1.1  Definition of terms used in Organization theory and Behaviour


Organization  comprise  of  two  or  more  people  engaged  in  a systematic  and harmonized    effort , persistently over  a period  of time  in pursuit  of goals.

Behavior is defined as what people do which can be observed or measured.

Organizational Behaviour 

Organizational behavior is    a    field    of    study    that    investigates the impact    that individuals, groups and structure have on behavior within   organizations   for   the purpose of    applying    such    knowledge towards    improving    an organization’s effectiveness.


1.2 Elements of Organisational Behaviour

  • People: People make up the internal and social system of the organisation. They consist of individuals and groups. The groups may be big or small; formal or informal; official or unofficial. Groups are dynamic and they work in the organisation to achieve their objectives.
  • Structure: Structure defines the formal relationships of the people in organisations. Different people in the organisation are performing different type of jobs and they need to be (elated in some structural way so that their work can be effectively co-ordinated.
  • Technology: Technology such as machines and work processes provide the resources with which people work and affects the tasks that they perform. The technology used has a significant influence on working relationships. It allows people to do more and work better but it also restricts’ people in various ways.
  • Environment: All organisations operate within an external environment. It is the part of a larger system that contains many other elements such as government, family and other organisations. All of these mutually influence each other in a complex system that creates a context for a group of people.

1.3  Importance of studying organizational behavior

The pace of change in organization is accelerating and transformation is occurring at various work places. Therefore is time for organization, to know   how to combat   change for the

prosperity of organizations. The following are trends that are currently in most organizations;

Trends in current organizations. The following are trends that are currently in most organization.

i. Globalization

Globalization   refers   to economic, social   and cultural connectivity with people   in other   parts   of   the   world. It’s an ongoing process which influences aspects of organizations which   some are advantageous and others are disadvantageous.

Globalization is applauded for increasing organizational  efficiency and providing    a broader  network  to    attract valuable  knowledge  and skills  while  it  also  presents new  challenges  like; competitive  pressures  , market  volatility , longer  working hours, heavier  workloads  and  work  – family  conflict  amongst others.

ii.   Information Technology

The internet and other forms of information technology are changing daily e.g.

  It is  connecting  people  around  the planet  and  allowing  small  businesses  in developing countries  to compete  in global  market place  within   organization.

  It has reshaped the dynamics of organization power and politics.

 It has created new standards for competitive advantage through knowledge management.

  It has brought about telecommunication where employees work from home with a computer connection  to the office

iii. The changing workforce.

Dimension of workforce involves primary and secondary diversity. Primary dimension involve; gender, ethnicity, age, race, sexual orientation, mental/physical qualities that represent    individual’s socialization  and  self  identity .Secondary dimension  involve education, marital status, religion  and  work place. Diversity of this workforce presents both challenges and opportunities in organizations. Opportunities   like ; competitive advantage , reverse of  market  share  among  others  .Challenges  involve    racism, stereotyping conflicts e.t.c

iv. Emerging  Employment  Relationships  The  changing  workforce,  new  information  &  communication  technology  and globalization have fueled substantial changes in employment relationships. Employees face increasing turbulence in their work/employment, where they  perform a variety of work   activities  rather than  hold  specific  jobs   and  are   expected  to continuously learn skills  that  will keep them employed  .This  brings  implications  on job design, organizational loyalty and work stress.

v.  Work Place  Values  And  Ethics  Values represent stable, long-lasting beliefs  about what  is  important  in a  variety  of situation that guide decisions  and action, while  ethics  is  the  study of   moral principles or values that determine whether actions are  right or wrong  and  outcomes are good and bad. Companies are learning   to apply values   in a global   environment and they   are under pressure to abide by ethical values  and  higher  standards  of cooperate  social responsibility.


1.5 Theories of Organisation behaviour


  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs


Figure 3.1: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

  • Needs were categorized as five levels of lower- to higher order needs.
  • Individuals must satisfy lower-order needs before they can satisfy higher order needs.
  • Satisfied needs will no longer motivate.
  • Motivating a person depends on knowing at what level that person is on the hierarchy.
  • Hierarchy of needs
  • Lower-order (external): physiological, safety
  • Higher-order (internal): social, esteem, self-actualization
  • The difference is that higher order needs are satisfied internally while lower-order needs are satisfied externally.
  • McGregor’s Theory X and Y

Douglas McGregor (1960) produced his analysis of the different views about people and how they should be motivated. Theory X is the traditional view that the average human dislikes work and wishes to avoid responsibility and that, therefore, ‘most people must be coerced, controlled, directed, threatened with punishment to get them to put forward adequate effort towards organizational objectives’. In contrast, theory Y emphasizes that people will exercise self-direction in the service of objectives to which they are committed and that commitment to objectives is a function of the rewards associated with their achievement.

  • Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory
  • Job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction are created by different factors.
  • Hygiene factors: extrinsic (environmental) factors that create job dissatisfaction.
  • Motivators: intrinsic (psychological) factors that create job satisfaction.
  • Attempted to explain why job satisfaction does not result in increased performance.
  • The opposite of satisfaction is not dissatisfaction, but rather no satisfaction.

Herzberg Two-Factor theory divides Maslow’s Hierarchy into a lower-level and a higher-level set of needs, and suggests that the best way to provide motivation for an employee is to offer to satisfy the person’s higher-order needs, ego and self-actualization. Herzberg said that lower-order needs, or hygiene factors, are different from higher-order needs, or motivators. He maintains that adding more hygiene factors to the job is a very bad way to motivate because lower-order needs are quickly satisfied.

  1. iv) Hawthorne Studies

Led by Elton Mayo (1939) with a research team from Harvard University who were interested in find out how changes in work environment impact productivity. Four major phases marked Hawthorne Studies;

  • The illumination studies: designed to determine the influence of lighting on worker productivity. No significant difference in productivity
  • The relay assembly test room studies: changes such as incentive plans, rest periods, temperature, humidity, work hours and refreshments. Productivity went up in wide variety of situations
  • The interview program: interviews were held with employees to learn more about the impact of working conditions on productivity. Workers were more interested in talking about their feelings and attitudes
  • The bank wiring room studies: workers were observed in a bank wiring room. It emerged that workers developed norms regarding ‘proper’ level of productivity and exerted pressure on each other to maintain that level.


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