1 ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR in CHANGING tIMES
THIS INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER PROVIDES AN OVERVIEW OF THE ENVIRONMENT OF ORGANIZATIONS FOR THESE CHANGING TIMES. IT BEGINS BY PROVIDING AN OVERVIEW OF BEHAVIOR IN ORGANIZATIONS AND THE INTERDISCIPLINARY ORIGINS OF THAT BEHAVIOR. NEXT, IT DESCRIBES THE ORGANIZATIONAL CONTEXT AND PRESENTS THE SIX FOCUS ORGANIZATIONS (BRINKER INTERNATIONAL, ENRON, HARLEY-DAVIDSON, HEWLETT-PACKARD, PATAGONIA, AND THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION). THIRD, IT POINTS OUT THE CRITICAL ROLE OF CHANGE AND CHALLENGE, FOLLOWED BY A DISCUSSION OF HOW PEOPLE LEARN ABOUT ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR. THE CHAPTER ...view middle of the document...
HUMAN BEHAVIOR IN ORGANIZATIONS
Chapter one emphasizes the complexity of human behavior and group dynamics in organizations, and notes the impact of organizational variables. It describes human behavior as orderly and logical from the perspective of the organization, but stressful and confusing from the individual’s perspective. A special orientation of this text deals with approaches to learning and application of the skills necessary to become successful organizational members.
A. Understanding Human Behavior
Most of the theories and models of human behavior are categorized as either internal perspectives or external perspectives. Internal perspectives view behavior in terms of thoughts, feelings, past experiences, and needs of the individual. External perspectives explain behavior in terms of external events, consequences of behavior, and environmental forces. Example: "Mary is an excellent employee because she has a high need for achievement." (internal perspective), or in contrast, "Mary is an excellent employee because she is paid extremely well for her work." (external perspective).
B. Interdisciplinary Influences
Because of the complexity of organizations, several fields and disciplines of study have influenced the field of organizational behavior. Significant influences come from psychology, sociology, engineering, anthropology, management, and medicine. Definitions of the disciplines and contributions to organizational behavior are:
Psychology - the science of human behavior - Contributions in motivation, teamwork, power, leadership, training and development, and human resource planning.
Sociology- the science of society - Contributions in group dynamics, roles, norms, and standards of behavior.
Engineering - applied science of energy and matter - Contributions in understanding work design, human productivity and efficiency.
Anthropology - science of human learned behavior – Contributions in understanding patterns of behavior, organizational culture and organization performance.
Management – originally administrative science – Emphasizes design, implementation and management of administrative and organizational systems. First discipline to use organization as unit of analysis.
Medicine - applied science of healing or treatment of diseases - Embraces concerns for the physical and psychological health of individuals in organizations.
III. THE ORGANIZATIONAL CONTEXT
To accurately understand organizational behavior, one must first understand of human behavior and the organizational context – the specific setting in which that behavior occurs.
A. Organizations as Open Systems
Organizations are systems of interacting components that are not limited to business structures, but include religious organizations, military organizations, and even family structures. Leavitt sets forth a basic framework for understanding organizations that...