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Chapter 1

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Administrative Studies
ADMS 2400
Hernan Humana

Chapter 1 What is organizational behaviour? • reflect on the best and worst employee you have worked with • what makes them act the way they do? • understand why the employee is bad so that you can understand and find ways to make his work experience better (can improve attitudes and behaviour) • by screening applicants better, training and socializing, manage evaluations and reward good employees and deal with conflicts Best Worker Characteristics • got the job done without being reminded • helps staff • follows rules • has a positive attitude • able to accept and adapt to change Worst Worker Characteristics • constantly being reminded to perform task • in a bad mood • never willing to help others • broke rules • resistant to any form of change Organizational behaviour defined Organizational behaviour (OB) is a field of study devoted to understanding, explaining and improving the behaviour and attitudes of individuals and groups in an organization. Organizational behaviour can be contrasted with two other courses commonly offered in management departments. Human Resource Management is a field of study that focuses on the applications of organizational behaviour theories and principles in an organization. An organizational behaviour study might explore the relationship between learning and job performance, whereas a human resource management study might examine the best ways to structure training programs to promote employee learning. Strategic management is a field of study devoted to exploring the product choices and industry characteristics that affect an organization's profitability. For example, a strategic management study might examine the relationship between firm diversification (when a firm expands into a new product segment) and firm profitability. The theories and concepts found in OB are actually drawn from a wide variety of disciplines. Research on job performance and individual characteristics draws primarily from studies in industrial and organizational psychology. Research on satisfaction, emotions, and team processes draws heavily from social psychology. Sociology research is vital to research on team characteristics and organizational structure, and anthropology research helps inform the study of organizational culture. Finally, models from economics are used to understand motivation, learning, and decision making. This diversity brings a unique quality to the study of OB, as most students will be able to find a particular topic that is intrinsically interesting and thought provoking to them. The Role of Management Theory Frederick Taylor and Max Weber, placed heavy emphasis on specialization, coordination, and efficiency. Frederick Taylor, the “father” of scientific management (using scientific methods to design optimal and efficient work processes and tasks). Using scientific methods (e.g. careful observation, measurement, experimentation), Taylor and his colleagues would study how to optimize performance of any task (e.g., by reducing the number of hand movements exhibited by bricklayers, and thus reducing fatigue, more bricks could be laid in a given time period). Once determined, these new work procedures would be taught to workers and encouraged with financial incentives. Max Weber, most often associated with the term bureaucracy (organizational form that emphasizes the control and coordination of its members through strict chain of command etc). Rather than focus on specific work processes, Weber looked at the entire organization. For Weber, the bureaucratic form was a technically superior method of organizing, coordinating, and controlling human work activities. Characteristics of bureaucracy included: (a) the division of labour with a high level of technical specialization; (b) a strict chain of command (authority hierarchy) where every member reported to someone at a higher level in the organization; (c) a system of formal rules and procedures that ensured consistency, impartiality, and impersonality throughout the organization; and (d) decision making at the top of the organization. For the classical theorists, productivity problems, if and when they occurred, were likely viewed at the job level as the result of design flaws, failures to implement specified processes, or inadequate working conditions (e.g., illumination, not enough work breaks), and at the organizational level as the result of deficient structural characteristics. Classical approach stressed importance of the formal organization and its functioning, the human relations movement as they recognized that psychological attributes of individual workers have an important effect on behaviour. A famous serious of studies, conducted between 1924 and 1933 at the Western Electric Company's Hawthorne plant, revealed the limitations with the classic approach to management and organization.4 Originally these studies were designed to resolve the organization's productivity problems by applying popular scientific-management techniques. The irony, of course, is that a classical- approach application produced the foundation on which the human relations movement was built. The Hawthorne studies, although crude in comparison to the organizational research being conducted today, revealed the importance of many of the topics we discuss in this text, such as group values and norms, leadership, motivation, job satisfaction, and organizational culture. For the human relations theorists, productivity problems, if and when they occurred were likely viewed as the result of worker alienation from the organization, failure of the work to satisfy important personal needs or goals, low organizational commitment, or work-group norms encouraging low rather than high performance—in other words, very little causal emphasis on the characteristics of formal organization. Today, contemporary management theory recognizes the dependencies between the classical approach and the human relations approach. We see this contingency approach reflected in a number of the theories and models of OB where the consequences of situational characteristics (e.g., financial incentives, job design, assigned goals) are thought to depend on characteristics of the individual or visa versa. Fundamental to the contingency approach is the idea that there is no one-best, universal principles. The same is true for OB. As you will see, OB—in all its forms—is the result of many different kinds of variables coming together. An Integrative Model of Organizational behaviour Individual Outcomes - Job Performance and Organizational commitment - Most employees have two primary goals for their working lives: to perform their jobs well and to remain members of an organization that they respect. - Likewise, most managers have two primary goals for their employees: to maximize their job performance and to ensure that they stay with the firm for a significant length of time. Individual Mechanisms - Our integrative model also illustrates a number of individual mechanisms that directly affect job performance and organizational commitment. - These include job satisfaction, which captures what employees feel when thinking about their jobs and doing their day-to-day work. - Another individual mechanism is stress, which reflects employees' psychological responses to job demands that tax or exceed their capacities. - The model also includes motivation, which captures the energetic forces that drive employees' work effort. - Trust, justice, and ethics reflect the degree to which employees feel that their company conducts business with fairness, honesty, and integrity. - The final individual mechanism shown in the model is learning and decision making, which deals with how employees gain job knowledge and how they use that knowledge to make accurate judgments on the job. Individual, Group, and Organizational Context Of course, if satisfaction, stress, motivation, and so forth are key drivers of job performance and organizational commitment, it becomes important to understand that these mechanisms are influenced by several important contexts. Each of us brings a unique set of personal attributes to our work that not only makes us unique as humans but also provides an individual context that explains behaviour. In this section we explore how personal attributes, such as personality, cultural values, and ability, influence how we behave at work and the kinds of tasks that interest us, and might account for our responses to events that happen on the job (Chapter 9). The integrative model in Figure 1-1 also acknowledges that employees do not work alone. Instead, they typically work in one or more groups or teams led by some formal (or sometimes informal) leader. Like the individual characteristics, these group factors shape satisfaction, stress, motivation, trust, and learning. Chapter 10 describes team characteristics and processes. In this chapter we explore the structure of effective work groups, such as their norms, their roles, and the
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