Business Administration 2295F/G Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Mary Parker Follett, Human Relations Movement, Jeffrey Pfeffer

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Chapter 1 – Organizational Behaviour and Management
What are Organizations?
Organizations are social inventions for accomplishing common goals through group effort.
Social Inventions
Organizations are social inventions – their essential characteristic is the coordinated presence of people, not
The field of organizational behaviour is about understanding people and managing them to work effectively.
Goal Accomplishment
Virtually all organizations have survival as a goal (may have other goals also, e.g. saving lives, helping people,
The field of organizational behaviour is concerned with how organizations can survive and adapt to change.
Behaviors necessary for survival and adaptation, people have to:
oBe motivated to join and remain in the organization;
oCarry out their basic work reliably, in terms of productivity, quality, and service;
oBe willing to continuously learn and upgrade their knowledge and skills; and
oBe flexible and innovative
Field of organizational behaviour is concerned with – Innovation and flexibility, which provide for adaptation to
Group Effort
This means that organizations depend on interaction and coordination among people to accomplish their goals.
The field of organizational behaviour is concerned with how to get people to practice effective teamwork.
What is Organizational Behavior?
Organizational behaviour refers to the attitudes and behaviors of individuals and groups in organizations
Provides insight into Effectively managing and changing organizational attitudes and behaviors
Interested in Attitudes—how satisfied people are with their jobs, how committed they feel to the goals of the
organization, or how supportive they are of promoting women or minorities into management positions.
Human resources management (closely related but distinct discipline) – refers to programs, practices, and
systems to acquire, develop, and retain employees in organizations
Learning about organizational behaviour will improve your understanding of human resources management.
What are the factors that make an organization competitive and a great place to work?
oHow do employees learn, and what is the role of training and development and career planning?
oWhat should organizations do to manage a diverse workforce?
oHow can organizations motivate employees, and how important is compensation?
oWhat is a cross-functional team and how do you design effective teams?
oWhat is an organizational culture and what role does it play in an organization’s success?
Organizational Behaviour Is Interesting
Interesting because it is about people and human nature.
Help us understand why employees become committed to an organization and what motivates them to work
OB helps to explains why people behave the way they do in an organization
Organizational Behaviour Is Important
The consumers of an organization’s products and services are also affected, such as the customers who rely on
a company’s services.
Organizational behaviour is important to managers, employees, and consumers, and understanding it can make
us more effective managers, employees, or consumers.
Using past failures, and successes of organizations improve organizational effectiveness and efficiency.
Organizational Behaviour Makes a Difference
Jeffrey Pfeffer argues that organizations can no longer achieve a competitive advantage through the traditional
sources of success (e.g. technology, regulated markets, access to financial resources, and economies of scale)
Today, Main factor that differentiates organizations is their workforce and human capital.
Results of a recent study – human capital is strongly related to and a key determinant of firm performance.
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OB makes a big difference for the effectiveness and competitiveness of organizations
Some questions to consider when thinking about OB:
1. Effective organizational leaders tend to possess identical personality traits.
2. Nearly all workers prefer stimulating, challenging jobs.
3. Managers have a very accurate idea about how much their peers and superiors are paid.
4. Workers have a very accurate idea about how often they are absent from work.
5. Pay is the best way to motivate most employees and improve job b performance.
Answers to this quiz
Substantial research indicates that each of the statements in the quiz is essentially false.
However, you should not jump to unwarranted conclusions based on the inaccuracy of these statements until
we determine why they tend to be incorrect.
Experience indicates that people are amazingly good at giving sensible reasons why the same statement is
either true or false.
Such contradictory responses suggest that “common sense” develops through unsystematic and incomplete
experiences with organizational behaviour.
However, because common sense and opinions about organizational behaviour do affect management practice,
practice should be based on informed opinion and systematic study.
Effectively predicting, explaining, and managing behaviour hat occurs in organizations.
Predicting Organizational Behaviour
Predicting the behaviour of others is an essential requirement for everyday life and OB
Through systematic study, the field of organizational behaviour provides a scientific foundation that helps
improve predictions of organizational events.
Being able to predict organizational behaviour does not guarantee that we can explain the reason for the
behaviour and develop an effective strategy to manage it
Explaining Organizational Behaviour
Prediction and explanation are not synonymous – accurate prediction precedes explanation
Organizational behaviour is especially interested in determining why people are more or less motivated,
satisfied, or prone to resign.
Explaining events is more complicated than predicting them – a particular behaviour could have multiple
An organization that finds itself with a “turnover problem” is going to have to find out why this is happening
before it can put an effective correction into place.
Explanation is also complicated by the fact that the underlying causes of some event or behaviour can change
over time
The ability to understand behaviour is a necessary prerequisite for effectively managing it
Managing Organizational Behaviour
Management is defined as the art of getting things accomplished in organizations through others
oManagers acquire, allocate, and utilize physical and human resources to accomplish goals
Variety of management styles might be effective depending on the situation at hand.
If behaviour can be predicted and explained, it can often be managed
If prediction and explanation constitute analysis, then management constitutes action.
Approach a problem with a systematic understanding of behavioural science and organizational behaviour and
to use that understanding to make decisions; this is known as evidence-based management.
Evidence-based management: involves translating principles based on the best scientific evidence into
organizational practices
oDerives principles from research evidence and translates them into practices that solve organizational
Make decisions based on the best available scientific evidence from social science and organizational research,
rather than personal preference and unsystematic experience.
Two basic phases for “correct” way to manage
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