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Organizational Behavior: A Discipline For Discovery This Paper Is A Support Paper For Organizational Behavior. It Outlines The Benefits Of The Discipline.

1218 words - 5 pages

Organizational Behavior: a discipline for discoveryAsk a manager of 35, 25 or even 15 years ago what their Organization's Behavioral patterns were or how their employees felt about certain issues and you would probably be met with blank stares. Organizational Behavior (OB) was not a part of the business world in those days. The idea that a manager need only deal with the technical skills of it's employees while disregarding their own listening skills, communication skills and interaction skills was the common mode of thought. A recent study on employee burnout by Northwestern National Life Insurance shows that at least one out of every four employees views their job as the biggest stressor in their lives (Work, stress and health conference, 1999). Clearly it is time to reevaluate our thinking on the business concepts of the past and focus our attention on our organization with a more humanistic approach. What worked in the past is not necessarily going to work today. As the world changes so too does our environment change. We need to change with it or be left behind. Organizational Behavior is one of those vehicles being used for change. The past 10-15 years has shown an increase in Organizational Behavior studies. OB has become an important tool for businesses striving to meet the needs of its employees while understanding the impact of the individual on an organization's behavior.HistoryThe generational gap between people is apparent. The values, thoughts and dreams of our parents are probably much different than ours of today just like their values were differed from your grandparents. The attitudes and beliefs of a generation are a big part of the make-up of a person's personality and work ethic. Stephen P. Robbins notes in his text that the previous 3 generations, while similar in some respects, held distinct differences in their values (p.130-2). Organizational behavior is a byproduct of the times. The workers adapted to their organization and grew with it (1940's and 50's). As time went on a shift towards quality of life, non-conforming, autonomy and loyalty to one's own values became prevalent (1960's and 70's). Another shift occurred in the mid 70's. The value system moved towards ambition, loyalty to career, hardworking, and the desire for success and achievement. This period lasted till about the mid 80's when another shift moved us towards the value system commonly held today of flexibility, value to relationships, desire for leisure time and overall job satisfaction. Robbins classified these four stages as follows: Protestant work ethic, Existential, Pragmatic, and Generation X (p.131). We can see that what worked in the 50's in terms of how an organization operated is probably not going to be as effective in today's organizations. Whether it's the Protestant work ethic of the 1940's and 50's or it's Generation X of today, the picture should be clear. We need to know what our workers value, how they feel and change with them so as to...

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