Organisational Behaviour| Investigating People and Leadership Within the Workplace 22/11/11| The term organisational behaviour (OB) is linguistic shorthand for the activities and interactions of people in organisations. Jack Wood (1995) notes that Fritz Roethlisberger first used the term ‘organisational behaviour’ in the late 1950s, because it suggested a broader range than human relations. “Organisational behaviour is the study of the structure, functioning and performance of organisations, and the behaviour of group and individuals within them. ” Pugh (1971: 9)
This definition covers a broad range of macro-organisational and micro-individual concerns. The Financial Times Mastering Management Series offers a more detailed definition: “Organisational behaviour is one of the most complex and perhaps least understood academic elements of modern general management, but since it concerns the behaviour of people within organisations it is also one of the most central … its concern with individual and group patterns of behaviour makes it an essential element in dealing with the complex behavioural issues thrown up in the modern business world. Financial Times Mastering Management Series (1997) The study of organisations involves a range of subjects: extending from psychology, social psychology, sociology, economics and political science. It also draws in a lesser extent from history, geography and anthropology. OB is important to companies because organisations can no longer rely on trends to predict future patterns, as organisations are no longer homogeneous workplaces. It’s fundamental to motivate and utilise the talent of staff and by studying the OB, it’s possible to gain a better understanding of the best way to do this.
Understanding OB is a key aspect for increased opportunity and achievement in the business world. This knowledge is now considered as an asset to many organisations and is equally, if not more important, than equipment and materials. Especially when discussing a hospitality organisation, service is priority and if staff have the correct knowledge, it can lead to a greater experience for the customer. Learning is the procedure for gaining knowledge. Relating learning to the studied organisation, it’s viable to see that the organisation has a behaviourist approach to learning.
However, we cannot learn without feedback: something that the organisation lacks. As there is little or no evidence of good or bad behaviour being reinforced, the workforces are left to their own devices. When the workforce or a particular employee is doing something wrong, the manager will be annoyed with them but not actually address the issue with them. The workforce or employee will sense the aura of emotions around them and change their behaviour accordingly. This is defined in theory in Bandura’s social learning theory (1977, 1986) regarding socialisation.
The employees are learning through the influence to conform to behaviours seen as desirable in an organisational environment. Buchanan and Preston (1992: 69) quote a supervisor in an engineering plant saying: “People only come to work for money. You’re not telling me that if you just left them they wouldn’t go and have a chat or sit down and read the newspaper. If you’re telling me that wouldn’t happen, then one of us is kidding and it isn’t me. ” This quote near enough describes the managements’ views of working at this organisation, so employees are deemed as just money-motivated.
Maslow’s (1943, 1954, 1971) theory of motivation refers to nine innate needs or motives. According to the management, the employees are at just level one and two if they are money-motivated. However, looking at equity theory and the employee’s reaction to it shows that money is not just the main motivator for this workforce. There is proof to show that employees get angry about certain situations not relating to pay but other aspects of their working environment. Adams (1963, 1965) states: “We are motivated to act in situations which we perceive to be inequitable or unfair. This theory sources details of behaviour on views of social comparisons. Seeing as the employees are all on the same wage, the answer to why they are motivated to act against perceived inequity is the social aspects of the work environment. Adams (1963, 1965) states: “We respond differently to ‘over-reward’ and ‘under-reward’. We tend to perceive a modest amount of over-reward as ‘good luck’, and do nothing, while a modest under-reward is not so readily tolerated. ” This is apparent in different situations observed in the organisation studied.
One example being: on a busy Friday night, all the restaurant and bar staff worked really hard and had one of highest monies taken total at the end of the night. Their manager didn’t praise them at all for staying on longer than they normally do and giving great service all night. Instead, it created fury between those staff members when they heard their boss praising how well their manager had done the night before with the takings: even though the employees perceived him to not have worked as hard as they had. This leads on to expectancy theory, which plays a significant role in this workforce’s behaviour. Tolman (1930) explains: Behaviour is directed by the expectations that we have about our behaviour leading to the achievement of desired outcomes. ” Vroom (1964) developed the initial expectancy theory of work motivation. If we relate expectancy theory of work motivation to the organisation studied, we can state that after occasions of perceived inequality, the employees will start to associate work with no rewards or recognition: therefore their motivation to work will decrease along with their behaviour. Expectancy theory helps to describe distinct variances in motivation and behaviour, unlike Maslow’s general theory of motivation.
There is one main social process of motivating others in this workplace and that’s Taylor’s (1911) task fragmentation. By using this process, this organisation: don’t have to give expensive and time-consuming training; can pay lower wages for unskilled work; can simplify some of the problems associated with achieving controlled performance; and can make their employee very proficient through repetition of specialising in one small task. However, as a result it has lead to employees finding the repetitive work boring and apathy, dissatisfaction and carelessness due to monotony of the work.
The organisation studied offers little or no job training. It’s a case of being thrown in to the deep end. Hall (1975) observes: “Low-skilled and untrained staff have a direct impact on the delivery of service quality on many hospitality organisations. Further, it makes sense that lack of training can result in low staff morale. Low-skilled and untrained staff can be badly prepared for the gruelling demands of service such that this can add stress and dissatisfaction to employees. ” This is very much the case for this organisation.
Most of the staff has little or no qualifications so without training they aren’t fully prepared to face customers with the best initiative. In this organisation, there have been many examples where staff have been criticised for not doing their job properly even though they’ve not been given sufficient training. The managers argument is that they ‘have been here long enough to know what they are doing by now’. What can be changed? This organisation is lacking any kind of feedback process. There’s no positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, and punishment or extinction eedback evident anywhere in this organisation (Appendix 1). If the organisation adopted these principals, they could start to make a difference regarding their employees’ behaviour. Another type of feedback that can be used is Ferster and Skinner’s (1957) schedule of reinforcement theory (Appendix 2). Using this table and looking at the organisation, it’s most likely to be successful to adopt a variable ratio due to the nature of the employees left to work without managers around all the time. It’s commonly acknowledged that reinforcing wanted behaviour is more successful than punishing detrimental behaviour.
However, punishment can be effective according to Walters and Grusek (1977): as long as it meets certain conditions (Appendix 3). As the learning style of the organisation is behaviourist, and works well for it, it’s sensible to adopt it again but make changes to the type of behaviourism approach they use. Huczynski and Buchanan (2006) quote Watson’s theory: “Behaviourism assumes that what lies between the stimulus and the response is a mechanism that will be revealed as our knowledge of the biochemistry and neurophysiology of the brain improves. ”
This method of behaviourism could prove to be the most effective in this organisation by utilising Pavlovian and Skinnerian conditioning. Pavlovian conditioning can be used in this organisation to increase the amount or variety of jobs of an employee but to still get the same behaviour of great customer service out of them. It can simply be to add a weekly job of cleaning the cellar but it must be done in such a way to prevent them thinking they are being overworked, thus leading to demotivation. Skinnerian conditioning can be used to reduce for unwanted behaviours such as going for more cigarette breaks than they are allowed.
Relating unwanted behaviour with a punishment such as reduced wages or being made to do a disliked job in the workplace, should lead to the unwanted behaviour stopping, as the workforce is aware of the consequences. Behaviour modification can also be used for inspiring desired behaviours and discouraging unwanted behaviours using operant conditioning. Luthans (1998) developed a five-step organisational behaviour modification technique, which would work well within this organisation as it can help them evaluate their organisations behaviours in detail. For it to work, they need to:
Adapted from Huczynski and Buchanan (2006) Throughout this process, the organisation should be using the feedback table mentioned earlier in this essay to establish the behaviour they want out of it in the end. The feedback will vary to the situation of the organisation. One type of feedback could work for one problem but not another. The table (Appendix 4) highlights these feedback methods in relation to Luthans behaviour modification technique. The behaviour modification technique has possible implications (Appendix 5) but for this organisation specifically, this could be: Once underway, a behaviour modification programme has to be continued: something that a busy organisation such as this may not have the time. * Employees respond in different ways so the organisation will have to put the time into suiting each employees learning needs and time is short in this organisation. Maslow’s theory is evident within this organisation as some employee’s do come to work to just earn money for basic needs such as food and shelter; however other employees are looking for more. However, Maslow’s theory is vague but Alderfer (1972) provides a more in-depth view at his theory: It is more realistic to consider three basic categories of needs which are called existence, relatedness and growth. ” From this we have the ERG theory of motivation which states that all three need categories can be present at any one time. The table (Appendix 6) highlights ERG theory in relation to Maslow’s theory. So it’s possible for an employee to want biological needs, affiliation needs and self-esteem needs all at once. If this organisation took notice of this, they could have a better understanding on how to motivate their staff individually to et the best out of them. However, Ritchie and Martin (1999) argue: “The task of the manager is to find out what it is that motivates people, to make them smile more and carp less. ” They believe that employees should be motivated on a basic level and not at such an in-depth way. This method would most likely be the best way for this organisation to motivate their staff because of time issues. It’s a simple theory consisting of twelve motivational drives, where one of these should match each employee to motivate them (Appendix 7).
Using these twelve motivating factors is good for this organisation as the ‘motivation profile’ (Appendix 8) allows the manager to accommodate for high-need and low-need individuals: both of which are present in this organisation. It’s good for this organisation as it identifies the array of individual differences and it’s a great analytical tool for managers looking to develop individual and group motivation. In regards to training, implementing change is a must for this organisation to improve itself. It has been found that there is little or no training in this organisation.
As McKenna and Beech (2002) highlight the importance of creating and implementing training programmes. Specifically to this organisation it would: help employees learn jobs more quickly and effectively; improve work performance of existing employees; fewer mistakes, less wastage and improved efficiency; and reduced turnover and accidents. This quote from Hall (1975) highlights the importance of well-trained staff within this organisation: “Low-skilled and untrained staff have a direct impact on the delivery of service quality on many hospitality organisations.
Further, it makes sense that lack of training can result in low staff morale. Low-skilled and untrained staff can be badly prepared for the gruelling demands of service such that this can add stress and dissatisfaction to employees. ” This essay has explored theoretical and conceptual ideas to gain an understanding of OB within the workplace, the solutions provided gives a framework for successful orientation, within individualistic issues and organisational problems. Motivation drives the workforce in achieving a goal, satisfying a need for achievement and expectancy.
Word Count: 2181 References Academic Journals: Hackman, J. R. and Oldham, G. R. (1976) Motivation through the Design of Work: Test of a Theory. Organisational Behaviour and Human Performance. 16(2), p. 250 – 279. Academic Texts Lashley, C. and Lee-Ross, D. (2003) Organisation Behaviour for Leisure Services. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann. Lee-Ross, D. and Pryce, J. (2010) Human Resources and Tourism: Skills, Culture and Industry. Bristol: Channel View. Mullins, L. (2002) Management and Organisational Behaviour. 6th ed. Essex: Pearson Education Ltd.
Rollinson, D. (2005) Organisational Behaviour and Analysis: An Integrated Approach. 3rd ed. Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd. Huczynski, A. and Buchanan, D. (2006) Organisational Behaviour. 6th ed. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited. Websites Campbell, B. F. and Maffini, G. (Unknown) Product/Market Matching System. [Online] Available from: <http://mapcontext. com/autocarto/proceedings/auto-carto-6/pdf/product-market-matching-system. pdf> [Accessed: 10/11/11] Appendix 1 | Behaviour| Reinforcement| Result| Illustration|
Positive Reinforcement| Desired behaviour occurs| Positive consequences are introduced| Desired behaviour is repeated| Confess, and stick to your story, and you will get a shorter prison sentence| Negative Reinforcement| Desired behaviour occurs| Negative consequences are withdrawn| Desired behaviour is repeated| The torture will continue until you confess| Punishment| Undesired behaviour occurs| A single act of punishment is introduced| Undesired behaviour is not repeated| Fail to meet your quarterly target and we will fire you| Extinction| Undesired behaviour occurs| The behaviour is ignored| Undesired behaviour is not repeated| Supervisor ignores an individual’s practical jokes used to gain attention | Huczynski, A. and Buchanan, D. (2006) cited in Huczynski, A. and Buchanan, D. (2006) p. 110 Appendix 2 Schedule| Description| Implications|
Continuous| Reinforcement after every correct response| Can establish high performance, but can also lead to satisfaction; rapid extinction when reinforcement is withheld| Fixed Ratio| Reinforcement after a predetermined number of correct responses| Tends to generate high rates of desired responses| Variable Ratio| Reinforcement after a random number of correct responses| Can produce a high response rate that is resistant to extinction| Fixed Interval| Reinforcement of a correct response after a predetermined period| Can produce uneven response patterns, slow following reinforcement, vigorous immediately preceding reinforcement| Variable Interval| Reinforcement of a correct response after random periods| Can produce a high response rate that is resistant to extinction| Ferster and Skinner (1957) cited in Huczynski, A. and Buchanan, D. 2006) p. 113 Appendix 3 * The punishment should be quick and short| * It should be administered immediately after the undesirable behaviour| * It should be limited in its intensity| * It should be specifically related to behaviour, and not to character traits| * It should be restricted to the context in which the undesirable behaviour occurs| * It should not send ‘mixed messages’ about what is acceptable behaviour| * Penalties should take the form of withdrawal of rewards, not physical pain| Walters and Grusek (1977) cited in Huczynski, A. and Buchanan, D. (2006) p. 114 Appendix 4 Procedure| Operationalization| Behavioural Effect|
Positive Reinforcement| Manager praises employee each time work is completed on schedule| Increases desired behaviour| Negative Reinforcement| Unpaid overtime continues to be mandatory until work is completed on schedule, then overtime is rewarded| Increases desired behaviour| Punishment| Manager asks employee to stay late when work is not handed in on schedule| Eliminates or decrease undesired behaviour| Extinction| Manager ignores the employee when work is handed in late| Eliminates or decreases undesired behaviour| Luthans (1998) cited in Huczynski, A. and Buchanan, D. (2006) p. 118 Appendix 5 Benefits| Implications| Behaviour modification techniques put focus on observable employee behaviour and not on hypothetical internal states. | Appropriate reinforcers may not always be available, in limited and boring work settings, for example. The method shows how performance is influenced by contingent consequences. | We do not all respond the same way to the same reinforcers; what one person finds rewarding may be of little consequence to someone else. | It supports the view that positive reinforcement is more effective in changing employee behaviour than punishment. | Once started, a behaviour modification programme has to be sustained. | There are demonstrable casual effects on employee performance – a feature that is sometimes difficult to establish unequivocally with other behaviour change methods, such as job enrichment. | There may not be enough extrinsic motivators (such as money and luncheon vouchers, for example) available. |
Luthans and Kreitner (1985) cited in Huczynski, A. and Buchanan, D. (2006) p. 121 Appendix 6 Existence needs| Biological and safety needs| Relatedness needs| Affiliation and esteem needs| Growth needs| Self-actualisation and self-esteem needs| Alderfer (1972) cited in Huczynski, A. and Buchanan, D. (2006) p. 244 Appendix 7 1. Interest| 2. Achievement| 3. Recognition| 4. Self-development| 5. Variety and change| 6. Creativity| 7. Power and influence| 8. Social contact| 9. Money and tangible rewards| 10. Structure| 11. Relationships| 12. Physical conditions| Ritchie and Martin (1999) cited in Huczynski, A. and Buchanan, D. (2006) p. 245 Appendix 8
Motivating Factor| The High-Need Individual| The Low-Need Individual| Interest| * Needs to feel that work is intrinsically interesting and useful| * Will do work regardless of its intrinsic interest or usefulness| Achievement| * Needs to set self-challenging goals * Unhappy if nothing to achieve * Requires constant stimulation| * No motivation for achievement * World passes by| Recognition| * Needs constant recognition and appreciation * Can inhibit effectiveness| * Indifferent to other people’s views * Possibly insensitive to others| Self-development| * Needs to grow and develop * Assess work in terms of its contribution to personal growth| * Does what is required * Does not assess in terms of contribution to personal development| Variety and change| * Needs constant variety, change and simulation * High level of arousal and vigilance| * Happy to tolerate the mundane and boring| Creativity| * Explorative, creative and open-minded * Curious and thinks divergently| * Little need for creative thinking * Lacks curiosity * Can be closed-minded| Power and influence| * Strong impulse to influence others * Competitive power drive dominates personality| * No wish to attempt to exercise influence| Social contact| * Needs light social contact with a wide range of people| * Feels no compelling need for company, but is able to work with others if necessary| Money and tangible rewards| * Needs high salary and tangible rewards * Concentrates on monetary rewards| * Spends little energy thinking about reward * Indifferent to money as a motivator| Structure| * Needs rules and structure, feedback and information * Wants procedures| * Finds rules and structures restrictive * Wants freedom * Feels no need for compliance| Relationships | * Needs to form and sustain stable long-term relationships with a small number of people| * Feels no need to maintain deep relationships * Is able to work with people if necessary| Physical conditions| * Needs good working conditions * Constantly complains if not physically comfortable| * Largely indifferent to physical surroundings| Huczynski, A. and Buchanan, D. (2006) cited in Huczynski, A. and Buchanan, D. (2006) p. 246 Appendix 9 Strategy| Example| Alter your outcomes| I’ll persuade the manager to increase my pay| Adjust your inputs| I won’t work as hard as Annika| Alter the comparison person’s outcomes| I’ll persuade the manager to cut Annika’s pay| Alter the comparison person’s inputs| I’ll leave the difficult tasks to Annika| Compare with someone else| Per gets the same as I get| Rationalise the inequity| Annika has worked here for much longer| Leave| I’ll get another job| Adams, S. (1963, 1965) cited in Huczynski, A. and Buchanan, D. (2006) p. 249