Evolution of Organization Behavior

06/06/2020 0 By indiafreenotes


Organization as two or more individuals who are interacting with each other within a deliberately structured set up and working in an interdependent way to achieve some common objective/s. Organizations play a major role in pur lives. We possibly cannot think of a single moment in our lives when we are not depending on organizations in some form or the other. Right from the public transport that you use to come to your institute, the institutes   itself,   the   class   you   are   attending   at   this   moment,   are   all examples   of organizations.

What is Behavior?

It is the behavior of the people working in an organization to achieve common goals or objectives. Organization comprises of people with different attitudes, cultures, beliefs, norms and values.

So let us understand organizational behavior and what it exactly it means. “Organizational Behavior” can be defined as the study of what people think, feel, and do in and around organizations. The study of Organizational Behavior facilitates the process of explaining, understanding)   predicting,   maintaining,   and   changing   employee   behavior   in   an organizational setting. The value of organizational behavior is that: it isolates important aspects of the

manager’s job and offers specific perspective on the human side of management:

  • People as organizations
  • People as resources
  • People as people

In other words, it involves the understanding, prediction and control of human behavior and factors affecting their performance and interaction among the organizational members. And because organizational behavior is concerned specifically with employment – related situations, you should not be surprised to find that it emphasizes behavior as related- to concerns such as jobs, work, absenteeism, employment turnover, productivity, human performance and management.

Historical Development of Organization Behavior

Management Thought and Classical Administration Theory

Though the practice of management can definitely be traced back to ancient time say, during the era of building huge structures like pyramids in Egypt or temples in India or the churches, but the formal discipline of management as we find it today evolved only during the later part of nineteenth century.

  • Scientific management
  • Classical administration
  • The human relations approach
  • The systems approach
  • The contingency approach
  1. Scientific Management Frederick Taylor (1865-1915)

Frederick Taylor (1865-1915) was among the first to argue that management should be based on the following principle instead of depending on more or less hazy ideas: Well-matched

  • Clearly defined
  • Fixed principles

He pioneered the “scientific management’7 movement which suggested that systematic analysis could indicate “accurate” methods, standards and timings for each operation in an organization’s activities. The duty of management was to select, train and help workers to perform their jobs properly. The responsibility, of workers was simply to accept the new methods and perform accordingly. The practical application of this approach was to break each job down into its smallest and simplest component pans or “motions”. Each single motion in effect became a separate, specialized-job to be allocated -to a separate worker. Workers were selected and trained to perform such Jobs in the most efficient way possible, eliminating all wasted motions or unnecessary physical movement. A summary of scientific management, in Taylor’s own words, might be as follows.

(a) The man who is fit to work at any particular’ trade is unable to understand the science of that trade without the kind help and co-operation of men of a totally different type of education.

(b) It is one of the principles of scientific management to ask men to do things in the right way, to learn something new, to change their ways in accordance with the science and in return to receive an increase of from 30% to 100% in pay.

An Appraisal of Scientific Management Today

Alterations to pnor wnrV  mpthndn  nnd   inpffirinnl   mimPnts are  used today,   both to increase productivity and to reduce physical strain on workers. However, it has now been recognized that performing only one ‘motion’ within a job is profoundly unsatisfying to workers: operations need to be re-integrated into whole Jobs. It has also been recognized that workers can and should take more responsibility for planning and decision-making in connection with their work.

Looking back on scientific management as an approach, Hicks writes: “by the end of the scientific management period, the worker had been reduced to the role of an impersonal cog in the machine of production. His work became more and more narrowly specialized until he had little appreciation for his contribution to the total product… Although very significant technological advances were made… the serious weakness of the scientific approach of management was that it de-humanized the organizational member who became a person without emotion and capable of being scientifically manipulated, just like machines.

Frederic Taylor’s Five Principles of Management

  • Develop a science for each element of an individual’s work
  • Scientifically select, train and develop the worker
  • Heartily cooperate with the workers
  • Divide work & responsibility equally between managers & workers
  • Improve production efficiency through work studies, tools, economic incentives
  1. Classical Administration Theory of Management

Henri Fayol (1941-1925) was a French industrialist who put forward and popularized the concept of the “universality of management principles.” In other words, he advocated that all organizations could be structured and managed according to certain rational principles. Fayol himself recognized that applying such principles in practice was not simple: “Seldom do we have to apply the same principles twice in identical conditions; Contribution must be made for different changing circumstances.” Among his principles of rational organization, however, were the following influential ideas.    *.

Division of work Dividing the work into small convenient components and giving each component to one employee. It encourages employees for continuous improvement in skills

The development of improvements  in methods.     

  • Authority: The right to give orders and the power to exact obedience.
  • Discipline: No slacking, bending of rules.
  • Unity of command: Each employee has one and only one boss.
  • Unity of direction: A single mind generates a single plan and all play their part in that plan.
  • Subordination of individual interests: When at work, only work things should be pursued or thought about.
  • Remuneration: Employees receive fair payment for services, not what the company can getaway with.
  • Centralization: Consolidation of management functions. Decisions are made from the lop.
  • Scalar chain (line of authority): Formal chain of command running from top to bottom of the organization, like military
  • Order: All materials and personnel have a prescribed place, and they must remain there.
  • Equity: Equality of treatment (but not necessarily identical treatment)
  • Personnel tenure: Limited turnover of personnel. Lifetime employment for good workers’
  • Initiative: Thinking out a plan and do what it takes to make it happen.
  • Esprit de corps: Harmony, cohesion among personnel.

Out of the these, the most important elements are specialization, unity of command, scalar chain, and, coordination by managers (an amalgamation of authority and unity of direction).

Art appraisal of classical administration

Many organizations continued to be managed on the rational lines of classical theory. But such organizations have certain drawbacks. An organization structured on classical lines   is   often  identified   as   a   “bureaucracy.”   While   its   formality,   rationality   and  impersonality make it very stable and efficient in some respects, it has proved dysfunctional in other areas. A bureaucracy is stable partly because of its rigid adherence to its rules and procedures and the chain of command, but this rigidity also makes it:

  • Very slow to respond to customer/consumer demands
  • Very slow to respond to change in its business environment in terms of technology, competitors, new market trends.
  • Very slow to learn from its mistakes Human Relations Movement

Human Relations Movement is a place where we will study the human relations school of management which was established after scientific management school. The fast-changing business environment of the late 20th century made it very difficult for classical organizations to compete. Flexibility and innovation began to challenge stability; diversity began to challenge “universal”, “one-size-fits-all” principles of Management, multi-skilled project teams were seen to be more responsive to consumer demands than specialized, one-man-one-boss structures; the scalar chain of command was decimated by ‘delayering’ in response to economic recession and other forces.

Nevertheless, classical thinking allowed practicing managers to step back and analyze their experience in order to produce principles and techniques for greater efficiency and effectiveness. This emphasis resulted from a famous set of experiments (the Hawthorne Studies) carried out by Mayo and his colleagues for the Western Electric Company in the USA.

The company was using a group of girls as “guinea pigs” to assess the affect of lighting on productivity. They were amazed to find that productivity shot up, whatever they did with the lighting. Their conclusion was that /’Management,- by consultation with the girl workers, by clear explanation of the proposed experiments and the reasons for them, by accepting the workers verdict in several instances, unwittingly scored a success in two most important human matters – the girls became a self-governing team, and a learn that cooperated whole heartedly with management.”

  1. Human Relations Movement and Behaviorist Schools of Management

The human relations movements actually started with the series of experiments conducted )Y George Elton Mayo, professor of Industrial Research at the Harvard Graduate School of Business and his colleagues at the Hawthorne plant of Western Electric Company. This company was a manufacturer of equipment for the Bell telephone system and at the time of the experiments, there was an acute problem of employee dissatisfaction at the plant. It was also quite evident that the employees were not producing up to their fullest capability. This happened in spite of the fact that it was one of the most progressive companies with pension schemes, sickness benefit schemes, and numerous other facilities offered   to   its   employees.   The   earlier   attempts   of   the   efficiency   experts   produced inconclusive findings. So the company sought help from the group of university professors to find a solution to the problem. The study continued for an extended period of time and had gone’ through various phases, which is briefly described here.

  • Phase I: Illumination Experiments
  • Phase II: Relay Assembly Test Room
  • Phase III: Interviewing Program
  • Phase IV: Bank Wiring Test Room °

Phase I: illumination Experiments

In order to test the traditional belief that better illumination will lead to higher level of productivity, two groups of employees were selected. In one, the control group, the illumination remained unchanged throughout • the  experiment whilein the other the illumination was increased. As had been expected, the productivity went up in the latter or what was known as the experimental group, but what baffled the experimenters was the fact that the output of the control group also went up. As the lighting in the formal group was not altered, the result was naturally puzzling and difficult to explain. The investigators then started to reduce the illumination for the test group. But in this case as well the output shoot up again. Thus the researchers had to conclude that illumination affected production only marginally and there must be some factor which produced this result.

Phase II: Relay Assembly Test Room

In this phase, apart from illumination, possible effects of other factors such as length of the working day, rest pauses and their duration and. frequency and other physical conditions; were probed. The researcher who was continuously present with the group to observe the functioning of the group acted as their friend and guide. Surprisingly, here also the researchers found that the production of’ the group had no relation with the working conditions. The outcome of the group went increasing at an all-time high even when all the improvements in the working conditions were withdrawn. Nobody in the group could suggest why this was so. Researchers then attributed this phenomenon to the following:

  • Feeling of perceived importance among the group members as they were chosen to participate in the experiment.
  • Good relationship among the group
  • High group cohesion.

Phase III: Interviewing Program

From the Relay Assembly Test Room, the researchers for the first time became aware about the existence of informal groups and the importance of social context of the organizational life. To probe deeper into this area in order to identify the factors responsible for human behavior, they interviewed more than 20,000 employees. The direct questioning was later replaced by non-directive type of interviewing. The study revealed that the workers’ social relationship inside the organizations has a significant influence on their attitude and behavior. It was also found that merely giving a person an opportunity to talk and air his grievances has a beneficial effect on his morale.

Phase IV: Bank Wiring Test Room

It had been discovered that social groups in an organization have considerable influence on the functioning of the individual members. Observers noted that in certain departments, output had been restricted by the workers in complete disregard to the financial incentives offered by the organization. Mayo decided to investigate one such department which was known as the bank wiring room where there were fourteen men working on an assembly line.

 Thus the Hawthorne study pointed out the following:

  • The business organization is essentially a socio-technical entity where the process of social interactions among its members is also extremely important.
  • There is not necessarily a direct correspondence between working conditions and high production.
  • Economic motives are not the only motive for an employee. One’s social needs can also significantly affect their behavior. Employee-centered leaders always tend to be more effective than the task-oriented leaders.
  1. Systems Approach

The Systems Approach to OB views the organization as a united, purposeful system composed of interrelated parts.

This approach gives managers a way of looking at the organization as a whole, whole, person, whole group, and the whole social system.

In so doing, the systems approach tells us that the activity of any segment of an organization affects, in varying degrees the activity of every other segment. A systems view should be the concern of every person in an organization.

The clerk at a service counter, the machinist, and the manager all work with the people and thereby influence the behavioral quality of life in an organization and its inputs.

Managers, however, tend to have a larger responsibility, because they are the ones who make the majority are people oriented.

The role of managers, then, is to use organizational behavior to help build an organizational culture in which talents are utilized and further developed, people are motivated, teams become productive, organizations achieve their goals and society reaps the reward.

  1. Contingency theory

The contingency approach to organization developed as a reaction to the idea that there nothing like “One best way” for designing organizations, motivating staff and so on. The basic tenet of contingency theory can be put essentially as follows?

Appropriate management approach   depends ‘ on   situational   factors   faced   by   an organization.

Newer research indicated that different forms of organizational structure could be equally successful that there was no inevitable-link between classical organization structures and effectiveness, and that there were a number of variables to be considered in the design of organizations and their style of management.

Essentially, “it all depends’ on the total strength and weakness of organization and opportunities and threats which lies out in the environment of each organization.” Managers have to find a “best fit’ between the demands of:

(a) The tasks

(b) The people

(c) The environment

In other word Manager should consider situation .We would note contingency approaches to various aspects of management as we proceed through this module.

An appraisal of the contingency approach