Unformatted text preview: rned with ‘‘the study of the structure, functioning and performance of organizations, and the behavior of groups and individuals within them”. Ivancevich and Matteson, (1998) in their book Organizational Behavior and Management, offers a broader definition. They opine that OB is about ‘‘the study of human behavior, attitudes and performance within an organizational setting; drawing on theory, methods, and principles from such disciplines as psychology, sociology, and cultural anthropology to learn about individual perception, values, learning capabilities, and actions while working with groups and within the total organization; analyzing the external environment’s effect on the organization and its human resources, missions, objectives and strategies”. Sikkim Manipal University 18 Organizational Behavior Unit 2 W hat emerges from these two definitions is a view of OB as: 1. A way of thinking 2. An interdisciplinary field 3. Having a distinctly humanistic outlook 4. Performance oriented 5. Seeing the external environment as critical 6. Using scientific method 7. Having an applications orientation Levels of analysis: W ood (1997) provides a useful model for exploring behavioral events. He suggests that diff erent levels of analysis can be applied when examining the significance of an organizational issue. He proposes eight, namely: 1. Individual 2. Team 3. Intergroup 4. Organizational 5. Interorganizational 6. Societal 7. International 8. Global. The basic issue is that the level of explanation that one chooses, determines the view of the causes of an event or problem. It also affects the actions that one takes, and the solutions that one seeks. In an organization, inappropriate intervention at the wrong level can make a problem worse rather than better. Three points are important in this regard: People tend to pick their favorite level of analysis to explain events, and then behave accordingly. This is often particularly true of external consultants brought in to perform a ‘quick fix’. Sikkim Manipal University 19 Organizational Behavior Unit 2 People are most familiar with, and often prefer, explanations at the individual level of behavior. Trying to change people by sending them on a training course is simpler than changing structures or upgrading technology. However, such explanations are often too simplistic, inaccurate, or incomplete. It may not solve organizational problems, nor provide the base for creating self suff iciency and sustenance, particularly in a competitive and volatile market. As a general principle, any organizational problem can be usefully analyzed at an increasingly higher level of abstraction. By considering a problem progressively at the individual, group, intergroup, and organizational levels, a deeper understanding of its causes can be gained. As a result, the tools needed to tackle the problem can be chosen more precisely, and applied more effectively. Looking at a problem systemically will always yield a bett...
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- Fall '10
- The Land, Manipal University, Sikkim Manipal University