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Organizational Behavior: a discipline for discovery

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Organizational Behavior: a discipline for discovery By Jimmy Jackson Ask a manager of 35, 25 or even 15 years ago what their Organization's Behavioral patterns were or how their employees felt about certain issues and you would probably be met with blank stares. Organizational Behavior (OB) was not a part of the business world in those days. The idea that a manager need only deal with the technical skills of it's employees while disregarding their own listening skills, communication skills and interaction skills was the common mode of thought. A recent study on employee burnout by Northwestern National Life Insurance shows that at least one out of every four employees views their job as the biggest stressor in their lives (Work, stress and health conference, 1999). Clearly it is time to reevaluate our thinking on the business concepts of the past and focus our attention on our organization with a more humanistic approach. What worked in the past is not necessarily going to work today. As the world changes so too does our environment change. ...read more.


We need to know what our workers value, how they feel and change with them so as to keep our organization on the cutting edge of productivity and profitability. Research In order to highlight the need for OB studies we need to know what OB gives us, how it relates to our employees and what that overall impact is on the organization. OB is a field of study that investigates the impacts that individuals, groups, and structure have on behavior within organizations for the purpose of applying such knowledge towards improving an organization's effectiveness (Robbins, 2001, p.16). Simply put, OB allows us the chance to learn what individuals are thinking, how their though processes work, what motivates them to do certain things, and how their choices relate to an organization. What do workers want? What are their concerns? The answers are not always the same and the methods of discovery are varied as well but some key responses that seem to be constantly mentioned are job security, a balanced work and family life, and a competitive salary (Cohen, 2002, para.5). ...read more.


As the research above shows, the top companies are adapting and doing what it takes to gain an edge. It is working for them. You may stay in business doing what you have always done, you may even have a modicum of success, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to get the most out of your business? Let your business maximize its potential. Conclusion It was once said that a good company researches what it is selling and is always learning. Why should we treat our employees any differently than we do our product or our target consumers? Employees tell us what we need to know. We just need to listen and be able to interpret the results. We need to become proactive and not reactive in the future. The study of OB is vehicle we can use to interpret what we learn from individuals. The method is there. Why not use it to instigate change in our organizations? The results of our studies will become more and more useful as time goes on. We are always changing, learning and adapting to different situations. OB will allow our organizations to change right along with the people that make it up. ...read more.

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