Introduction to Organizational Behavior Model
Organizational Behavior – Our inherent power of generalization helps us predict other people’s behavior; however, sometimes, our generalizations and predictions fail. This happens as we fail to analyze and go into the depth of the patterns affecting people’s behavior at that particular time or period. This calls for understanding and following the systematic approach to the study of organizational behavior. The study helps in increasing our predictive ability to understand the behavior of people, particularly in a group or an organization, and how their behavior impacts the performance of an organization.
Almost all organizations develop models on the basis of which the behavior of the people is determined. This model depends on the assumption that organizational behavior management carries about its people, mission, and goals. It is noted that most organizations make assumptions on the basis that people are not to be trusted even in the slightest matter. For instance, McGregor’s theories X and Y are based on quite contradictory assumptions; Argyris focuses on the immaturity and maturity level of the people providing two opposing views. The Organizational Behavior models formulated would show many different variations and kinds of continuums between the two opposite poles.
Organizational behavior revolves around three main theoretical approaches: cognitive, behaviorist, and social learning frameworks. These frameworks became the basis on which the organizational behavior model operates. The cognitive theory was developed by Edward and depends on the expectancy and incentive concepts, while the behaviorist framework created by Ivan Pavlov and John B.Watson relies on observation power. While social theory depends on how the connection is created between the stimulus and response.
Organizational Behavior Model
In management, the focus is on the study of the five organizational behavior models:
- Autocratic Model
- Custodial Model
- Supportive Model
- Collegial Model
- System Model
This model has its roots in the historical past and definitely became the most prominent model of the industrial revolution of the 1800 and 1900s. It gives the owners and managers the power to dictate and form decisions while making employees obey their orders. The model asserts that employees need to be instructed and motivated to perform while managers do all the thinking. The whole process is formalized with the managers, and authority power has the right to give the command to the people, “You do this or else…”, is a general dictatorship command. As Newstrom suggests, “the psychological result of the employees is dependence on their boss, whose power to “hire, fire and perspire” is almost absolute. Employers receive less wages as they are less skilled, and their performance is also minimum, which they do rather reluctantly as they have to satisfy the needs of their families and themselves. But there are some exceptions as many employees do give higher performance because they would either like to achieve or have a close association with their boss, or they have been promised a good reward, but overall, their performance is minimum.
The theory of X assumption of McGregor states employers do not take responsibility, and managers have to supervise their work to obtain desired results. This model can also be compared to the Likert system in which the use of punishment, force, fear, or threats is sometimes used to get the results from the employees.
Now, as the values are changing, the model is giving place to modernized thinking, but we cannot say that this model has been discarded. In many organizational setups, it is still proving a useful way to get things done, especially when the employees are being motivated to fulfill physiological needs or whenever there are any organizational crises. However, with the increase in knowledge, and changing societal values, better ways to manage organizational behavior systems is emerging. Yet another step was required, and it emerged.
Now the time came when managers began to think the security of the employees is imperative- it could be either social as well economic security. Now managers have begun to study their employees’ needs; they found out that although in the autocratic setup, employees do not talk back yet they have many things to say but the incapability to speak results in frustrations, insecurity, and aggressive behavior towards their employee’s bosses. Since they are not able to display their feelings, they would vent these feelings to their family and neighbors. This causes suffering to the entire community and relationships, and this often results in bad performance. Newstrom gave the example of a wood processing plant where the employees were treated very cruelly, even to the extent of physical abuse. Since workers were not able to strike back directly, they show their aggression by destroying the good sheets of veneer, destroying the supervisor’s credibility.
Employers now had begun to think of how to develop better relations with the employees and keep them satisfied and motivated. In 1890 and 1900, many companies started welfare programs for the employees, which began later to be known as paternalism. In the 1930s, these welfare programs evolved into many fringe benefits to provide security to the employees, which resulted in the development of the Custodial model of organizational behavior.
A successful custodial approach depends on providing economic security, which many companies are now offering as a high pay scale, remunerations in the form of health benefits, corporate cars, financial packaging, and many other forms of incentives. These incentives increase the employees’ satisfaction level and help them to achieve a competitive advantage. To avoid layoffs, employers also tries to “retain employees, reduce overtime, freeze hiring, encourage both the job transfers and relocations, provide early retirement incentives, and reduce subcontracting to adjust to slowdowns, especially in the information technology”. (Newstrom, p.32)
The custodial approach induces employees now to show their dependency and loyalty towards the company and not to the boss or managers, or supervisors. The employees in this environment are more psychologically contended and preoccupied with their rewards, but it is not necessary they would be strongly motivated to give the performance. The studies show that though it has been the best way to make them happy employees but not productive employees, the question still remains what should be the better way? But overall, this step had been a stepping stone for creating and developing the next step.
Unlike the two previous approaches, the supportive model emphasizes on a motivated and aspiring leader. There is no space for any control or authoritative power in this model or on the incentives or reward schemes, but it is simply based on motivating staff through the establishment of the manager and employee relationship and the treatment that is given to employees on a daily basis.
Quite contrarily to the autocratic mode, it states that employees are self-motivated and can generate value that goes beyond their day-to-day role or activity. But how do the employees get self–motivated? By creating a positive workplace where they are encouraged to give their ideas, there is some kind of “buy-in” in the organizational behavior setup and the direction that it takes.
One of the key aspects of the supportive model has been studies conducted at the Hawthorne Plant of Electric in the 1920s and 1930s. Elton Mayo and F.J Roethlisberger led the study to implore human behavior at work by implementing and placing keen insight into the sociological, and psychological perspectives in the industrial setup. They concluded that a single organization is a social system, and a worker is an important component of the system. They found that a worker is not a tool that can be used in any way but has its own behavior and personality and needs to be understood. They suggested that understanding group dynamism, including supportive supervision, is imperative to make workers contribute and be supportive.
Through leadership organizations give the space and climate for the employees to develop, form their own thinking and take the initiative. They would take responsibility and improve themselves. Managers are oriented towards supporting the employees to give performances and not just supporting them through employee benefits as done in the custodial approach.
The supportive model is widely accepted chiefly in developed nations where the needs of the employees are different as it fulfills many of the employees’ emerging needs. This approach is less successful in developing nations where the social and economic need of the working class is different. In short, in the supportive model, money is not what retains the satisfaction of the employees, but it is a part of the organization’s life that has been put to use and makes other people feel wanted.
The Collegial Model
In this scheme, the structure of an organization is developed in a way that there is no boss or subordinates, but all are colleagues who have to work as a team. Each of the employees has to participate and coordinate with each other to achieve the target rate. No one is worried about his status or job title. Manager’s role is here like a coach whose function is to guide the team to perform and generate a positive and motivating work environment instead of focusing on his own personal growth. The team requires adopting new approaches, research and development, and new technologies to better their performance.
We can also say the Collegial model is an extension of the supportive model. The success of the collegial model depends on the management’s ability to foster the feeling of partnership between the employees. This makes the employees feel important and needed. They also feel that managers are not just mere supervisors but are also giving their equal contribution to the team.
To make the collegial model successful many organizations have abolished the use of bosses and subordinates during working, as these terms create the distance between the managers and subordinates. While some organizations have abolished the system of allotting reserved space for executives. Now, any employee can park their vehicle in the common parking space, which increases their convenience and makes them more comfortable.
The manager is oriented toward the team performance while each employee is responsible for his task and towards each other. They are more disciplined and work as per the standards set by the team. In this setup, employees feel fulfilled as their contribution is accepted and well received.
The System Model
The most emerging model of today’s corporate era is the system model. This model emerged from rigorous research to attain a higher level of meaning at work. Today’s employees need more than salary and security from their job; they need the hours they are putting towards the organization is giving them some value and meaning. To add to it, they need work that is ethical, respectful, integrated with trust and integrity, and gives a space to develop a community feeling among the co-workers.
In the system model, the expectations of the managers are much more than getting the work done by the employees. The managers have to show their emotional side, be more compassionate and caring towards their team, and they must be sensitive to the needs of the diverse workforce. They have to devote their attention to creating the feeling of optimism, hope, trustworthiness, courage, and self-determination, and through this, they try to develop a positive work culture where the employees feel more at ease and work as if they are working for their families. This ultimately results in the long time commitment and loyalty of the employees and the success of the company.
Managers also try to foster two main concepts; authenticity and transparency and social intelligence. Managers always try to make the employees feel part of the project and the organization and give them all the support so that they can increase their efficiency and output. In turn, the employees feel more emotionally and psychologically part of the organization and become more responsible for their actions. Employees feel more inspired, motivated, and important and feel that what they are doing and what they think would be good for the organization which goes beyond their personal achievements.
The models have originated perceiving the changing employee needs with each model has been the stepping stone for the more productive and useful model. To assume that any one of the models has been the best model is wrong as no model is hundred percent perfect but has been evolving all through the years with the changes in our perception, study, and social conditions affecting human behavior. Any of the above models can be modified, applied, and extended in many different ways. As there has been advancement in the collective understanding of human behavior, a new social condition emerged, and with it, there has been an evolution of the new model.
This has been a guide to Organizational Behavior Model. Here we have discussed the basic concept, with five organizational behavior models respectively. You may look at the following articles to learn more –