, no road will get you there. Since organizations exist
to achieve goals, someone has to define these goals and the means by which they can be achieved.
Management is that someone. The planning function encompasses defining on organizations goals,
establishing an overall strategy for achieving these goals, and developing a comprehensive hierarchy
of plans to integrate and coordinate activities.
Managers are also responsible for designing an organizations structure. We call this function
organizing. It includes the determination of what tasks are to be done, who is to do them, how the
tasks are to be grouped, who reports to whom, and where decisions are to be made.
5

Every organization contains people, and it is managements job to direct and coordinate these
people. This is the leading function. When managers motivate subordinates, direct the activities of
others, select the most effective communication channel, or resolve conflicts among members, they
are engaging in leading.
The final function managers perform is controlling. After the goals are set; the plans formulated;
the structural arrangements delineated; and the people hired and motivated, there is still the possibility
that something may go amiss. To ensure that things are going as they should, management must monitor
the organizations performance. Actual performance must be compared with the previously set goals.
If there are any significant deviations, it is managements job to get the organization back on track.
This monitoring, comparing, and potential correcting is what is meant by the controlling function.
So, using the functional approach, the answer to the question, what do managers do? Is
that they plan, organize, lead, and control.
Management Roles
In the late1960s, a graduate student at MIT, Henry Mintzberg, undertook a careful study of
five executives to determine what these managers did on their jobs. Based on his observations of
these managers, Mintzberg concluded that managers perform ten different, highly interrelated roles,
or sets of behaviors attributable to their jobs. As shown in table 1, these ten roles can be grouped as
being primarily concerned with interpersonal relationships, the transfer of information, and decision
making.
TABLE 1 Mintzbergs Managerial Roles
Role

Description

Examples

Symbolic head; required to


perform a number of routine
duties of a legal or social nature

Ceremonies, status
requests, solicitations.

Leader

Responsible for the motivation


and direction of subordinates

Virtually all managerial


activities involving
subordinate.

Liaison

Maintains a network of outside


contacts who provide favors
and information

Acknowledgment of mail,
external board work.

Receives wide variety of


information; serves as nerve center
of internal and external information
of the organization

Handling all mail and contacts categorized as concerned primarily with


receiving information .

Transmits information received


form outsiders or from other

Forwarding mail into organization for informational

Interpersonal
Figure head

Informational
Monitor

Disseminator

subordinates to members of

purposes; verbal contacts

the organization

involving information flow


to subordinates such as
review sessions.

Spokesperson

Transmits information to outsiders

Board meetings; handling

on organizations plans, policies,

contacts involving transmis-

actions, and results; serves as expert sion of information to outon organizations industry

siders.

Searches organization and its

Strategy and review sessions

environment for opportunities and

involving initiation or

initiates projects to bring about

design of improvement

change

projects.

Responsible for corrective action

Strategy and review sessions

when organization faces important,

involving disturbances

unexpected disturbances

and crisis.

Making or approving significant

Scheduling; requests for

organizational decisions

authorization; budgeting;

Decisional
Entrepreneur

Disturbance handler

Resource allocator

the programming of subordinates work.


Negotiator

Responsible for representing

Contract negotiation.

the organization at major negotiations


INTERPERSONAL ROLES: Roles that include figurehead, leadership and liaison
activities.
All managers are required to perform duties that are ceremonial and symbolic in nature.
When the president of a college hands out diplomas at commencement or a factory supervisor gives
a group of high school students a tour of the plant, he or she is acting in a figurehead role. All managers
have a leadership role. This role includes hiring, training, motivating, and disciplining employees. The
third role within the interpersonal grouping is the liaison role. Mintzberg described this activity as
contacting outsiders who provide the manager with information. These may be individuals or groups
inside or outside the organization. The sales manager who obtains information from the personnel
manager in his or her own company has an internal liaison relationship. When that sales manager has
contacts with other sales executives through a marketing trade association, he or she has an outside
liaison relationship.
7

INFORMATIONAL ROLES: Roles that include monitoring, disseminating, and


spokesperson activities.
All managers will, to some degree, receive and collect information from organizations and
institutions outside their own. Typically, this is done through reading magazines and talking with others
to learn of changes in the publics tastes, what competitors may be planning, and the like. Mintzberg
called this the monitor role. Managers also act as a conduit to transmit information to organizational
members. This is the disseminator role. Managers additionally perform a spokesperson role when
they represent the organization to outsiders.
DECISIONAL ROLES: Roles that include those of entrepreneur, disturbance handler,
resource allocator, and negotiator.
Finally, Mintzberg identified four roles that revolve around the making of choices. In the
entrepreneur role, managers initiate and oversee new projects that will improve their organizations
performance. As disturbance handlers, managers take corrective action in response to previously
unforeseen problems. As resource allocators, managers are responsible for allocating human, physical,
and monetary resources. Lastly, managers perform a negotiator role, in which they discuss and bargain
with other units to gain advantages for their own unit.
MANAGEMENT SKILLS
Still another way of considering what managers do is to look at the skills or competencies
they need to successfully achieve their goals. Robert Katz has identified three essential management
skills: technical, human and conceptual.
Technical Skills:
The ability to apply specialized knowledge or expertise. Technical skills encompass the ability
to apply specialized knowledge or expertise. When you think of the skills held by professional such
as civil engineers, tax accountants, or oral surgeons, you typically focus on their technical skills. Through
extensive formal education, they have learned the special knowledge and practices of their field. Of
course, professional dont have a monopoly on technical skills and these skills dont have to be learned
in schools or formal training programs. All jobs require some specialized expertise and many people
develop their technical skills on the job.
Human Skills:
The ability to work with, understand, and motivate other people both individually and in
groups, describes human skills. Many people are technically proficient but interpersonally incompetent.
8

They might, for example, be poor listeners, unable to understand the needs of others, or have difficulty
managing conflicts. Since managers get things done through other people they must have good human
sills to communicate motivate, and delegate.
Conceptual Skills:
Managers must have the mental ability to analyse and diagnose complex situations. These
are conceptual skills. Decision making, for instance, requires managers to spot problems, identify
alternatives that can correct them, evaluate these alternatives and select the best one. Managers can
be technically and interpersonally competent, yet still fail because of an inability to rationally process
and interpret information.
Effective vs. Successful Managerial Activities
Fred Luthans and his associates looked at the issue of what managers do from a somewhat
different perspective. They asked the question: Do managers who move up quickly in an organization
do the same activities and with the same emphasis as those managers who do the best job? You
would tend to think that those managers who were the most effective in their jobs would also be the
ones who were promoted fastest. But thats not what appears to happen.
Luthans and his associates studied more than 450 managers. What they found was that these
managers all engaged in four managerial activities:
1.

Traditional management: Decision making, planning and controlling.

2.

Communication: Exchanging routine information and processing paper work.

3.

Human resource management: Motivating, disciplining, managing conflict, staffing, and training.

4.

Net working: Socializing, politicking, and interacting with outsiders


The average manager studied spent thirty-two percent of his or her time in traditional

management activities, twenty-nine percent communication, twenty percent in human resource


management activities and nineteen percent networking. However, the amount of time and effort that
different managers spent on these four activities varied a great deal. Specifically, as shown in table 2,
managers who were successful (defined in terms of the speed of promotion within their organization)
had a very different emphasis than managers who were effective (defined in terms of the quantity and
quality of their performance and the satisfaction and commitment of their subordinates). Networking
made the biggest relative contribution to manager success, while human resource management activities
made the least relative contribution. Among effective managers, communication made the largest relative
contribution and networking the least.
9

This study adds important insights to our knowledge of what managers do. On average,
managers spend approximately twenty to thirty percent of their time on each of the four activities:
traditional management, communication, human resource management, and networking. However
successful managers dont give the same emphasis to each of these activities as do effective managers.
In fact their emphasis are almost the opposite. This challenges the historical assumption that promotions
are based on performance, vividly illustrating the importance that social and political skills play in getting
ahead in organizations.
TABLE 2 Allocation of Activities by Time
Activity

Average

Successful

Effective

Managers

Managers

Managers

Traditional management

32%

13%

19%

Communication

29

28

44

Human resource management

20

11

26

Networking

19

48

11

A Review of the Managers Job


One common thread runs through the functions, roles, skills, and activities approaches to
management: each recognizes the paramount importance of managing people. Whether it is called
the leading function, interpersonal roles, human skills, or human resource management and
networking activities, it is clear that managers need to develop their skills.
ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR
Weve made the case for the importance of people skills. But neither this book nor the
discipline upon which it rests is called People Skills. The term that is widely used to describe the
discipline is called Organizational Behaviour.
Organizational Behaviour (frequently abbreviated as 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 organizations effectiveness. Thats a lot if words,
so lets break it down.
Organizational Behaviour is a field of study. This means that it is a distinct area of expertise
with a common body of knowledge. What does it study? It studies three determinants of behaviour
in organizations: individual, groups, and structure. Additionally, OB applies the knowledge gained about
individuals, groups and the effect of structure on behaviour in order to make organizations work more
effectively.
10

To sum up our definition, OB is concerned with the study of what people do in an organization
and how that behaviour affects the performance of the organization. And because OB is specially
concerned with employment related situation, you should not be surprised to find that it emphasizes
behaviour as related to jobs, work, absenteeism, employment turnover, productivity, human
performance, and management.
There is increasing agreement as to the components or topics that constitute the subject are
of OB. While there is still considerable debate as to the relative importance of each, there appears to
be general agreement that OB includes the core topics of motivation, leader behaviour and power
interpersonal communication, group structure and process, learning, attitude development and
perception change processes, conflict, job design, and work stress.
REPLACING INTUITION WITH SYSTEMATIC STUDY
Each of us is a student of behaviour. Since our earliest years, we have watched the actions
of those and have attempted to interpret what we see. Whether or not you have explicitly thought
about it before, you have been reading people almost all your life. You watch what others do and
try to explain to yourself why they have engaged in their behaviour. Additionally, youve attempted to
predict what they might do under different sets of conditions.
Generalizations About Behaviour
You have already developed some generalizations that you find helpful in explaining and
predicting what people do all will do. But how did you arrive at these generalizations? You did so by
observing, sensing, asking, listening, and reading. That is, your understanding comes either directly
from your own experience with things in the environment, or secondhand, through the experience of
others.
How accurate are the generalizations that you hold? Some may represent extremely
sophisticated appraisals of behaviour and may prove highly effective in explaining and predicting the
behaviour of others. However, most of us also carry with us a number of beliefs that frequently fail to
explain why people do what they do. To illustrate, consider the following statements about workrelated behaviour.
1.

Happy workers are productive workers.

2.

All individuals are most productive when their boss is friendly, trusting, and approachable.

3.

Interviews are effective selection devices for separating job applicants who would be highperforming employees from those who would be low performers.
11

4.

Everyone wants a challenging job.

5.

You have to scare people a little to get them to do their jobs.

6.

Everyone is motivated by money.

7.

Most people are much more concerned with the size of their own salaries than with others.

8.

The most effective work groups are devoid of conflict.


How many of these statements do you think are true? But whether these statements are

true or false is not really important at this time. What is important is to be aware that many of the
views you hold concerning human behaviour are based in intuition rather than fact. As a result, a
systematic approach to the study of behaviour can improve your explanatory and predictive abilities.
Consistency vs. Individual Differences
Casual or commonsense approaches in obtaining knowledge about human behaviour are
inadequate. In reading this text, you will discover that a systematic approach will uncover important
facts and relationships, and provide a base from which more accurate predictions of behaviour can
be made.
Underlying this systematic approach is the belief that behaviour is not random. It is caused
and directed toward some end that the individual believes, rightly or wrongly, is in his or her best
interest.
Behaviour generally is predicted if we know how the person perceived the situation and
what is important to him or her. While peoples behavior may not appear to be rational to an outsider,
there is reason to believe it usually is intended to be rational and it is seen as rational by them. An
observer often sees behaviour as nonrational because the observer does not have access to the same
information or does not perceive the environment in the same way.
Certainly there are differences between individuals. Placed in similar situations, all people
do not act alike. However, there are certain fundamental consistencies underlying the behaviour of all
individuals that can be identified and then modified to reflect individual differences.
These fundamental consistencies are very important. Why? Because they allow predictability.
When you get into your car, you make some definite and usually, highly accurate predictions about
how other people will behave. In North American, for instance, you would predict that other drivers
will stop at stop signs and red lights, drive on the right side of the road, pass on your left, and not
cross the solid double line on mountain roads. Notice that your predictions about the behaviour of
people behind the wheels of their cars are almost always correct. Obviously, the rules of driving make
predictions about driving behaviour fairly easy.
12

What may be less obvious is that there are rules (written and unwritten) in almost every
setting. Therefore, it can be argued that it is possible to predict behaviour (undoubtedly, not always
with one hundred percent accuracy) in supermarkets, classrooms, doctors offices, elevators, and in
most structured situations. To illustrate further, do you turn around and face the doors when you get
into an elevator? Almost everyone does, yet did you ever read that youre supposed to do this?
Probably not! Just as I make predictions about automobile drivers (where there are definite rules of
the road), I can make predictions about the behaviour of people in elevators (where there are few
written rules). In a class of sixty students, if you wanted to ask a question of the instructor, I would
predict that you would raise your hand. Why dont you clap, stand up, raise your leg, cough, or yell
Hey, over here!? The reason is that you have learned that raising your hand is appropriate behaviour
in school. These examples support a major contention in this text: Behaviour is generally predictable,
and the systematic study of behavior is a means to making reasonably accurate predictions.
When we use the phrase systematic study, we mean looking at relationship, attempting to
attribute causes and effects, and basing our conclusions on scientific evidence; that is, on data gathered
under controlled conditions and measured and interpreted in a reasonably rigorous manner.
Systematic study replaces intuition or those gut feelings about why I do what I do and
what makes others tick. Of course, a systematic approach does not mean that those things you
have come to believe in an unsystematic way are necessarily incorrect. Some of the conclusions we
make in this text, based on reasonably substantive research findings, will only support what you always
knew was true. But you will also be exposed to research evidence that runs counter to what you
may have thought was common sense. In fact, one of the challenges to teaching a subject like
organizational behaviour is to overcome the notion, held by many, that its all common sense. You
will find that many of the so- called commonsense views you hold about human behaviour are on
closer examination, wrong. Moreover, what one person considers common sense frequently runs
counter to another version of common sense. Are leaders born or made? What is it that motivates
people at work nowadays? You probably have answers to such questions, and individuals who have
not reviewed the research are likely to differ on their answers. The point is that one of the objectives
of this text is to encourage you to move away from your intuitive views of behaviour toward a
systematic analysis, in the belief that such analysis will improve your accuracy in explaining and predicting
behaviour.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR OB IN THE 1990s
Understanding organizational behaviour has never been more important for managers. A quick
look at a few of the dramatic changes now taking place in organizations support this claim. For instance,
the typical employee is getting older; there are more and more woman in the work place; corporate
restructuring and cost cutting are serving the bonds of loyalty that historically tied many employees to
their employers; and global competition is requiring employees to become more flexible and to learn
to cope with rapid change and innovation.
13

Work Force Diversity


Arguably, the most important and broad-based challenge for U.S. organizations in the 1990s
will be adapting to people who are different. Work-force diversity means that organizations are
becoming obviously more heterogeneous in terms of gender, race, and ethnicity. But the term
encompasses anyone who varies from the norm. That means that it also includes the physically
handicapped, gays and lesbians, the elderly, and even people who are significantly overweight.
We used to take a melting pot approach to differences in organizations, assuming that
people who were different would somehow automatically want to assimilate. But we now recognize
that employees dont set aside their cultural values and lifestyle performances when they come to
work. The challenge for organizations, therefore is to make themselves more accommodating to diverse
groups of people by addressing their different lifestyles, family needs and work styles. The melting
pot assumption is being replaced by one that recognizes and values differences.
Havent organizations always included members of diverse groups? Yes, but they were such
a small percentage of the work force that no one paid much attention to them. Moreover, it was
assumed that these minorities would seek to blend in and assimilate. The bulk of the pre-1980s work
force were male Caucasians working full time to support a nonemployed wife and school-aged children.
Now such employees are the true minority! Currently, forty-five percent of the U.S labor force are
women. Minorities and immigrants make up twenty-two percent. As a case in point, Hewlett Packards
work force is nineteen percent minorities and forty percent women. A digital equipment Corp. plant
in Boston provides a partial preview of the future. The factorys 350 employees include men and
women from forty-four countries who speak nineteen languages. When plant management issues written
announcements, they are printed in English, Chinese, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, and
Haitian Creole.
New worker growth in the United States through the rest of this decade will be occurring
most rapidly among women and Hispanics. Almost two-thirds of all new entrants into the work force
will be women. And by the year 2000, white non-Hispanic males will make up only thirty-nine percent
of the total work force.
Work force diversity has important implications for management practice. Managers will need
to shift their philosophy from treating everyone alike to recognizing differences and responding to those
differences in ways that will ensure employee retention and greater productivity-while, at the same
time, not discriminating. Diversity, if positively managed, can increase creativity and innovation in
organizations as well as improve decision making by providing different perspectives on problems.
When diversity is not managed properly, there is potential for higher turnover, more difficult
communication, and more interpersonal conflicts.

14

Declining Loyalty
Corporate employees used to believe that their employers would reward their loyalty and
good work with job security, generous benefits, and pay increases. But beginning in the mid-1980s,
in response to global competition, unfriendly takeovers, leveraged buyouts, and the like, corporation
began to discard traditional policies on job security, seniority, and compensation. They sought to become
lean and mean by closing factories, moving operations overseas, selling off or closing down less
profitable businesses, and eliminating entire levels of management.
These changes have resulted in a sharp decline in employee loyalty. In one recent survey of
workers, for instance, fifty-seven percent said companies are less loyal to employees today than
they were a decade ago. And as corporations have shown less commitment to employees, employees
have shown less commitment to them.
An important OB challenge will be for managers to devise ways to motivate workers who
feel less committed to their employers, while maintaining the organizations global competitiveness.
Labour Shortages
The work force grew in the 1960s and 1970s as a direct result of Baby Boomers (the huge
number of people born between 1945-64) entering the labor market. However, fertility rates began
dropping world-wide in the late 1960s, resulting in what is called the Baby Bust. Forgetting for a
moment the effects of short-term economic recessions, the long-term demographic reality means that
most advanced industrialized countries- including Germany, Japan, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom,
Canada and the United Stated will face a severe and ongoing shortage of workers through the early
part of the next century and because of this trend, middle-aged and older workers will make up a
rising share of the total labor supply.
Again, except in economic downturns, the labor market trend during the next fifteen to twenty
years will strongly favor sellers of labor, especially professionals and people with technical skills. And
a sellers market means that organizations will need to rethink their policies regarding recruiting, training,
compensation, and employee benefits. When there are more jobs available then there are people to
fill them, organizations will have to have progressive human resource policies and their managers will
need good people skills in order to get and keep the best-qualified workers.
Skill Deficiencies
Compounding the problem of a labor shortage is the fact that a significant proportion of
people looking for work dont have the skills that organizations need. Many immigrants, for instance,
are deficient in English, while too many U.S high school graduates cant read well enough to qualify
for entry-level jobs.

15

As most developed countries move from a manufacturing based economy to one based on
knowledge, make cutbacks in the managerial ranks, and decentralize decision making, workers are
having to take greater responsibility for their jobs. They have to make more decision on their own.
They have to read complex operating manuals and blueprints, work computers, perform statistical
quality control, make judgements in responses to client requests, and the like. Unfortunately the United
States does not have skills that employers need. As one expert noted. Three fourths of new work
force entrants will be qualified for only 40 percent of the new jobs created between 1985 and 2000.
Some organizations have responded by de-skilling jobs-that is, making them less complex
and more routine. Some fast-food restaurants, for example, put pictures of food items on cash register
keys to minimize employee mistakes. But even these de-skilling efforts cant overcome the problem
of workers who cant consistently make accurate change from a five-dollar bill. The implications are
obvious: Employers must train their less-skilled employees, and managers must become more responsive
to the needs of their skilled employees to keep them from going to work for a competitor.
The Bi-Model Work Force
Twenty or thirty years ago, the U.S. produced plenty of unskilled jobs in the steel, automobile,
rubber, and other manufacturing industries that paid solid middle-class wages. A young man in Pittsburg,
for instance could graduate from high school and immediately get a relatively high paying and secure
job in a local steel plant. That job would allow him to buy a home, finance a car or two, support a
family, and enjoy other lifestyle choices that come with a middle-class income. But thats ancient history.
A good percentage of those manufacturing jobs in First World industrialized countries are gone forever
either replaced by automated equipment, reconstituted into jobs requiring considerably higher technical
skills, or taken by people in other countries who will do the same work for a fraction of the wages
Americans received. What we have now can best be described as a bi-model work force a division
between those who perform low-skilled jobs that provide the passport to a middle-class or upper
middle class lifestyle.
Figure 1 illustrates this bi-model phenomenon. It has been created by the massive decline
of blue-collar manufacturing jobs that pay $20,000 to $30, 000 a year in current dollars.
Most organizations have employee policies that are successful in keeping and motivating highpaid skilled workers. They dont however, have policies that work very well at motivating the lowskilled, low-paid service workers represented in the left curve of figure 1.
Working for wages of $4.50 to $7.oo an hour, todays low-skilled employees cant possibly
move into the middle class. Moreover, their promotion opportunities are limited. This leads to a major
challenge for managers: How do you motivate people who are making very low wages and have little
opportunity to significantly increase their pay, either in their current jobs or through promotions? Can
effective leadership fill the void? Can these employees jobs be redesigned to make them more
16

challenging? Or should management target these kinds of jobs for eliminating? These are questions
on which OB may offer some guidance.
FIGURE 1 The Bi-model Work Force
Number of
Workers

$6

$20
Hourly Wage

Stimulation Innovation and Change


Whatever happened to W.T Grant, Gimbels, and Eastern Airlines? All these giants went
bust! Why have other giants like General Motors, CBS, and AT&T implemented huge cost-cutting
programs and eliminated thousands of jobs? To avoid going bust!
Todays successful organizations must foster innovation and master the art of change or they
will become candidates for extinction. Victory will go to those organizations that maintain their flexibility
and beat their competition to the marketplace with a constant stream of innovate products and services.
Dominos single-handedly brought on the demise of thousands of small pizza parlors whose managers
thought they could continue doing what they had been doing for years. Compaq succeeded by creating
more powerful personal computers for the same or less money than IBM or Apple, and by getting
their products to market faster than the bigger competitors.
An organizations employees can be the impetus for innovation and change, or they can be
a major stumbling block. The challenge for managers is to stimulate employee creativity and tolerance
for change. The field of organizational behaviour provides a wealth of ideas and techniques to aid in
realizing these goals.
CONTRIBUTING DISCIPLINES TO THE OB FIELD
Organizational behaviour is an applied behavioural science that is built upon contributions
17

from a number of behavioural disciplines. The predominant areas are psychology, sociology, social
psychology, anthropology, and political science. As we shall learn, psychologys contributions have
been mainly at the individual or micro level of analysis, while the other four disciplines have contributed
to our understanding of macro concepts such as group processes and organization.
Psychology
Psychology is the science that seeks to measure, explain and sometimes change the behaviour
of humans and other animals, psychologists concern themselves with studying and attempting to
understand individual behaviour. Those who have contributed and continue to add to the knowledge
of OB are learning theorists, personality theorists, counseling psychologists, and most important
industrial and organizational psychologists.
Early industrial/organizational psychologists concerned themselves with problems of fatigue,
boredom, and other factors relevant to working conditions that could impede efficient work
performance. More recently, their contribution have been expanded to include learning, perception,
personality, training, leadership effectiveness, needs and motivational forces, job satisfaction, decision
making processes, performance appraisals, attitude measurements, employees selection techniques,
job design and work stress.
Sociology
Whereas psychologists focus their attention on the individual, sociologists study the social
system in which individuals fill their roles; that is sociology studies people in relation to their fellow
human beings. Specifically sociologists have made their greatest contribution to OB through their study
of group behaviour in organizations, particularly formal and complex organizations. Some of the areas
within OB that have valuable input from sociologists are group dynamics, organizational culture, formal
organization theory and structure, organizational technology, bureaucracy, communications, power,
conflict, and intergroup behaviour.
Social Psychology
Social psychology is an area within psychology, and it blends concepts from both psychology
and sociology. It focuses on the influence of people on one another. One of the major areas receiving
considerable investigation from social psychologists has been change- how to implement it and how
to reduce barriers to its acceptance. Additionally, we find social psychologists making significant
contributions in the areas of measuring, understanding, and changing attitudes; communication patterns;
the ways in which group activities can satisfy individual needs; and group decision making processes.
Anthropology
Anthropologists study societies to learn about human beings and their activities. Their work
on cultures and environment, for instance has helped us to understand differences in fundamental values,
18

attitudes, and behaviour between people in different countries and within different organizations. Much
of our current understanding of organizational culture, organizational environments, and differences
between national cultures is the result of the work of anthropologists or those using their methodologies.
Political Science
Although frequently overlooked, the contributions of political scientists are significant to the
understanding of behaviour in organizations. Political scientists study the behaviour of individuals and
groups within a political environment. Specific topics of concern here include structuring of conflict,
allocation of power, and how people manipulate power for individual self-interest.
Twenty-five years ago, little of what political scientists were studying was of interest to
students of organizational behavior. But times have changed. We have become increasingly aware
that organizations are political entities; if we are to be able to accurately explain and predict the
behaviour of people in organizations, we need to bring a political perspective to our analysis.
BIOGRAPHICAL CHARACTERISTICS
Jack Welchs determination to control his own life is a personality characteristic that he
developed at an early age. His mother instilled in him the idea that assertive behaviour was acceptable,
even desirable. And she shaped his behavior through encouragement and physical punishment.
Jack Welch is not unique. All our behaviour is somewhat shaped by our personalities and
the learning experiences we have encountered. In this chapter, well look at four individual-level
variables-biographical characteristics, ability, personality and learning- and consider their effect on
employee performance and satisfaction.
Many of these concepts like motivation level, power relations or organizational culture are
hard to assess. It might be valuable, then, to begin by looking at factors that are easily definable and
readily available, data that can be obtained, for the most part, simply from information available in an
employees personnel file. What factors would these be? Obvious characteristics would be an
employees age, gender, marital status, number of dependents, and length of service with an organization.
Fortunately, there is a sizable amount of research that has specifically analysed many of these
biographical characteristics.
Age
The relationship between age and job performances is likely to be an issue of increasing
importance during the next decade. Why? There are at least three reasons. First, there is a widespread
belief that job performances declines with increasing age. Regardless of whether its true or not, a lot
of people believe it and act on it. Second is the reality that the work force is aging. For instance,
between the years 1985 and 2000, the number of workers between the ages of forty-five and sixtyfive has grown by forty-one percent.
19

Now lets take a look at the evidence. What effect does age actually have on turnover,
absenteeism, productivity, and satisfaction?
The older you get, the less likely you are to quit your job. That is the overwhelming conclusion
based on studies of the age-turnover relationship. Of course, this conclusion should not be too surprising.
As workers get older, they have fewer alternative job opportunities. In addition, older workers are
less likely to resign because their longer tenure tends to provide them with higher wage rates, longer
paid vacations, and more attractive pension benefits.
Its tempting to assume that age is also inversely related to absenteeism. After all, if older
workers are less likely to quit, wouldnt they also demonstrate higher stability by coming to work
more regularly? Not necessarily! Most studies do show an inverse relationship, but closer examination
finds that the age-absence relationship is partially a function of whether the absence is avoidable or
unavoidable. Generally older employees have lower rates of avoidable absence than do younger
employees. However, they have higher rates of unavoidable absence. This is probably due to the
poorer health associated with aging and the longer recovery period that older workers need when
injured.
How does age affect productivity? There is a widespread belief that productivity declines
with age. It is often assumed that an individuals skills particularly speed, agility, strength, and
coordination decay over time, and that prolonged job boredom and lack of intellectual stimulation all
contribute to reduced productivity. The evidence, however, contradicts these beliefs and assumptions.
A recent meta-analysis of the literature found that age and job performance were unrelated. Moreover,
this seems to be true for all types of jobs, professional and nonprofessional. The natural conclusion is
that the demands of most jobs, even those with heavy manual labor requirements, are not extreme
enough for any decline in physical skills, due to age to have an impact on productivity; or if there is
some decay due to age, it is offset by gains due to experience.
Our final concern is the relationship between age and job satisfaction. On this issue, the
evidence is mixed. Most studies indicate a positive association between age and satisfaction, at least
up to age sixty. Other studies, however have found a U-shaped relationship. Several explanations
could clear up these results, the most plausible being that these studies are intermixing professional
and nonprofessional employees. When the two types are separated, satisfaction tends to continually
increase among professionals during middle age and then rises again in the later years.
Gender
Few issues initiate more debates, myths, and unsupported opinions than whether females
perform as well on jobs as males do. In this section, we review the research on this issue.
The evidence suggests that the best place to begin is with the recognition that there are few,
if any, important differenced between males and females that will affect their job performance. There
20

are, for instance, no consistent male-female differences in problem solving ability, analytical, skills,
competitive drive, motivation and sociability. While psychological studies have found that women are
more willing to conform to authority, and that men are more aggressive and more likely than women
to have expectations of success, these differences are minor. Given the significant changes that have
taken place in the last twenty years in terms of increasing female participation rates in the work force
and rethinking what constitutes male and female roles, you should operate on the assumption that
there is no significant difference in job productivity between males and females. Similarly, there is no
evidence indication that an employees gender affects job satisfaction.
But what about absence and turnover rates? Are females less stable employees than males?
First, on the question of turnover, the evidence is mixed. Some have found females to have higher
turnover rates, while others have found no difference. There doesnt appear to be enough information
from which to draw meaningful conclusions. The research on absence, however, is a different story.
The evidence consistently indicates that women have higher rates of absenteeism than men. The most
logical explanation for this finding is that our society has historically placed home and family
responsibilities on the female. When a child is ill, or someone needs to stay home to await the plumber,
it has been the women who has traditionally taken time off from work. However, this research is
undoubtedly time bound. The historical role of the woman in child caring and as secondary breadwinner
has definitely changed in the past decade; and a large proportion of men now-a-days are as interested
in day care and the problems associated with child care in general as are women.
Marital Status
There are not enough studies to draw any conclusion about the effect of marital status on
productivity. But consistent research indicates that married employees have fewer absences, undergo
less turnover, and are more satisfied with their jobs than their unmarried co-workers.
Marriage imposes increased responsibilities that may make a steady job more valuable and
important. Of course, the results represent correlational studies, so the causation issue is not clear. It
may very well be that conscientious and satisfied employees are more likely to be married. Another
offshoot of this issue is that research has not pursued other statuses besides single or married. Does
being divorced have an impact on an employees performance and satisfaction? What about couples
who live together without being married? These are questions in need of investigation.
Number of Dependents
Again, we dont have enough information relating to employee productivity, but quite a bit
of research has been done on the relationship between the number of dependents an employee has
and absence, turn over, and job satisfaction.
There is very strong evidence that the number of children an employee has is positively
correlated with absence, especially among females. Similarly, the evidence seems to point to a positive
21

relationship between number of dependents and job satisfaction. In contrast, studies relating number
if dependents and turnover produce a mixed bag of results. Some indicate that children increase
turnover, while others show that they result in lower turnover. At this point, the evidence regarding
turnover is just too contradictory to permit us to draw conclusions.
Tenure
The last biographical characteristic we will look at is tenure. With the exception of the issue
of male-female differences, probably no issue is more subject to myths and speculations than the impact
of seniority on job performance.
Extensive reviews of the seniority-productivity relationship have been conducted. While past
performance tends to be related to output in a new position, seniority by itself is not a good predictor
of productivity. In order words, holding all other things equal, there is no reason to believe that people
who have been on a job longer are more productive than those with less seniority.
The research relating tenure to absence is quite straightforward. Studies consistently
demonstrate seniority to be negatively related to absenteeism. In fact, in terms of both absence
frequency and total days lost at work, tenure is the single most important explanatory variable.
As with absence, tenure is also potent variable in explaining turnover. Tenure has consistently
been found to be negatively related to turnover and has been suggested as one of the single best
predictors of turnover. Moreover, consistent with research which suggests that past behaviour is the
best predictor of future behaviour, evidence indicates that tenure on an employees previous job is a
powerful predictor of that employees future turnover.
ABILITY
Contrary to what we were taught, we werent all created equal. Most of us are to the left
of the median on some normally distributed ability curve. Regardless of how motivated you are, it is
unlikely that you can act as well as Amir Khan, run as fast as P. T. Usha, write horror stories as well
as Stephen King, or sing as well as Mohammed Rafi. Of course, just because we arent all equal in
abilities does not imply that some individuals are humanly inferior to others. What were acknowledging
is that every one has strengths and weaknesses in terms of ability that make him or her relatively
superior or inferior to others in performing certain tasks or activities. From managements standpoint,
the issue is not whether or not people differ in terms of their abilities. They do! The issue is knowing
how people differ in abilities and using that knowledge to increase the likelihood that an employee
will perform his or her job well.
What does ability mean? As well use the term, ability refers to an individuals capacity to
perform the various tasks in a job. It is a current assessment of what one can do. An individuals
overall abilities are essentially made up of two sets of skills: intellectual and physical.
22

Intellectual Abilities
Intellectual abilities are those needed to perform mental activities. IQ tests, for example, are
designed to ascertain ones intellectual abilities. So, too, are popular college admission tests alike the
SAT and ACT and graduate admission tests in business GMAT, law LSAT, and medicine MCAT.
Some of the more relevant dimensions making up intellectual abilities include number aptitude, verbal
comprehension, perceptual speed, and inductive reasoning. Table 3 describes these dimensions.
Jobs differ in the demands they place on incumbents to use their intellectual abilities. Generally
speaking, the higher an individual rises in an organizations hierarchy, the more general intelligence
and verbal abilities will be necessary to perform the job successfully. A high IQ is not a prerequisite
for all jobs. In fact, for many jobs where employee behaviour is highly routine and there are little or
no opportunities to exercise discretion- a high IQ may be unrelated to performance. On the other
hand, a careful review of the evidence demonstrates that tests that assess verbal, numerical, spatial,
and perceptual abilities are valid predictors of job proficiency across all levels of jobs. So tests that
measure specific dimensions of intelligence have been found to be strong predictors of job performance.
The major dilemma faced by employers who use mental ability tests for selection, promotion,
training, and similar personnel decisions is that they may have a negative impact on racial and ethnic
groups. The evidence indicates that some minority groups score, on the verbal, numerical, and spatial
ability tests. The negative impact from these tests can be eliminated either by avoiding these types of
tests or by seeking racial and ethnic balance by hiring and promoting on the basis of ability within
each ethnic group separately. The latter suggestion, incidentally, underlies legal efforts by the courts
to eliminate employment discrimination through the use of targets and goals.
TABLE 3 Dimensions of Intellectual Ability
Dimension
Number aptitude
Verbal comprehension

Description

Job Example

Ability to do speedy and

Accountant: Computing

accurate arithmetic

the sales tax on a set of items

Ability to understand what

Plant Manager: Following

is read or heard and the relation- corporate policies


ship of words to each other
Perceptual speed

Inductive reasoning

Ability to identify visual

Fire investigator: Identi-

similarities and differences

fying clues to support

quickly and accurately

a charge of arson

Ability to identify a logical

Market Researcher: Fore-

sequence in a problem and

casting demand for a

then solve the problem

product in the next time


period.

23

Physical Abilities
To the same degree that intellectual abilities play a larger role in performance as individuals
move up the organizational hierarchy, specific physical abilities gain importance for successfully doing
less skilled and more standardized jobs in the lower part of the organization. Jobs in which success
demands stamina, manual dexterity, leg strength, or similar talents require management to identify an
employees physical capabilities.
Research on the requirements needed in hundreds of jobs has identified nine basic abilities
involved in the performance of physical tasks. These are described in Table 4. Individuals differ in
the extent to which they have each of these abilities. Not surprisingly, there is also little relationship
between them. A high score on one is no assurance of a high score on others. High employee
performance is likely to be achieved when management has ascertained the extent to which a job
requires each of the nine abilities and then ensures that employees in that job have those abilities.
TABLE 4. Nine Basic Physical Abilities
Strength Factors
1. Dynamic strength

Ability to exert muscular force repeatedly or


continuously over time

2. Trunk strength

Ability to exert muscular strength using the trunk


(particularly abdominal) muscles

3. Static strength

Ability to exert force against external objects

4. Explosive strength

Ability to expand a maximum of energy in one or a


series of explosive acts

Flexibility Factors
5. Extent flexibility

Ability to move the trunk and back muscles as far as


possible

6. Dynamic flexibility

Ability to make rapid, repeated flexing movements

Other Factors
7. Body coordination

Ability to coordinate the simultaneous actions of


different parts of the body

8. Balance

Ability to maintain equilibrium despite forces


pulling off balance

9. Stamina

Ability to continue maximum effort requiring prolonged


effort over time

24

The Ability- Job Fit


Our concern is with explaining and predicting the behaviour of people at work. In this section,
we have demonstrated that jobs make differing demands on people and that people differ in the abilities
they possess. Employee performance, therefore, is enhanced when there is a high ability job fit.
The specific intellectual or physical abilities required for adequate job performance depend
on the ability requirements of the job. Directing attention at only the employees abilities or the ability
requirements of the job ignores that employee performance depends on the interaction of the two.
What predictions can we make when the fit is poor? As alluded to previously, if employees
lack the required abilities, they are likely to fail. If youre hired as a word processor and you cant
meet the jobs basic keyboard typing requirements. Your performance is going to be poor irrespective
of your positive attitude or your high level of motivation. When the ability- job fit is out of sync because
the employee has abilities that far exceed the requirements of the job, our predictions would be very
different. Job performance is likely to be adequate, but there will be organizational inefficiencies and
possible declines in employee satisfaction. Given that pay tends to reflect the highest skill level that
employees possess, if an employees abilities far exceed those necessary to do the job, management
will be paying more than it needs to. Abilities significantly above those required can also reduce the
employees job satisfaction when the employees desire to use his or her abilities is particularly strong
and is frustrated by the limitations of the job.
SUMMARY
Managers get things done through other people to attain specific goals. They are responsible
for designing an organizations structure Management roles come under different categories like
Interpersonal, Informational and Decisional. Management skills form Technical, Human and Conceptual
Skills. Organisational Behaviour is a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals groups
and structure have on behaviour within organisations for the purpose of applying such knowledge
toward improving an organizations effectiveness. Work-force Diversity, Declining Loyalty, Labour
Shortages, Skill Deficiencies. Psychology, Sociology, Social Psychology, Anthropology and Political
Science contribute to the Organisational Behavioural field. Biographical characteristics such as Age,
Gender, Marital Status, Number of Dependents and Tenure affects the Organizational Behaviour. Ability
in different areas like Intellectual, Physical, Job Fit contribute to activities in OB.
QUESTIONS
1)

What are the major functions of Management?

2)

What are the different management roles?

3)

Explain briefly the different areas of Management Skills.

4)

Which are the Biographical characteristics which contribute to OB?


25

CHAPTER - II

PERSONALITY
OBJECTIVES
The reader will be given a idea of what personality is with its different determinants.
Acquaintances will be made on Locus of Control, Achievement Orientation, Authoritarianism,
Machiavellianism, Self-esteem, Self-monitoring and Risk taking. The chapter familiarises the student
with the matching personalities and jobs.
INTRODUCTION
Why are some people quiet and passive, others are loud and aggressive? Are certain
personality types better adapted for certain job types? What do we know from the theories of
personality that enable us to explain and predict the behaviour of individuals in organizations? In this
section, we will attempt to answer such questions.
What Is Personality
When we talk of personality, we do not mean that a person has charm, a positive attitude
toward life, a smiling face, or is a finalist for Happiest and Friendliest in this years Miss India contest.
When psychologists talk of personality, they mean a dynamic concept describing the growth and
development of a persons whole psychological system. Rather than looking at parts of the person,
personality looks at some aggregate whole that is greater than the sum of the parts.
The most frequently used definition of personality was produced by Gordon Allport more
than fifty years ago. He said personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those
psychological systems that determine his unique adjustments to his environment. For our purposes
you should think of personality as the sum total of ways in which an individual reacts and interacts
with others. This is most often described in terms of measurable personality traits that a person exhibits.
Personality Determinants
An early argument in personality research was whether an individuals personality was the
result of heredity or environment. Was the personality pre determined at birth, or was it the result of
the individuals interaction with his or her environment? Clearly, there is no simple black and white
answer. Personality appears to be a result of both influences. Additionally, there has recently been an
increased interest in a third factor- the situation. Thus, an adults personality is now generally considered
to be made up of both hereditary and environmental factors, moderated by situational conditions.
26

HEREDITY
Heredity refers to those factors that were determined at conception. Physical stature, facial
attractiveness, sex, temperament, muscle composition and reflexes, energy level, and biological rhythms
are characteristics that are generally considered to be either completely or substantially influenced by
who your parents were; that is, by their biological, physiological, and inherent psychological makeup. The heredity approach argues that the ultimate explanation of an individuals personality is the
molecular structure of the genes, located in the chromosomes. Heredity is transmitted through the
genes, the genes determine the hormone balance; hormone balance determines physique; and physique
shapes personality.
If all personality characteristics were completely dictated by heredity, they would be fixed
at birth and no amount of experience could alter them. If you are relaxed and easygoing as a child,
for example, that would be the result of your genes, and it would not be possible for you to change
these characteristics. While this approach may be appealing to the bigots of the world, it is an
inadequate explanation of personality.
ENVIRONMENT
Among the factors that exert pressures on our personality formation are the culture in which
we are raised, our early conditioning, the norms among our family, friends, and social groups, and
other influences that we experience. The environment we are exposed to, plays a critical role in shaping
our personalities.
For example, culture establishers the norms, attitudes, and values that are passed along from
one generation to the next and create consistencies over time. An ideology that is intensely fostered
in one culture may have only moderate influence in another
The research indicates that firstborns are more prone to schizophrenia, more susceptible to
social pressure, and more dependent than the later-born. The firstborns are also more likely to
experience the world as more orderly, predicable, and rational than later-born children. Of course,
there is much debate as to the differing characteristics of first-versus later-born children, but the evidence
does indicate that firstborns are more concerned with social acceptance and rejection, less likely to
break the rules imposed by authority, more ambitious and hard-working, more cooperative, more
prone to guilt and anxiety, and less openly aggressive.
SITUATION
A third factor, the situation, influences the effects of heredity and environment on personality.
An individuals personality, while generally stable and consistent, does change in different situations.
The different demands of different situations call forth different aspects of ones personality. We should
not, therefore, look at personality patterns in isolation.
27

What is interest taxonomically is that situations seem to differ substantially in the constraints
they impose on behaviour, with some situations-e.g. church, an employment interview- constraining
many behaviours and others-e.g. A picnic in a public park- constraining relatively few.
Personality Traits
The early work in the structure of personality revolved around attempts to identify and label
enduring characteristics that describe an individuals behaviour. Popular characteristics include shyness,
aggressiveness, submissiveness, laziness, ambitiousness, loyalty, and timidity. These characteristics,
when they are exhibited in a large number of situations, are called personality traits. The more consistent,
the more important that trait is, in describing the individual.
Efforts to isolate traits have been hindered because there are so many of them. In one study,
17,953 individual traits were identified. It is virtually impossible to predict behaviour when such a
large number of traits are taken into account. As a result, attention has been directed toward reducing
these thousands to a more manageable number.
One researcher isolated 171 traits but concluded that they were superficial and lacking in
descriptive power. What he sought was a reduced set of traits that would identify underlying patterns.
The result was the identification of sixteen personality factors, which he called the source or primary
traits. These sixteen traits have been found to be generally steady and constant source of behaviour,
allowing prediction of an individuals behaviour in specific situations by weighing the characteristics
for their situational relevance.
Traits can additionally be grouped to form personality types. Instead of looking at specific
characteristics, we can group those qualities that go together into a single category. For example,
ambition and aggression tend to be highly correlated. Efforts to reduce the number of traits into common
groups tend to isolate introversion-extroversion and something approximately as high anxiety- low
anxiety as the underlying interconnection characteristics. As depicted in Figure 2, these dimensions
suggest four personality types. For example, an individual with high anxiety and extroversion would
be tense, excitable, unstable, warm, sociable, and dependent.
Should you put a lot of weight on personality traits as explanatory devices or predictors of
employee behaviour across a broad spectrum of situations? Probably no! This is because traits ignore
situational contexts. They are not contingency oriented and, therefore, largely ignore the dynamic
interchange that occurs between an individuals personality and his or her environment. As a result,
personality traits tend to be most valuable as predictors with individuals who hold a trait at its extreme.
We might be able to predict some common behaviours among extreme extroverts or individuals who
are highly anxious. But since the majority of people are in the vast middle range on most trait
characteristics, personality traits must be considered in their situational context.
28

FIGURE 2 Four-Type Thesis


High anxiety

Extrovert

Introvert

Low anxiety

Tense, excitable, unstable, warm sociable


and dependent

Composed, confident,
trustiful, adaptable warm
and sociable

Tense, excitable, unstable, cold, and shy

Composed, confident,
truffle, adaptable, calm,
cold and shy

Major Personality Attributes Influencing OB


A number of specific personality attributes have been isolated as having potential for predicting
behaviour in organizations. The first of these is related to where one perceives the locus of control in
ones life. The others are achievement orientation, authoritarianism, Machiavellianism, self-esteem, selfmonitoring, and propensity for risk-taking.
LOCUS OF CONTROL
Some people believe that they are masters of their own fate. Other people see themselves
as pawns of fate, believing that what happens to them in their lives is due to luck or chance. The first
type, those who believe that they control their destinies, have been labeled internals, whereas the
latter, who see their lives as being controlled by outside forces, have been called externals.
A large amount of research comparing internals with externals has consistently shown that
individuals who rate high in externality are less satisfied with their jobs, have higher absenteeism rates,
are more alienated from the work setting, and are less involved in their jobs than are internals.
The answer is probably because they perceive themselves as having little control over those
organizational outcomes that are important to them. Internals, facing the same situation attribute
organizational outcomes to their own actions. If the situation is unattractive, they believe that they
have no one else to blame but themselves. Also, the dissatisfied internal is more likely to quit a
dissatisfying job.
The impact of locus of control or absence is an interesting one. Internals believe that health
is substantially under their own control through proper habits, so they take more responsibility for
their health and have better health habits. This leads to lower incidences of sickness and, hence, lower
absenteeism.
We shouldnt expect any clear relationship between locus of control and turnover. The reason
is that there are opposing forces at work. On the one hand, internals tend to take action and thus
29

might be expected to quit jobs more readily. On the other hand, they tend to be more successful on
the job and more satisfied, factors associated with less individual turnover.
The overall evidence is that internals generally perform better on their jobs, but that conclusion
should be moderated to reflect differences in jobs. Internals search more actively for information before
making a decision and are more motivated to achieve, and make a greater attempt to control their
environment. Externals however are more compliant and willing to follow directions. Therefore, internals
do well on sophisticated tasks, which includes most managerial and professional jobs that require
complex information processing and learning. Additionally, internals are more suited to jobs that require
initiative and independence of action. In contrast, externals should do well on jobs that are well
structured and routine and where success depends heavily on complying with the direction of others.
ACHIEVEMENT ORIENTATION
We have noted that internals are motivated to achieve. This achievement orientation has also
been singled out as a personality characteristic that varies among employees and that can be used to
predict certain behaviors.
Research has centered around the need to achieve (nAch). People with a high need to achieve
can be described as continually striving to do things better. They want to overcome obstacles, but
they want to feel that their success (or failure) is due to their own actions. This means they like tasks
of intermediate difficulty. If a task is very easy, it will lack challenge. High achievers receive no feeling
of accomplishment from doing tasks that fail to challenge their abilities. Similarly, they avoid tasks
that are so different that the probability of success is very low and where, even if they do succeed, it
is more apt to luck than to ability.
In jobs that provide intermediate difficulty, rapid performance feedback, and allow the
employee control over his or her results, the high-nAch individual will perform well.
AUTHORITARIANISM
There is evidence that there is such a thing as an authoritarian personality, but its relevance
to job behavior is more speculation than fact. With that qualification, let us examine authoritarianism
and consider how it might be related to employee performance.
Authoritarianism refers to a belief that there should be status and power differences among
people in organizations. The extremely high authoritarian personality is intellectually rigid, judgmental
of others, deferential to those above and exploitative of those below, distrustful, and resistant to change.
MACHIAVELLIANISM
Closely related to authoritarianism is the characteristic of Machiavellianism (mach), named
after Niccolo Machiavelli, who wrote in the sixteenth century on how to gain and manipulate power.
30

An individual high in Machiavellianism is pragmatic, maintains emotional distance, and believes that
ends can justify means. If it works, use it is consistent with a high-Mach perspective.
A considerable amount of research has been directed toward relating high and low mach
personalities to certain behavioral outcomes. High Machs manipulate more, win more, persuad others
more than do low Machs. Yet these high-Mach flourish (1) when they interact face-to-face with others
rather than indirectly; (2) when the situation has a minimum number of rules and regulations, thus
allowing latitude for improvisation; and (3) where emotional involvement with details irrelevant to
winning, distracts low Machs.
Should we conclude that high-Machs make good employees? That answer depends on the
type of job and whether you consider ethical implications in evaluating performances. In jobs that
require bargaining skills (such as labor negotiation) or where there are substantial rewards for winning
(as in commissioned sales), high-Machs will be productive. But if ends cant justify the means, if there
are absolute standards of behavior, or if the three situational factors noted in the previous paragraph
are not in evidence, our ability to predict a high-Machs performance will be severely curtailed.
SELF-ESTEEM
People differ in the degree to which they like or dislike themselves. This trait is called selfesteem.
The research on self-esteem (SE) offers some interesting insights into organizational behavior.
For example, self-esteem is directly related to expectations for success. High-SEs believe that they
possess more of the ability they need in order to succeed at work. Individuals with high SEs will
take more risks in job selection and are more likely to choose unconventional jobs than people with
low SEs.
The most generalizable finding on self-esteem is that low-SEs are more susceptible to external
influence than are high SEs. Low SEs are dependent on the receipt of positive evaluations from others.
As a result, they are more likely to seek approval from others and more prone to conform to the
beliefs and behaviors of those they respect than are high-SEs. In managerial positions, low-SEs will
tend to be concerned with pleasing others and, therefore, are less likely to take unpopular stands
than are high SEs.
Not surprisingly, self-esteem has also been related to job satisfaction. A number of studies
confirm that high-SEs are more satisfied with their jobs than low-SEs.
SELF-MONITORING
Another personality trait that has recently received increased attention is called selfmonitoring. It refers to an individuals ability to adjust his or her behavior to external and situational
factors.
31

Individuals high in self-monitoring show considerable adaptability in adjusting their behavior


to external situational factors. They are highly sensitive to external cues and can behave differently in
different situations. High self-monitors are capable of presenting striking contradictions between their
public person and their private self. Low self-monitors cant disguise themselves this way. They tend
to display their true dispositions and attitudes in every situation; hence there is high behavioral
consistency between who they are and what they do.
The research on self-monitoring is in its infancy, so predictions must be guarded. However,
preliminary evidence suggests that high self-monitors tend to pay closer attention to the behavior of
others and are more capable of conforming than are low self-monitors. We might also hypothesize
that high self-monitors will be more successful in managerial positions where individuals are required
to play multiple, and even contradicting, roles. The high self-monitor is capable of putting on different
faces for different audiences.
RISK-TAKING
People differ in their willingness to take chances. This propensity to assume or avoid risk
has been shown to have an impact on how long it takes managers to make a decision and how much
information they require before making their choice. For instance, seventy-nine managers worked on
stimulated personnel exercises that required them to make daring decisions. High risk taking managers
made more rapid decisions and used less information in making their choices than did the low-risktaking managers. Interestingly, the decision accuracy was the same for both groups.
While it is generally correct to conclude that managers in organizations are risk-aversive,
there are still individual differences on this dimension. As a result, it makes sense to recognize these
differences and even to consider aligning risk-taking propensity with specific job demands. For instance,
a high-risk-taking propensity, may lead to more effective performance for a stock trader in a brokerage
firm because this type of job demands rapid decision-making. On the other hand, this personality
characteristic might prove a major obstacle to accountants performing auditing activities. The latter
job might be better filled by someone with a low-risk-taking propensity.
Matching Personalities and Jobs
In the previous discussion of personality attributes, our conclusions were often qualities to
recognize that the requirements of the job moderated the relationship between possession of the
personality characteristic and job performance. This concern with matching the job requirements with
personality characteristics has recently received increased attention. It is best articulated in John
Hollands personality job fit theory. The theory is based on the notion of fit between a persons
personality characteristics and his or her occupational environment. Holland presents six personality
types and proposes that satisfaction and the propensity to leave a job depend on the degree to which
individuals successfully match their personalities to a congruent occupational environment.
32

Each one of the six personality tips has a congruent occupational environment. Table 5
describes the six types and their personality characteristics, and gives examples of congruent
occupations.
Holland has developed a Vocational Preference Inventory questionnaire that contains 1760
occupational titles. Respondents indicate which of these occupations they like or dislike, and these
answers are used to form personality profiles.
The theory argues that satisfaction is highest and turnover lowest where personality and
occupation are in agreement. Social individuals should be in social jobs, conventional people in
conventional jobs, and so forth. A realistic person in a realistic job is in a more congruent situation
than is a realistic person in an investigative job. A realistic person in a social job is in the most congruent
situation possible. The key points of this model are that (1) there do appear to be intrinsic differences
in personality among individuals, (2) there are different types of jobs, and (3) people in job
environments congruent with their personality types should be more satisfied and less likely to voluntarily
resign than should, people in congruent jobs.
TABLE 5 Hollands Typology of Personality and Congruent Occupations
Type

Personality Characteristics Congruent Occupations

Realistic: Prefers physical

Shy, genuine, persistent,

Mechanic, drill press operator,

activities that requires skill,

stable, conforming,

assembly line worker, farmer

strength, and coordination

practical

Investigative: Prefers activities

Analytical, original, curious,

Biologist, economist,

that involve thinking,

independent

mathematician, news reporter

Social: Prefers activities that

Sociable, friendly, cooperative,

Social worker, teacher,

Involve helping and

understanding

counselor, clinical psychologist

Conventional: Prefers rule-regula-

Conforming, efficient, practical,

Accountant, corporate manager,

ted, orderly, and unambiguous

unimaginative, inflexible

bank teller, file clerk

Enterprising: Prefers verbal

Self confident, ambitious,

Lawyer, real estate agent,

activities where there are

energetic, domineering

public relations specialist,

organizing, and understanding

developing others

activities

opportunities to influence

small business manager

others and attain power


Artistic: Prefers ambiguous

Imaginative, disorderly, idealistic,

Painter, musician, writer,

and unsystematic activities

emotional, impractical

interior decorator

that allow creative expression

33

SUMMARY
Personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychological systems
that determine the unique adjustment to his environment. An adults personality is determined by both
heredity and environmental factors moderated by situational conditions. Personality characteristics when
exhibited in large numbers in situations are called personality traits. Major personality attributes
influencing OB are Locus of Control, Achievement Orientation, Authoritarianism, Machiavellianism,
Self-esteem, Self-monitoring and Propensity for risk taking. The notion of fit between a persons
personality characteristics and his/her occupational environment propounded by John Holland says
that the job fit depend on the degree to which individuals successfully match their personalities to a
congruent occupational environment.
QUESTIONS
1)

What are the different personality determinants?

2)

Which are the major personality attributes influencing OB?

3)

What are personality traits? Explain.

4)

What is matching personalities and jobs?

34

CHAPTER - III

LEARNING
OBJECTIVES
The reader would be familiarized with definitions and theories of learning. The different
methods of shaping behaviour, schedules of reinforcement, developing training programs are also given
due importance in the chapter for the benefit of the reader.
INTRODUCTION
The topic we will introduce in this chapter is learning. It is included for the obvious reason
that almost all complex behavior is learned. If we want to explain and predict behavior, we need to
understand how people learn.
A Definition of Learning
What is learning? A psychological definition is considerably broader than the laypersons
view that its what we did when we went to school. In actuality, each of us is continuously going
to school. Learning occurs all of the time. A generally accepted definition of learning is, therefore,
any relatively permanent change in behavior that occurs as a result of experience. Ironically, we can
say that changes in behavior indicates that learning has taken place and that learning is a change in
behavior.
Obviously, the foregoing definition suggests that we shall never see someone learning. We
can see changes taking place, but not the learning itself. The concept is theoretical and, hence, not
directly observable:
You have seen people in the process of learning, you have seen people who behave in a
particular way as a result of learning and some of you have learned at some time in your life. In
other words, we infer that learning has taken place if an individual behaves, reacts, responds as a
result of experience in a manner different from the way he formerly behaved.
Our definition has several components that deserve clarification. First, learning involves
change. This may be good or bad from an organizational point of view. Secondly people can learn
unfavorable behaviors as well as favorable behaviors. The change must be relatively permanent.
Temporary changes may be only reflexive and fail to represent any learning. Third, our definition is
concerned with behavior. Learning takes place where there is a change in actions. A change in an
individuals thought processes or attitudes if accompanied by no charge in behavior, would not be
learning. Some form of experience is necessary for learning. This may be acquired directly through
35

observation or practice. Or it may result from an indirect experience, such as that acquired through
reading.
Theories of Learning
How do we learn? Three theories have been offered to explain the process by which we
acquire patterns of behavior. These are classical conditioning and social learning.
Classical Conditioning:
Classical conditioning grew out of experiments to teach dogs to salivate in response to the
ringing of a bell, conducted at the turn of the century by a Russian psychologist, Ivan Pavlov.
A simple surgical procedure allowed Pavlov to measure accurately the amount of saliva
secreted by a dog. When Pavlov presented the dog with a piece of meat, the dog exhibited a noticeable
increase in salivation. The Pavlov proceeded to link the meat and the ringing of bell to salivate as
soon as the bell rang. After a while the dog would salivate merely at the sound of the bell, even if no
food was offered. In effect, the dog had learned to respond- that is, to salivate- to the bell. Lets
review this experiment to introduce the key concepts in classical conditioning.
The meat was an unconditioned stimulus; it invariably caused the dog to react in a specific
way. The reaction that took place whenever the unconditioned stimulus occurred was called the
unconditioned response (or the noticeable increase in salivation, in this case). The bell was an artificial
stimulus, or what we call the conditioned stimulus. While it was originally neutral, after the bell was
paired with the meat (an unconditioned stimulus), it eventually produced a response. This describes
the behavior of the dog salivating in reaction to the bell alone.
Using these concepts, we can summarize classical conditioning. Essentially, learning a
conditioned response involves building up an association between a conditioned stimulus and an
unconditioned stimulus. Using the paired stimuli, one compelling and the other one neutral, the neutral
one becomes a conditioned stimulus and hence, takes on the properties of the unconditioned stimulus.
Classical conditioning can be used to explain why Deepavali often bring back pleasant
memories of childhood- the sweets being associated with the festive Deepavali spirit and initiating
fond memories and feelings of euphoria. In an organizational setting, we can also see classical
conditioning operating. For example, at one manufacturing plant, every time the top executives from
the head office were scheduled to make a visit, the plant management would clean up the administrative
offices and wash the windows. This went on for years. Eventually, employees would turn on their
best behavior and look prim and proper whenever the windows were cleaned even in those occasional
instances when the cleaning was not paired with the visit from the top brass. People had learned to
associate the cleaning of the windows with the visit from the head office.

36

Operant Conditioning:
Operant conditioning argues that behavior is a function of its consequences. People learn
to behave to get something they want or avoid something they dont want. Operant behavior means
voluntary or learned behavior in contrast to reflexive or unlearned behavior. The tendency to repeat
such behavior is influenced by the reinforcement or lack of reinforcement brought about by the
consequences of the behavior. Reinforcement, therefore, strengthens a behavior and increases the
likelihood that it will be repeated.
What Pavlov did for classical conditioning, the late Harvard psychologist B.F.Skinner did
for operant conditioning. Building on earlier work in the field, Skinners research extensively expanded
our knowledge of operant conditioning. Even his staunchest critics, who represent a sizable group,
admit that his operant concepts work.
Behavior is assumed to be determined from without- that is, learned-rather than from withinreflexive or unlearned. Skinner argued that by creating pleasing consequences to follow specific forms
of behavior, the frequency of that behavior will increase. People will most likely engage in desired
behaviors if they are positively reinforced for doing so. Rewards, for example, are most effective if
they immediately follow the desired response. Additionally, behavior that is not rewarded, or is punished,
is less likely to be repeated.
You see illustrations of operant conditioning everywhere. For example any situation in which
it is either explicitly stated or implicitly suggested that reinforcements are contingent on some action
on your part involves the use of operant learning. Your instructor says that if you want a high grade in
the course you must supply correct answers on the test. A commissioned salesperson wanting to earn
a sizable income finds that this is contingent on generating high sales in her territory. Of course, the
linkage can also work to teach the individual to engage in behaviors that work against the best interests
of the organization. Assume your boss tells you that if you will work overtime during the next threeweek busy season, you will be compensated for it at the next performance appraisal. However, when
performance appraisal time comes, you find that you are given no positive reinforcement for your
overtime work. The next time your boss asks you to work overtime, what will you do? You will probably
decline! Your behavior can be explained by operant conditioning: If a behavior fails to be positively
reinforced, the probability that the behavior will be repeated declines.
Social Learning :
Individuals can also learn by observing what happens to other people and just by being told
about something, as well as by direct experiences. So, for example, much of what we have learned
come from watching models-parents, teachers, peers, motion picture and television performers, bosses,
and so forth. This view that we can learn through both observation and direct experience has been
called social-learning theory.
37

While social-learning theory is an extension of operant conditioning that is, it assumes that
behavior is a function of consequences it also acknowledges the existence of observational learning
and the importance of perception in learning.
The influence of models is central to the social-learning viewpoint. Four processes have been
found to determine the influence that a model will have on an individual.
1.

Attentional processes. People only learn from a model when they recognize and pay attention
to its critical features. We tend to be most influenced by models that are attractive, repeatedly
available, important to us, or similar to us in our estimation.

2.

Retention processes. A models influence will depend on how well the individual remembers
the models action after the model is no longer readily available.

3.

Motor reproduction processes. After a person has seen a new behavior by observing the
model, the watching must be converted to doing. This process then demonstrates that the
individuals can perform the modeled activities.

4.

Reinforcement processes. Individuals will be motivated to exhibit the modeled behavior if


positive incentives or rewards are provided. Behavior that are reinforcement will be given
more attention, learned better, and performed more often.

Shaping: A Managerial Tool


Because learning takes place on the job as well as prior to it, managers will be concerned
with how they can teach employees to behave in ways that most benefit the organization. When we
attempt to mould individuals by guiding their learning in graduated steps, we are shaping behavior.
Consider the situation in which an employees behavior is significantly different from that
sought by management. If management only reinforced the individual when he or she showed desirable
responses, there might be very little reinforcement taking place. In such a case, shaping offers a logical
approach toward achieving the desired behavior.
We shape behavior by systematically reinforcing each successive step that moves the,
individual closer to the desired response. If an employee who has chronically been half-four late for
work comes in only twenty minutes late, we can reinforce this improvement. Reinforcement would
increase as responses more closely approximate the desired behavior.
Methods of Shaping Behavior:
There are four ways in which to shape behavior: through positive reinforcement, negative
reinforcement, punishment, and extinction.
When a response is followed with something pleasant, it is called positive reinforcement.
This would describe, for instance, the boss who praises an employee for a job well done. When a
38

response is followed by the termination or withdrawal of something unpleasant, it is called negative


reinforcement. If your college instructor asks a question and you dont know the answer, looking
through your lecture notes is likely to preclude your being called on. This is a negative reinforcement
because you have learned that looking busily through your notes prevents the instructor from calling
on you. Punishment is causing an unpleasant condition in an attempt to eliminate an undesirable behavior.
Giving an employee a two-day suspension from work without pay for showing up drunk in an example
of punishment. Eliminating any reinforcement that is maintaining a behavior is called extinction. When
the behavior is not reinforced, it tends to gradually be extinguished. College instructors who wish to
discourage students from asking questions in class can eliminate this behavior in their students by
ignoring those who raise their hands to ask questions. Hand-raising will become extinct when it is
invariably met with an absence of reinforcement.
Both positive and negative reinforcement result in learning. They strengthen a response and
increase the probability of repetition. In the preceding illustrations, praise strengthens and increases
the behavior of doing a good job because praise is desired. The behavior of looking busy is similarly
strengthened and increased by its terminating the undesirable consequences of being called on by the
teacher. Both punishment and extinction, however, weaken behavior and tend to decrease its subsequent
frequency.
Reinforcement, whether it is positive or negative, has an impressive record as a shaping tool.
Our interest, therefore, is in reinforcement rather than in punishment or extinction. A review of research
findings on the impact of reinforcement upon behavior in organizations concluded that
1.

Some type of reinforcement is necessary to produce a change in behavior.

2.

Some types of rewards are more effective for use in organizations than others.

3.

The speed with which learning takes place and the permanence of its effects will be determined
by the timing of reinforcement.
Point 3 is extremely important and deserves considerable elaboration.

SCHEDULES OF REINFORCEMENT:
The two major types of reinforcement schedules are continuous and intermittent. A continuous
reinforcement schedule reinforces the desired behaviour each and every time it is demonstrated. For
example, in the case of someone who has historically had trouble arriving at work on time, every
time he is not tardy his manager might compliment him on his desirable behaviour. In an intermittent
schedule, on the other hand, not every instance of the desirable behaviour is reinforced, but
reinforcement is given often enough to make the behaviour worth repeating. This latter schedule can
be compared to the workings of a slot machine, which people will continue to play even when they
know that it is adjusted to give a considerable return to the gambling house. The intermittent payoffs
occur just often enough to reinforce the behaviour of slipping in coins and pulling the handle. Evidence
39

indicates that the intermittent or varies from of reinforcement tends to promote more resistance to
extinction than does the continuous form.
An intermittent reinforcement can be of a ratio or interval type. Ratio schedules depend upon
how many responses the subject makes. The individual is reinforced after giving a certain number of
specific types of behaviour. Interval schedules depend upon how much time has passed since the last
reinforcement. With interval schedules, the individual is reinforced on the first appropriate behaviour
after a particular time has elapsed. A reinforcement can also be classified as fixed or variable.
When rewards are spaced at uniform time intervals, the reinforcement schedule is of the
fixed-interval type. The critical variable is time, and it is held constant. This is the predominant schedule
for almost all salaried workers. When you get your paycheck on a weekly, semimonthly, monthly or
other predetermined time basis, you are rewarded on a fixed interval reinforcement schedule.
If rewards are distributed in time so that reinforcement are unpredictable, the schedule is of
the variable-interval type. When an instructor advises her class that there will be a number of pop
quizzes given during the term (the exact number of which is unknown to the students), and the quizzes
will account for twenty percent of the term grade, she is using such a variable-interval schedule. Similarly,
a series of randomly timed unannounced visits to a company office by the corporate audit staff is an
example of a variable interval schedule.
In a fixed-ratio schedule, after a fixed or constant number of responses are give, a reward
is initiated. For example, a piece rate incentive plan is a fixed-ratio schedule- the employee receives
a reward based on the number of work pieces generated. If the piece rate for a zipper installer in a
dressmaking factory is Rs.50/- a dozen, the reinforcement (money in this case) is fixed to the number
of zippers sewn into garments. After every dozen is sewn in, the installer has earned another Rs.50/-.
When the reward varies relative to the behaviour of the individual, he or she is said to be
reinforced on a variable-ratio schedule. Salespeople on commission are examples of individuals on
such a reinforcement schedule. On some occasions, they may make a sale after only two calls on
potential customers. On other occasions, they might need to make twenty or more calls to secure a
sale. The reward, then, is variable in relation to the number of successful calls the salesperson makes.
REINFORCEMENT SCHEDULES AND BEHAVIOUR:
Continuous reinforcement schedules can lead to early satiation and under this schedule
behaviour tends to weaken rapidly when reinforces are withheld. However, continuous reinforces are
appropriate for newly emitted, unstable, or low frequency responses. In contrast, intermittent reinforces
preclude early satiation because they dont follow every response. They are appropriate for stable or
high- frequency responses.
In general, variable schedules tend to lead to higher performance than fixed schedules, as
noted previously. Most employees in organizations are paid on fixed interval schedules. But such a
40

schedule does not clearly link performance and rewards. The reward is given on time spent on the
job rather than for a specific response (performance). In contrast, variable- interval schedule generate
high rates of responses and more stable and consistent behaviour because of a high correlation between
performance and reward and because of the uncertainty involved- the employee tends to be more
alert since there is a surprise factor.
Some Specific Organizational Applications
We have alluded to a number of situation where learning theory could be helpful to managers.
In this section, we will briefly look at five specific applications: reducing absenteeism through the use
of lotteries, substituting well pay for sick pay, disciplining problem employees, developing effective
employee training programs, and creating mentoring programs for new employees.
USING LOTTERIES TO REDUCE ABSENTEEISM:
Management can design programs to reduce absenteeism utilizing learning theory. For
example, New York Life Insurance Co. created a lottery that rewarded employees for attendance.
Each quarter the names of all those headquarters employees with no absences are placed in a drum.
In a typical quarter, about four thousand of the companys seventy-five hundred employees have their
names placed in the drum. The first ten names pulled earn a $200 bond, the next twenty earn a $100
bond, and seventy more receive a paid day off. At the end of the year, another lottery is held for
those with twelve months of perfect attendance. Twelve prizes are awarded two employees receive
$1000 bonds and ten more earn five days off with pay.
This lottery followed a variable-ratio schedule. A good attendance record increases an
employees probability of winning, yet having perfect attendance is no assurances that an employee
will be rewarded by winning one of the prizes. Consistent with the research on reinforcement schedules,
this lottery resulted in lower absence rates. In its first ten months of operation, for instance absenteeism
was twenty-one percent lower than for the comparable period in the preceding year.
WELL PAY vs. SICK PAY:
Most organizations provide their salaried employees with paid sick leave as part of the
employees fringe benefit program. But ironically, organizations with paid sick leave programs
experience almost twice the absenteeism of organizations without such programs. The reality is that
sick leave reinforces the wrong behaviour absence from work. Organizations should have programs
to be on the job by discouraging unnecessary absences. When employees receive ten paid sick days
a year, it is the employee who isnt sure to use them all up, regardless of whether or not he or she is
sick. This suggest that organizations should reward attendance, not absence. As a case in point, one
Midwest organization implemented a well-pay program that paid a bonus to employees who had no
absence for any given four week period and then only paid for sick leave after the first eight hours of
41

absence. Evaluation of the well pay program found that it produced increased savings to the
organization, reduced absenteeism, increased productivity, and improved employee satisfaction.
EMPLOYEE DISCIPLINE:
Every manager will, at some time, have to deal with an employee who drinks on the job, is
insubordinate, steals company property, arrives consistently late for work, or engages in similar problem
behaviours. Managers will respond with disciplinary actions such as oral reprimands, written warnings
and temporary suspensions. Research on discipline shows that the manager should act immediately
to correct the problem, match the severity of the punishment to the severity of the crime, and ensure
that the employee sees the link between the punishment and the undesirable behaviour. But, our
knowledge about punishments effect on only a short- term solution and result in serious side effects.
Disciplining employees for undesirable behaviours only tells them what not to do. It doesnt
tell them what alternative behaviours are preferred. The result is that form of punishment frequently
leads to only short-term suppression of the undesirable behaviour rather than its elimination. Continued
use of punishment, rather than positive reinforcement, also tends to produce a conditional fear of the
manager. As the punishing agent, the manager becomes associated in the employees mind with adverse
consequences. Employees respond by hiding from their boss. Hence, the use of punishment can
undermine manager employee relations.
The popularity of discipline undoubtedly lies in its ability to produce fast results in the short
run. Managers are reinforced for using discipline because it produces an immediate change in the
employees behavior. But over the long run, when used without positive reinforcement of desirable
behaviors, it is likely to lead to employees frustration, feat of the manager, reoccurrences of the problem
behaviors, and increases in absenteeism and turnover.
DEVELOPING TRAINING PROGRAMS:
Most large organizations are actively involved with employee training. Can these organizations
draw from our discussion of learning in order to improve the effectiveness of their training programs?
Certainly.
Social-learning theory offers such a guide. It tells us that training should offer a model to
grab the trainees attention; provide motivational properties; help the trainee to file away what he or
she has learned for later use; provide opportunities to practice new behaviors; offer positive rewards
for accomplishment; and, if the training has taken place off the job, allow the trainee some opportunity
to transfer what he or she learned to the job.
CREATING MENTORING PROGRAMS :
Its the unusual senior manager who, early in his or her career, didnt have an older, more
42

experienced mentor higher up in the organization. This mentor took the protg under his or her wing
and provided advice and guidance on how to survive and get a head in the organization. Mentoring,
of course, is not limited to the managerial ranks. Union apprenticeship programs, for example, doe
the same thing by preparing individuals to move from unskilled apprentice status to that of skilled
journeyman. A young electrician apprentice typically works under an experienced electrician for several
years to develop the full range of skills necessary to effectively execute his or her job.
A successful mentoring program will be built on modeling concepts from social-learning
theory. That is, mentors impact comes from more than merely what he or she explicitly tells a protg.
Mentors are role models. Protgs learn to convey the attitudes and behaviors that the organization
wants by emulating the traits and actions of their mentors. They observe and then imitate. Top managers
who are concerned with developing employees who will fit into the organization and with preparing
young managerial talent for greater responsibilities should give careful attention to those who take on
mentoring roles. The creating of formal mentoring programs where young individuals are officially
assigned a mentor allows senior executives to manage the process and increases the likelihood that
protgs will be moulded the way top management desires.
SUMMARY
Learning takes place when an individual behaves, reacts, responds as a result of experience
in a manner different from the way he formerly behaved. The major theories of learning are classical
conditioning, operant conditioning and social learning. The four methods of shaping behaviour are
through positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, punishment and extinction. The two major types
of reinforcement schedules are continuous and intermittent. The five major specific applications for
the managers like reducing absenteeism through the use of lotteries, substituting well pay for sick pay,
disciplining problem employees, developing effective employee training programs and creating
mentoring programs for new employees.
QUESTIONS
1.
2.
3.

What is classical conditioning and operant conditioning?


What are the methods of shaping behaviour?
What are the schedules of reinforcement?

4.

What are the chief applications of learning theories which can be adopted by the manager?

43

CHAPTER - IV

WHAT IS PERCEPTION AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?


OBJECTIVES
The reader will be familiarized with factors influencing person perception, selective perception,
halo effect, contrast effect, projection and stereo typing. The chapter also enables the reader to acquaint
with specific applications in organisations like employment interview, performance evaluation, employee
effort and employee loyalty. The reader gets an opportunity to understand the link between perception
and individual decision making.
INTRODUCTION
Perception can be defined as a process by which individuals organize and interpret their
sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment. However, as we have noted, what
one perceives can be substantially different from objective reality.
Why is perception important in the study of OB? Simply because peoples behaviour is based
on their perception of what reality is, not reality itself. The world as it is perceived is the world that is
behaviourally important.
FACTORS INFLUENCING PERCEPTION
How do we explain that individuals may look at the same thing, yet perceive it differently?
A number of factors operate to shape and sometimes distort perception. These factors can reside in
the perceiver, in the object or target being perceived, or in the context of the situation in which the
perception is made.
The Perceiver
When an individual looks at a target and attempts to interpret what he or she sees, that
interpretation is heavily influenced by personal characteristics of the individual perceiver. Among the
more relevant personal characteristics affecting perception are attitudes, motives, interests, past
experiences, and expectations.
Unsatisfied needs or motives stimulate individuals and may exert a strong influence on their
perceptions. This was dramatically demonstrated in research on hunger. Individuals in the study had
not eaten for varying numbers of hours. Some had eaten an hour earlier, while others had gone as
long as sixteen hours without food. These subjects were shown blurred pictures, and there results
indicated that the extent of hunger influenced the interpretation of the blurred pictures. Those who
had not eaten for sixteen hours perceived the blurred images as pictures of food far more frequently
than did those subjects who had eaten only a short time earlier.
44

This same phenomenon has application in an organizational context as well. It would not be
surprising, for example, to find that a boss who is insecure perceives a subordinates efforts to do an
outstanding job as a threat to his or her own position. Personal insecurity can be transferred into the
perception that others are out to get my job, regardless of the intention of the subordinates. Likewise,
people who are devious are prone to see others as also devious.
It should not surprise you that a plastic surgeon is more likely to notice an imperfect nose
than a plumber is. The supervisor who has just been reprimanded by her boss for the high level of
lateness among her staff is more likely to notice lateness by an employee tomorrow than she was last
week. If you are preoccupied with a personal problem, you may find it hard to be attentive in class.
These examples illustrate that the focus of our individual interests differ considerably, what one person
notices in a situation can differ from what others perceive.
Just as interests narrow ones focus, so do ones past experiences. You perceive those things to
which you can relate. However, in many instances, your past experiences will act to nullify an objects interest.
Objects or events that have been experienced before are more noticeable than those that
have been experienced in the past. You are more likely to notice a machine that you have never seen
before than a standard filing cabinet and that is exactly like your notice of the operations along an
assembly line if this is the first time you have seen an assembly line. In the late 1960s and early 1970s,
women and minorities in managerial positions were highly visible because historically, these positions
were the province of white males. Today, these groups are more widely represented in the managerial
ranks, so we are less likely to take notice that a manager is female, African, American, Asian-American,
Latino or Indian.
Finally, expectations can distort your perceptions in that you will see what you expect to
see. If you expect police officers to be authoritative, young people to be unambitious, personnel
directors to like people, in individuals holding public office to be power hungry, you may perceive
them this way regardless of their actual traits.
The Target
Characteristics in the target can affect what is perceived. Loud people are more likely to be
noticed in a group than quiet ones. So, too are extremely attractive or unattractive individuals. Motion,
sounds, size, and other attributes of a target shape the way we see it.
Because targets are not looked at in isolation, the relationship of a target to its background
influences perception, as does our tendency to group close things and similar things together.
What we see is dependent on how we separate a figure from its general background. For
instance, what you see as you read this sentence is black letters on a white page. You do not see
funny-shaped patches of black and white because you recognize these shapes and organize the black
shapes against the white background.
45

Objects that are close to each other will tend to be perceived together rather than separately.
As a result of physical or time proximity, we often put together objects or events that are unrelated.
Employees in a particular department are seen as a group. If in a department of four members two
suddenly resign, we tend to assume that their departures were related when, in fact, they may be
totally unrelated. Timing may also imply dependence when, for example a new sales manager is
assigned to a territory and, soon after, sales in that territory skyrocket. The assignment of the new
sales manager and the increase in sales may not be related. The increase may be due to the introduction
of a new product line or one to one of many other reasons but there is a tendency to perceive the
two occurrences as related.
Persons, objects, or events that are similar to each other also tend to be grouped together.
The greater the similarity, the greater the probability that we will tend to perceive then as a common
group. Women, blacks, or members of any other group that has clearly distinguishable characteristics in
terms of features or color will tend to be perceived as alike in other, unrelated, characteristics as well.
The Situation
The context in which we see objects or events is important. Elements in the surrounding
environment influence our perceptions.
I may not notice twenty-five-year-old female in an evening dress and heavy makeup at a
club on Saturday night. Yet that same woman so attired for my Monday morning management class
would certainly catch my attention (and that of the rest of the class). Neither the perceiver nor the
target changed between Saturday night and Monday morning, but the situation is different. Similarly,
you are more likely to notice your subordinates goofing off if your boss from head office happens to
be in town. Again, the situation affects your perception. The time at which an object or event is seen
can influence attention, as can location, light, heat, or any number of situational factors. Figure 3
summarizes the factors influencing perception.
PERSON PERCEPTION: MAKING JUDGMENTS ABOUT OTHERS
Now we turn to the most relevant application of perception concepts to OB. This is the
issue of person perception.
Attribution Theory
Our perceptions of people differ from our perceptions of inanimate objects like desks,
machines, or buildings because we make inferences about the actions of people that we dont make
about inanimate objects. Nonliving objects are subject to the laws of nature, but they have no beliefs,
motives, or intentions. People do. The result is that when we observe people, we attempt to develop
explanations of why they behave in certain ways. Our perception and judgment of a persons action,
therefore, ill be significantly influenced by the assumptions we make about the persons internal state.

46

Attribution theory has been proposed to develop explanations of the ways in which we judge
people differently, depending on what meaning we attribute to a given behaviour, we attempt to
determine whether it was internally or externally caused. That determination, however, depends largely
on three factors: (1) distinctiveness, (2) consensus, and (3) consistency. First, lets clarify the differences
between internal and external causation and then we will elaborate on each of the three determining
factors (Figure 4).
Internally caused behaviours are those that are believed to be under the personal control of
the individual. Externally caused behaviour is seen as resulting from outside causes; that is, the person
is seen as forced into the behaviour by the situation. If one of your employees is late for work, you
might attribute his lateness to his partying into the wee hours of the morning and then over sleeping.
This would be an internal attribution. But if you attribute his arriving late to a major automobile accident
that tied up traffic on the road that this employee regularly uses, then you would be making an external
attribution.
Distinctiveness refers to whether an individual displays different behaviours in different
situations. Is the employee who arrives late today also the source of complaints by co-workers for
being a goof-off? What we want to know is if this behaviour is unusual or not. If it is, the observer
is likely to give the behaviour an external attribution. If this action is not unusual, it will probably be
judged as internal.
If everyone who is faced with a similar situation responds in the same way, we can say the
behaviour shows consensus. Our late employees behaviour would meet this criterion if all employees
who took the same route to work were also late. From an attribution perspective, if consensus is
high, you would be expected to give an external attribution to the employees tardiness, whereas if
other employees who took the same route made it into work on time, your conclusions of causation
would be internal.
Finally, an observer looks for consistency in a persons actions. Does the person respond
the same way over time? Coming in ten minutes late for work is not perceived in the same way for
the employee from whom it is an unusual case (she hasnt been late for several months), as for the
employee for whom it is part of a routine pattern (she is regularly late two or three times a week).
The more consistent the behaviour, the more the observer is inclined to attribute it to internal causes.
If an employee lets call her Ms. Santhu generally performs at about the same level on other
related tasks as she does on her current task (low distinctiveness), if other employees frequently perform
differently better or worse than Ms. Santhus performance on this current task is consistent over
time (high consistency) her manager or anyone else who is judging Ms. Santhus work is likely to
hold her primarily responsible for her task performance (internal attribution ).
One of the more interesting findings from attribution theory is that there are errors or biases
that distort attributions. For instance, there is substantial evidence that when we make judgements
47

about the behavior of other people, we have a tendency to underestimate the influence of external
factors and overestimate the influence of internal or personal factors. This is called the fundamental
attribution error and can explain why a sales manager is prone to attribute the poor performance
of her sales agents to laziness rather than the innovate product line introduced by a competitor.
There is also a tendency for individuals to attribute their own successes to internal factors like ability
or effort while putting the blame for failure on external factors like luck. This is called the self serving
bias and suggests that feedback provided to employees in performance reviews will be predictably
distorted by recipients depending on whether it is positive or negative.
Frequently Used Shortcuts in Judging Others
We use a number of shortcuts when we judge others. Perceiving and interpreting what
others do is burdensome. As a result, individuals develop techniques for making the task more
manageable. These techniques are very valuable and they allow one to make accurate perceptions
rapidly and provide valid data for making predictions. However, they are not foolproof. They can
and do get us into trouble. An understanding of these shortcuts can be helpful toward recognizing
when they can result in significant distortions.
SELECTIVE PERCEPTION:
Any characteristic that makes a person, object, or event stand out will increase the
probability that it will be perceived. Why? Because it is impossible for us to assimilate everything
we see only certain stimuli can be taken in. this explains why, as we noted earlier youre more
likely to notice cars like your own or why some people may be reprimanded by their boss for
doing something that when done by another employee goes unnoticed. Since we cant observe
everything going on about us, we engage in selective perception. A classic example shows how
vested interests can significantly influence what problems we see.
Dearborn and Simon performed a perceptual study in which twenty three business
executives read a comprehensive case describing the organization and activities of a steel company.
Six of the twenty-three executives were in the sales function, five in production, four in accounting,
and eight in miscellaneous functions. Each manager was asked to write down the most important
problem he found in the case. Eighty-three percent of the sales executives rated sales important,
while only twenty-nine percent of the others did so. This, along with other results of the study, led
the researchers to conclude that the participants perceived aspects of a situation that related
specifically to the activities and goals of the unit to which they were attached. A groups perception
of organizational activities is selectively altered to align with the vested interests they represent. In
other words, where the stimuli are ambiguous, as in the steel company case, perception tends to
be influenced more by an individuals base of interpretation (that is, attitudes, interests, and
background) than by the stimulus itself.
48

Factors in the perceiver


 Attitudes
 Motives
 Interests
 Experience
 Expectations
Factors in the situation
 Time
 Work setting
 Social setting

Perception

Factors in the target


 Novelty
 Motion
 Sounds
 Size
 Background
 Proximity

FIGURE 3 Factors that influence the perception


But how does selectivity work as a shortcut in judging other people? Since we cannot
assimilate all that we observe, we take in bits and pieces. But these bits and pieces are not chosen
randomly; rather, they are selectively chosen according to our interests, background, experiences,
and attitudes. Selective perception allows us to speed read others but not without the risk of drawing
an inaccurate picture. Because we see what we want to see, we can draw unwarranted conclusions
from an ambiguous situation. If there is a rumor going around the office that your companys sales
are down and that large layoffs may be coming, a routine visit by a senior executive from headquarters
might be interpreted as the first step in managements identification of people to be fired, when in
reality such as action may be the farthest thing from the mind of the senior executive.
HALO EFFECT:
When we draw a general impression about an individual based on a single characteristic,
such as intelligence, sociability, or appearance, a halo effect is operating. This phenomenon frequently
occurs when students appraise their classroom instructor. Students may isolate a single trait such as
enthusiasm and allow their entire evaluation to be tainted by how they judge the instructor on this one
trait. Thus, an instructor may be quite assured, knowledgeable, and highly qualified, but if his style
lacks zeal, he will be rated lower on a number of other characteristics.
The reality of the halo effect was confirmed in a classic study where subjects were given a
list of traits like being intelligent, skillful, practical industrious, determined and warm and asked to
evaluate. The person was judged to be wise, humorous, popular, and imaginative, when the same list
was modified to substitute cold for warm in the trait list, a completely different set of perceptions was
obtained. Clearly, the subjects were allowing a single trait to influence their overall impression of the
person being judged.
49

The propensity for the halo effect to operate is not random. Research suggests that it is
likely to be most extreme when the traits to be perceived are ambiguous in behavioral terms, when
the traits have moral overtones, and when the perceiver is judging traits with which he or she had
limited experience.
CONTRAST EFFECT:
Theres an old adage among entertainers who perform in variety shows: Never follow an
act that has kids or animals in it. Why? The common belief is that audiences love children and animals
so much that you will look bad in comparison. In a similar vein, your author remembers when he was
a college freshman having to give a presentation in a speech class. I was scheduled to speak third
that morning. After both of the first two speakers stammered, stumbled, and forgot their lines, I
suddenly got a rush of confidence because I figured that even though my talk might not go too well,
Id probably get a pretty good grade. I was counting on the instructor raising my evaluation after
contrasting my speech to those that immediately preceded it.
These two examples demonstrate how contrast effects can distort perceptions. We dont
evaluate a person in isolation. Our reaction to one person is often influenced by other persons weve
recently encountered.
An illustration of how contrast effects operate is an interview situation in which one sees a
pool of job applicants. Distortions in any given candidates evaluation can occur as a result of his or
her place in the interview schedule. The candidate is likely to receive a more favourable evaluation if
preceded by mediocre applicants, and a less favourable evaluation if preceded by strong applicants.
Attribution
Observation
Interpretation
Of cause
Distinctiveness

External
Internal

Individual
behavior

Consensus

External
Internal

Consistency

Internal
External

Figure 4. Deternination of Internal External Causes


PROJECTION:
It is easy to judge others if we assume they are similar to us. For, instance, if you want
challenge and responsibility in your job, you assume that others want the same. This tendency to attribute
ones own characteristics to other people which is called projection can distort perceptions made
about others.
50

People who engage in projection tend to perceive others according to what they themselves
are like rather than according to what the person being observed is really like. When observing others
who actually are like them, these observers are quite accurate not because they are perceptive, but
rather because they always judge people as being similar to themselves, so when they finally find
someone who is, they are naturally correct. When managers engage in projection, they compromise
their ability to respond to individual differences. They tend to see people as more homogeneous than
they really are.
STEREOTYPING:
When we judge someone on the basis of our perception of the group to which he or she
belongs, we are using the shortcut called stereotyping. F. Scott Fitzgerald engaged in stereotyping in
his reported conversation with Ernest Hemingway when he said, The very rich are different from
you and me. Hemingways reply, Yes, they have more money, indicated that he refused to generalize
characteristics about people based on their wealth.
Generalization, of course, is not without advantages. It makes assimilating easier since it
permits us to maintain consistency. It is less difficult to deal with an unmanageable number of stimuli if
we use stereotypes. But the problem occurs when we inaccurately stereotypes. All accountants are
not quist and introspective just as all salespeople are not aggressive and outgoing.
In an organizational context, we frequently hear comments that represented stereotyped
representation of certain groups: Managers dont give a damn about their people, only getting the
work out; or Union people expect something for nothing. Clearly, these judgements are stereotypes,
but if people expect to perceive managers or union workers this way, that is what they will perceive,
whether it is true or not about an individual manager or worker.
Obviously, one of the problems of stereotypes is that they are so widespread, despite the
fact that they may not contain a shred of truth or may be irrelevant. Their being widespread may only
mean that many people are making the same inaccurate perception based on a false premise about a
group.
Specific Applications in Organizations
People in organizations are always judging each other. Managers must appraise their
subordinates performances. We evaluate how much effort our co-workers are putting into their jobs.
When a new worker joins a department, he or she is immediately sized up by the other department
members. In many cases, these judgments have important consequences for the organization. Let us
briefly look at a few of the more obvious applications.
EMPLOYMENT INTERVIEW:
A major input into who is hired and who is rejected is the employment interview. Its fair to
51

say that few people are hired without an interview. But the evidence indicates that interviewers make
perceptual judgements that are often inaccurate. Additionally, inter agreement among interviewers is
often poor; that is, different interviewers see different things in the same candidate and thus arrive at
different conclusions about the applicant.
Interviewers generally draw early impressions that become very quickly entrenched. If
negative information is exposed early in the interview, it tends to be more heavily weighted than if that
same information comes out later. Studies indicate that most interviewers decisions change very little
after the first four or five minutes of the interview. As a result, information elicited early in the interview
carries greater weight than does information elicited later and a good applicant is probably
characterized more by the absence of unfavorable characteristics than by the presence of favourable
characteristics.
Importantly, who you think is a good candidate and who I think is one may differ markedly.
Because interviews usually have so little consistent structure and interviewers vary in terms of what
they are looking for in a candidate, judgements of the same candidate can vary widely. If the employment
interviews is an important input into the hiring decision and it usually is recognized that perceptual
factors influence who is hired and eventually the quality of an organizations labor force.
PERFORMANCE EVALUATION:
It should be pointed out here that an employees performance appraisal is very much
dependent on the perceptual process. An employees future is closely tied to his or her appraisal
promotions, pay rises, and continuation of employment are among the most obvious outcomes. The
performance appraisal represents as assessment of an employees work. While this can be objective
(for example, a salesperson is appraised on how many rupees of sales she generates in her territory),
many jobs are evaluated in subjective terms. Subjective measures are easier to implement, they provide
managers with greater discretion, and many jobs do not readily lend themselves to objective measures
are, by definition, judgmental. The evaluator forms a general impression of an employees work. To
the degree that managers use subjective measures in appraising employees, what the evaluator perceives
to be good or bad employee characteristics/behaviors will significantly influence the appraisal
outcome.
EMPLOYEE EFFORT:
An individuals future in an organization is usually not dependent on performance alone. In
many organizations, the level of an employees effort is given high importance. Just as teachers
frequently consider how hard you try in a course as well as how you perform on examinations, so
often do managers. And assessment of an individuals effort is a subjective judgment susceptible to
perceptual distortions and bias. If it is true, as some claim, that more workers are fired for poor
52

attitudes and lack of discipline than for lack of ability. Then appraisal of an employees effort may
be a primary influence on his or her future in the organization.
EMPLOYEE LOYALTY:
Another important judgment that managers make about employees is whether they are loyal
to the organization. Few organizations appreciate employees, especially those in the managerial ranks,
disparaging the firm. Further, in some organizations, if the word gets around that an employee is looking
at other employment opportunities outside the firm, that employee may be labeled as disloyal and cut
off from all future advancement opportunities. The issue is not whether organizations are right in
demanding loyalty, but that many do, and that assessment of an employees loyalty or commitment is
highly judgmental. What is perceived as loyalty by one decision maker may be seen as excessive
conformity by another. An employee who questions a top-management decision may be seen as disloyal
by some, yet caring and concerned by others. When evaluating a persons attitude, as in loyalty
assessment, we must recognize that we are individuals with person perception.
THE LINK BETWEEN PERCEPTION AND INDIVIDUAL DECISION MAKING
Individuals in organizations make decisions. That is, they make choices from among two or
more alternatives. Top managers, for instance, determine their organizations goals, what products or
services to offer, how best to organize corporate headquarters, or where to locate a new manufacturing
plant. Middle and lower level managers determine production schedules, select new employees, and
decide how pay rises are to be allocated. Of course, making decisions is not the sole province of
managers. Non-managerial employees also make decisions that affect their jobs and the organizations
they work for. The more obvious of these decisions might include whether to come to work or not
on any given day, how much effort to put forward once at work, and whether to comply with a request
made by the boss. Individual decision making, therefore, is an important part of organizational behavior.
But how individuals in organizations make decisions, and the quality of their final choices, are largely
influenced by their perceptions.
Decision making occurs as a reaction to a problem. There is a discrepancy between some
current state of affairs and some desired state requiring consideration of alternative courses of action.
So if your car breaks down and you rely on it to get to school, you have a problem that requires a
decision on your part. Unfortunately, most problems dont come neatly packaged with a label
problem clearly displayed on them. One persons problem is another persons satisfactory state of
affair. One manager may view her divisions two percent decline in quarterly sales to be a serious
problem requiring immediate action on her part. In contrast, her counterpart in another division of the
same company, who also had a two percent sales decrease, many consider that quite satisfactory.
So the awareness that a problem exists and that a decision needs to be made is a perceptual issue.
53

Moreover, every decision requires interpretation and evaluation of information. Data is


typically received from multiple sources and it needs to be screened, processed and interpreted. What
data, for instance, is relevant to the decision and what isnt? The perceptions of the decision maker
will answer this question. Alternatives will be developed and the strengths and weaknesses of each
will need to be evaluated. Again, because alternatives dont come with red flags identifying themselves
as such or with their strengths and weaknesses clearly marked, the individual decision makers
perceptual process will have a large bearing on the final outcome.
SUMMARY
Factors influencing perception are the perceiver, target and the situation. Person perception
is the making judgements about others. Attribution theory has been proposed to develop explanations
of the ways in which we judge people differently. Frequently used shortcuts in judging others are
selective perception, halo effect, contrast effect, projection and stereotyping. Specific applications in
the organisations for the use of managers are employment interview, performance evaluation, employee
effort and employee loyalty. There is a strong link between perception and individual decision making.
QUESTIONS
1.

What are the factors which influence perception?

2.

Which are the frequently used shortcuts in judging others?

3.

Which are the specific applications used by the managers to appraise their subordinates
performances in organisation?

4.

Write about the link between perception and individual decision making.

54

CHAPTER - V

MOTIVATION
OBJECTIVES
The chapter teaches the reader what motivation is, early theories of motivation and
contemporary theories of motivation.
What is Motivation?
May be the place to begin is to say what motivation isnt. Many people incorrectly view
motivation as a personal trait- that is, some have it and others dont. In practice, some managers
label employees who seem to lack motivation as lazy. Such a label assumes that an individual is always
lazy or is lacking in motivation. Our knowledge of motivation tells us that this just isnt true. What we
know is that motivation is the result of the interaction of the individual and the situation. Certainly,
individuals differ in their basic motivational drive. But the same employee who is quickly bored when
pulling the lever on his drill press may pull the lever on a slot machine in another place for hours on
end without the slightest hint of boredom. You may read a complete novel at one sitting, yet find it
difficult to stay with a text book for more than twenty minutes. Its not necessarily you- its the situation.
So as we analyse the concept of motivation, keep in mind that level of motivation varies both between
individuals and within individuals at different times.
Well define motivation as the willingness to exert high levels of effort toward organizational
goals, conditioned by the efforts ability to satisfy some individual need. While general motivation is
concerned with effort toward any goal, well narrow the focus to organizational goals in order to
reflect our singular interest in work-related behavior. The three key elements in our definition are effort,
organizational goals, and needs.
The effort element is a measure of intensity. When someone is motivated, he or she tries
hard. But high levels of effort are unlikely to lead to favourable job performance outcome unless the
effort is channeled in a direction that benefits the organization. Therefore, we must consider the quality
of the effort as well as its intensity. Effort that is directed toward, and consistent with, the organizations
goal is the kind of effort that we should be seeking. Finally, we will treat motivation as a need satisfying
process. This is depicted in Figure 1.
A need, in our terminology, means some internal state that make certain outcomes appear
attractive. An unsatisfied need creates tension that stimulate drives within the individual. These drives
generate a search behavior to find particular goals that, if attained, will satisfy the need and lead to
the reduction of tension.
55

So we can say that motivated employees are in a state of tension. To relieve this tension,
they exert effort. The greater the tension, the higher the effort level. If this effort successfully leads to
the satisfaction of the need, tension is reduced. But since we are interested in work behavior, this
tension reduction effort must also be directed toward organizational goals. Therefore, inherent in our
definition of motivation is the requirement that the individuals needs to be compatible and consistent
with the organizations goals. Where this does not occur, we can have individuals exerting high levels
of effort that actually run counter to the interests of the organization. This, incidentally, is not so unusual.
For example, some employees regularly spend a lot of time talking with friends at work in order to
satisfy their social needs. There is a high level of effort, only, its being unproductively directed.
Unsatisfied
need

Tension

Search
behavior

Drives

Satisfied
need

Reduction of
tension

Figure 1. The Motivation Process


EARLY THEORIES OF MOTIVATION
The 1950s were a fruitful period in the development of motivation concepts. Three specific
theories were formulated during this period, which, though heavily attacked and now questionable in
terms of validity, are probably the best known explanations for employee motivation. These are the
hierarchy of needs theory. Theories X and Y, and the motivation-hygiene theory. As youll see later in
this chapter, we have since developed more valid explanations of motivation, but you should know
these early theories for at least two reasons: (1) they represent a foundation from which contemporary
theories have grown, and (2) practicing managers regularly use these theories and their terminology
in explaining employee motivation.
Hierarchy of Needs Theory
Its probably safe to say that the most well-known theory of motivation is Abraham Maslows
hierarchy of needs. He hypothesized that within every human being there exists a hierarchy of five
needs. These needs are:
1.

Physiological: Includes hunger, thirst, shelter, sex, and other bodily needs

2.

Safety: Includes security and protection from physical and emotional harm

3.

Social: Includes affection, belongingness, acceptance, and friendship

4.

Self-esteem: Includes internal esteem factors such as self-respect, autonomy, and achievement;
and external esteem factors such as status, recognition, and attention

5.

Self-actualization: The drive to become what one is capable of becoming; includes growth,
achieving ones potential, and self-fulfillment

As each of these needs becomes substantially satisfied, the next need becomes dominant.
The individual moves up the steps of the hierarchy. From the standpoint of motivation, the theory
56

would say that although no need is ever fully gratified, a substantially satisfied need no longer motivates.
So if you want to motivate someone, according to Maslow, you need to understand what level of the
hierarchy that person is currently on and focus on satisfying those needs at or above that level.
Maslow separated the five needs into higher and lower orders. Physiological and safety needs
were described as lower-order and social, esteem, and self-actualization as higher-order needs. The
differentiation between the two orders was made on the premise that higher-order needs are satisfied
internally (within the person), whereas lower-order needs are predominantly satisfied externally (by
such things as money, wages, union contracts, and tenure). In fact, the natural conclusion to be drawn
from Maslows classification is that in times of economic plenty, almost all permanently employed
workers have their lower-order needs substantially met.
Maslows need theory has received wide recognition, particularly among practicing managers.
This can be attributed to the theorys intuitive logic and ease of understanding. Unfortunately, however,
research does not generally validate the theory. Maslow provided no empirical substantiation, and
several studies that sought to validate the theory found no support for it.
Old theories, especially ones that are intuitively logical, apparently die-hard. One researcher
reviewed the evidence and concluded that although of great societal popularity, need hierarchy as a
theory continues to receive little empirical support. Further, the researcher stated that the available
research should certainly generate a reluctance to accept unconditionally the implication of Maslows
hierarchy. Another review came to the same conclusion. Little support was found for the prediction
that need structures are organized along the dimensions proposed by Maslow, that unsatisfied needs
motivate, or that a satisfied need activates motivation to a new need level.
Theory X and Theory Y
Douglas McGregor proposed two distinct views of human beings; one basically negative,
labeled Theory X, and the other basically positive, labeled Theory Y. after viewing the way in which
managers dealt with employees, McGregor concluded that a managers view of the nature of human
beings is based on a certain grouping of assumptions and that he or she tends to mold his or her
behavior toward subordinates according to these assumptions.
Under Theory X, the four assumptions held by managers are;
1.

Employees inherently dislike work and, whenever possible, will attempt to avoid it.

2.

Since employees dislike work, they must be coerced, controlled, or threatened with punishment
to achieve goals.

3.

Employees will avoid responsibilities and seek formal direction whenever possible.

4.

Most workers place security above all other factors associated with work and will display
little ambition.

57

In contrast to these negative views about the nature of human beings, McGregor listed the
four positive assumptions that he called Theory Y.
1.

Employees can view work as being as natural as rest or play.

2.

People will exercise self-direction and self-control if they are committed to the objectives.

3.

The average person can learn to accept, even seek, responsibility.

4.

The ability to make innovative decisions is widely dispersed throughout the population and is
not necessarily the sole province of those in management positions
What are the motivational implications if you accept McGregors analysis? The answer is

best expressed in the framework presented by Maslow. Theory X assumes that lower-order needs
dominate individuals. Theory Y assumes that higher-order needs dominate individuals. McGregor himself
held to the belief that Theory Y assumptions were more valid than Theory X. Therefore, he proposed
such ideas as participation in decision making, responsible and challenging jobs, and good group
relations as approaches that would maximize an employees job motivation.
Unfortunately, there is no evidence to conform that either set of assumptions is valid or that
accepting Theory Y assumptions and altering ones actions accordingly will lead to more motivated
workers. Either Theory X or Theory Y assumptions may be appropriate in a particular situation.
Motivation-Hygiene Theory
The motivation-hygiene theory was proposed by psychologist Frederick Herzberg. In the
belief that an individual relation to his or her work is a basic one and that his or her attitude toward
this work can very well determine the individuals success or failure. Herzberg investigated the question,
What do people want from their jobs? He asked people to describe, in detail, situations when they
felt exceptionally good and bad about their jobs. These responses were tabulated and categorized.
Factors affecting job attitudes as reported in twelve investigations conducted by Herzberg are illustrated
in Figure 2.
From the categorized responses, Herzberg concluded that the replies people gave when they
felt good about their jobs were significantly different from the replies given when they felt bad. As
seen in Figure 2, certain characteristics tend to be consistently related to job satisfaction (factors on
the right side of the figure), and others to job dissatisfaction (the left side of the figure). Intrinsic factors,
such as achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility, advancement, and growth, seem to
be related to job satisfaction. When those questioned felt good about their work, they tended to attribute
these characteristics of themselves. On the other hand, when they were dissatisfied, they tended to
cite extrinsic factors, such as company policy and administration, supervision, interpersonal relations,
and working conditions.
58

Figure 2 Comparison of satisfiers and dissatisfiers

Factors characterizing 1,844 events on the


job that led to extreme dissatisfaction

Factors characterizing 1
that led to extreme

The data suggest, says Herzberg, that the opposite of satisfaction is not dissatisfaction, as
was traditionally believed. Removing dissatisfying characteristics
from aand
job does not necessarily make
Company policy
administration

the job satisfying. As illustrated in Figure 3, Herzberg proposes that his findings indicate the existence

gro

of a dual continuum: The opposite of Satisfaction is No satisfaction, and the opposite of


Supervision

Dissatisfaction is No Dissatisfaction.

Relationship with supervisior

Workjob
conditions
The managers who seek to eliminate factors that create
dissatisfaction can bring about
Salary

peace, but not necessarily motivation. They will be placating their work force rather than motivating

All facto
contributin
job
dissatisfac

Relationship with peers

them. As a result, such characteristics as company policy and administration, supervision, interpersonal
Personal life

69

relations, working conditions, and salary have been characterised by Herzberg as hygiene factors.
Relationship with subordinates

When they are adequate, people will not be dissatisfied; however, neither will they
be satisfied. If we
Status

31

want to motivate people on their jobs, Herzberg suggests emphasizing achievement, recognition, the
Security

80% 60 40

59

R
50%

40

30

20

10

10

20

work itself, responsibility, and growth. These are the characteristics that people find intrinsically
rewarding.
The motivation-hygiene theory is not without its detractors. The criticisms of the theory include
the following:
1.

The procedure that Herzberg used is limited by its methodology. When things are going well,
people tend to take credit themselves. Contrarily, they blame failure on the external
environment.

2.

The reliability of Herzbergs methodology is questioned. Since raters have to make


interpretations, it is possible that they may contaminate the findings by interpreting one response
in one manner while treating another similar response differently.

3.

The theory, to the degree that it is valid, provides an explanation of job satisfaction. It is not
really a theory of motivation.

4.

No overall measure of satisfaction was utilized. In other words, a person may dislike part of
his or her job, yet still think the job is acceptable.

5.

The theory is inconsistent with previous research. The motivation hygiene theory ignores
situational variables.

6.

Herzberg assumes that there is a relationship between satisfaction and productivity. But the
research methodology he used looked only at satisfaction, not at productivity. To make such
research relevant, one must assume a high relationship between satisfaction and productivity.
Regardless of criticisms, Herzbergs theory has been widely read and few managers are

unfamiliar with his recommendations. The increased popularity since the mid- 1960s of vertically
expanding jobs to allow workers greater responsibility in planning and controlling their work can
probably be largely attributed to Herzbergs findings and recommendations.
CONTEMPORARY THEORIES OF MOTIVATION
The previous theories are well known but, unfortunately, have not held up well under close
examination. However, all is not lost. There are a number of contemporary theories that have one
thing in common each has a reasonable degrees of valid supporting documentation. Of course, this
doesnt mean that the theories we are about to introduce are unquestionably right. We call them
contemporary theories not because they necessarily were developed recently, but because they
represent the current state of the art in explaining employee motivation.

60

TRADITIONAL VIEW

Satisfaction

(Motivators)

Dissatisfaction

HERZBERGS VIEW

Satisfaction

No Satisfaction
(Hygiene Factors)

Dissatisfaction

No Dissatisfaction

Figure 3. Contrasting Views of Satisfaction-Dissatisfaction


ERG Theory
Clayton Alderfer of Yale University has reworked Maslows need hierarchy to align it more
closely with the empirical research. His revised need hierarchy is labeled ERG theory.
Alderfer argues that there are three groups of core needs- existence , relatedness, and growthhence the label: ERG theory. The existence group is concerned with the items that Maslow considered
with providing our basic material existence requirements. They include the items that Maslow
physiological and safety needs. The second group of needs are those of relatedness- the desire we
have for maintaining important interpersonal relationships. These social and status desires require
interaction with others if they are to be satisfied, and they align with Maslows social need and the
external component of Maslows esteem classification. Finally, Alderfer isolates growth needs and
intrinsic desire for personal development. These include the intrinsic component from Maslows esteem
category and the characteristics included under self-actualization.
Besides substituting three needs for five, how does Alderfers ERG theory differ from
Maslows? In contrast to the hierarchy of needs theory, the ERG theory demonstrates that (1) more
than one need may be operative at the same time, and (2) if the gratification of a higher-level need is
stifled, the desire to satisfy a lower-level need increases.
Maslows need hierarchy is a rigid steplike progression. ERG theory does not assume that
there exists a rigid hierarchy where a lower need must be substantially gratified before one can move
on. A person can, for instance, be working on growth even though existence or relatedness needs
are unsatisfied; or all three need categories could be operating at the same time.
ERG theory also contains a frustration-regression dimension. Maslow, argued that an individual
61

would stay at a certain need level until that need was satisfied. ERG theory counters by noting that
when a higher-order need level is frustrated, the individuals desire to increase a lower-level need
takes place. Inability to satisfy a need for social interaction, for instance, might increase the desire for
more money or better working conditions. So frustration can lead to a regression to a lower need.
In summary, ERG theory argues, like Maslow, that satisfied lower order needs lead to the
desire to satisfy higher order needs; but multiple needs can be operating as motivators at the same
time, and frustration in attempting to satisfy a higher-level need can result in regression to a lowerlevel need.
ERG theory is more consistent with our knowledge of individual differences among people.
Variables such as education, family background, and cultural environment can alter the importance of
driving force that a group of needs holds for a particular individual. The evidence demonstrating that
people in other cultures rank the need categories differently-for instance, natives of Spain and Japan
place social needs before their physiological requirements-would be consistent with the ERG theory.
Several studies have supported the ERG theory, but there is also evidence that it doesnt work in
some organizations. Overall, however, ERG theory represents a more valid version of the need
hierarchy.
McClellands Theory of Needs
Youve got one beanbag and there are five targets set up in front of you. Each one is
progressively farther away and, hence, more difficult to hit. Target A is a cinch. It sits almost within
arms reach of you. If you hit it, you get Rs.20/-. Target B is a bit farther out, but about eighty percent
of the people who try can hit it. It pays Rs.40/-. Target C pays Rs.80/-, and about half the people
who try can hit it. Very few people can hit Target D, but the payoff is Rs.160/- if you do. Finally,
Target E pays Rs.320/-, but its almost impossible to achieve. Which target would you try for? If you
select C, youre likely to be a high achiever.
The need to achieve is a personality characteristic. It is also one of the three needs proposed
by David McClelland and his associates as being important in organizational settings for understanding
motivation. McClellands theory of needs focuses on three needs: achievement, power, and affiliation.
They are defined as follows.

Need for achievement: The drive to excel, to achieve in relation to a set of standards, to
strive to succeed.

Need for power: The need to make others behave in a way that they would not have behaved
otherwise.

Need for affiliation: The desire for friendly and close interpersonal relationships.
62

Some people who have a compelling drive to succeed are striving for personal achievement
rather than the rewards of success per se. They have a desire to do something better more efficiently
than it has been done before. This drive is the achievement need. From research in the achievement
need, McClelland found that high achievers differentiate themselves from others by their desire to do
things better. They seek situations where they can attain personal responsibility for finding solutions
to problems, where they can receive rapid feedback on their performance so they can tell easily whether
they are improving or not, and where they can set moderately challenging goals. High achievers are
not gamblers; they dislike succeeding by chance. They prefer the challenge of working at a problem
and accepting the personal responsibility for success or failure rather than leaving the outcome to
chance or the actions of others. Importantly, they avoid what they perceive to be very easy or very
difficult tasks.
High achievers perform best when they perceive their probability of success as being 0.5,
that is, where they estimate that they have a fifty-fifty chance of success. They dislike gambling with
high odds because they get no achievement satisfaction from happening success. Similarly, they dislike
low odds (high probability of success) because then there is no challenge to their skills. They like to
set goals that require stretching themselves a little. When there is an approximately equal chance of
success or failure, there is the optimum opportunity to experience feelings of accomplishment and
satisfaction from their efforts.
The need for power is the desire to have impact, to be influential, and to control others.
Individuals high in need for power enjoy being in charge, strive for influence over others, prefer to
be placed into competitive and status oriented situations and tend to be more concerned with prestige
and graining over others than with effective performance.
The third need isolated by McClelland is affiliation. This need has received the least attention
from researchers. Affiliation can be viewed as a Dale Carnegie-type of need- the desire to be liked
and accepted by others. Individuals with a high affiliation motive strive for friendship, prefer cooperative
situations rather than competitive ones, and desire relationships involving a high degree of mutual
understanding.
Relying on an extensive amount of research, some reasonably well-supported predictions
can be made based on the relationship between achievement need and job performance. Although
less research has been done on power and affiliation needs, there are consistent findings here too.
First, as shown in Figure 4, individuals with a high need to achieve prefer job situations with
personal responsibility, feedback, and an intermediate degree of risk. When these characteristics are
prevalent, high achievers will be strongly motivated. The evidence consistently demonstrates, for
instance, that high achievers are successful in entrepreneurial activities such as running their own
businesses and managing a self-contained unit within a large organization.
63

Second, a high need to achieve does not necessarily lead to being a good manager. Especially
in large organizations. People with a high achievement need are interested in how well they do
personally and not in influencing others to do well. High-need achievers, salespeople do not necessarily
make good sales managers, and the good general manager in a large organization does not typically
have a high need to achieve.
Third, the needs for affiliation and power tend to be closely related to managerial success.
The best managers are high in their need for power and low in their need for affiliation. In fact, a high
power motivation may be a requirement for managerial effectiveness. Of course, what is the cause
and what is the effect is arguable. It has been suggested that a high power need may occur simply as
a function of ones level in a hierarchical organization. The latter argument proposes that the higher
the level an individual rises to in the organization, the greater is the incumbents power motive. As a
result, powerful positions would be the stimulus to a high power motive.
Lastly, employees have been successfully trained to stimulate their achievement need. If the
job calls for a high achiever, management can select a person with a high need for achievement or
develop its own candidate through achievement training.
Personal responsibility

Achievers prefer
jobs that offer

Feedback

Moderates risks

Figure 4. Matching Achievers and Jobs


Cognitive Evaluation Theory
In the late 1960s, one researcher proposed that the introduction of extrinsic rewards, such
as pay, for work effort that had been previously intrinsically rewarding due to the pleasure associated
with the content of the work itself would tend to decrease the overall level of motivation. This proposal
which has come to be called the cognitive evaluation theory has been extensively researched,
and a large number of studies have been supportive. As well show, the major, implications for this
theory relate to the way in which people are paid in organizations.
Historically, motivation theorists have generally assumed that intrinsic motivations such as
achievement, responsibility, and competence are independent of extrinsic motivators like high pay,
promotions, good supervisor relations, and pleasant working conditions. That is, the stimulation of
one would not affect the other. But the cognitive evaluation theory suggests otherwise. It argues that
64

when extrinsic rewards are used by organizations as payoffs for superior performance, the intrinsic
rewards, which are derived from individuals doing what they like, are reduced. In other words, when
extrinsic rewards are given to someone for performing an interesting task, it causes intrinsic interest in
the task itself to decline.
Why should such an outcome occur? The popular explanation is that the individual experiences
a loss of control over his or her own behavior so that the previous intrinsic motivation diminishes.
Further, the elimination of extrinsic rewards can produce a shift- from an external to an internal
explanation- in an individuals perception of causation of why he or she works on a task. If youre
reading a novel a week because your English literature instructor requires you to, you can attribute
your reading behavior to an external source. However, after the course is over, if you find yourself
continuing to read a novel a week, your natural inclination is to say, I must enjoy reading novels,
because Im still reading one a week.
If the cognitive evaluation theory is valid, it should have major implications for managerial
practices. It has been a truism among compensation specialists for years that if pay or other extrinsic
rewards are to be effective motivators, they should be made contingent on an individuals performance.
But, cognitive evaluation theorists would argue, that this will only tend to decrease the internal satisfaction
that the individual receives from doing the job. We have substituted an external stimulus for an internal
stimulus. In fact, if cognitive evaluation theory is correct, it would make sense to make an individuals
pay non-contingent on performance in order to avoid decreasing intrinsic motivation.
We noted earlier that the cognitive evaluation theory has been supported in a number of
studies. Yet it has also met with attacks, specifically on the methodology used in these studies and in
the interpretation of the findings. But where does this theory stand today? Can we say that when
organizations use extrinsic motivators like pay and promotions to stimulate workers performance they
do so at the expense of reducing intrinsic interest and motivation in the work being done? The answer
is not a simple Yes or No.
While further research is needed to clarify some of the current ambiguity, the evidence does
lead us to conclude that the interdependence of extrinsic and intrinsic rewards is a real phenomenon.
But its impact on employee motivation at work, in contrast to motivation in general, may be
considerably less than originally thought. First, many of the studies testing the theory were done with
students, not paid organizational employees. The researchers would observe what happens to a
students behavior when a reward that had been allocated is stopped. This is interesting, but it does
not represent the typical work situation. In the real world, when extrinsic rewards are stopped, it
usually means the individual is no longer part of the organization. Second, evidence indicates that very
high intrinsic motivation levels are strongly resistant to the detrimental impacts of extrinsic rewards.
Even when a job is inherently interesting, there still exists a powerful norm for extrinsic payment. At
the other extreme, on dull tasks extrinsic rewards appear to increase intrinsic motivation. Therefore,
65

the theory may have limited applicability to work organizations because most low-level jobs are not
inherently satisfying enough to foster high intrinsic interest and many managerial and professional
positions offer intrinsic rewards. Cognitive evaluation theory may be relevant to that set of organizational
jobs that falls in between- those that are neither extremely dull nor extremely interesting.
Task Characteristics Theories
Every day was the same thing, Frank Greer began. Put the right passenger seat into jeeps
as they came down the assembly line, pop in four bolts locking the seat frame to the car body, then
tighten the bolts with my electronic wrench. Thirty cars and 120 bolts an hour, eight hours a day. I
didnt care that they were paying me $17 an hour, I was going crazy. I did it for almost, a year and a
half. Finally, I just said to my wife that this isnt going to be the way Im going to spend the rest of my
life. My brain was turning to Jello on that job. So I quit. Now I work in a print shop and I make less
than $12 an hour. But let me tell you, the work I do is really interesting. It challenges me! I look
forward every morning to going to work again.
Frank Greer is acknowledging two facts we all know: (1) jobs are different and (2) some
are more interesting and challenging than others. These facts have not gone unnoticed by OB
researchers. They have responded by developing a number of task characteristics theories that seek
to identify task characteristics of jobs, how these characteristics are combined to form different jobs,
and the relationships of these task characteristics to employee motivation, satisfaction, and performance.
There are at least seven different task characteristics theories. Fortunately, there is a significant
amount of overlap between them. For instance, Hertzbergs motivation-hygiene theory and the research
on the achievement need are essentially task characteristics theories. Youll remember that Herzberg
argued that jobs that provided opportunities for achievement, recognition, responsibility, and the like
would increase employee satisfaction. Similarly, McClelland demonstrated that high achievers
performed best in jobs that offered personal responsibility, feedback, and moderate risks.
In this section, well review the two most important task characteristics theories-requisite
task attributes theory and the job characteristics model.
Requisite Task Attributes Theory
The task characteristics approach began with the pioneering work of Turner and Lawrence
in the mid-1960s. They developed a research study to assess the effect of different kinds of jobs on
employee satisfaction and absenteeism. They predicted that employees would prefer jobs that were
complex and challenging; that is, such jobs would increase satisfaction and result in lower absence
rates. They defined job complexity in terms of six task characteristics: (1) variety; (2) autonomy; (3)
responsibility; (4) knowledge and skill; (5) required social interaction; and (6) optional social interaction.
66

The higher a job scored on these characteristics, according to Turner and Lawrence, the more complex
it was.
Their findings confirmed their absenteeism prediction. Employees in high-complexity tasks
had better attendance records. But they found no general correlation between task complexity and
satisfaction-until they broke their data down by the background of employees. When individual
differences in the form of urban-versus-rural background were taken into account, employees from
urban settings were shown to be more satisfied with low complexity jobs. Employees with rural
backgrounds reported higher satisfaction in high-complexity jobs. Turner and Lawrence concluded
that workers in larger communities had a variety of non-work interests and thus were less involved
and motivated by their work. In contrast, workers from smaller towns had fewer non-work interests
and were more receptive to the complex tasks of their jobs.
Turner and Lawrences requisite task attributes theory was important for at least three
reasons. First, they demonstrated that employees did respond differently to different types of jobs.
Second, they provided a preliminary set of task attributes by which jobs could be assessed. And
third, they focused attention on the need to consider the influence of individual differences on
employees reaction to jobs.
The Job Characteristics Model
Turner and Lawrences requisite task attributes theory laid the foundation for what is today
the dominant framework for defining task characteristics and understanding their relationship to
employee motivation. That is Hackman and Oldhams job characteristics model (JCM).
According to JCM, any job can be described in terms of five core job dimensions, defined
as follows:
1.

Skill variety: The degree to which the job requires a variety of different activities so the
worker can use a number of different skills and talent.

2.

Task identity: The degree to which the job requires completion of a whole and identifiable
piece of work.

3.

Task significance: The degree to which the job has a substantial impact on the lives or
work of other people.

4.

Autonomy: The degree to which the job provides substantial freedom, independence, and
discretion to the individual in scheduling the work and in determining the procedures to be
used in carrying it out.

5.

Feedback: The degree to which carrying out the work activities required by the job results
in the individual obtaining direct and clear information about the effectiveness of his or her
performance.
67

SUMMARY
Motivation is a willingness to exert high levels of effort toward organisational goals, conditioned
by efforts ability to satisfy some individual need. The early theories of motivation are Hierarchy of
Needs Theory, Theory X and Theory Y, Motivation-Hygiene Theory, Contemporary Theories includes
ERG Theory, McClellands Theory of Needs, Cognitive Evaluation Theory and Task Characteristics
Theories.
QUESTIONS
1.

What is Motivation?

2.

Explain Theory X and Theory Y.

3.

What is ERG Theory?

4.

What are Task Characteristics Theory?

68

CHAPTER - VI

FOCUS ON THE INDIVIDUAL


OBJECTIVES
To familiarise a reader with attitudes, functions of attitudes, attitudes and behaviour,
motivation, its importance, basic considerations, approaches etc. It also explains the different theories
of motivation and the role of motivation in management and methods of stress management.
ATTITUDES
Attitudes and Individual
The study of attitudes can be said to cover the full range of human behaviour and
experience. We develop attitudes towards whatever we experience: people, religion, politics, etc.
Therefore, we can say that attitudes are relatively lasting feelings. Beliefs and behaviour tendencies
directed towards specific persons, groups, ideas, issues or objects. They are means of classifying
objects or events and of reacting to them with some degree of consistency. While attitudes logically
are hypothetical constructs (that is, they are inferred but not objectively observable), they are
manifested in conscious experience, verbal reports, behaviour and physiological symptoms.
Some insight is offered by social psychologists, who often describe an attitude in terms
of three components:
1.

an affective component, or the feelings, sentiments, moods and emotions about some
person, idea, event or object;

2.

a cognitive component, or the beliefs, opinions, knowledge or information held by


the individual;

3.

a behavioural component, or the intention and predisposition to act.


Thus the informational content of any attitude is cognitive. For example, in our attitude

towards an ethnic group, the cognitive aspect embraces the stereotyped beliefs (valid or misinformed)
we may hold about the groups ability, appearance, etc. Our feelings of like or dislike about the
group represents the affective aspect of the attitude, which epitomize the evaluative nature of
attitudes. Our tendency to exhibit overt behaviour toward the group is behavioural.
As a rule, favorable attitudes are characterized by positive directions for all three
attributes; unfavorable attitudes tend to involve the reverse. These components of an attitude do
not exist or function separately. An attitude is based on the interrelationship of a persons feelings,
cognitions and behavioural tendencies with regard to something - another person or group, an event,
an idea and so on.
69

Functions of Attitudes
Attitudes have instrumental, noetic and expressive functions. Each of these contributes to
the well-being of an individual:

Instrumental function - attitudes as means to other ends. In seeking social acceptance an


individual may show a hostile attitude toward some minority group held in low esteem by
neighbours, or may take up golf to enter a desired social group. Attitudes thus function as
facilitators for achieving goals, retrospectively on the basis of past pleasant experiences or in
prospective anticipation of future reward. To the extent that our attitudes serve as a means to
an end, the instrumental function intensifies from its perceived effectiveness in goal attainment.

Noetic function - attitudes as a way of thinking and understanding. Attitudes have the same
cognitive role in everyday life as theories have in our broader philosophical or scientific
understanding. Our experiences are so diverse and the range of available responses is so
extensive that the simplifications inherent in attitudes are urgent if we are to avoid chaos. If
we did not systematically associate classes of objects and events with consistent sets of
responses, life would be an uninterrupted sequence of strange new problems. Despite potential
errors, generalizations such as those embodied in attitudes permit the only feasible approach
to rational activity.

Expressive function - attitudes as a means for emotional release. The expressive aspect of
attitudes is held to relieve psychological pressure as if it were some sort of safety valve.
Attitudes are useful tension reducers in their own right. The gratification of tension release
through expressive attitudes is epitomized in such phrases as its really nice to be in love or
the person you love to hate. In their expressive function, attitudes provide a number of
alternatives to overt action. It is held that, if we can release hostile tensions through relatively
safe attitudinal activity (i.e. fantasy or daydreaming), we do not have to act them out with
aggressive behaviour. Thus attitudes can be said to be substitutes for actions.

Attitudes and Behaviour


We often think of attitudes as a simple concept, clearly related to individual behaviour. In
reality, attitudes and their effects on behaviour can be extremely complex.
To what extent do attitudes predict or cause behaviour? For many years, it was thought
that our behaviour was consistent with our attitudes. While there is little doubt that some attitudes are
related to behaviour, it is now widely accepted that a simple, direct link between attitudes and
behaviour does not exist. A model of the attitude-behaviour relationship has been developed by Ajzen
and Fishbein. In their behavioural intentions model, they suggest that behaviour is more predictable
(and understandable) if we focus on a persons specific intentions to behave in a certain way rather
70

than solely on their attitudes towards that behaviour. Intentions depend on both attitudes and norms
regarding the behaviour. Norms are rules of behaviour, or proper ways of acting, which have been
accepted as appropriate by members of a group or society. Norms thus represent social pressures
to perform or not to perform the behaviour in question.
Attitudes
An attitude can be seen as an enduring system of positive or negative evaluations, feelings
and tendencies towards action. It has a thinking or cognitive element which can manifest itself in a
belief system. An emotional element may reinforce the cognitive aspect, and an action or behaviour
may follow from the cognitive-emotional aspects.
The formation and the change of attitudes are both popular fields of study for organizational
behaviour (OB) people. Attitudinal change and structuring are often seen as key determinants in
influencing peoples behaviour.
The ethics of trying to manipulate peoples attitudes apart, the OB theorists tend to fall
into two camps over this change of attitudes. The first sees an almost linear progression: change the
beliefs and/or emotions and the resultant behaviour is altered. The second approach concerns the
concept of cognitive dissonance and is advocated by Festinger. His view is that a change in beliefs
follows on from the change in behaviour. His theory, of cognitive dissonance underpins this approach.
According to this, and basically, if we voluntarily act in a way that is different from what we believe,
cognitive dissonance will occur. Doubts, anxieties and self-questioning may follow, and we attempt to
get rid of these or at least to reduce them. One way to do this is for our beliefs to alter so that they
come in line with our actions. This could well be at the level of the unconscious, and so it is difficult
for us to be aware of any fundamental shift.
To Festinger the key to attitude change is free will. If compliance or force of any kind
comes from others this cognitive dissonance will not occur. Perhaps when there is no obvious or clearcut rationale behind our behaviour, cognitive dissonance will occur.
Yet we can take Festingers views further. If the belief system is rigid, with some Ideological
slant, perhaps a shortfall between this belief and everyday events will lead to such dissonance or anxiety
that the action itself may change rather than the belief system. For example, if you are a radical person
of the left and you hold a position in say, operations management dealing with making people redundant,
the belief and action may not tally. The action could be justified or rationalized as saving the work of
the majority, and the belief system thus modified to be in line with the action. However, the actions
may not be acceptable to the belief system (unchanging over a matter or principle), in which case the
action must stop (new job, transfer, not doing it thoroughly, etc.)
The dynamics between thought, belief, emotion and action may be less clear than we think.

71

MOTIVATION
All too often, managers place the blame for organizational problems firmly on lack of
motivation on the part of their employees . Researchers studying organizational behaviour also recognize
the importance of motivation as a determinant of effective performance and have invested a lot of
effort in trying to understand and explain the causes and consequences of motivation.
Defining Motivation
Although it is generally accepted that motivation is a critical factor in determining behaviour
within the organizations, there is less agreement on what it actually means and how it should be defined.
There is thus no single, widely accepted definition of the concept, but there are a number of
common themes which pervade most attempts In general, motivation has to do with three broad areas
with respect to an individuals behaviour:
1.

direction - what someone is trying to do;

2.

effort - how hard someone is trying;

3.

Persistence - how long someone continues trying.


Human behaviour is complex and often individuals do not know the true reason for their

behaviour. Because of this complexity, individuals are in any instances unpredictable.


Different forms of behaviour are sometimes similarly motivated; for example, one may try to
acquire prestige through clothing, through ones job, by getting married, by staying single etc. The
converse is also true: different motives may result in one form of behaviour.
The importance of Motivation
Motivation is vital in any job if people are to give their best to it. Assuming that employees
are given the opportunity for good performance and have the necessary skills, effectiveness depends
on their motivation.
Motivation represents the forces acting on or within a person to behave in a specific, goaldirected manner. The specific work motives of employees affect their performance at work. One
job of management is to channel employee motivation effectively towards achieving organizational
goals.
There may not be much agreement about what motivates workers, but there is agreement
that the organizational and work settings must allow three activities to occur:
1.

People must be attracted not only to join the organization but also to remain in it.

2.

People must perform the task for which they were employed.
72

3.

People must go beyond routine performance and become creative and innovative in their work.

Thus, for an organization to be effective, it must tackle the motivational problems involved
in stimulating peoples desires to be members of the organization and to be productive workers.
How do managers know when an employee is motivated or not?
Signs of Motivation
The attitudes and behaviour of employees very often reflect motivation or lack of it. Examples
of the signs of motivation are:

high performance and results being consistently achieved;

the energy, enthusiasm and determination to succeed;

co-operation in overcoming problems;

the willingness of individuals to accept responsibility;

willingness to accommodate necessary change.

Conversely, employees who are demotivated or who lack motivation often display:

apathy and indifference to the job;

a poor record of time keeping and high absenteeism;

an exaggeration of the effect of or difficulties encountered in problems, disputes and grievances;

a lack of co-operation in dealing with problems or difficulties;

unjustified resistance to change.

Managers generally complain about employees lack of motivation. However, managers have
some responsibility for such an attitude. Repetitive, monotonous and uninteresting jobs can be made
more acceptable if managers understand the motivational process.
Basic considerations in Motivation
A basic motivational principle states that peoples performance is based on their level of
ability and motivation. According to this, no task can be performed successfully unless the person
who is to carry it out has the ability to do so. Ability relates to the persons talent for performing
goal- related tasks. Regardless of how talented an individual is, however, his or her abilities alone are
not sufficient to attain a high level of performance.
The person must also desire to achieve that performance level. When managers discuss
motivation, they are concerned with

what drives behaviour;

what direction behaviour takes;

how to maintain it.


73

The motivational process begins with identifying a persons needs. Needs are deficiencies
that a person experiences at a particular time. These deficiencies may be psychological (such as the
need for recognition), physiological (such as the need for water, air or food) or social (such as the
need for friendship). Needs act as energizers that make a person more susceptible to motivational
efforts, because needs create tensions which the individual wishes to reduce.
Motivation is goal-directed. A goal is a specific result the individual wants to achieve. An
employees goals may be viewed as forces that attract the individual; moreover, accomplishing desirable
goals can significantly reduce need deficiencies. Some employees have a strong desire for advancement
an expectation, for instance, that working long hours will lead to a promotion. Such needs, desires
and expectations create tensions within these employees, making them uncomfortable. Believing that
some specific behaviours can overcome this feeling, these employees act. They direct their behaviours
toward the goal of reducing this state of tension. Initiation of behaviour sets up cues that feed
information back to them on the impact of their behaviour. For example, employees who seek to
advance, may try to work on major problems facing their organization in hopes of gaining more visibility
with senior managers, as well as influence in attaining the organizations goals. If they receive promotions
and raises, the company is sending signals (feedback) to them that their need for advancement and
their behaviours are appropriate. Once the employees receive either rewards or punishments, they
reassess their needs.
The general model of the motivational process is simple and straightforward. In the real world,
however, the process is not so clear-cut. The first complication is that motivators can only be inferred;
they cannot be seen. The second centres on the dynamic nature of needs. At any one time, everyone
has many needs, desires and expectations. Not only do these factors change, but they may also conflict
with each other. Employees who put in extra hours at work to fulfill their needs for accomplishment
may find that these extra hours conflict directly with needs for affiliation and their desire to be with
their families.
A third complication is the considerable differences in the way people select certain motives
over others and in the energy with which people pursue these motives.
Approaches to Motivation
There is no shortage of motivation theories and managerial tactics that attempt to motivate
employees. However, they can be categorized into content theories and process theories.
Content theories of Motivation
The content theories of motivation attempt to explain the factors that energize and direct
behaviour; that is, the things that motivate people.
Four important content theorists are:
1.

Maslow-Hierarchy of needs theory


74

2.

Alderfer-ERG theory

3.

McClelland- achievement motivation theory

4.

Herzberg - two-factor theory

Maslows Hierarchy of needs


Maslow developed a general theory of human motivation, which has been applied to the
work setting by others. It is probably the best-known theory of motivation in this context. He proposed
five classes of human needs which are hierarchically ordered:
1.

Physiological - the need for food, drink, warmth etc.: survival factors;

2.

Safety- the need for physical and psychological safety; in other words, a predictable and
non-threatening environment:

3.

Social- the need to feel a sense of attachment to another person or group;

4.

Self-esteem - the need to feel valued and respected by the self and significant other people;

5.

Self-actualization - the need to fulfill ones potential, develop ones capacities and express
them.
Maslows theory assumes that individual needs affect behaviour in accordance with two

principles:
1. The deficit principle: a satisfied need is not a motivator of behaviour. People act to satisfy
deprived needs; that is to say, the needs for which a satisfaction deficit exists.
2. The progression principle: the five need categories exist. In a strictly ordered hierarchy of
prepotency (the power to come before) from the most basic (physiological) to the highest
(self-actualization). A need from any one level only becomes activated once the next lower
need has been satisfied.
Review of research evidence and criticism identified a number of serious flaws in this theory.
Alderfers ERG theory
Alderfer modified Maslows theory of motivation and proposed a model reducing the need
categories to three:
1.

Existence or basic survival needs;

2.

Relatedness, involving social interaction and respect or recognition from others;

3.

Growth, involving self-fulfillment, autonomy and success.


This has been better received than Maslows theory, but it is argued that, like Maslows, its

vagueness makes it difficult to verify,


75

McClellands need achievement theory


McClelland identified three basic needs that people develop and acquire from their culture:
1.

Need for achievement (N.Ach);

2.

Need for affiliation (N.Aff);

3.

Need for power (N.Pow);

The theory proposes that each of us will be, at different times, influenced by N.Ach, N.Aff
or N.Pow, and that the strength of that need will vary with the situation. Each of us is likely to have
developed a dominant bias towards one of these needs, on the basis of socialization and past
experiences. People with high N.Ach are said to seek situations where they have personal responsibility
for solving problems, where it is easy to tell how well you are doing, and where the goals are moderately
challenging. There is evidence to suggest that this need is associated with relative success in
entrepreneurial activities. However, later work suggested that high N.Ach is rarely associated with
good general management, especially in large organizations - people like this are primarily interested
in their own achievement. In the same study, It was found that successful managers had high N.Pow
and low N.Aff.
Herzbergs two-factor theory
In the original study 200 US engineers and accountants were asked to describe times when
they felt either particularly satisfied or particularly dissatisfied with their jobs. Analysis of these accounts
revealed a pattern suggesting that different sets of factors were involved in being satisfied and being
dissatisfied. In short, it was concluded that:
There are two types of factor motivators or satisfiers, which, when present, result in motivation
or satisfaction with the Job; and hygiene factors or dissatisfiers, which are a source of dissatisfaction.

The motivators are: achievement, recognition, the work Itself, responsibility, advancement and
personal growth. These are all intrinsic to the Job.

The hygiene factors are: company policy and administration, supervision, interpersonal relations,
money, status and security. These are all extrinsic to the job.

Motivators have little or no Impact on dissatisfaction; hygiene factors have little or no effect on
feeling motivated or satisfied. Two separate factors are argued to influence motivation to work
and satisfaction with it.

The theory has been particularly criticized strongly because of the research methods used
(critical incident technique), the restricted sample, and the fact that other research has failed to
support it.
However, the model has remained popular among practising managers essentially because
it is clear and seems to provide practical solutions to problems of motivation and dissatisfaction.
76

What do these content theories have in common?


They all emphasize the basic motivational concepts of need achievement motivation, and
hygiene motivators. Maslows hierarchy of needs serves as the basis for the ERG theory. Therefore,
there are some important similarities between the two: self-actualization and esteem needs make up
growth needs; social needs are similar to relatedness needs; and safety and physiological needs are
the building blocks of existence needs in ERG theory. A major difference between these two theories,
however, is that Maslow offers static needs hierarchy whose pinnacle is fulfillment, whereas the ERG
theory presents a flexible, three-needs system.
Herzbergs two-factor theory draws on both of the needs theories. That is, if hygiene factors
are present, relatedness and existence needs (ERGS theory) are not likely to be frustrated. Motivator
factors focus on the job itself and the opportunity for people to satisfy their own higher-order or
growth needs (ERG theory). Need achievement theory does not recognize lower-order needs: the
need for affiliation can be satisfied if a person meets hygiene factors on the job; if the job itself is
challenging and provides an opportunity for a person to make meaningful decisions, it is motivating.
These conditions go a long way toward satisfying the need for achievement.
At the heart of the debate revolving around the needs and wants of employees is the choice
between interesting work and good money.
Interesting work vs. good money
Which do workers want interesting work or good wages?
The answer to this question is It depends who you ask. Of 1,000 employees who were
asked Why do you work?, most answered interesting work. If this is the answer, then all that is
necessary is to make all work interesting, then we will have happy, productive employees who come
to work on time and do not resign.
Unfortunately, not all Jobs can be made interesting. More importantly, what is interesting to
one person may not be interesting to someone else. Also, not everyone wants an interesting, challenging
job.
If immediate supervisors or managers are able to recognize the differences between their
employees, then perhaps they can make sure that everyone is in a Job he or she finds interesting.
However, when managers were asked what they thought their employees wanted from their jobs, the
supervisors claimed that their workers highest performance was not for interesting work but for good
wages.
If we accept what managers believe as being true, then all we have to do is that we pay
good wages to all our employees. Good wages are probably easier to offer than interesting work,
but employees say that salary alone does not rank extremely highly on their list of preferences.
77

So we are now faced with differing opinions: employees state they prefer jobs while managers
say their employees prefer good wages. Three surveys were carried out over a period of forty years
to determine employee and management rankings of motivation items. Employees rankings shifted
from good money to more interesting work over the period. Why was this? One of the reasons is the
change in the economic, social and political context in which employees worked - these conditions
were very different in 1986 from those in 1946. By 1986 there had been forty years of relative
prosperity and a rise in the standard of living. It is not surprising that what workers wanted from their
Job had changed.
On the other hand, managers rankings remained remarkably static that is, employees prefer
good wages. Their collective perception of factors that motivate employees had not changed and,
more importantly, a comparison of rankings shows that managers had an inaccurate perception of
what motivates employees.
Why this disparity? Possible answers are:

Perhaps managers believe that employees find money socially undesirable as a reason for
working, and are therefore paying lip service to more socially acceptable factors, such as
Interesting work.

Managers choose rewards for which they are less responsible - for example, pay levels are
normally determined by organizational policies and not by individual managers. So managers
can pass the buck when it comes to assigning blame for poor levels of employee motivation.

These explanations are largely untested, but a third possible reason is self-referencing, where
managers offer rewards or behave towards workers in ways that would motivate themselves.
McClelland found that managers are usually high achievers who are interested in concrete measures
(money reflects how well they have done). For managers, money is a quantifiable way of keeping
score. Despite a vast amount of behavioural research into what motivates people, management selfreferencing seems to be as much a problem today as it was forty years ago - a sad commentary on
the implementation of research results in the workplace.
The content theories provide managers with an understanding of the particular work-related
factors that start the motivational process. These theories, however, promote little understanding of
why people choose a particular behaviour to accomplish task-related goals. This aspect of choice is
the major focus of process theories of motivation.
Process theories of Motivation
Process theories attempt to describe and analyse how the personal factors (content theories)
interact and influence each other to produce certain kinds of behaviour. Two important contributions
are:
1. Expectancy theory
2. Equity theory
78

Expectancy theory
Expectancy theory was developed by Vroom and extended by Porter and Lawler. Its major
components are :

As a result of an action, such as better performance, or greater fatigue, resulting from putting
more effort into a task; and / or results that such outcome themselves may produce, such as
better pay, promotion, stress. These two forms of outcome are often referred to as first
level and second level outcomes respectively.

Valence the amount of satisfaction an individual anticipates receiving from a particular


outcome; how attractive the outcome is. This could vary from highly attractive (for example,
increased pay) through indifferent to highly unattractive (for example, dismissed)

Instrumentality an individuals subjective belief that the likelihood (perceived probability)


that second level outcomes will follow from first-level outcomes (for example, belief about
how likely increased pay or promotion are as a result of improved performance)

Expectancy- the individuals subjective belief about the likelihood (perceived probability) that
a particular action will be followed by particular outcome (for example, belief about how likely
it, is that improved performance will actually result from increased effort).

Vrooms model is expressed in mathematical terms, but in essence argues that the force on
a person to act in a particular way is a function of multiplying together valence, expectancy and
instrumentality.
The implications of this for managers who want to ensure that their employees are motivated
to perform are that managers need to ensure that employees;

See themselves as possessing the necessary skills and abilities to do their job (expectancy);

Believe that if they perform their jobs well they will be rewarded (Instrumentality);

Find the rewards offered for successful performance attractive (valence)

There are problems with such an approach. Some studies suggest that people do not
necessarily distinguish expectancy from instrumentality, that better prediction can be made by adding
(as opposed to multiplying) valence and instrumentality or expectancy, that the theory works poorly
where any of the outcomes has a negative valence (are viewed as undesirable), etc.
This is a theory that concentrates an process, pays little attention to why people value or do
not value particular outcomes, and invokes no concept of underlying need.
Equity theory
The central part of equity theory is that people are motivated to get what they consider a
fair return for their efforts; rather than to get as much as they can. It suggests that there is a need for
equity (fairness). In ones relations with others, inequity is painful, and people are motivated to reduce
it.
79

Adams, a prominent theorist in this area, states that equity theory has three components:
1.

Inputs - anything the individual regards as an investment in the work situation worthy of income
return; for example, education, training, experience, effort, etc.

2.

Outcomes - anything the individual regards as a return from the organization; for example,
pay, fringe benefits, pleasant working conditions, etc.

3.

Comparison other - some other person or group with whom individuals compare themselves
in arriving at judgements concerning equity.

The theory proposes that individuals are influenced by the ratio of what they see as their
outcomes to what they see as their inputs. Each input and outcome is weighted by its importance to
the individual. This ratio is compared with what is perceived to exist for the comparison other. If the
two are equivalent then the situation is said to be -equitable, a pleasant state generating no changes.
In behaviour or attitudes if the comparison others ratio is higher, the situation is one of under-reward
inequity, which is unpleasant, and the person is motivated to reduce it The greater the inequity, the
greater the distress and the more the person is motivated to reduce it.
The bulk of research in this area has been carried out through laboratory experiments as
opposed to field experiments, so there is some difficulty in generalizing the findings to the real world.
However, reviews of research suggest that on the whole the predictions of the theory are well supported.
Equity theory is widely used by managers and compensation specialists to set pay scales
for Jobs.
What do process theories have in common? The expectancy and equity theories emphasize
different aspects of motivation. Expectancy theory assumes that employees are rational and evaluate
how much the reward means to them before they perform their jobs. How well employees perform
their jobs will thus depend in part on what they believe is expected of them. Once their manager
communicates these expectations, then employees assign probabilities that their efforts will lead to
desired first-level outcomes (performance, quality of work, absenteeism, etc.) These outcomes are
linked to valued rewards (for example, high pay or job security) that they desire from their jobs. It is
the managers job to make the desired rewards attainable to employees by clearly linking rewards
and performance.
In contrast to expectancy theory, where employees make internal judgements of the value
of rewards, equity theory assumes that what is equitable is determined by employees comparing
themselves to similar others. According to equity theory, people are motivated to retreat from inequitable
situations and are attracted to remain on the job and perform at high levels in equitable situations.
Because equity theory deals with perceptions of fairness among employees, it is reasonable to expect
that they react to inequitable situations in different ways.
Both theories emphasize the future role of rewards and an individuals decision-making
processes. These theories suggest that managers concerned about improving employee performance
80

should actively create proper work environments, match employees to jobs, and establish clear
performance-reward systems. Motivation for high performance will not exist unless managers recognize
such performance when it occurs, and reward it.
Expectancy and equity theories emphasize different aspects of motivation. Equity theory
suggest that people are motivated by comparing their own situation with that of others who are in the
same or a similar situation, while expectancy theory is more internally orientated. Over the years a
growing number of behavioural scientists have carried out investigations into what motivates people.
It would be wrong to ignore this accumulated knowledge, but equally wrong to pretend that each
viewpoint holds the key to solving our problems of motivating people. The results and findings of
some, however, do give an insight of practical significance, which can be helpful to managers
understanding.
Why do people work?
Psychologists and management experts have sought the answer to this question for many
years. If a company knows why some employees come to work on time, stay with the company and
are productive and useful, then it might be able to ensure that all employees behave in such a way.
Whether for a professional or a manual worker, it is not exceptional in a full working life to
expend around 100,000 hours of physical and mental effort. The fact that this effort is concentrated
into a period in the human lifecycle when the individual is most physically and mentally able gives this
figure even greater significance. Further, though the length of the standard working week has tended
to decrease over time, the length of the standard working week, including overtime, had declined
relatively little since the 1930s. So the importance of work in the lives of most individuals in our society
is apparent.
A major error in industry has been the oversimplification of the concept of motivation. Too
often, since Taylors time, it has been assumed that the primary reason that people work is to make
money. People in industry are just as complex as people in any other phase of life, and any attempt
to reduce their behaviour to a single system of motivation must result in artificiality and narrowness.
A classic study carried out in the USA on samples of both manual and white-collar workers
concluded that, for most people, work is more than merely a means of providing an income:
For most men, having a job serves other functions than the one of earning a living. In fact,
even if they had enough money to support themselves, they would still want to work. Working gives
them a feeling of being united into the larger society, of having something to do, of having a purpose
in life.
The researchers, Morse and Weiss, saw this conclusion as being consistent with the feelings
of isolation and dislocation frequently experienced by the unemployed and also the retired, even when
the latter have an adequate income. Studies of unemployment in Britain have reinforced the claim that
81

those unable to work can experience severe psychological deprivations, with detrimental effects for
their personal relationships both within and outside the family.
Part of Morse and Weisss research focused on the question, If by some chance you
inherited enough money to live comfortably without working, do you think you would work anyway
or not? Eighty per cent of respondents claimed that they would continue working and two-thirds of
those who gave positive reasons for their decisions did so for such factors as job interest, job
satisfaction, maintaining self-respect, etc. The remaining one third gave negative reasons, such as I
would otherwise feel bored and isolated, I would feel lost, I would not know what to do with my
time, etc. Morse and Weisse claimed that one reason why such people may want to work is that,
although they may not find their work intrinsically rewarding, they have few alternative ideas for making
use of their energy.
The percentage of respondents who said they would opt to give up, work increased quite
markedly with age; perhaps this is not surprising, given that older workers may have already begun
to adjust to the idea of a life outside the workplace. The kind of work held by respondents did not
generally influence attitudes on wanting to continue working. The only exception to this was among
unskilled workers, only about 50 per cent of whom said they would continue working.
When asking how satisfied they were with their current job, 80 per cent claimed to be either
-satisfied or -very satisfied. However, this should not be taken as an indication that their jobs were
intrinsically interesting and stimulating. Morse and Weiss in fact stated; - This finding suggests that
most individuals accommodate themselves to their chances and possibilities in life and in general do
not maintain, as conscious aspirations, chances and opportunities not within their scope to realise.
Another, but not unrelated, suggestion as to why workers occupying relatively unrewarding
jobs tend to claim high or fairly high levels of job satisfaction has been commented upon by Goldthorpe
et al. They point out that numerous studies have revealed that workers, when asked how they like
their jobs, tend to report favourably even in cases where they obviously experience severe deprivations
in performing them. However they argue it is difficult for a worker to admit that he or she dislikes his
or her job without thereby threatening his [or her] self respect. Peoples work tends to have an
important influence on their image of themselves and to say that they find their job unacceptable can
be tantamount to saying they find themselves unacceptable.
Morse and Weiss found that many respondents who claimed fairly high levels of satisfaction
said that, if they inherited enough money to live comfortably without working, they would continue to
work but change their jobs. Hence it appeared that commitment to their current jobs was weaker
than to their work in general. This was particularly true for manual worker respondents, only 34 per
cent of whom said they would continue in their current line of work (this compares with 61 per cent
of white-collar respondents). Many of those in manual occupations expressed an interest in selfemployment, though they were unsure often as to what sort of business this would be. The appeal of
82

self-employment appeared to lie in the prestige and autonomy to be gained without the necessity for
additional formal education and training.
In a final summary of the meaning of work for the people they studied Morse and Weiss
stated that:
To the typical man in a middle-class occupation, working means having a purpose, gaining
a sense of accomplishment, expressing himself. He feels that not working would leave him aimless
and without opportunities to create. To the typical man in a working- class occupation working means
having something to do. He feels that not working would leave him no adequate outlet for physical
activity; he would just be sitting or lying around.
In the western world, work has long been considered a central life interest. Indeed, Weber
has claimed that the capitalist system itself rests on the moral and religious justification that reformation
gave to work However, Dubins research indicates that the kind of commitment to work required to
make it a central life interest is often absent among industrial workers, and that it is the family and
non-work life which is more frequently the area of central life interest. Dubin found among the workers
he studied that only some percent identified work as their main areas of life interest; the remainder
tended to see other areas of life interest - outside the workplace - as being more important to them.
Further, only some percent claimed the workplace as their most meaningful source of informal human
associations. The rest attached more meaning and importance to the family and other non-work
contacts as sources of preferred informal social relationships.
The majority of workers studied regarded work as mandatory, and some form of social
interaction within the workplace was preferred. However, for most people, these social contacts were
not highly valued, and did not result in primary social relationships. Participation in the workplace
was seen as being economically necessary but not important as a source of meaningful social experience.
Nevertheless, in 63 per cent of cases, work was identified by respondents as their main focus of
attachment in their organizational and technical environment. Dubin makes the interesting suggestion
on the overall significance of work that:
The characteristics of industrial work that are alleged to be disturbing to the individual
(monotony, repetitiveness, mechanistic nature, and over specialisation) are the very features that make
obvious to its participants the nature of symbiotic or technological interdependence. In short, industrial
work may be functional for the society because it sharply fetches for the individual some awareness
of the division of labour and its resultant interdependence.
The ideas examined thus far, those of Morse and Weiss and of Dubin, indicate that the
relationship between the individual and work is often of a rather complex nature. While the degree of
attachment to work may be high in the sense that work-life is regarded as both necessary and important,
commitment to work is often lower when work fails to measure up to the emotional significance of
other areas of life.
83

In a wide-ranging survey on work orientations and satisfactions, it has been shown that levels
of job satisfaction are closely related to position in the industrial hierarchy. The most satisfied are
professionals and senior managers and the least satisfied are manual workers, especially those employed
in mass production.
We may assume that job satisfaction is positively correlated with the degree to which the
individual makes work a central life interest. Blauner makes the point that the most senior occupational
roles in industry confer on the individual high personal status. In such roles the individual has
considerable autonomy and control over others, both of which make a positive contribution to the
individuals identity, and are also clearly linked with the individuals central life interest. Confirmation
of this point is provided by Parker, who reports that individuals in senior occupational roles rarely
make a sharp distinction between work and leisure.
MANAGEMENT AND MOTIVATION
Managerial motivational strategies must start with the needs of people. If these needs can
be met, the chances are that the individual or group will be more motivated. The task here is to
determine what managerial motivational policies can be related to these needs in order to maximize
the contribution of the individual.
Job Satisfaction
In recent years a great deal of attention has been devoted to the study of job satisfaction.
Locke refers to 3,350 publications in the ten years preceding his seminal work on the topic. There is
general consensus in the literature on the definition of overall job satisfaction. Evans, for example,
defines it as a general affective orientation to all aspects of the job, and Kalleberg as an overall
affective orientation on the plan of the individual towards work roles which they are presently
occupying. In the most general sense, job satisfaction is a pleasurable or positive emotional state
resulting from the appraisal of ones job or job experiences. This positive assessment or feeling is
said to occur when work is in harmony with the individuals needs and values. Job dissatisfaction is
seen to occur when there is a discrepancy between the individuals values and the capacity of the job
to satisfy the needs associated with those values.
Sources of job satisfaction
Job satisfaction is sometimes regarded as a single concept; that is, a person is either satisfied
with their job or not. However, it is best considered as a collection of related job attitudes that can
be divided into a variety of job aspects. For example, a popular measure of job satisfaction - the Job
Descriptive Index - measures satisfaction in terms of five specific aspects of a persons job: pay,
promotion, supervision, work itself, and co-workers. An employee can obviously be satisfied with
some aspects of the job and, at the same time, dissatisfied with others.
84

Sources of job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction vary from person to person. Sources
thought to be important include, challenge of the job, degree of interest that the work holds, extent of
physical activity, working conditions, rewards, and the nature of co-workers.
The effects of various work factors on job satisfaction are show in Table-1. An implication
of these work factors is that job satisfaction should perhaps be considered primarily as an outcome
of an individuals work experience. Thus, high levels of dissatisfaction might indicate to managers that
problems exist with physical working conditions, the organizations reward structure, role conflict or
clarity, and so on. However, workers may bring with them to work negative (or positive) attitudes
from their personal and/or social lives, and these may strongly colour their supposed job satisfaction.
Table 1 - Effects of various work factors on job satisfaction
Work Factors
Work Itself
Challenge

Effects
Mentally challenging work that the Individual
can successfully accomplish is satisfying.

Physical demands

Tiring work is dissatisfying.

Personal interest

Personally interesting work is satisfying.

Reward structure

Working conditions
Physical
Goal attainment

Rewards that are equitable and that provide


accurate feedback for performance are
satisfying.
Satisfaction depends on the match between
working conditions and physical needs.
Working conditions that promote goal attainment are
satisfying.

Self-esteem

High self-esteem is conducive to job satisfaction

Others in Organization

Individuals will be satisfied with supervisors,


co-workers or subordinates who help them attain
rewards. Also, Individuals will be more satisfied with
colleagues who see things the same way they do.

Organization and Management

Individuals will be satisfied with organizations


that have policies and procedures designed to
help them attain rewards. Individuals will be dis
satisfied with conflicting roles and/or ambiguous roles
imposed by the organization.

Fringe benefits

Such benefits do not have a strong Influence on Job


satisfaction for most workers.

85

Job Satisfaction and Behaviour


Of particular interest to managers and organizations are the possible relationships between
job satisfaction and various job behaviours and other work outcomes. For example, a commonly
held view is that job satisfaction leads to better performance (a satisfied worker is a more productive
worker). Yet numerous studies have shown that a simple link between job attitudes and job
performance often does not exist.
Although job satisfaction does not lead directly to good performance, employee job
satisfaction is very important for organizations for a number of other reasons:

It can be a diagnostic tool, identifying potential problem areas.

There is a link between job satisfaction and absenteeism, turnover, physical and mental health.

Vroom reviewed the major research studies up to the mid-sixties and attempted to categorize
them in terms of which job behaviours were correlated with job satisfaction. Specifically, he grouped
them into studies of turnover, absenteeism, accidents and job performance.

Satisfaction and turnover: The seven studies reviewed indicated a negative relationship:
the higher the workers satisfaction the less likely they were to leave the job.

Satisfaction and absenteeism: Of the ten studies reviewed, four tended to support the notion
of a negative relationship between the amount of job satisfaction and the degree of work
absenteeism. However three studies did not support this premise, and the remaining three
indicated that the magnitude of an absenteeism-satisfaction correlation was a function of
the type of absenteeism measure used and the gender of the worker.

Satisfaction and accidents: Two studies were reviewed, one of which found a substantial
negative relationship and the other none at all.

Satisfaction and job performance: The available evidence seems to suggest that no such
relationship exists. This was first brought dramatically into focus by Brayfield and Crockett,
who examined all available research relating job satisfaction to job performance and
concluded that there was virtually no evidence of any relationship between these two
variables. This, of course, is a finding critical of those who support the general human
relations notion that a satisfied worker is a more productive worker. Vroom, Schwab and
Cummings- updated the work of Brayfield and Crockett, and there seems little doubt that
there is at best only a small relationship existing between these variables.

Work Stress
In the USA, Britain and many other European countries, about half the deaths each year,
for both men and women, are due to cardiovascular diseases. The factors associated with a high risk
of heart disease include cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and blood sugar levels,
and excess body weight. However, a number of studies have indicated that social and psychological
factors may account for much of the risk, and this has promoted research into factors in the work
situation that may increase susceptibility to heart disease. Among the factors that have been shown to
influence such susceptibility are dissatisfaction at work and occupational stress.
86

In recent years, the term stress has been used widely and with varying meanings. Stress
involves an interaction of person and environment; something happens out there which presents a
person with a demand, a constraint or an opportunity for behaviour. From a definitional standpoint,
the extent to which that demand is stressful depends on several things; from an empirical standpoint,
it depends on even more variables. For example, the demand must be perceived by the stressee; it
must be interpreted in relation to his or her ability to meet the demand circumvent, remove or live
with the constraint, or effectively use the opportunity; and the stressee must perceive the potential
consequences of successfully coping with (that is altering) the demand (constraint, opportunity) as
more desirable than the expected consequences of leaving the situation unaltered. So there is potential
for stress when an environmental situation is perceived as presenting a demand which threatens to
exceed the persons capabilities and resources for meeting it, under conditions where they expect a
substantial differential in the rewards and costs from meeting the demand versus not meeting it.
Lazarus defined stress as referring to a broad class of problems differentiated from other
problem areas because it deals with any demands which tax the system, whatever it is, a physiological
system, a social system, or a psychological system, and the response of that system.
He goes on to argue that the reaction depends on how the person interprets or appraises
(consciously or unconsciously) the significance of a harmful, threatening or challenging event. In
essence, therefore, stress is thought to occur from a misfit between the individual and his or her
environment: an imbalance in the context of an organism-environment transaction.
Stress, in itself, is not abnormal - nobody lives wholly free from it. And indeed, stress may
be a spur to doing something positive about a situation. For example, the executive who watches a
younger manager climb up the promotion ladder may increase his or her own efficiency, or the student
may study harder when faced with an exam.
It is clear that far from all individuals who are exposed to the same work conditions develop
abnormalities of either a physical or a psychological character most seem to manage reasonably
well. It is only when stress is irrational, unproductive and persistent that it may be a symptom of
psychological and physiological illness.
The causes of stress are many and, indeed, interactive, and there are a large number of
environmental sources of work stress:

characteristics of the job itself;

role of the person in the organization;

interpersonal relationships at work;

career development pressures;

climate and structure of the organization;

problems associated with the interface between the organization and the outside world, etc.

Stressed out
Stress is seen as an adaptation and adjustment to pressures, both from outside and from
87

within the individual. Stress tends to be a very individual thing, but it has been suggested that it can
occur in various clusters (Figure-2).
Table 2 - Stress and Cluster
Cluster

Examples

Personal relationships

Relationships with colleagues, Impersonal


treatment, constant client complaints and
poor communications.
Shifts, and anti-social hours, job security and
unfair promotion procedures.
Conflicting roles, too much or too little work,
lack of control, too much or too little supervision and
machine- paced work.
From overcrowding to noisy conditions, from
temperature to smoking.

Contractual
Job

Environmental

Table 3 - Sources of work stress


Sources of stress
At work
Work overload
Pressure
Role ambiguity
Role conflict
Thwarted ambition
Lack of job security
Poor working
Relationships
Office politics, etc.

Individual
characteristics

Symptoms of
ill-health
Blood pressure
Cholesterol
Job dissatisfaction
Smoking
Drinking etc.

Anxiety
Level of
neuroticism

Type of
ill-health
Heart
disease
Mental
ill-health

Sources of stress outside the organization


Family
Financial difficulties, etc.

Komhauser found that poor mental health was directly related to unpleasant working
conditions, the necessity to work fast and expend a great deal of physical effort, and to excessive
and inconvenient hours. French and Caplan differentiated between quantitative (too much to do) and
qualitative (too difficult) overload. (Quantitative overload is strongly linked to cigarette smoking, an
important risk factor for heart disease. Those with more phone calls and meetings were found to
smoke significantly more than those with fewer such engagements.) They suggest that both quantitative
and qualitative overload may produce at least nine different symptoms of psychological and physical
strain:
1

Job dissatisfaction

Job tension

Lower self-esteem

Feelings of being under threat


88

Embarrassment

High cholesterol levels

Increased heart rate

Skin complaints

More smoking
The role an individual has in the organization is another major source of work stress. Most

research in this area has concentrated on role conflict and role ambiguity. The former exists when the
individual in a particular work role is torn by conflicting job demands or troubled by having to undertake
tasks, which he or she does not want to do. Kahn et al. found that those who suffered from role
conflict had lower job satisfaction and high levels of job-related tension. Role ambiguity, on the other
hand, exists when an individual has inadequate information about his or her work role.
Responsibility is another potential stressor and the evidence seems to suggest that there is a
need to distinguish between responsibility for people and responsibility for things. Wardwell et al.
found that heart disease was more likely to be associated with stresses derived from responsibility
for people than for things (since it involves more interaction with others, etc.). French and Caplan
found that this was significantly related to heavy smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol
levels.
The nature of an individuals relationships with his or her boss, subordinates and colleagues
is a significant factor for individual and organizational health - good relationships are central.
Other factors contributing to stress are career development pressures, (such as lack of job
security, fear of redundancy, obsolescence or early retirement), status incongruity (over- or underpromotion), and frustration at having reached ones career ceiling. The organizations structure and
climate can threaten an individuals freedom, autonomy and identity, which can all pose additional
pressures. Extra-organizational sources of stress should not be ignored either: for example family
problems, life crises, financial difficulties, conflict of personal beliefs with those of the organization,
conflict of organization with family demands, etc.
Whom does stress affect?
Stress is frequently considered to be an occupational hazard of managers and executives,
and some research supports this view. However, in one of the major studies in this area (a largescale investigation of the incidence of coronary heart disease among managers and workers), it was
not found to be the case. In fact, the results showed that managers and executives experienced fewer
coronary incidents than did foremen and workers. In addition, it was found that there was no relationship
between career mobility and job success and the incidence of heart disease. The conclusion was
89

that the findings provided no evidence that people who had high levels of responsibility or who had
been promoted rapidly, frequently or recently, or who were transferred to new departments or to
new companies, had any added risk of heart disease.
Furthermore, it was found that those who entered the organization with a college degree
experienced fewer coronary incidents at all ages, in all geographical areas and in all departments than
those who did not. Hinkle et al. interpreted these differences in coronary attack rate related to
education level in terms of the probably better biological make-up of the highly educated group, which
was thought to be related to, but not necessarily the result of, differences in the social and economic
background from which they originated.
Managing stress
To be effective, organizational members must recognize when to increase and decrease stress.
The key to managing stress constructively is first to recognize its energizing or destructive effects.
Managers can encourage productive stress by helping employees to build challenge into their work
and to assume responsibility and autonomy.
Biographical features, Stressors and Stress
Each property of the work situation (box A) is seen as an environmental demand which,
accentuated or minimized by the individuals characteristics (box B), may result in feelings or physical
indications of stress (Figure 1).
Managers can also help individuals to cope up with dysfunctional stress by counselling the
employee and directing them to an appropriate health or counselling service, but perhaps more
importantly by changing or removing the stressors. Jobs can be redesigned to reduce role overload,
role ambiguity and even boredom.
Figure 1 - Biological features Stressors and Stress
B Personality/
biographical features
Rigidity/flexibility
Anxiety-proneness
Age
Ability, etc.
Characteristics of the
person
A Stressors
Conflict
Ambiguity
Overload
Responsibility
Repetitiveness
Fast pacing
Characteristics of the
work situation

C Stress
Peptic ulcer
High blood pressure
Job tension
Job dissatisfaction
High heart-rate
Characteristics of the
Individuals experience
And physical condition

90

SUMMARY
Attitudes contain three components like an affective component, a cognitive component and
a behavioural component. Attitudes have instrumental, noetic and expressive functions. Attitudes and
their effects on behaviour can be extremely complex. An attitude is an enduring system of positive
and negative evaluations, feelings and tendencies towards action. Motivation may be defined as
something to do with three broad areas with respect to an individuals behaviour, like direction, effort
and persistence. Motivation is vital in any job if people are to give their best to it. There are strong
signs of lack of motivation or presence of motivation. The peoples performance is based on their
level of ability and motivation. There are many theories of motivation like Content Theory, ERG Theory,
Achievement Theory, Two-Factor Theory etc. The process theory of motivation are expectancy theory
and equity theory. Managerial motivational strategies must start with the needs of people. Job satisfaction
is a general affective orientation to all aspects of the job. It is sometimes regarded as a single concept
where a person is either satisfied with a job or not. Stress involves an interaction of person or
environment. It is an adaptation and adjustments to pressures, both from outside and from within the
individual. Stress is frequently considered to be an occupational hazard of managers and executives.
To be effective, organisational members must recognize when to increase and decrease stress.
QUESTIONS
1.

Write about Attitudes and Individuals.

2.

Give the definitions, importance and signs of Motivation.

3.

Which are the Content Theories of Motivation?

4.

What is Expectancy Theory?

5.

What is Stress give its different aspects?

91

CHAPTER - VII

FOCUS ON INTERPERSONAL AND GROUP PROCESSES


OBJECTIVES
This chapter acquaints the reader with the processes in interpersonal or group, defining
groups, group and individual performance, analysing of groups, group development and effectiveness
etc.
INTRODUCTION
An organization can be considered as a set of games between groups of partners who have
to play with each other.
Much of our time is spent interacting with others in groups, whether they are social or work
groups. Our personal identity is derived from the way in which we are perceived and treated by other
group members
Groups can alter our outlook on life and influence our behaviour in an organizational setting.
Organizational behaviour is more than simply the combined behaviours of individuals. It is not their
outcomes but rather a much more complex phenomenon, a very important part of which is the group.
The productivity and other factors resulting from effective group action make the development
of group skills one of the most important aspect of managerial training. Furthermore, membership in
productive and cohesive groups is essential to our psychological well-being. Thus, understanding how
groups develop and their dynamics is vital for all managers who seek to get the best from individuals
working in organizations
We all belong to groups, some that we enjoy and others that we do not. Whatever, our
own personal feelings about them, groups have become an increasingly important face of organizational
life. It can be said that to work in organizations is to work in groups. To be responsible, as a manager
in for getting things done means recognizing the need to work through and in groups. (On average,
managers spend 50 percent, of their working day in one sort of group or another, and for senior
managers this can rise to 80 per cent.)
What is it about groups that make organizations increasingly to rely on them? Fundamentally,
the complex nature of organizational activity makes it virtually impossible for individuals to cope at a
satisfactory level. There is a clear requirement for people to operate in groups, in order for them to
combine their knowledge and abilities to solve complex problems. It has been suggested that groups
are used to perform many formal organizational functions:
distribution of work, etc.
management and control of work
92

problem solving and decision making


information processing
information and idea collection
testing and ratifying decisions
co-ordination and liaison
increased commitment and involvement
negotiation or conflict resolution
inquest or inquiry into past
Furthermore, the growth of group activities in organizations relates to the belief that
organizations should be managed in an essentially participative manner
Involvement of staff may not only influence their feelings of satisfaction, but also help to ensure
that implementation goes more smoothly than might be the case where little or no participation takes
place. Therefore, we can say that groups are also instrumental to the individual. For example, they
offer:

organizationally related gain assisting in getting the job done;

contact with others (that is, work groups), which Warr and Wall suggest is essential as a
stimulus to mental activity or behaviour.

social comparison - comparing our beliefs;

the establishment or testing of a sense of self-identity;

a sense of security and influence over our environment;

the instrumentality of the group (motivation)

The implications for managers responsible for achieving results through managing groups are
clear. They have a responsibility to their organizations and their staff to develop their knowledge and
understanding of groups; to work and develop the skills needed to encourage groups to become more
effective; and finally, to develop their own group participation skills, enabling them to function effectively
as group members, as well as group leaders
Defining Groups
A wide range of definitions has been expounded, yet no universally accepted definition has
emerged. It is, however, generally accepted that most definitions fall along a continuum from the group
mind to the individuals view.
Two widely used definitions of group, which fall somewhere in the middle of the continuum,
are:
Two or more employees who interact with each other in such a manner that the behaviour
and/or performance of a member is influenced by the behaviour and/or performance of other members.
93

Any number of people who interact with one another, are psychologically aware of one
another and perceive themselves to be a group.
Defining groups has been tackled from a number of perspectives, the primary focus being,
for example: perception (where members must perceive their relationship to others); organization
(where the group has a set of norms that regulates the performance of the group and its members);
motivation (as a means of satisfying needs); interaction (where interdependence is the core to
groupness).
Each of these perspectives is important, since each point to a key factor relating to groups.
Furthermore, we can say that if a group exists in an organization, its members:
are motivated to join;
perceive the group as a unified unit of interacting people;
contribute to group processes;
reach agreements or disagreements through interaction.
Different types of groups emerge within organizations - namely, formal and informal groups
for various reasons: needs, proximity, attraction, goals and economics.
Formal groups are deliberately created to carry out some specific task. Examples are project
teams, audit teams, committees and boards. Their structure, rules and membership are likely to be
explicitly stated by the organization. A command group is the most common type of permanent formal
group. This is reflected in the organization chart - the group is made up of subordinates who report
directly to a given supervisor, while a temporary task group works together to complete a particular
task or project, but its members do not necessarily report to the same supervisor
Informal groups, on the other hand, arise spontaneously through friendship or common interest.
Examples are ad hoc meetings, discussions and cliques. They evolve naturally, membership is voluntary
and changes, and members have mutual objectives, which are not necessarily related to those of the
organization. There are three common types of informal work group: horizontal cliques (with members
of similar rank in the same work area); vertical cliques (with members from different hierarchical levels
in the same department); and random cliques (with members from various departments, locations and
hierarchical levels). They can be permanent or temporary. They can be a most effective device for
blocking and obstructing new ideas, or the best way of putting them into practice.
The Group and Individual Performance
The presence of others seems to have a significant effect on an individuals performance whether it is enhancing or inhibiting. Therefore, others have an arousing effect on us either to behave
or perform better or worse.
Whether to use groups or to pool individuals together to work depends on the situation.
Here are some of the facts relating to groups.
94

Group mind-where the group is seen as an entity in its own right

Groups are real-they exist in the perceptions of members; subjectively real,


therefore, they can influence behaviour, but the individual remains the
prime focus of study

There is no study of groups which is not a study of individuals

Groups often take longer to complete a task than individuals would, working alone. This
tends to be the case when we talk in terms of time spent in completing a task - an important
consideration for managers. But the evidence strongly supports the conclusion that groups produce
more and better solutions to problems than individuals. However, experts may do better on their own
than a group of less competent people.
On the whole, there is likely to be more information available in a group, there is a greater
chance for errors and mistakes to be recognized and corrected, and groups can be creative. However,
group membership can inhibit us, and restrict our creativity. We may adopt the same approach to the
problem as the group in order not to appear difficult or different. But groups tend to continue to
produce ideas indefinitely whereas we as individuals would run dry eventually
Given that groups have received such attention in organizations, it is important that we look
at them in more detail.
Framework for analysing Groups
Although every group is different, possessing its own unique attributes and dynamics, all groups
tend to display similar patterns of evolution. The group phenomenon can be understood - terms of
the interaction of three groups of variables:
1.

Formation variables - the way the group is composed, the context within which it is operating

2.

Development variables factors emerging from the interaction of members in a given


situation.

3.

Effectiveness variables - the extent to which the group does adequately fulfill organizational
and individual functions.

95

Group development and effectiveness


Some groups appear to go through a five-stage developmental sequence: forming, storming,
norming, performing and adjourning. Managers need to understand the developmental stages of groups,
as each one can play an important role in effectiveness. It is, however, important to note that all groups
do not necessarily progress through these stages in the same way. For example, time pressures from
a superior could accelerate or alter the development of the group. Yet group performance may be
enhanced by this sequence.
Forming
This constitutes the initial formation of the group and the bringing together of a number of
individuals. In the forming stage, members focus their efforts on defining goals and developing
procedures for performing their task. This also involves getting to know each other and understanding
leadership and other member roles. In this stage, individual members might: keep feelings to themselves
until they know the situation; act more secure than they actually feel; experience confusion and
uncertainty about what is expected of them; be nice and polite, or at least certainly not hostile; and
try to ascertain the personal benefits relative to the personal costs of being involved in the group.
The context or environment can directly affect the behaviours and effectiveness of a group.
This context includes the conditions and factors outside the group that it cannot directly control. These
might- include technology, physical working conditions, management practices, formal rules, and
organizational rewards and punishments.
Goals influence the effectiveness and efficiency of individuals, groups and organizations, each
of which has multiple goals. Obviously, individual and organizational goals are likely to influence the
types of group goal and actual group behaviour in pursuit of these goals. Group goals are the end
status desired for the group as a whole, not just those desired by each individual member.
Both compatible and conflicting goals may exist within and between individuals, groups and
organizations. The pursuit of only task-related or people-related goals can in the long run reduce
effectiveness, increase conflicts and result in the break-up of the group. The influence of goals on
group behaviours and effectiveness becomes even more complex when the possible compatibilities
and conflicts between individual member goals, group goals and organizational goals are considered.
Effective group size can range from two members to a normal upper limit of sixteen. Twelve
is about the largest size that enables each member to react and interact easily with each of the other
group members.
Some of the effects of group size are shown in Table 1. Members of groups of seven or
less interact differently from members in groups of thirteen to sixteen.
96

Table 1 Effects of group size


Dimension

2-7 members

8-12 members

13-16 members

Low

Moderate

High

Low
Low

Low to moderate
Low to moderate

Moderate to high
Moderate to high

Low to high

Moderate to high

High

Low

Moderate to high

High

Low

Moderate

High

Low

Low to moderate

Moderate to high

Low to moderate

Moderate

Moderate to high

Low

Moderate to high

High

Leadership
Demands on leader
Differences between
leader and members
Direction by leader
Members
Tolerance of direction
from leader
Domination of group
Interaction by a few members
Inhibition in participation by
ordinary members
Group process
Formalization of rules and
Procedures
Time required for reaching
Judgement decisions
Tendency for subgroups
To form within group

Storming
There is normally some anxiety in groups as members try to create an impression, to test
each other and establish their own personal identity. This often leads to conflict and hostility. The
storming stage is very important the group needs to work through this conflict. During it, competition
over the leadership role and conflict over goals are dominant. The key is to manage conflict at this
stage, not to suppress or withdraw from it. The group cannot effectively evolve into the third stage if
the leader and the members go to either extreme; suppressing conflict would probably create
resentment, which would last long after members attempts to express their differences and emotions;
withdrawal could cause the group to fail more quickly.
Norming
As conflict starts to be controlled, members of groups will establish guidelines and standards
and develop their own norms of acceptable behaviours. Information is shared, different opinions are
accepted and positive attempts are made to reach mutually agreeable decisions on the groups goals.
This is also the stage during which the group sets the rules by which it will operate. Co-operation
within the group is a dominant theme. A sense of shared responsibility for the group develops.
Group norms play a large role in determining whether the group will be productive or not,
and managers can play a major role in setting and changing these. Understanding how norms develop
97

and why they are enforced helps managers diagnose better the underlying tensions and problems in
groups.
The extent to which members of a group like each other and want to remain members of
the group is referred to as cohesiveness. Differences in cohesiveness are apparent in sports teams,
work groups and even families. Cohesiveness, as a concept, is important for understanding groups in
big organizations, as is the recognition of the impact of groups on performance. The degree of
cohesiveness can have positive or negative effects depending on how group goals match up with those
of the formal organization. It is derived from a number of factors:

Interaction - that is, the amount of contact between group members. The more time spent
together, the greater the cohesion.

Shared goals - agreeing on the purpose and direction of group activities serves to bind the
group together. This increases as co-operation and democratic setting of goals mean that group
members can share in the success when meeting goals

Similarity of attitudes and values - birds of the same feather flock together: the group socially
validates members beliefs.

If cohesiveness is high and the group accepts and agrees organizational goals, then group
behaviour will probably be positive from the organizations perspective. However, if the group is highly
cohesive but has goals which, are not congruent with the organizations, group behaviour probably
will be negative from the organizations perspective.
If a group is low in cohesiveness and has no affinity with organizational goals the results will
be negative. Behaviour will be more on an individual basis than on a group one. It is, however, possible
to have a group low in cohesiveness, where goals agree with the organizations. Here results will be
positive, although more on an individual than a group basis.
The evidence suggests that group cohesiveness increases group effectiveness, but not in the
ways most managers suspect. The greater the cohesion the higher the morale is (that is, members
enjoy and value work as something pleasant, the climate is relaxed and less tense, and there is less
absenteeism, turnover and conflict). The effect on productivity, on the other hand, is not as clear-cut.
Among members of a work cohesiveness decreases variability in productivity, but it does not necessarily
increase productivity as a whole. Whether this happens depends on the group norms.
Norms are rules and patterns of behaviour that are accepted and expected by members of
a group. In general, norms define the kinds of behaviour that group members believe are necessary
to help the group reach its goals. Porter et al identified three salient characteristics of norms;

Norms apply only to behaviour, not to private thoughts and feelings

Norms are generally developed only for behaviors, which are viewed as important by most
group members.
98

While groups might give the greatest approval to a certain type of behaviour for most group
norms there is a range of acceptable behaviour.

Norms develop gradually and informally. Most norms develop in one of the five ways:
individuals carry over past situations and bring certain expectations with them; the first behaviour pattern
that emerges in the group often sets group expectations - primacy; critical incidents set the precedent;
explicit statements are made by supervisors or co-workers- or the group consciously decides. These
norms are likely to be strongly enforced if they: ensure group success or survival; reflect the preferences
of supervisors or other powerful group members; simplify or make predictable what behaviour is
expected of group members; reinforce specific individual members roles; and help the group avoid
embarrassing interpersonal problems.
Studies of small groups in organizations have emphasized the importance of emergent, or
informal, leadership in accomplishing goals. Virtually all other factors affecting group behaviours and
effectiveness (such as size, member composition and roles, norms, goals and the context) are greatly
influenced by an effective group leader. For example, the effective group leader often assumes a key
role in the relation between the group and external groups or individuals, and probably influences the
selection of new group members. Even when the group participates in the selection process, the group
leader often screens potential members, thereby limiting the number and range of alternatives.
We have only touched on the behaviours and qualities of effective group leaders here.
Performing
Only after progressing successfully through the previous stages will the group create the
structure and cohesiveness to work effectively as a team. The roles of individual members are accepted
and understood. The members usually understand when they should work independently and when
they should help each other. Some groups continue to learn and develop from their experience, and
new inputs.
Mature groups
Maturity is the culmination of the ageing process of the group. In many ways the mature
phase is about effective group working, tolerance of others, sound communications and working
accommodations on the task in hand.
Bennis and Shepard suggest that this mature phase is characterized by:

Conflict is task-based and not over socio-emotional issues.

Differences are accepted and group conformity is not an objective.

Decisions are not forced, and come about through rational discussion.

Group processes and interactions are known by the members of the group.
99

Forming

Membership
Size
Similarity/compatibility
Personal characteristics
Personal goals

Formation
Situation
Nature of task
Physical environment
Organisational environment
Relationships with other groups
Interaction

Storming
Development
Communication patterns
Role structure
Norms
Cohesiveness
Leadership

Norming
Preforming

Effectiveness
Member satisfaction

Task accomplishment

Adjourning

Figure 2 - Development sequence of Groups


Improve their efficiency and effectiveness. Other groups especially those that developed
norms not fully supportive of efficiency and effectiveness- may perform only at the level needed for
their survival. A minimally adequate level of performance may be caused by excessive self-oriented
behaviours by group members, the development of norms that inhibit task effectiveness and efficiency,
poor group leadership, or other factors.
At this stage, it can be said that the group has matured. It is at this point that the group
becomes effective.
Adjourning
Some groups, such as a project team created to investigate and report on a specific problem
within three months, have a defined date for adjournment. Other groups, such as executive committees,
may go on indefinitely.
The roles allocated or given in a group and the behaviour of the actors can impact on team
effectiveness.
100

SUMMARY
An organisation can be consider as a set of games between groups of partners who have to
play with reach other. Much of our time is spent interacting with others in groups. Any number of
people who interact with one another, are psychologically aware of one another and perceive
themselves to be a group. The presence of others seems to have significant effect on an individuals
performance. Groups appear to go through five-stage development sequence: forming, storming,
norming, performing and adjourning.
QUESTIONS
1.

Write about focus on Interpersonal and Group Processes.

2.

Give the different facets of groups.

3.

Substantiate group and individual performance.

4.

What is a five stage developmental groups?

101

CHAPTER - VIII

LEADERSHIP
OBJECTIVES
The reader has to be acquainted with the definitions of leadership, leadership and
management, approaches to leadership, characteristics of leadership, behavioural leadership theories
and situational leadership theories.
INTRODUCTION
Leadership has always been, and probably always will be, important in organizations. The
need for managerial leadership and the difficulty of providing it have grown considerably because of
the increasing complexity of our world.
It could be said that the success or failure of any organization depends, to a greater or lesser
extent, on the quality of its leaders. Thus it is not surprising that organizations engage in extensive
searches for new methods of selecting and developing their managers and executives, and for making
the best use of their leadership abilities once they are on the job.
What does it take to be a good leader, and what is the most effective leadership style? Many
research studies concerning leadership have been undertaken to provide greater insight into these
questions. However, none has yet produced a definitive list of traits or qualities that are consistently
related to effective leadership. The only conclusion we can draw from these studies is that there is no
one most effective leadership style. What we do know is that effective leadership style is absolutely
essential to the survival and overall growth of every organization.
In this section, we first define leadership and examine the relationship between leadership
and management. Then we examine the nature of effective leadership and discuss three perspectives
that have been used to define effective leadership: trait, behavioural, and situational.
Defining Leadership
There is no universally accepted definition of leadership, but most would agree that there
are two common denominators in the majority of definitions:
1

Leadership is a group phenomenon.

It is an influence process; that is to say, intentional influence is exerted by the leader over
followers.

Leadership is the behaviour of an individual when he/she is directing the activities of a group
toward a shared goal. It is interpersonal influence, exercised in a situation, and directed, through the
communication process, toward the attainment of a specified goal or goals.
102

In other words, leadership involves one person (the leader) consciously trying to get other
people (the followers) to do something that the leader wants them to do. Therefore we can say that
leadership is the process whereby one person influences other members towards a goal.
Leadership and Management
Not all employees or managers exercise leadership. Many employees are good managers
but not leaders. So what is the difference between a manager and a leader?
A manager is a person who directs the work of employees and is responsible for results.
Effective managers bring a degree of order and consistency to their staff. Leadership, by contrast, is
about coping with change. Let us explore the differences more closely.
Managers manage complexity through planning and budgeting (setting goals, establishing steps
to achieve goals and then allocating resources to achieve them). By contrast, leading starts with setting
a direction or vision of what the future might look like, and then developing strategies for producing
changes needed to achieve that direction or vision.
Effective managers achieve their goals by organizing and staffing - creating an organizational
structure and sets of jobs for accomplishing the plans requirements, staffing the jobs with qualified
employees, communicating the goals and devising systems to monitor progress. Leaders try to align
employees who share their vision. They create teams who understand and share their vision.
Finally, managers ensure that employees reach goals by controlling their behaviours; that
is, they monitor results by means of reports and meetings and note deviations from the goal. Effective
leadership requires motivating and inspiring teams of employees. It taps their needs, values and
emotions.
To summarize, while some managers are leaders, others are not. Each role, manager and
leader, requires different behaviours.
Approaches to Leadership
Historically, research on leadership effectiveness has been dominated by the trait v. situational
controversy for over thirty years. There were those who searched for a definitive set of traits, which
would differentiate between effective and ineffective leaders, while others attempted to understand
the characteristics of situations, which created effective leaders. Neither the trait nor the situational
approach resulted in a major advance in understanding the nature of effective leadership. The result
of all this research was the revelation that effective leadership probably represents some interaction
between the characteristics of the leader himself or herself and the characteristics of the situation in
which leadership takes place.
103

Trait approach:
The trait approach emphasizes the personal characteristics of leaders, which differentiate a
good from a bad leader. There is no consideration given to the circumstances or the situation in
which leadership occurs. This has a commonsense appeal because it conforms to popular opinion
that there are those who are bom leaders. What traits do you feel contribute to being a leader?
Psychological research does not support the trait approach. The most consistent finding from
more than fifty years of studies on the trait approach is that there does not seem to be a universal set
of traits that distinguishes good from poor leaders. Stogdill carried out a review of leadership literature
between 1949 and 1974. He found evidence to show that certain personality traits, abilities and social
skills were commonly possessed by good leaders.
Successful leaders are assumed to possess more or less of certain traits than are unsuccessful
ones. Considerable research has been conducted to compare the traits of effective and ineffective
leaders. Aggressiveness, ambition, decisiveness, dominance, initiative, intelligence, physical
characteristics (attractiveness, height, weight), self-assurance and other characteristics were studied
to determine if they were related to effective leadership.
Characteristics of a good leader
Personality traits
Adaptability
Adjustment (normality)
Aggressiveness and assertiveness
Dominance
Emotional balance and control
Independence (nonconformity)
Originality and creativity
Personal integrity (ethical conduct)
Self-confidence
Abilities
Intelligence
Judgement and decisiveness
Knowledge
Fluency of speech
104

Social skills

Ability to enlist cooperation

Administrative ability

Co-operativeness

Popularity and prestige

Sociability

Social participation

Tact and diplomacy

Perhaps the underlying assumption of some trait research has been that leaders are born
not made; that is, the Great Man theory. Although research has demonstrated that this is not the
case, some people still believe that there are certain inborn or acquired traits that makes a person a
good leader.
Research has clearly not shown that physical traits can distinguish effective from ineffective
leaders. However, the trait approach to the study of leadership is not dead. Ghiselli conducted research
in an effort to identify personality and motivational traits related to effective leadership. Still, inspite of
the contribution of trait researchers, the trait approach to the study of leadership effectiveness has left
many questions unanswered. This has led to a continuing search for an appropriate leadership style.
A major limitation of trait theory is that traits associated with leadership in one situation do
not predict leadership in another. In addition, there is a definitional problem on agreeing upon traits;
there is difficulty in trying to measure traits; and as a method it does not provide much insight into the
basic dynamics of the leadership process. These criticisms do not imply that the trait approach is
without value: a great deal of useful and important information has been gained using it. Although traits
cannot fully explain effective leadership, we should take into account the personal traits and skills of
leaders.
Behavioural leadership theories
Dissatisfaction with the trait approach has caused most leadership researchers to focus
attention on how leaders should behave, as opposed to the traits or characteristics they should possess.
The behavioural approach is straightforward in its philosophy. It states that the best way to
study and to define leadership is in terms of what leaders do rather than in terms of what leaders are.
Thus one is concerned with leader behaviours rather than leader characteristics. Attempts were made
to find ways of describing patterns of leader behaviour, and the relationships between various patterns
of behaviour and subordinate satisfaction and performance.
In the late 1940s and 1950s, research aimed at understanding leadership and leadership
effectiveness emerged, this time focusing not on the personal traits of leaders per se but instead on
105

the behavioural styles which characterized their leadership activities: for example, authoritarian v.
democratic, task-oriented v. socio-emotional, employee-centred v. production-centred, etc.
Research evidence has accumulated which investigates the relationships between various
leadership styles and individual or group effectiveness. One series of organizational studies, for example,
indicated that more effective leaders tend to:

differentiate their role from that of the employees;

spend substantial time in supervisory functions hut not closely supervising employee activities;

be concerned with the employee rather than the task or organization.


Lewin et al. examined the impact of leadership style in the University of Iowa studies.

They conducted a controlled experiment in which they observed the impact of three separate leadership
styles autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire on the behaviour of adolescent boys.
The basic difference in the three styles was the location of the decision making function in
the group. Authoritarian leaders made decisions for their groups and communicated those decisions
to group members.; Democratic leaders allowed the group to make decisions that would affect their
activities; the leader merely helped the group arrive at a decision point. Laissez-faire leaders limited
their interaction with group members to answering questions and providing materials when requested
Blake and Moutons Managerial Grid is a two-dimensional matrix that shows concern for
people on the vertical axis and concern for production on the horizontal axis. The two dimensions of
the 9 x 9 grid are concern for people and concern for production. A score of 1 indicates a low
concern and a score of 9 shows a high concern. The grid depicts five major leadership styles, each
of which represents a degree of concern for people and production.
1,1:

impoverished management - the manager has little concern for either people or
production.

9,1:

authority-obedience - the manager stresses operating efficiently through controls in


situations where human elements cannot interfere.

1,9:

country club management - the manager is thoughtful, comfortable and friendly, and
has little concern for output.

5,5:

organization man management - the manager attempts to balance and trade off
concern for work in exchange for a satisfactory level of morale; he or she is a
compromiser.

9,9:

team management - the manager seeks high output through committed people,
achieved through mutual trust, respect and a realization of interdependence.

106

According to Blake and Mouton, the first four styles are not the most effective. They say
that the 9,9 position of maximum concern for both output and people - the team management approach
- is the leadership style that will most effectively result in improved performance, lower employee
turnover and absenteeism, and greater employee satisfaction. Job enrichment and subordinate
participation in managerial decision making contribute to this 9,9 style, where both the organization
and its members are accorded maximum and equal concern. The Managerial Grid concept has been
introduced to many managers and has influenced management philosophies and practices.
Most of the research which has been carried out on leader behavioural styles has been
descriptive. A normative approach to leadership style was proposed by Vroom and Yetton. The
behavioural style variable they were concerned with was the way leaders involve their subordinates
in organizational decision processes. This ranged from no involvement to total collaboration in reaching
decisions. The model takes into account the characteristics of the organization and task, and it is these,
which determine, to a large extent, the leadership styles adopted. Vroom and Yetton identify five
possible behavioural styles:
Al: The leader makes the decision using available information.
A2: The leader obtains information from subordinates and then makes the decision. Subordinates
are not involved in the decision-making process.
Cl: The leader consults individual subordinates without bringing them together as a group. Then
the leader makes the decision - which may or may not reflect the individuals contributions.
C2: The leader consults subordinates collectively, and then makes the decision, which may or
may not reflect subordinates contributions.
G2: The leader consults with subordinates as a group. Decisions are made through a joint process.
Vroom and Yettun also identified three criteria of effective decision making in organizations
(the objective quality of the decision; the time required to make it, and the degree to which the decision
will be acceptable to subordinates) as well as various attributes of the decision- making situation.
These are illustrated in a flowchart, which outlines the most rational decision-making style for a leader
to follow in any particular situation.
This approach can be useful in diagnosing the existing styles of leaders in organizations and
as an effective tool for managers, to enable them to be flexible and adaptive in their relationships with
subordinates. The model clearly states what leaders should do in various organizational
circumstances, rather than attempting to summarize what leaders actually do and noting the impact of
these actions.
Situational leadership theories
Contingency or situational models assert that no single way of behaving works in all situations;
107

appropriate behaviour depends on the circumstances at a given time. The development of contingency
theories was a response to the failure of earlier, more universalist theories to explain or predict effective
behaviour.
Houses path goal theory of leadership is based on the assumption that managers can influence
employees performance by highlighting how their behaviour directly affects their receiving rewards.
In other words, a managers behaviour can contribute to employee satisfaction. According to the path
goal approach, effective job performance results if the manager clearly defines the job, provides training
for the employee, assists the employee in performing the job effectively, and rewards the employee
for effective performance.
According to House, effective leadership facilitates the accomplishment of a particular goal
by clarifying the path to that goal. The following four distinct leadership behaviours are associated
with the path goal approach:
1

Directive: the manager tells the subordinate what to do and when to do it (no employee
participation in decision making).

Supportive: the manager is friendly with, and shows interest in, employees.

Participative: the manager seeks suggestions and involves employees in decision making.

4.

Achievement-oriented: the manager establishes challenging goals and demonstrates confidence


in employees in achieving these following the path goal theory, a manager may use all four of
the behaviours for four different situations.

SUMMARY
Leadership is a group of phenomenon and also an influence process. It is about copying
with change which is practised by manager to be effective. There are many approaches to leadership
one of them is Trait Approach. The characteristics of a good leader include personality traits, abilities
and social skills, behavioural approach states that the best way to study and to define leadership is in
terms of what leaders do rather than what leaders are. Situational models assert that no single way of
behaving works in all situations appropriate behaviour depends on the circumstances at a given time.
QUESTIONS
1.
2.
3.
4.

Write about Leadership and Management.


What is Trait Approach?
What is Trait Approaches to Leadership?
What are Behavioural Leadership theory?

5.

What are Situational Leadership theory?

108

CHAPTER - IX

CONFLICT
OBJECTIVES
To make the reader understand, definitions, views, levels and stages of conflict. The chapter
is meant to make the reader understand the management of conflict.
INTRODUCTION
The presence of incompatible goals, thoughts or emotions within or between individuals or
groups leads to confrontation. Therefore we can say that conflict may be the result of incongruent or
incompatible relationship between people. Conflict occurs when:

Mutually exclusive goals or values exist in fact, or are perceived to exist, by the groups involved;

Interaction is characterized by behaviour designed to defeat, reduce or suppress the opponent,


or to gain a mutually designated victory;

The groups face each other with mutually opposing actions and counteractions;

Each group attempts to create a favoured position vis-a-vis the other.

Defining Conflict
The traditional perspective on conflict is negative. According to this, the presence of conflict
indicates that something is wrong, and therefore it should be eliminated.
The contemporary perspective describes conflict as neither inherently good nor bad but as
inevitable. Too much can have negative consequences; too little can also be negative in that such a
state can lead to apathy and lethargy and provide little or no impetus for change and innovation.
Evidence suggests that conflict can improve the quality of decision making in organizations.
Thus the crucial issue is not conflict itself but how it is managed. We can therefore define conflict as
functional or dysfunctional in terms of the effect it has on the organization.
Dysfunctional conflict can have serious consequences for the organizations ability to achieve
its goals; however, functional conflict can be thought of in terms of organizational innovation, creativity
and adaptation. In fact, the failure of some organizations can be traced back to too much harmony: it
may be caused by complacency.
We could therefore argue that dysfunctional conflict should be discouraged and functional
conflict encouraged. In reality, however, most organizations attempt to eliminate all types of conflict.
Behavioural scientists have spent more than three decades researching and analysing how

109

dysfunctional intergroup conflict affects those who experience it. They have found that groups placed
in a conflict situation tend to reach in fairly predictable ways:

within groups : increased group cohesiveness, emphasis or loyalty, rise in autocratic leadership,
focus on activity;

between groups: distorted perceptions, negative stereotyping, decreased communication.

Effective conflict management involves more than specific techniques. The ability to understand
and diagnose conflict correctly is the first step in managing it.
In this section we examine conflict from a variety of perspectives. First we consider three
views of conflict and the levels and sources of conflict that can occur in organizations. Then we outline
styles in conflict management and the conditions under which each style may be appropriate.
Views of Conflict
There are three views of conflict: positive, negative and balanced.
Positive view
Conflict in organizations can be positive. The creation and/or resolution of conflict often leads
to constructive outcomes; the need to resolve conflict can cause people to search for ways of changing
how they do things; the conflict-resolution process is often a stimulus for positive change within an
organization; and the search for ways to resolve conflict may not only lead to innovation and change,
but make change more acceptable.
The intentional introduction of conflict into the decision-making process can be beneficial. It
is natural for us to hold different opinions, attitudes and values from others on a given situation. A
positive view of conflict encourages us to work out our differences.
Positive outcomes of conflict can take the form of increased motivation and commitment,
high-quality work and personal satisfaction.
Negative view
Conflict can have serious negative effects and divert our efforts from goal attainment.
Furthermore, it can have a negative effect on our psychological well-being. Conflicting ideas, thoughts
and beliefs can result in resentment, tension, stress and anxiety. Over a period of time, conflict may
be detrimental to individual and group development.
Negative outcomes of conflict may manifest themselves in labour turnover, sabotage, lowquality work, absenteeism and stress.
Balanced view
A balanced view of conflict is preferable from a managerial perspective. Conflict may
110

sometimes be highly desirable and at other times destructive; so managing conflict becomes an essential
ingredient in the art of management.
Levels of conflict
There seem to be four major levels of conflict within organizations:
1. intrapersonal (within an individual)
2. interpersonal (between individuals)
3. intragroup (within a group)
4. intergroup (between groups)
Conflict can also occur at an intraorganizational level (within an organization) or an
interorganizational level (between organizations). These levels are often interrelated.
Intrapersonal conflict:
Conflict can exist within an individual when a choice has to be made between two diametrically
opposed goals. We may be faced with the choice of acting in our own interests or in the organizations.
There are three basic types of intrapersonal conflict:
1.

approach-approach conflict, in which an individual must choose between two or more


alternatives that have positive outcomes (for example, choosing between two jobs that appear
to be equally attractive);

2.

avoidance-avoidance conflict, in which an individual must choose between two or more


alternatives that have negative outcomes (for example, threatened demotion or increased
travelling);

3.

approach-avoidance conflict, in which an individual must decide whether to do something


that has both positive and negative outcomes (for example, accepting a promotion but having
to move).

The intensity of intrapersonal conflict generally increases under one or more of the following
conditions:

There are several alternative courses of action for coping with conflict.

The positive and negative consequences of these alternatives are perceived as roughly
equal.

The source of conflict is perceived as important to the decision maker.

Interpersonal conflict:
Interpersonal conflict results when two individuals disagree about issues, actions or goals the concept of confrontation comes into play. Many interpersonal and intrapersonal conflicts are based
on some type of role conflict or role ambiguity.
111

A role is the bundle of tasks and duties that others expect a person to perform in doing a
job. Role conflict, therefore, occurs when what we consider to be our role is incompatible with that
of our manager. Role ambiguity, on the other hand, refers to the situation where we have no clear
idea as to what is required of us.
Intragroup conflict:
This may take many forms; for example, substantive and affective conflicts. Substantive
conflict refers to intragroup conflict that is based on intellectual disagreement among group members,
as when the tasks of one group member interfere with those of another. Affective conflict is intragroup
conflict that is based on emotional responses to a situation. This refers to clashes among some or all
of the groups members, which often affect the groups processes and effectiveness.
Intergroup conflict:
This refers to opposition and clashes between two or more groups. Intergroup conflict often
occurs in union-management relations. Under extreme conditions, the groups develop and, perhaps,
consolidate attitudes towards and relationships with each other that are characterized by distrust, rigidity,
a focus only on self-interest, a failure to listen, etc.
Intraorganizational conflict:
Three forms of conflict can be identified within organizations. Vertical conflict exists between
managers and subordinates. Horizontal conflict exists between employees or departments at the same
level. Line-staff conflict occurs over resources or the involvement of staff people in line decisions.
Interorganizational conflict:
This is conflict between organizations where some form of inter dependency exists; for
example, they have the same suppliers, customers, competitors, government agencies, etc. Organizations
in conflict frequently demonstrate either co-operative or competitive behaviours. The extent to which
conflict arises may depend on the extent to which one-organization creates uncertain conditions for
the others, attempts to access or control. At same resources, encourages communication with others,
attempts to balance power in the marketplace and develops procedures for resolving existing conflict.
Stages of conflict
One way to understand conflict is to view it as a dynamic rather than a static concept. It
can be seen as a sequence of conflict stages - latent, perceived, felt, manifest and aftermath.

Latent: Conflict begins when the conditions for it exist. Individuals or groups may have power
differences, compete for scarce resources, strive for autonomy, have different goals, or
experience diverse role pressures. These are the foundations for disagreement, competition
and conflict.
112

Perceived: Individuals or group members know that conflict exists.

Felt: When one or more parties feel tense or anxious, conflict has moved beyond the
perceived stage. Conflict becomes personalized to the individuals or groups involved.

Manifest: Oven behaviour whose intention is to place obstacles in the path of those pursuing
a particular goal occurs. Open aggression and withdrawal of support illustrate manifest conflict.
At this stage conflict must be resolved or used constructively in order that effective
organizational performance continue.

Aftermath: The final stage of conflict is the situation after it has been resolved or suppressed.
The conflict aftermath describes the outcome of the conflict - it may result in supportive,
paternalistic or adversarial relationships. It could revert back to a latent stage or continue
unabated at the manifest stage perhaps taking a new twist or direction.
Conflict is inevitable in organizational life, but it need not be destructive. Depending on how

it is managed, the negative effects may be minimized and positive ones may result. Effective conflict
management is based, in part, on a solid understanding of the different ways that conflict emerges
and can be resolved.
Conflict management
There are a large number of techniques that can be used to deal with conflict between two
or more individuals. They range from the use of force by a manager or a trade union to a problemsolving approach. Possible ways of handling interpersonal conflict are as follows:

Force - a manager may demand the acceptance of a certain situation.

Withdrawal - withdraws from or avoids the person with whom the conflict exists. Conflict is
reduced but the original cause remains.

Smoothing - a manager or subordinate attempts to provide an image of co-operation.

Compromise- neither party gets all it wants, but an agreement is reached.

Conciliation, mediation and arbitration - outside, neutral parties enter the situation to assist
in resolving the conflict.

Problem solving - this is characterized by an open and trusting exchange of views. The
approach here is a joint decision-making focus that can take the sting out of relationship
conflicts, if not out of major institutional conflicts. Oldfield advocated this approach some
times ago.
The physical layout of work, new procedures, new institutions and structures as well as

different attitudes can help in the management of conflict.

113

ln part, the institutionalization of conflict occurs through the integrating mechanisms of learning,
communications and power sources/structures within the organization. We now turn to these
mechanisms, not only from the context of managing conflict but from a wider perspective of managing
the effective organization.
SUMMARY
Conflict is neither inherently good nor bad but as inevitable. There are three views of conflict:
positive, negative and balanced. There are four major levels of conflict within organizations:
Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Intragroup and Intergrop. There are a sequence of conflict stages - latent
perceived, felt, manifest and aftermath.
QUESTIONS
1.

What is Conflict?

2.

What are the different views of Conflict?

3.

What are the different levels of Conflict?

4.

What are the stages of Conflict?

5.

What is Conflict Management?

114

CHAPTER - X

FOCUS ON THE ORGANIZATION


OBJECTIVES
The reader will be trained on the organisational structure, organizational design, approaches
to organizational structure, organizational culture, evidence of organizational culture and performance
and organizational culture.
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
Organizations influence the behaviors of their members. Therefore, if we can design
organizations in such a way as to promote greater efficiency and higher levels of motivation, this will
go a long way in achieving their ultimate goals. An organizations structure provides the context for
work. Though most of us have little influence on how an organization is structured, it is important for
us to understand the constraints and opportunities provided in different organizations in order to use
them to full effect.
Defining organizational structure
Different organizations can have very different structures. Structure relates to the pattern of
relationships between positions in the organization and the people assigned to those positions. The
primary function of structure is the division of work among members of the organization, and the coordination of their activities so that they are directed towards achieving the goals and objectives of
the organization.
The structure, therefore, defines tasks and responsibilities, work roles, relationships, and
channels of communication. Structure creates a frame work of order and authority through which the
activities of the organization can be planned, organized and controlled. In other words, the structure
of an organization largely determines how the organization is managed.
Despite the variety of structures available to organizations, a framework was proposed by
Mintzberg suggesting that every organization has five parts:
1.

top management

2.

middle management

3.

technical support staff

4.

administrative support staff

5.

technical core
115

Top management is located at the top of the organization. Middle management is at the
intermediate levels, and the technical core includes those who do the basic work of the organization.
Technical support staff are those who are responsible for the formal planning and control of the technical
core, and administrative support staff include indirect services and clerical maintenance employees.
The five parts may vary in size and importance depending on the overall environment, strategy
and technology. Mintzberg suggests that these organizational parts can fit together in five basic
configurations, where environment, goals, power, structure, formulation, technology and size hang
together in identifiable clusters. This framework defines key organizational variables and tells managers
the appropriate configuration for specific environments and strategies.
The structure of an organization affects not only productivity and economic efficiency but
also the morale and job satisfaction of the workforce. An organizations structure should, therefore,
be designed so as to encourage the willing participation of the organizations members to achieve
effective performance.
Organizational structure
Is there a best way of structuring the organization? Galbraith tackles the question in an
interesting paper.
For Galbraith, the organization structure exists to:

Increase the pre-planning ability of the overall organization;

Increase the adaptability if the pre-planning phase has not occurred;

Maintain continued viability.

He begs the question of whether strategy follows the organization structure or vice versa.
Various approaches are used in this information-processing role of the organization structure, including
the following;

Rules: Task-related behaviors are predicted and scheduled in advance (depending on their
complexity), and rules or programmes allow these to be carried out. This is very much a
functionalist approach, like rule making in a labour relations system.

Hierarchy: The hierarchy is used in cases of exception, where the established rules do not
meet the unprogrammed situations, encountered by the organization.

Targets and goals: As a direct correlation to this growing uncertainty (unprogrammed situations),
the hierarchy gets overloaded, so goals accomplishment is met through specific targets being
set. Planning and budgetary control become important.

To Galbraith, this uncertainty of situations creates stresses and strains within the organization,
and information processing becomes difficult. The hierarchy has difficulty absorbing the uncertainty,
and the critical rules are inadequate. Either the capacity for dissemination is ungraded and/or the need
116

for certain type of information is questioned. We end up with the programmable events being absorbed
lower down the hierarchy, and the non- routine issues being dealt with via a form of management by
exception.
If Galbraith is correct, the potential for overload, particularly with a turbulent external
environment clouding decisions, is very important for more senior managers, while much of the
organizational structure exists to absorb the more programmable events. Lesser animals in the
bureaucracy seem destined to deal with these programmable decisions.
Organizational design
One key task of an organization is to decide on its goals and strategy and then to design the
organizational form appropriate for the strategy. The idea is that by fitting the pieces together in the
right configuration, an organization can develop and maintain a high level of effectiveness. So the
starting point for defining organizational design is strategy; that is, the current set of plans, decisions
and objectives that have been adopted to achieve the organizations goals.
Strategy formulation includes the activities that lead to the establishment of a firms overall
goals and mission and the development of a specific strategic plan. Strategy formulation typically begins
with an assessment of the opportunities and threats in the external environment and an assessment of
strengths and weakness within the organization and this leads to the definition of an organizations
distinctiveness compared with other organizations.
Strategy implementation is the use of managerial and organizational tools to direct and allocate
resources to accomplish strategic objectives. In other words, it is the administration and execution of
the strategic plan.
The direction and allocation of resources are accomplished with the tools of:

Organizational structure

Control systems

Culture

Technology

Human resources
The entrepreneurial structure is typically found in new, small, entrepreneurial organizations.

It consists of a top manager and workers in the technical core with only a few support staff. There is
little specialization of formalization, and co-ordination and control is from the top. The founder has
the power and creates the culture. Employees have little discretion, but work procedures are typically
informal. The organization is suited to a dynamic environment, as it is adaptable in its response to
change.
117

Machine bureaucracy refers to large, routine, technologies organizations, often oriented to


mass production. There is extensive specialization and formulization. Key decisions are made at the
top and there is a large core of technical and administration support staff. Technical support staff are
used to routinize and formalize work, and tend to be the dominant group. This configuration is often
criticized for lack of control by lower employees, lack of innovation, weak culture and an alienated
workforce; however, it is suited to a large organization in a stable environment.
Professional bureaucracy is where the production core is composed of professionals (for
example, hospitals, universities and consulting firms). Although it is a bureaucracy, people within the
production core have some autonomy. Long training and experience encourage clan control and
strong culture, thereby reducing the need for bureaucratic control structures. Organizations of this
type often provide services rather than tangible products. They exist in complex environments and
most of the power rests with the professionals. Technical support groups are small or non-existent,
but a large administration support staff is needed to handle routine administration affairs.
The diversified form occurs in extremely large organizations subdivided into product and
market groups. There are few liaison devices for coordination between divisions. They are quite
formalized within the division, because technologies are often routine. The environment tends to be
simple and stable for any division, although the total organization serves a diverse market (for example,
Ford, General Motors, Procter & Gamble, etc.). Each division is more or less autonomous, with its
own subculture.
The ad-hocracy organization develops to survive in a complex, dynamic environment.
Technology is sophisticated, as in the aerospace and electronic industry. This configuration occurs in
quite large organizations with the need to be adaptable. It has a team-based structure which typically
emerges with horizontal linkages and empowered employees. Both technical support staff and the
production core have authority over key production elements. Elaborate division of labour occurs,
but it is not formalized, and professionalism is high. Cultural values are strong and clan control is stressed.
With decentralization, people at any level may be involved in decision making. Ad-hocracy is almost
the opposite of machine bureaucracy in terms of structure, power relationships and environment.
All organizations have to make provision for continuing activities towards the achievement
of given aims; hence processes of task allocation, supervision and co-ordination are developed. These
constitute the organizations structure, and the fact that these activities cab be arranged in various
ways means that organizations can have differing structures.
Task
Below we note five possible ways (there are others) of grouping activities. Your role, as an
individual or in a group, is to examine the intrinsic merits and drawbacks of each method.

118

1.

Function: The enterprise is organized through disciplines, such as marketing, finance, personnel
management and operations.

2.

Product: Each division has a focus on a product, such as pens, paper and printing material.

3.

Geography: The organization could be administered on the basis of geographical areas.

4.

Customer: The class of customer makes for the division; for example, industrial and
consumer users.

5.

Number: This is done by a head count; divisions are based on having equal groups of people
in each division or unit.

The variety may be related to variations in such factors as:

The objectives of the organization

Size

Ownership

Geographical locations

Technology

Environment
These, factors produce the characteristic differences in structure of a bank, a hospital, a

mass production factory or a local government department.


Approaches to organizational structure
There have been a number of approaches to organizational structure, but these can be
classified into two broad approaches: universalist and situational. The universalist approaches suggest
one best way explanations to organization structures. The two main schools of thought are the classical
and the human relations schools, each offering a different perspective but within the confines of a
universalistic solution. The situational approaches offer no universal solution and answer the question
What determines an organizations structure with It depends. There are those who say that
technology is the key determinant, while others say it is he environment in which the organization
operates.
The classical school
Major contributors to this school of thought were Taylor, Gulick, Urwick and Fayol. From
such contributors, a representative set of statements is given below:

Employees should be formally grouped and organized in specialist functional departments.

These departments should have a hierarchical structure with authority focused and disseminated
from the board of directors.
119

An organization chart should be indicative of structure, depicting the chain of command and
channels of communication.

Each employee should report to only one superior.

The span of control of subordinates by superiors should be limited to permit effective


supervision; that is, no more than eight.

Jobs should be described and the nature of duties prescribed.

The number of levels of authority in the organization should be kept to a minimum to ensure
effective control and communication.

Authority should be commensurate with responsibility.

Departments should be categorized as either line (marketplace, such as production and sales)
or staff (specialist advice and services, such as personnel).
The basic assumptions about behavior are that individuals are isolated and chiefly motivated

by money, and that the authority of management to give orders is taken for granted.
At the time, these principles helped a large number of managers and contributed to efficiency.
However, by the 1920s, evidence was mounting that the behavioral assumptions on which they were
based were wrong. In spite of criticisms, large, formal organizations still use some of these guidelines.
The human relations school
Major early contributors to this school of thought were Mayo, and Roethlisberger and
Dickson. The general conclusion drawn from the Hawthorne Experiment was that the key to increased
productivity lay not in individual incentive schemes and traditional authoritarian management, as
advocated by the classical school of thought, but in fostering better relations with employees.
This emphasis on individuals and work groups continued during the 1950s and 1960s, with
the contributions of Maslow, Herzberg, McGregor, Likert and Argyris. The emphasis was placed on
factors such as job satisfaction, group dynamics, participative leadership styles and motivation.
Situational approaches
Major contributors of the It depends school of thought were Burns and Stalker, Woodward
and Lawrence and Lorsch. Each tried to identify the key determining factor of organizational structure.
Looking especially at size, technology and the environment.
There is a dearth of empirical and theoretical literature relating to size and its effect on
organizational structure. Blau and Scott found that:

120

Increasing organizational size was positively related to increasing differentiation (measured by


number of levels, departments, job titles, etc.);

But the rate of differentiation decreases with increasing size;

But the relative size of the administrative component is, lower in larger organizations;

The span of control of supervisors is positively related to size.


So, size leads to differentiation, which in turn leads to an increased need for control and co-

ordination, leading to an increased requirement for administrative overhead. But (empirically) the
administrative component is conversely related to size, which, coupled with increased supervisory
spans of control, suggests economies of scale.
Therefore, there is an anomaly in which greater size appears to lead to both a larger and a
smaller administrative component. This is partly resolved by the work of Hass et al., which suggests
that the size-administrative-component relationship is curvilinear; that is, the relative size of
administration is greater in organizations that are small (under 700 employees) or large (over 1,400
employees). Pugh et al. concluded that increased size is related to increased structuring of organizational
activities and decreased concentration of authority, while Mahoney et al. found that as size increased,
managerial practices changed. There was greater flexibility in personnel assignments, greater delegation
of authority, and greater emphasis on results rather than procedures.
However, the findings of Hall and Tittle are rather less straightforward. They found only a
small relationship between size and the perceived degree of bureaucracy. In a more extensive study,
Hall et al. found.

A slight tendency for larger organizations to be more complex and more formalized (but the
relationship was strong on only a few variables);

Complexity variables with a strong relationship to size were: spatial dispersion, number of
hierarchical levels and functional specificity of department (but not number of departments).
So the relationship between size and complexity indicators was limited to a few factors. Even

here, enough deviant cases existed to cast doubt on the assumption that large organizations are
reasonably more complex than small ones.

Formalization variables which had a strong relationship to size were formalization of the authority
structure, of penalties for rule violation and of training procedures.
Hall et al. conclude (in opposition to Blau) that structural differentiation is not necessarily a

consequence of expanding size, their study finding the relationship to be partial and weak. They suggest
that the direction of causality may be the reverse of that suggested by Blau (in other words, that
complexity causes size).
121

Argyris has also criticized Blaus findings. He questions Blaus reliance on official (senior
management and organization charts) descriptions of organization structures, pointing out that these
are often in accurate, and argues that context may be more influential than size (for example, Civil
Service units are complex because of Civil Service regulations, not size).
Aldrich argues that size is, in fact, a dependent variable: the more highly structured firms,
with their greater degree of specialization, formalization and monitoring of role performance, simply
need to employ a larger work force than less structured firms. In his analysis, technology emerges as
a major determinant of structure.
There has been a great deal of discussion on what we actually mean by the term technology.
However, it is generally accepted that it is the means by which an organization transforms inputs into
outputs. This includes the techniques and process used to transform labour, knowledge, capital and
raw materials into finished goods and services. All organizations, irrespective of what they produce,
have technologies.
The relationship between technology and organizations structure has been the subject of
continual debate for over forty years. A major influence in this area has been the work carried out by
Woodward.
Woodward studied the relationship between production systems, technology and structure
in manufacturing concerns. She investigated specific features of organizations; for example:

The number of level of authority between top and bottom.

The span of control or the average number of subordinates of supervisors.

The clarity of duties.

The amount of written communication.

The extent of division of functions among specialists.


Woodward found that organizations had considerable differences in these features. The

question was: why? She compared organizations of different sizes and historical background and found
that these were not significant factors. But when differences in technology were studied, there seemed
to be a relationship between the technology used by an organization and its structure.
In unit and small-batch organizations, there was a shorter hierarchy; in large-batch and mass
- production organizations, there were shorter lines of command, fewer managers and clerks, and a
large number of production operatives; and in process-production organizations; there were taller
hierarchies, longer lines of command (managed through committees rather than instructions down the
line), more trained graduates, and largely administrative and managerial personnel.
In conclusion, Woodward found that the type of structure an organization develops (and
122

should develop) is influenced by its technology, whether the technology is unit, mass production, or a
continuous process. She suggested that a mechanistic type of organization fits best with mass production
technology. A more organic form of organization responds best to a unit (craft) or continuous process
(for example, gas refinery) technology. Therefore, while there was no universal best way to design
an organization, there did appear to be a particular structure appropriate to each technical situation.
ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE
Every organization has its own unique way of reflecting its shared values and goals. All have
their own ambience, feeling and style, which influence the responses of both customers and employees.
This phenomenon is often referred to as the organizations culture.
As with so many other concepts in organizational behavior, there is no universally accepted
definition of culture. However, there are broad assumptions we can make.
Defining organizational culture
Organizational culture is the system of shared values, beliefs and habits within an organization
that interacts with formal structure to produce behavioral norms.
culture gives people a sense of how to behave and what they ought to be doing. The
definition vary:

symbols, language, ideologies, rituals and myths;

is a product;

is historical;

is based upon symbols;

is an abstraction from behavior and the products of behavior;

is a pattern of basic assumptions created by an organization as it struggles with adapting to


the external environment and internal integration.
The culture of an organization represents a complex pattern of beliefs and expectations shared

by its members. More specifically, organizational culture is defined as shared philosophies, ideologies,
values, beliefs, assumptions, expectations and norms. It includes the following:

Overt similarities in employee behavior; for example, rituals, ceremonies and the language
commonly used;

Shared common norms throughout the organization; for example, a fair days work for a fair
days pay;
123

Strong values held by an organization; for example, product quality;

The underlying philosophy of the organization;

The rules of the game for getting along in the organization;

The manifestations of organizational climate, such as physical layout and the interactions with
customer.
All these definitions suggest that organizational culture consists of a number of elements, such

as assumptions, beliefs, values, rituals, myths and languages.


Schein points out that culture involves assumptions, adaptations, perceptions and learning.
He goes on to suggest that an organizations culture has three layers:
1.

artifacts and creations which are visible but often not interpretable (for example, dcor,
furnishings, etc);

2.

values or things that are important to people;

3.

the basic assumptions people make that guide their behavior.


An organizational culture is essentially concerned with organizational values and attitudes, it

influences the behavior of individuals, groups and organizational processes in general. For example, if
quality is important in the culture, then employees are expected to demonstrate behavior which goes
some way to achieving this objective.
It has been suggested that organizational culture provides employees with a sense of stability
through identification with the organizations culture.
Given the importance of organizational culture of individual and group behavior as well as
for organizational processes, it is useful to differentiate between strong and weak cultures. A strong
culture exists where the main values of the organization are shared by employees. The stronger the
culture the more influential it is on behavior. For example, Japanese companies such as Toyota and
Nissan illustrate strong, influential cultures.
Many have written about the powerful influence culture has on individuals, groups and
processes. However, little empirical and theoretical research exists to support this stance, and there
is no evidence to suggest that one form of culture is more effective than another.
Cultures seem to evolve over a period of time. As Schein described it: the culture that
eventually evolves in a particular organization is a complex outcome of external pressures, internal
potentials, responses to critical events and, probably to some unknown degree, chance factors that
could not be predicted from a knowledge of either the environment or the members. Therefore
imposing a culture would probably be met with resistance, as it is difficult to impose core values.
124

Factors that impact an organizational culture


Among the factors that impact on organizational culture are work groups, organizational
characteristics, supervision and administration.
Our interactions and experiences shared with other members of our work group will affect
our perceptions of the organizations culture. Likewise, factors such as group values, attitudes, norms,
commitment, morale, etc., color our outlook on life and determine to what extent we share the core
values of the organization, which in turn affects the culture of the organization itself.
The leadership style of managers influences the culture of the group and vice versa. If a
manager adopts a distant attitude, this could well have a negative effect on the group and, consequently,
the organization. If the manager is task-oriented, this alters the environment. In an ideal situation, the
manager should adopt a people-oriented leadership style to have a positive impact on group
effectiveness.
Organizational characteristics such as size, technology, etc., can significantly affect the culture
of an organization. For example, large bureaucratic organizations require greater specialization than
their smaller counterparts, which means that they tend to be more impersonal than small enterprises.
Technologically advanced organizations employ a larger number of technical specialists than less
technologically advanced organizations, which determines to a large extent the way in which problems
are solved.
An organizations culture can be affected by the supervisory and administrative processes in
place. For example, organizations that have clear rewards systems related to performance have a
greater tendency to develop achievement cultures than those that do not have such systems. Open
communication systems promote greater participation, thereby impacting on organizational culture.
Evidence of organizational culture
We have focused on a number of factors which potentially have an impact on organizational
culture. It should be noted, however, that within most large organizations both a dominant culture and
many subcultures may exist. Dominant culture refers to the majority view of the organization, whereas
subcultures refer to various subunits within an organization. For example, it is not unusual for the
production department to have a very different culture to the marketing department. Although members
of both departments may share the dominant culture, they develop shared values unique to their
particular unit.
Most management gurus would advocate an open and participative culture as being most
effective. These cultures are characterized by such factors as trust, openness in communications,
considerate and supportive leadership, group problem solving, work autonomy, and information sharing.
The antithesis of the open and participative culture is the closed and autocracy of command, shorter
span of control, and stricter individual accountability.
125

Determining exactly what type of culture exists in an organization can be difficult. The evidence
of an organizations culture can be found in its status symbols, traditions, history, rituals, jargon and
physical environment. None of these components alone represents the culture of an organization; taken
together, however, they reflect and give meaning to the concept of organizational culture.
Performance and organizational culture
One of the primary reasons that culture has received such attention is the underlying
assumption that there is a relationship between the culture of an organization and its effectiveness.
It is which suggested that strong, well-developed cultures are a key factor in effective,
high-performing organizations. Also it is suggested that this is the case for two fundamental reasons:
first, a strong culture often suggests a tighter relationship between an organizations strategy and its
culture, second a strong culture equally implies a greater commitment on the part of the organizations
employer. Given these two factors, culture is seen as an essential characteristic for organizational
success.
Despite this commonly held view, however, the research evidence supporting the strongculture-performance relationship is mixed. Denison found that organizations with a participative culture
performed better than those without it, whereas Cameron and Freeman suggested that there was no
difference in organizational effectiveness between those with strong and real cultures.
SUMMARY
An organizations structure provides the content for work. It may be defined as tasks and
responsibilities, work roles, relationships and channels of communication. Organizational structure exists
for many factors like, to increase the preplanning, ability, increase the adaptability and maintain continued
viability. The key task of an organization is to decide on its goals and strategy and then to design the
organizational form appropriate for the strategy. The various approaches to organizational structure
are the classical school, the human relations school, situational approaches. The culture of an
organisation represents a complex pattern of feelings and expectations shared by its members. The
factors that impact an organizational culture are work groups, organizational characteristics, super
vision and administration. Within most large organizations both a dominant culture and many subcultures
may exist. It is assumed that there is a relationship between the culture of an organization and its
effectiveness.
QUESTIONS
1.
2.
3.

Describe Organisational Structure.


What is Organizational Design?
Explain briefly the different major approaches to Organizational Structure.

4.

Explain what is Organizational Culture.


126

CHAPTER - XI

DECISION MAKING
OBJECTIVES
The reader will get an overall idea about decision making, types of decisions, decision making
models, stages of managerial decision making, behavioural influences on individual decision making
and also barriers to effective decision making.
INTRODUCTION
Decision making is the process of identifying and solving problems. Problem solving is the
process of decision making.
Decision making is the process of generating and evaluating alternatives and making choices
between them. It is not just about problem solving: it is also about exploiting opportunities. It is part
of everyday life; we make decisions on the spur of the moment, after much thought, and in between
these two extremes. The quality of the decisions that managers make is the yardstick of their
effectiveness.
Types of decisions
Simon made the distinction between two types of decision: programmed decisions and nonprogrammed decisions. The former refers to repetitive and routine decisions where a set procedure
has been established for handling a particular situation, and the latter refers to non-routine situations
where the decision is, therefore, new and unstructured.
Traditionally, programmed decisions have been handled through rules and standard operating
procedures that the organization develops for dealing with them. Their advantages are that they simplify
and speed up the decision-making process. They reduce uncertainty, are consistent, and enhance coordination and control. Non-programmed decisions are usually handled by general problem-solving
processes, judgement, intuition and creativity, as they tend to be a response to complex and changing
situations.
The main concern of top management should be non-programmed decisions, while firstlevel management should be concerned with programmed decisions. In other words, the nature,
frequency and degree of certainty surrounding a problem should dictate the level of management at
which the decision should be made.
127

A further distinction can be made between personal and organizational decisions. Personal
decisions are personal to the individual. Some have little relevance to the job (for example, what film
to see) while others have more (for example career decisions, participating at work, whether to go to
work or stay at home). Therefore, it can be said that personal decisions can have an impact on ones
personal life as well as the organization. Organizational decisions, on the other hand, are decisions
made about the issues, problems, policies and practices of the organization itself. These vary from
trivial to extremely important decisions, and these later have a profound impact on the organization.
Another distinction, made by Ansoff, is that between strategic, operating and administrative
decisions, strategic decisions are long-term ones which determine the main goals and objectives of
the organization in the light of its relationship with its environment. These tend to be non-routine, nonrepetitive and complex-in Simons terminology, non-programmed decisions.
Operating decisions, on the other hand, are short-term and concerned with such matters as
output levels, pricing and inventory levels. There are fewer variables involved, so these tend to be
routine and repetitive (programmed decisions).
Administrative decisions arise from the interaction between strategic and operating decisions.
They are principally concerned with harmonizing the organizations structure; for example, by
establishing lines of authority, communication lines, etc.
Decision-making models
Outlines below are three influential decision-making models, which reflect the variations in
how decision making has been perceived and interpreted. All three models are useful in helping us to
understand the complexity and variety of decision-making situations found in organizations.
Rational model
The rational or classical model assumes that decision making is a rational process whereby
decision makers seek out and choose the best available alternative course of action, with the express
aim of maximizing the achievement of goals and objectives. The model requires the goals or problem
to be clearly defined, and to be followed by an exhaustive search for alternative solutions and thorough
data collection and analysis. The basic assumptions of this model are that all the information regarding
the alternatives is available; that objectively ranking these alternatives is possible; and that the alternative
which is finally chosen will provide the maximum gain possible for the organization.
There are particular problems with the rational model. It operates on the false assumption
that goals can be clearly identified. Even in situations where they are apparent, they often conflict
128

with other goals. In addition, decision makers are unable, for a variety of reasons, to consider all
alternatives and outcomes, and the necessary information is not always available. Therefore, we can
say that, under most circumstances, managers do not make decisions in this way.
Bounded rationality model
As a result of the criticisms associated with the rational model, many felt the need for a
decision-making model that provided a more accurate representation, as well as offering some
guidance on how we should approach decisions.
The bounded rationality model takes into account the limitations of the rationaly model and
offers a clearer explanation of the decision-making process. It goes some way to explaining why different
people make very different decisions based on the same information. It incorporates our tendency
not always to opt for the best alternative solution- that is, to satisfice- a tendency which is often
based on a limited search for alternative solutions. The model also recognizes the reality that reliable
information is not always available, regardless of time or resources.
Satisficing is the means of selecting an acceptable alternative solution. Acceptable often
comes down to easier to identify and achieve, and less controversial, than the best available alternative.
This works on the premise that decision making continues to generate and evaluate alternatives until
one alternative is good enough to be acceptable, rather than, as in the rational approach, until the
best alternative is identified.
The following quotation suggests that decisions will always be based on incomplete and
inadequate comprehension of the real situation: The capacity of the human mind for formulating and
solving complex problems is very small compared with the size of the problems whose solution is
required for objectively rational behavior in the real world- or even for a reasonable approximation
to such objective rationality.
Political model
The political model works on the assumption that organizational decisions reflect the decisions
of individuals to satisfy their own interests. The preferential interests are determined at an early stage
and do not tend to change when new information becomes available. The process of defining the
goals, searching for alternatives, collecting and analyzing data is adhered to only to influence the decision
in individuals favour. Decisions are seen as the result of the distribution of power in the organization
and the effectiveness of the tactics used by the various participants in the process.
Stages of managerial decision making
Managerial decision making begins with the recognition of a problem or opportunity and
concludes with an assessment of the results of actions taken to solve those problems or exploit the

129

opportunities. McCall and Kaplan provide a model of the different stages of managerial decision
making. Although there appears to be a logical sequence, managerial decision making is often a messy
process.

Problem recognition

Problem interpretation

Attention to problems

Courses of action

Aftermath

Figure 1 Stages of managerial decision making


Behavioral influences on individual decision making
There are a number of behavioral factors which influence the decision making process, such
as our values, personality, attitudes, etc.
Our values have a great effect on how we make decisions. We make judgements all the
time based on our values; for example, in establishing objectives, in developing alternatives, in choosing
an alternative, in implementing a decision, and in evaluating that decision.
The decisions we make strongly reflect our personality. Some studies have focused on
personality variables and their effect on decision making. Many of us find taking risks easier than
others. Therefore, those of us who have an aversion to risk taking will establish different objectives,
evaluate alternatives differently, etc., from those of us who do not.
Many behavioral scientists have focused attention on what has been referred to as postdecision anxiety. Such anxiety is also known as cognitive dissonance. When there is a conflict between
the decision made and our own cognitions (attitudes, beliefs, etc.), we suffer from this affliction, because
we have doubts about the choice made.

130

Barriers to effective decision making


There are several barriers to making informed and effective decisions. An awareness of these
can help to improve the decision-making process.
Tunnel vision refers to a narrow focus on alternative solutions. We can say that those of us
who suffer from tunnel vision have mental blinkers which restrict our choices to a relatively small
range of alternatives. Tunnel vision can, therefore, have a detrimental effect on the decision-making
process. Previous commitments to a particular decision make it increasingly difficult to evaluate other
alternatives objectively and to change any actions already taken.
Research by Soleberg indicates that many people choose a favourite alternative early on
in the decision-making process, but continue to play the game by evaluating additional solutions. The
consequences are clear: other alternatives are distorted and evaluations that take place emphasize
the preferred solution as being the best.
An organizations structure, culture and decision-making styles affect individuals, groups and
organizational processes every day. Therefore, understanding each of these is imperative for the
effectiveness of the organization. Further, when we attempt to implement change, we need a sound
understanding of structure, culture and decision-making processes.
SUMMARY
Decision making is the process of identifying and solving problems. There are mainly two
types of decisions, programmed decisions and non programmed decisions. There are various decision
making models such as rational model, bounded rationality model and political model. Decision making
contains different stages. There are a number of behavioural factors which influence the decision making
process such as our values, personality, attitudes etc.
QUESTIONS
1. What is decision making?
2. What are the main types of decision making?
3. Which are the main decision making models?
4. Illustrate with a diagram and explain the different stages of managerial decision making.

131

MODEL QUESTION PAPER


National Institute of Business Management
Chennai - 020

FIRST SEMESTER EMBA/ MBA


Subject : Organizational Behaviour

Time : 3 hours

Marks : 100

Section A
I

Answer all questions. Each question carries 2 marks :1.

What is Organizational Behaviour?

2.

What is Declining Loyalty?

3.

What is Personality?

4.

What is Authoritarianism?

5.

What is the definition of Learning?


5x2=10 marks

Section B
II

Answer all questions. Each question carries 6 marks :1.

What is Operant Conditioning?

2.
3.

Which are the methods of shaping behaviour?


What is Stereotyping?

4.
5.

What is Motivation?
Explain briefly Attitudes and Individual.
5x6=30 marks

Section C
III Answer any three questions. Each question carries 20 marks :1.

Which are the functions of Attitudes and what has it to do with Behaviour?

2.
3.
4.
5.

Explain with illustration the importance of attitudes in Organizational Behaviour.


Define Motivation and give the importance of the same.
Enumerate the role of Management and Motivation in Organizational Behaviour.
What is Stress? Explain Work Stress and Stressed out.
3x20=60 marks