Not only the concept of organizational behavior gains more and more importance in the different fields of management, but also people can experience different nuances of it in their daily professional life. Therefore, it is important to add the practical and experiential aspects of the research to the theoretical background.
The objective of the paper is to provide the background information on the topic of organizational behavior and the definition of its concept, as well as review such aspects as organizational culture and change in the corporate hierarchy, organizational structure and design, communication in the workplace, individual differences in terms of personality, and individual differences concerning self-concept.
Background information on the topics
The sphere of organizational behavior has the objective of trying to understand the different nuances of people’s behavior in the workplace. Employees differently respond and interpret the events of their professional life because of a wide range of factors, which causes different understandings of the concept of organizational behavior. Moreover, the background of its understanding includes the interpretations of the knowledge from the fields of management, applied psychology, sociology, etc.
In the context of the modern business environment, to succeed in the career, it is important to understand how the corporate world functions and on what principles different organizations work. For example, for managing, leading, planning, organizing, and controlling the working process, it is important to understand the organizational structure and design. Communication in the workplace is one of the aspects that influence productivity and the employees’ job satisfaction, which is why its research constitutes an important part of studying organizational behavior and the connected fields of knowledge. Individual differences, such as personality and self-concept are the notions introduces to the studies of organizational behavior from psychology. In terms of practical application, they help to anticipate the reactions and responses of the employees to different organizational practices.
What is Organizational Behavior?
Organizational behavior most commonly refers to the way people interact, respond, behave, and communicate in the organizations depending on the various circumstances that they face, such as corporate culture, organizational change, individual, social, cultural, and various other aspects. Moreover, organizational behavior studies can be used not merely by the employers but rather by all the members of a certain organization because it helps people to understand their own behavior and career better.
It is important to take into consideration the aspect that changes in organizational behavior need to be very flexible. Therefore, the process change needs to relate to the organizational behavior when planning business strategies since it is of high significance for predicting the reactions of the employees.
Organizational Culture and Change
The notion of the organizational culture comprises the values, beliefs, and principles that are practiced in a certain organization daily. Organizational culture defines the ways how employees and managers of a particular company communicate in different professional and social situations within the organization and whether they share the values inherent in the organization. In my experience, the degree of how formal or informal the culture of communication is between the employees and managers defines how formal or informal it will be among the employees themselves.
The organizational change also relates to the corporate culture. The companies need to change to adapt to the alternations in the business environment, and in my opinion, in the companies with integrated organizational culture and a flexible change, the experience of corporate change is smoother.
Organizational Structure and Design
Developing and restructuring the organizational framework not necessarily result in improvements in performance (Ashkenas, Ulrich, Jick, & Kerr, 2015). If the changes do not include the opportunities for adjustments and adaptations, it will create a certain amount of stress among the employees and can be a demotivating factor. In my experience, the process needs to be gradual because people react a little hostile if the change is unexpected.
Workplace communication is important in the many avenues of professional life. Firstly, in my experience, if the ideas are communicated effectively, the employees will be more motivated. Responsive employers and managers are more likely to convey the purpose and objective of the company. If they do it effectively, the staff would be more efficient because they will know the final purpose of the work. Thus, effective communication allows each employee of the organization to see the full picture of their work, which would make the employees more responsible and motivated.
Individual Differences: Personality
The aspect of individual differences comprises a lot of various aspects. One of them is personality differences.
It is especially important in such fields of management as customer service and other areas that include a more than average amount of workplace communication. For example, in my experience, different people have a different amount of empathy in approaching other people. In my opinion, the level of extraversion or introversion also plays an important role. That is why in the situations of communicating with customers some people are more successful than others are, although they follow the same organizational guidelines.
Individual Differences: Self-Concept
To be motivated and to have a sufficient degree of job satisfaction, it is important to be able to estimate one’s own work. In many ways, such ability refers to the notion of the locus of control. The internal locus of control helps to estimate the event from one’s own point of view, whereas the external locus of control more relies on the other people being in control of the events. The individual differences in the self-concept determine how people emotionally perceive the efficiency and other aspects of their work (Sloan, 2007).
In my experience, the way people are satisfied with their work depends on their self-concept. Some people do not see their performance objectively, and, therefore, feel dissatisfied both if they have too high self-esteem and think that they are underestimated in the workplace, and if they have a low self-concept, which makes them worry and think that they are not doing well enough.
In my opinion, many issues concerning organizational behavior related to the degree of how both the company and the employees meet each other’s expectations. Hence, one of the possible solutions would be to develop more ways of providing information and feedback in both directions.
- Organizational behavior affects the efficiency of strategic leadership. The best practices would be “cost leadership, differentiation, and specialization business strategies that appear to be partially planned and partially reactive to the circumstances”, which allows responding to the changes in the organizational behavior (Phillips & Gully, 2014, p. 8).
- It includes a deep understanding of the basics of the corporate culture and the ways of introducing change to the organization (Phillips & Gully, 2014, p. 510). It is best to use the knowledge of psychology and applied behavioral science to define how people would react to the changes.
- The organizational structure of the company “affects its performance by influencing how it operates” (Phillips & Gully, 2014, p. 462). The best practice would be to set reasonable expectations for the employees’ behavior and restructure the design of the company gradually.
- Effective communication in the workplace helps to increase the productivity of the work (Phillips & Gully, 2014, p. 75). The best practice here is that the management should formulate the task in a comprehensible manner and try to make them clear and structured. When an employee is not confused with the task and precisely knows what they need to do, the work will be done quicker, with the lesser possibility of error, and generally more productively.
- Most commonly, personality refers to “dynamic mental attributes and processes that determine individuals’ behavioral and emotional adjustments” to different surroundings (Phillips & Gully, 2014, p. 79). The best practice for managers is to consider the personality when assigning the employees with the tasks.
- Both the individual and the corporate factors affect the specifics of the self-concept in a particular organization (Phillips & Gully, 2014, p. 122). Moreover, the expectations from the employees differ depending on the cultural background (Ashkenas et al., 2015). Therefore, the best practice would be to provide the employees with feedback, so they understand the level of their performance objectively.
Ashkenas, R., Ulrich, D., Jick, T., & Kerr, S. (2015). The Boundaryless Organization: Breaking the Chains of Organizational Structure. Oxford, United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons.
Phillips, J., & Gully, S. (2014). Organizational Behavior: Tools for Success. Mason, Ohio: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Sloan, M. M. (2007). The “Real Self” and Inauthenticity: The Importance of Self-Concept Anchorage for Emotional Experiences in the Workplace. Social Psychology Quarterly, 70(3), 305-318.