Motivation Theories and Its Application

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Motivation Theories and Its Application

Introduction to Organization Behavior as a Discipline

Motivation is one the various branches of a much wider applied science, that is, Organization Behavior. Therefore, before any further progress is made towards understanding Motivation and its application, a brief introduction to Organizational Behavior would be in place.

Organizational Behavior is the study and application of knowledge about how people, individuals, and groups act in organizations. It does this by taking a system approach.

That is, it interprets people-organization relationships in terms of the whole person, whole group, whole organization, and whole social system. Its purpose is to build better relationships by achieving human objectives, organizational objectives, and social objectives. Organizational behavior encompasses a wide range of topics, such as human behavior, change, leadership, teams, motivation etc.

Organizational Behavior seeks to:

    1. To explain behavior in organizations

    2. To predict behavior in organizations

    3. To manage behavior in organizations

Organizational behaviour is an applied behavioural science that is built on contributions from a number of behavioural disciplines. Some of these disciplines are:

  Psychology. Psychology is the study of human behavior which tries to identify the characteristics of individuals and provides an understanding why an individual behaves in a particular way. This thus provides us with useful insight into areas such as human motivation, perceptual processes or personality characteristics.

  • Sociology. Sociology is the study of social behavior, relationships among social groups and societies, and the maintenance of social order. The main focus of attention is on the social system. This helps us to appreciate the functioning of individuals within the organization which is essentially a socio-technical entity.

  • Social psychology. Social psychology is the study of human behaviour in the context of social situations. This essentially addresses the problem of understanding the typical behavioural patterns to be expected from an individual when he takes part in a group.

  • Anthropology. Anthropology is the science of mankind and the study of human behaviour as a whole. The main focus of attention is on the cultural system, beliefs, customs, ideas and values within a group or society and the comparison of behaviour among different cultures. In the context of today’s organizational scenario, It is very important to appreciate the differences that exist among people coming from different cultural backgrounds as people are often found to work with others from the other side of the globe.

  • Economics. Any organization to survive and sustain must be aware of the economic viability of their effort. This applies even to the non-profit and voluntary organizations as well.

  • Political Science Although frequently overlooked, the contributions of political scientists are significant to the understand arrangement in organizations. It studies individuals and groups within specific conditions concerning the power dynamics. Important topics under here include structuring Of Conflict, allocation of power and how people manipulate power for individual self-interest etc.

Evolution of Organization Behavior

Organizational Behavior has always been studied as a managerial science. Therefore, its evolution cannot be separately differentiated from that of Management Sciences in general. A broad timeline of the evolution of Managerial Sciences is given herewith:

1880 - Scientific Management

Frederick Taylor decides to time each and every worker at the Midvale Steel Company. His view of the future becomes highly accurate:

"In the past man was first. In the future the system will be first."

In scientific management the managers were elevated while the workers' roles were negated.

"Science, not rule of thumb,"...
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