The focus on organisational behaviour is important to understand rules and factors that affect the human forces in organisations. Organisational behaviour studies the employees’ attitudes and actions important to influence their productivity and performance. Studying organisational behaviour, leaders pay attention to the employees’ individual needs, to the group needs, and to corporate goals.
Aramex is a successful logistics and transportation company registered in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. The company provides its services in more than 50 countries round the world. In addition to focusing on sustaining flexibility as the basic principle of the corporate culture, the company’s leaders need to pay more attention to the concept of the organisational behaviour because this approach is useful to provide regional managers with the necessary information on how to motivate employees and increase productivity.
The purpose of this report is to discuss benefits of studying organisational behaviour and factors influencing the individual behaviour; present connection between personality and job performance; discuss the leadership styles and motivational theories; and analyse the difference between groups and teams to conclude how Aramex’s leaders can use discussed ideas to motivate employees, improve job satisfaction, and manage diversity.
Background of the Organisation
Aramex is one of the UAE leaders in providing the domestic and international delivery services. Aramex was established in Jordan in 1982, and then, the company was registered in Dubai, UAE (Aramex Annual Report 2012 2013). Currently, the company provides logistics and transportation services for the Arab countries and round the globe with the help of many express package delivery companies located in different countries.
The company works with more than 13,000 employees in many states, and this fact explains the leaders’ focus on the decentralised organisational structure (Aramex Annual Report 2012 2013). The General Services Office is located in Jordan when other central offices are located in Dubai. The network of senior managers is developed to organise the work of different service lines, and the network of regional senior managers and country managers is developed to manage the work of employees and services in different countries.
Following the answers to the questionnaire proposed to Aramex’s managers, the company’s leaders follow the democratic leadership style, and the culture is characterised by the high level of flexibility to respond to the needs of employees not only in the UAE but also in different regions of the world (Appendix 1). As a result, the company’s leaders pay much attention to developing strategies on how to sustain the culture oriented to excellence of services, creativity, competitiveness, and dynamism (Aramex Annual Report 2012 2013). The main challenge is the necessity to develop the culture which should meet the 21st century trends regarding globalisation and high competitiveness. Although Aramex managers focus on developing approaches to meet these requirements, it is important to discuss the need of concentrating on the organisational behaviour theory.
Benefits of Studying Organisation Behaviour
Organisational behaviour can be discussed as a study of the employees’ actions, behaviours, attitudes, and motivation that can influence the workforce’s productivity and performance. In this case, the major benefits of studying the organisational behaviour are in the opportunity to create the effective corporate culture and a team where employees can work together to achieve their personal and corporate goals (Robbins et al. 2013, p. 54). The leader should understand how to motivate employees and gain benefits from focusing on their personal and professional motives.
It is possible to determine such benefits as the possibility to manage a diverse workforce and address the problem of discrimination effectively; the possibility to improve the organisational performance focusing on the employees’ needs; the possibility to improve interpersonal and workplace relations while creating groups and teams; and the possibility to improve the problem solving strategies in the organisation (Amah & Ahiauzu 2013, p. 662; Thompson 2011, p. 356). Furthermore, leaders can provide employees with opportunities to meet their training and development needs associated with the further career growth. As a result, it is possible to achieve the reduction of absenteeism and turnover levels in organisations.
The above-mentioned benefits are connected with the leader’s activities directed to gaining benefits while improving the strategies to managing employees while knowing the principles of organisational behaviour in the concrete company. However, there are also benefits for the leader who focuses on studying organisational behaviour.
Noticing how employees behave in different situations and understanding the causes of their actions and attitudes, leaders can adopt the appropriate leadership style for managing the concrete team and can predict the future changes in the employees’ behaviour (Kulik 2014, p. 130). Studying organisational behaviour, the leader begins to understand better what forces are important to influence this organisation’s employees with references to their individuals and with references to the corporate goal.
Variables that Influence Individual Behaviour
A range of factors can influence employees’ individual behaviour when they perform as professionals. Although these factors can be categorised, they are different for individuals, and they can be discussed as variables influencing the individual behaviour in the workplace. It is possible to determine such internal aspects as personal factors and psychological factors and such external aspects as socio-cultural factors, environmental factors, and organisational factors (Robbins et al. 2013, p. 67). As a result, the behaviour of employees can be discussed as a reaction to all these factors affecting the individual’s actions to a certain extent.
Such personal factors as age and education influence the employee’s activeness and competence in performing tasks. Psychological factors, including values, attitudes, abilities, skills, ethics, instincts, perception, and learning, affect the employees’ typical reactions to stresses, to the work in groups and teams, to the corporate culture and values, and to the leader’s style. Psychological factors influence the variety of employees’ emotions and feelings associated with motivation and job satisfaction.
Therefore, these factors are important to be addressed by the leader while organising the individual or team work. Socio-cultural and environmental factors affect how employees build relations at the workplace, discuss their economic status, and react to the social and political changes (Shahid & Azhar 2013, p. 251). Organisational factors such as the reward system are important to influence the employee’s vision of his contribution to achieving corporate goals. Responding to these factors, the leader can contribute to improving the employees’ work and the overall competitive advantage of the firm.
Employees’ Personality and Job Performance
The individual differs from the other people in terms of physical and mental characteristics and features. Personality consists of many different attributes which make the unique individual, thus, it is “a relatively permanent set of psychological characteristics that create, guide and monitor human behaviour” (Dailey 2012, p. 12).
The factors that determine personality are the heredity and environment. The specific attributes can be inherited or caused by education and other social factors, cultural norms, and situational factors. The personality of an employee influences his performance, and leaders should determine the specific type of the employee’s personality with the help of such approaches as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) inventory and the “Big Five” Traits Model in order to understand the employee’s potential and use it to improve performance.
The MBTI inventory is based on Jung’s theory and determines 16 personality categories with references to such oppositions as sensing or intuiting, judging or perceiving, extraversion or introversion, and thinking or feeling (Griffin & Moorhead 2009, p. 64). Depending on this inventory, managers can understand how the employee prefers to gather and evaluate information in order to solve routine or new problems.
The “Big Five” Traits Model is another approach to examine how an employee builds relationships and react to the daily tasks. This model is based on such five fundamental personality traits as agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, extraversion, and openness. While managing the personnel, leaders should know who easily works with other employees and cooperative and who is antagonistic. Referring to examining conscientiousness, the leader can conclude about the employee’s ability to focus on many goals, be organised and systematic (Griffin & Moorhead 2009, p. 63). Employees with different emotional stability and extraversion levels should be provided with different tasks to complete. Furthermore, employees’ differences in openness to new experience and ideas also play the key role in the effective task distribution.
Leadership and Motivational Techniques
Leadership should be discussed as both the process and property. Modern leaders can be job-centred and employee-centred, and this fact influences the corporate culture. Psychologists identify several leadership styles: charismatic, democratic, and authoritative styles, conservative and transformational leadership styles (Collings 2009, p. 67).
Different managers follow different styles, depending on their personality and leadership attributes. A good leader is an effective organiser or controller who is perfect in establishing the right direction for the company. Authoritative and conservative leadership styles are associated with these features (Daft 2007, p. 54). A good leader is also motivating and inspiring. He creates the atmosphere of trust and mutual respect which stimulates the employees’ cooperation and job satisfaction (Dailey 2012, p. 18). These features are typical for democratic and transformational leaders.
Managers in Aramex are democratic leaders, and it is important to discuss the role of motivational techniques in improving the employees’ performance. Motivational techniques should be proposed for groups of employees and for individuals, depending on their individual features. The groups are motivated and inspired when they see the goals to achieve and receive the specific reward (Duffy & Lilly 2013, p. 186). Appraisal and reward systems are important to be implemented in any organisation because they are effective to present the employees the outcomes of their high-quality work. In this case, rewards should be material and non-material, including feedbacks.
Motivation Theories and Their Application
Motivation theories are divided into content and process theories. Content motivation theories, such as Maslow’s Need Hierarchy and Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory of Motivation, focus on employees’ internal factors which can be influenced to stimulate the person’s motivation. Thus, according to Maslow’s Need Hierarchy, employees should receive the opportunity to meet their physiological needs such as food and housing with the help of the adequate payment that can motivate them to work better to receive more rewards (Griffin & Moorhead 2009, p. 86). Still, the employees should also satisfy their belongingness needs with the focus on relations with employees and meet their high needs with the focus on the career development.
Providing employees with attractive rewards, effective group work, and training and development opportunities, leaders can motivate employees, while expecting the high performance. Two-Factor Theory of Motivation supports the idea that employees can be motivated when their motivation factors, such as recognition, achievement, and growth, are satisfied, but they are non-motivated when such hygiene factors as supervision, working conditions, and pay do not meet their expectations (Griffin & Moorhead 2009, p. 91). As a result, to inspire and stimulate employees, leaders should provide adequate conditions for satisfying both groups of factors.
There are also process theories such as the Expectancy Theory which are focused on the employees’ motivation during the process of achieving the goal. To be motivated, employees should know how much they want something, how they can reach their goal, and what efforts will lead desired outcomes (Griffin & Moorhead 2009, p. 99). Referring to this theory, leaders should create the working conditions where the environment and tasks motivate employees to use more efforts to achieve certain goals.
Groups and Teams and Their Implications in Organisations
Groups and teams in organisations differ from each other according to their purposes, although groups and teams unite two and more employees. Groups are formed by two or more employees who interact with each, and they are divided into informal and functional groups. Informal groups are formed because their members have the common interest, and they can or cannot contribute to achieving the corporate goal. Functional groups are formed to organise the working chain effective regarding the company’s operations (Collings 2009, p. 112).
Work groups are formed to complete the concrete task and they need to report to the leader, but the group members can focus on satisfying their own needs. Groups are necessary in organisations to create working units and chains in which employees can effectively cooperate. Teams differ from groups regarding the purpose of the team building. Teams are organised to unite employees who have different appropriate skills necessary for completing the task or a project and for achieving the common goal (Robbins et al. 2013, p. 89). In this case, work teams are more effective than work groups because the efforts of all participants are combined to achieve the common goal important for the company.
Competitiveness is the man factor that stimulates leaders in organisations to find new ways for increasing the company’s productivity and competitive advantage along with the employees’ performance. In this situation, the focus on traditional management techniques can be discussed as ineffective. Advanced strategies are necessary to influence employees’ work. Although managers in Aramex are democratic leaders who focus on developing approaches to meet these requirements, they need to concentrate more on organisational behaviour.
Leaders in Aramex should pay much attention to studying organisational behaviour typical for their employees in different countries because it is a main step to creating the productive and competitive organisation. Managers in Aramex should be ready to act as facilitators while focusing on the employees’ performance and influencing the employees’ productivity. Focusing on differences in individual behaviours, on the role of motivation in managing the employees’ diversity, and on different approaches to work with groups and teams, the leaders in Aramex can motivate employees to achieve individual and corporate goals and to contribute to job satisfaction and company’s performance.
Amah, E & Ahiauzu, A 2013, ‘Employee involvement and organizational effectiveness’, Journal of Management Development, vol. 32, no. 7, pp. 661-674.
Aramex Annual Report 2012 2013, Web.
Collings, D 2009, Human resource management: a critical approach, Routledge, London.
Daft, R 2007, The leadership experience, Cengage Learning, New York.
Dailey, A 2012, Organisational behaviour, Web.
Duffy, J & Lilly, J 2013, ‘Do individual needs moderate the relationships between organizational citizenship behavior, organizational trust and perceived organizational support?’, Journal of Behavioral and Applied Management, vo. 14, no. 3, pp. 185-190.
Griffin, R & Moorhead, G 2009, Organizational behavior: managing people and organizations, Cengage Learning, New York.
Kulik, C 2014, ‘Working below and above the line: the research–practice gap in diversity management’, Human Resource Management Journal, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 129–144.
Leadership style questionnaire n.d., Web.
Robbins, S, Judge, T, Millett, B & Boyle, M 2013, Organisational behavior, Pearson Higher Education, Victoria.
Shahid, A & Azhar, S 2013, ‘Gaining employee commitment: linking to organizational effectiveness’, Journal of Management Research, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 250-268.
Thompson, P 2011, ‘The trouble with HRM’, Human Resource Management Journal, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 355–367.
Appendix 1: Leadership Style Questionnaire