What Is Organizational Behavior?Organizational Behavior is a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals,groups and structure have on behavior within organizations, for the purpose of applyingsuch knowledge toward improving an organization’s effectiveness.An organization is a collection of people who work together to achieve a wide variety of goals, both goals ofthe various individuals in the organization and goals of the organization as a whole. Organizations exist toprovide goods and services that people want.
These goods and services are the products of the behaviors ofworkers.Organizational behavior is the study of the many factors that have an impact on how individuals and groupsrespond to and act in organizations and how organizations manage their environments.Although many people assume that understanding human behavior in organizations is intuitive, manycommonly held beliefs about behavior in organizations, such as the idea that a “happy worker is a productiveworker,” are either entirely false or true only in specific situations. The study of organizational behaviorprovides a set of tools—concepts and theories—that help people understand, analyze, and describe what goeson in organizations and why. How do the characteristics of individuals, groups, work situations, and theorganization itself affect how members feel about their organization?The ability to use the tools of organizational behavior to understand behavior in organizations is one reason forstudying this subject.
A second reason is to learn how to apply these concepts, theories, and techniques toimprove behavior in organizations so that individuals, groups, and organizations can achieve their goals.Managers are challenged to find new ways to motivate and coordinate employees to ensure that their goals arealigned with organizational goals.Forces Reshaping the Process of ManagementAn understanding of organizational behavior is important to managers, who have the responsibility ofimproving organizational effectiveness, the ability of an organization to achieve goals. A goal is a desiredfuture outcome that an organization seeks to achieve.In the last 10 years, the challenges facing managers in effectively utilizing human resources and managingorganizational behavior have increased. These challenges stem from changing forces in the technological,global, and social or cultural environments.
Organizations can obtain a competitive advantage, a way of outperforming other organizations providingsimilar goods and services. They can pursue any or all of the following goals: increase efficiency, increasequality; increase innovation and creativity; and increase responsiveness to customers.Organizational efficiency is increased by reducing the amount of resources, such as people or raw materials,needed to produce a quantity of goods or services. Organizations try to find better ways to utilize and increasethe skills and abilities of their workforce.
Cross training workers to perform different tasks and finding newways of organizing workers to use their skills more efficiently improve efficiency. The global competitivechallenge facing organizations is to invest in the skills of the workers because better-trained workers makebetter use of technology. Increased competition has also put pressure on companies to increase the quality ofthe goods and services they provide. One approach to increasing quality is called Total Quality Management(TQM), a technique borrowed from the Japanese. TQM involves a whole new philosophy of managing behaviorin organizations and includes elements like giving workers the responsibility for finding ways to do theirjobs more efficiently and ways to improve quality.