Concept of Personality in Organizational Behavior

The term personality has been derived from the Latin word “Persona” which was associated with Greek theater in ancient times. The Greek actors commonly used to wear masks on their faces during their performances on the stage. The mask worn by the actors was called persona. Personality was thought to be the effect and influence which the individual wearing a mask left on the audience.

Personality is a term that has many general meanings. Sometimes the word refers to the ability to get along well socially. For example, we speak of experiences or relationships, which are said to give a person “more personality.” The term may also refer to the most striking impression that an individual makes on other people. We may say, ‘she has a shy personality’. To a psychologist, personality is an area of study that deals with complex human behavior, including emotions, actions, and cognitive (thought) processes. Psychologists study the patterns of behavior that make individuals different from one another. The word personality is used not only in the field of psychology, but can be applied in most of the other fields of one day-to-day life.

Personality in Organizational Behavior refers to a dynamic concept that describes the growth and development of an individual’s whole psychological system, which looks at some aggregate whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. Personality is the dynamic organisation within the individual of those psychological systems that determine his unique adjustment to environment. The conduct, behavior, activities, movements and everything else concerning the individual are known as personality.… Read the rest

Jay Galbraith’s Star Model of Organizational Design

Organizational design is not simply about structure and the resulting organizational chart. It is about the relationships between people, work, formal structures and informal practices and behaviors. It is about the way in which an organization structures and coordinates its people and process so it can benefit from its unique capabilities over the long-term. It determines who makes decisions and how those decisions will be made. It changes the role of the leaders as they become less decision makers and more decision shapers. Through organizational design, leaders become the shapers of the organization’s decision-making process. Organizational design and the resulting capabilities are the last sustainable sources of competitive advantage.

Star Model of Organizational Design is a well-known model that has been used for decades to identify the key elements of an organization and focus on the issue of strategy and strategy implementation. Developed by Jay Galbraith, an American consultant and manager in the 1970s, Star Model of Organizational Design looks at how an organization’s framework can be used to guide decision-making and behavior. The star model is a widely accepted organizational design model because of the strategy approach that seamlessly links competitive advantage to strategy to structure, people, lateral processes and reward mechanisms.

  1. Strategy: Determine direction through goals, objectives, values and mission. The strategy specifically delineates the products or services to be provided, the markets to be served, and the value to be offered to the customer. It also specifies sources of competitive advantage. It also defines the criteria for selecting an organizational structure (for example functional or matrix).
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Greiner’s Model of Organizational Growth – Phases of Organizational Growth and Crisis

All organizations pass through various stages of growth and at each stage the organization is required to solve some specific problems.

A very useful model of organizational growth has been developed by Larry E. Greiner.  In his 1998 Harvard Business Review article entitled “Evolution and Revolution as Organizations Grow,” Greiner outlined five phases of growth punctuated by what he termed “revolutions” that shook up the status quo and ushered in the successive stage.

Greiner’s Model of organizational growth is based on certain assumptions about the organization which are as under: First assumption is organisations are rigid, bureaucratic, control-centric, and centralized entities. Second, organisations fail to see that the future success of an organisation lie within their own organisation, and also fail to assess their evolving states of development. Therefore inability of a management to understand its organisation development problems can result in organisation becoming frozen in its present stage of evolution (failure to evolve) regardless of market opportunities

Before discussing the Greiner’s Model of organizational growth, first let us define the two terms: evolution and revolution. Evolution is used to describe prolonged period of growth ­ where no major upheaval occurs in organisation practices. The term revolution is used to describe those periods of substantial turmoil in organisational life. Each evolutionary period creates its own revolution, as organisation progresses through developmental phases. For instance centralized practices eventually lead to demand for decentralization. Moreover the nature of management’s solution to each evolutionary period determines whether organisation will move forward into next stage of evolutionary growth.… Read the rest

Concept of Reinforcement in Organizational Behavior

Reinforcement is the attempt to develop or strengthen desirable behavior. There are two types of reinforcement in organizational behavior: positive and negative.

Positive reinforcement strengthens and enhances behavior by the presentation of positive reinforcers. There are primary reinforcers and secondary reinforcers. Primary reinforcers satisfy basic biological needs and include food and water. However, primary reinforcers don not always reinforce. For instance, food may not be a reinforcer to someone who has just completed a five course meal. Most behaviors in organizations are influenced by secondary reinforcers. These include such benefits as money, status, grades, trophies and praise from others. These include such benefits as money, status, grades, trophies and praise from others. These become positive reinforcers because of their associations with the primary reinforcers and hence are often called conditioned reinforcers.

It should be noted that an event that functions as a positive reinforce at one time or in one context may have a different effect at another time or in another place. For example, food may serve as a positive reinforcer for a person who is hungry, but not when the person, as stated above, has already a large meal. Clearly, a stimulus that functions as a positive reinforcer for one person may fail to operate in a similar manner for another person.

Within itself, positive reinforcement has several principles.

  • The principle of contingent reinforcement states that the reinforcer must be administered only if the desired behavior has occurred. A reinforcer administered when the desired behavior has not been performed becomes ineffective.
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Ten Personality Factors in Organizational Behavior

Personality is a complex, multi-dimensional construct and there is no simple definition of what personality is. Salvatore R. Maddi defines personality as, A stable set of characteristics and tendencies that determine those commonalities and differences in the psychological behavior and that may not be easily understood as the sole result of the social and biological pressures of the moment”.

All individuals have some universally common characteristics. Yet they differ in some other specific attributes. This makes it difficult for the managers to assume that they can apply same reward types or motivation techniques to modify different individual behaviors. The definition, however, does not mean that people never change. In simple terms, it asserts that individuals do not change all at once. Their thoughts, feelings, values and actions remain relatively stable over time. Changes in individual’s personality can, however, occur gradually over a period of time. The managers should, therefore, attempt to understand certain dimensions of personality. This can enable them to predict the behavior of their employees on a daily basis.

Personality Factors in Organizational Behavior

Some of the important personality factors that determine what kind of behaviors are exhibited at work include the following:

1. Need Pattern

Steers and Braunstein in 1976 developed a scale for the four needs of personality that became apparent in the ‘work environment. They are as follows:

  • The need for achievement: Those with a high achievement need engage themselves proactively in work behaviors in order to feel proud of their achievements and successes.
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Relationship Between Organizational Behavior and Management Control System

Organizational Behavior and Management Control

There is a close relationship between organizational behavior and management control system. A management control system seek to evaluate and regulate the performance of responsibility centers. The manager in charge of a responsible center is rewarded for good performance. At the same time when the performance of a responsibility center is dismal, the manager in charge is punished. Thus, a management control system acts as a double-edged sword. That is why manager are afraid of a control system and, may resist it. In order to make a control system successful, it is necessary to understand the factors that motivate, managers to achieve the results. Behavioral sciences have given several concepts that are relevant to management control. Some of these concepts at described below.

1. Perception. Whether a management control system is accepted and implemented successfully does not depend on the system. It depends largely on how the members of the organization view the system. In other words, the viability of a control system depends upon the manager’s perception of the surrounding. Perception is the psychological process whereby people select, organize and interpret sensory stimulation’s into meaningful information about their work environment. Perception is at the base of every individual behavior. People may view the same world differently depending upon their needs, personalities, experience, status, etc. Managers judge a system by, how it is implemented. For example, when a manager gets credit by manipulating performance, other managers may feel that the system is unjust and unfair.… Read the rest