A highly useful learning concept which is valid for a wide range of situation is the learning curve, a diagrammatic presentation of the amount learned in relation to time. A typical learning curve will show on the Y-axis the amount learnt and the X-axis the passage of time.
Certain characteristics are common to all learning curves. One such feature is the initial spurt. At the beginning, it is natural that the rate of learning exhibits spurt. Usually, the graph levels off at some stage, indicating that maximum performance has been achieved. Apparently at the beginning of the learning process, the subject is highly motivated and seems to exhibit a significant surge of effort. Many experienced trainers exploit this initial spurt by selecting the most important items to be communicated and presenting them as a package to the students at the beginning of the training unit. In many ways, it is possible to exemplify the initial spurt with the aphorism “the first step is the best step”
Another feature of the curve is the learning plateau.… Read More »
Stimulus Generalization in Organizations
Stimulus generalization refers to how people recognize the same or similar stimuli in different settings. In other words, it is the process by which they can generalize a contingent reinforcement from one setting to another.
Consider the plant manager of a manufacturing company who has a history of effective troubleshooting. Over the years he has been assigned to several plants, each with a serious operating problem. After successfully dealing with the difficulties, he has always received an extended vacation, a bonus and an increase in his base salary. He has learned the basic contingencies or requirements of reinforcement for his job. The stimulus is the assignment, the response is correcting problems and the consequences are several positive reinforcers. When the manager gets his next assignment, he will probably generalize from his past experiences even though he will be in a different plant with different problems and employees he will know what is expected of him and understand what it takes to be rewarded.… Read More »
Leadership is an integral part of management and plays a vital role in managerial operations. Leadership provides direction, guidance, and confidence to the employees and helps in the attainment of goals in much easier way. In business and industrial organizations, managers play the role of leader and acquire leadership of subordinates, their efforts towards the achievement of organizational goals and activate the individuals of an organization to make them work. Leadership influences behavior of the individuals. It has an ability to attract others and potential to make them follow the instructions. Individuals can be induced to contribute their optimum towards the attainment of organizational goals through effective leadership. Leadership acquires dominance and the followers accept the directives and control of a leader. Leadership provides direction and vision for future to an organization.
A number of theories and approaches to study leadership have been developed. There are broadly three theories of leadership.
1. Trait Theory
This theory of studying leadership is taken into consideration to analyze the personal, psychological and physical traits of strong leaders.… Read More »
Power is easy to feel but difficult to define. It is the potential ability of a person or group to influence another person or group. It is the ability to get things done the way one wants them to be done. Both formal and informal groups and individuals may have power; it does not need an official position or the backing of an institution to have power. Influence can take many forms. One person has influenced another if the second person’s opinions, behavior or perspectives have changed as a result of their interaction. Power is a factor at all levels of most organizations. It can be a factor in almost any organizational decision.
Power and Authority
Sometimes power and authority is used synonymously because of their objective of influencing the behavior of others. However, there is difference between the two. Power does not have any legal sanctity while authority has such sanctity. Authority is institutional and is legitimate. Power, on the other hand, is personal and does not have any legitimacy.… Read More »
Power and politics are inextricably interwoven with the fabric of an organization’s life. In any organization, at any given moment, a number of people are seeking to gain and use power to achieve their own ends. This pursuit of power is political behavior. Organizational politics refers to the activities carried out by people to acquire, enhance and use power and other resources to obtain their preferred outcomes in a situation where there is uncertainly or disagreement. One great organizational scholar, Tushman defined politics, ‘as the structure and process of the use of authority and power to affect definition of goals, directions and the other major parameters of the organization. Decisions are not made in rational or formal way but rather through compromise accommodation and bargaining.’
Techniques of Political Behavior
The most commonly used techniques of political behavior are:
Read More »
- One technique of political behavior is to control the dissemination of critical information to others. The more critical the information and fewer the people who have it, the stronger is political power base of those who possess these information.
Organizational culture is the set of values that states what an organization stands for, how it operates and what it considers important. Edgar H. Schein defines organizational culture as the pattern of basic assumptions that a given group has invented, discovered and developed while learning to cope with its problems of external adaptation and internal integration.
All the above definitions stress acceptable and unacceptable behavior of its members. For instance, one organization might value solidarity and loyalty to organization more than any other value whereas another organization might stress on good relations with customers. Such values are part of organizational culture in spite of not being formally written like rules and regulations of the organization. They do not usually appear in the organizational training Program and in fact, many organizations have difficulty in expressing their cultural values. However, an organization’s values automatically enter every employee’s personal values and actions over a period of time. Organizational culture has a profound influence on individual employees because it is generally an accepted set of values rather than a written set of rules with which employees might not argue.… Read More »