What Is Organisational Behaviour? - SACAP
Management & Leadership

What is Organisational Behaviour?

Feb 28, 2024 | By Saranne Durham
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Organisational behaviour is the study of how people interact with each other within a group. It is a subcategory of organisational theory. By understanding the behaviour of employees better, one can bring about positive changes within an organisation. Practically, this translates into improved team dynamics and happier staff, which can lead to better efficiencies. Thereby sparking innovation, and increasing productivity, and profit margins.

What is Organisational Behaviour and Why is it Important?

Organisational behaviour looks at how people who work together interact with each other. This is important as it influences several important company viability factors. For example, how able a company is to retain staff, the efficacy of training and company culture. It is therefore concerned with understanding human interactions to improve an individual’s behaviour. Which in turn can positively impact a company’s long-term sustainability.

Four Types of Organisational Behaviour

  1. People.
  2. Structure.
  3. Technology.
  4. External Environment.

After assessing the dynamics of and between these four types of organisational behaviour astute recommendations can be made. These may result in changing incentive schemes, how performance is evaluated or how teams are organised. Thus, at its essence, organisational behaviour is a psychological analysis of the behaviour of people within a work-based setting. This is why it falls under Human Resource Management (HRM).

How Does Studying Organisational Behaviour Work?

There are three tiers when it comes to researching organisational behaviour. At its base level organisational behaviour research is focused on the individual. What someone does and why they do it. The second tier of study involves looking at the interactions between individuals. Specifically, within a team or group setting. And the third tier is concerned with how organisations interact with other organisations within their field of operation.

What are Organisational Behaviour Concepts?

There are four basic organisational behaviour concepts. They are human dignity, Individual differences, mutual interest, and motivated behaviour. These are linked to the organisational theories of job satisfaction, company culture, dynamics, and leadership. As well as communication and human resources.

Why is Company Culture Important?

Company culture is the collective result of employees’ behaviours and attitudes within their workspace. Employee behaviours and attitudes involve core values, beliefs, practices, customs, and processes. This means that a company’s culture is contingent on human dignity, individual differences, mutual interest, and motivated behaviour. These are the four basic concepts underpinning organisational behaviour.

How is Company Culture Measured?

A company’s culture is difficult to measure. However, the behaviour of staff and their output can be measured which is how company culture is assessed. This correlation is possible because research has shown that there is a strong tie between positive organisational outcomes and culturally informed behaviour standards. What this means is that when there is a positive organisational culture, employees perform better. This is because they are more engaged and therefore invested in their jobs.

Can Organisational Culture be Changed?

An organisation’s culture can be changed. But it is not always an easy process and usually takes a long time. Notable is that it is regarded as one of the most difficult challenges management can face.

People are often resistant to change – especially if they do not see it benefiting them directly. Additionally, an organisational structure can reinforce its current cultural norms. This means that trying to adjust employee behaviours and attitudes may mean changing the way an organisation operates. It often means adjusting management approaches. Such as those related to job descriptions, key performance measures and indicators, feedback mechanisms and operational procedures. It can also mean a change in how people are hired, disciplined, trained, and promoted.

Why Would an Organisation Need to Change its Culture?

The main reason an organisation sets about changing its inherent culture is to remain viable. What this often means is that the status quo no longer works and if it continues the company will close. There are several factors which would cause this to happen.

5 Factors that Drive Organisational Change

  1. Low performance.
  2. Changing local and global market conditions.
  3. Change in management.
  4. Mergers and acquisitions.
  5. New technology.

Organisational Behaviour in Human Resource Management

The management of people falls within the Human Resource component of a company. A qualification with a SACAP psychology basis enables one to fully understand interpersonal dynamics. And thereby be most effective in using organisational behaviour to enhance workplace experiences. Within the SACAP Management and Leadership faculty there are two certificates which enable someone to do just this:

Contact an admissions officer to find out more or apply online.

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