Foundations Of Individual Behavior Organization As An Iceberg, Meaning

  • Post last modified:16 April 2022
  • Reading time:16 mins read

Individual Behavior in organizations

Individual behavior is actions of people. The focus and goals of individual behavior within organizations vary from one person to another. Generally this individual behavior is guided by attitude, values, emotions, perception, creativity, informal interactions, group norms, interpersonal and inter group conflicts, artificial boundaries, defense mechanisms, splitting, projections and interjections.

These underpinned aspects guide the way relational phenomena add to individual dynamics to have an additional impact on group, organization and institutional dynamics. Thus, when an individual enters into relationships with another individual or group, further beneath the surface phenomena are evoked that, unless they are exposed and understood, may create the unhelpful formation of firm boundaries that prevent progression.

This behavior needs to be analyses at individual, group and firm level. At the individual level of analysis, organizational behavior includes the study of learning, perception, creativity, motivation, and personality. In addition, it also includes the study of turnover, task performance and evaluation, coordinated behavior, deviant work behavior, ethics, and cognition.

The behavior of individuals within an organization can either mar the organization or aid in its overall improvement. For instance, certain employees may be compassionate and helpful towards their co workers which helps to create a supportive work culture.

This selfless attitude can be a result of the employee’s faith in the management and their satisfaction and commitment towards the organization.


Organization

Need for Organization

In today’s competitive and demanding workplace, managers can’t succeed on their technical skills alone. They also have to exhibit good people skills. Though managers get things done through other people, they make decisions, allocate resources, and direct the activities of others to attain the common goals.

They do their work in an organization, which is a consciously coordinated social unit, composed of two or more people that functions on a relatively continuous basis to achieve a common goal or set of goals. This will not be possible without the existence of an organization.

For example, manufacturing and service firms are organizations, and so are schools, hospitals, temples, military units, non–profits, police departments, and local, state, and central government agencies. When it comes to people, an organization generally has goals related to increasing employee productivity, reducing absenteeism, low employee turnover, promoting organization citizenship behavior, increasing job satisfaction and avoiding and prohibiting workplace misbehavior.

But all these goals can be achieved only when people management is done in organizations by taking into consideration actions of individuals guided by their attitude, values, emotions, perception, creativity, informal interactions, norms, conflicts and the like.

Process of Organizing

Organizing involves assigning tasks, grouping tasks into departments, delegating authority, and allocating resources across the organization. During the organizing process, managers coordinate employees, resources, policies, and procedures to facilitate the goals identified in the plan.

The process of organizing consists of following steps are:

Identification and Division of Work

The organizing function begins with the division of total work into smaller units. Each unit of total work is called a job. And an individual in the organization is assigned one job only (unless they’re found to be capable of multitasking). The division of work into smaller jobs leads to specialization because jobs are assigned to individuals according to their qualifications and capabilities.

The division of work leads to systematic working. For example, in a bank every individual is assigned a job. One cashier accepts cash, one cashier makes payments, one person issues cheque books, one person receives cheques, etc. With this division of work into jobs, the banks work very smoothly and systematically.

Grouping the Jobs and Departmentalization

After dividing the work in smaller jobs, related and similar jobs are grouped together and put under one department. The departmentalization or grouping of jobs can be done by the organization in different ways. But the most common two ways are :

Functional departmentation

Under this method jobs related to common function are grouped under one department. For example, all the jobs related to production are grouped under production department; jobs related to sales are grouped under sales department and so on.

Divisional departmentation

When an organization is producing more than one type of products then they prefer divisional departmentalization. Under this, jobs related to one product are grouped under one department For example, if an organization is producing cosmetics, textile and medicines then jobs related to production, sale and marketing of cosmetics are grouped under one department, jobs related to textile under one and so on.

Assignment of Duties

After dividing the organization into specialized departments each individual working in different departments is assigned a duty matching to his skill and qualifications. The work is assigned according to the ability of individuals. Employees are assigned duties by giving them a document called job description. This document clearly defines the contents and responsibilities related to the job.

Establishing Reporting Relationship

After grouping the activities in different departments, the employees have to perform the job and to perform the job every individual needs some authority. So, in the fourth step of organizing process all the individuals are assigned some authority matching to the job they have to perform.

The assignment of the authority results in creation of superior– subordinate relationship and the question of who reports to whom is clarified. The individual of higher authority becomes the superior and the one with less authority becomes the subordinate.

With the establishment of authority, managerial hierarchy gets created (chain of command) and principle of scalar chain follows this hierarchy. The establishment of authority also helps in creation of managerial level.

The managers with maximum authority are considered as top–level managers, managers with little less authority become part of middle level management and managers with minimum authority are grouped in lower level management. So, with establishment of the authority the individuals can perform their jobs and everyone knows who will report to whom.


Concept of Organizational Behavior

Introduction

Organization behavior to study the actions of people at work. Organizational behavior (OB) is a field of study that investigates the impact individuals, groups, and structure have on behavior within organizations, for the purpose of applying such knowledge toward improving an organization’s effectiveness. It is a field of study, meaning that it is a distinct area of expertise with a common body of knowledge.

It studies three determinants of behavior in organizations : individuals, groups, and structure. Moreover, OB applies the knowledge gained about individuals, groups, and the effect of structure on behavior in order to make organizations work more effectively.

To sum it up, OB is the study of what people do in an organization and the way their behavior affects the organization’s performance. Because OB is concerned specifically with employment–related situations, it examines behavior in the context of job satisfaction, absenteeism, employment turnover, productivity, human performance, and management. It generally includes these core topics :

  • Attitude development and perception
  • Motivation
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Leader behavior and power
  • Work design
  • Group structure and processes
  • Conflict and negotiation
  • Change processes

Organization Behavior – A systematic study

Behavior of people plays a critical role in a manager’s decision making. There is the belief that behavior is not random. Rather, it is possible to identify fundamental consistencies underlying the behavior of all individuals and modify them to reflect individual differences.

OB is a systematic study, as it looks for relationships, attempts to attribute causes and effects, and base conclusions on scientific evidence on data gathered under controlled conditions and measured and interpreted in a rigorous manner. Evidence–based management (EBM) complements systematic study by basing managerial decisions on the best available scientific evidence.

Systematic study and EBM add to intuition. But all decisions cannot be made with intuition and therefore, there is the need to apply a systematic approach to management decision making.

Contributing fields of Organization Behavior

OB is an applied behavioral science built on contributions from a number of behavioral disciplines, mainly psychology and social psychology, sociology, and anthropology. Psychology’s contributions have been principally at the individual or micro level of analysis, while the other disciplines have contributed to our understanding of macro concepts such as group processes and organization. The following figure is an overview of the major contributions to the study of organizational behavior.

Source : Robbins and Judge (2017). Organization Behavior

Disciplines that Contribute to the OB Field

As discussed above, the major behavioral science disciplines that contribute to OB include psychology and social psychology, sociology, and anthropology. Let us understand each in detail.

Psychology

Psychology seeks to measure, explain, and sometimes change the behavior of humans and other animals. Contributors to the knowledge of OB are learning theorists, personality theorists, counseling psychologists and, most important, industrial and organizational psychologists. Early industrial/organizational psychologists studied the problems of fatigue,

boredom, and other working conditions that could impede efficient work performance. More recently, their contributions have expanded to include learning, perception, personality, emotions, training, leadership effectiveness, needs and motivational forces, job satisfaction, decision–making processes, performance appraisals, attitude measurement, employee–selection techniques, work design, and job stress.

Social Psychology

Social psychology, generally considered a branch of psychology, blends concepts from both psychology and sociology to focus on people’s influence on one another. One major study area is change–how to implement it and how to reduce barriers to its acceptance.

Social psychologists also contribute to measuring, understanding, and changing attitudes; identifying communication patterns; and building trust. Finally, they have made important contributions to our study of group behavior, power, and conflict.

Sociology

While psychology focuses on the individual, sociology studies people in relation to their social environment or culture. Sociologists have contributed to OB through their study of group behaviors in organizations, particularly formal and complex organizations.

Perhaps most important, sociologists have studied organizational culture, formal organization theory and structure, organizational technology, communications, power, and conflict.

Anthropology

Anthropology is the study of societies to learn about human beings and their activities. Anthropologists’ work on cultures and environments has helped us understand differences in fundamental values, attitudes, and behavior among people in different countries and within different organizations.

Much of our current understanding of organizational culture, organizational climate, and differences among national cultures is a result of the work of anthropologists or those using their methods. The point is laws in the physical sciences–chemistry, astronomy, physics–are consistent and apply in a wide range of situations.

But human beings are complex, and few, if any, simple and universal principles explain organizational behavior. Because we are not alike, our ability to make simple, accurate, and sweeping generalizations about ourselves is limited. Two people often act very differently in the same situation, and the same person’s behavior changes in different situations.

Therefore, one can’t offer reasonably accurate explanations of human behavior or make valid predictions. And thus, these OB concepts should be applied situation ally.


What is Individual Behavior in organizations?

Individual behavior is actions of people. The focus and goals of individual behavior within organizations vary from one person to another. Generally this individual behavior is guided by attitude, values, emotions, perception, creativity, informal interactions, group norms, interpersonal and inter group conflicts, artificial boundaries, defense mechanisms, splitting, projections and interjections.

Concept of Organizational Behavior?

Organization behavior to study the actions of people at work. Organizational behavior (OB) is a field of study that investigates the impact individuals, groups, and structure have on behavior within organizations, for the purpose of applying such knowledge toward improving an organization’s effectiveness. It is a field of study, meaning that it is a distinct area of expertise with a common body of knowledge.

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