Organizational Behavior (Robbins and Judge) - 15th edition
Being a good manager requires strong interpersonal skills, as communication is crucial, as one must manage different types of resources: people, money, and time in order to achieve specific goals.
A Manager’s Four Main Functions
Planning function refers to setting goals, creating strategies, and preparation of plans that make different activities work coherently and effectively.
Organising function concerns tasks identification and division, assignment of tasks to individuals, setting reporting and decision- making systems.
Leading function relates to motivating workers and directing others’ actions, choosing communication canals and solving conflicts.
Controlling function refers to controlling others’ work outcomes and checking whether everything is being done as planned; and when necessary undertaking corrective actions.
They can be divided into 3 main categories: interpersonal roles, informational roles and decisional roles. The concept was developed by Henry Mintzberg and is called Mintzberg’s Managerial Roles (below).
Roles which involve ceremonial/symbolic duties
Symbolic head, needs to perform duties of social/legal nature
Motivates and directs employees
Maintains a network of outside contacts
Collection and dissemination of information
Receives information, serves as nerve centre of internal and external information
Transmits information from outsiders to the organisation’s members
Transmits information about the organisation to outside parties
Refers to making choices
Analyses the organisation and its environment for opportunities and initiates projects to bring about change
Undertakes corrective actions in case of problems
Makes or approves important organizational decisions
Represents the organization in negotiations
There are 3 types of management skills developed by Robert Katz: Technical skills (application of specialised knowledge, know-how, e.g. think of mechanical engineer, vet, pharmacist), human skills (easiness to work in a team, understand others’ behaviors and motives, stimulate others’ actions, ability to communicate and get along with people), conceptual skills (mental capability to analyse problems, manage complexity of an issue, decide on solutions and evaluation of possibilities).
Effective or successful managers?
It was investigated in Luthans’ Study of Managerial Activities that effective managers spend most of their time on communication activities (44%) and on human resource management activities (26%). In contrast, successful managers spend almost half of their working time on networking activities (48%) and communication activities (28%). It is understandable that average managers work most of the time on traditional management (32%) and on communication activities (29%).
Defining Organisation Behavior (OB)
“A field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups, and structures have on behavior within organisations, for the purpose of applying such knowledge toward improving an organization’s effectiveness” (Robbins, Judge “Organisational Behavior”).
It is important to remember that OB deals with 3 levels of behaviors: individuals, groups and structures. Knowledge about those 3 types of behaviors is necessary to apply actions which make the whole organization function successfully.
How to study OB? EBM
In OB systematic study and evidence-based management is combined with intuition. Behavior can be predicted. If it is examined on the continuous basis one is able to forecast how people can act in particular circumstances (that is why systematic study of people’s actions are necessary). Systematic study involves examining causes and effects, just like in science – this is done to make general law-like conclusions based on gathered data. What is closely related to systematic study is evidence-based management (EBM). EBM implies making managerial decision after consideration of scientific facts, data, conclusions, laws. Managers who apply EBM act like scientists – when they face a problem, they search for scientific information which can give them possible problem solutions, then they apply the most relevant knowledge in order to solve an issue. Of course, intuition is inseparable from decision-making process. Nevertheless, importance of systematic study and thus EBM cannot be questioned.
What major behavioral disciplines contribute to OB?
- Psychology (studies behavior of individual)
- Social psychology (studies behavior of individual within a group)
- Sociology (studies groups, societies, organisational systems, how individual acts in relation to a society)
- Anthropology (studies societies, groups, cultures, organisational systems)
Absolutes in OB
OB concepts, however law-like they can be, must take into account situational factors. Under different conditions different individuals act differently. That is why there only a few absolutes in OB. Because people are different and complex, one needs to consider OB in a contingency framework.
Challenges and opportunities for OB
Ia) More foreign assignments
Ib) Multicultural work environment
Ic) Coping with anticapitalism backlash – values and norms, even the economical ones, are not the same everywhere
Id) Placing more and more jobs, productions in low-cost labour countries (e.g. China, Taiwan) – managers need to find a balance between organization’s interest in low cost and (corporate) social responsibility.
Ie) Managing people during War on Terror – e.g. people resign from some businesses, cancel flights because they are afraid of terrorism.
II) Managing work diversity
IIa) Embracing diversity – employees from diverse countries do not give up their cultural values and norms to adapt to the rest of society. Managers need to make them accommodate so they don’t feel isolated or ignored
IIb) Changing U.S. demographics
IIc) Implications – Effective managers need to recognize cultural differences and can’t apply the same standards to all employees.
III) Improving quality and productivity
IV) Improving customer service
V) Improving people skills
VI) Stimulating innovation and change
VII) Coping with “temporariness”
VIII) Working in networked organizations
IX) Helping employees balance work-life conflicts
X) Creating a positive work surrounding – in this point the notion of positive organizational scholarship needs to be mentioned – it is research area that focuses on fostering strengths rather than eliminating weaknesses. It is all about what is good, the best in employees and the organization itself.
XI) Improving ethical behavior
> Dependent variables: productivity, absenteeism, turnover, job satisfaction, deviant workplace
behavior (antisocial behavior or workplace incivility), organizational citizenship behavior
> Independent variables:
individual-level variables – motivation, perception, ability, values and attitudes, personality and emotions, individual decision-making and learning, biographical characteristics
group-level variables – conflict, communication, group decision making, leadership and trust, group structure, conflict, power and politics, work teams
organisation system-level variables – organizational culture, organization structure and design, human resource policies and practices.
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