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Behavioral Bias People who lack system understanding and become superficially infatuated with OB may

develop a behavioral bias, which gives them a narrow viewpoint that emphasizes satisfying employee
experiences while overlooking the broader system of the organization in relation to all its publics.
Concern for employees can be so greatly overdone that the original purpose of bringing people together
productive organizational outputs for societyis lost. Sound organizational behavior should help achieve
organizational purposes, not replace them. The person who ignores the needs of people as consumers of
organizational outputs while championing employee needs is misapplying the ideas of organizational
behavior. To assume that the objective of OB is simply to create a satisfied workforce is a mistake, for
that goal will not automatically translate into new products and outstanding customer service. Moreover,
the person who pushes production outputs without regard for employee needs is misapplying or ignoring
organizational behavior. Sound organizational behavior recognizes a social system in which many types
of human needs are served in many ways. Behavioral bias can be so misapplied that it harms employees
as well as the organization. Some people, in spite of their good intentions, so overwhelm others with care
that the recipients of such care are emotionally smothered and reduced to dependentand unproductive
indignity. They become content, not fulfilled. They find excuses for failure rather than take
responsibility for progress. They lack self-discipline and self-respect. Concern for people can be
misapplied by overeager partisans until it becomes harmful, as the following discussion illustrates.
The Law of Diminishing Returns Overemphasis on a valid organizational behavior practice may produce
negative results, as indicated by the law of diminishing returns.12 It is a limiting factor in organizational
behavior the same way it is in economics. In economics, the law of diminishing returns refers to a
declining amount of extra outputs when more of a desirable input is added to an economic situation. After
a certain point, the output from each unit of added input tends to become smaller. The added output
eventually may reach zero and even continue to decline when more units of input are added. The law of
diminishing returns in organizational behavior works in a similar way. It states that at some point,
increases of a desirable practice produce declining returns, eventually zero returns, and then negative
returns as more increases are added. The concept implies that for any situation there is an optimum
amount of a desirable practice, such as recognition or participation. When that point is exceeded, a
decline in returns occurs. In other words, the fact that a practice is desirable does not mean more of it is
more desirable. More of a good thing is not necessarily good (see On the Job: U.S. Navy). Why does
the law of diminishing returns exist? Essentially, it is a system concept. It applies because of the complex
system relationships of many variables in a situation. When an excess of one variable develops, although
that variable is desirable, it tends to restrict the operating benefits of other variables so substantially that
net effectiveness declines. For example, too much security may lead to less employee initiative and
growth. Although the exact point at which an application becomes excessive will vary with the
circumstances, an excess can be reached with nearly any practice. This relationship shows that
organizational effectiveness is achieved not by maximizing one human variable but by combining all
system variables together in a balanced way.
Unethical Manipulation of People A significant concern about organizational behavior is that its
knowledge and techniques can be used to manipulate people unethically as well as to help them develop
their potential. People who lack respect for the basic dignity of the human being could learn
organizational behavior ideas and use them for selfish ends. They could use what they know about
motivation or communication in the manipulation of people without regard for human welfare. People
who lack ethical values could use people in unethical ways. The philosophy of organizational behavior is
supportive and oriented toward human resources. It seeks to improve the human environment and help
people grow toward their potential. However, the knowledge and techniques of this subject may be used
for negative as well as positive consequences. This possibility is true of knowledge in almost any field, so
it is no special limitation of organizational behavior. Nevertheless, we must be cautious so that what is
known about people is not used to manipulate them. The possibility of manipulation means that people in
power in organizations must maintain high ethical and moral integrity and not misuse their power.
Without ethical leadership, the new knowledge learned about people becomes a dangerous instrument for
possible misuse. Ethical leadership will recognize such principles as the following:14 Social

responsibility Responsibility to others arises whenever people have power in an organization. Open
communication The organization will operate as a two-way open system, with open receipt of inputs from
people and open disclosure of its operations to them. Cost-benefit analysis In addition to economic costs
and benefits, human and social costs and benefits of an activity will be analyzed in determining whether
to proceed with the activity. As the general population learns more about organizational behavior, it will
be more difficult to manipulate people, but the possibility is always there. That is why society desperately
needs ethical leaders.
In the first place, OB provides a road map to our lives in organisations. Every one of us has an inherent
need to know about the world in which we live. This is particularly true in organisations, as they have a
profound effect on our actions and behaviours. People bring to their workplace their hopes and dreams as
well as their fears and frustrations. Much of the time, people in organisations may appear to be acting
quite rationally, doing their fair share of work and going about their tasks in a civil manner. Suddenly, a
few people appear distracted, their work slips and they even get withdrawn. Worse still, one may find
someone taking advantage of others to further his or her personal interests Occasionally, you are likely to
get caught up in anxiety-provoking organisational changes that involve redeployments or even lay-offs.
Such a range of human behaviours makes life in organisations perplexing. But those who know what to
look for and have some advance ideas about how to cope with pressures are more likely to respond in
ways that are functional, less stressful and even career-advancing.8 We, therefore, need to map out
organisational events so that we can function in a more secure and comfortable environment.
Second, the field of OB uses scientific research to help us understand and predict organisational life. This
is not to say that this knowledge is absolute. The decisions and actions that people in organisations make
are determined by a complex combination of factors. Besides, the field of OB is not a pure science.
Nevertheless, it helps us make sense of the workplace and, to some extent, predict what people will do
under various conditions.
Third, OB helps us influence organisational events. Though it is good to understand and predict
organisational events, most of us want to influence the environment in which we live. Whether one is a
marketing specialist or a computer programmer, he or she needs to know how to communicate effectively
with others, manage conflict, make better decisions, ensure commitment to ideas, help work teams
operate more effectively and the like. OB theories and concepts will help us influence organisational
Fourth, OB helps an individual understand himself/herself and others better. This helps improve
interpersonal relations considerably. Of particular significance are topics like attitude, perception,
leadership, communication, TA and conflict, an understanding of which will change the very style of
talking and functioning of an individual. It is no exaggeration that the MBA graduate always remembers,
with satisfaction, OB among all the subjects of his/her course, even after graduation.
Fifth, a manager in a business establishment is concerned with getting things done through delegation. He
or she will be successful when he or she can motivate subordinates to work for better results. OB will
help the manager understand the basics of motivation and what he or she should do to motivate
Sixth, the field of OB is useful for maintaining cordial industrial relations. If an employee is slow in his or
her work, or if his or her productivity is steadily declining, it is not always because of denial of promotion
or a poor work environment. Similarly, if the union of workers gives a strike call, the basic issue may not
be a demand for more wages, higher bonus, a better canteen, or for three pairs of uniform in the place of
two. Often the indifferent attitude of the boss makes the worker lazy. Similarly, reluctance of the
management to talk to union leaders about issues might provoke them to give a strike call. In other words,
relations between management and employees are often strained for reasons which are personal issues,
not technical. Human problems need to be tackled humanely. OB is very useful in this context as it helps
understand the cause of the problem, predict its course of action and control its consequences (see Fig.

1.4). It is also a human tool for human benefit. The field of OB serves as the basis for human resource
Seventh, the subject of OB is also useful in the field of marketing. In the dynamic mechanism of the flow
of goods and services from producer to consumer, awareness of the nature of individual and social
processes has an immediate or long-range contribution to the success or failure of the enterprise.
Consumer choice behaviour, the nature of influence, and the channels involved, represent leading topics
for behaviour research in this area. Innovation and the diffusion of new products, creativity, and the
learning of responses are equally important social and individual phenomena that contribute to the total
Eighth, the most popular reason for studying OB is that the reader is interested in pursuing a career in
management and wants to learn how to predict behaviour and apply it in some meaningful way to make
organisations more effective. A successful manager should have good people skills which include the
ability to understand ones employees and use this knowledge effectively to make them more efficient.
Ninth, OB adds to the bottom-line of an organisation. Pri
Organisational behaviour can be viewed from different perspectives or levels of analysis. At one level, the
organisation can be viewed as consisting of individuals working on tasks in the pursuit of the
organisational goals. A second level of analysis focuses upon the interaction among organisational
members as they work in' teams, groups and departments. Finally, organisational behaviour can be
analysed from the perspective of the organisation as a whole.
Organisation at the Individual Level: Organisational behaviour can be studied in the perspective
of individual members of the organisation. This approach to organisational behaviour draws
heavily on the discipline of psychology and explains why individuals behave and react the way
they do to different organisational policies, practices and procedures. Within this perspective,
psychologically based theories of learning, motivation, satisfaction and leadership are brought to
bear upon the behaviour and performance of individual members of an organisation. Factors such
as attitudes, beliefs, perceptions and personalities are taken into account and their impact upon
individuals behaviour and performance on the job is studied.
Organisation at the Group Level: People rarely work independently in organisations; they have
to necessarily work in coordination to meet the organisational goals. This frequently results in
people working together in teams, committees and groups. How do people work together in
groups? What factors determine whether group will be cohesive and productive? What types of
tasks could be assigned to groups? These are some of the questions that can be asked about the
effective functioning of groups in organisations. An important component of organisational
behaviour involves the application of knowledge and theories from social psychology to the study
of groups in organisations.
Organisation at the Organisational Level: Some organisational behaviour researchers take the
organisation as a whole as their object of study. This j macro perspective on organisational
behaviour draws heavily on theories and concepts from the discipline of 'sociology'. Researchers
seek to understand the implications of the relationship between the organisation and its
environment for the effectiveness of the organisation. Emphasis is placed upon understanding
how organisational structure and design influences the effectiveness of an organisation. Other
factors such as the technology employed by the organisation, the size of the organisation and the
organisation's age are also examined and their implications for effective organisational
functioning are explored.
These different perspectives on the study of organisational behaviour are not in conflict with one another.
Instead they are complementary. A full and complete understanding of the nature of organisations and the
determinants of their effectiveness requires a blending of knowledge derived from each perspective.

Interpersonal Level: Human behaviour can be understood at the level of interpersonal

interaction. Organisational behaviour provides means for understanding the interpersonal
relationships in an organisation. Analysis of reciprocal relationships, role analysis and
transactional analysis are some of the common methods, which provide such understanding.
Group Level: Though people interpret anything at their individual level, they are often modified
by group pressures, which then become a force in shaping human behaviour, Thus, individuals
should be studied in groups also.. Research in group dynamics has contributed vitally to
organisational behaviour and shows how a group behaves in its norms, cohesion, goals,
procedures, communication pattern and leadership. These research results are advancing
managerial knowledge of understanding group behaviour, which is very important for
organisational morale and productivity.
Inter-group Level: The organisation is made up of many groups that develop complex
relationships to build their process and substance. Understanding the effect of group relationships
is important for managers in today's organisation. Inter-group relationship may be in the form of
co-operation or competition.
Nature of Organisational Behaviour Organisational behaviour is emerging as a separate field of study.
Therefore, its nature is likely to change over the period of time. However, its present nature can be
identified as follows :
1. A Field of Study and not a Discipline : Organisational behaviour can be treated as a distinct field of
study and not a discipline or even an emerging discipline. A discipline is an accepted science with a
theoretical foundation that serves as the basis for research and analysis. Organisational behaviour, because
of its broad base, recent emergence, and interdisciplinary orientation, is not accepted as science. We have
just begun to synthesise principles, concepts and processes in this field of study. Therefore, it is
reasonable to call it a field of study rather than a discipline.
2. Interdisciplinary Approach : Organisational behaviour is basically an interdisciplinary approach. An
interdisciplinary approach integrates the relevant knowledge drawn from different disciplines for some
specific purpose. As discussed later. Organisational behaviour draws heavily from psychology, sociology
and anthropology. Besides, it also takes relevent things from economics, political sciene, law, and history.
These disciplines exist separately, but organisational behaviour integrates the relevant contents of these
disciplines to make them applicable for organisational analysis. Thus, organisational behaviour is nothing
but the integration of knowledge from different disciplines.
3. An Applied Science : The basic objective of organisational behaviour is to make application of various
researches to solve the organisational problems particularly related to the aspect of human behaviour.
Unlike the pure science which concentrates on fundamnetal researches, organisational behaviour
concentrates an applied researches. Though many of the researches may be carried on in laboratory
situations and controlled conditions, they are meant for general application in organisational analysis.
Thus, organisational behaviour is both science as well as an art.
4. Normative and Value Centred : Organisational behaviour is a normative science. A normative science,
unlike the positive science which suggests only cause effect relationships, prescribes how the various
finding of the researches can be applied to get organisational results which are acceptable to the society.
Thus, what is acceptable by the society or individuals engaged in an organisation is a matter of value to
the people concerned. This aspect cannot be explained by positive science. The normative nature of
organisational behaviour in underscored by the proliferation of theories about management styles, ranging
from how-to prescriptions to policies about change in basic practices.
5. Humanistic and Optimistic : Organisational behaviour focuses the attention on people from humanistic
point of view. It is based on the belief that needs and motivation of people are of high concern. There is
an acceptance of the value of the individual as a thinking, feeling organism, and without these
considerations, the organisation may not be fully operational as a social entity. Further, there is optimism
about the innate potential of man to be independent, creative, productive and capable of contributing

positively to the objectives of the organisation. The man will actualise this potential if proper conditions
and environments are provided to him.
6. Oriented towards Organisational Objective : Organisational behvaiour, being an applied science and
emphasizing upon human aspect of the organisation, is oriented towards organisational objectives.
Though an organisation may have several objectives and sometimes conflicting with individual
objectives, it should not be understood that organisational behaviour only emphasizes the achievement of
organisational objectives at the cost of individual objectives. In fact, organisational behaviour tries to
integrate both types of objectives so that these are achieved simultaneously. For this purpose, it suggests
various behavioural approaches.
7. A Total Systems Approach : Organisational behaviour is a total systems approach wherein the living
system of an organisation is viewed as an enlargement of a man. The systems approach is an integrative
approach which takes into account all the variables affecting organisational functioing. In fact, the
systems thinking in organisational analysis has been developed by behavioural scientists. Behavioural
science, while analysing organisational behaviour,does not take human being in isolation but as the
product of sociopsychological factors. Thus, his behaviour can be analysed keeping in view his
psychological framework, interpersonal orientation, group influence and social and culture factors. Thus,
mans nature is quite complex, and organisational behaviour by applying systems approach tries to find
solution of this complexity.
of Q global village 2. Workforce diversity 3. Improving quality and productivity 4.
Improving People skills 5. Management control to empowerment 6. Stability and
flexibility 7. Improving ethical behavior. There are a lot of challenges and
opportunities today for managers to use Organizational behavior concepts. The
critical issues for which Organization behavior offers solutions are: 1. The creation of
a global village The world has truly become global village. As multinational
companies develop operations world wide, as workers chase job opportunities
across national borders, managers have to become capable of working with people
from different cultures. 2. Workforce diversity Workforce diversity addresses
differences among people within given countries. It means that Organizations are
becoming more heterogeneous in terms of gender, race and ethnicity. When
diversity is not managed properly, there is potential for higher turnover, more
difficult communication and more interpersonal conflicts. So workforce diversity has
important implications for management practice. 3. Improving quality and
productivity Toward Improving quality and productivity, managers are implementing
programs such as TQM (Total Quality Management) and Reengineering programs
that require extensive employee involvement. The Organizational behavior offers
important insights into helping managers work through those programs. 4.
Improving people skills Organizational behavior represents relevant concepts and
theories that can help a manager to predict and explain the behavior of people at
work. In addition, it also provides insights into specific people skills that can be used
on the job. Organizational Behavior also helps at improving a manager's
interpersonal skills. 5. Management control to empowerment In the 1980s,
managers were encouraged to get their employees to participate in work related
decisions. But now managers are going considerably further by allowing employees
full control of their work. In so doing, managers have to learn how to give up control
and employees have to learn how to take responsibility for their work and make
appropriate decisions. 6. Stability and flexibility Now days, change is an ongoing
activity for most managers. The study of Organizational behavior can provide
important insights into helping a manager better understand a work world of

continual change and how to overcome resistance to change . So today's managers

and employees must learn to cope with temporariness. 7. Improving ethical
behavior Today's manager needs to create an ethically healthy climate for his or her
employees where they can do their work productively and confront a minimal
degree of ambiguity regarding what constitutes right and wrong behavior. MODELS