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Student Name: Oisin Larkin
Student Number: G00351531
Programme: Bachelor of business level 8
Module: Organisational Behaviour
Lecturer: Noel Harvey
Assignment Title: Organisational Behaviour project
Due Date: 29/04/2018
Date Submitted: 29/04/2018
I understand that plagiarism is a serious academic offence, and that GMIT deals with it according to the GMIT Policy on Plagiarism.
Table of Contents
The History of Organisational Behaviour3Personality4
This project examined what organisational behaviour is about, the first section of this project examines the history of organisational behaviour learning about the people who brought it to the forefront of business many years ago. This project also set out to understand the definition of organisational behaviour and how it affects the day to day running of small and medium sized enterprises and large multi nationals also.
Initially I wanted to gain a better idea of what organisational behaviour is, to do this I set out to find definitions of organisational behaviour to enhance my knowledge and understanding of what “OB” entails. Some of the definitions I found were, “Organisational behaviour is the study of human behaviour in organisational settings, the interface between human behaviour and the organisation, and the organisation itself” CITATION Ied17 l 6153 (Iedunote, 2017). “Organizational behaviour (OB) is the study of the way people interact within groups. Normally this study is applied in an attempt to create more efficient business organizations” CITATION Inv17 l 6153 (Investopedia, n.d.). “The study of why people behave the way they do in organisations” CITATION Jer84 l 6153 (JerryL. Grey, 1984).
What ob sets out to do
An understanding of the behaviour of people in organisations has become increasingly important with more and more people finding themselves working as part of large organisations or multi-national corporations CITATION Jer84 l 6153 (JerryL. Grey, 1984) It is very important for us to have a greater understanding of how people behave at work if we want to make the workplace more enjoyable and productive and organisational behaviour has a big part to play in improving productivity in the workplace. As well as this organisational behaviour tries to improve innovation in the workplace as well as encouraging leadership in the organisation. The information needed to better understand the behaviour of employees in organisations is gathered in several different ways, for example typical methods of information gathering include case studies, laboratory experiments, field experiments, survey research and simulations CITATION Jer84 l 6153 (JerryL. Grey, 1984)The history of ob
The industrial revolution had a huge impact on how people lived and worked, beginning around the early 1800s the textile industry is a commonly used example to demonstrate how the workplace changed. Before this period the production of cloth was largely produced domestically. But after the revolution this changed, steam powered machines were produced and were capable of producing cloth at a much faster and cheaper rate than humans. This was a sign of things to come in future years. But the main role of the industrial revolution was the introduction or business organisation with it the introduction of management as a role within the business CITATION JAI17 l 6153 (JAIPURIA, 2017).
It is uniformly agreed that the scientific management model was brought to the forefront by Frederik Taylor while he worked in a steel company in the early 20th century CITATION Jer84 l 6153 (JerryL. Grey, 1984). Taylor believed that inefficiencies in manual labour jobs were holding back productivity, so he observed the workers doing their jobs and noted that different workers did the same job in a number of different ways. From this he gathered that each man could not possibly be doing the job in the optimal way, he set out to find the “best way” to perform the job efficiently. He proved to be correct and, in some cases, “Taylorism” resulted in an increase in productivity of 400% and in almost all cases productivity increased beyond their previous levels CITATION Jer84 l 6153 (JerryL. Grey, 1984).
Elton Mayo also had a huge role to play in shaping organisational behaviour for future generations, Mayo carried out his well-known Hawthorne experiments between the late 1920s and the early 1930s CITATION eco08 l 6153 (economist.com, 2008) which observed employee production levels under a number of different conditions CITATION Jea17 l 6153 (Dinnni, 2017) The experiments took place in a factory in Hawthorne. In one test two groups of employee’s productions was measured. The first groups work area was illuminated brighter than previously while the control groups lighting stayed the same. After analysing the output, it was noted that the production of the group with better light had increased CITATION eco08 l 6153 (economist.com, 2008). From his experiments Mayo also noted that employees were motivated by recognition as much or even more than they were motivated by pay CITATION Jea17 l 6153 (Dinnni, 2017).
In modern thinking most of personality researchers agree there is five main aspects to a personality, these are, Extra version, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism and openness. CITATION 12318 l 6153 (123test.com, n.d.). In the modern workplace one of the most important aspects is workforce diversity. It is generally accepted that organisations can use diversity to their advantage and outperform those organisations who do not have such diversity CITATION Aza16 l 6153 (Sharier, 2016). Personality has a huge effect on the diversity of a workforce as well as having a big effect on the behaviour of those working in an organisation. It can affect performance as well as how an individual will react to an obstacle encountered in the organisation CITATION Sha17 l 6153 (Munroe, 2017). There are many different personality types, and not every personality type is a match for every job, putting an employee in a job that does not suit their personality will lead to underperformance for both the employee and the organisation. This is the main reason that it is important to recognise the different personality traits of workers and pair them to jobs that are suited. Which gives way for major benefits such as employee satisfaction, higher employee retention and increased productivity for employees and the organisation. CITATION Sha17 l 6153 (Munroe, 2017)”The Big Five”
The big five refers to the five main personality traits an individual may have, these traits have a huge influence on the overall personality of the person. The big five personality traits are as follows;
People who have a high level of this trait tend to have a broad range of interests as well as tending to be more adventures. A high level of creativity is also closely associated with this trait. Someone with this trait will be naturally inclined to think about abstract concepts CITATION Ken18 l 6153 (Cherry, 2018).
One of the biggest characteristics of this trait is thoughtfulness. People who are high in this trait will tend to be highly organised and will also have a great level of attention to detail. People with this trait in general tend to set out schedules and stick to them, submit work before the deadline arrives and spend a large amount of time preparing before starting an objective or task CITATION Ken18 l 6153 (Cherry, 2018).
Extra version is associated with outgoing personalities such as those who have high levels of talkativeness, excitability and sociability. People with this trait tend to excel in social settings and in large groups. They will also be likely to have a large number of friends and acquaintances as well as having the ability to make new friends easily. They are also most likely to be impulsive such as saying things before thinking about them CITATION Ken18 l 6153 (Cherry, 2018).
This personality attribute will likely have high levels of trust as well as higher levels of affection. People with this trait have been known to be highly cooperative and enjoy helping others. People with this trait will tend to have a high level of empathy also CITATION Ken18 l 6153 (Cherry, 2018).
Neuroticism is mainly characterised by someone who is moody, sad, or someone who is emotionally unstable. People who poses a high amount of this trait tend to experience anxiety irritability and sadness CITATION Ken18 l 6153 (Cherry, 2018).
How Personality is determined
When we think of how personality is determined the most important question that must be asked is what extent of personality is made up or nature or nurture. If nature has a bigger role to play in determining personality this would lead us to believe that our personalities are formed in the early stages of our lives mainly influenced by genetic inheritance from our parents. And because of this personality would be harder to change in later life CITATION 12318 l 6153 (123test.com, n.d.). If nurture has a bigger role to play in determining personality then different experiences we witness in our lives, both good and bad like family, religion and the people we interact with will form our personalities over years, meaning our personalities will be changeable even in later life CITATION 12318 l 6153 (123test.com, n.d.).
How personality is assessed
Personality assessment is the measurement of personal characteristics, in the business world it is commonly used for selecting the most suitable applicant to fill a role in an organisation. Some examples of the different types of personality assessment are,
The calliper profileThe aim of this test is to ensure that the abilities of the candidate applying for a job are in line with the goals that will be needed to be met in the role they are applying for CITATION Bra13 l 6153 (Gaille, 2013). In this personality assessment candidates are asked to read a number of statements, they are then asked which of the statements they agree most strongly with. The results of this test reveal key personality traits of the candidates related to skills within the role CITATION Joa l 6153 (Herbert, n.d.). The main headings this personality test will assess are:
Abstract Reasoning: This aspect of the test will detail how well the candidate will be able to solve tasks without the need of help from peers such as management CITATION Bra13 l 6153 (Gaille, 2013)Accommodation: This trait will be high for those who prefer to work as part of a team rather than individually CITATION Bra13 l 6153 (Gaille, 2013)Aggressiveness: This trait deals with how aggressive a candidate will tend to be naturally, too much of this trait can lead to discipline problems however a person with an ideal amount of this trait could potentially suit a managerial role CITATION Bra13 l 6153 (Gaille, 2013)Assertiveness: a person with this personality type will tend to be confident and will not have a problem expressing new ideas to others CITATION Bra13 l 6153 (Gaille, 2013)Cautiousness: People with this trait will tend to excel in human resource roles. They will have a good ability to measure and analyse things such as performance easily CITATION Bra13 l 6153 (Gaille, 2013)Ego Drive: This personality type will like to receive recognition for their performance and will like to receive thanks for accomplishments CITATION Bra13 l 6153 (Gaille, 2013)Empathy: a person with this trait would be ideal for dealing with customers. As they have a high amount of empathy they will be able to see from other people’s perspectives and come to a mutually beneficial agreement CITATION Bra13 l 6153 (Gaille, 2013)
The Gallup Profile
The Gallup profile is very similar to the Calliper profile in that the candidate is asked to read out a number of statements and are asked which statements they agree most strongly with, however the Gallup profile focuses more on the candidate’s strengths and markers of success of the candidates rather than focusing on the negative points. This means you are more likely to highlight areas where a candidate might excel rather than highlight areas where a candidate might struggle like the Calliper profile does CITATION Joa l 6153 (Herbert, n.d.).
The Myers Briggs type indicator
The Myers Briggs type indicator is one of the most well-known and widely used methods of personality assessment. This test involves asking candidates a total of 88 questions in the European version and 93 in the American version, for every individual question there are two answers for the candidate to choose from. The results of this test will determine personality in four different areas, Extravert or introvert, this is how the candidate acts with others. Sensing or intuition, how the candidate accesses information. Thinking or feeling, this is how they candidate makes decisions. And judging or perceiving, how the candidate deals with the world CITATION Joa l 6153 (Herbert, n.d.)The role personality plays in the workplace
It is important for an organisation to understand how employees are motivated in order to improve employee retention and maximise output. Another important aspect of personality within an organisation is the personality match between employees and employers. This is important as a good working relationship between employers and employees is the difference between poor and good employee retention and higher employee output CITATION Aza16 l 6153 (Sharier, 2016).
Perception is the process of interpreting the messages our senses provide to provide meaning to the current environment. Perception has a big role to play within organisational behaviour, one of the most important perceptions is how members of the organisations perceive each other and how they perceive the workplace. CITATION Tir14 l 6153 (Sutradhar, 2014).
Within an organisation a worker’s social perception of co-workers and management can affect their motivation to reach goals and improve output considerably. Motivation in employees tends to be higher if he or she perceives that there is a chance within the organisation for personal development or professional progression or has an involvement in organisational decisions. On the other hand, motivation within the organisation can be damaged if employees perceive a lack of career progression and a lack of opportunities to express creativity.
The Process of Perception
Perception is where an individual organises their sensory impressions to give meaning to the environment. What one person perceives could possibly be completely different to what another person perceives, and both could be perceived differently to reality CITATION Chr17 l 6153 (Catenacci, 2017). In the workplace there are many ways a person can perceive the organisational environment that can lead to problems. One example of this is “selective perception” this is the tendency of an individual to selectively interpret what is seen based on one’s past experience, interests or personal background CITATION Chr17 l 6153 (Catenacci, 2017). An example of selective perception would be if a smoker saw two advertisements in a health magazine, one for healthy recipes and another for the dangers of smoking and the person in question ignored the smoking advertisement and focused on the healthy recipes.
Previous research in perception has shown that what employees perceive about their workplace will affect performance greatly. As well as this Employee absenteeism, employee retention and job satisfaction are all greatly influenced by employee perception with this in mind we can see it is important for employers and managers to assess how employees perceive both the job and the organisation.
Attribution theory is used to understand the causes of human behaviour. Attribution can be described as the process in which people interpret the perceived causes of behaviour. Firs Heider is commonly said to be the cause of the initiation of attribution theory. He believed that behaviour is largely caused by perceived internal and external forces CITATION www10 l 6153 (www.organizational-behaviour-foryou.blogspot.ie, 2010) internal attribution is described as behaviour being caused by an internal characteristic rather than behaviour being caused by outside forces. When we are explaining the behaviour of others we use internal attributions, for example personality traits or past experiences CITATION Sau12 l 6153 (Mcleod, 2012). External attribution is described as behaviour that is being caused by a situation or event that is not in a person’s control. When we describe our own behaviour, we have a tendency to make external attributions. CITATION Sau12 l 6153 (Mcleod, 2012). Attribution is important to organisational behaviour as perceived causes of behaviour can have an influence on both managers and employees judgments and actions CITATION Mar18 l 6153 (Simmering, n.d.) A big part of a manager’s job is to observe employees and monitor the performance of the employees. If a particular employee is seen to be underperforming and the manager attributes this underperformance to a lack of effort then that employee could face a warning or even have their contract terminated CITATION Mar18 l 6153 (Simmering, n.d.). Alternatively, if the manager in this case attributes the poor productivity of this employee to lack of training the manager may send the employee for further training with the aim of improving productivity, this shows how attributions can have a negative effect on an organisation if not managed correctly CITATION Mar18 l 6153 (Simmering, n.d.).
Attributions can also have a big impact on employee performance, if an employee attributes their success to external factors such as co-workers there is a possibility that the employee in question may be reluctant to taking on new tasks or responsibility and a fall in performance could be possible CITATION Mar18 l 6153 (Simmering, n.d.). Also, employees who attribute success in the workplace to themselves are more likely to be highly motivated for work and will tend to have a greater output CITATION Aza16 l 6153 (Sharier, 2016).
The ability of an organisation to develop new knowledge and incorporate a learning environment has a big impact on the organisations ability to both grow and survive. Having a learning mind set in an organisation is key to having a competitive advantage over other organisations. A learning organisation will have to ability to quickly adapt to current market conditions, know how to bring new products to the market to fill a gap and know how to successfully satisfy customer needs CITATION Dav04 l 6153 (David Buchanan, 2004). There are different ways in which learning can occur within an organisation, two of the main learning concepts are Pavlovian conditioning also known as classical conditioning and Skinnerian conditioning which is also known as instrumental conditioning CITATION Dav04 l 6153 (David Buchanan, 2004).
The Pavlovian conditioning concept were first developed by the Russian psychologist Ivan Petrovich Pavlov. The best-known test carried out by Pavlov involved a dog salivating at the sight of food. Pavlov showed how this reaction could be achieved using a different and completely unrelated stimulus such as the ringing of a bell. Pavlov noted that when meat was shown to a dog it would naturally salivate, he then began to ring a bell every time meat was presented to the dog. When this was done often enough the dog began to associate the sound of the bell with meat. Eventually, the dog would begin to salivate at the sound of the bell even if there was to meat presented. In this case the bell was a conditioned stimulus and the saliva was now a conditioned response CITATION Dav04 l 6153 (David Buchanan, 2004).
The Skinnerian conditioning concept was first developed by American psychologist Burrhus Frederic Skinner. Skinnerian conditioning demonstrates how new behaviours or responses can develop through repeated association with a stimulus CITATION Dav04 l 6153 (David Buchanan, 2004). When the result of an action is desirable or enjoyable to the individual then the occurrence of that behaviour will be likely to increase if that particular behaviour continues to be rewarded. In one of Skinners most well-known tests he put a rat in a box with a button that when pressed released food to the animal. Although the rat did not intentionally push the button, in the process of moving around the rat accidentally hit off the button and released food. When this random behaviour is rewarded with food it is more likely to happen more frequently CITATION Dav04 l 6153 (David Buchanan, 2004).
Employees who have a high rate of motivation tend to have a higher productivity rate than those who are not motivated. Employees who are highly motivated will have a higher commitment to the organisation, will have improved employee satisfaction, will be more likely to achieve continuous self-development and will have a greater level of efficiency than those who are lacking in motivation CITATION Her18 l 6153 (R, n.d.). All of these benefits of motivated employees are why it should be a conscious decision of management to regularly monitor and improve employee motivation. A person’s motives are a major determinant of their behaviour and if what motivates a person is known then their behaviour can be influenced CITATION Dav04 l 6153 (David Buchanan, 2004). Abraham Maslow’s content theory of motivation sets out to show the difference between drives and motives, according to his research we have nine innate needs or motives they are, Biological needs such as the need for food, water, oxygen and rest. If these needs are not met, we die or at least become very sick. Safety needs, such as security, comfort, freedom from fear and freedom from threat. Affiliation needs such as, attachment, belongingness, affection and relationships. If these needs are not satisfied the person will feel inferior or helpless. Esteem needs such as, confidence, achievement, recognition and appreciation. If these needs are not met, again the person will feel inferior or helpless but on the other hand if these needs are met the person will feel fully confidant. The need to know and understand, for example the need for learning, experimenting and exploring. Aesthetic needs such as needs for order and beauty. The need for transcendence, this is a spiritual need. The need for freedom of enquiry and expression, this is an essential need to have in order for the satisfaction of the other needs. And finally, self-actualisation, this is the need for us to acquire our full potential CITATION Dav04 l 6153 (David Buchanan, 2004). Maslow stated that both self-actualisation and transcendence are the ultimate goals. Maslow also stated that finding a person who is self-actualised is rare and that having the conditions to allow for people to develop to the point of self-actualisation is a difficult task to achieve. Maslow also noted that these needs are ranked in a hierarchy in a pyramid formation , being wider at the bottom and narrow at the top with the biological needs such as food water and safety at the bottom and working up to higher ranking needs such as like self-actualisation and transcendence at the top CITATION Dav04 l 6153 (David Buchanan, 2004).
In the modern organisation, communication is now regarded by many as a discipline in its own right. Every significant event within an organisation hinges on communication between its members. Hiring new employees, training existing employees, conducting performance appraisals and dealing with customers all are based around communication between parties in the organisation. For this reason, good communication skills are essential for both high ranking employees such as managers and lower level employees who deals with customers and suppliers daily. Communication is not only how people verbally communicate with one another, in organisations written communication is a big part of the day to day running of the business and should not be overlooked when hiring new employees or training existing employees. In general, in an organisation communication between different parties such as managers and workers is not straight forward and many managers regard communication in the organisation as a major problem CITATION Dav04 l 6153 (David Buchanan, 2004). In the modern workplace, due to globalisation and increased mobility of workers between both countries and continents means that workers are now more likely than ever to find themselves working closely with individuals from other countries with separate languages as well as a different set of ethics and cultures. This means that understanding cultural diversity has become more and more important through the years CITATION Dav04 l 6153 (David Buchanan, 2004). Bad communication within an organisation can however be detrimental to the success of the organisation according to Zeljko Turkalj and Ivana Fosic “greater attention should be paid to the communication as the element of organisational behaviour because of the growing changes within organisations”. They also state “By identifying the level of
communication satisfaction within the organisation we get an insight into
organisational forces, but simultaneously also get an insight into weak points in
the area of communication within the organisation” CITATION Žel18 l 6153 (Željko Turkalj, n.d.)Leadership
“Leadership is the process of influencing the activities of an organised group in its efforts towards goal setting and goal achievement” CITATION Dav04 l 6153 (David Buchanan, 2004). Leaders are essential in any organisation. Football clubs, non-for-profit organisations and large corporations all need effective leaders regardless of their size or stature. There are many different theories on what traits or behaviour make a good leader, for example;
The trait theory: This theory states that good leadership abilities come from a person’s individual characteristics and personality traits. Research around the trait theory indicates there are six personalities that strongly influence an individual’s ability to be a good leader these are, intelligence, adjustment, extraversion, conscientiousness, openness to new experiences and self-efficacy. According to this theory a person with these traits will naturally gravitate to the role of leader regardless of the situation CITATION Osc18 l 6153 (Guzman, n.d.).
Style Theory: According to this theory a person’s ability to be a leader does not depend on personal traits but instead depends on the person’s behaviour and styles. According to this theory there are three main leadership styles. Authoritarian, where the leader gives out order that the followers must do. Democratic, where there is a collective decision made in the company of the leader. Laissez faire, in this case the leader takes no part in the decision-making process. The most supported method is the three is the democratic approach where all participants had an input into the decision CITATION Osc18 l 6153 (Guzman, n.d.)Functional theory: according to this theory a leader’s primary responsibility is to assess their follower’s needs and to ensure that these needs are met. Studies around this leadership theory state that a leader must perform five primary functions, monitor the environment, organise subordinate activities, train and coach subordinates, motivate followers and participate in the groups work CITATION Osc18 l 6153 (Guzman, n.d.).
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