Study of Organizational Behaviour



The study of Organizational Behaviour (OB) is very interesting and challenging too. It is
related to individuals, group of people working together in teams. The study becomes more
challenging when situational factors interact. The study of organizational behaviour relates
to the expected behaviour of an individual in the organization. No two individuals
are likely to behave in the same manner in a particular work situation. It is the predictability
of a manager about the expected behaviour of an individual. There are no absolutes
in human behaviour. It is the human factor that is contributory to the productivity hence
the study of human behaviour is important. Great importance therefore must be attached
to the study. Researchers, management practitioners, psychologists, and social scientists
must understand the very credentials of an individual, his background, social framework,
educational update, impact of social groups and other situational factors on behaviour.
Managers under whom an individual is working should be able to explain, predict, evaluate
and modify human behaviour that will largely depend upon knowledge, skill and
experience of the manager in handling large group of people in diverse situations. Preemptive
actions need to be taken for human behaviour forecasting. The value system,
emotional intelligence, organizational culture, job design and the work environment are
important causal agents in determining human behaviour. Cause and effect relationship
plays an important role in how an individual is likely to behave in a particular situation
and its impact on productivity. An appropriate organizational culture can modify individual
behaviour. Recent trends exist in laying greater stress on organizational development
and imbibing a favourable organizational culture in each individual. It also involves
fostering a team spirit and motivation so that the organizational objectives are achieved.
There is a need for commitment on the part of the management that should be continuous
and incremental in nature. The scope of the organizational behaviour is as under:
(a) Impact of personality on performance
(b) Employee motivation
(c) Leadership
(d) How to create effective teams and groups
(e) Study of different organizational structures
(f) Individual behaviour, attitude and learning
(g) Perception
(h) Design and development of effective organization
(i) Job design
(j) Impact of culture on organizational behaviour
(k) Management of change
(l) Management of conflict and stress
(m) Organizational development
(n) Organizational culture
(o) Transactional analysis
(p) Group behaviour, power and politics
(q) Job design
(r) Study of emotions
The field of the organizational behaviour does not depend upon deductions based on
gut feelings but attempts to gather information regarding an issue in a scientific manner
under controlled conditions. It uses information and interprets the findings so that the
behaviour of an individual and group can be canalized as desired. Large number of
psychologists, social scientists and academicians have carried out research on various
issues related to organization behaviour. Employee performance and job satisfaction are
determinants of accomplishment of individual and organizational goals.
Organizations have been set up to fulfill needs of the people. In today’s competitive
world, the organizations have to be growth-oriented. This is possible when productivity is
ensured with respect to quantity of product to be produced with zero error quality. Employee
absenteeism and turnover has a negative impact on productivity. Employee who absents
frequently cannot contribute towards productivity and growth of the organization. In the
same manner, employee turnover causes increased cost of production. Job satisfaction is
a major factor to analyse performance of an individual towards his work. Satisfied workers
are productive workers who contribute towards building an appropriate work culture in
an organization. Organizations are composed of number of individuals working
independently or collectively in teams, and number of such teams makes a department
and number of such departments make an organization. It is a formal structure and all
departments have to function in a coordinated manner to achieve the organizational
objective. It is therefore important for all employees to possess a positive attitude towards
work. They need to function in congenial atmosphere and accomplish assigned goals. It is
also important for managers to develop an appropriate work culture. Use of authority,
delegation of certain powers to subordinates, division of labour, efficient communication,
benchmarking, re-engineering, job re-design and empowerment are some of the important
factors so that an organization can function as well-oiled machine. This is not only applicable
to manufacturing organizations but also to service and social organizations.
“Organizational behaviour is a field of study that investigates the impact that
individuals, groups and organizational structure have on behaviour within the
organization, for the purpose of applying such knowledge towards improving an organizational effectiveness”. The above definition has three main elements; first organizational behaviour is an investigative study of individuals and groups, second, the
impact of organizational structure on human behaviour and the third, the application of
knowledge to achieve organizational effectiveness. These factors are interactive in nature
and the impact of such behaviour is applied to various systems so that the goals are
achieved. The nature of study of organizational behaviour is investigative to establish
cause and effect relationship.
OB involves integration of studies undertaken relating to behavioural sciences like
psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, social psychology and political science.
Therefore, organizational behaviour is a comprehensive field of study in which individual,
group and organizational structure is studied in relation to organizational growth and
organizational culture, in an environment where impact of modern technology is great.
The aim of the study is to ensure that the human behaviour contributes towards growth
of the organization and greater efficiency is achieved.
Organizational behaviour can be defined as – “the study and application of
knowledge about human behaviour related to other elements of an organization
such as structure, technology and social systems (LM Prasad). Stephen P Robins
defines “Organizational behaviour as a systematic study of the actions and
attitudes that people exhibit within organizations.” It has been observed that we
generally form our opinion based on the symptoms of an issue and do not really go to the
root cause of the happening. Science of organizational behaviour is applied in nature.
Disciplines like psychology, anthropology and political science have contributed in terms
of various studies and theories to the field of organizational behaviour. A leader should be
able to communicate with his subordinate and keep them in picture as to the happenings
in the organization. People promote organizational culture for mutual benefit. Politics is
often used to create conflict with the aim of enlarging self-power base to the detrimental
of organizational growth. Politics, in Indian context has made inroads based on religion,
caste system in the decision making process which has led to formation of informal groups
in the organization that often exploit the organization for fulfillment of personal goals at
the cost of organizational goals. Conflict and manipulating power bases need to be handled
in an appropriate manner to modify human behaviour and stimulate various individuals
towards achieving higher productivity. Power dynamics plays a significant role in
organization situations in different environment.
Contributing Fields to Organizational Behaviour
Psychology: Psychology is an applied science, which attempts to explain human behaviour
in a particular situation and predicts actions of individuals. Psychologists have been able
to modify individual behaviour largely with the help of various studies. It has contributed
towards various theories on learning, motivation, personality, training and development,
theories on individual decision making, leadership, job satisfaction, performance appraisal,
attitude, ego state, job design, work stress and conflict management. Studies of these
theories can improve personal skills, bring change in attitude and develop positive approach
to organizational systems. Various psychological tests are conducted in the organizations
for selection of employees, measuring personality attributes and aptitude. Various other
dimensions of human personality are also measured. These instruments are scientific in
nature and have been finalized after a great deal of research. Field of psychology continues
to explore new areas applicable to the field of organizational behaviour. Contribution of
psychology has enriched the organizational behaviour field.
Sociology: Science of Sociology studies the impact of culture on group behaviour and
has contributed to a large extent to the field of group-dynamics, roles that individual plays
in the organization, communication, norms, status, power, conflict management, formal
organization theory, group processes and group decision-making.
Political science: Political science has contributed to the field of Organizational
behaviour. Stability of government at national level is one major factor for promotion of
international business, financial investments, expansion and employment. Various
government rules and regulations play a very decisive role in growth of the organization.
All organizations have to abide by the rules of the government of the day.
Social psychology: Working organizations are formal assembly of people who are
assigned specific jobs and play a vital role in formulating human behaviour. It is a subject
where concept of psychology and sociology are blend to achieve better human behaviour in
organization. The field has contributed to manage change, group decision-making,
communication and ability of people in the organization, to maintain social norms.
Anthropology: It is a field of study relating to human activities in various cultural
and environmental frameworks. It understands difference in behaviour based on value
system of different cultures of various countries. The study is more relevant to organizational
behaviour today due to globalization, mergers and acquisitions of various industries. The
advent of the 21st century has created a situation wherein cross-cultural people will have
to work in one particular industry. Managers will have to deal with individuals and groups
belonging to different ethnic cultures and exercise adequate control or even channelise
behaviour in the desired direction by appropriately manipulating various cultural factors.
Organization behaviour has used the studies on comparative attitudes and cross-cultural
transactions. Environment studies conducted by the field of anthropology aims to
understand organizational human behaviour so that acquisitions and mergers are smooth.
Organizations are bound by its culture that is formed by human beings.
Organizational behaviour is a study and application of managerial skills and knowledge to
people in the organization to investigate individual and group behaviour. Various concepts
and models in the field of organizational behaviour attempt to identify, not only the human
behaviour but also modify their attitude and promote skills so that they can act more
effectively. This is done scientifically; therefore, organizational behaviour field is a scientific
discipline. The knowledge and models are practically applied to workers, groups and
organizational structure that provide tools for improved behaviour and dynamics of relationship.
The field of organizational behaviour also provides various systems and models
for international relationship that are applied to organizations.
Leaders must look for indicators (effects) of individual behaviour and of groups in any
organization. Indicators have a root cause beneath. As a leader, it is that symptom, which
must be evaluated, and cause of human behaviour established so that if the behaviour is
good, the manager can establish the norms of behaviour. If the behaviour is not conducive
to achieve the organisastional objective then suitable alternative model can be applied to
channelize individual behaviour towards an appropriate organizational value system and
thus individual behaviour modified. An organization has three basic elements namely,
people, structure, and technology. An organization must have suitable organizational
structure, with appropriate number of tier and reporting system properly explained.
Principle of unity of command, delegation of authority and responsibility, formulation of
objectives and its allotment to various groups is very important so that workers achieve a
required level of job satisfaction. They must be trained to handle sophisticated machines
and equipment. It is the people, their value system, and faith in the leadership that make
an organization. Leader must be able to describe, understand, predict and control individual
behaviour in the organization. This is explained in the succeeding paragraphs.
(a) Describe: Study of organizational behaviour is based on scientific methods, which
have been applied on human beings. It is a science, that analyses as to how people
behave in different situations in the organization. A manager should be able describe
the behaviour of each of the individuals under his command, identify attitude,
and be able to pinpoint his behaviour so that the situation in the organization
is under control.
(b) Understand: Leaders must understand human behaviour as to why people behave
in particular manner and try to identify reasons so that corrective actions can
be taken.
(c) Predict: By frequent closer interaction, a leader is in a position to identify the
nature of workers. Some are more productive while the others are tardy and
disruptive. In such situation, a leader should be able to handle each individual
differently so that his or her actions can be channalized to higher productivity.
(d) Control: Managers in the organizations should train their subordinates continuously;
aim being development of skills, promotion of productivity and improvement
of individual behaviour. It is a continuous process on the part of manager. He must
lay down control measures so that the energy of workers is diverted towards organizational
objectives. Communication should be used to ensure that the behaviour
of individual is controlled. Environment has a great impact on human behaviour.
Appropriate internal environment would help organizations to built favourable
work environment that will help individuals and groups within organizations to
work effectively towards higher productivity.

Study of organizational behaviour is very interesting. It is the art on the part of manager
to understand, describe, forecast and modify individual behaviour. Lot of studies have
been undertaken in the field of organizational behaviour and vast literature is available,
which need to be studied by practictioners in the field of managing human resources.
Various models and research instruments are available to investigate human behaviour.
Various fields like psychology, social psychology, anthropology, sociology, politics, economics,
and medical sciences have contributed to the field of organization behaviour. Various models
in the above fields have enriched the study of organization behaviour. It is the field of
study that investigates the impact on individuals, groups and organizational structure
have on individual behaviour so that the knowledge so achieved can be suitably modified
and applied for organizational effectiveness. The study of organizational behaviour relates
to the study of attitude, perception, learning, values at individual level. The study is
undertaken pertaining to managing stress, conflicts, intergroup behaviour, decision making
at group level. Management of change, development of organizational culture, designing
and redesigning of jobs, and various organizational development strategies are required to
be undertaken by leaders for organizational effectiveness. It is the responsibility of the
managers to evolve appropriate strategies to study organizational components. The first
component is people. The study of organizational behaviour involves identifying need
spectrum of the people, managing interpersonal relationship, understanding of individual
objectives and co-relating organizational strategies accordingly. The second component is
understanding of organizational structure and its modification based on the need of the
hour. Manager should decide upon the nature of structure and ensure unity of command,
number of levels that may be required for effective command and control. Communication,
delegation of authority, well defined policies, rules, regulation, systems, procedures and
processes. Introduction of latest technology is an essential part of organizational
development that should be taken care of by the manager responsible for running the
organization. Jobs should be allotted to the individual based on the aptitude and the
processes must be compatible with the technology being used. One of the most important
components is environment. While internal environment relates to various personnel policies
and corresponding managerial actions, the external environment relates to cultural, social,
legal, and governmental rules and regulations that should be taken care of. Technological
changes has made it imperative on the part of managers that they should take care of
employees and meet their social expectations so that organizational goals can be achieved.
Q. 1. Define organizational bevaiour. What are various factors that are considered to
regulate individual behaviour.
Q. 2. What are various fields that have contributed to the field of organizational behaviour.
Explain their contributions.
Q. 3. Explain various components that should be taken care of while studying organizational
Q. 4. Explain the field of organizational behaviour. Why the study is challenging.
V.G. Kondalkar
National Cadet Corps (NCC) is a national organization having junior wing and senior wing
both for girls and boys. Junior wing NCC is meant for secondary school level and senior
wing is applicable for college students. The objective of NCC organization is to inculcate
discipline for the youth of our nation. An Army Officer of the rank of Lt General called
Director General (DG) heads NCC organization at national level. The organization has a
vast network at each state level headed by an officer of the rank of Brigadier known as
Deputy Director General (DDG) of a particular state. In every state there are number of
Group Headquarters located at important cities depending upon school and college density
and compositions. Under Group Headquarters there are number of NCC Battalions
(Boys/ Girls). Number of battalions in each Group Headquarters varies depending upon
the size of the area. In the same fashion, number of groups under a DDG varies.
NCC is applicable to all school/ college going children. It is voluntary organization in
DDGs, group commanders and battalion commanders organize various events round
the year. These are as under:
(a) Participation in professional training that includes the following:
– Weapon training, including firing or rifles, sten guns, light machine guns.
– Drill.
– First aid training in various contingencies.
– Basic field craft and guard duties.
– Basic battle craft at a level of a section (section comprises of ten men)
(b) Organization of training camps where teamwork, comradeship, cooperation and
events mention in (a) above are practiced. The training camps are generally of the
duration of two weeks. Such camps are held twice a year.
(c) After completion of two and four years of training, B certification and C certificates
respectively are awarded to the cadets. The certificates have preference for
admission to various professional courses like medicine. It also has a weightage for
government jobs. A person having C certificate need not appear in the written
examination conducted by UPSC for commissioned officers of the defence services
which is a major concession. Such students have to face Service Selection Boards
direct, for selection in the defence services as commissioned officers.
(d) Individual having C certification (which is achieved after four years of NCC training)
gets six months seniority in defence services.
(e) NCC is considered as one of the best organizations of our country. The organization
has produced better citizens.
During the course of the attachment, the cadets are given full NCC kit. Refreshment
is provided during parade days (twice a week). The cadets are provided meals, transportation
and medical facility.
The training in the organization is a costly affair to the exchequer of the state
government. NCC officers have to interact with civil administration at state level, district
level, and with principals/ directors of the colleges. They have to deal with local population,
medical authorities, RTO and all agencies related with civil administration. This involves
advance planning, good communication and inter-personal relationship. Social, cultural
and ethnic activities are promoted in the NCC. Annual training camps are held at state or
national level. Cadets, develop friendship with various individuals and learn to live in a
community environment during training camps. NCC covers land, air and naval branches
and all cadets are put through training in the skill development of respective wings.
Discussion Questions
Q. 1. Why NCC is considered as one of the best organizations.
Q. 2. How does the organization relate to field of organizational behaviour. What are
various agencies that the officials have to interact.
Q. 3. What are the benefits of NCC.
Q. 4. How does the management interact with external environmental forces?
Practical Assignment
Visit a NCC unit in your city and find out organizational structure, daily routine of cadets
and training schedule.
Overcoming Absenteeism at Unique Schweppes Ltd
Unique Schweppes Ltd was multinational Public limited Company with its head office at
London. The company’s 51 % shares were held by Unique and 49% by Government financial
Institutions and individual shareholders. Unique owns three factories and three partly
manufacturing units i.e. they had 6 primary manufacturing units located at Jammu, Nagpur,
Agra, Pune, Gorakhapur and Hyderabad. The total manpower in these six units was 1900,
and was held by Mathew Thomas as managing director. Five directors looking after various
financial areas like technical, operations, commercial, HR and marketing, supported
Agra unit was situated near Mathura with a manpower capacity of 450 employees,
including 41 executives, 12 managers and remaining operators. A representative union
was also registered in the name of Association of Chemical Workers in the company. This
unit was working in 3 shifts and for all the seven days. The average age of the employees
was around 30 years. Agra unit was the only automated plant among the plants of Unique
India. It had a unique feature of cross-functional activities at the managerial level with
the result a strong networking was observed. Emphasis on financial relations among the
employees was given to promote simplified working and better understanding among
them. Unique was known for its welfare facilities like – free canteen, free transportation,
free uniform, medical re-imbursement up to 5% of the gross salary and all other benefits
according to the statutory norms. They also provide with housing loan facilities to employees
through HDFC and State Bank of India. Unique re-imbrued the interest amount on house
loan exceeding 4%. The loan entitlement is dependent upon the income of workers. Inspite
of all the facilities provided to the workers absenteeism was very high thus creating problems
in the production.
In July 1995, HR executive, Alok Gupta received a complaint from line supervisor,
Prakash Sharma that production was suffering due to absenteeism in his department.
Alok Gupta was perplexed. The reason being that with 52 weekly off, 9 casual leaves and
22 earned leaves provided to the workers in line with Factory Act 1948 under Section 52,
the absenteeism rate was still 18 %.
In January 1996, a meeting was called by Alok Gupta and in consultation with Prakash
Sharma, it was decided that warning should be given to cronic cases and the workers who
had started remaining absent should be counseled. Inspite of doing this no change was
observed until April 1996. Alok Gupta reported to Priya Kumar, Human resources manager
about increasing complaints related to absenteeism. Priya Kumar, Alok Gupta and Prakash
Sharma in a brain storming session concluded that punishment was not the solution. An
Incentive scheme was felt to be the solution to the existing problem. Thus, the management
offered the employees the scheme of doubling the amount of annual interest free loans
from Rs 5000 to Rs 10 000 to those who were regular at their work. A plan chalked out for
(a) Employee who had worked for more than 280 days out of 365 days would get
Rs 10,000 interest free loan. Employees who were present for more than 230 working
days, amount of free loan would be Rs 5000. For less than 230 there would be
no loan facilities.
(b) In a period of 4 months, if an employee availed no leave then he would be entitled
for additional payment of Rs 500. If a half-day leave, it would be Rs 350 and for one
day leave it would be Rs 250. Similarly, some workers who had not shown any
improvement in their attendance, it was decided that charge- sheet would be issued.
However, when the charge sheet was issued to such cases the union members
A meeting called by Priya Kumar in which he briefed about the problem of absenteeism
and justified the action taken by the management. Ultimately union members were
convinced but insisted on counselling and introducing new incentive schemes instead of
disciplinary actions alone. During counselling sessions management found some of the
reasons which led to absenteeism were high salary, festival celebration, dual employment,
very good family background, age factor and defective recruitment policies as fresher were
taken from ITI and where less serious about their work and less motivated towards
accomplishment of the organizational goals.
It was observed in the beginning of 1999, that the rate of absenteeism had decreased
from 18% to 16 %. But it was not satisfactory and hence management decided to put in
more efforts in the form of new incentives schemes which were best on social recognition
like; tea party, attendance awards, recognition by senior executives at work place and
celebrating family day on 17 September i.e., on Vishwakarma Jayanti.
By the end of 1999, they had introduced all monetary as well as social benefits schemes
yet three employees among the nine employees who had been issued the charge sheet in
September, 1998 had not shown any improvement and remained absent for more than 200
days out of 280 working days. Therefore, the management finally decided to terminate
them, and termination letters were issued to them. In the year 2000, a remarkable decline
was found in the rate of absenteeism. It had reduced from 16% to 12%.
1. In your opinion, which alternative steps would be more effective for reducing absenteeism?
2. What is the role of non-financial incentives over the financial incentives?
3. How do you evaluate the impact of termination on absenteeism?