Culture and groups and individuals in organisational behaviour Essay Example

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10ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE AND BEHAVIOR

Organizational Culture and Behavior

Organizational Culture and Behavior

Introduction

As the twenty-first century progresses, the organizational environment is continuing to be turbulent in that they continue to be rocked by some forces like the constant change in technology and globalization. Following this constant changes, the organizational systems usually tend to develop some ways of controlling the individual and group organizational behaviors of their employees (Ogbonna and Harris, 2000). They often do this to try and maintain a sort of balance in their systems to ensure the eventual success and productivity of their companies (Ravasi and Schultz, 2006). Organizational culture can be defined as behavior patterns or a particular style which the employees and the members of an organization utilize to guide their individual as well as group actions. This organizational culture usually influences the employees’ behavior and attitudes both on the personal and group level (Cameron and Quinn, 2005). The paper will, therefore, seek to discuss the ways in which organizational culture influences employees’ attitudes and behaviors and the role that managers play in it.

Organizational Behavior and Culture

It is evident that the corporate culture typically plays significant and numerous roles in an organization (Cameron and Quinn, 2005). One of the roles which organizational culture plays is that it gives an individual organization an identity (Robbins and Judge, 2003). On the other hand, corporate culture has the probability of transforming the self-interests of individuals or employees of that organization into something that is great career-wise and which also coincides with the goals of the company. Furthermore, culture also seeks to regulate the employees’ behavior both on an individual and group level in that it provides the necessary standards which in turn improve the degree of the organizational system (Robbins and Judge, 2003). Finally, organizational culture also acts as the behavioral mechanism which shapes as well as guides the behavior and attitudes of the employees (Robbins and Judge, 2003).

The concept or phenomenon that organization culture is linked with staff’ attitude and behavior continues to prove to become relevant in the current workplace. Studies that have taken to evaluate the relationship which exists between organizational behavior and culture are continuing to be vast and paramount where the researchers have affirmed that there is a positive relationship between the two (Gelfand, Erez, and Aycan, 2007). For example, a study that was undertaken to prove this positive relationship between organizational behavior and culture took to explain it using a universal model and the contingency model. On the one hand, the contingency model depicted that the organizations which perform excellently and are considered to be successful in their individual lines of operations have robust and positive organizational cultures (Adler and Gundersen, 2007). Some examples of characteristics of such organizational cultures are innovation, aggressiveness, team orientation, stability, and attention to detail. However, this only holds if the individual, organizational culture fits the environment that the organization is in. On the other hand, the universal model depicts that if a given company intends to behave positively in the future, then it will need to have an organizational culture that focuses on three individual constituencies which include the stakeholders, employees, and customers (Adler and Gundersen, 2007).

As studies have denoted, the organizational culture is among the numerous variables which contribute in the explanation of organizational behavior (Johns, 2006). The culture of an organization constitutes of six specific dimensions which have a significant influence on its functions. These aspects include restraint and indulgence, the long-term orientations, collectivism and individualism, femininity and masculinity, power distance, and uncertainty avoidance (Colquitt, Lepine and Wesson, 2011). This then implies that the some variables which are in the individual relationship between behavior and culture are note-worthy because they have some great impact on the human resources, organizational strategy, as well as leadership (Colquitt, Lepine and Wesson, 2011). Thus, these variables including the organizational commitment provide important study topics in the future.

Role of the Organizational Culture in Shaping the Attitudes of Employees

Organizational culture usually impacts the attitudes of the employees more so within the organizational change process. This is because it provides a reservoir where corporate meanings could be derived from which their performance data, experience, and results can be interpreted (Verquer, Beehr and Wagner, 2003). Additionally, it also provides the avenues where the inquiries regarding changes in the program technologies and individual procedures could proceed. Current surveys have perceived the organizational culture from the functional point of view which has been seen as an adoption mechanism that assists the organization to survive and adapt to the constantly changing environment (Van Dyne and Pierce, 2004).

Following the positive relationship which exists between organizational culture and employee’s attitudes, managers can then enhance the levels of job satisfaction of their employees through establishing cultures which have characteristics which can be expressed by collaboration and collegiality (Nishii, Lepak and Schneider, 2008). This, therefore, is a clear depiction that the organizational culture impacts both the commitment and satisfaction of the existing and new employees as they strive to achieve the organizational goals. Regarding individual and group attitudes and organizational behavior, it can be explained through the person-oriented and task-oriented organizational cultures (Nishii, Lepak and Schneider, 2008).

Regarding the person-oriented organizational culture, it impacts on the group attitudes of the employees in that it influences their interpersonal relationships. The attitudes of the employees towards each other will affect their teamwork performance, and how they relate which each other to achieve the organizational goals (Nishii, Lepak and Schneider, 2008). On the other hand, organizational culture impacts the attitudes of the employees individually in that the task-oriented culture emphasizes the superiority of the organizational goals more than the personal aims of the individual employees (Nishii, Lepak and Schneider, 2008). However, for the employee to view and partake these tasks positively and productively, the organizational tasks will need to be in line with their personal interests as well such that they coincide.

In explaining this connection, the Affective Events Theory (AET) can be utilized to describe how organizational culture impacts employee’s attitudes and behavior (Weiss and Beal, 2005). According to this theory, the employees often tend to have a reaction to the things which happen to them emotionally. This, in turn usually impacts their work and in the end their job satisfaction as well as job performance (Weiss and Beal, 2005). Precisely, the things and events that take pace in the workplace can either trigger negative or positive emotional reactions from the employees regarding their moods and personalities individually as well as a group (Weiss and Beal, 2005). Consequently, this predisposes them to either respond to these events in a lesser or greater intensity.

For example, employees are evidently different regarding their personalities and backgrounds which mean they will emotionally react differently in different situations. If for example, there are given conflicts between a given characteristic of organizational culture and the personality of a given employee, they may perceive certain events in the organization negatively or as though they are aimed at jeopardizing them. Let’s say an employee is not as aggressive as the company’s culture expects them to be but they are team oriented, innovative, risk-taker and the sort but the management or colleagues keep coming at them because they are not as aggressive as they should, then they will react in a particular way emotionally. Of course they will be short-changed and react negatively emotionally and in the end, perceive their job in a negative dimension. Consequently, the employee will not be productive in their job performance whether individually or as a team member and ends up not being satisfied with their jobs. This example is, therefore, a clear depiction that employees’ emotions together with the individual events which cause them need not be ignored as they will influence their performance and productivity and consequently result in high employee turnover.

When an organization undertakes to create a culture that takes the moods and emotions of employees into consideration both on a personal and group level, then it will be beneficial for all the parties in the organization in the long term (Weiss and Beal, 2005). For example, when an organization ensures positivity in the employee emotions, then there will be better decision-making, enhanced creativity, as well as motivation.

Role of Managers in the Organizational Culture

The organizational managers play a crucial role in developing the organizational culture as well as influencing the organizational behavior both personally and on an individual level. The role of a manager in a company may need them to reward those employees or teams who depict the desired qualities of the organization (Alavi, Kayworth and Leidner, 2005). Creating a culture of rewarding employees and teams which and who perform exemplary will play a significant role in motivating them to become more productive in their performance. When the manager takes to reward the teams, it will probably enhance the group functioning and cohesion in that they will have a common objective of achieving the organizational goals in a productive manner (Alavi, Kayworth and Leidner, 2005).

The managers also play a paramount role in shaping the leadership culture of an organization. A company management may decide to develop a leadership culture which encourages the employees to participate in the decision-making process of the organization (Bowen and Ostroff, 2004). For example, depending on the size of the organization, the leadership culture may opt to install not-so-much indistinguishable roles between the managers and the employees at different levels. When an organization has a culture of disseminated leadership, then the managers are allowed to build healthier and more productive working relationships with the individual employees (Bowen and Ostroff, 2004). At the same time, they will be in a position to supervise the performance of these employees and then report to the owners of the company (Chenhall, 2003). In doing this, the employees will have reduced stress levels as the working environment will be healthy which will, in turn, enhance their productivity regarding task performances as well as their commitment towards the organizational goals (Chenhall, 2003).

Ethics is considered an important aspect of organizational behavior and culture. Various organizations tend to be different regarding their individual ‘ethical climates’ which they create for their employees (Martin and Cullen, 2006). It is also evident that the organizational top management usually creates the ethical climate. The decisions of the top managers as well as the culture that they create as well as practice will make a paramount difference regarding the manner in which the employees at the low-level act and the way the organization reacts in general when they are experiencing some ethical dilemmas (Martin and Cullen, 2006).

This concept can be better explained by the Ethical Climate Theory (ECT) as well as the Ethical Climate Index (ECI) which aims at measuring the ethical dimensions of different organizational cultures (Martin and Cullen, 2006). The five distinct categories of ethical climate include the rules, code, and law, independence, caring, as well as instrumental. The organizational ethical climate evidently impacts the way the individual employees feel as well as the way they behave (Martin and Cullen, 2006). Precisely, positive ethical climate will probably lead to better task performances by the individual employees and at the group level, their productivity, and loyalty to the organization. Negative ethical climate will jeopardize all of these positive outcomes (Martin and Cullen, 2006). Thus, it is the role of the managers to ensure that the ethical climate in the organization is positive, integrated into their organizational culture, and is in line with the needs of the employees for the overall organizational success.

Conclusion

With the constantly changing business environment, organizations are also bound to change when it comes to their organizational culture and how it impacts their employees on an individual and group level. The organizational culture is concerned with the things that define a given organization. As various studies have suggested, there is a positive relationship which exists between the organizational culture and organizational behavior. This is because a positive organizational culture will be reflected in the way the employees perform, handle stressful workplace events, and their group functioning and cohesion. This will consequently impact the overall performance of the organization. Some of the theories used to explain how culture affects employee behavior and attitudes are the affective events theory and the ethical climate theory. The role that managers play in organizational culture has also been explained in the paper.

References

Adler, N.J and Gundersen, A 2007, International dimensions of organizational behavior, Cengage Learning, London.

Alavi, M., Kayworth, T.R and Leidner, D.E 2005, An empirical examination of the influence of organizational culture on knowledge management practices. Journal of management information systems, 22(3), pp.191-224.

Bowen, D.E and Ostroff, C 2004, Understanding HRM–firm performance linkages: The role of the “strength” of the HRM system. Academy of management review, 29(2), pp.203-221.

Cameron, K.S. and Quinn, R.E 2005, Diagnosing and changing organizational culture: Based on the competing values framework, John Wiley & Sons, London.

Chenhall, R.H 2003, Management control systems design within its organizational context: findings from contingency-based research and directions for the future. Accounting, organizations and society, 28(2), pp.127-168.

Colquitt, J., Lepine, J.A. and Wesson, M.J 2011, Organizational behavior: Improving performance and commitment in the workplace, McGraw-Hill Irwin, London.

Gelfand, M.J., Erez, M. and Aycan, Z 2007, Cross-cultural organizational behavior. Annu. Rev. Psychol., vol. 58, pp.479-514.

Johns, G 2006, The essential impact of context on organizational behavior. Academy of management review, 31(2), pp.386-408.

Martin, K.D and Cullen, J.B 2006, Continuities and extensions of ethical climate theory: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Business Ethics, 69(2), pp.175-194.

Nishii, L.H., Lepak, D.P. and Schneider, B 2008, Employee attributions of the “why” of HR practices: Their effects on employee attitudes and behaviors, and customer satisfaction. Personnel psychology, 61(3), pp.503-545.

Ogbonna, E. and Harris, L.C 2000, Leadership style, organizational culture and performance: empirical evidence from UK companies. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 11(4), pp.766-788.

Ravasi, D. and Schultz, M 2006, Responding to organizational identity threats: Exploring the role of organizational culture. Academy of management journal, 49(3), pp.433-458.

Robbins, S.P. and Judge, T 2003, Essentials of organizational behavior (Vol. 7). Englewood Cliffs^ eNJ NJ: Prentice Hall.

Van Dyne, L. and Pierce, J.L 2004, Psychological ownership and feelings of possession: Three field studies predicting employee attitudes and organizational citizenship behavior. Journal of organizational behavior, 25(4), pp.439-459.

Verquer, M.L., Beehr, T.A and Wagner, S.H 2003, A meta-analysis of relations between person–organization fit and work attitudes. Journal of vocational behavior, 63(3), pp.473-489.

Weiss, H.M. and Beal, D.J 2005, Reflections on affective events theory. In The effect of affect in organizational settings, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, London.

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