Last Updated 13 May 2021

Behavioral Management Historical Perspective

Category Perspective
Essay type Process
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The Behavioral or social science approach developed as a corollary to the human relations approach. Social scientists and organization theorists are of the pollen that best results can be obtained by building theories of management and organization based on findings of the Behavioral sciences, such as psychology, sociology, psychiatry, economics, cultural anthropology and philosophy. Behavioral approach reflects the findings of intensive carried out by Behavioral scientists like Chester I Bernard, Douglas McGregor, Chris Arises, A.H. Moscow, Herbert, Rinses Liker etc. Many of the conclusions of the Hawthorne studies have been reaffirmed by subsequent research studies. Moreover, certain ideas have been refined, extended and these behavior scientists have highlighted other important ideas. These scientists have tried to eliminate the exaggeration of the Importance of informal relations. The focal point of management action Is the behavior of human being in the organization - management as a technical process only, was given up. Read about the difference between behavioral theory and contingency theory of leadership

Behavioral scientists conduct research to answer the question. "Why a person or a roof of persons behaves or acts in a particular manner? They try in answer In any problems faced by the managers by explaining the behavior of the people". Elements Or Concepts or Features Of Behavioral Approach The Behavioral approach concerns itself with the social and psychological aspects of human behavior in organization. The behavior of members of an organization clearly affects both its structure and its functioning as well as the principles on which it can be managed.

Behavioral researches have provided sufficient evidence that human element is the key factor in the success are failure of an organization. In several experiments, It has been observed that people prefer to be consulted rather than receive order or Information. Less reliance on the use of authority Is preferred. Some of the more Important elements or concepts of Behavioral approach may be outlined as follows: Individual Behavior Individual behavior Is closely linked with the behavior of the group to which he belongs.

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The group dictates changes in his behavior. Individuals observe those work standards which are prescribed by the group.  Informal leadership, rather than formal authority of managers is more important for eating and enforcing group standards of performance. A a leader, a manager may be more effective and acceptable to subordinates, if he adopts the democratic style of leadership. Participation If the subordinates are encouraged and allowed to participate in establishing goals, there will be positive effect on their attitude towards work. If employees are Involved in planning, designing the Jobs and decision-making, there will be least resistance to changes effected In technology and work methods.

Motivation by Self-Control and Self-Development

Behavioral scientists maintain that by nature most people enjoy work and are roved necessary conditions conducive to the proper and sufficient use of human potential. The managers attitude towards human behavior should positive. They should know that average man is not lazy by nature. But he is ambition. Every man likes to work and prefers to assume responsibilities.

MacGregor maintains that employees favor self-direction and self-control. Behaviorist's believe that in place of the concept of social man the concept of self-actualization man would be more appropriate to explain human motivations. Chester I Bernard pointed out that material reward is of crucial signification only Upton a definite point. The incentives of status, power, good physical conditions opportunities of participation and good social (I. E. , cultural interrelationships) are very important.

Informal Organization Behaviorist's particularly Bernard, consider informer organization as an essential part of the formal organization. Informer organization must always be taken into account while determining managerial behavior.

General Supervision

Not Close One As regards supervision of subordinates, Behaviorist's particularly Liker, are not in favor of close supervision. They advocate general supervision, which tends to be associated with high productivity. Basic Assumptions (Are Propositions) Of Behavioral Scientists The Behavioral science approach is based on certain assumptions about man and organization, which my be looked upon as their prepositions (statements of opinion or Judgment) also. Those may be outlined as follows

  1. Organization is socio-technical system involving people and technology as their primary components.
  2. The behavior of the members of an organization clearly affect both its structure and its functioning, as well as the principles on which it can be managed.
  3. Individual's behavior is closely linked with a greatly influenced by the behavior of the group to which he belongs.
  4.  A wide range of factors influences work and interpersonal behavior of people in the organization.
  5. Congruence (agreement) between organizational goals and individual goals organizations members would be established.
  6. Several individual differences in perceptions, aspirations, needs, feelings, abilities and values of people excite in the organization, such difference along with their changing nature over periods of time have to be recognized.
  7. nformal leadership rather than the formal authority of previous is more important for increase in employee performance.
  8. Democratic leadership style and participative managerial style encourage positive attitude of employee towards work and foster's high moral and initiative among them.
  9. By nature most people enjoy work and are motivated by self-direction, self-control and self-development.
  10. Conflict in organization may to some extent to inevitable and at times even desirable for development, innovation and creativity in certain cases. Conflicts and cooperation coexist in organizations. Conflicts are not to be suppressed, but are to be resolved and that too not always. Coordinated in vital for achievement of organizational goals. The above preposition are important elements of Behavioral science thinking. Thus the Behavioral approach represents a significant advance over the human relations approach.

The major areas of research and analysis by the Behavioral scientists are interaction between organizational structure, work performance and employees behavior, consequences of traditional, coercive behavior, human needs and aspirations, theories of motivation and leadership, developmental aspects of human resources, organizational behavior aspects, group Hyannis, patterns of communication and their importance in the organization, managerial styles and their impact on employee behavior, organizational climate, culture and politics, organizational development, change and conflict, organizational rules and status, and so on.

The Behavioral approach to management evolved mainly because the practicing managers discovered that adopting the ideas of the classical approach failed to achieve total efficiency and workplace harmony. The behavioral approach to management highlighted what the classical advocates overlooked - the human aspect. The classical theorists looked at the organization from a production perspective, the behavioral advocates viewed it from the individual's viewpoint. The behavioral approach to management highlighted individual behavior & group processes, and acknowledged the importance of behavioral processes at work.

The Hawthorne studies in the late 1920 and early 1930 helped to lend credence to the behavioral approach. Some of the main behavioral researchers who made considerable contributions to the progression of the behavioral approach to management are: Mary Parker Foulest, Douglas McGregor, Kurt Lenin, Chester Bernard, Abraham Moscow, George Romans, etc. Branches of Behavioral Approach to Management The behavioral approach has been divided into two branches: the Human relations approach and the behavioral science approach.

In the human relations approach managers should know why their subordinates behave as they do and what psychological and social factors have an impact on them. Supporters of this approach make an effort to show how the process and functions of management are influenced by differences in individual behavior and the influence of groups in the office. Human Relations Approach The term human relations means the way in which managers connect to subordinates. Managers face many difficulties because staff members usually do not stick to predetermined and balanced patterns of behavior.

Supporters of Human relations approach feel that management should recognize employees need for recognition and social acceptance. Management should look upon the work group as a positive force which can be used productively. Thus, managers must be competent in human relations skills along with technical skills. The initial encouragement for the movement came from the Hawthorne experiments:

  1. Illumination experiments
  2. Relay assembly test room
  3. Interviewing programmer
  4. Bank wiring test room

Behavioral Science

Approach The Behavioral Science Approach is actually an extension of the Human Relations Approach. It gave value to attitudes, behavior and performance of people and groups within the organizations. The advocates of the behavioral science approach consider that humans are much more complex than the economic man description of the classical approach and the social man description of the human relations approach. This approach focuses on the nature of work, and the degree to which it will satisfy immunization, motivation, participative management, leadership and group dynamics are integrated in this approach. The behavioral approach acknowledges the quality of leadership as a major element in management success.

It concentrates on group relationship and recognizes the part of individual mindset and group behavior in organizational effectiveness. Abraham Moscow, Frederick Herbert, Douglas McGregor, Victor Broom, James March, Herbert Simon, Chester Bernard, etc. , made significant contributions towards the behavioral science approach. Contributions of the Behavioral Approach Improved usage of teams to achieve organizational goals. ; Emphasis on training and development of staff Use of innovative reward and incentive techniques. Furthermore the main focus on modern management theory led to empowering employees via shared information.

Limitations of the Behavioral Approach to Challenges for managers in difficult situations and the reality that human behavior is complex. This complicated the problem for managers attempting to use insights from the behavioral sciences that regularly changed when different behavioral scientists offered distinct alternatives Behavioral Viewpoint: Organizational behavior (B) research has contributed much of what we know about behavioral views of management, human resources management, motivation, leadership, trust, teamwork, and conflict management. Early Advocates: Four people stand out as early advocates of the B approach.

These include Robert Owen, Hugo Mustering, Mary Parker Foulest, and Chester Bernard.

  1. Robert Owen, a successful Scottish businessman, proposed a utopian workplace.
  2. Hugo Mustering created the field of industrial psychology-?the scientific study of individuals at work to maximize their productivity and adjustment.
  3. Mary Parker Foulest was a social philosopher who thought the manager's Job was to harmonize and coordinate group efforts.
  4.  Chester Bernard, president of New Jersey Bell Telephone Company, saw organizations as social systems that required human cooperation.

He believed that managers' major roles were to communicate and stimulate subordinates to high levels of effort. He also introduced the idea that managers have to examine the environment and then adjust the organization to maintain a state of equilibrium.

Hugo Mustering (1863-1916) is considered to be the "father of industrial psychology' and is regarded by students f psychology as an important fugue as Frederick Taylor is by students of management. Mustering attempted to develop practical applications of psychology. He argued that psychologists could help industry in three major areas:

Finding ways to identify individuals best suited to particular Jobs. dentifying the psychological conditions for optimum efficiency.  Finding ways to influence individual behavior to be congruent with management's objectives Mary Parker Foulest (1868-1933) brought to management the perspectives of political science and social individuals, in organization. The principle of "power with" rather than "Power over" in magnetosphere's relations.  Conflict resolution through integration, I. E. , finding a solution to a conflict that would satisfy both parties. The achievement of integrative unity, whereby the organization operates as a functional whole, with the various interrelated parts working together effectively to achieve organizational goals. The Hawthorne Studies Without question, the most important contribution to the developing Organization Behavior field came out of the Hawthorne Studies, a series of studies conducted at he Western Electric Company Works in Cicero, Illinois. These studies, started in 1924 and continued through the early sass, were initially designed by Western Electric industrial engineers as a scientific management experiment.

They wanted to examine the effect of various illumination levels on worker productivity. Control and experimental groups were set up with the experimental group being exposed to various lighting intensities, and the control group working under a constant intensity. If you were one of the industrial engineers in charge of this experiment, what would oh have expected to happen? That individual output in the experimental group would be directly related to the intensity of the light? Seems perfectly logical, doesn't it? However, they found that as the level of light was increased in the experimental group, output for both groups increased.

Then, much to the surprise of the engineers, as the light level was decreased the productivity decrease was observed in the experimental group only when the level of light was reduced to that of a moonlit night. What would explain these UN-excluded that illumination intensity was not erectly related to group productivity, and that something else must have contributed to the results. However, they weren't able to pinpoint what that "something else" was. In 1927, the Western electric engineers asked Harvard professor Elton Mayo and his associates to Join the study as consultants.

Thus began a relationship that would last through 1932 and encompass numerous experiments in the redesign of Jobs, changes in workday and workweek length, introduction of rest periods, and individual versus group wage plans. For example, one experiment was designed to evaluate he effect of a group piecework incentive pay system on group productivity. Hawthorne studies reflected the scientific management tradition of seeking greater efficiency by improving the tools and methods of work-?in this case, lighting.

  1. In the first set of studies, no correlation was found between changes in lighting conditions and individual work performance. In fact, performance nearly always went up with any change-?brighter or darker-?in illumination.
  2. In the second set of studies, the concept of the Hawthorne effect emerged. The Hawthorne effect refers to the usability that individuals singled out for a study may improve their performance simply because of the added attention they receive from the researchers, rather than because of any specific factors being tested in the study.
  3. The third set of studies centered on group production norms and individual motivation.
  4.  Although simplistic and methodologically primitive, the Hawthorne studies established the impact that social aspects of the Job (and the informal group) have on productivity. Read about the difference between behavioral theory and contingency theory of leadership
  5. Human Relations Movement: This movement was an attempt to equip managers with the social skills they need. Plopped a theory of motivation that was based on three assumptions about human nature.

Human beings have needs that are never completely satisfied. Human behavior is aimed at satisfying the needs that are yet unsatisfied at a given point in time.  Needs fit into a somewhat predictable hierarchy ranging from basic, lower-level needs to higher-level needs:

  1. Physiological (lowest)
  2. Safety
  3. Belongingness or social
  4. Esteem
  5. Self-actualization (highest and NOT achieved by everyone)

Douglas McGregor (1906-1964) developed the Theory X and Theory Y dichotomy about the assumptions managers aka about workers and how these assumptions affect behavior.

Theory X managers tend to assume that workers are lazy, need to be coerced, have little ambition, and are focused on security needs. These managers then treat their subordinates as if these assumptions were true. Theory Y managers tend to assume that workers do not inherently dislike work, are capable of self-control, have the capacity to be creative and innovative, and generally have higher-level needs that are often not met on the Job. These managers then treat their subordinates as if these assumptions were true.  Workers, like all of us, tend to work up or down to expectations.

The Behavioral Science Approach

It emphasizes scientific research as the basis for developing theories about human behavior in organizations that can be used to develop practical guidelines for managers. The emphasis is upon developing useful tools for managers. Unlike Scientific Management from the Classical Era, the findings in behavioral studies are often somewhat difficult to find with mathematical certainty. That does not mean however, that the scientific approach should not be attempted nor that the findings f such an approach are any less useful.

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