“ Organizational behavior is a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups and organizational structure have on behavior within the organization, for the purpose of applying such knowledge towards improving organizational effectiveness”. The above definition has three main elements;
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1. first organizational behaviour is an investigative study of individuals and groups, 2. second, the impact of organizational structure on human behaviour and the 3. Third, the application of knowledge to achieve organizational effectiveness.
These factors are interactive in nature and the impact of such behaviour is applied to various systems so that the goals are achieved. The nature of study of organizational behaviour is investigative to establish cause and what affect relationship. The aim of the study is to ensure that the human behaviour contributes towards growth of the organization and greater efficiency is achieved.
Organizational behaviour can be defined as – “ the study and application of knowledge about human behaviour related to other elements of an organization such as structure, technology and social systems (LM Prasad).
Stephen P Robins defines “ Organizational behaviour as a systematic study of the actions and attitudes that people exhibit within organizations.”
The study of organizational behaviour relates to the expected behaviour of an individual in the organization. No two individuals are likely to behave in the same manner in a particular work situation. Managers under whom an individual is working should be able to explain, predict, evaluate and modify human behaviour that will largely depend upon knowledge, skill and experience of the manager in handling large group of people in diverse situations.
Contributing Fields to Organizational Behaviour
1. Psychology: Psychology is an applied science, which attempts to explain human behaviour in a particular situation and predicts actions of individuals. Psychologists have been able to modify individual behaviour largely with the help of various studies. It has contributed towards various theories on learning, motivation, personality, training and development, theories on individual decision making, leadership, job satisfaction, performance appraisal, attitude, ego state, job design, work stress and conflict management. Studies of these theories can improve personal skills, bring change in attitude and develop positive approach to organizational systems. Various psychological tests are conducted in the organizations for selection of employees, measuring personality attributes and aptitude.
2. Sociology: Science of Sociology studies the impact of culture on group behaviour and has contributed to a large extent to the field of group-dynamics, roles that individual plays in the organization, communication, norms, status, power, conflict management, formal organization theory, group processes and group decision-making.
3. Political science: Political science has contributed to the field of Organizational behaviour. Stability of government at national level is one major factor for promotion of International business, financial investments, expansion and employment. Various Government rules and regulations play a very decisive role in the growth of the organization. All organizations have to abide by the rules of the government of the day.
4. Social psychology: Working organizations are formal assemblies of people who are assigned specific jobs and play a vital role in formulating human behaviour. The concept of psychology and sociology are blended to achieve better human behaviour in the organization. The field has contributed to managing of change, group decision-making, communication and ability of people in the organization, to maintain social norms.
5. Anthropology: It is a field of study relating to human activities in various cultural- environmental frameworks. It describes differences in behaviour based on value system of different cultures of various countries. The study is more relevant to organizational behaviour today due to globalization, mergers and acquisitions of various industries. Managers will have to deal with individuals and groups belonging to different ethnic cultures and exercise adequate control or even channel behaviour in the desired direction by appropriately manipulating various cultural factors.
Organizational behaviour is a study and application of managerial skills and knowledge to people in the organization to investigate individual and group behaviour. Various concepts and models in the field of organizational behaviour attempt to identify, not only the human behaviour but also modify their attitude and promote skills so that they can act more effectively. Organizational behaviour assists managers/Leaders to describe, understand, predict and control individual behaviour in the organization.
(a) Describe: The study of organizational behaviour is based on scientific methods, which have been applied on human beings. It is a science that analyses how people behave in different situations in the organization. A manager should be able to describe the behaviour of each of the individuals under his command, identify attitude, and be able to pinpoint his behaviour so that the situation in the organization is under control.
(b) Understand: Leaders must understand human behaviour as to why people behave in particular manner and try to identify reasons so that corrective actions can be taken.
(c) Predict: By frequent closer interaction, a leader is in a position to identify the nature of workers. Some are more productive while others are slow and disruptive. In such situation, a leader should be able to handle each individual differently so that his or her actions can be channeled to higher productivity.
(d) Control: Managers in the organizations should train their subordinates continuously for purposes of development of skills, promotion of productivity and improvement of individual behaviour. It is a continuous process on the part of the manager. He must lay down control measures so that the energy of workers is diverted towards organizational objectives. Communication should be used to ensure that the behavior of an individual is controlled. The environment has a great impact on human behaviour. An appropriate internal environment can help organizations to build a favourable work environment that will help individuals and groups within the organizations to work effectively towards higher productivity.