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Free «Organizational Dynamics» Essay Sample

Abstract

The questions identified for this assignment are obtained from chapter one to six of the book Organizational Behavior.  These questions address the most fundamental aspects of organizational dynamics: what is organizational behavior and why it is important; what is the nature of management and leadership in organizations; what are attitudes and how do they influence behavior; what is job satisfaction and why it is important; and, what is the link between perception, attribution, and social learning.

What is organizational behavior and why it is important?

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Organizational behavior refers to the study of individuals and groups in organizations. Schermerhorn et al. (2011) define organizational behavior as “an academic discipline devoted to understanding individual and group behavior, interpersonal processes and organizational dynamics.” In their research, Schermerhorn et al. (2011) indicated that study of organizational behavior helps individuals to expand their potential for career success in the dynamic, ever evolving, and complex workplaces of present and future time. It should be noted that organizational behavior developed into a scientific study that examines individuals and groups in organizations and evaluates the performance implications of organizational processes, systems, and structures.

Organizational behavior focuses on applications that can make real difference in how organizations and people in them execute their duties. Schermerhorn et al. (2011) established that organizational behavior should be seen as an interdisciplinary body of knowledge with strong ties to the behavioral sciences such as psychology and sociology. It uses scientific methods to come up with empirically tested generalizations about behavior in organizations. The most important aspect of understanding organizational behavior is considering the situations or contexts in which behavior occurs (Schermerhorn et al., 2011). Organizational cultures influence the behavior of the people who work there because it influences the way we feel and act in organizations.

Organizational behavior is important because it determines how people find a good fit to experience confidence and satisfaction. Schermerhorn et al. (2011) noted that those people who find unfavorable organizational behavior may be prone to withdraw, experience work stress, and, on the other hand, become angry and aggressive as a result of dissatisfaction. In addition, organizational behavior helps tailor the management practices to fit the exact nature of each situation. Organizational behavior helps to avoid conflicting interests and reduce challenges for decision makers (Schermerhorn et al., 2011).

What is the nature of management and leadership in organizations?

Management in organizations seeks to support the work efforts of others. Management helps people to achieve both high performance and job satisfaction.  Schermerhorn et al. (2011) noted that managers within organizations are facing the challenging and complicated job. Managers play the planning, organizing, leading, and controlling roles. Organizations consist of leaders and managers. Leaders and managers are people whose opinion is taken into consideration by their peers, managers, and by people lower and higher up in the organizational ladder (Schermerhorn et al., 2011). An individual can be a leader among his or her peers when people turn for advice, support or direction.

Consequently, one can become a leader by convincing higher management to adopt new practices suggested from their level. Schermerhorn et al. (2011)  noted that “within the context of management, interpersonal roles involve working directly with other people hosting and attending official ceremonial, creating enthusiasm and serving people needs” (p. 12). Managers should maintain contacts with important people and groups as well as organizational stakeholders. Hellriegel & Slocum (2007) established that informational roles involve managers exchanging information with other people, seeking relevant information, and sharing the information with other insiders.

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Schermerhorn et al. (2011) mentioned that having the essential managerial and leadership skills is one thing, while, at the same time, utilizing them correctly to get things done in organizations is quite another. Leaders in an organization should have technical skills such as the ability to perform specialized tasks using knowledge or expertise gained from education or experience (Schermerhorn et al., 2011). Central to all aspects of managerial work and team leadership are human skills or the ability to work well with other people. Human skills within leaders in organizations show up as a spirit of trust, enthusiasm, and genuine involvement in interpersonal relationships (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2007).  

What are attitudes and how do they influence behavior?

Attitude can be defined as a predisposition to respond in a positive or negative way to someone or something in an organizational environment. Schermerhorn et al. (2011) noted that attitude like a value is a hypothetical construct which cannot be seen or touched. Instead, attitudes are inferred from the things people say or through their behavior. There are three important features of attitude which include cognitive, affective, and behavioral (Champoux, 2010). The behavioral component is an intention to behave in a certain way based on the affect in one’s attitude. Schermerhorn, Hunt & Osborn (2011) say that it is a predisposition to act, but one that may or may not be implemented in an organization.

The link between attitudes and behavior is tentative. According to Schermerhorn et al. (2011) an attitude expresses an intended behavior that may not be carried out. Basically, the more specific is an attitude, the stronger is the relationship with eventual behavior. For example, an individual, who perceives that he or she does not like his job, may be less likely to actually quit than someone who feels he cannot stand another day in the same job. Schermerhorn et al. (2011) supported that “for an attitude to actually influence behavior it is also necessary to have the opportunity or freedom to behave in the intended way” (p. 62).

Eventually, attitudes do not always determine behavior hence the connection between attitudes and potential or intended behavior is an important workplace issue. Schermerhorn et al. (2011) note that effective component of an attitude is a specific feeling regarding the personal impact of the antecedent conditions evidenced in the cognitive component. Attitudes have an influence on behavior but this is usually a complex relationship. Schermerhorn et al. (2011) established that individuals seek to give out particular perceptions through the impression that they seek to create attitudes or other signals.

 
 
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What is job satisfaction and why it is important?

Job satisfaction refers to the degree to which an individual feels positive or negative about a job (Schermerhorn et al., 2011). In addition, job satisfaction is considered as a hallmark of effective managers. Job satisfaction creates work environments in which people achieve high performance. Job satisfaction is evident in different aspects which revolve around work belonging and performing.  Schermerhorn et al. (2011) says that job satisfaction causes high levels of performance. A recent study points out that higher levels of job satisfaction are related to higher levels of customer ratings received by service workers.

Researchers say that instead of focusing on job satisfaction as the precursor to performance, managers should try to create high performance as a pathway to job satisfaction. Schermerhorn et al. (2011) indicated that it generally makes sense that people should feel good about their jobs when they perform well. Studies find a relationship between individual performance measured at one time and later in terms of job satisfaction. Good performance in an organization leads to rewards which in turn lead to job satisfaction. In this context, rewards act as intervening variables in jobs when valued by the recipient. This implies that performance leads to satisfaction only if rewards are perceived as fair and equitable.

Job satisfaction within an organization reflects the extent to which people find fulfillment in their work. Hellriegel & Slocum (2007) argue that low job satisfaction can result in costly turnover, absenteeism, tardiness, and even poor mental health. Since job satisfaction is essential to organizations, there is a need to look at the factors that contribute to it. Job satisfaction in an organization can be measured through five facets which include pay, security, social, supervisory, and growth satisfaction (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2007). A common sense notion is that job satisfaction leads directly to effective performance. It has been established that job satisfaction is a collection of various attitudes towards different aspects of the job and represents a general attitude. 

What is the link between perception, attribution and social learning?

According to Schermerhorn et al (2011), one of the ways in which perception exerts its influence on behavior is through attribution.  This is the process of developing explanations or assigning perceived causes for events. Schermerhorn, Hunt & Osborn (2011) noted that it is normal for individuals to try to tell what they observe and the things that happen to them. It should be noted that attribution helps us understand how people perceive the causes of events, assess responsibility for outcomes, and evaluate the personal qualities of the people involved (Schermerhorn et al., 2011). 

Moreover, the managerial implications of attribution theory trace back to the fact that perceptions influence behavior. For example a team leader who believes that members are not performing well and perceives the reason to be an internal lack of effort is likely to respond with attempts to motivate them to work harder (Schermerhorn et al., 2011).  Perception and attribution are important in social learning theory. This explains how learning takes place through the reciprocal interactions among people, behavior, and environment. Schermerhorn et al., (2011) say that an individual uses modeling or various learning to acquire behavior by observing and imitating others.

Perception is a selective cognitive process that lets person make sense of stimuli from his environment (Champoux, 2010). Well-understood attribution errors that ascribe causes of behavior to the person or the situation raise questions about accountability for ethical behavior. Champoux (2010) further says that attribution processes can change whether one perceives the situation as causing unethical behavior or the person being responsible for the behavior.

   

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