The term organisational behaviour (OB) is linguistic shorthand for the activities and interactions of people in organisations. Jack Wood (1995) notes that Fritz Roethlisberger first used the term ‘organisational behaviour’ in the late 1950s, because it suggested a broader range than human relations.
“Organisational behaviour is the study of the structure, functioning and performance of organisations, and the behaviour of group and individuals within them.”
Pugh (1971: 9)
This definition covers a broad range of macro-organisational and micro-individual concerns. The Financial Times Mastering Management Series offers a more detailed definition:
“Organisational behaviour is one of the most complex and perhaps least understood academic elements of modern general management, but since it concerns the behaviour of people within organisations it is also one of the most central … its concern with individual and group patterns of behaviour makes it an essential element in dealing with the complex behavioural issues thrown up in the modern business world.”
Financial Times Mastering Management Series (1997)
The study of organisations involves a range of subjects: extending from psychology, social psychology, sociology, economics and political science. It also draws in a lesser extent from history, geography and anthropology.
OB is important to companies because organisations can no longer rely on trends to predict future patterns, as organisations are no longer homogeneous workplaces. It’s fundamental to motivate and utilise the talent of staff and by studying the OB, it’s possible to gain a better understanding of the best way to do this. Understanding OB is a key aspect for increased opportunity and achievement in the business world. This knowledge is now considered as an asset to many organisations and is equally, if not more important, than
References: Lee-Ross, D. and Pryce, J. (2010) Human Resources and Tourism: Skills, Culture and Industry. Bristol: Channel View. Mullins, L. (2002) Management and Organisational Behaviour. 6th ed. Essex: Pearson Education Ltd. Rollinson, D. (2005) Organisational Behaviour and Analysis: An Integrated Approach. 3rd ed. Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd. Huczynski, A. and Buchanan, D. (2006) Organisational Behaviour. 6th ed. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited. Huczynski, A. and Buchanan, D. (2006) cited in Huczynski, A. and Buchanan, D. (2006) p. 110 Appendix 2 Ferster and Skinner (1957) cited in Huczynski, A. and Buchanan, D. (2006) p. 113 Appendix 3 * Penalties should take the form of withdrawal of rewards, not physical pain | Walters and Grusek (1977) cited in Huczynski, A Luthans (1998) cited in Huczynski, A. and Buchanan, D. (2006) p. 118 Appendix 5 Alderfer (1972) cited in Huczynski, A. and Buchanan, D. (2006) p. 244 Appendix 7 Ritchie and Martin (1999) cited in Huczynski, A. and Buchanan, D. (2006) p. 245 Appendix 8