The nature of organisational behaviour is not a discipline in the usual sense of the term, but rather an eclectic field of study that integrates the behaviour sciences into the study of human behaviour within organisations.

Organisational behaviour is a young field of inquiry, interms of the use of scientific techniques. To learn that human behaviour in organisations is not an exact science is in itself a significant realization. One of the failings of the scientific management movement was it belief that human behaviour was easily predicted.

So while the field of organisational behaviour may be inexact, it is realistic. Organisational behaviour is neither a purely scientific area of inquiry nor a strictly intellectual endeavour. It involves the study of abstract ideas, such as valance and expectancy in motivation, as well as the study of concrete matters, such as observable behaviours and physiological symptoms of distress at work. Therefore, learning about organisational behaviour is a multidimensional activity.

Learning about organisational behavior

Learning about organisational behavior

Mastery of basic objective knowledge: Objective knowledge, in any field of study, is developed through basic and applied research. Acquiring objective knowledge requires the cognitive mastery of theories, conceptual models, and research findings.

Skill Development: The study of organisational behaviour requires skill development and the mastery of abilities essential to successful functioning in organisations. Thees sential skills identified by the U.S Department of labour are:

  1. Resource management skills, such as time management.
  2. Information management skills, such as data interpretation.
  3. Personal interaction skills such as team work.
  4. Systems behaviour and performance skills, such as cause-effect relations.
  5. Technology utilization skills, such as troubleshooting.

Many of these skills, such as decision-making and information management, are directly related to the study of organisation behaviour. Developing skills is different from acquiring objective knowledge in that it requires structured practice and feedback.

Application of Knowledge and Skills: It requires the integration of objective knowledge and skill development in order to apply both appropriately in specific organisational settings.

Goals of Organisational Behaviour

The goals of organisational behaviour are to:

  1. Explain individual and group behaviour: We are pursuing the explanation objective, when we want to know why individuals or groups behaved the way they did. For example, if the turnover rate in an organisation is very high, we want to know the reason so that action can be taken to correct the situation in the future.
  2. Predict certain behavioural response to change: Prediction seeks to determined what out comes will result from a given action. Having a sound knowledge of OB will help the manager predict certain behavioural responses to change. In this way, the manager can anticipate which approaches will generate the least degree of employee resistance and use that information in making decision.
  3. Control behaviour: The knowledge of OB can be used by managers to control behaviour. Managers frequently see the control objective as the most valuable contribution that OB makes toward their effectiveness on the job.

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Principles of Management and Organisational Behaviour Topics