MODULE ONE ASSIGNMENT ONE
Question1Briefly state your understanding of the term organisational behaviour.
I believe that the term organisational behaviour is encased in the effect of the relationship, actions and behaviour of all stakeholders within an organisation. In other words, when we look at the impacted action(s) that emanates from the activities and/or behaviour of individual(s) and group(s) in relations to the structural design of an organisation and their impact on the organisation’s effectiveness/ productivity or the attainment of the organisation’s goals, then we are examining organisational behaviour.
Question2Identify and describe three distinct developments in the history of management thought that have contributed, in an important way, to our current understanding of organisational behaviour.
THE CLASSICAL SCHOOL
The classical school of management thought which began before the 20th century is known for its method of managing work and organisations in a perceived way which was believed to be more efficient. These postulated managerial methods are scientific management, administrative management, and bureaucratic management.
The Scientific Management: came to be in the late 19th century when management decisions were often illogical, and workers often worked at deliberately slow pace. This often led to conflict. To stop this conflict, Frederick Taylor introduced a logical method where work is studied to improve efficiency. This method which peruse the best way for accomplishing work tasks, encouraged that workers be rationally selected in relationship with the skill set and qualification need for the job while training them on how to perform optimally. This method also promoted mutual self-interest genuineness between workers and employers. It also suggested that the responsibility for planning work and ensuring worker are accountable to their task is shouldered by the employers.
Administrative Management: this stress managerial process along with principles of management and was postulated by Henri Fayol who argued that management is all about planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling. He presented some managerial principles which included the division of authority, responsibility and work, centralization, unity of direction and command, subordinate initiative, and team spirit.
Bureaucratic Management: this classical school of thought have Max Weber as its major contributor who argued the ideal form of organisation should be characterized by division of labour, hierarchy, formalized rules, impersonality, and the selection and promotion of workers based on their ability. He explained that managers’ authority in an organisation should not be based on tradition or charisma but should be founded on the position held by managers in the organisational hierarchy. This he argued would lead to more efficient management.
THE BEHAVIORAL SCHOOL
This school of thought was developed because of the apparent weaknesses in the conventions of the classical school. The thought said that emphasizes where laid on productivity, process, and principles while ignoring human behaviour which is the most vital part of organisational life. To understand the effect human behaviour at work, the following were postulated.
Human Relations: In attempt to understand the effect of human behaviour on work, the Hawthorne Experiments of 1924 was conducted. This experiment resolved that workers’ attitudes are connected with output, that the workplace is a social system and informal group impact could wield a powerful effect on individual behaviour, that the supervision style is an important factor in increasing workers’ job satisfaction, that organisations should assist employees to adjusting to organisational life by promotion a collaborative systems between labour and management all of which has promoted the increasing interest in the human element at todays’ workplace. The major contributors to this study were Clair Turner, Fritz J. Roethlisberger and Elton Mayo.
Behavioural Science: emerged in the 1950s and 1960s was a natural evolution of the human relations movement which emphases applying conceptual and analytical tools to the issues of understanding and forecasting behaviour in the workplace by perusing individuals’ personality, attitudes, values, motivation, group behaviour, leadership, communication and conflict within the workplace. The major contributors to this school where include Frederick Herzberg, Renais Likert, Douglas McGregor, Chris Argyris, and Ralph Stogdill.
THE QUANTITATIVE SCHOOL
The quantitative school of management thought looked at improving decision making via the application of quantitative techniques. This school of thought is basically viewed as
Operations Research: developed during World War II when strategists tried to apply scientific knowledge and methods to the complex problems of war. A major contributor was George Dantzig who developed a linear programming, an algebraic method to control the optimal allocation of scarce resource. This ideology laid the foundation to the use of mathematical and statistical approaches to solve management problems.
Production and Operations Management: which focused on the operation and control of the production process that converts resources into finished goods and services. Edwards Deming W. being the major contributor of this management thought which exerted tremendous influence in shaping modern ideas about improving productivity and quality that emphasizes the productivity and quality of both manufacturing and service organisations while looking at capacity planning, facilities location, facilities layout, materials requirement planning, scheduling, purchasing and inventory control, quality control, computer integrated manufacturing, just-in-time inventory systems, and flexible manufacturing systems.
Question3Distinguish between the terms personality and perception
Personality speaks about distinctive characteristics of individuals which evolves around their emotions, attitudes, interests, motives, belief system, values and competencies. This basically explains the result of personal traits of individuals while interacting with the environment. This can be measured using self-report personality inventories, projective tests, and observation from simulations, role plays or interviews. Perception on the other hand is a relatively meaningful experience/understanding provided to the perceiver, selected and organized from a host of environmental information available to the perceiver. We can likewise call it the process of making logical sense from sensory data available to without being overwhelmed by all the stimuli that bombard the host. This is achieved the host’s data organizing, selective attention and perceptual bias ability.
Question4Contrast two approaches to the study of personality
There are two basic approach to the study of personality
Nomothetic: This approach believes that characteristics of personality can be identified and measured
Idiographic: This approach believes in the uniqueness of individuals and treats them as whole
The table below is used to further contrast the two approaches to the study of personality
Attempts to generalize Focuses on recognizing uniqueness
Uses objective knowledge Uses subjective experience
It is based on numerical data or data that can be categorized It is based on study of uniqueness of individuals
Question5Compare two distortions to the process of perception
Although there are several distortions to the process of perception, for this question, I have chosen to compare Stereotyping and Halo effect.
STEREOTYPING HALO EFFECT
This is the overgeneralization of perception which is usually pejorative and is based on a perception experience gotten form a sampled experience from the past. Which usually leads to incomplete or distorted information that are accepted as a fact without question. i.e. An experience with an African that robed you which gives you a perception that all Africans are thieves. The halo effect like stereotyping causes people to be biased in their judgments. This distortion to perception makes the perceiver transfer feelings about one attribute of something to other noting that the attributes may not be related to each other. i.e. A person that wears glasses will be perceived as being intelligent and reliable, even though there is no logical reason to believe that height or looks correlate with smarts and honesty.