Organizational Behaviour

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Organization Defined

Organizations are complex systems which rely on people, structures and technology to achieve their goals and objectives. They are created to serve the needs of the societies or communities in which they operate and are influenced by both their internal environment (culture) and their external environment. As defined by Robins “an organization is a continuously co-ordinated social unit of two or more people that functions on a relatively continuous basis to achieve a common goal or set of goals” (Robins 2005).

Organizational Behaviour Defined

Behaviour on the other hand, he defines simply as “the actions of people (Robins 2005). Organization behaviour (often referred to as OB) is the
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Although his work emphasized the technical rather than purely human side of management, he did point out the role of specific incentives in motivating workers and the value of specialization. Perhaps Taylor’s greatest contribution to the study of management and organizational behaviour was his approach of applying the scientific method to industrial problems. (Colonel Samuel H Hays and Lieutenant Colonel William N Thomas,Taking Command, Stackpole Books, USA, 1976, p 93). This scientific approach has been adopted by several theorists and applied to the filed of organizational behaviour.


The Contribution of Psychology to the field of OB

The psychological contribution to OB focussed on understanding individuals and predicting their behaviour, and using that knowledge within organizations to improve the organization’s competitive advantage. Psychological studies focussed on areas such as perceptions, learning, personality development, needs and motivation. Of these areas motivation is the over arching factor and most important to the organizational setting because it deals with an individual’s willingness to work. Motivation is defined as the conscious decision to direct effort toward one activity more than others (Coffey et. al). Of course one cannot speak of motivation unless they mention Abraham Maslow and “his hierarchy of needs” theory. Maslow hypothesized that within every
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