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OB Text Summaries 1-13-1.docx

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University of Ottawa

Chapter 1I What Are OrganizationsA Social Inventions Organizations are social inventions for accomplishing common goals through group effort Their essential characteristic is the coordinated presence of people not necessarily things Of primary interest is understanding people and managing them to work effectively B Goal Accomplishment Individuals are assembled into organizations for a reason In the private sector some organizations have goals like selling cars delivering news or winning hockey games In the nonprofit and public sectors organizations may have goals such as saving souls promoting the arts helping the needy or educating people Virtually all organizations have survival as a goal C Group Effort To achieve their goals organizations are staffed with people who operate together in a coordinated fashion At times individuals can accomplish much But by combining greater resources and wealth with effective teamwork organizations have become the dominant producing agents in the world The field of organizational behaviour is concerned with how to get people to practice effective teamwork II What Is Organizational BehaviourOrganizational behaviour refers to the attitudes and behaviours of individuals and groups in organizations The field of organizational behaviour involves the systematic study of these attitudes and behaviours and should be of interest to all students of management III Why Study Organizational BehaviourThere are at least three reasons why organizational behaviour is worth studying A Organizational Behaviour is Interesting Organizational behaviour is interesting because it is about people and human nature You should be interested in this field because you will find that the behaviour of people in an organizational setting is fascinating B Organizational Behaviour is Important Aside from being interesting organizational behaviour is also important since most of us are members of organizations As well what happens in organizations often has a profound impact on people Knowledge of organizational behaviour will help to make us more effective in a variety of roles such as managers employees or consumers C Organizational Behaviour Makes a Difference Organizational behaviour is also worth studying because it not only has to do with the attitudes and behaviour of people in organizations but it also has implications for an organizations competitiveness and success Many of the best companies to work for in Canada use management practices that have their basis in organizational behaviour In addition an increasing number of studies have confirmed the existence of linkages between organizational behaviour and corporate performance and success The main factor that differentiates organizations is the workforce and the most successful organizations are those that effectively manage their employees IV How Much Do You Know about Organizational BehaviourPeople are amazingly good at giving sensible reasons as to why a statement is true or false The ease with which people can generate such contradictory responses suggests that common sense develops through unsystematic and incomplete experiences with organizational behaviour However because common sense and opinions about organizational behaviour affect management practice practice should be based on informed opinion and systematic study V Goals of Organizational BehaviourThe field of organizational behaviour has a number of commonly agreed upon goals Chief among these are effectively predicting explaining and managing behaviour that occurs in organizations A Predicting Organizational Behaviour Predicting the behaviour of others is an essential requirement for everyday life both inside and outside of organizations The very regularity of behaviour in organizations permits the prediction of its future occurrence Through systematic study the field of organizational behaviour provides a scientific foundation that helps improve predictions of organizational events B Explaining Organizational Behaviour Another goal of organizational behaviour is explanation of events in organizationswhy do they occur Organizational behaviour is especially interested in determining why people are more or less motivated satisfied or prone to resign The ability to understand behaviour is a necessary prerequisite for effectively managing it C Managing Organizational Behaviour Management is defined as the art of getting things accomplished in organizations through others If behaviour can be predicted and explained it can often be managed If prediction and explanation constitute analysis then management constitutes action VI Early Prescriptions Concerning ManagementThere are two basic phases in the pursuit of the correct way to manage an organization to achieve its goal Experts often call these phases the classical view and the human relations view A The Classical View and Bureaucracy During the early 1900s a number of experienced managers and consultants including Henri Fayol James D Mooney and Lyndall Urwick were the first writers to set down their thoughts on organizing This classical viewpoint is an early prescription on management that advocated high specialization of labour intensive coordination and centralized decision making Frederick Taylors approach called Scientific Management was focused more on shop floor activities than the administrative prescriptions of the classical view Scientific Management was a system for using research to determine the optimum degree of specialization and standardization of work tasks Max Weber a German academic described bureaucracy as an ideal type of organization that included a strict chain of command detailed rules high specialization centralized power and selection and promotion based on technical competence B The Human Relations Movement and a Critique of Bureaucracy The Hawthorne studies involved research conducted at the Hawthorne plant of Western Electric in the 1920s and 1930s that illustrated how psychological and social processes affect productivity and work adjustment After World War II researchers and theorists such as Chris Argyris Alvin Gouldner and Rensis Likert took up the theme of the Hawthorne studies This human relations movement was a critique of classical management and bureaucracy that advocated management styles that were more participative and oriented toward employee needs VII Contemporary ManagementThe Contingency ApproachContemporary scholars and managers recognize the merits of both the classical approach and the human relations movement This contingency approach to management recognizes that there is no one best way to manage and that an appropriate management style depends on the demands of the situation VIII What Do Managers DoSeveral research studies have explored what managers do and provide a context for appreciating the usefulness of understanding organizational behaviour A Managerial Roles Henry Mintzberg conducted an indepth study of the behaviour of managers and found a rather complex set of roles played by managers The relative importance of these roles will vary with management level and organizational technology Interpersonal Roles Interpersonal roles are those that are used to establish and maintain interpersonal relations These include the figurehead role leadership role and liaison role Informational Roles Informational roles are concerned with various ways the manager receives and transmits information Roles in this group include the monitor role disseminator role and spokesperson role Decisional Roles Decisional roles deal with managerial decision making and include the entrepreneur role the disturbance handler role the resource allocator role and the negotiator role B Managerial Activities Fred Luthans and colleagues determined that managers engaged in four basic types of activities routine communications exchanging information handling paperwork traditional management planning decision making controlling networking interacting with outsiders socializing politicking and human resource management managing conflict and motivatingreinforcing staffing training and development One of the most fascinating findings is how emphasis on these various activities relates to management success People who were promoted quickly tended to do more networking and less human resource management However if success is defined in terms of unit effectiveness and employee satisfaction and commitment the more successful managers were those who devoted more time and effort to human resource management and less to networking C Managerial Agendas John Kotter has also studied the behaviours of successful general managers and found a strong pattern of similarities that he grouped into the categories of agenda setting networking and agenda implementation Agenda Setting The managers all gradually developed agendas of what they wanted to accomplish for the organization These agendas were almost always informal and unwritten and they were much more concerned with people issues and less numerical than most formal strategic plans Networking The managers established a wide formal and informal network of key people both inside and outside of their organizations This network provided managers with information and established cooperative relationships relevant to their agendas Agenda Implementation The managers used networks to implement the agendas They would go anywhere in the network for helpup or down in or out of the organization The theme that runs through Kotters findings is the high degree of informal interaction and concern with people issues that were necessary for the managers to achieve their agendas D Managerial Minds Other researchers have examined not how managers act but how managers think Herbert Simon and Darnel Isenberg stress the role of intuition in good management Intuition is problem identification and solving based on systematic education and experiences that enable managers to locate problems within a network of previously acquired information E International Managers The style with which managers do what they do and the emphasis given to various activities will vary greatly across cultures because of crosscultural variations in values that affect both managers and employees expectations about interpersonal interaction Geert Hofstede has done pioneering work on crosscultural differences in values and how these differences promote contrasts in the general role that managers play across cultures National culture is one of the most important contingency variables in organizational behaviour IX Some Contemporary Management ConcernsThe field of organizational behaviour can help one to understand and manage some of the contemporary issues facing managers A DiversityLocal and Global Several factors are influencing the demographics of the North American workforce As a result both the labour force and customers are becoming increasingly culturally diverse More women are entering the workforce as are visible minorities aboriginal people and persons with disabilities Diversity of age is also a factor Diversity is also coming to the fore as many organizations realize that they have not treated certain segments of the population fairly in many aspects of employment and that organizations have to be able to get the best from everyone in order to be truly competitive Both legal and social pressures have contributed to this awareness Multinational expansion strategic alliances and joint ventures between global partners are also bringing people into contact with their counterparts in organizations in other cultures as never before Thus managers must be able to manage these issues effectively for organizations to benefit from the considerable opportunities that a diverse workforce affords B EmployeeOrganization Relationships Downsizing restructuring and reengineering have had a profound effect on organizations as firms respond to increased global competition and technological change Surveys show that the consequences of these events have been decreased trust morale lower job satisfaction and organizational commitment and shifting loyalties Absenteeism is also on the rise and worklife conflict is a major stressor in the workplace Structural changes in work arrangements such as parttime work and temporary and contract work are expected to become the future standard forms of work and will forever influence the nature of employeeorganization
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