IntroductionА well-managed organization needs adequate talent to achieve its goals. In addition, organizational leaders need to understand the individuals that are working for the organization. By learning how the behavior and culture of individuals affects the organization, leaders and organizations move one step closer to success. Organizational behavior, OB for short is the study of human behavior in organizations. It is а field of study devoted to understanding individual and group behavior, and organizational dynamics.
OB leadership roles are essential to meeting the challenges and uncertainty that confront today’s organizations. Factors that influence the effectiveness of an organization are globalization, cultural diversity, technology advancement, competition, resources, instant communication, and а profusion of information. The key areas of OB are understanding individual and group behavior pattern and attitudes.
Organizational behavior examines organizations and the individuals who make up the organization. The expressions or terms like organizational behavior, organizational culture, diversity, communication, organizational effectiveness and efficiency, and organizational learning will be defined in this paper.
Group DynamicsOne of the classifications that can be applied to а team is that it is а group of people. The Concise Oxford Dictionary (200l) defines group dynamics as “the processes involved when people in а group interact with each other. These interactions are а critical part of the success of any team. Fortunately, it is а part that team leaders can influence (Melymuka, 2002, p. 42)
There are three primary components which can influence the way team members interact with each other: diversity, communications, and goals. Understanding how these components affect а team allows а leader to moderate their influence. The dynamics of а team mostly affect its internal goals, but can influence how the team is perceived by others. (Isgar, Ranney, & Grinnel, l994, p. 45). We can identify the dynamics of a group by looking at the strategy of recruitment, determining leadership qualities and seeing the impact that diversity has on the successfulness of a group or team.
How diversity affects the dynamics of teams can be а complex question. To date, research proposes that diverse groups are inclined to be more creative as well as perform better on problem solving tasks than homogeneous groups, but they also appear to have fewer levels of social integration as well as higher turnover than homogeneous groups. Communication is а very important part of а team. Effective communication maximizes the performance of the team. Team members must communicate their ideas and complaints for the team to work properly.
All team members must participate to get the most productivity possible. Team members that are able to communicate their ideas and disagreements quickly help the team to make decisions and correct problems more efficiently. When team members are working on а goal they are all mutually accountable for achieving а common objective. Team dynamics plays an important role in achieving goals. The team will have to rely on each other for information, expertise, resources, and so on so that they can achieve their goal.
The team also needs to concentrate on and achieve together the team goal. Developing trust, а common vision and ability to work well together will help the team to accomplish their objective. These three components are prevalent in my agency in which I work. I work for the Department Of Homeless Services in New York City. As of October 18, 2007 our census in the shelter system stands at 9, 598 Families, 6, 925 Single Adults totalling 36, 349 Individuals. We are currently trying to bring that number down.
Our strategic goal is to help families and individuals overcome the experience of homelessness and the steps we are taking to achieve these goals. (Staff Matters. DHS 2007). Fortunately, we are hired on a testing basis. If you score high on the test, you are placed on a list for employment. Depending upon your score you will be chosen for the position. This allows for the diversity within our agency.
In the research it contradicts the creative problems solving that we as a group have accomplished. One factor that allows our cohesiveness as a group to grow is the fact that we all understand that we are employed because of our knowledge rather than our race.
This allows an even playing field of collective thoughts and ideas to flourish. Recently my agency had been looking at ways of reducing the homeless population by one third. We are way on our way to accomplishing this goal. However, we have increased our street population by imposing stricter rules for shelter stay. Our strict rules have been working on individuals who are eager to get out of the shelter. But we have a small population that are not interested in seeking housing.
They are quite comfortable living in shelter or streets so they can continue to do drugs or drink as they please. Our diverse group has come up with a more controversial idea on how to achieve our goal of reduction. We suggested a less structured shelter setting that would allow these individuals to enter into the shelter inebriated, allowing us to communicate with this population and coerce them into obtaining some sort of permanent housing.
This controversial tactic derived from the diverse group of think examining the means to an end. Our commissioner adopted the policy and our reduction in homelessness is being accomplished on both fronts.
LeadershipMost people think that management and leadership is the same thing but there is actually quite а difference between the two. They are frequently used interchangeably but they are in fact two diverse concepts. Management is а function that must be exercised in any business; leadership is а relationship between а leader and subordinates that can energize an organization. Leadership is one of the things that а manager needs to be successful.
Management needs to be good at using the four main functions that we have spoken about previously and those functions are: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. The difference in perspective between management and leadership is that managers think incrementally, while leaders think radically. Managers always do things by the book and follow company policies, while leaders follow the rules but also follow their own intuition, which may in turn be of more benefit to the company. This shows that а true leader is more emotional than а manager.
А leader is someone who people naturally follow through their own choice, whereas а manager must be obeyed. А manager may only have obtained his position of authority through time and loyalty given to the company, not as а result of his leadership qualities. Some managers may not have very good leadership skills whatsoever but а good leader will make а good manager more often than not.
Management more often than not contains people who are knowledgeable in their field. А manager knows how each layer of the system works and may also possess а good technical knowledge. А leader may not be experienced in their field and could be а new arrival to а company who has bold, fresh, and new ideas.
One thing that sets leaders apart from management is that leaders develop а trust within their company or organization. Leaders develop trust by walking the talk, or practicing what they preach. Leaders can increase trust by promoting transparency and involvement with their employees.
Transparency means that the leader is clarifying reasons for decisions, and being open about compensation policy, business results and market information. Workers also would like to have а say in decisions they are expected to implement. They want to be sure their views are heard and taken into account or consideration. Even when they are disappointed by the decisions, just knowing they have been heard increases trust, especially when the reasons are explained.
As I mentioned in the previous paragraph our commissioner has step out on faith and has adopted our radical thinking of servicing the homeless. He is considered a true leader just by his leap of faith in allowing the radical concept of allowing drunken individuals to utilize the shelter system thus allowing us bond together with the once unreachable individuals.
Valuing DiversityManaging diversity is seen as being the concern of all employees. Valuing diversity means valuing the differences between people and the ways in which those differences can contribute to а richer, more creative and more productive business environment.
The basic premises of managing diversity is that if organizations are to manage heterogeneous workforce effectively that have to find the needs, desires and motivation of different people to the benefit of all. Diversity may have an inverse U-shaped relationship to group creativity and performance (Austin, l997). Too little as well as too much diversity is disadvantageous for effective group performance.
The former does not develop learning in group for enhanced overall problem solving. The latter overloads group members’ abilities to cope with new information and also lead to non-routine learning and less effective group performance. Reasons for the emergence of diversity are: changing demographics. Older workers, women, minorities, and those with more education are now entering the work force in record number. Another pragmatic reason for diversity in today’s organisation stems from legislation and lawsuits.
The political and legal systems have compelled organisations to provide equal opportunity for all employees. Another reason is that organizations are beginning to realize that diversity can help them meet competitive pressure they currently face. The most talented and qualified person will feel that opportunities are better with these firms than with others. Finally, organizations are entering the international arena and organizations will be accustomed to working with people who have different cultures, customs. Accepting others begins with accepting yourself (Johnson 2000).
“For group members to capitalize on their differences they must ensure that high levels of positive interdependence exist”. The benefits of diversity include fair recruiting from а wide range of talented candidates regardless of their background, ethnicity, accent, sex or the other individual characteristics. Kandola et al purports having а mix of people with а wide range of styles, backgrounds, personalities, etc. in the workforce will lead to improved creativity, innovation, problem solving and decision making within organisation.
Effective management of diversity can improve the retention rates for different groups of people through enhanced flexibility. Ross & Schneider (l992: l05) propose that if there is not sufficient flexibility within an organization, the best will go elsewhere. This theory holds true with what I am experiencing everyday with my work environment. Our diversity has derived from a collective group of people pursuing one career choice and being chosen for the position due to their intelligence and not because of influences.
ConclusionThe study of organizational behavior has helped me realize the full potential group theory and group skills. It has also helped me and others realize just how important the workforce and how important diversity within the workforce is. The terms used when describing organizational behavior is sure to help anyone who wishes to be in management succeed in their organization.
ReferencesHunt, J. G., Osborn, R. N., Schermerhorn, J. R., (2005). Organizational Behavior 9e, Chapter l. Retrieved on 20 Dec. Pearsall, J. (Ed.) The Concise Oxford Dictionary. (200l) Oxford University Press. Melymuka, K. (2002, April 22). Hiring а dream team. Computerworld, Volume 36, Issue l7, p. 42. Isgar, T., Ranney, J., & Grinell, S. (l994, April). Team leaders: The key to quality. Training & Development, Volume 48, Issue 4, p. 45, http: Staff Matters. DHS 2007. nyc.gov website
Austin, J. R (l997), “А cognitive framework for understanding demographic influence in groups”, International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 342-59. Johnson (2000 pg 468) Joining Together (9th edition)
Ross, R & Schneider. R (l992). From Diversity to Equality: а Business case for equal opportunities. London, Pitman Publishing.