Organisational Behaviour What Is Organisational Behaviour?

Category: Behavior, Motivation
Last Updated: 28 Feb 2023
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Organisational Behaviour

What is organisational behaviour? The study of human behaviour, attitudes and performance within an organisational setting; drawing on theory, methods and principles from such disciplines as psychology, sociology and cultural anthropology to learn about individual, groups and processes. Three different OB perspectives Macro-perspective; the big picture Micro-perspective; the smaller units Meso-perspective; integration and movement between macro and micros

Three levels of OB Individuals > groups > organisations

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OB as a science Scientific discipline Theories and methods can be developed to better understand and explain behaviour Concerned with predictions and explanations Fredrick Windsor taylor – four principles of scientific management 1. Using scientific analysis, managers precisely specify every element of an employee’s work which replaces old rule-of-thumb methods (Job Design) 2. Managers select and then train, teach and develop employees, unlike in the past when employees chose their own work and trained themselves (human Resource Management) 3.

Managers are responsible for ensuring that all work is done according to their specification (Performance, Monitoring and rewards) 4. There is a division of labour based on expertise; managers manage because of their superior knowledge while employees do what they are best at (the development of management profession) Human relations school Elton mayo Believed that the “work problem” (dissent, disobedience, industrial unrest) was a result of psychological disturbances brought about by the alienating nature of work. Mayo thought that we can improve employee happiness bby making work more involving and by recognising its social nature.

The hawthorn study Originally looked at the impact of working environment on productivity e. g. amount of light workers were exposed to during work By spending so much time around the workers, researchers began to notice a number of important social factors that had an impact on productivity Despite the isolating effects of standardisation and increasing technical division of labour, work remains a group activity. As a result of their need for recognition, security and sense of belonging, workers will gravitate towards informal groups whether formal work organisation reflects this or not.

Informal group exercises

Informal group exercises a strong form of social control over the work habit and attitude of its members. Managers should recognise the impact of these informal groups in exerting an influence on productivity. Organisations should seek to ensure a good fit between formal and informal groups. Weber’s formal bureaucracy is characterised by: Specialised individual positions Formal hierarchy Rules and standard operating procedures Set boundaries for each dept Standardised training and career paths Changes from traditional to modern Intensifying competition meant that companies needed to become: More innovative in terms of customer service

Implement continuous improvement in manufacturing More diverse in terms of products and services they offer New organisation model Networked; emphasis on teams, systems for sharing information, cross functional involvements Flat; reducing layers and empowering more employees Flexible; intensified completion, accounting for life cycles, unpredictability of external environment Divers; career trajectories, core and peripheral workforces Global; interactions across boarders Employment relationship Employment relationship is the set of arrangements and work practices that describe and govern the relationships between employees and employers.

Relationship consists of economic, social and psychological contracts

The relationship consists of economic, social and psychological contracts. The psychological contract refers to a shared cultural understanding of what is right, good and fair about the ongoing exchange. Key employment relationship changes Short term job security; life time employment to life time employability and being able to move from internal labour markets Advancement; changing notions of advancement Job titles; changing and multi-dimensional Compensation; pay for knowledge or skills, team-based pay Flexibility; telecommunicating work hours, contract and new forms of bargaining Chapter summary 1

Define organisational behaviour and organisations, and discuss the importance of this field of inquiry Organisational behaviour is the study of what people think, feel and do in and around organisations. Organisations are groups of people who work interdependently towards some purpose. OB theories help people to:

  1. Make sense of the workplace
  2. Question and rebuild personal mental models
  3. Get things done

In organisations Compare and contrast the four perspectives of organisational effectiveness The open systems perspective views organisations as complex organisms that ‘live’ within an external environment.

They depend on the external environment for resources then use organisational subsystems to transform those resources into outputs that are returned to the environment. Organisations receive feedback from external environment to maintain a good ‘fit’ with that environment. Fit occurs by adapting to the environment, managing the environment or moving to another environment. According to the organisational learning perspective, organisational effectiveness depends on the organisations capacity to acquire, share, use and store valuable knowledge. The ability to acquire and use knowledge depends on the firm’s absorptive capacity.

Intellectual capacity consists of human capital, structural capital and relationship capital. Knowledge is retained in the organisational memory; companies also selectively unlearn. The high performance work practices (HPWP) perspective identifies a bundle of systems and structures to leverage workforce potential. The most widely identified HPWPs are employee involvement, job autonomy, developing employee competencies and performance/skill-based rewards. HPWPs improve organisational effectiveness by building human capital, increasing adaptability and strengthen employee motivation and attitudes.

The stakeholder perspectives state that leaders manage the interest of diverse stakeholders by replying on their personal and organisational values for guidance. Ethics and corporate responsibility are natural variations of values-based organisation because they rely on values to guide the most appropriate decisions involving stakeholders. Corporate social responsibility consists of organisational activities intended to benefit society and the environment beyond the company’s immediate financial interest or legal obligation.

Debate the organisation opportunities

Debate the organisation opportunities and challenges of globalisation, workforce diversity and emerging employment relationships Globalisation, which refers to various forms of connectivity with people in other parts of the world has several economic and social benefits but it may also be responsible for work intensification, as well as reduced job security and work – life balance. Workforce diversity is apparent at both the surface level and deep level; there is some evidence of deep level diversity across generational cohorts. Diversity may give a competitive advantage by improving decision making and team performance on conflict.


One emerging employment relationship trend is the call for more work-life balance. Another employment trend is virtual work, particular working from home. Working from home potentially increases employee productivity and reduces employee stress, but it may also lead to social isolation, reduced promotion opportunities and increased tension in family relations. Discuss the anchors on which organisational behaviour knowledge is based The systematic research anchor states that OB knowledge should be based on systematic research, which is consistent with evidence-based management.

The multidisciplinary anchor states that the field should develop from knowledge in other disciplines (psychology sociology, economics) not just from its own isolated research base. The contingency anchor states that OB theories generally need to consider that there will be different consequences in different situations. The multiple levels of analysis anchor states that OB topics may be viewed from the individual, team and organisations levels of analysis.

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Organisational Behaviour What Is Organisational Behaviour?. (2017, Feb 27). Retrieved from

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