Learning Organisational Behaviour And Its Importance Management Essay

1.0 Learning Organisational Behaviour and its Importance

Organization Behaviour is a study and application of knowledge about how individuals and groups in an organization re act or in other words behave at any given point of time. The Study on Organisational Behaviour widens its area to Change, Leadership and Human Behaviour. And its key function is to enhance relationships by fulfilling Organisational, Social and Human objectives.

Today organizations are thriving to enhance their core competencies towards a better success and its strategies are directed towards building a “positive psychological human capital” which in turn would be the key in fulfilling its shared vision and its objectives. Hence it is essential for mangers to have an in-depth knowledge in understanding what Organisational Behaviour (OB) is all about.

As managers it is vital to posses’ Technical skills, Human skills and Conceptual skills in order to study human behaviour such people skills are of utmost important to predict what people do in an organization and how much the behavioural patterns create an impact on organizational performance.

E.g. a manager possessing technical skills will not be sufficient in handling employee’s Grievances, employee moral etc… hence he needs to develop his soft skills to tackle employee conflicts.

Human Capital is considered to be an important asset for any organization, ensuring that staff moral, work ethics, employee satisfaction is in favourable to the orgnasiation in order to thrive results.

E.g. One of UK’s Richest Millionaire and Entrepreneur of Virgin Airlines, Richard Brandson, in his own words says that “Employees are first, then the customers”.

He argues that primarily the employees need to be treated well and be satisfied; this would in turn lead to better services to customers benefiting the organization as a whole.

OB encompasses and stress on a more systematic approach rather being intuitive in reading others. It helps managers in providing a base, in which more accurate predictions of behaviour can be made understood. The underlying fact is that it suggests that behaviour is not just random rather there are fundamental consistencies which help to understand the behaviour of all individuals.

Learning Organizational Behaviour is an effective tool for managers as it focuses on

Comprehending the significance of Learning and Management Styles for personal and organizational growth and development and for business leadership and management;

It recognizes the value of developing specific competencies in an Organizational Environment.

Learning OB helps focus on Stress Management and it can be used on helping employees.

A better feedback on organizational profile is laid.

People/ Behavioural issues and the use of Organisational Behaviour

Talented HR personals play a key role in identifying and resolving people related issues such issues must be minimized or solved from the beginning and throughout all stages in order to bridge the gap and to be ideally placed under the cultural fit. If people-related issues and cultural issues are effectively addressed in the early stages, managers can begin to assess the feasibility of success sooner rather than later.

Today many manufacturing and service related organizations are increasingly recognizing the fact that ignoring potential culture clashes can lead to financial failure. Cultural changes within the working environment can cause culture shocks among employees harming both the individual and the group.

It is important to determine the style of Leadership; it must be honest, straightforward and decisive. Favourism can result in conflicts among the employees and employers. This can be detrimental for the organization; it can lose its skilled workforce and provides a break through to their rivals in grasping the skilled labour force.

Motivational issues are very common in many companies research on motivation has been taking place even now, identifying the best possible way to motivate staff is always considered to be a challenge, finding the right mix of motivational tools along with a happy work force is always a “key strength”.

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E.g. most developing countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh; even in India money plays a wide role in motivating people. However countries like UK, USA heavily rely on recognition rather being money oriented.

The Mystery of Job satisfaction and individual job performance still prevail since the 18th century. Recruiting the right person, for the right job and to the right place is a phenomena which is quite frequently used by many HR personals today, however the role of an HR personal doesn’t end here he needs to focus his attention in training and career development for his employees rather not being job specific, career developmental programs would increase satisfaction levels as an individual or a group creating a win-win atmosphere, this would ensure a higher level of job satisfaction.

E.g. Unilever Sri Lanka provides an excellent job rotation program for its Management Trainees ensures that the employee gets hands on experience in almost all the areas of the business.

Driving towards a personal objective in an organization is not acceptable by any means as it can encourage other staff members in the team/group too. Such actions would mislead others in the team and lose focus in achieving the shared vision. Further it can low its operating efficiency to a greater extent.

Due to the above reasons it is crucial for managers to study the Organizational Behaviour in detail so that it can used as a tool in indentifying the people’ issues and rectify to within a short period of time.

Present issues and Solutions from Organisational Behaviour

As the twenty-first century approaches, companies face a variety of changes and challenges that will have a profound impact on organizational dynamics and performance.

When considering the banking sector, competition within the industry is intensifying, companies are introducing value added services, innovative products

E.g. “Ranaviru Harasara”, an unique bank account introduced by Pan Asia Bank catering only to the armed forces and their family members.

And more specialized and customized services offered to their customers.

E.g. Nations Trust Bank opens up its extended banking hours in Jaffna.

Amidst local competition international competition is heating up since the end of the 30 year civil war. Multinationals are moving ahead and launching their operations in Sri Lanka for the country’s development and their warmly welcomed by the government.

This further adds pressure on to the domestic firms in ensuring higher quality standards are met since Organizational Behaviour plays a vital role in ensuring that the Human Capital is aligned with the company’s objectives and make certain that conflicts within the group are avoided.

Motivation, Commitment, Ethical behaviour and managing a diverse workforce are highlights of present day issues. Since the issue of motivation was addressed earlier, Employee Commitment levels have dropped significantly during the recent past. Organizations have failed to identify the causes, employee stress levels have increased due to higher work load, and proper replacement has not been made for resigned staff. Companies are using the existing staff carder to cover up work. This has created Employer – employee conflicts which in turn have shown signs of high labour turnover and less committed work force to the organization.

Nowadays companies lack staff that are highly dedicated, honest and loyal, when money sets in their mind they tend to lose their loyalty,

E.g. Microsoft, Owner, Bill Gates says that his company is mainly functioned by ten staff members and guarantees that they would not leave at any given point of time.

This shows the level of integrity the staff has towards the company, one should also note the fact that selection process is the success behind such a high profile company. Even at this stage some form of knowledge on Organizational Behaviour is used to solve issues as such.

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2.0 Literature Review on the Frameworks of Organizational Behaviour

Organisational Behaviour is a complex model and includes many ways in identifying its dimensions, due to its complex nature its study itself can be classified into

Cognitive Learning

Operant Conditioning (Behaviouristic)

Social Cognitive Learning

2.0.1 Cognitive Learning or frame work.

Cognitive learning proposes that the learner utilizes mental structures and memory to make decisions about behaviours. Terry.F.Pettijohn (1992)

Pettijohn in his book “Psychology” suggest that cognitive learning is a frame work that people tend to use their inner thinking and memory when making decisions. He further says that Cognitive Learning consists of

Insight – Sudden Perception of the relationship of the cognitive elements to solve the necessary problems. Terry.F.Pettijohn (1992)

Simply means that individuals tend to learn the solution to the problem without using a trial and error system.

Latent learning – this occurs when an individual acquires the knowledge of something but does not show it until motivated to do so. Terry.F.Pettijohn (1992)

Understanding is the key to learning and any form of reinforcement is only necessary to motivate an individual to perform the behaviour that is learnt.

Observational learning – by observing oneself the other intends to follow /understand the behaviour.

2.0.2 Operant Conditioning (Behaviouristic framework)

Behaviouristic framework was initially introduced by B.F. Skinner and is known to be the most famous, influential and controversial figure in contemporary American psychology. Terry.F.Pettijohn (1992)

Behaviour modification is the application in operant conditioning, it has helped many individuals in solving behavioural issues e.g. aggression, obesity

However in an OB perspective it is a combination of two variables i.e. the stimulus, the response and learning occurs when the stimulus and response connection is made. However the problem in this regard is that it mostly helps explain the physical reflexes.

2.0.3 Social Cognitive Learning

Social learning takes the position that behaviour can best be explained in terms of a continuous reciprocal interaction among cognitive, behavioural and environmental determinants.

Fred Luthans (2008)

This technique basically explains the combination of both cognitive and behaviouristic frameworks in understanding organizational behaviour.

The social part acknowledges the social origins of much human thought and action where as the cognitive portion recognizes the influential contribution of thought processes to human motivation, attitudes and action. Fred Luthans (2008)

Critical Analysis and Application of OB frameworks.

Cognitive model was developed in the early century and it has been subjected to much criticism, Cognitive process as it involves only the mental process it fails to account the person itself, ignores the physiological aspects of an individual, and it fails to look into the emotional, perceptual dimensions of human behaviour. When it comes to the application on how such models can be put into practice, on certain occasion’s managers tend to use “insight” in resolving quick issues.

With reference to the literature review on cognitive framework individuals can be identified and be motivated in using their knowledge within them. However this theory cannot be taken as a whole in learning organisational behaviour neither it can be used in full to study factors within/outside the organization but it must be stated that some form of cognitive theory is used even today in a different perspective to understand Organizational Behaviour.

Ivan Pavlov and Jon B. Watson who were considered pioneer behaviorists insisted the salient feature in understanding observable behavioural patterns, rather being making judgments based on the mind.

Behaviourists Ivan Pavlov and Jon B. Watson stressed the importance of studying observable behaviours instead of the elusive mind.  Thus, it is important to note that behaviourtistic approach is based on observable behavior such observational behaviour will not be always accurate in an organizational environment understanding an employee’s behaviour is a challenging task just by observing him/her would be very much subjective and less accurate.

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Hence to strike a balance between the two, Social Cognitive framework is used as an effective tool in combing the cognitive and behaviouristic model that implies behavior can best be explained in terms of a continuous reciprocal interaction among cognitive, behavioral, and environmental determinants.

The variables, person and the environmental situation do not function as independent units but, in conjunction with behavior itself, reciprocally interact to determine behavior.  It means that cognitive and environmental variables are interlinked, but the experience and the knowledge generated by previous behavioural patterns also determine what a person becomes, which, in turn, affects subsequently his/her behavior. A persons thinking do change according to the experience of consequences of past behavior. Therefore as it encompasses both cognitive and behaviouristic approaches Social Cognitive is an ideal model in leaning organizational behaviour for any manufacturing or service organization.






Job Security


Work Pressure


Job Satisfaction





Power & Politics












4.0.1 Application of the model in today’s organizational context

The model shown above gives us a comprehensive and a conclusive summary on Organizational Behaviour, Organization Behaviour (OB) is a concept that is influenced by Individuals, groups/teams and the organization itself. Even a small impact on these variables can cause a detrimental effect on the organization.

For example, if a team is given a task by the management to be completed within the said period of time and if the group is faced with issues such as internal conflicts, power and attitudes the objective will not be met which in turn would have a greater impact on the organization.

Similarly when a skilled employee is subjected work pressure, leadership issues there is always a potential for that employee leaving the organization. Management needs to pay careful attention on such employees as they posses’ unique skills which cannot be matched or replaced by others. Losing such employees at a stage when companies are fighting for growth would be critical.

In the above scenarios a relationship is formed, and it can be stated that both the individual and the group do create an impact on the organization if they are confronted with issues within the organization (internally) such as power, attitudes, group conflicts work pressure.

This model is useful to identify such elements in an organization that would create a harmful effect and take necessary steps to prevent such elements occurring.

External Factors, i.e. government regulations, pressure groups can have an impact on the organization at any given time. Theories and models would not be of any use when sudden government regulations are imposed.

E.g. 50 tax reduction on motor vehicles resulted a huge loss for automobile sector.

As an organization it is essential that contingency plans are set in order to handle such unexpected conditions. The model would help companies to have an idea on the key factors that would caused them a much higher impact and necessary back up plans can be made to avoid such circumstances.

Depending on the type of organization the above mentioned mode can takes its own form. As managers careful consideration needs to be given on the issues they are currently faced with and should identify the unique blend of mix to match with their organization, this model helps such managers in identifying the unique blend of mix.

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