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Organizational Behavior Questions

Question 1

Organizational behavior (OB) refers to the manner people within an organization respond to issues affecting the organization. OB is, therefore, a definition of the attitudes and actions of individuals towards themselves and the corporation and the overall effect on the functioning and performance of the business. As explained by Scandura (2018), OB emanates from the norms and values established within the enterprise over a long time and govern the conduct of employees. In this case, the way the business plans and executes its functions and the response of employees to key issues facing the corporation depend on the set beliefs at the workplace. OB dictates the way employees communicate and interact with each other and their leaders and the tactics employed in performing tasks. In this regard, OB is a key determinant of the ability of the enterprise to address market needs, and hence the level of success and position in the market.

Successful organizations embrace an OB that aligns to the nature of the external environment, the set business goals, and the resources available to earn a competitive advantage. Therefore, OB is a definition on the manner the behavior of leaders and workers in an organization affect the functions and nature of the response to external stimuli as key determinants of success. The concept of OB bears a significant relevance in the leadership and management of public and nonprofit sectors. Since OB chiefly entails the study of how individuals within the organization behave depending on their values, the concept provides leaders and managers with the skills, ideas, and tools required in directing and influencing workers towards public and community interests. In this case, through an understanding of the theory of OB, executives will be capable of guiding employees to be more responsible in their actions. In other words, the high diversity in public and nonprofit organizations makes the building and maintenance of a distinct behavior for all workers difficult. Hence, the study of OB among leaders and managers will allow them to gain the capability provoking effective delivery of services by displaying traits that apply universally among all groups of workers as embodied in the popular culture of the country or the respective community (Woodman, Sawyer, & Griffin, 1993). Specifically, organizations in the public and nonprofits sectors are prone to shocks from major events occurring in the country, which shapes the personality traits of workers. Therefore, OB intervenes to ensure leaders and managers exhibit flexibility to guide subordinates to remain committed to the organizations despite the numerous factors that tend to divert employees from the specific behavior required for the success of the enterprise.

Another critical idea is that the entire concept shows that making distinctions about differences between the public and private sector is challenging. Both public and private sector organizations employ rules that bear significant similarities to undermine all avenues aimed at revealing their differences. In fact, as opposed to the idea that public organizations stick to rules and procedures, private organizations also employ formal procedures. For example, as shown by Nutt (2006), with the variation being only in the extent of enforcement, both public and private organizations might have similar regulations governing the conduct of employees and making purchase decisions. In fact, public and private organizations are guided by the culture rooted in the population of workers. With the absence of a clear culture and the necessity of influencing workers to exhibit specific traits, there is a lack of a universal procedure, tools, or models universally applicable to all organizations. The idea provokes each organization, whether public or private, to exhibit a set of values relevant to its unique challenges and goals, which undermines the effort to create the differences between the public and private sectors.

Through the application of common tools in governing employees’ behavior, the similarity in goals and operation modes, and the lack of a common definition of culture, making distinctions about differences between the public and private sectors becomes challenging. Nevertheless, private-public distinction allegedly makes a difference regarding the concept of organizational behavior. Private and public organizations differ in their definition and understanding of motivation. Private organizations define motivation as a measure of commitment to the job, innovation, and generation of value to the business. Public organizations ascertain motivation based on the adherence to the state rules, service delivery, and responsible behavior to the public. Rainey and Bozeman (2000) indicate that the two have a different system of rewarding employees and recognizing performance in that private organization opt for extrinsic rewards while public corporations opt for intrinsic rewards. For example, private enterprises have enough resources to offer compensation and have good control over the behavior of workers, and willing to share earnings with workers. Contrary, public organizations mostly employ intrinsic rewards, such as self-esteem and good reputation from the people, because efficiency and service delivery are more critical factors rather than profit maximization (Nutt, 2006). As suggested by the Self-Determination Theory, employees in public organizations measure success from the impact created to the public where the job becomes a source of motivation because leaders have limited resources to offer monetary rewards. A distinction also exists in the definition of values in that with private enterprises, commitment to service, innovation, and change are critical traits desired. However, for public entities, collaboration, honesty, truth, and trust to the required state regulations are more significant.

Question 2

Goal-Setting Theory suggests that motivation to act in a specific manner comes with setting clear goals for employees. In this regard, setting specific and challenging targets enable an organization to perform better than when it sets general and easier targets (Scandura, 2018). In this case, the theory suggests that to drive the organization towards the right behavior, the management, and leadership have to scan the environment, evaluate the capabilities of the workforce, and set clear goals that offer reasonable challenges. The achievement of the intended outcomes will also be possible through strict follow up to ensure commitment and evaluation of feedback. Goal-Setting Theory is grounded on the idea that the leadership of the corporation predetermines the pace of change for the workforce and implements measures to influence employees to display a specific minimum level of performance. Therefore, the theory is an OB idea suggesting that the leadership has to precisely determine what it can acquire from employees and influence the right action towards the realization of the expected results. Turning into the historical antecedents and the intellectual roots, Edwin Locke, recognized for pioneering in the development of Goal-Setting Theory, begun researching the effects of goals on human behavior in 1960. Towards the end of the decade, he had stipulated that setting goals greatly enhances motivation and influence workers to act in a specific manner. The theory has its roots on the psychological viewpoint affecting human behavior in that goals shape choice by narrowing an individual’s attention or views towards the chosen destination. It also holds that goals affect efforts exerted by psychologically influencing the intended person to develop a feeling of personal achievement by meeting the targets required. Goals might also eliminate monotony to enable a person to display consistency in performing repetitive work. Lastly, goals inspire an individual to change behavior in response to meeting the targets. For many years, Goal-Setting theory proved effective in influencing OB, enabling companies to achieve robust growth, a factor that provoked more research and development of the theory. Consequently, as shown by key Scandura (2018), models for defining the nature of goals and manner of executing developed including the SMART tool which stands for specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-based goals. Therefore, Goal-Setting has grown into a model for transformation and change in organizations, which are the main features describing OB in the contemporary environment. Nevertheless, despite the demonstrated relevance of Goal-Setting Theory in influencing positive OB, it has been criticized for undermining intrinsic motivation pivotal for innovation and high-performance culture. The logic behind the critique is that setting clear, time-bound and challenging goals will limit the worker’s freedom and compel them to work to the expectation of managers rather than using the job to prove personal knowledge and skills (Ordóñez, Schweitzer, Galinsky, & Bazerman, 2009). The outcome of the job is perceived to have been influenced by the executive rather than coming from the worker, which makes the job less interesting to the employee. To me, the critique is not compelling because irrespective of the presence of specific goals, the employee enjoys the autonomy of accomplishing the task and utilizing their skills. Additionally, I see that the set goals are the minimum level required and any effort employed to exceed the targets satisfies employee psychological needs leading to high intrinsic motivation. Additionally, specific goals provide guidance to employees regarding the needs of the organization, and hence, goal-setting opens collaboration between leaders and workers and self-assessment to allow higher intrinsic motivation. Hence, Goal-Setting theory is a device for enhancing intrinsic motivation rather than undermining it. Finally, my thought about the practical value of Goal-Setting theory is that it is a machine for change and transformation by allowing employees to trace where the organization is heading to and support the business’s agenda. I see that the theory promotes uniformity of purpose and elimination of confusion regarding the right behavior at the workplace to achieve organizational excellence. The theory, compared to others such as Equity, Expectancy, and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, provides cost benefit in that it does not propose the use of material things such as money to motivate employees. I also view that unlike the Reinforcement theory, Goal-Setting does not require strict adherence to professional practice and ethics, which might be difficult in a multicultural environment. In fact, Goal-Setting Model possess a high degree of practicality when the workforce is diversified with different cultural beliefs and social norms. Similarly, other theories including Self-Determination might prove ineffective in the presence of high diversity or non-technical workers not easily motivated by intrinsic rewards. Therefore, Goal-Setting theory is the most efficient, simplest, and versatile tool for OB in the current environment characterized by high diversity, uncertainties, and need to maintain low operating costs.

Question 3 There are key motivation theories clearly highlighted in the Scandura textbook, which are critical for enabling a manager to maintain a suitable OB at the workplace. Firstly, the Self-Determination Theory suggests that motivation in employees is achieved through intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Intrinsic factors are the features that enable the worker to feel that they have a reasonable level of freedom to choose and perform the work. In this case, the job becomes a source of motivation by allowing the worker to fulfill their needs such as personal development, self-esteem and belonging (Scandura, 2018). Extrinsic factors come externally such as the desire to earn monetary rewards and avoid punishment. The other is the Expectancy Theory, which suggests that employees have expectations that upon fulfillment will lead to increased motivation. In this case, the level of motivation depends on the extent to which employees’ expectations are exceeded. The third is the Equity Theory, which suggests that employees are motivated when treated fairly by the organization. According to the theory, the workers’ compensation and rewards have to align appropriately with the level of contribution to the organization. The idea is that when employees receive a fair share of the value they generate, they feel honored, respected, and cared and develop the urge to perform highly to continue benefiting from the company. Equity Theory is comprehensive encompassing fairness in all aspects of operation, including power distribution, treatment of employees, among others. The theories present a general view that motivation is about meeting the needs of employees to influence them to feel attached to the corporation. The three theories discussed above are important in management especially in the public and nonprofit context. Firstly, Self-Determination Model presents the view that employees in an organization cannot be motivated by extrinsic rewards only but a combination of both extrinsic and intrinsic motivators (Grant, 2008). The idea assists in ensuring efficiency in managing workforces especially for public organizations with limited resources. In fact, through proper job design to suit employee’s career choices and interests, work capabilities, and experience, the managers can achieve extraordinary level of motivation with the limited resources. In this case, Self-Determination Theory provides an avenue for establishing the right OB in public organizations irrespective of the few extrinsic motivators available. The Expectancy Theory directs the management to realize that they have a key obligation in addressing the needs of employees to maintain their interest and commitment to serving the organization (Scandura, 2018). As a matter of fact, it enlightens the management to spot changes in the external market and ensure it provides its workers with what other similar companies are providing to their employees. The theory guides managers to retain talents for the interest of delivering quality services to the public. In other words, the Expectancy Theory highlights the nature of the relationship between the organization and employees to reveal the significance of the notion of mutual benefit, which guarantees high motivation in employees. On its part, the Equity Theory is important in enabling executives to identify the significance of ethics and professionalism in management. The idea is that for the management to motivate employees, especially in public organizations, it has to demonstrate selflessness and stick to fundamental values that govern human behavior in general. Hence, Self-Determination, Expectancy, and Equity theories are guidelines towards proper management of workforce to guarantee high motivation. Lastly, in managing a motivation dilemma where workers are complaining about lack of commitment from the organization in addressing their needs, both Self-Determination and Expectancy theories are relevant in fixing the problem and turning around the workforce. In testing the relevance of the former theory, I will compare costs and the benefits associated with redesigning the compensation system relative to the expected outcome when motivation increases. Reasonable low costs and a significant increase in output will indicate the suitability of the theory. In other words, the model for motivation, as stressed by Woodman, Sawyer, and Griffin (1993), has to assist in generating more revenue rather than a reason for calamitous losses. For the Expectancy Theory, I will test its suitability by evaluating the discrepancy between what the organization is offering to workers and what other similar organizations are providing to their employees. In essence, low reward relative to the industry’s standards indicates a deviation from the equilibrium level of expectation, which has to be matched by proper readjustment of the reward system. Therefore, the suitability of any of the two motivation theories will depend on the outcome, the effect on the performance of the enterprise, and the changes in the external environment. In summary, the arguments presented shows clearly that OB is a wide and complex concept requiring managers to equip themselves with important tools, ideas, and theories to guide them in their practice. In essence, no single theory of motivation works effectively under all circumstances. Therefore, executives bear the tough burden of scanning the environment and identifying the best alternative idea for driving their organizations towards the right behavior.   References Grant, A. M. (2008). Does intrinsic motivation fuel the prosocial fire? Motivational synergy in predicting persistence, performance, and productivity. Journal of applied psychology, 93(1), 48-58. Nutt, P. C. (2006). Comparing public and private sector decision-making practices. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 16(2), 289-318. Ordóñez, L. D., Schweitzer, M. E., Galinsky, A. D., & Bazerman, M. H. (2009). Goals gone wild: The systematic side effects of overprescribing goal setting. Academy of Management Perspectives, 23(1), 6-16. Rainey, H. G., & Bozeman, B. (2000). Comparing public and private organizations: Empirical research and the power of the a priori. Journal of public administration research and theory, 10(2), 447-470. Scandura, T., A. (2018). Essentials of Organizational Behavior: An Evidence-Based Approach (Second Edition). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications. Woodman, R. W., Sawyer, J. E., & Griffin, R. W. (1993). Toward a theory of organizational creativity. Academy of management review, 18(2), 293-321. – Barbra Dozier’s Blog

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