Dynamic organization and characteristics. Understand characteristics in successful and dynamic organizations. This lesson examines the characteristics of successful and dynamic organizations, with a focus on organizational behavior (OB) and its application in improving quality, control, and productivity. Organizational behavior is a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups, and structure have on behavior within organizations, for the purpose of applying such knowledge toward improving an organization’s effectiveness. This lesson examines both the concepts and best practices related to organizational behavior.
How can an understanding and application of the concepts of organizational behavior help managers work in global organizations, manage workforce diversity within their home country, and manage offsite employees?
Answers should include the following areas: (1) Globalization has changed the role of a manager. First, as a manager, you are more likely to find yourself in a foreign assignment—transferred to your employer’s operating division or subsidiary in another country where you’ll have to manage a workforce very different in needs, aspirations, and attitudes from what you were used to back home. So a manager needs to understand how to best work with people from different cultures and needs to manage differences in motivation and communication. To do so successfully, a manager needs to understand how his or her employees’ culture, geography, and religion have shaped them.
Dynamic organization and characteristics
Organizational behavior (OB) can help a manger learn how to adapt his or her management style to their differences. In fact, global companies now recognize that their management practices need to be modified to reflect the values of the different countries in which their organizations operate. Both the organization and the individual manager need to be acutely aware of different legal practices between one’s home country and abroad. Another challenge for managers is to oversee the movement of jobs to countries with low-cost labor. In a global economy, jobs tend to flow where lower costs give businesses a comparative advantage, though labor groups, politicians, and local community leaders see the exporting of jobs as undermining the job market at home.
Managers face the difficult task of balancing the interests of their organization with their responsibilities to the communities in which they operate, which OB can help guide. (2) Managing workforce diversity addresses differences among people within given countries, where managers must deal with prejudices and stereotyping. Today’s managers must foster equal and respectful treatment both between and among women and men, different racial and ethnic groups, individuals with various physical or psychological abilities, or those with different sexual orientation.
Managers to adapt their management style to better communicate and motivate those whose work ethic, attitude, and technological savvy differ from one another. The understanding of human behavior that OB offers can help management decide how best to leverage differences within groups for competitive advantage, whether or not to treat all employees alike, whether to recognize individual and cultural differences, how to foster cultural awareness in employees without lapsing into political correctness, how to educate the staff as to the legal requirements in each country, and determine what place diversity has within the organization. (3) Working in networked organizations: Networked organizations allow people to communicate and work together even though they may be thousands of miles apart.
The manager’s job is different in a networked organization because motivating and leading people and making collaborative decisions online requires different techniques than when individuals are physically present in a single location. As more employees do their jobs by linking to others through networks, managers must develop new skills—and OB can provide valuable insights to help hone those skills.