OB is an academic discipline devoted to understanding individual and group behavior, interpersonal processes, and organizational dynamics with the goal of improving the performance of organizations and the people in them. It is also a science, because it uses scientific research methods. It draws its knowledge base from a variety of the behavioral and social sciences. These include psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science and economics. OB integrates and applies this knowledge to real world problems. In learning about OB, we gain a better work-related understanding of our own behavior and that of others. This helps us to interact more effectively. It help us to motivate, to influence, and to succeed.
The science of OB focuses on applications that can make a real difference in how organizations and people in them perform.
Accepted conclusion of scientific research: there is no single best way to manage people and situations. Although it is relatively easy to conclude that what works well in one culture may not work as well in another, it is much harder to specify exactly how cultural differences affect things like motivation, job satisfaction, leadership style, negotiating tendencies, and ethical behavior. We need to better understand the influence of cultural differences on how OB theories and concepts apply in different countries.
Contingency thinking is especially relevant in the complex workplaces of today. The last few years have been dramatic in both the nature and pace of change.
This definition describes everything from clubs, voluntary organizations, and religious bodies, to entities such as small and large businesses, labor unions, schools, hospitals, and government agencies. All such organizations share certain common features that can help us better understand and deal with them.
Mission statements communicate: A clear sense of the domain in which the organization’s products and services fit. A vision and sense of future aspirations.
Tom's of Maine, Inc. manufactures oral and personal care products in the United States and internationally. They use only natural ingredients and cite environmental sustainability as one of their key values. (retrieved from the Internet on http://www.tomsofmaine.com/business-practices/our-reason-for-being.aspx). To see the mission statements of the Fortune 500 companies go to: http://www.missionstatements.com/fortune_500_mission_statements.html
Key managerial responsibilities include strategy formulation and implementation. Strategy seeks to operationalize the organization’s mission. Knowledge of OB is essential to effective strategy implementation.
Organizations are dynamic open systems that obtain resource inputs from the environment and transform them into finished goods or services that are returned to the environment as outputs. Customers value the outputs and create a continuing demand. This cycle is called a value chain.
Customers, owners, employees, suppliers, regulators, and local communities are key stakeholders. Executive leadership often focuses on balancing multiple stakeholder expectations.
Positive organizational cultures: Have a high-performance orientation. Emphasize teamwork. Encourage risk taking. Emphasize innovation. Respect people and workforce diversity. &quot;Our work begins and ends with relationships. We start by respecting and empowering each other as coworkers, and build on that to develop true ties with our retail partners and vendors. The ultimate goal is to create honest and open relationships with everyone who uses our products, and believes, like us, that a company can and should be both successful and socially responsible.&quot; Tom O'Brien, CEO , Tom’s of Maine .
Using an instrument called the Organizational Culture Inventory (OCI), people describe the behaviors and expectations that make up the prevailing cultures of their organizations. The OCI maps use these results to describe three alternative types of organizational cultures.
Positive organizational cultures tap the talents, ideas, and creative potential of all members. This makes the organization a better employer and helps it to compete more effectively. Workforces mirror the larger culture. Positive organizational cultures that value diversity promote creativity by encouraging all members to share their ideas and perspective. The organization also benefits with increased market share and productivity.
A key element in any organization that embraces multiculturalism is inclusivity – the degree to which the culture values diversity and is open to anyone who can perform a job, regardless of their diversity attributes. We all want to work for an organization where we are respected and trusted not only by our managers, but by our co-workers; where our talent is recognized and developed, where our work is valued.
Some of our unconscious biases against ‘others’ can often limit our experience. As we expand the boundaries of our comfort zone, we open ourselves to new experiences. We grow personally, professionally, and organizationally.
Managers assume roles such as coordinator, coach, or team leader. Contemporary emphasis trends toward managerial behaviors of helping and supporting.
Managers should be held accountable for both results. Job satisfaction, a key OB outcome, is closely associated with future performance.
Planning – defining goals, setting specific performance objectives, and identifying the actions needed to achieve them. Organizing – creating work structures, divides tasks, and arranges resources. Leading – motivating others toward high performance through effective communication good interpersonal relations. Controlling – monitoring performance and taking necessary corrective action.
Anyone serving as a manager or team leader faces a very demanding and complicated job. The busy day of a manager includes a shifting mix of incidents that demand immediate attention, with the number of incidents being greatest for lower-level managers.
Based on Henry Mintzberg’s classic study on the ten key roles of a manager.
Robert Katz divides the essential managerial skills into three categories: technical, human, and conceptual. The relative importance of these skills varies across the different levels of management.
Technical skills are considered more important at entry levels of management, where supervisors and team leaders must deal with job-specific problems. Human skills are central to managerial success – at all organizational levels. Effective managers in today’s global economy must integrate technical, human and conceptual skills. They must be sensitive to workforce dynamics while consistently adapting to their environment. They must understand broad applications of technology and focus on quality and customer service.
Emotional intelligence, with its emphasis on managing emotions both personally and in relationships with others, is now considered an important leadership competency. A leader’s emotional intelligence contributes significantly to his or her leadership effectiveness.
An immoral manager does not subscribe to any ethical principles. An opportunity may be exploited for purely personal or business gain (exp. Bernard Madoff). The amoral manager does not consider the ethics of a decision or behavior, or its potential negative effect on others. The moral manager incorporates ethics principles and goals into his or her behavior.
Our new and rapidly developing knowledge-based economy places a great premium on learning by organizations as well as individuals.
Only the learners will be able to maintain the pace and succeed in a high-tech, global, changing environment. Just like individuals, organizations must be able to change continuously and positively while searching for new ideas and opportunities.
Experiential Learning in OB course parallels real world organizational learning. Experience > Reflection > Theory > Practice.