In our Organization Behavior class we were asked to create a mind map incorporating all the important and relevant topics we have covered during the course, and how they relate with the other topics and fit in the bigger picture of organizational behavior as a subject.
Whilst drawing my mind map, I realized that most of the relevant topics of OB really fall under 4 main branches – Organizational psychology, development, theory and human resources. I believe that these are the 4 most important aspects of OB simply because business is about people. All organizations comprise people; and the organization’s success (or lack of it) really depends on the interactions of the people within the organization, and with the external environment of the organization.
Having said that business is all about people, I believe the Organizational Psychology branch is most critical in understanding org behavior. The thinking styles and belief systems of the people in an organization, and how well these styles can work together is a driving factor of the organization’s success. Attitudes, expectations, goals, assumptions and interpretations are all shaped by the thinking styles and belief systems of individuals. When thinking styles and belief systems are similar or match, there is more effective communication and people are able to influence each other with more ease. However, it may not always be effective to have the same thinking styles and belief systems amongst all colleagues as this may result in different aspects of a problem getting ignored (eg. legal belief system individuals may not consider apathy, empathy etc. when making decisions as power, control and authority will be their priorities, they will need psychological believers to realize that). On the other hand, when people of very diverse thinking styles and belief systems come together there could be utter chaos and disagreement therefore disabling them from making a decision. Hence, it is imperative that the thinking styles and belief systems of people in an organization match for the organization to be effective and smooth functioning.
Accountability management is another important branch of organizational psychology. When accountability is managed well and each employee accepts responsibility for their actions and their circumstances, it enables a more ‘judicious’ environment to be created within the organization. When people realize and accept what they are accountable for, it enables the establishment of honesty, ownership, the empowerment to take risks and also sharing and integrity. Well-managed accountability prevents miscommunication; blame games, shame, jealousy, fear, unresolved conflict and poor or no planning and decisions. To induce accountability in the employees of a company, the different level employees must feel more involved in planning, scheduling, training and even ideating. When the people feel like an active part of a team, they will automatically wish to be more involved and take responsibility for the teams actions as a whole. By including new and different views, approaches, styles of thinking and cultures of employees, there is a greater possibility of the feeling of excitement. Also, effective communication and transparency is extremely essential for developing accountability. It prevents people from feeling left in the dark and therefore gets them more involved in their teamwork and projects.
The culture of an organization is greatly impacted by the psychology of those that make the organization, and vice versa as well. A hospitable and warm environment is a necessity in any organization for the members to thrive and reach their full potential. However, to create such an environment the culture of the organization too should be conducive to how the individuals think and believe. The customs, traditions, formal practices and informal practices like decision-making, communication, water cooler...