Analysis of individual and group behavior, and description of the implications of organizational behavior on the process of management
Behavior is a response to internal and external stimuli resulting to a set of actions exhibited by individuals and groups of individuals. Individuals react differently to different circumstances, but groups of individuals tend to have a similar response to similar circumstances in which individuals would have demonstrated differences. In turn, organsational behavior is the total sum of individual and groups behaviors within an organization that gives it its unique character. It also describes the set of behavioral principles employed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of business operations (Hitt et al., 2017). Therefore, the analysis of behavior in organsational management is conducted at the individual, groups, and organsational levels. The causes and manifestations of behavior at these levels influence the judgment and actions of employees and managers, and their interactions and relationships at the workplace. In turn, the process of management, which comprises planning, organizing, leading, and controlling, is influenced significantly by the behavioral attributes at the individual, group, and organsational levels.
At the individual level, analysis of organizational behavior attends to personality, motivation, creativity, perception and learning of an employee in the workplace environment. In this regard, individuals at the workplace come with attitudes, beliefs, work ethics, that influence performance. With time, these attributes change positively or negatively based on the workplace conditions, thus leading to increased and sustained positive or deviant work behavior that promotes or undermines performance at the workplace. Consequently, individual level of analysis employs principles drawn from medicine, engineering and psychology (Hitt et al., 2017). At the group level, behavioral analysis dwells on intergroup and intra-group relationships that influence organizational performance. It focuses on team work and its influence on organizational performance, including the roles of individual group members, the networks they form, interpersonal communication, norms, power, and leadership. This analysis draws from the disciplines of psychology and sociology (Hitt et al., 2017). At the organizational level, analysis of behavior focuses on inter-organizational coordination and cooperation, cultural diversity and inclusiveness, and organizational structure and culture that influence organizational operations and performance. Therefore, it draws heavily from political science and sociology disciplines (Hitt et al., 2017).
The process of management relies heavily on the information drawn from the analysis of individual, group, and organizational behavior. For instance, individual behavior informs the workplace policies formulated to maximize the productivity of each employee. In turn, employees can remain committed and creative, and derive job satisfaction from the progressive policies implemented by an organization’s executives (Shanker, et al., 2017). Similarly, group behavior informs the teamwork environment created by the management at a workplace. The diversity of team members present diverse skills and talents that can promote projects as a task performance strategy employed by an organization’s management. In turn, managers can use the different attributes of team members to form high-performing teams and improve and sustain their individual and overall performance and productivity. In the same vein, organizational behavior informs managers on the effectiveness or toxicity of the organizational culture and how such cultures can be promoted or changed to promote organsational performance and productivity. Altogether, contemporary management practices focus on promoting innovativeness and continuous learning to make their organizations adaptable to the fast changing workplace and business environments (Shanker, et al., 2017). Consequently, contemporary managers strive to create competitive advantage by promoting individual, group, and organizational behaviors that sustain high performance.
Description and application of the concepts of employee motivation in the workplace
Employee motivation is the drive, zest, commitment, energy, and creativity brought into the workplace daily by an employee. It underpins the focus and effort exerted by an employee towards attaining specified goals at the workplace for personal and organsational benefits. In other words, employee motivation is the process of initiating, guiding, and maintaining behaviors directed towards organsational goals by employees at the workplace. Employees need to be highly-motivated to remain productive continuously in the long-term (Nawaz et al., 2020). Organizations have designed various approaches of keeping their employees motivated to enhance their productivity, profitability, and success.
Employee motivation is underpinned by basic concepts like direction, which dictates the ultimate goal an individual strives to achieve, effort, which is the amount of energy injected into a behavior or task, and persistence, which is the length of time through which an individual exerts sustained effort towards achieving a specified goal in the workplace. Similarly, employee motivation is categorized into two main types; intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (Nawaz et al., 2020). Intrinsic motivation is the internal driver of sustained behavior in an employee that delivers inherent satisfaction within the employee rather that a separable outcome. Its elements are purpose, autonomy and mastery, which are used to deliver the personal rewards to an employee at a workplace. Contrastingly, extrinsic motivation is behavior that is driven by external stimulants, such as rewards and punishments. While rewards at the workplace encourage and promote certain behaviors that are beneficial to the organization, punishment deters those that are deemed undesirable at the workplace. Rewards include can be tangible and intangible, and monetary and non-monetary, including salaries, bonuses, stock options, holidays, leaves, flexible working conditions and many others (Nawaz et al., 2020). Employee motivation can be explained using motivational theories, such as Herzberg’s motivation theory, McClellan’s three needs theory, and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (Chiat & Panatik, 2019). These theories recognize the different needs of employees that require different fulfillment approaches.
Contemporary organizations encounter diverse workforces that are characterized by high mobility, diminished organizational loyalty and commitment, and individualized expectations. Consequently, many organizations have multicultural and multigenerational workforces that challenge human resources managers in devising ways of attracting and maintaining high talent in the contemporary environment. For instance, the younger generations of employees, the millennials, expect to satisfy their personal and professional needs at the workplace. In turn, the concept of flexible work is increasingly employed in contemporary workplaces to attract and retain this growing labor segment (Mahmoud et al., 2020). However, the approaches of motivating the older generation of workers should not be invalidated because their effectiveness has been proven against the baby boomers and associated generations. Similarly, multicultural workforces present unique challenges due to the diversity work norms and expectations, business cultures, and labor market integration. Consequently, organizational executives and managers, particularly those in the human resources departments, are tasked with developing strategies for motivating all cadres of employees.
Evaluation of the various leadership styles and conflict management strategies used in
Leadership is the social influence of an individual over others, which directs their efforts towards achieving a common goal. At the workplace, leaders mobilize the efforts of employees and persuade them to pursue a given goal as envisaged in an overall organizational vision. Leaders deploy their adeptness at persuading followership in employees using different approaches, termed as leadership styles. Although leaders employ numerous diverse leadership styles, the most common found in workplaces are autocratic, democratic, laissez-fair, paternalistic, transactional, and transformational leadership styles. Although each leadership style has its advantages and disadvantages, its effectiveness at the workplace has been tested over time, and certain leadership styles emerge as those eliciting most organizational success, while others are associated with organizational decline. Specifically, the focus on employees as the most pertinent organsational resource has motivated the increased attention towards employee welfare and wellbeing at the workplace. Consequently, leadership styles that inject relational attributes into the task-oriented approaches have gained popularity because they humanize the workplace (Eisele, 2020). For instance, transformational leadership is hailed for promoting a productive workforce compared to transactional leadership. This is because transformational leadership seeks to maximize and enhance the capacities, skills and abilities of individual employees, while attending to their changing needs and expectations over their workplace lifespan, while transactional leadership focuses on task performance at the expense of relational attributes (Eisele, 2020). In turn, leadership that elicits employee engagement and organizational attachment is preferred in contemporary organizations than that which just elicits most productivity from the workforce. Participatory, ethical, and authentic leadership are emerging leadership styles that are increasingly being associated with successful companies and those that employees find to be most attractive (Decuypere & Schaufeli, 2020). These leadership styles influence contemporary employees using role modeling, social exchange, and emotional contagion (Decuypere & Schaufeli, 2020). This is particularly critical when leading multicultural workforces dominated by the millennial generation of workers.
However, since conflicts are a common occurrence at the workplace, particularly when it has an intergenerational and multicultural workforce, contemporary leaders need to be adept at conflict resolution. Several conflict resolution strategies are available to contemporary leaders, with some being more effective than others in conflict management. The five overarching strategies include collaboration, competition, avoidance, accommodation, and compromise (Van Gramberg et al., 2020). Collaboration, accommodation and compromise elicit a more win-win outcome compared to competition and avoidance strategies. While leaders may employ these conflict resolution approaches in different circumstances, their focus should be at delivering a win-win outcome to restore organizational harmony and functionality. However, for cases that cannot be resolved within the organization, leaders can assign the conflict resolution exercise to third parties and avoid litigations altogether. Specifically, arbitration, mediation, and negotiation are alternative dispute resolution strategies that leaders can employ to address serious conflicts at the workplace. Altogether, a leader in a contemporary organization must spearhead the dispute or conflict resolution processes to keep the workforce cohesive and unified in vision and mission.
Description of the basic elements of organizational structure, and evaluation of their impact on employees
Organizations are structured in a manner that facilitates their operations and helps them achieve their goals and visions. Organizational structures comprise basic elements including the chain of command and hierarchy of authority, division of labor, depart mentation and departmental coordination, and job design and allocation. Formulating an organsational structure is a progressive and sequential undertaking that commences at designing jobs and culminates with establishing a functional organizational chart. Job design determines which operations are conducted or roles played by each member of the organization and what are the cross-functionalities across these jobs. This satisfies the element of division of labor in an organization. After that, the different jobs are grouped into departments and supervisory roles assigned. This developed the change of command and reporting structures at the organization. Finally, the relation between the different departments is established to promote coordination and enhance coherence. These relationships underpin the power, authority, and control structures in an organization, and dictate hierarchical structure, in terms of its horizontalness or verticalness.
In turn, organsational structures are categorized primarily as divisional structure, functional structure and matrix structure that blends divisional and functional structures together. In the divisional organizational structure, workers are grouped according to their task similarity and specialties while the divisional organizational structure groups employees into teams and projects based on customers’ needs. The matrix organizational structure combines both divisional and functional models by grouping workers into functional departments that are categorized further by divisional products and projects (Dźwigoł, 2019). Managers then decide whether to centralize management through the tall organizational structure or decentralize it using the flat organizational structure. In the tall organizational structure, decisions are made by top executives and cascaded downwards across different hierarchical levels, while in the flat organizational structure, the hierarchical levels are minimized allowing for direct interaction between the executives and staff.
Employees working in tall organizations rely heavily on their immediate superiors for decision-making and direction. Contrastingly, those in flat structures may share decision-making with their managers. Consequently, workers in organizations with flat structures enjoy more work autonomy compared to those in tall structures. Dźwigoł (2019) disclosed that workers in flat structures are highly skilled in their areas and can work independently without much supervision, while those in tall structures have diverse expertise levels, some of which require constant direction and supervision from supervisors and labor is distinctively divided and fragmented.
Explanation of how organizational culture and change impact relationships within organization
Organizational culture is the manner in which an organization usually operates and characterizes its distinctive trait. Precisely, organsational culture is a collection of practices, behaviors, expectations, and values that underpin the behavior and actions of individuals and teams in an organization (Popa, 2018). The four primary cultures found in organizations include market, hierarchy, adhocracy, and clan cultures (Popa, 2018). The clan organizational culture presents the highest people-oriented culture in which collaboration, friendliness and camaraderie are most visible, while the hierarchy culture is most task-oriented with people relationships having minimal prominence. Contemporary organizations operate in highly competitive and disruptive environments. In turn, organizational cultures that nurture innovativeness and competitiveness are becoming more prevalent in response to these environmental realities. Consequently, organizations adopt the adhocracy culture to promote entrepreneurship and dynamism while others instill the market culture to promote competitiveness and yield superior results. However, changing an organizational culture to suit the prevailing organsational environment is an arduous task. Organizational culture change is challenging because it calls for an organization-wide change rather than an individual employee one (Popa, 2018). While changing the culture of individual employees at the workplace is often tenable with minimal resources, organization-wide change is resources-intensive and time-intensive.
Organization culture and change influence relations at the workplace significantly because they dictate the level of commitment and citizenry of the employees at the organization. Cultures that promote trust, teamwork, and integrity are entrenched in organizations whose vision, mission and values are aligned to the aligned to those of the workforce (Popa, 2018). This means that the employees’ motivations are aligned to the organization’s objectives. Similarly, organizational change that is attentive to employees as agents of change is likely to be more likely to succeed that that which perceived employees as change targets or subjects (Carvalho et al., 2019). Contrastingly, organizational cultures that focus on task performance and productivity over the welfare of employees lead to impersonal relationships at the workplace. Similarly, organizational change that focuses solely on the outcome rather than the process is likely to experience more resistance from employees than that which engages employees in the entire change process. In the end, collaborative change that yields a relational organsational culture is likely to build a successful organization.
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