Organizational Behavior


Organizational behavior is the study of how people, individuals and groups act or behave in different structures or cultures of an organization. Organizational behavior seeks and identifies factors that are necessary for a company to become effective and more efficient over the competitor. Factors that determine one company’s success over another company in the same industry, includes valuing diversity, ongoing organizational learning and effective communication.

Organizational culture is the personality of a company; a company’s culture consists of shared beliefs which shape the organization. The values, assumptions, standards, and tangible signs of the organization’s members, make up the culture of an organization. An organization’s culture can be recognized by looking at the arrangement of its furniture, or by looking at person’s employed by the organization, or by what the members of the organization wear. Our company culture can be recognized by the viewing public as one who has a high turnover rate of employees. The executives constantly reorganize and restructure the company. During these periods, persons are offered separation packages, positions are made redundant and others are fired. Only those persons that are highly skilled and knowledgeable about the industry have remained. This culture according to McNamara (1999) is known as a Fortress culture, a culture of which employees do not know when it will be their last day on the job. This culture to some appears quite daunting, however; it has its advantages. Persons that are highly skilled are quickly promoted to the top without regard for seniority.

Workplace diversity is the variety among people based on gender, race, ethnicity, age, family status, sexual orientation, religion and physical appearance. Valuing diversity is a core topic of organizational behavior. In an ideal world all persons within an organization are treated equal when it comes to hiring and promotions in the workplace, however; in reality discrimination still exist. Acknowledging diversity in the workplace is very crucial, as there are other races, other voices and other ways of seeing things and solving problems while functioning as a team. Diversity is not valued within our organization. Some persons within our organization are promoted and hired based on their gender and physical appearance. For example, our company has a greeter/ hostess in our reception area. This greeter/hostess is a part of the hospitality team. The primary purpose of the hospitality team is to make the customer feel welcomed, comfortable and wanted by our organization. The greeter/hostess has to have a certain physical appearance. All greeters are females, fair skinned, slim built with beautiful features. Discrimination based on features such as attractive or unattractive appearance results in special preferences for those blessed with certain attributes and penalties for persons failing to measure up to the given standards.

Communication is an active process of exchanging information and thoughts. Communication involves a source and a recipient that encodes and decodes the intended message. The encoding process involves interpreting an idea into a message which is spoken, non-spoken (signaled) or written. The different channels of communication includes face-to-face, electronic mails, post mails, voice mails or by way of telephone. Communication in our company is primarily channeled through electronic mail. Our interoffice memos are transmitted electronically. The administrative staff corresponds to the agency staff also through emails. Before emails were implemented at our company the company’s messenger would deliver written mails to the agency staff. Now the process is much more expeditious and efficient. An example of the communication process within our organization is as follow: An underwriter’s primary job is to assess and classify the risk of an applicant. An electronic application is sent directly to the underwriter by the agent (the source). The underwriter (the recipient) receives the application assess the risk and determine if additional medical requirements are needed in order to classify the risk. If additional documents are required, the underwriter responds (feedback) electronically letting the agent knows what is needed for the applicant to be issued a contract. The agent seeks out the additional requirement and returns it electronically to the underwriter for processing.
Organizational effectiveness is the level in which a company attains its goals. According to Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn (2005) an organization’s efficiency is measure by the number of resources needed to produce a good, which is also known as the internal process approach. Our company measures its effectiveness by setting a target profit margin. Each agency force has an assigned target and each agent within an agency has an individual assigned goal. Each agency force assigned quota makes up the overall target. The executive team monitors the company’s progress on a monthly basis. Visits are made and progress/production reports are drafted to show the percentage of quota attained.

The process of acquiring knowledge necessary to survive or compete in an environment is known as organizational learning. It is important to constantly change and seek superior ways of functioning or performing duties. Organizational learning includes shared knowledge between employees within an organization. Organizational learning is an ongoing process at our company. Team leaders are responsible for organizing a knowledge corner. Each team member is encouraged to bring a topic for discussion to corner. The team member during his/her assigned month would decorate the corner with paraphernalia of his/her chosen topic. Topics would include information on the company’s old and new products, breaking business news, the competitor’s products, etc. All these topics help to shape the behavior of our company.

Understanding organizational behavior is vital in designing a company’s structure. In understanding individual and group behavior helps management realize how people in different cultures and environment communicate and function to attain strategic set goals.

References

McNamara, C. (1999). Organizational Culture. Retrieved May 15th, 2006
from http://www.managementhelp.org/org_thry/culture/culture.
Schermerhorn, Jr., J.R., Hunt, J.G., & Osborn, R.N. (2005). Organizational Behavior. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Retrieved May15th, 2006, from University of Phoenix, Resource, MGT/331.

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