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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Notes

Management (MGH)
Course Code
Julie Mc Carthy

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Chapter 1 Organizational Behaviour and Management Notes
What are Organizations?
x organizations Æ social inventions for accomplishing common goals through group effort
Social Inventions
x this means that organizations’ essential characteristics is the coordinated presence of people, not necessarily things
x yet, through advanced information technology and contracting out work, some contemporary organizations make and sell
products, such as computers or clothes, without owning much of anything
x also, many service organizations, such as consulting firms, have little physical capital
x still, these organizations have people—people who present both opportunities and challenges
x the field of organizational behaviour is about understanding people and managing them to work effectively
Goal Accomplishment
x individuals are assembled into organizations for a reason
x virtually all organizations have survival as a goal
x the field of organizational behaviour is concerned with how organizations can survive and adapt to change
x certain behaviours are necessary for survival and adaptation
x people have to be motivated to join and remain in the organization; carry out their basic work reliably, in terms of productivity,
quality, and services; be willing to continuously learn and upgrade their knowledge and skills; and be flexible and innovative
x the field of organizational behaviour is concerned with all these basic activities
x innovation and flexibility, which provide for adaptation to change, are especially important for contemporary organizations
Group Effort
x at its most general level, this means that firms depend on interaction and coordination among people to accomplish their goals
x much of the intellectual and physical work done in organizations is quite literally performed by groups, whether they are
permanent work teams or short-term project teams; also, informal grouping occurs in all organizations because friendships
develop and individuals form informal alliances to accomplish work
x the quality of this informal contact in terms of the communication and morale can have a strong impact on goal achievement
x for all these reasons, the field of organizational behaviour is concerned with how to get people to practise effective teamwork
What is Organizational Behaviour?
x organizational behaviour Æ the attitudes and behaviours of individuals and groups in organizations
x OB systematically studies these attitudes and behaviours and provides insight about effectively managing and changing them
x it also studies how organizations can be structured more effectively and how events in their external environments affect firms
x those who study OB are 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
x behaviours like cooperation, conflict, innovation, resignation, or ethical lapses are important areas of study in the field of OB
x some questions that OB covers include the following—(1) what is organizational culture and what role does it play in an firm’s
success; (2) how do employees learn, and what is the role of training and career planning; (3) how can organizations motivate
employees, and how important is compensation; (4) how should managers communicate to employees
x communication is process of exchanging info, and effective executive communication is vital for organizational competitiveness
x these questions provide a good overview of some issues that those in the field of OB study
Goals of Organizational Behaviour
Predicting Organizational Behaviour
x predicting the behaviour of others is an essential requirement for everyday life, both inside and outside of organizations
x there is interest in predicting when people will make ethical decisions, create innovative products, engage in sexual harassment
x the very regularity of behaviour in organizations permits the prediction of its future occurrence
x however, untutored predictions of organizational behaviour are not always as accurate
x trough systematic study, the field of OB provides a scientific foundation that helps improve predictions of organizational events
x of course, being able to predict organizational behaviour does not guarantee that the reason for the behaviour can be explained
and an effective strategy to manage it can be developed
Explaining Organizational Behaviour
x another goal of organizational behaviour is to explain events in organizations
x prediction and explanation are not synonymous—in general, accurate prediction precedes explanation
x OB is especially interested in determining why people are more or less motivated, satisfied, or prone to resign
x explaining events is more complicated than predicting them
x for one thing, a particular behaviour could have multiple causes, each of which would require a specific solution
x furthermore, explanation is also complicated by the fact that underlying causes of some event or behaviour can change over time
Managing Organizational Behaviour
x management Æ the art of getting things accomplished in organizations through others
x managers acquire, allocate, and utilize physical and human resources to accomplish goals
x if behaviour can be predicted and explained, it can often be controlled or managed
x if prediction and explanation constitute analysis, then management constitutes action
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