Free Organisational Behaviour Definition Essay Sample

Discussion on tutorial solutions:

Organisational Behaviour (OB) defined

Organisational behaviour is the study of what people think, feel and do in and around organisations (Coulter & Robbins 1999, p. 4). Put it another way, OB is the study of individuals and groups in organisations (Zemelmen et al., 1998). Still, Robbin et al (2008) said, "OB - A field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups and structure have on behaviour within organisations, for the purpose of applying such knowledge towards improving an organisation's effectiveness."

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OB is concerned with the study of the behaviour and interaction of people in restricted or organised settings.  It involves understanding and predicting the behaviour of people, and the means by which their behaviour is influenced and shaped. It also is the study of human behaviour in organisational contexts, with a focus on individual and group processes and actions.  Hence, it involves an exploration of organisational and managerial processes in the dynamic context of the organisation and is primarily concerned with the human implications of such activity (Biech 2007).

OB is concerned with the following: The purposes for which organisations are created;

the behaviour of individuals, and an understanding of the pressures and influences that cause them to act and react in particular ways; the qualities that individuals bring to particular situations; the creation of groups; the background and context within which activities take place; telationships and interactions with the wider environment with other organisations and groups; the management and ordering of the whole and its parts into productive and effective work relationships  (Tuckman 2010).

OB has a humanistic orientation: people's abilities, attitudes, feelings, goals and perceptions are important issues in OB. It is performance-oriented, concerned with improving an organisation's performance. OB is also application-oriented, concerned with actual organisational problems. OB research relies mostly on the Scientific method. The Scientific Method is used to study variables, and their relationships. As we work in organisations, we need to understand, predict and influence the behaviour of others in organisational settings. An opportunity to question and rebuild your personal theories that have developed through observation and experience. Need to know how to communicate effectively with others, manage conflict, make better decisions, build commitment to your ideas, help work teams operate more effectively etc. Exploration of individual emotions and behaviour, team dynamics and the systems and structures within and around organisations includes - amongst other things - leadership, communication, power/politics, organisational structure and motivation.

Perspectives of organisational effectiveness

Open systems perspective. Organisations take their sustenance from the environment and, in turn, affect that environment through their output. Internal-subsystems perspective includes organisational efficiency and lean management. Organisational learning perspective includes knowledge management. Knowledge management is an organisation's ability to extract information and ideas from its environment and through insight. Knowledge sharing is effective dissemination of knowledge. Finally, knowledge use is putting knowledge to use effectively intellectual and human capital.

Types of individual behaviour

Contemporary challenges for organisations

Anchors of OB knowledge

Socialisation aims to get to know as many students as possible in the class; know names; and find out something about  class members with a view to forming groups.

In small groups discuss your experiences in O&M/ or equivalent subject - share with group members.

What learning can you transfer from your experiences?

Groups share some information that has been gathered from conversations.

A couple of group members then move on to another group and discuss the following (based on the first lecture):

A friend suggests that organisational behaviour courses are useful only to people who will enter management careers. Discussing the accuracy of your friend's statement;

1. Organisational theories should follow the contingency approach'

Comment on the accuracy of this statement. Discussed in the large group...

2. Choose an organisation and analyse the organisation using the open systems model.

Group Exercise:         

This exercise is designed to help students understand the importance and application of organisational behaviour concepts.

None, but the instructor has more information about the team's task. [Note:  The chairs are optional. This exercise sometimes works better without chairs. Instead, the instructor might use two lines of tape on the floor to keep student teams in a straight line.]

            Step 1: Form teams with six students each. (NOTE:  Larger teams may be formed, but all teams must be the same size and have the same number of people on each side.) If possible, each team should have a private location where team members can plan and practise the required task without being observed or overheard by other teams.

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            Step 2: All teams will receive special instructions in class about the assigned task. All teams have the same task and will have the same amount of time to plan and practise the task. At the end of this planning and practice, each team will be timed while completing the task in class. The team that completes the task in the least time wins.

            Step 3: No special materials are required or allowed for this exercise. Although the task is not described here, students should learn the following rules for planning and implementing the task:

Rule #1: You cannot use any written form of communication or any props to assist in the planning or implementation of this task.

Rule #2: You may speak to other students in your team at any time during the planning and implementation of this task.

Rule #3: When performing the task, you must move only in the direction of your assigned destination. In other words, you can only move forwards, not backwards.

Rule #4: When performing the task, you can move forwards to the next space, but only if it is vacant.

Rule #5: When performing the task, you can move forwards two spaces, if that space is vacant. In other words, you can move around a student who is one space in front of you to the next space if that space is vacant.

Step 4: When all teams have completed their task, the class will discuss the implications of this exercise for organisational behaviour, specifically:

-Identify OB concepts from lecture 1 that the team applied to complete the task.

Organisational Behaviour

Choose 2 trends and look at how an understanding of OB would help you to unravel the complexities and issues involved for managers and workers.

Choose a couple of these questions for the small groups to work on. Discuss in the larger group.

1. The Team Roles preference scale.

2. The Tuckman Model of group development.

3. Forming groups for the Observation.

"Teams are groups of two or more people who interact with and influence each other, are mutually accountable for achieving common goals associated with organisational objectives and perceive themselves as a social entity within an organisation" (Batchelor, 2003).

"A work team generates positive synergy through coordinated effort.  Their individual efforts results in a level of performance that is greater than the sum of those individual inputs." (Silver et al., 2000)

"A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, common performance goals, and an approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable." (Belbin, 2010)

The difference between groups and teams is that groups are people with a unifying relationship. It can be informal, such as groups of employees who meet for lunch. All teams are groups, but not all groups are teams! A group of people who do not know they are a team cannot be one; members of a team need a strong common purpose and work towards that purpose rather than individually (Belbin 2010). 'Group' is often used in general sense; 'Team' is often used in a more specific context (e.g., work teams, project teams).

As we are social animals, groups provide a sense of belonging, security and protection - strength in numbers. We also share responsibility for both good and bad outcomes;  Affiliation and status Public recognition, prestige, Power

Team effectiveness is the extent to which a team achieves its objectives, achieves the needs and objectives of its members and sustains itself over time

Organisational and team environment


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