Organizational behavior is a field of study that explores the influence that people have on behavior within organizations and groups, to improve organizational performance. Behavioral sciences can enhance this field of study. Organizational behavior is influenced by globalization, customer needs, the need for innovation and change, and technology, among others.
Managers have to constantly improve their managerial skills and use techniques in interacting with employees. First, they have to use intuition, which is instinctive and unconscious; faddism, which is the tendency of liking style or activity for a short time; and systematic study which is time-consuming. All these have to be used all together, but the evidence is necessary to combine intuition and experience to have a more positive impact.
Emotions and Moods
Emotions and mood have a purpose and they are outcomes of our personality, events or social activities, and the environment. They contribute to the irrationality of managers, who become ineffective because of it. We use emotions in our interactions, but we have to control them, even though we have different emotions and moods in different situations. We feel angry, happy, or surprised, but we also feel nervous, excited, or contented. These depend on the situation in the workplace. Personality and mood influence the way we react to specific situations. While emotions make us irrational, they help us understand the world and our fellow human beings. Controlling our emotions helps us achieve organizational goals and make us better managers.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to observe one’s own and others’ beliefs and emotions, and constructively use these. It relates to other qualities, like being a good communicator and able to respond well to difficult situations.
As we become expert and skillful in dealing with our emotions, we become more emotionally intelligent. It is therefore important to study emotional intelligence to become competent, creative, and successful individuals. Managers and employees should be able to use emotional intelligence to create an effective workforce. Emotional intelligence helps create organizational culture.
Organizations must recruit and employ emotionally smart managers and employees and create an environment that will make them emotionally smart. Organizations that are composed of emotionally intelligent managers and employees are more likely to succeed.
Motivation is a stimulant that inspires individuals to do something or achieve their goals. It is a process that shows how an employee’s strength, direction, and determination of endeavor are attained to achieve the objective, for example, an organizational goal. Strength or intensity refers to how an individual tries an endeavor to achieve the goal.
The most popular motivational theory is Maslow’s human-need theory, which explains how human behavior reacts to certain stimulants. Human beings have different needs, classified and arranged like in a pyramid. Physiological needs (for example, hunger, thirst, or shelter) have to be met before other needs like safety, social, and self-actualization have to be achieved. Douglas McGregor’s ‘Theory X and Y” model proposed a participative type of management, wherein employees are motivated to participate in decision making (Robbins 157).
Motivations: From Concept to Application
Job design is the method of organizing the components of a job, which is done to effect results on motivation, satisfaction, and performance. It is not all about motivation; we also need ability and the opportunity to perform. Jobs can be redesigned to expect higher performance. For example, employees’ work schedules can be made flexible, as on a rotational basis. There are various ways to expand a job, such as combining tasks, creating work units, and expanding jobs horizontally and vertically. With the new technology, jobs have been revolutionized when it comes to enlargement or flexibility. Employees can work at home using the Internet, or other applications like video-conferencing, or emails. Others use mobile technology in receiving instructions from their supervisors or managers.
Attitudes and Job Satisfaction
Attitudes refer to people’s feelings over certain things. They also refer to personal assessments, whether favorable or unfavorable, on situations or things. Attitudes are sometimes translated into opinion or belief (cognitive), emotions (affective), and behavior (behavioral) about people, events, and objects. A negative behavior does not necessarily result from a negative attitude, but the opposite can happen as in cognitive dissonance. Individuals with strong self-control can create positive behavior from a negative attitude. People change, as they say, and therefore, they can change their attitude to modify their behavior. Reducing dissonance can be the result of individual influence, important goals in the organization and rewards are given. When an attitude is constantly expressed, it becomes a predictor for specific behavior. Employees’ attitudes reflect on how they are satisfied and dissatisfied with their job.
The use of teams has become popular because it is effective in showing one’s talents or work capabilities. Teams are flexible in responding to organizational or environmental changes. It can motivate employee involvement and participation, in particular drawing comments and suggestions, or decision making. There is a difference between a workgroup and a work team: a workgroup interacts based on the concept of information sharing and in making decisions to motivate each member to perform well, while a work team creates positive cooperation through a collaborative effort. The individual accomplishments create a performance that is more valuable than the entire individual inputs. There are other kinds of teams, which are formed according to function and aim. Effective teams are the result of sufficient resources, effective leadership, and an autonomous environment.
Charismatic leaders have many positive characteristics that promote moral and ethical issues. They motivate followers to think independently and be a part of the group. They know the power of two-way communication and easily convince followers to work for organizational objectives.
Charismatic leaders have interpersonal skills in persuasion and in allowing followers to change their views on certain issues (Burns 10). A charismatic leader can transform a crisis into a learning experience, inspires followers to do what is right, and let them remain humble despite their accomplishments. They are also called transformational leaders because they transform followers to adopt new values and visions and make these a part of the collective goals of the organization.
Negotiating is the process of reaching an agreement by resolving differences through creativity. Stephen Kozicki stressed that negotiating must be characterized by creativity. He compares it to walking along a tightrope, wherein the rope must be flexible to accommodate the problems we encounter in the negotiation process. We should not only think of our side but also respect the opinion of the other party (Kozicki 5).
Success in negotiating is affected by the style we employ. We use a quick style when we think we will not deal with this party again. We use the deliberate style when we know the process takes a longer time, needs more preparation, and both parties have to be cooperative, and must have a lasting relationship. We use negotiation to reach an agreement, where both sides feel comfortable about the agreed contract.
Burns, James. “The Crisis of Leadership.” The Leader’s Companion: Insights on Leadership Through the Ages. Ed. James Thomas Wren. New York: The Free Press,1995. 8-10. Print.
Kozicki, Stephen. The Creative Negotiator. New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing Limited, 2005. Print.
Robbins, Stephen. Organizational Behavior. New Jersey: Prentice Hall International, Inc., 2001. Print.