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Botswana College of Distance & Open Learning

Diploma in Business Management

Organisational Behaviour

Assignment: 1

Mmoniemang Motsele:


Question 1 a) Definition of Organizational behavior:- The study and application of knowledge about human behavior related to other elements of an organization. ³Stephen P Robins defines organizational behavior as a systematic study of the actions and attitudes that people exhibit within organizations´ The term Organizational Behavior is ambiguous at best. In order to develop a concrete definition of the term, a person must first understand its uses and applications on their lives. The studies that comprise Organizational Behavior find most effective uses within the corporate structure on several different levels. It affects the individual, the team, and the company as a whole. The study of each of the behaviors of these groups as well as their separate but integrated subgroups is critical in helping to produce a streamlined well functioning body which can act and react cohesively to the demands of the corporate world. b) Three distinct development in the history of management thought Organizational behavior is an academic discipline concerned with describing, understanding, predicting, and controlling human behavior in an organizational environment. Organizational behavior has evolved from early classical management theories into a complex school of thought²and it continues to change in response to the dynamic environment and proliferating corporate cultures in which today's businesses operate. "The task of getting organizations to function effectively is a difficult one," wrote David A. Nadler and Michael L. Tushman in Hackman, Lawler, and Porter's Perspectives on Behaviors in Organizations. The Behavioral Sciences Organizational behavior scientists study four primary areas of behavioral science: individual behavior, group behavior, organizational structure, and organizational processes. They investigate many facets of these areas like personality and perception, attitudes and job satisfaction, group dynamics, politics and the role of leadership in the organization, job design, the impact of stress on work, decision-making processes, the communications chain, and company cultures and climates. They use a variety of techniques and approaches to evaluate each of these elements and its impact on individuals, groups, and organizational efficiency and effectiveness. Specific contributions to the history of management thought Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856±1915) was the first person who attempted to study human behavior at work using a systematic approach. Taylor studied human characteristics, social environment, task, physical environment, capacity, speed, durability, cost and their interaction with each other. His overall objective was to reduce and/or remove human variability. Taylor worked to achieve his goal of making work behaviors stable and predictable so that maximum output could be achieved. He relied strongly upon monetary incentive systems, believing that humans are primarily motivated by money. He faced some strong criticism, including being accused of telling managers to treat workers as machines without minds, but his work was very productive and laid many foundation principles for modern management studies. An enlightening book about the life of Pratik Bang and his studies is that by Kanigel (1997).


Elton Mayo, an Australian national, headed the Hawthorne Studies at Harvard. In his classic writing in 1931, Human Problems of an Industrial Civilization, he advised managers to deal with emotional needs of employees at work. Mary Parker Follett was a pioneer management consultant in the industrial world. As a writer, she provided analyses on workers as having complex combinations of attitude, beliefs, and needs. She told managers to motivate employees on their job performance, a "pull" rather than a "push" strategy. Douglas McGregor proposed two theories/assumptions, which are very nearly the opposite of each other, about human nature based on his experience as a management consultant. His first theory was "Theory X", which is pessimistic and negative; and according to McGregor it is how managers traditionally perceive their workers. Then, in order to help managers replace that theory/assumption, he gave "Theory Y" which takes a more modern and positive approach. He believed that managers could achieve more if they start perceiving their employees as selfenergized, committed, responsible and creative beings. By means of his Theory Y, he in fact challenged the traditional theorists to adopt a developmental approach to their employees. He also wrote a book, The Human Side of Enterprise, in 1960; this book has become a foundation for the modern view of employees at work. During the last 20 years organizational behavior study and practice has developed and expanded through creating integrations with other domains:

y y

Anthropology became an interesting prism to understanding firms as communities, by introducing concepts like Organizational culture, 'organizational rituals' and 'symbolic acts' enabling new ways to understand organizations as communities. Leadership Understanding: the crucial role of leadership at various level of an organization in the process of change management. Ethics and their importance as pillars of any vision and one of the most important driving forces in an organization.

Conclusion These theories are used not only to measure job satisfaction in such tangible areas as pay, benefits, promotional opportunities, and working conditions, but also to gauge how individual and group behavior patterns influence corporate culture, both positively and negatively. In conclusion there are many concepts and ideas that companies need to incorporate into the workplace. Some of these concepts are organizational behavior, organizational culture, organizational effectiveness, organizational learning, communication, and diversity. If a company can incorporate all these concepts, the company is bound for success.


Question 2 a) Distinguish between the terms personality and perception Personality - A relatively stable set of characteristics that influence an individual¶s behavior. The concept of personality also embraces perception, motivation, aspiration, learning and development. It is therefore necessary to recognize at the outset that human personality is highly complex and that steps must be taken by organization to understand these characteristics, interactions and complexities exhibited by their people if an effective relationship is to be produced. Perception- is the process by which people interpret the input from their senses to give meaning and order to the world around them. The three components of perception are the perceiver, the target, and the situation. Accurate perceptions are necessary to make good decisions and to motivate workers to perform at a high level, to be fair and equitable, and to be ethical. b) Contrast two approaches to the study of personality There are two main types of personality studies. These are Nomothetic approach and Idiographic approach: Nomothetic Approach ± The approach of investigating large groups of people to try to find general laws of behavior that apply to everyone. Quantitative experimental methods are best to identify the universal behavior. The individual will be classified with others and measured as a score upon a dimension or be a static supporting a general principal. This approach emphasizes the similarities between individuals. It is the main approach within scientifically oriented psychology. Advantages of Nomothetic Approach a) Successfully used by other sciences as well as psychology b) The finding of universal laws is useful for prediction & control of behaviour. e.g. selecting personnel, diagnosis & treatment of disorders, dealing with global problems such as aggression & prejudice. Disadvantages of Nomothetic Approach a) Gives a more superficial understanding of any one person. E.g. we may both score the same on a memory test but may have used different techniques to remember the items. b) Generalisations may be too inaccurate for the individual - e.g. in diagnosis of a disorder based on the medical model¶s classification system may not accurately describe or help the individual. Idiographic approach- Are based on the assumption that human beings are unique and can only be understood through the use of techniques that are designed to reflect that uniqueness. It focuses on detailed study of an individual or group or individuals as opposed to groups. Advantages of Idiographic approach a) Provides a more complete and global understanding of the individual. b) It may be the most efficient approach in the area of study (Freud & Piaget claimed this). 4

c) Ideographic methods may lead onto experimental research Disadvantages of Idiographic approach a) Ideographic methods tend to be more unreliable and unscientific because they tend to be subjective, long term, flexible and un-standardized. Conclusion- Both ideographic methods (to consider the uniqueness of the individuals behaviour) and nomothetic methods (to consider the similarities between the individual and others) are needed for a complete understanding of human behaviour. c) Compare Two Distortions to the Process of Personality Halo Effect: The halo effect has to do with human beings¶ general tendency to let an overall impression about something shape particular judgments. For example, if I think that an individual is a high-performing manager, I will probably look at various things they do and have a generally better impression of him/her. This happens because it is very hard for us to separately evaluate many different things about a person or a company. We tend to let these things flow together. Too often, observers and executives make assumptions about business performance that are not based in fact. For example, if a company is doing well financially, the assumption is that its leader is a brilliant and gifted individual, the corporate culture is amazing, and the people are the best. That, according to author Phil Rosenzweig, is the halo effect. Stereotyping: Judging a person on the basis of one¶s perception of a group to which he or she belongs. Robbins Stephen & Coultar Mary, Management, 5th Addition, pp.447. It involves judgement, believes conceptions and assumptions made by people towards others. (There is an English say that says: birds of the same further flock together). It concerns of word of perceptions normally referred to characterize, symbolize and assumed to be correct towards individuals at work or outside working environment. Stereotypes can be either positive ("black men are good at basketball") or negative ("women are bad drivers"). But most stereotypes tend to make us feel superior in some way to the person or group being stereotyped. Stereotypes ignore the uniqueness of individuals by painting all members of a group with the same brush.


QUESTION 3 Learning is a process where experience brings about permanent changes in behaviour or attitude... a) Use examples to explain the behaviourist model of conditioning Behavioral psychology, also known as behaviorism, is a theory of learning based upon the idea that all behaviors are acquired through conditioning. Conditioning occurs through interaction with the environment. According to behaviorism, behavior can be studied in a systematic and observable manner with no consideration of internal mental states. There are two major types of conditioning: 1. Classical conditioning is a technique used in behavioral training in which a naturally occurring stimulus is paired with a response. Next, a previously neutral stimulus is paired with the naturally occurring stimulus. Eventually, the previously neutral stimulus comes to evoke the response without the presence of the naturally occurring stimulus. The two elements are then known as the conditioned stimulus and the conditioned response. 2. Operant conditioning Operant conditioning (sometimes referred to as instrumental conditioning) is a method of learning that occurs through rewards and punishments for behavior. Through operant conditioning, an association is made between a behavior and a consequence for that behavior. b) Develop one cognitive theory of the learning process and comment on how it might assist the manager to change attitude Cognitive theory is a learning theory of psychology that attempts to explain human behavior by understanding the thought processes. The assumption is that humans are logical beings that make the choices that make the most sense to them. ³Information processing´ is a commonly used description of the mental process, comparing the human mind to a computer. Pure cognitive theory largely rejects behaviorism on the basis that behaviorism reduces complex human behavior to simple cause and effect. However, the trend in past decades has been towards merging the two into a comprehensive cognitive-behavioral theory. This allows therapists to use techniques from both schools of thought to help clients achieve their goals. Social cognitive theory is a subset of cognitive theory. Primarily focused on the ways in which we learn to model the behavior of others, social cognitive theory can be seen in advertising campaigns and peer pressure situations. It is also useful in the treatment of psychological disorders including phobias.


Question 4 Stages of Group Development In management theory, there's a lot of talk about getting groups together to do a project, and how they tend to work things out. Bruce Tuckman analyzed the process in the 1960s and came up with a model of it. These are:- Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjournment. 1. Forming: The group comes together and gets to initially know one other and form as a group. The major task functions also concern orientation. Members attempt to become oriented to the tasks as well as to one another. Discussion centers around defining the scope of the task, how to approach it, and similar concerns. To grow from this stage to the next, each member must resign the comfort of non-threatening topics and risk the possibility of conflict. 2. Storming: The next stage, which Tuckman calls Storming, is characterized by competition and conflict in the personal-relations dimension an organization in the task-functions dimension. As the group members attempt to organize for the task, conflict inevitably results in their personal relations. Individuals have to bend and mold their feelings, ideas, attitudes, and beliefs to suit the group organization. Because of "fear of exposure" or "fear of failure," there will be an increased desire for structural clarification and commitment. In order to progress to the next stage, group members must move from a "testing and proving" mentality to a problem-solving mentality. 3. Norming: Eventually agreement is reached on how the group operates (norming). Leadership is shared, and group dissolves. When members begin to know and identify with one another, the level of trust in their personal relations contributes to the development of group cohesion. It is during this stage of development (assuming the group gets this far) that people begin to experience a sense of group belonging and a feeling of relief as a result of resolving interpersonal conflicts. 4. Performing: The group practices its craft and becomes effective in meeting its objectives. In this stage, people can work independently, in subgroups, or as a total unit with equal facility. Their roles and authorities dynamically adjust to the changing needs of the group and individuals. By now, the group should be most productive. Individual members have become self-assuring, and the need for group approval is past. Members are both highly task oriented and highly people oriented. There is unity: group identity is complete, group morale is high, and group loyalty is intense. The overall goal is productivity through problem solving and work. 5. Adjourning: Tuckman¶s final stage, Adjourning involves the termination of task behaviors and disengagement from relationships. A planned conclusion usually includes recognition for participation and achievement and an opportunity for members to say personal goodbyes. Concluding a group can create some worry - in effect, a minor crisis. The termination of the group is a regressive movement from giving up control to giving up inclusion in the group. The most effective interventions in this stage are those that facilitate task termination and the disengagement process


b) The nine team types which Dr R. M. Belbin and his colleagues originally identified were: y y y y y y y y y Co-ordinator Plant Shaper Monitor Evaluator Implementer Resource Investigator Team Worker Completer Finisher Specialist (added later).

Co-ordinator: The Co-ordinator is the one who presides over the team and coordinates its efforts to meet external goals and targets. Co-ordinators are distinguished by their preoccupation with objectives and an ability to include all team members in discussions. Co-ordinators are intelligent but not in any sense brilliant - and not outstanding creative thinkers: it is rare for any of the creative ideas to originate with them Plant: The Plant is the team¶s source of original ideas, suggestions and proposals, which is the Plant, is the ideas person. Plants are usually the most imaginative as well as the most intelligent member of the team, and the most likely to start searching for a completely new approach to a problem if the team starts getting bogged down, or to bring a new insight to a line of action already agreed. Shaper: The Shaper is full of nervous energy. He or she is outgoing and emotional, impulsive and impatient, sometimes edgy and easily frustrated. If they are not the leader of the team they may constantly be vying with the appointed leader for that role. They are quick to challenge and quick to respond to a challenge. Monitor- Evaluator : Monitor-Evaluators are likely to be serious and not very exciting. Their contribution lies in measured and dispassionate analysis rather than creative ideas, and while they are unlikely to come up with an original proposal, they are the most likely to stop the team from committing itself to a misguided project. Teams should always listen to a Monitor-Evaluator, for they are seldom wrong. Implementer: - Originally designated with the title of Company Worker, the Implementer is the practical organizer. He or she is the one who turns decisions and strategies into defined and manageable tasks that people can actually get on with. Implementers are concerned with what is feasible, and their chief contribution is to convert the team's plans into an implementable form. They sort out objectives, and pursue them logically. Resource investigator: Is the member of the team who goes outside the group and brings information, ideas and developments back to it - hence their interest in communications technology. They make friends easily and have masses of outside contacts. They are rarely in their office or workplace, and when they are, they are probably on the telephone, using email or surfing the Internet. They are the sales people, the diplomats and the liaison officers, always exploring new possibilities in the wider world outside 8

Completer-Finisher: The Completer-Finisher worries about what might go wrong. They are never at ease until they have personally checked every detail and made sure that everything has been done and nothing has been overlooked. It is not that they are overtly or irritatingly fussy - their obsession is an expression of anxiety. They make excellent proof readers as they are good at checking details and ensuring that all the spellings and good are correct. Team worker: Just another staff member who has been assigned to care about other individuals. He should be skilled and be a caretaker, has feeling for people to can solve problems within the organization and social. Specialist: Highly skilled in his areas of qualification and able to resolve conflicts and problems arising within the organization. He or she is single minded, knowledgeable in his or her own field. The Specialist makes a valuable input at these times, as while his or her focus is narrow, it is very detailed and knowledgeable.


References: ³Cognitive principles of multimedia learning: Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. (1999). Mastering Organisational Behaviour Richard Pettinger The role of cognition in classical and operant conditioning. 369 - 392. Kirsch, I., Lynn, S.J., Vigorito, M. & Miller, R.R. (2004). Trends in Organizational Behaviour Judith C. Kingstone, (1998) Management and Organizational Behaviour 5th Edition. Pitmans Publishing Mullins, L. J. "Organizational Behavior".Hunt, James; Osborn, Richard; Schermerhorn, John. (2005). Exploring Human Resources Management: Porter, C. Bingham, C. and Simmonds, D. (2008)