human resource management management  PEOPLE AND THEIR BEHAVIOR

After studying this chapter, students should be able to understand:

A. Concepts of people working together

B. Organizations and human behavior


As we discussed in the earlier lectures that human resource management is the management of human as important resources of organization. Each human is different from one another. This difference is due to the difference of behavior of each employee. In order to manage the humans well, managers need to know the behavior of people in order to take the best out of them. Today we will be discussing some basic concepts of the Organizational Behavior. We will have detail discussion on individual behaviors and the factors influencing the individual behavior.

A. Concepts of people working together

Why to work in organizations?

People can be more productive when working in groups than when working alone. What Managers can do and what Managers cannot do while managing people, organizations and society is the myths of management. Basic purpose of the working or existence of organization is:

  • Link individuals into relationships
  • Allocate the tasks to fulfill the objective
  • Allocate authority to perform individual tasks
  • Coordinate the objectives and activities of separate units
  • Facilitate the flow of work

Organizational Behavior

  • OB is concerned specifically with the actions of people at work. Managers need to develop their interpersonal or people skills if they are going to be effective in their jobs. Organizational behavior (OB) is a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups, and structure have on behavior within an organization, and then applies that knowledge to make organizations work more effectively. Specifically, OB focuses on how to improve productivity, reduce absenteeism and turnover, and increase employee citizenship and job satisfaction. We all hold generalizations about the behavior of people. Some of our generalizations may provide valid insights into human behavior, but many are erroneous. Organizational behavior uses systematic study to improve predictions of behavior that would be made from intuition alone. Yet, because people are different, we need to look at OB in a contingency framework, using situational variables to moderate cause-effect relationships.
  • OB addresses some issues that are not obvious, such as informal elements. It offers both challenges and opportunities for managers. It recognizes differences and helps managers to see the value of workforce diversity and practices that may need to change when managing in different situation and countries. It can help improve quality and employee productivity by showing managers how to empower their people as well as how to design and implement change programs. It offers specific insights to improve a manager’s people skills. In times of rapid and ongoing change, faced by most managers today, OB can help managers cope in a world of “temporariness” and learn ways to stimulate innovation. Finally, OB can offer managers guidance in creating an ethically healthy work environment.

Focus of Organizational Behavior

OB looks at individual behavior, which includes personality, perception, learning, and motivation. It is also concerned with group behaviors specifically in areas of norms roles, team building, conflicts and negotiation.

The Goals of Organizational Behavior

1. The emphasis will be on employee productivity, reduce absenteeism, and turnover.

2. Organizational citizenship—a fourth type of behavior becoming important in determining employee performance.

3. Attitudes are evaluative statements—favorable or unfavorable—concerning objects, people, or events.

4. An attitude is made-up of three components: cognition, affect, and behavior.

5. The cognitive component consists of a person’s beliefs, opinions, knowledge, and information held by a person.

• Cognitive –thinking

6. The affective component of an attitude is the emotional, or feeling, segment of an attitude.

• Affective –feeling

7. The behavioral component of an attitude refers to an intention to behave in a certain way.

• Behavioral –doing

8. The three most important job-related attitudes are job satisfaction, job involvement, and organizational commitment.

Contribution of OB to effectiveness of Organization:

Wouldn’t a Manager’s job be easier if he or she could explain and predict behavior? This is the focus of organizational behavior (OB), the study of the actions of people at work. The goal of OB is to explain and predict behavior of employees at work.

OB focuses on both individual behavior and group behavior. Managers must understand behavior in both the formal and informal components of an organization. Managers are particularly concerned with three types of employee behaviors: productivity, absenteeism, and turnover. A fourth type of behavior, organizational citizenship, is emerging as a vital concern.

Managers must also be attentive to employee attitudes. Attitudes are value statements, either favorable or unfavorable, concerning people, events, or objects. Attitudes of special interest to managers pertain to those related to job satisfaction, job involvement, and organizational commitment. Can you think of ways in which your personal attitudes (values) have impact on your behavior at work?

human resource management management  PEOPLE AND THEIR BEHAVIOR

Sometimes an individual experiences an inconsistency between two or more attitudes or between behavior and attitudes. Are happy workers productive workers? The answer to this question is not as simple as it might appear. Review the relationship between employee happiness and productivity and see what you think. Many researchers now believe that managers should direct their attention primarily to what might help employees become more productive. Five specific personality traits have proven most powerful in explaining individual behavior in organizations. These are locus of control, Machiavellians, self-esteem, self-monitoring, and risk propensity. Review these traits so you can be prepared to predict practical work-related behaviors. Sometimes different people will hear or witnesses the same situations yet interpret them differently. This happens because of differences in perception. Perception is the process of organizing and interpreting sensory impressions in order to give meaning to the environment. Managers need to recognize that employees react to perceptions, not to reality (if there is such a thing as “reality”). Thus, managers must pay close attention to how employees perceive both their jobs and management practices.

We constantly learn from our experiences. Sometimes we learn from rewards and punishments that are a consequence of our behavior. We learn to behave in order to get something we want or to avoid something we do not want. This is called operative conditioning. An extension of operant conditioning is social learning theory. Social learning theory emphasizes that we can learn through observation as well as direct experience. Managers can influence an employees learning through the rewards they allocate and the examples they set. Does this advice seem equally applicable to parenting?

The behavior of individuals in groups is not the same as the sum total of all of the individuals’ behavior. Individuals often act differently in groups than when they are alone. This means that managers must also understand the elements of group behavior. This chapter describes the basic concepts of group behavior. It is clear that the ability to understand and predict employee behavior is a powerful tool for managers. To illustrate, a movie director must often “get into the mindset” of characters in a script. Understanding a character’s perceptions and motivation can help the director guide actors toward an award-winning performance. Managers, too, can serve as a guide and coach, helping employees meet organizational goals.

B. Organizations and human behavior

Variables Influencing the Individual Human Behaviors:

In simple word behavior is the function of Person and Environment in which he/she is working. The following two factors mainly influence the individual behaviors…

1.  The Persons

2.  The Environment of the Organization

The Persons No single measure of individual differences can provide a complete understanding of an individual or predict all the behaviors of an individual. It is therefore more useful to consider a variety of differences that explain aspects of employee behavior. These can be

  • Skills & Abilities
  • Personality
  • Perceptions
  • Attitudes
  • Values
  • Ethics

human resource management management  PEOPLE AND THEIR BEHAVIOR

Skills & Abilities:

Mental and physical capacities to perform various tasks. This comes from knowledge, learning, and experiences.


Research has shown five major dimensions to be consistent components of personality. The Big Five personality dimensions are conscientiousness, extroversion/introversion, and openness to experience, emotional stability, and agreeableness. Conscientiousness defined as being reliable and dependable, being careful and organized, and being a person who plans – is the dimension most strongly correlated to job performance. Extroversion/introversion refers to the degree to which a

human resource management management  PEOPLE AND THEIR BEHAVIOR

person is sociable, talkative, assertive, active, and ambitious. Openness to experience is the degree to which someone is imaginative, broad-minded, curious, and seeks new experiences. Emotional stability is the degree to which someone is anxious, depressed, angry, and insecure. Agreeableness refers to the degree to which a person is courteous, likable, good-natured, and flexible. Managers must remember that the relevance of any personality dimension depends on the situation, the type of job, and the level at which a person is working.

Four personality traits that have been consistently related to work-related behavior are locus of control, Type-A behavior, self-monitoring, and Machiavellianism. Locus of control indicates an individual’s sense of control over his/her life, the environment, and external events. Those with an internal locus of control believe that their actions affect what happens to them, while those with an external locus of control believe that outside factors affect what happens to them. People who exhibit Type-A behavior try to do more in less and less time in an apparently tireless pursuit of everything. Type-A people feel great time urgency, are very competitive, try to do many things at once, and are hostile. Self-monitoring, the fourth personality trait is the degree to which people are capable of reading and using cues from the environment to determine their own behavior. Strong self-monitoring skills can help managers and employees read environmental and individual cues quickly and accurately and adjust behavior accordingly. People with elements of a Machiavellian personality put self-interest above the group’s interests and manipulate others for personal gain.


We use the mental process of perception to pay attention selectively to some stimuli and cues in our environment. There are two types of perception. Social perception process is the process of gathering, selecting, and interpreting information about how we view themselves and others. In contrast, physical perception focuses on gathering and interpreting information about physical objects rather than people. Closure permits us to interpret a stimulus by filling in missing information based on our experiences and assumption.


Attitudes are comprised of feelings, beliefs, and behaviors. One important work-related attitude is job satisfaction, the general attitude that people have toward their jobs. Main five factors contribute to job satisfaction: pay; the job itself; promotion opportunities; the supervisor; and relations with co-workers. The relationship between job satisfaction and work performance is complex and influenced by multiple organizational and personal factors. Managers have more influence over job satisfaction than any other individual difference discussed in this chapter.


Values are long-lasting beliefs about what is important, worthwhile, and desirable. A person’s value system is the way he/she organizes and prioritizes values. Terminal values are goals for behavior or for a certain result that someone wants to achieve. Instrumental values are the means—the instruments—that people believe they should use to attain their goals. Cultural values can affect personal values

ETHICS: A key work-related value is the employee’s ethics. Those who hold a relativist’s view of ethics believe that what is right or wrong depends on the situation or culture. Those with a Universalist’s view believe that ethical standards should be applied consistently in all situations and cultures. Value conflict occurs when there is disagreement among values that an individual holds or between individual and organizational values. To avoid value conflict, managers should work toward integrating and fitting the values of different employees with the values of the organization.

The Environment Of Organization

  • Work group
  • Job
  • Personal life Inside the organization, the work group or the relationship between the group members can affect the individual behavior. Organizational culture can also have impact on the individual behavior. Cultural values indicate what a cultural group considers important, worthwhile, and desirable. People share the values of their culture, which form the basis for individual value systems composed of terminal values and instrumental values. A key work-related value is a person’s ethics. Value systems affect ethical behavior in organizations. Managers must be most concerned with interpersonal and person-organization value conflicts. Interpersonal value conflicts occur when two or more people have opposing values, which can prevent coworkers from working together effectively. Person-organization value conflicts occur when someone’s values conflict with the organization’s culture, causing frustration and possibly disrupting personal performance. The factors that influence job satisfaction are pay; the job itself; promotion opportunities; supervisors; and coworkers. The link between job satisfaction and work performance is complex and influenced by multiple organizational and personal factors. The link appears to be stronger for professionals than for employees at higher organizational levels.

The Basic OB Model

The basic OB model suggests study of the organization at following three levels:

1.  Organization

2.  Group

3.  Individual

The purpose of understanding organizations from all three levels (individual, group, and organization) is to develop a well-rounded view that will prepare us for the challenges that managers face in today’s business environment. Focusing on the individual level allows us to understand individual differences, perception, motivation, and learning. Focusing on the group level shows us how more than two people can work together in groups or teams within an organization. Focusing on the organization level allows us to see the effects of the organizational environment, technology, strategy, structure, and culture.

Key Terms
Organizational Behavior: OB is concerned specifically with the actions of people at work
Cognitive component: The cognitive component consists of a person’s beliefs, opinions, knowledge, and information held by a person.
Skills & Abilities: Mental and physical capacities to perform various tasks. This comes from knowledge, learning, and experiences.
Personality: The unique combination of psychological traits that describes a person. OR behaviors or trends that influence other people.
Perceptions: Perception is the mental process to pay attention selectively to some stimuli and cues in our environment.
Attitudes: Attitudes are comprised of feelings, beliefs, and behaviors.
Values: Basic convictions about what is right and wrong.
Ethics: Rules and principles that define right and wrong conduct.

human resource management management  PEOPLE AND THEIR BEHAVIOR

VN:F [1.9.14_1148]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.14_1148]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)