Importance of Structure and Culture on Organisational Effectiveness

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Importance of Structure and Culture on Organisational Effectiveness

Introduction

Robbins and Judge define organisational behaviour as ‘a method for understanding individual and group behaviour to facilitate organisational performance and effectiveness’ (Robbins and Judge, 2007). Robbins (2003) highlights the importance of managers studying organisational behaviour as this will help them to develop the people skills needed to deal with employers on a day-to-day basis, which is the fundamental aspect of any management role. In fact, organisational behaviour is of huge concern for anyone who organises or supervises the activities of others. There are several influences on organisational behaviour, each of which can impact upon the effectiveness of an organisation. The key influences as identified by Cushway and Lodge (1993) are ‘organisational climate, motivation, group norms, management style and processes’ Although all these factors play an important role in how individuals and groups behave within organisations, it can be argued that there are two factors that exert the most significant impact on organisational effectiveness. The first main factor is organisational structure as it has a massive influence on the design of work activities, the duties of and relationships between employees and employers and the coordination of work roles in order to meet organisational goals. Robbins and Coulter (2012) characterise organisational structure as the way in which jobs are officially arranged within an organisation. Structure forms an outline within which an organisation’s numerous operations may be planned, organised and controlled. The second main factor is organisational culture, which can be seen as a reflection of the personality of an organisation. Schein (1990) cited in Rollinson (2008) sees organisational culture as the collective convictions, beliefs and outlooks shared by the members of an organisation. Adler (2008) points out that organisational cultures can differ markedly and that the ultimate effectiveness of an organisation depends on the way in which individuals can identify, control and manipulate cultural difference within their own settings. This report will explain the concept of organisational behaviour and reflect on the importance of both organisational structure and organisational culture in determining an organisation’s effectiveness.

Organisational Behaviour

Organisational behaviour is the study of the several aspects that influence the way individuals and groups react and perform within organisations. In fact, Pettinger and Frith (2000) consider organisational behaviour to primarily focus on the study of the way people behave and interact with ‘any restricted and organised setting’. It seems clear that understanding the way in which the work environment shapes this behaviour and interactions is key to the essence of organisational behaviour. Indeed, Buchanan and Huczynski (2010) point out that a great deal of the research in this area centres on how patterns of behaviour evolve and take on distinctive form depending on the context and environment.

Cumings (1978), cited in Mitchell and Larson (1987), categorises organisational behaviour as an applied behavioural science and points out that, as a result, it is built upon contributions from several different behavioural disciplines. In highlighting the areas that have had the most significant influence on the development of organisational behaviour, both Robbins (2003) and Brooks (2006) identify the predominant fields as Psychology, Sociology, Social psychology, Anthropology and Political science. Buchanan and Huczynski (2010) state that the influence of these several fields on the development of organisational behaviour is what accounts for its many different dimensions.

Psychology:

Psychology’s findings on personality, attitudes, motivation, attitude and stress have been related to organisational behaviour in order to know...
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