Meaning and Concept, Scope of Organizational Behaviour

20/10/2022 8 By indiafreenotes

The study of Organizational Behavior (OB) is very interesting and challenging too. It is related to individuals, group of people working together in teams. The study becomes more challenging when situational factors interact. The study of organizational behavior relates to the expected behavior of an individual in the organization.

No two individuals are likely to behave in the same manner in a particular work situation. It is the predictability of a manager about the expected behavior of an individual. There are no absolutes in human behavior. It is the human factor that is contributory to the productivity hence the study of human behavior is important. Great importance therefore must be attached to the study.

Researchers, management practitioners, psychologists, and social scientists must understand the very credentials of an individual, his background, social framework, educational update, impact of social groups and other situational factors on behavior.

In words of K Aswathappa, “Organizational Behavior (OB) is the study of human behaviour in organizational setting, of the interface between human behaviour and organisation and of the organization itself.”

In words of Stephen P. Robbins, “Organizational Behavior (OB) is a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups and structures have on behaviour within organizations for the purpose of applying such knowledge towards improving an organization’s effectiveness.”

According to L. M. Prasad, “Organizational Behavior (OB) can be defined as the study and application of knowledge about human behaviour related to other elements of an organization such as structure, technology and social systems.”

According to Davis and Newstram, “Organizational Behavior (OB) is the study and application of knowledge about how people act within organizations.”

According to Fred Luthans, “Behaviour is directly concerned with the understanding, prediction and control of human behaviour in organizations.”

In words of John Newstram and Keith Devis, “Organizational behaviour is the study and application of knowledge about how people as individuals and as groups act within organizations. It strives to identify ways in which people can act more effectively.”

OB is the study of individual behaviour in isolation, when in group and as a part of an organization. The study of individual behaviour only, would be incomplete because behaviour is affected by the people surrounding us as well as by the organization, in which we work. Studying only individuals or only organizations would be of no use. It is essential to study both simultaneously.

Nature of Organizational Behavior (OB)

The nature it has acquired is identified as follows:

  1. A Separate Field of Study and Not a Discipline Only

By definition, a discipline is an accepted science that is based on a theoretical foundation. But, O.B. has a multi- interdisciplinary orientation and is, thus, not based on a specific theoretical background. Therefore, it is better reasonable to call O.B. a separate field of study rather than a discipline only.

  1. An Interdisciplinary Approach

Organizational behaviour is essentially an interdisci­plinary approach to study human behaviour at work. It tries to integrate the relevant knowledge drawn from re­lated disciplines like psychology, sociology and anthro­pology to make them applicable for studying and analyzing organizational behaviour.

  1. An Applied Science

The very nature of O.B. is applied. What O.B. basically does is the application of various researches to solve the organizational problems related to human behaviour. The basic line of difference between pure science and O.B. is that while the former concentrates of fundamental researches, the latter concentrates on applied researches. O.B. involves both applied research and its application in organizational analysis. Hence, O.B. can be called both science as well as art.

  1. A Normative Science

Organizational Behaviour is a normative science also. While the positive science discusses only cause effect relationship, O.B. prescribes how the findings of applied researches can be applied to socially accepted organizational goals. Thus, O.B. deals with what is accepted by individuals and society engaged in an organization. Yes, it is not that O.B. is not normative at all. In fact, O.B. is normative as well that is well underscored by the proliferation of management theories.

  1. A Humanistic and Optimistic Approach

Organizational Behaviour applies humanistic approach towards people working in the organization. It, deals with the thinking and feeling of human beings. O.B. is based on the belief that people have an innate desire to be independent, creative and productive. It also realizes that people working in the organization can and will actualise these potentials if they are given proper conditions and environment. Environment affects performance or workers working in an organization.

  1. A Total System Approach

The system approach is one that integrates all the variables, affecting organizational functioning. The systems approach has been developed by the behavioural scientists to analyze human behaviour in view of his/her socio-psychological framework. Man’s socio- psychological framework makes man a complex one and the systems approach tries to study his/her complexity and find solution to it.

Characteristics of Organizational Behaviour 

  1. Organizational behaviour is a rational thinking, not an emotional feeling about people. The major goals of organizational behaviour are to explain and predict human behavioural in organizations. It is action-oriented and goal-directed.
  2. Organizational behavioural seeks to balanced human and technical values at work. It seeks to achieve productivity by building and maintaining employee’s dignity, growth and satisfaction, rather than at the expense of these values.
  3. Organizational behaviour integrates behavioural sciences. Many of its core concepts are borrowed from others fields and discipline like social psychology, sociology, and anthropology, etc.
  4. Organizational behaviour is both a science and an art, the knowledge about human behaviour in organizations leans towards being science. Modern organizational behaviour is, at once, empirical, interpretative, and critical. It is an interpretative science in the pursuit of knowledge and meaning.

The basic purpose is to make meaningful the facts of organizational life. Modern OB is an optic perspective; a process for looking at events, a way of life. It has empirical facts, and interesting interpretations and powerful paradigms.

However it is an inaccurate science to provide specific answers to specific organizational problems. As such very little can be prescribed to consistently predict relationships between a variable on broad scale. The skills in applying the knowledge clearly lean towards being art.

  1. Organizational behaviour exists at multiple like levels. Behaviour occurs at the individual, the group, and the organizational systems levels. Behaviour that is attributable to each of these levels can be both identified and isolated but at the same time these three levels interact with each other and OB-being affected by the behaviour of individuals, group level behaviour is affected by the organizational level phenomena and so on.
  2. Organizational behaviour does not exist in vacuum. Organizations are made up of both social and technical components and therefore characterized as social-technical systems. The operational implication of this is that any approach of looking at behaviour must also take into account the technical component of organization especially such issues as the nature of work and the technology. Organizations at the same time, must take into account the constructs of the working environment, for example, the extent to which the market and the product is changing.

Scope of Organizational Behaviour

  • Impact of personality on performance
  • Employee motivation
  • Leadership
  • How to create effective teams and groups
  • Study of different organizational structures
  • Individual behavior, attitude and learning
  • Perception
  • Design and development of effective organization
  • Job design
  • Impact of culture on organizational behavior
  • Management of change
  • Management of conflict and stress
  • Organizational development
  • Organizational culture
  • Transactional analysis
  • Group behavior, power and politics
  • Job design
  • Study of emotions

The field of the organizational behavior does not depend upon deductions based on gut feelings but attempts to gather information regarding an issue in a scientific manner under controlled conditions. It uses information and interprets the findings so that the behavior of an individual and group can be canalized as desired.

Large number of psychologists, social scientists and academicians has carried out research on various issues related to organization behavior. Employee performance and job satisfaction are determinants of accomplishment of individual and organizational goals.

Organizations have been set up to fulfill needs of the people. In today’s competitive world, the organizations have to be growth-oriented. This is possible when productivity is ensured with respect to quantity of product to be produced with zero error quality. Employee absenteeism and turnover has a negative impact on productivity.

Employee who absents frequently cannot contribute towards productivity and growth of the organization. In the same manner, employee turnover causes increased cost of production. Job satisfaction is a major factor to analyze performance of an individual towards his work. Satisfied workers are productive workers who contribute towards building an appropriate work culture in an organization.

Organizations are composed of number of individuals working independently or collectively in teams, and number of such teams makes a department and number of such departments makes an organization. It is a formal structure and all departments have to function in a coordinated manner to achieve the organizational objective.

It is therefore important for all employees to possess a positive attitude towards work. They need to function in congenial atmosphere and accomplish assigned goals. It is also important for managers to develop an appropriate work culture. Use of authority, delegation of certain powers to subordinates, division of labor, efficient communication.

Benchmarking, re-engineering, job re-design and empowerment are some of the important factors so that an organization can function as well-oiled machine. This is not only applicable to manufacturing organizations but also to service and social organizations.