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Six Factors That Affect Organizational Behavior

Six Factors That Affect Organizational Behavior
Christopher M Harris
Webster University Hill AFB Campus

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Six Factors That Affect Organizational Behavior
Todays management teams believe that with . . . 60 percent of the worlds population
under the age of 30.(Moye, 2013) and with 36 percent of the worlds workforce under 30 that
workers today are different than that of generations past, and though they are more educated and
more informed many of the things that drive the modern era worker are the same topics that
drove generations past. CEOs, management teams, and mid-level supervisors must now catch
up to what is perceived as a change in mind set and examine six factors of organizational
behavior: Leadership, Creating a motivating organizational environment, Effective Use of
Internal Power Politics to Create Dynamic Organizational Behavior, Creating High-Performing
groups/teams, Developing a culture that is change-Hardy, and Demonstrating how the
organization is guided by highly ethical standards to foster dynamic internal organizational
behavior in order to answer the questions of one another How do we recruit the best talent?
and How do we keep the talent we have?

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Six Factors That Affect Organizational Behavior
Opening: With 60 percent of the worlds population under the age of 30 the dynamic of
the workforce is also changing. Workers of today are in some ways vastly different than that of
generations past, it is true that they are more educated and more informed, however the belief
that they have different expectations appears to be over-exaggerated. Some of the trends being
discussed in modern-day management classes are that to this new generation of workers simply
working un-daunting hours for the mere hope of a promotion wont suffice and no longer is a
paycheck an acceptable reason to maintain ones employment loyalty. With the change in
demographic coupled with this misguided and inaccurate knowledge CEOs, management teams,
and mid-level supervisors are realizing there is a need to change the way they have lead and
managed people for the last century. They understand that they can no longer afford to sit back
and maintain the status quo of business as usual; todays CEOs and managerial teams must
evolve. They must expand their realm of thinking and ask the questions of one another How do
we recruit the best talent? and How do we keep the talent we have?
The answers to these questions are the bedrock for success now and moving forward,
they can also be summed up by addressing and being open to six what would appear to some as
basic topics. The topics that will be discussed within this paper; Leadership, Creating a
motivating organizational environment, Effective Use of Internal Power Politics to Create
Dynamic Organizational Behavior, Creating High-Performing groups/teams, Developing a
culture that is change-Hardy, and Demonstrating how the organization is guided by highly
ethical standards to foster dynamic internal organizational behavior.
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Leaders must look externally for quality examples that demonstrate these principals in
order to begin to examine themselves internally for creative and innovative ways to implement
and apply these principals; they must look to not only their peers but also at their competition
and not only see what is working but why its working and have the conviction to implement
Although the idea that this new generation of workers is different from their predecessors
and therefore require different standards than previous generations may be the instigating reason
some companies decide to implement these ideas to improve their overall workspace data proves
otherwise, in fact a recent Work trends survey conducted by Kenexa covering a 25 year span
found just the opposite, the study actually found that the current generational workforce is nearly
identical to the previous generational workforce at the exact point in their careers and value
many of the same factors being discussed here.
The first and main influencer on any group, organization, or corporation is its leadership.
Leadership alone has the ability to affect the attitudes and behaviors of their employees. By
looking at the internal beliefs and projected actions of the leadership one can see how a simple
and yet well thought out decision can have a profound effect on employee behavior and
The first and most important thing for leadership to not only understand but put an effort into
practicing is realize and appreciate the value of their employees. Employees are more than mere
worker bees of the hive where as one dies they are easily replaced by another, they are capitol
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that when lead properly, given adequate direction, and allowed the freedom to make decisions
have the ability and are willing to accomplish great things in order to see the organization
succeed. Larry Ellison CEO of Oracle recently called employees a companys most precious
assets. During a question and answer session. Ellison went further into detail and emphasized
the importance of employee and emphasizing the importance of growth he talked, about the
importance of holding onto that hard-won talent. If people dont feel theyre improving their
skills and moving ahead in the organization, youre not going to keep them,.(Foley, 2014)
Ellison also spoke to the topic that if employees feel connected to the company or that that they
are not having a great enough impact they are at a greater risk of transitioning to another
organization. These are challenges that Oracle understands well with over 125,000 employees,
Ellison explained. I believe people have to follow their dreamsI did, (Foley, 2014) that when
employees do leave they generally go to startups or small companies where they hope to make a
bigger difference, and although these pursuits dont always work out . . . they provide valuable
lessons and experience, which make those risk takers good candidates for future openings.
Ellison said. (Foley, 2014)
Not only does the leaderships view and attitude of employees affect the dynamic of an
organization but often subtle nuances as the demeanor of the leadership have a strong effect on
the employees and how they perform their duties as well. One example of this is the founder and
former CEO of Nike Phil Knight who once showed up at a company event in drag. In the
beginning Knight had the goal of making Nike a counter culture corporation, where risk taking
was a prized principal and the athletic establishment and corporate beliefs were shunned, In
keeping with Nike's collegiate, fraternal atmosphere, the company's sprawling complex was
officially dubbed the Campus. Employees reported to work in sneakers and shorts, partied hard
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and made decisions on the run. "We had no master plan," Knight acknowledges. "It was totally
seat-of-the-pants." As if to underscore the fact that he wasn't a typical CEO. (Krentzman, 1997)
This founding belief and guerilla warfare mentality of doing business helped the Nike
Corporation to go from making $3240 in its first year 1964, to over $6.5 billion in 1996
Nike and Oracle represent only a couple examples of the impact of how leaders and
managers view their employees and how the personal actions of leadership effect the
performance and daily actions of employees which in turn can have dramatic results on
organizational success.
Creating a motivating organizational environment
A motivating organizational environment is one which people want to go to, they look
forward to being there and when there time seems to pass quickly almost leaving one sad to
leave. There are many different factors that can cause this trend one of which the ability to
create. Creation the simplest form of self-expression, it allows the individual to become
connected to the company; they become connected to its success, and feel appreciated.
One of the most successful companies whose business is the business of creation is Walt
Disney and Creative people want to work for Disney. The thrill of seeing one's ideas materialize
out of thin air and become integrated into a whole, which brings pleasure to people of all
generations everywhere, is a benefit few other employers are fortunate enough to be able to
offer.(Hightower, 1993) The Disney corporation encourages the creative process, in every step
of a projects development everyone involved not only has the ability but the responsibility to
comment and add to the process
Effective Use of Internal Power Politics to Create Dynamic Organizational Behavior.
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How a company or organization wields the power that is possess over its workforce or
the internal politics that it employs can and will have a profound effect on not only the moral but
the organizations effectiveness as a whole. Effective use of internal power and politics can and
will create dynamic organizational behavior.
Power over ones employees can be and is often viewed differently from one organization
to the next examples as simple as withholding information in order to limit the amount of
knowledge employees have thereby making them dependent on the organization to more sever
and intrusive examples as electronic monitoring of employees actions and limiting the use of
company internet. Some companies also have more comprehensive monitoring of employees'
online activities while they are in the workplace. They track what programs employees use, what
Web sites they visit, messages posted on bulletin boards, chat rooms and social networks, and so
on. These practices can limit employee productivity and reduce moral despite the good intentions
that may be at the heart of the decision.
Despite this common practice in the corporate world there are companies that are
breaking this trend and forging new ground in an effort to empower their employees through
openness. In the 2012 CEO study by IBM there were two recommendations the first of which
was to empower employees through values. . . ., organizational openness offers tremendous
upside potential- empowered employees, free flowing ideas, more creativity and innovation,
happier customers, better results. (Berman, 2013) one such company that practices this is Walt
Disney. Disney today encourages innovative thinking at all levels. Management encourages and
stimulates creative drive by empowering the people. In taking back power from the external
agents and packagers who had ruled Hollywood, Disney gave its creative film people far more
freedom to choose projects and expand creatively. Disney's head of feature animation explained
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it this way: "All we [management] really tried to do was say, 'Make your movie. Make what's in
your head; get it out on the screen and we will help you schedule it, budget it and put the
pyramid of resources behind it." (Hightower, 1993)This train of thought has led to multiple
awards from Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and the Lion King.
Giving employees the confidence to make decisions and knowing that
management will back those decisions is one key way to give power to the employees, by
empowering the employees there is a greater level of commitment to the company, they are
linked to the success and failure of the company and greater attention and a higher level of
productivity is displayed. There are other ways of utilizing the internal power that will create
dynamic organizational behavioras well.
In a recent article in Economic times Ashutosh Telang, Executive Vice President
and global head of Human Resource of Marico explained what the FMCG firm is doing to keep
63% of their workforce happy They want clear line of sight on their careers, are open to change
as the time comes, but need to have this clarity always . . . The FMCG firm, for the first time
ever, has included a few Gen Y employees in leadership roles and is paying them close attention,
to address the slightest dissatisfaction. Access to social media sites is never blocked at Marico.
(sengupta, 2013) Not only is Marico paying more attention to its younger employees, but this
seems to be a growing trend with 36% of the worlds workforce being under the age of 30 and
baby boomers beginning to transition from the workforce. Another such example of an
organization paying more attention to its younger workforce and making decisions based off of
their suggestions is the Coca-Cola corporation who recently held a focus group with some of its
youngest employees in India where every suggestion was taken down with the promise that if
markets allow, the suggestions would be implemented "Asia and Africa are crucial markets,
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dominated by a young workforce, so these ideas will be paid heed to," says Sameer Wadhawan,
vice president, human resource, for the beverage firm in India. (sengupta, 2013)
This empowerment of younger employees in order to mutually benefit is a trend that on
the surface would appear to be catching on, some companies have found ways to not only have
more productive employees but also managed to find ways to make it profitable. One last
example of this growing trend of empowerment is Mastercard who also is embracing this idea of
employee empowerment brought forth by what they perceive as their millennial employees and
interns, which they call YoPros. Marcy Cohen of Mastercard explained it as We think that if we
provide unique opportunities to our YoPros, they will stay engaged, (Faw, 2012) She further
went on to explain how Mastercard planned to gain a better understanding of what moves this
generation. (Faw, 2012) by introducing an eight week Developers Contest to challenge
employees to create new mobile apps using Mastercards PayPass Tap & Go payment software,
which would also help their younger employees boost their skill set.
Four companies four examples of how to use internal power and politics to create
dynamic organizational behavior, from giving them the freedom to create a vision, allowing
them the freedom to socialize, asking for and implementing their ideas, to creating mutually
beneficial opportunities companies have the options and availability to unleash organizational
behavior that is not only dynamic but mutually beneficial.
Creating High-Performing groups/teams
One important contributing factor as to whether or not an organization is moderately
successful, abysmal, or purely phenomenal is the dynamic of how the separate parts work
together, can they be individual and yet function as one with a common goal, or do they function
as individuals, focus on individual performance and not work toward an overall goal. Human
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Resource teams and management must often sift through hundreds of applications in hopes of
finding the one person that not only has the qualifications but also fits the dynamic of the group
that they will be joining with the goal of not just filling a position but adding to a team.
When people think of the word team they often think of sports, after all a group of
players is referred to as a team where often in the work place a group of employees working with
a common goal may just be called a work group, efforts must be taken to bridge this gap in order
to improve productivity and increase the probability of success.
When given the opportunity to think of a great team one example that may come to mind
is the 1972 Miami Dolphins, the only team in National Football League (NFL) history to not
only go undefeated and untied but also win a championship. Taking a closer look at this famed
team you find a roster of very few stars in fact other than legendary head coach Don Shula, Bob
Griese at quarterback and Larry Csonka at fullback one might have a hard time coming up with
the name of any other player and yet this team is regarded as one of the greatest teams to have
ever graced the grid iron.
In contrast one can take a team such as the 2003 Oakland Raiders, a team filled with stars
and future hall of fame players such as wide receivers Jerry Rice, Tim Brown, and Jerry Porter
Defensive players such as Ron Woodson and Charles Woodson and that team would only
manage a paltry 4-12 season a deeper look into this may yield a better understanding of how this
might happen.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Michael Eisner of the Walt Disney Corporation offers
an explanation that is practiced within the Disney Corporation that can be used to explain the
phenomenon. At Disney teamwork is emphasized at every level. Teamwork brings forth the
best ideas and makes the sum of the parts greater than the whole. (Hightower, 1993) In the
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previous examples of the two football teams, interviews with players from the 1972 Dolphins
share one common theme, that they may not have been the most talented team but where one
player was week others were strong thereby making them a better team than their opponents.
One other common sentiment was that they all shared a common goal, they all knew the desired
outcome and played to each others strengths. This mindset differs from the 2003 Oakland
Raiders in that Al Davis the Oakland raiders owner at the time was spending a great deal of
money on free agency in order to procure the best players at their perspective positions however
they were playing as individuals rather than a team, focusing more on personal stats rather than a
team toward a common objective, the results were devastating, the greatest players wouldnt
manage a 500 record much less secure a birth in the post season.
The difference between the two can and often is in the subtle differences applied within
the organization. Once again examining Disney one of the first things Michael Eisner did was to
call the six most creative people in the company to brainstorm over breakfast on a Sunday
morning, this process known as . . . dreaming as a team. (Hightower, 1993) is a key element to
the Disney Corporations creativity and in employed in every aspect of their business. Michel
Eisner went on to further explain Brainstorming is the essence of the creative process at Disney.
Creative people, whether in marketing, management or design, are always asking, "What if we
tried something new? What if we tried to do things another way?" (Hightower, 1993) by having
these brainstorming sessions with all parties involved, much like the 1972 Dolphins, all parties
share the same goal, they are able to play on each others strengths, and compensate for each
others weaknesses, As a result, the success that began with Beauty and the Beast (the first
animated film in history to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Film, and one of the
highest-grossing videotape feature releases of all time) has continued with Aladdin (the highest-
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grossing animated film in history and winner of three Golden Globe Awards and two Academy
Awards). (Hightower, 1993)
Developing a culture that is change-Hardy
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
Leo Tolstoy
In management, as leaders, and often in life one must often look inward and examine oneself in
order to have positive effects on the individuals that surround them. Not only do individuals,
leaders, and managers need to accept and adapt to needed change but corporations and
organizations must adapt and transform to the constant changes that surround them. From simple
leadership changes, philosophy changes within the organization, to external market changes; if
individuals, leaders, or organizations fail to adapt results can be catastrophic.
Returning to a previous example; there is no one industry that often has to adapt to
change faster than and as often as the fashion industry and at the head and all the way to the toe
of this industry is Nike. During the mid-1980s Nike failed to identify a shift in the market and
was removed from its perch on top of the shoe industry, they failed to account to for women in
the market place and the growing trend of yoga and fitness programs such as jazzercise. This
overlook allowed their main competitor Reebok to move in and temporarily occupy the top spot
by focusing on fashion that would appeal to women. Nike quickly realized its mistake and
changed its not only philosophy but business plan and grew from just athletic shoes to
incorporating fashion trends. With this difference in business plan other more painful changes
had to be committed to as well, Knight streamlined the company (laying off 600 of the
company's 2,000 employees) and reorganized Nike along more conventional, corporate lines.
Where Knight was once famous for governing by instinct, today Nike studies reams of statistics
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and convenes a focus group before designing a new shoelace. (Krentzman, 1997) in Knights
own words, "At first, we couldn't be establishment, because we didn't have any money,. . .We
were guerrilla marketers, and we still are, a little bit. But, as we became No. 1 in our industry,
we've had to modify our culture and become a bit more planned."(Krentzman, 1997)
Nike was forced to grow up; Knight handed over the daily running of the company in 1994 to
Thomas Clark after appointing him president thereby demonstrating another example of how
change can be implemented for any number of reasons and still have positive results on the
success of the organization.
Demonstrating how the organization is guided by highly ethical standards to foster
dynamic internal organizational behavior
An organizations ethics can often be something of a question when the headlines are
dominated with Ponzi schemes and companies such as ENRON and Countrywide and yet a
companys ethics play an iatrical part on employees and the organizational behavior. Many
companies boast the statement that their employees are important and yet seem to forget them in
the daily ritual of their business practice, however at Emerald Physicians the employee is at the
heart of everything they do.
Margaret Dashuta HR Manager explained The values we bring to patient care extend to
the staff as well, (Denison, 2010) some of the examples that prove that they not only value the
employee but ethically stand behind their sentiment is One of Emeralds values is improving the
quality of life for its staffers. Sick employees receive meals delivered to their homes; two
vacation condos one in Florida, the other in New Hampshire are available to the staff for
free; healthy living luncheons, with guest speakers, are held every other week; and there are
regular yoga classes, chair massages, and spa packages.(Denison, 2010) Employees are
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crediting Emeralds values with helping them pursue career growth, from registered nurse to
practice administrator. Employees believe that this practice empowers the staff to work as a
This is just one example of how an organization that is guided by a set of high ethical
standards can foster dynamic internal behavior due to its ethical practices.
Going forward with these best practice competencies in my organization
Having not only knowledge but an understanding of these six contributing factors to
organizational behavior whether in a leadership role or not, the first step should be internal
reflection. To look at ones self and see what can be changed and then implement those changes
to have a positive effect on those around us should be first. As individuals we each have the
power to affect how those around us perceive us, we control the attitude towards others that
those individuals feel thereby causing a positive or negative desire to be worked with. As
individuals we each have a set of morals and ethics that guide us, we can analyze those standards
and determine if they are in fact as high that they need be. We and we alone have the ability to
create a motivating work environment. We are all leaders, we decide who we are and we alone
have the power to change who we are for the better.
Management believes that with 60 percent of the worlds population under the age of 30
and with 36 percent of the workforce under 30 that workers of today are different than that of
generations past, and though they are more educated and more informed in most ways there is no
difference between generations past. This belief although misguided and inaccurate has forced
some CEOs, management teams, and mid-level supervisors to realize a change in the way they
have lead and managed people for the last century must happen. They understand that they must
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expand their realm of thinking and ask the questions of one another How do we recruit the best
talent? and How do we keep the talent we have? and in order to answer these questions the
answers must involve Leadership, Creating a motivating organizational environment, Effective
Use of Internal Power Politics to Create Dynamic Organizational Behavior, Creating High-
Performing groups/teams, Developing a culture that is change-Hardy, and Demonstrating how
the organization is guided by highly ethical standards to foster dynamic internal organizational
behavior. Once they have answered these questions they then must take the first step and begin
the change starting with themselves.

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Denison, D. C. (2010, November 27). The might of what's right. Retrieved from

Faw, L. (2012, July 19). How millennialsare redefining their careers as hustlers. Retrieved

Foley, J. (2014, Febuary 12). Larry ellison talks talent, teamwork, and insanely great'
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Hightower, D. F. (1993). Creativity is your business too! Planning Review, 21(5), 54. Retrieved

Kowske, B. (2011). Attitude? what attitude?. Retrieved from

Krentzman, J. (1997, January). The force behind the nike empire. Retrieved from

Moye, J. (2013, July 17). No one has a monopoly on young people. Retrieved from

Olsen, L. (2012, December 27). Five leadership trends to watch in 2013. Retrieved from
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Price Watterhouse. (2008, March). How leadership must change to meet the future. Retrieved

Sengupta, D. (2013, July 12). Gen y demands: What companies are doing to keep young
employees happy and motivated. Retrieved from