Chapter 1 – Organizational Behaviour and Management
What are Organizations?
• Organizations are social inventions for accomplishing common goals through group effort.
• 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.
• 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:
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; and
o Be flexible and innovative
• Field of organizational behaviour is concerned with – Innovation and flexibility, which provide for adaptation to
• 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?
o How do employees learn, and what is the role of training and development and career planning?
o What should organizations do to manage a diverse workforce?
o How can organizations motivate employees, and how important is compensation?
o What is a cross-functional team and how do you design effective teams?
o What is an organizational culture and what role does it play in an organization’s success?
WHY STUDY ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR
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. • OB makes a big difference for the effectiveness and competitiveness of organizations
HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR?
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.
GOALS OF ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR
• 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
• 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
o Managers 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
o Derives 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.
EARLY PRESCRIPTIONS CONCERNING MANAGEMENT
• Two basic phases for “correct” way to manage o Classical view
o Human relations view
The Classical View and Bureaucracy
• The classical viewpoint tended to advocate a very high degree of specialization of labour and a very high
degree of coordination.
• For the most part, this activity occurred in the early 1900s
• Classical writers acquired their experience in military settings, mining operations, and factories that produced
everything from cars to candy
• Each department was to tend to its own affairs, with centralized decision making from upper management
• Managers have fairly few workers, except for lower-level jobs where machine pacing might substitute for close
• Frederick Taylor (1856-1915), the father of scientific management, was also a contributor to the classical
school, although he was mainly concerned with job design and the structure of work on the shop floor.
• Scientific management advocated the use of careful research to determine the optimum degree of
specialization and standardization.
• Supported the development of written instructions (clearly defined work procedures)
• Encouraged supervisors to standardize workers’ movements and breaks for maximum efficiency
• Functional foremanship – supervisors would specialize in particular functions (e.g. specialist in training
workers, disciplinarian, etc.)
• Bureaucracy has the following qualities:
o A strict chain of command in which each member reports to only a single superior.
o Criteria for selection and promotion based on impersonal technical skills rather than nepotism or
o A set of detailed rules, regulations, and procedures ensuring that the job gets done regardless of who
the specific worker is.
o The use of strict specialization to match duties with technical competence.
o The centralization of power at the top of the organization.
• Bureaucracy was termed by Max Weber (18641920), the distinguished German social theorist
• “Bureaucracy” – a means of rationally managing complex organizations.
o Time of industrial growth and development, most management was done by intuition, and nepotism and
• Weber saw bureaucracy as an “ideal type” or theoretical model that would standardize behaviour in
• Provide workers with security and a sense of purpose.
• In exchange for this conformity, workers would have a fair chance of being promoted d rising in the power
• Rules, regulations, and a clear-cut chain of command that further clarified required behaviour provided the
workers with a sense of security.
• Mary Parker Follett (1868-1933) – noted that the classical view of management seemed to take for granted an
essential conflict of interest between managers and employees▯HR Movement
o A noted sentiment against these schools of thought at the time
The Human Relations Movement and a Critique of Bureaucracy
• Generally began with the famous Hawthorne studies of the 1920s and 1930s.
• These studies, were concerned with the impact of fatigue, rest pauses, and lighting on productivity.
• During the course of the studies, the researchers began to notice the effects of psychological and social
processes on productivity and work adjustment.