Organizational studies deal with the analysis of how people prepare organizational structures, practices, and processes and how all these create social relations and institutions which have an impact on people. Organizational studies include different fields which deal with the different spheres of the organizations. Organizational change is the base of the study. Historical trends and theories are also included in the study to show the relation between the traditional, present and future of the organizational structures, practices, and processes.
Area of Study:
The area of organizational studies includes:
- Organizational Behavior
- Organizational Culture
- Organizational Ecology
- Organizational Psychology
- Organizational Theory
- Organizational Learning
Organizational behavior (OB) is the area of study that analyzes the effect that people, groups, and structures have on the behavior in an organization to apply this knowledge for enhancing an organization’s effectiveness.
- Other Fields’ Contribution to Organizational Behavior:
Organizational behavior can be referred to as an applied behavioral science founded on the contributions from different behavioral fields such as psychology, social psychology, sociology, and anthropology.
Psychology aims to determine, describe and often alter humans’ and other animals’ behavior. The contemporary organizational or industrial psychologists studied boredom, fatigue and other working problems and conditions which could hinder the performance of the employees. Their contributions led to the including of perception, emotions, personality, leadership effectiveness, training, motivational forces, performance appraisals, job-satisfaction, attitude-measurement, decision-making processes, work-design, job stress and employee-selection techniques, etc. in organizational behavior.
Social psychology which is a branch of psychology combines the concepts of psychology and sociology to understand human influence on one another. Change, it’s implementation and decreasing hindrances to its acceptance, is one of the main study area of social psychology. Understanding, determining and altering attitude, building trust, identifying communication patterns, power, group behavior, conflict, etc. are the contributions of social psychologists to organizational behavior.
Sociology describes the relationship between people and their social culture or environment. Group behavior in any organization, organizational culture, organizational structure, theory, communications, technology, conflict, power, etc. are the contributions of sociologists to organizational behavior.
Anthropology studies about the society to acquire knowledge about people and their functions. The differences among the behaviors, norms, and values of people of different nations or organizations, organizational environment, culture, etc. are the contributions of anthropologists to organizational behavior.
- Guidelines for Managers:
Managers should flourish their interpersonal skills to effectively perform their roles. Some guidelines for managers are mentioned below:
- Sometimes generalizations can lead to erroneous information, so OB depends on systematic study rather than intuition to predict human behavior within the organization properly.
- People differ in their behavior so managers have to apply OB depending on situational variables to describe cause and effect relationship.
- OB initiates a need to change in the workforce diversity and practices in different countries.
- OB helps to increase employee productivity and efficiency by guiding managers on how to motivate employees, change work design and programs, improve customer service and aid employees to balance conflicts within the working place.
- OB initiates managers to be innovative in this ever-changing
- OB directs managers to make a morally healthy working environment.
Organizational culture is a set of norms and values shared by the employees of an organization which differentiates the organization form the other ones. Organizational culture contains the following seven characteristics:
- Innovativeness and risk-taking: The extent, employees are encouraged to being innovative and taking risks.
- Detail-orientation: The extent, employees are demanded to show accuracy, analysis and detail orientation.
- Result-based: The extent, management emphasizes on results instead of emphasizing on the processes and techniques applied to attain them.
- People-based: The extent, management decides to consider the impact of results on people in the organization.
- Team-based: The extent, functions are organized based on teams instead of individuals.
- Competitiveness: The extent, individuals within the organization are competitive and aggressive instead of being friendly.
- Steadiness: The extent, organizational functions are focused on growth stability.
Organizational ecology explains the impact of social, economic and political situations on the associated success and diversity of organizations and the changes occurring time to time within the organization. Organizational ecology is based on three considerations. First, all organizations show diversity. Second, organizations have problems in applying changes quick enough to fulfill the demands of changing and uncertain environments. And, third, organizations start and dissolute frequently. Under these considerations, ecological analyses develop organizational variability at the population level, indicating the various origination of new and dissolution of old organizations and populations with heterogeneous characteristics. This formation distinguishes adaptation approaches that describe organizational diversity in the form of organizations’ leaders’ continuous aggregated strategic choices.
Variations in organizational populations depict the function of four core processes: variation, selection, retention, and competition. Human behavior generates variation. Individuals create variation constantly in their acts to alter their behavior and to change the organization’s relationship to the environment. The core of issues of control and coordination in organization theory is an evidence to the usualness of variation within organizations. Organizational variations act as a basic material for selection processes. Certain variations which are more useful to organizations than others in obtaining resources in a competitive environment are chosen by managers within organizations. Likewise, investors, customers, and government regulators in the resource environment select the best variation from organizations which are competing for resources.
Actually, organizational ecology emphasizes on three levels the individual, the community and the organization and which changes rapidly.
Organizational psychology uses psychological theories and principles to understand the behavior of individuals within an organization and their work life. Organizational Psychology deals with the issues of the interview, selection and appointment, training and development, determining performance, motivation, performance appraisal, quality of work life, work-structure, work-process, human resources, organizational development, customer behavior, and help to assess marketing strategy.
Organizational theory includes different approaches to organizational analysis. Organizations are social units of people structured and organized to fulfill a need, or to achieve combined goals. Organizational theories discuss the following:
- Rational system perspective:
The rational system perspective concentrates on the formal structures of an organization as a group of people who work collectively to achieve particular goals.
Assigning different parts of a task to different people in order to improve the participants’ efficiency.
- Bureaucratic theory:
Max Weber's (a German sociologist, popularly known as the father of the theory of bureaucratic management) bureaucratic theory has two main parts. First, it requires a hierarchical structuring in an organization. Secondly, clear-cut logical and legal decision-making rules will govern the organization and its members.
An organizational theory stating that there is no best way to organize or to lead a corporation or company, or to take decisions is known as the contingency theory by an Austrian psychologist Fred Edward Fielder. The course of decision making action depends upon the internal and external situation and the personality of the leader. A dependent or contingent leader has the effectiveness and efficiency to apply their own leadership style to the appropriate situation.
Learning is the process through which we acquire new knowledge and try to act according to that to reflect the knowledge in our activities. Organizational learning is an on-going process within the organization that increases its ability in a collective way to take action in order to cope with the internal and external changes.
The Objective of Organizational Studies:
The main objective of organizational studies is to provide a complete understanding of the behavior, culture, ecology, psychology, theories, and learnings of the organizations to the managers, researchers, and students.
It is necessary for the managers to have a clear and brief understanding of organizational studies to manage the organizations’ employees, the internal and external factors and as a whole the overall performance of the organization in an effective and efficient manner.
An introduction to Anthropology