Organizational Behavior Study Guide

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Chapter 1 – The Fields of Organizational Behavior
Levels of analysis
Individuals (micro approach)
Groups
Organizations (macro approach)
OB focuses on three interrelated levels of analysis (listed above). These three levels of analysis must be considered to comprehend fully the complex dynamics of behavior in organizations. Careful attention to all three levels of analysis is a central theme in modern OB. Micro Approach (Individuals)

OB scientists are concerned with individual perceptions, attitudes, and motives. In Between (Groups)
Between these two extremes and sharing characteristics of each are groups. This focuses on the phenomena of how people communicate, make decisions, and lead others. Macro Approach (Organizations)

Field of OB also examines the organizations as a whole – the way they are structured and operate in their environments and the effects of their operations on the individuals and groups within them. *OB seeks to improve organizational effectiveness and the quality of life at work Theory X and Theory Y (Early twentieth century)

Theory X (traditional approach)
*In the early part of the twentieth century, bosses treated employees like disposable machines, replacing those who quit or who died from accidents with others who waited outside factory gates. Assuming that people were irresponsible, these managers held a very negative view of employees and treated workers disrespectfully. This philosophy of management assumes that people are basically lazy, dislike work, need lots of direction, and will work hard only when they are pushed into performing. Theory Y (modern approach)

The approach that assumes that people are not intrinsically lazy but that they are willing to work hard when the right conditions prevail is known as the Theory Y orientation. This philosophy assumes that people have a psychological need to work and seek achievement and responsibility. *The theory Y perspective prevails within the field of OB today. It assumes that people are highly responsive to their work environments and that they ways they are treated will influence the ways they will act. History of OB

The importance of understanding the behavior of people at work has not always been recognized as widely as it is today. In fact, it was until the early part of the twentieth century that the idea first developed, and it was only during the last few decades it has gained widespread acceptance. Now, in the twenty-first century, it is clear that the field of OB has blossomed and matured. 1. Scientific Management – emphasized importance of designing jobs efficiently 2. The Human Relations Management – focused on non-economic, social factors 3. Classical Organizational Theory – efficient structuring of organizations Scientific Management

The earliest attempts to study behavior in organizations came out of a desire by industrial efficiency experts to improve worker productivity. Central question: What could be done to get people to do more work in less time? Not surprising that attempts to answer this was at the beginning of the twentieth century. After all, this was a period of rapid industrialization and technological change in the US. As engineers attempted to make machines more efficient, it was a natural extension of their efforts to make people more productive too. In the 1880’s, while working as a foreman, Frederick Taylor became aware of some of the inefficient practices of the employees. He noticed that laborers wasted movements when doing some tasks, so he studied the individual components of this task and identified a set of the most efficient motions needed to perform it. A few years later, he redesigned the job of loading and unloading railcars so these tasks too could be done as efficiently as possible. On the heel of these experiences, Taylor published his book in 1911 noting his groundbreaking principles in The Principles of Scientific Management. In it, he argued that the objective of management is “to...
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