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Topic1:

Introduction to
the Field of
Organizational Behavior

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Organizational Behavior and
Organizations
 What is
“Organizational behavior”?
• The study of what people
think, feel, and do (behave)
in and around organizations

 Organizations
• Groups of people who work
interdependently toward some
purpose

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Why Study OB?

 To understand behavior
 To predict behavior
 To influence behavior – getting things done

 OB improves an organization’s financial health


 OB is for everyone

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OB Foundations
 Distinct field around the 1940s
 OB concepts discussed for more
than 2,000 years
 Some pivotal scholars before OB
formed include:
• Max Weber
• Frederick Winslow Taylor
• Elton Mayo
• Chester Barnard (shown)
• Mary Parker Follett

Chester Barnard

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Old Perspective of
Organizational Effectiveness
 Goal oriented -- Effective firms
achieve their stated objectives
 No longer accepted as indicator
of org effectiveness
• Could set easy goals
• Some goals too abstract to
evaluate
• Company might achieve wrong
goals

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Four Perspectives of
“Organizational Effectiveness”
Open Systems Perspective

Organizational Learning Perspective


High-Performance Work Practices
Perspective
Stakeholder Perspective

NOTE: Need to consider all four perspectives


when assessing a company’s effectiveness
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1. Open Systems Perspective
Environment
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1. Open Systems Perspective
 Organizations are complex systems that “live”
within an external environment
 Effective organizations:
• Maintain a close “fit” with changing conditions in
the external environment
• Transform inputs to outputs efficiently and flexibly

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2. Organizational Learning Perspective

 An organization’s capacity to
acquire, share, use, and store
valuable “knowledge”

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Organizational Learning Processes

KNOWLEDGE KNOWLEDGE KNOWLEDGE


ACQUISITION SHARING USE

Extracting information Distributing Applying knowledge


and ideas from its knowledge to organizational
environment as well throughout the processes in ways
as through insight organization that improves the
organization’s
effectiveness
Examples in practice
-Hiring skilled staff -company intranet -Giving staff freedom
-Acquiring companies -meetings to try out ideas
-Experimenting -blogs
-company magazines

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Organizational Memory

 The storage and preservation of intellectual


capital
 Retain intellectual capital by:
• Keeping knowledgeable employees
• Transferring knowledge to others
• Transferring human capital to structural capital

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Intellectual Capital (i.e. intangible assets of a company)

Human
Knowledge that people possess
Capital

Structural Knowledge captured in systems and


Capital structures

Relationship Value derived from relationship with


Capital customers, reliable suppliers, etc.

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3. High Performance Work Practices
(HPWPs)
HPWPs are internal systems and structures
that are associated with successful companies
1. Employees are competitive advantage
2. Value of employees increased through specific
practices.
3. Maximum benefit when org practices are bundled

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High Performance Work Practices

Example of High Performance Work Practices:

• Employee involvement and job autonomy (and


their combination as ‘self-directed teams’).

• Employee competence (selection, training, etc)

• Performance-based rewards

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4. Stakeholder Perspective

 Stakeholders:
an entity (individual/organization) who affects or
is affected by the firm’s objectives and
actions
 Challenges with stakeholder perspective:
• Stakeholders have conflicting interests
• Firms have limited resources

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Stakeholder Perspective
 For example: Lockheed Martin
is rated by engineering students
as an “ideal” employer
• Pays attention to its many
stakeholders
• Relies on values and ethics to
guide decisions
• Strong emphasis on corporate
social responsibility (e.g. photo
shows clean-up after hurricane
Katrina: 2005)

Lockheed Martin

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Stakeholders: Values and Ethics
 Organizational Values and
ethics prioritize stakeholder
interests

 Values
• Stable, evaluative beliefs, guide
preferences for outcomes or
courses of action in various
situations
 Ethics
• Moral principles/values,
determine whether actions are
right/wrong and outcomes are Lockheed Martin

good or bad
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Stakeholders and CSR
 Stakeholder perspective
includes corporate social
responsibility (CSR)
• Benefit society and environment
beyond the firm’s immediate
financial interests or legal
obligations
• Organization’s contract with
society
 Triple bottom line
• Economy, society, environment

Lockheed Martin

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Types of Individual Behavior
(individual level dependent variable)

Goal-directed behaviors under


Task Performance person’s control that support
organizational objectives

Contextual performance –
Organizational
cooperation and helpfulness beyond
Citizenship
required job duties

more
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Types of Individual Behavior (con’t)

Counterproductive
Voluntary behaviors that potentially
Work Behaviors
harm the organization
(CWB)

Joining/staying with Agreeing to employment relationship;


the Organization remaining in that relationship

Maintaining Work
Attending work at required times
Attendance

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Contemporary Challenges for
Organizations

1. Globalization
 Economic, social, and cultural connectivity
with people in other parts of the world

 Effects of globalization on organizations


• New organizational structures
• Increasing diversity
• Increasing competitive pressures

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2. Increasing Workforce Diversity
 Surface-level diversity
• Observable demographic and other overt differences in
people
• (e.g. race, ethnicity, gender, age)
 Deep-level diversity
• Differences in psychological characteristics
• (e.g. personalities, beliefs, values, and attitudes)

 Implications
• Pros: Improved decision making
• Cons: Communication problems, Team Conflict

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3. Emerging Employment Relationships
 Work/life balance
• Minimizing conflict (balancing) between work and
nonwork demands

 Virtual work
• Using information technology to perform one’s job away
from the traditional physical workplace
• Telework – issues of replacing face time, clarifying
employment expectations

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Organizational Behavior Anchors
(basic beliefs on how OB knowledge is developed)

 1. Multidisciplinary anchor
• Many OB concepts adopted from other disciplines
• OB develops its own theories, but scans other fields

 2. Systematic research anchor


• OB researchers rely on scientific method
• E.g. forming research questions, systematically collecting data,
testing hypotheses, Qualitative or quantitative data analysis, etc

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Organizational Behavior Anchors (con’t)

 3. Contingency anchor (not fixed, depends on...)


• A particular action may have different consequences in
different situations
• Need to diagnose the situation and select best strategy
under those conditions

 4. Multiple levels of analysis anchor


• Individual, team, organizational level of analysis
• OB topics usually relevant at all three levels of analysis

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