MGTB23 – Organizational Behaviour – Week 1 Reading – Chapter 1 & Appendix
Chapter 1 – Organizational Behaviour and Management
- HOK Canada’s culture is very open, collaborative, and inclusive.
- Their employees are encouraged to speak their minds. They are vocal; engaged in
constantly improving what they do. They are asked to provide input and feedback about
the kinds of benefit they would like.
- The dress code is casual, and employees are allowed to listen to music while working.
- HOK in Canada is one of Canada’s greenest employers.
- HOK also supports a variety of local and international charitable incentives.
- Their real focus is on people.
What are organizations?
- Organizations are social inventions for accomplishing common goals through group
- For example, HOK in Canada, CBC, Toronto Blue Jays, and a college sorority.
- When we say organizations are social inventions, we mean that their essential
characteristic is the coordinated presence of “people”, not necessarily things.
- The field of organizational behaviour is about understanding people and managing them
to work effectively.
- Individuals are assembled into organizations for a reason. Thus, making profit, winning a
baseball game, and etc.
- Non-profit organizations have goals such as saving souls, promoting the arts, and etc.
- Virtually, all organizations have survival as a goal.
- The field of organizational behaviour is concerned with how organization can survive and
adapt to change.
- Certain behaviours are necessary for survival and adaptation:
o Be motivated to join and remain in the organization;
o Carry out their basic work reliably, in terms of productivity, quality and service;
o Be willing to continuously learn and upgrade their knowledge and skills;
o Be flexible and innovative;
- Innovation and flexibility, which provide for adaptation to change, are especially important
for contemporary organizations. MGTB23 – Organizational Behaviour – Week 1 Reading – Chapter 1 & Appendix
- “Get innovative or get dead” by management guru Tom Peters.
- This means that an organization depends on interaction and coordination among people to
accomplish their goals.
- Most intellectual and physical work done in organizations is performed by groups.
- Informal grouping occurs in all organizations because friendships develop and individuals
form informal alliances to accomplish work.
- The field of organizational behaviour is concerned with how to get people to practices
What is organizational behaviour?
- Organizational behaviour refers to the attitudes and behaviours individuals and groups
- It also studies how organizations can be structured more effectively and how events in
their external environments affect organizations.
- Those we study OB are interested in attitudes – how satisfied people are with their jobs,
how committed they feel to the goals of organizations, and etc.
- Behaviours like cooperation, conflict, innovation, resignation, or ethical lapses are
important areas of study in the field of OB.
- What are the factors that make an organization a great place to work? For example, HOK
o What is an organizational culture and what role does it play in an organization’s
success? The culture at HOK in Canada emphasizes collaboration, creativity, and
o How do employees learn and what is the role of training and career planning? In
HOK in Canada, employees have access to a tuition reimbursement program and to
training courses to help them advance in their careers.
o How can organizations motivate employees, and how important is compensation? At
HOK in Canada, employees receive above-average compensation and benefits as
well as bonuses based on their performance and company profits.
o How should managers communicate with employers? Communication is the process
of exchange information, and effective organizational communication is essential
for organizational competitiveness. Thus, HOK in Canada encourages employers to
- Analysis followed by action is what OB is all about.
Why study OB? MGTB23 – Organizational Behaviour – Week 1 Reading – Chapter 1 & Appendix
OB is Interesting
- It is about people and human nature.
- OB includes interesting examples of success as well as failure.
OB is Important
- OB is important to managers, employees, and consumers and understanding it can make
us more effective managers, employees, and consumers.
OB Makes a Difference
- Organizations can no longer achieve a competitive advantage through the traditional
sources of success, such as technology, regulated markets, access to financial resources,
and economies of scale. Now, the man factor that differentiates organizations is their
workforce and human capital, and the most successful organizations are those that
effectively manage their employees.
- Sustained competitive advantage and organizational effectiveness are increasingly related
to the management of human capital and organizational behaviour.
- Thus, OB and management practices not only influence employee attitudes but also have
an effect on an organization’s effectiveness.
How much do you know about OB?
- Experience indicates that people are amazingly good at giving sensible reasons why the
same statement is either true or false.
- Pay will always motivate workers because most people what to make more money and will
work harder to get more pay.
- Conversely, workers will only work as hard as they to regardless of how much money they
- Thus, sometimes “common sense” doesn’t work here.
- However, because common sense and opinions still affect management practice, practice
should be based on informed opinion and systematic study.
Goals of OB
- Predicting the behaviours of others is important.
- In organizations, there is considerable interest in predicting when people will make ethical
decisions, create innovative products, or engage in sexual harassment.
- However, predictions are not always accurate.
- Through systematic study, the field of organizational behaviour provides a scientific
foundation that helps improve prediction of organizational events. MGTB23 – Organizational Behaviour – Week 1 Reading – Chapter 1 & Appendix
- Explaining events in organizations and why do they occur.
- Prediction and explanation are not synonymous.
- In general, accurate prediction precedes explanation.
- OB is especially interested in determining why people are more or less motivated,
satisfied, or prone to resign.
- Explaining is more complicated than predicting because a particular behaviour can have
multiple of reasons.
- Furthermore, explanation is complicated because of the fact that the underlying causes of
some event or behaviour can change over time. For example, boom and bust.
- Management is defined as the art of getting things accomplished in organizations.
- Managers acquire, allocate, and utilize physical and human resources to accomplish goals.
- This definition doesn’t include a prescription about how to get things accomplished.
- If behaviour can be predicted and explained, it can be controlled or managed.
- If prediction and explanation constitute analysis, then management constitutes action.
Early Prescriptions Concerning Management
The Classical View and Bureaucracy
- Most major advocates of the classical viewpoint were experienced managers or
consultants who took the time to write down their thoughts on organizing.
- The classical writers acquired their experience in military settings, mining operations, and
factories that produced everything from cars to candy.
- The classical viewpoint tended to advocate a very high degree of specialization of
labour and a very high degree of coordination. Plus, a centralized decision making.
- To maintain control, this view suggested that managers have fairly few workers, except for
lower-level jobs where machine pacing might substitute for close supervision.
- Frederick Taylor, the father of Scientific Management, was also a contributor to the
classical school. His system is for using research to determine the optimum degree of
specialization and standardization of work tasks.