ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR What Do We Mean by Organization? An organization is a consciously coordinated social unit, made up of a group of people, who work together on common goals on a relatively continuous basis. Manufacturing and service firms are organizations, and so are schools, hospitals, churches, military units, retail stores, police departments, volunteer organizations, start-ups, and local, provincial, and federal government agencies. What is Organizational behaviour (OB)? Organizational behaviour (OB) is the systematic study of the actions and attitudes that people exhibit within organizations. It is individual behaviour and group dynamics in organizations. The study of organizational behaviour is primarily concerned with the psychosocial, interpersonal and behavioural dynamics in organizations. However, organizational variables that affect human behaviour at work are also relevant to the study of organizational behaviour. These organizational variable include jobs, the design and organizational structure. Therefore, although individual behaviour and group dynamics are the primary concerns in the study of organizational behaviour, organizational variables are important as the context in which human behaviour occurs. The term ‘organizational behaviour’ is defined by Stephen P Robbins as "a field of study that investigates the impact of individuals, groups and structures on behaviour within organizations for the purpose of applying such knowledge towards improving an organization's effectiveness". According to this definition, organizational behaviour • Is a field of study with a common body of knowledge. • It studies three determinants of behaviour in organizations. They are individuals, groups and structures. • It applies the knowledge gained about individuals, groups and the effect of structure on behaviour in order to make organizations work more effectively. Organizational behaviour is a basic and applied social science seeking knowledge about how individuals, groups, and organizations function for improving the effectiveness and wellbeing of employees and organizations. Definitions “Organizational Behaviour” is the study and application of knowledge about how people – as individual and as groups – act within organizations. It is a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups and structure have on behavior within organizations for the purpose of applying such knowledge towards improving an organization’s effectiveness. Organizational Behaviour means the study of behavior of individuals, and groups in organizations and organizations themselves, as they act and interact to attain desired outcomes. OB is a scientific study in which a number of research studies and conceptual developments are taking place. It is also an applied science wherein information about effective practices in one organization is being extended to many others.
OB provides a useful set of tools at many levels of analysis – It helps managers to understand the behavior of individuals within an organization; understand the interpersonal relationships, when two people(coworkers or a superior –subordinate pair) interact; to understand the dynamics or relationships with in small groups, both formal teams and informal groups; to understand the intergroup relationships; and finally understand the organizations as whole systems that have inter organizational relationships Objectives of Organizational Behaviour There are some goals of organizational behavior which are as follows: 1. Describe: The first goal is to describe, systematically how people behave under a variety of conditions. Achieving this goal allows managers to communicate about human behavior at work using a common language. 2. Understand: A second goal is to understand any people behave as they do. The managers would be frustrated if they could talk about behavior of their employees, but not understand the reasons behind those actions. 3. Predict: The managers would have capacity to predict which employees might be dedicated and productive or which ones might have absent, cause problem. And thus the managers could take preventive actions. 4. Control: The final goal of OB is to control and develop some human activity at work. Since managers are held responsible for performance outcome, they are vitally interested in being able to make an impact on employee behavior, skill development, team effort, and productivity. Managers need to be able to improve results through the actions they and their employees take, and organizational behavior can aid them in their pursuit of this goal. Features of Organizational Behaviour The essential characteristics of organizational behaviour are as follows: (i) An Integral Part of Management. OB is a part of general management and not the whole of management. It represents behaviour approach to management. It is significant to note that because of the importance of human behaviour in organizations, OB has assumed the status of a distinct field of study. (ii)A Field of Study. OB is a field of study backed by a body of theory, research and application associated with a growing concern for people at the workplace. Its study helps in understanding the human behaviour in work organizations. It includes creative thinking among the managers to solve human problems in organizations. (iii)Inter-disciplinary Approach. The field of organizational behaviour is heavily influenced by several other behavioural sciences and social sciences. The prominent among these are psychology, sociology and anthropology. Organizational behaviour draws a rich array of research from these disciplines. What makes it a field in its own right is the attempt to integrate various aspects and levels of behaviour. (iv)Levels of Analysis. OB involves three levels of analysis of behaviour – individual behaviour, group behaviour and behaviour of the organization itself. It helps in demolishing ‘incorrect’ assumptions one may hold about behaviour. It provides a rational thinking about people. (v)Goal-Oriented. OB is an action – oriented and goal-directed discipline. The major goals of organizational behaviour are to understand, explain and predict human behaviour in the organizational context so that it may be moulded into result-yielding situations. It provides a rational thinking about people and their behaviour.
(vi) Human Tool. OB is a human tool for human benefit. It helps in understanding and predicting the behaviour of individuals. It provides generalizations that managers can use to anticipate the effects of certain actions on human behaviour. (vii) Science and Art. OB is both a science as well as an art. The systematic knowledge about human behaviour is a science. The application of behaviour knowledge and skills clearly leans towards being an art. However, organization behaviour is not an exact science like physics or chemistry. It cannot provide specific answers to all organizational problems. The exact prediction of behavior of people in organizations is also not possible. It is possible to predict relationships between variables on a broad scale, but it is difficult to apply predictive models in all situations. (viii) Satisfaction of Employees’ Needs. OB seeks to fulfill employees’ need and aspirations. Every employee in the organization wants to fulfill his needs through organizational activities. It is the organization’s responsibility to provide congenial climate in the organization so that people may get need satisfaction and the organization may attain its objectives. Thus, both organization and individuals can be benefited by each other.
LEARNING Learning is a term frequently used by a great number of people in a wide variety of contexts. Learning can be defined as a relatively permanent change in behaviour or potential behavior as a result of direct or indirect experience. There are two primary elements in this definition: The change must be relatively permanent. This means that after "learning" our behaviour must be different, either better or worse as compared to our behavior prior to this learning experience. For example you "learn" to drive a car or have learned how to use a computer. This change must occur due to some kind of experience or practice. This learning isnot caused by biological maturation. For example a child does not learn to walk, it is anatural biological phenomenon. We do not learn to eat or drink. Learning is thus a change in behaviour as a result of experience. Different psychologists and behavioural scientists have defined learning differently. Given below are a few important definitions of learning: Stephen P Robbins - "Learning is any relatively permanent change in behaviour that occurs as a result of experience". Steers and Porter - "Learning can be defined as relatively permanent change in behavior potentially that results from reinforced practice or experience". It must be understood that the learning itself is not observable, but only change in behavior is observable which is the result of the process of learning. This change in behavior must be differentiated from changes in behaviour from other causes.The causes of such changes including aging, such as being stronger or improvement in memory in the early formative years, instinctive response tendencies such as a timid person being brave at the time of a crisis. Accordingly, as a unique determinant of behaviour, learning cannot take place unless the learner actually experiences what has to be learned. Components of Learning 1. Learning involves change, be it good or bad. 2. The change in behaviour must be relatively permanent. For that matter, a temporary change in behaviour as a result of fatigue or temporary adaptations are not considered learning. 3. Only change in behaviour acquired through experience is considered learning. Therefore, a change in individual's thought process or attitudes, if accompanied by no change in behaviour, would not be learning. For example the ability to walk that is based on maturation disease or physical damages would not be considered learning. 4. Some form of experience is necessary for learning. Experience may be acquired directly through practice or observation or indirectly as through reading. 5. Learning is not confined to our schooling only. As a matter of fact, learning is a lifelong process.