Organizational Behavior and Analysis Research Term Paper – Essay
Running an organization requires inevitable interaction between employees and managers (Frank, 2013). How well they interact determines a lot of things among them the smooth running of an organization and consequently the organization’s success. In this light, organizational behavior must be monitored and positively influenced if the organization wants to get ahead and stay ahead. Often, modeling ideal organizational behavior is not a one-time activity but a continuous process that must be made better over time. Organizational behavior like everything else is subject to change every so often and as such requires continual monitoring and work (Rollinson, 2008). It literally dictates how well an organization responds to and embraces change. Often, ideal organizational behavior is incorporated in an organization’s goals and objectives and must be continually modified, updated and reinforced.
Some of the most common organizational behaviors that organizations focus on include communication, learning, leadership and teamwork. Others include ethics, governance, corporate culture and management. Organizational behavior in a nutshell is defined as the study of how groups and individuals act in organizations and the application of the resulting knowledge in the betterment of the organization’s course. Its main purpose in addition to working towards a functional organization is the achievement of better relationships within the organization (Marchington, 2006).
Communication in its most simplistic definition is defined as the art of conveying or imparting a message from one party to another through mutually understandable language and mediums (Koch, 2006). Communication not only involves the conveyance of thoughts, ideas or messages but also the art of knowing when, how and what to communicate to whom at any given time. Within an organization, communication plays a big role in decision making, the day to day running of the organization and the relationships fostered between colleagues and leaders within the organization. Proper communication determines an organization’s level of success especially in sales and marketing as well as in the efficiency of its day to day running (Templar, 2013).
Effective communication is achieved if the receiver of information conveyed understands the information in exactly the way the sender intended them to. A lot of factors come into play when it comes to effective communication. Effective communication is an acquired skill. It requires the sender to not only convey a message clearly in understandable language but to also understand and work around unrelated factors that could affect the receiver’s understanding or perception (Jones, 2011).
Organizations usually are made up of diverse groups. Often diversity affects perception and interpretation and as such it is possible for two people to interpret the exact same message differently depending on many factors. Diversity can be due to ethnicity, culture, gender, upbringing, mix of values among other factors. An effective communicator understands that it is important to review how the massage they intend to convey is perceived by as many diverse groups as possible. This prevents misinterpretation and ensures that the message conveyed to the receiving party or parties is understood as intended (Werhane, 2011).
Common barriers to look out for during communication include but are not limited to perception, culture, language, the receivers’ state of mind or level of stress, the communicator’s body language among others. Perception is often the main barrier and as such, the communicator must refrain from stereotypes and uncouth jokes. Sometimes a message may come across as offensive or demeaning to people from a different culture (bertocci, 2009). Effective communicators know this and strive to understand their audience in order to convey their message in a manner that will be perceived as intended. It is also important to confirm that the receiver(s) of a conveyed message understood the message as intended by seeking feedback or allowing them to seek clarification if they so wish. Communication within an organization with a diverse workforce and an even more diverse clientele base needs to continually work on effective communication as one of their main goals.
Learning is simple terms is defined as the acquisition, processing and retention of new information that results in changes in knowledge, beliefs, attitude and behavior. Learning is viewed by most psychologists as a never ending process that occurs both deliberately and passively. Learning within an organization however is more often deliberate than passive and requires planning and initiative. Organizational learning adds to or transforms the learner’s organizational knowledge. Learning in an organization can be a planned activity where the learners actively seek to acquire information through studying, hearing or experimenting. Learning also occurs over time as workers within an organization repeatedly do jobs and acquire expertise in their line of work.
The organizational learning theory asserts that organizations must consciously and deliberately change their actions in response to changing circumstances and consciously monitor outcome as a result of action in order to remain competitive in an ever changing environment. Initial learning usually begins at an individual level and only becomes organizational learning when acquired information is shared, transmitted and stored in such a way that it may be used over the course of time in the determination and execution of organizational goals.
Organizational learning is broken down into three stages which include the acquisition of data, interpretation of acquired data and last but not least the action or adaptation of interpreted data. The acquisition of data is attained through continual research. This data is then interpreted through various ways. One of the most common interpretation methods involves the comparison of actual outcome to expected outcome. The accuracy of an organization’s planning such that planned outcomes are as close to actual outcomes as possible usually is a reflection of how well informed the organization is during planning. Variances between the planned and actual outcomes must be evaluated for causation and future improvement. The last stage, adaptation, is the stage where the organization takes interpreted data and uses it to select new actions linked to desired outcome and to rectify past mistakes or oversights.
In the wake of new business trends, diversity in the market place, globalization and increasing technology organizational learning is key to survival in the business world. Organizational learning enables organizations stay flexible and on their toes especially in regards to emerging trends, opportunities and threats in an ever changing world. Organizational learning enables individuals and teams learn relevant information linked to their specific duties and tasks and get rid of information that is no longer relevant to what they do. This is important for an organization if they are to maintain relevance in the business world over time. When an organization is always informed, they are not likely to be found off guard by market changes and can plan for impending threats in good time.
Two minds are always better than one. This is usually the rationale behind working as a team. Tasks are accomplished more efficiently and much faster within a team compared to how they would be accomplished individually. Often, the diversity in shared ideas results in better thought out results since they involve a part of the best of a group of people’s ideas. In addition to this, work pressure is greatly reduced when work is shared among team members. Team work fosters positive relationships between team members and enhances togetherness as it forces people to make decisions, listen to one another and work together towards the same goal. Teamwork forces team members to build trust amongst each other and to work out how to involve each other and agree on decisions which improves their interaction skills and enhances unity.
In addition to the above, teamwork increases accountability levels amongst team members since the success of their task is dependent on each member’s performance. People are more likely to work responsibly when their performance not only affects them but affects the performance of a group. Such responsibility is likely to foster obligation among team members not to let each other down, resulting in them giving taking their responsibilities more seriously. Teamwork within an organization enhances learning as it requires team members to share experiences and exchange ideas. Team members can learn and pick up skills from fellow team members as well as complement each other’s’ abilities (Innis, 2008).
Successful teamwork however takes a lot of patience and increased tolerance among team members. Usually, the main dysfunctions of a team are lack of commitment, accountability, trust and focus as well as excessive conflict. For a team to successfully bring a task to fruition they have to work through these dysfunctions and overcome them. Working through and overcoming these dysfunctions is not always successful and in such cases, tasks are poorly executed or not completed altogether (Yukl, 2004). Usually the team leader must work extra hard to encourage better relations among team members through effective communication and clever coordination. Team members must respect each other and learn how to accommodate each other through compromise and support (Wood, 2013).
Leadership is defined as motivating or influencing a group of people towards the accomplishment of an objective or goal. Leadership within an organization is very important. A leader is usually responsible for coordination and facilitation of activities carried out within a group. It is said that leaders lead by example (Bratton, 2005). A leader must be influential enough to lead by example. That is, they must be influential enough for people to want to follow in their footsteps. Leadership takes a lot of discipline and people skills. Leaders however are made not born, which means that it is an acquired skill. Leadership contrary to popular belief has nothing to do with seniority, better pay or management but has everything to do with the ability to command and influence a following. Leadership is coined from the word lead which implied that the leader does and his followers follow. It is possible therefore to have managers who are not leaders and leaders who are not managers (Yammarino, 2009).
The very definition of a leader is the reason leadership is so important in an organization. Leaders, by the simple fact that they command a following can either benefit the organization or cause the organization losses. If the leader becomes conceited and encourages negativity, then the organization suffers from the adverse effects of such action not only from the leader but from their followers. Organizations need to ensure that they place influential people in leadership positions. However, they need to ensure that the leaders’ influence is not negative but is geared towards the achievement of the organization’s objectives (Chandler, 2011).
Leaders, in order to command a following must first of all command respect and admiration. They must appear to have vision and a sense of direction. Generally people are more responsive to people with a clear vision and sense of direction. They must elicit trust from their followers by being ethical, open minded and good communicators. In addition to these, leaders should be able to work with different kinds of people and must possess good people skills. Leaders at the end of the day coordinate and cause a group of people to work cohesively towards intended objectives (Rosenberg, 2003).
Organizations with good leadership experience smoother transitions, better working relations and better success. After an organization successfully goes through one of its most important obligations, decision making, they must successfully go through the implementation stage which is more important. Successful implementation is greatly dependent on leaders. The better they are, the faster implementations are made. One of the best qualities a leader possesses is the ability to influence their followers to embrace change as fast as possible. Resistance to change is one of the main barriers to implementation and once this is taken care of implementation is more successful (Lehman, 2011).
Organizational behavior when granted the seriousness it deserves can catapult an organization to greater success in no time. In today’s world it is crucial that an organization works towards bettering its leadership, communication, teamwork and learning. The better they are at executing these four behaviors the more likely they are to remain successful. This calls for better people management as the organization must work with their diverse workforces to encourage or grow positive organizational behavior (Ling, 2011). They must also remember that the improvement of organizational behavior is a continuous process that must be consciously monitored and implemented.
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