The different organizations in which individuals work influence their thoughts, actions, and feelings in the workplace and even out of it. On the same note, individual’s thoughts, actions, and feelings also have a direct influence on the organizations in which they work. In a very dynamic and competitive business world, organizations must remain steadfast and concerned about the understanding of organizational behavior and culture (Greenberg, 2010). It is through this understanding that organizations will communicate, grow, and learn the different cultures, behaviors, and diversity factors that constitute the organizations and its environment.
An organization is a resolute system composed of several units where individuals and events are organized to accomplish certain set objectives through the coordination of activities and division of labor.
Organizational behavior is a field of study that examines the influence that groups, people, and structure have on an organization's behavior, for the purpose of deploying such information towards improving the effectiveness of an organization (Greenberg, 2010).
This paper will discuss the various principles, concepts, applications and importance of the understanding of organizational behavior with respect to the following key areas:
B. Motivation in Organizations
C. Group Dynamics and Work Teams
D. Leadership in Organizations
E. Culture, Creativity, and Innovation.
A. PERSONALITY, SKILLS, AND ABILITY
Personality denotes the constant psychological arrays within a person that determine the way they interrelate with different situations they come across and others. It is the fairly stable and lasting features that determine our behavior, feelings, and thoughts. Studies have shown that people’s personality is more or less constant, enduring, and may remain significantly constant through all the conditions and time (Greenberg, 2010).
There are numerous factors that influence the shaping and formation of our personality.
Some of these factors include Environment, Heredity, and Situation (Cohen, 2013).
Environment- The culture in which an individual is brought up in and the type of socialization class, rearing process, the number of family members, and socio-economic standing. Other factors such as birth order, education background, peer group and friends, religious practices, recreational activities, and pastime behavior, etc. play an important role in modeling an individual personality (Cohen, 2013).
Heredity- The genetic constituents inherited from our parents strongly determine the personality features of an individual. The height, facial attractiveness, physical statutory, gender, muscle composition, temperament, etc. are considered to be inherited (Cohen, 2013).
Situation- The type of a particular setting in which an individual encounters also similarly shapes the kind of personality features. For example, a person’s exposure to series of job interviews will mold certain personality features (Cohen, 2013).
Major Personality Traits
Other critical personality traits e.g. Extroversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional-stability, and Openness,
Highlights four scopes of Personality Types:
(a) Introversion versus Extroversion: Describe the way people interact with the world
(b) Sensing versus Intuition: Entails perceiving and becoming aware of information
(c) Thinking versus feeling: Means of deciding and ways preferred to make judgments
(d) Perception and Judging: Entails organizing people and the amount of control in an individual
Authoritarianism and dogmatism
Dogmatism denotes the degree to which individuals exhibit rigidity or flexibility when handling others. Managers exhibiting such traits have disconnected leadership (Greenberg, 2010). The combination of high dogmatism and excessive authoritarianism is not conducive to organizational effectiveness and creativity.
Denotes the degree to which individuals are tactical and manipulative in realizing one’s objectives. Such individuals strongly have faith that ends could justify the means. Individuals who are high Machiavellian tend to be willing to twist cool, turn facts to impact others and strive to gain control of other people, situations, and events by influencing the system to their advantage (Cohen, 2013).
Type A or B Personality
Denotes the level to which individuals tend demonstrate certain physiognomies.
Type A Individuals shows a chronic sense of urgency, exhibit a competitive drive, are achievement oriented, and are impatient when slowed down.
Type B persons lack any sense of urgency and show not competitive drive. Are always termed as easy going (Dörnyei, 2004).
Type A Personality
High Need for Achievement
Tense Facial Muscles
Relentless Time Pressure
Type B Personality
Able to Take Time to engage in Leisure
Not Pensive with Achievement
Not Easily Upset
Seldom Lacks Enough Time
The model recommends that a realistic individual in realistic jobs is in an extra compatible setting compared to a realistic individual in an investigative role (Cohen, 2013). The sociable individual should be in social roles and conventional individuals in convention roles. Due diligence must be applied to ensure impeccability between personality features and the kind of roles offered to the applicants during the process of selections.
B. MOTIVATION IN ORGANIZATIONS
Motivation as a psychological practice contributes purpose and direction to the human behavior. A penchant to act in a purposive way to realize specific, unmet objectives. It’s the central force that energizes individuals to achieve organizational and personal goals (Lawler, 2006). Consistent with researchers, motivated workers are more productive even though most organizations appears to undermine this important factor. Lack of employee motivation has resulted in low morale, higher absenteeism, and increased number of accidents that in the long run are expensive to most companies (Dörnyei, 2004). The lack of appropriate performance appraisal, negligence of immediate managers, and poor communication are some of the main sources of the problem many organizations. Human Resource specialists are also not effective at their jobs; they are neither organized, detailed nor focused on employees concerns such as motivation, a critical factor in performance. Inadequate human resource training and inexperience is another contributing factor (Lawler, 2006).
The motivation principle alone emphasizes on intuitions happening in an individual's mind, and that will determine behavior. It is in this principle that we analyze in depth using the following two theories to explain motivation process:
1) Expectancy Theory of Motivation
2) Extrinsic Theory of Motivation.
Expectancy Theory of Motivation
This theory of motivation, as proposed, is influenced by individual principles regarding performance relationships and effort with respect to work outcomes. The expectancy theory relates to the cognitive practices invoked when a person weighs the available options and decides based on what is available. This theory also identifies three main concepts that highlight the level to which a person believes his effort will produce satisfactory performance (Lawler, 2006). The first, expectancy "is the possibility given by a person that an effort will be shadowed by a specified degree of accomplished task performance." The second, instrumentality "is the possibility given by a person that a level of accomplished task performance will yield the various work outcomes." The last, Valence "is the value a person link with the various work outcomes (Pinder, 2008).
Extrinsic Theory of Motivation
These theories are by and large utilized by organizations as part of a rewarding system. Extrinsic rewards are regarded as a means of valuing positive work results. The rewards are provided to a person or a group from a different source in the work situation (Lawler, 2006). These rewards mainly include applause, a symbolic token (i.e., bonuses, service awards). Therefore, extrinsic motivation principle process refers to motivations issued as an outcome of external factors. Extrinsic motivation may either be positive or negative. Either way, extrinsic motivation is easy, crude and often effective.
A good example of an extrinsic motivation can be promising an employee bonus payment if set performance objectives are realized. Other crude extrinsic motivators include coercion, threat or punishment. In direct contrast, with expectancy motivation theory, extrinsic motivators exclude an individual giving a thought to philosophies that would lead through to choice (Pinder, 2008). About psychology features of motivational concepts, these two theories are associated with each other.
In summary, most organization propagating the following aspects have been successful with their performance:
1) Progressive communication between employees and management
2) Establishing guidelines and new policy relating to employee motivation and benefits
3) Training, workshops, and seminars organized by Human Resource Managers
4) Creating social programs to boost employee’s morale
5) Creating programs that facilitate, award, and recognize employees for outstanding performance
6) Creating open door policy systems
Importance of Motivation
1) Has remained attractive due to its flexibility for executives and management
2) Encourages workers to acquire a range of both hard and soft skills
3) Facilitates understanding and communication of others’ while in the jobs
4) Promote and meets requirements of determined employees without a promotion in job title
C. LEADERSHIP IN ORGANIZATIONS
Leadership has been adequately studied and as such is important for organizations with regards to performance. Leadership styles alternate depending on the kind of leaders and the organization in which they work. It is essential that organizations examine the different leadership theories to single out what is most effective for an organizational structure. Deploying an improper leadership style that does not link with an organizational structure may result in failure. To further help with the evaluation of leadership and leaders, we will focus on the following aspects (Griffin & Moorhead, 2014).
What is leadership and who is a leader?
The leadership is defined as the process, depending on the qualities of the leader, to influence others to get a task or a job accomplished more effectively over a defined period.
Studies have shown that leadership is not restricted to any specific person, level or group within an organization and, at least in principle, does not essentially encompasses a formal authority. All leaders whether formal or informal have the same traits (Griffin & Moorhead, 2014). The main traits include task-relevant, intelligence, honesty, dominance, energetic, self-confidence, tolerance, emotional maturity, and of integrity.
Styles Behaviors, and Theories
There are numerous theories of leadership that include:
1) The Contingency Theory,
2) The Leader-Member Exchange Theory, and
3) The Path-Goal Theory.
Even though there are several leadership theories, our focus will be on the above three.
The Contingency Theory
Was advanced by Fiedler and is centered on two issues:
Why, in specific condition are some leaders more effective than other leaders although they have similar credentials?
Why are some leaders more effective in one setting and fail in another setting?
Fiedler explained using the two leadership styles that leaders are more anxious about the relationships between followers, task, and responsibilities. An essential feature of the contingency theory explains that any leadership style can be successful in a specific setting and, on the other hand, be unsuccessful in another setting. Fiedler also insinuates that leaders are either task or relationship oriented and can easily adapt to any setting (Griffin & Moorhead, 2014).
This theory explains how leaders can motivate others to achieve organization and group goals using a particular motivational style (Dörnyei, 2004). The theory offers four categories of behaviors:-
Each of the above behaviors helps in motivating employees (Dörnyei, 2004). Three guidelines were further proposed to help leaders maximize on motivation:
(1) Determining outcomes from subordinates
(2) Rewarding subordinates for high levels performance
(3) Ensuring subordinates believe in themselves achieving work goals.
Using the above-provided tools, leaders can shape and strengthen organizational cultures and structures through their interactions and actions with groups (Griffin & Moorhead, 2014).
Leader-Member Exchange Theory
A theory that highlights the diverse relationships that may grow between a leader and a follower confide in and receive from the relationship. The theory emphases on the association between a leader and followers verse those of the external group (Griffin & Moorhead, 2014).
Transformation Leadership inspires followers to have faith in the leader, perform behaviors that support achievement of organizational objectives, and to deliver at high levels. A combination of charismatic and inspirational leadership generates a strong commitment to society-based and organization outcomes.
Factors affecting Leaderships
• Leader mood- a leader always perceived to be stressed or upset could show loss of leadership.
• Gender- leadership and gender in public relations
• Trust- employees should trust their leader to build an effective leadership relationship.
• Leadership Neutralizer - a leader who has work attachment to the north coast and has no practical presence at the location, may be leadership neutralizer (Dörnyei, 2004).
Importance of Leadership in Organizations
Determines the success or failure of organizations by enabling understand of the prevailing climate and culture against the right leadership style.
Leaders have an opportunity to participate in different decision and strategies behaviors that best match the prevailing environment (Griffin & Moorhead, 2014).
D. GROUP DYNAMICS & WORK TEAMS
Poor communication, weak personality skills factors coupled with gender imbalances and extrinsic values in a team extremely damages the effectiveness and success of a team in the work place. Group dynamics is the persuasive processes, actions and modifications that transpire within and between groups over time. A group refers to two or more persons who are attached within and by social relationships. Communication and personality skills factors are all significant to the effectiveness and success of a group and a team, particularly in the levels of communication, compatibility satisfaction, and confidence (Greenberg, 2010).
It is worth noting that cool and properly crafted team enables a task to be done much easier and cooler. Reckitt Benckiser builds a strong team dynamics in their organization (Forsyth, 2010). Building an informal or formal group in a team has always been observed to reduce friction and improves efficiency and productivity at workplace. Building a cohesive team and group has its immense advantages (information dissemination and sharing knowledge and work) and disadvantages (process loss, social loafing).
Types of Groups
Various approaches can be utilized to categorize the types of teams and groups in organizations.
In organizations, the major working groups are the project groups, functional groups, and interest groups. Also, groups are also classified as informal groups and formal and informal groups (Forsyth, 2010).
Reasons for Establishing Groups
The most common reasons for establishing groups are linked to our needs for security, affiliation, status, identity, power when engaging in shared tasks (Dörnyei, 2004).
Models of Group Development
The following three have been deployed for group developments
1. Tuckman and Jensons
2. Punctuated -equilibrium model.
3. Bennis and Shepard Group Development Model
Five Stage Life Cycle Model of tTuckman and Jensons
The model outlines the five stages of group development process.
Forming-The stage in which members of the group try to understand where they belong in the group and how they are perceived by other members of the group. At this stage members rarely express their emotional state in the group, they are very cautious in their interactions, and the relationships between them are superficial (Greenberg, 2010).
Storming-The stage is characterized by disagreement, feelings of resentment, intra-group conflict, and anxiety. Also referred to as the confrontation and sub-grouping (Dörnyei, 2004) .
Norming-a stage characterized by close cohesiveness and relationships, the group establishes norms, tries to attain a level of understanding of the group objectives, good decisions are made, and feelings are openly expressed. Roles are defined, maintenance and task roles are assumed and group members begin to express confidence and satisfaction about each other (Forsyth, 2010).
Performing-This is a stage culminated by team integration and collaboration. Team evaluate member’s performance. Group structures and relationships are established and accepted. Feelings are openly expressed without fear, leadership roles integrated, coordination improved. Team performance levels are improved, and member pride, satisfaction, and commitment to the team is high (Forsyth, 2010).
Adjourning- this stage is culminated by a concern with activities finalization rather than the performance of a task. The relationship begins to fade away, and interactions stop. Group has feeling of pride on their achievements.
In conclusion, it’s worth noting that team roles vary depending on the projects and stages of the project. Teams often require team building and refueling to remain effective, productive and to help in regulating team behavior. Such actions include eradicating and removing the superfluous norms which in usual settings results into tensions and frictions (Greenberg, 2010).
E. ORGANIZATION CULTURE, CREATIVITY, AND INNOVATION
Everybody desires a meaningful, enjoyable, and pleasing work environment. A robust organizational culture is the cornerstone of any company and would attract talented persons that promote creativity and innovation (Forsyth, 2010). The market niche for talents has remained tight, and individuals in search of new organizations remain more selective than ever. Talented individuals do not require only benefit and salary, but also a conducive environment that promote growth. What’s more, a robust culture will help an organization to solve a tough problem when faced with a crisis. A good example is Toyota when faced with a potential safety hazard with their cars, didn’t rush to recall the faulty cars because of what they termed huge repair costs. Regrettably, people perished due to this impending safety hazard. If Toyota had a strong and robust culture in their organization, they would have recalled all the defective cars early enough without looking at the repair costs. This would have earned them “public praise”—the most essential thing for a company (Greenberg, 2010).
We note how a good culture can help an organization succeed. On the contrary, a bad culture will hurt the success of an organization. A good organizational culture creates the energy that facilitate innovation. A vibrant working environment enables employees to express themselves fully. The positive energy is directed towards innovation, which by all means is critical for any business (Dörnyei, 2004). Another example is the Apple, which has established itself as the most prosperous and largest company in light of market capitalization in the world. Innovation and energy are transmissible and has been used to build on one another, reinforcing the attractiveness and culture of the Apple organization. A company that has a bad culture has employees without enthusiasm and passion for their work. Consequently, the employee is demoralized and exhausted to the extent that they look for a new job that will be valuable to their career (Greenberg, 2010).
Cultivating a culture that is conducive and supports success is a daunting task and call for the participation of all stakeholders and policy makers. Developing a desired culture should, therefore, be built around the employees. To enable an organization achieves his desired goals requires the following:
1) Identification engagements through organized workshops to help steer the desired culture and build behavioral styles that develop in teams.
2) Feedback to employees on their leadership style.
3) A culture leadership program, focusing on enhancing and fostering constructive behavior styles in their work groups.
4) A leadership development program and strategy for senior leaders and managers.
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