Just like a family has its own unique dynamic, organizations develop their own customs and cultures. The study of these characteristics can lead to information about how organizations can best manage new or difficult situations. Organizational behavior studies the influence of individuals, groups, and structures on human behavior within an organization. Organizational behavior is an interdisciplinary field of study that brings together psychology, social psychology, industrial psychology, sociology, communications, and anthropology to understand the nature of organizations. There are two levels of organizational behavior study: micro and macro.
Micro Organizational Behavior
At the micro-level, organizational behaviorists concern themselves with studying individual, small group, and intra-organizational behavior. Put simply; it’s the study of how employees work together or in small teams. Some of the issues covered are emotions in the workplace, cognition, behavior decision making, social perception, decision making, culture, and gender. The goal of micro organizational behavior studies is to learn about employees’ personalities, how to best reward them, and ways to make employees more productive. Micro organizational behavior studies seek to improve performance to eventually improve profits. For example, if you were to examine how a supervisors’ personality affects his team, this would be a micro-level analysis.
Macro Organizational Behavior
At the macro-level, organizational behaviorists study how the strategies and structures at guide organizations and how they adapt. Some of the issues studied at the macro-level are how organizations work within their market and how policies regarding employees and leadership affect the entire organization. The goal of macro organizational behavior studies is to give organizations a competitive edge. For example, if you were to examine how an organization’s culture affects a supervisor’s behavior, this would be a macro-level analysis. It is important to understand if the organization’s culture is hindering or helping the way supervisors behave.
Why Should Managers Care About Organizational Behavior?
Employees are the key to the success of an organization. A manager that understands the micro and macro needs of the organization can work effectively with employees, establish a strong workplace culture, and achieve organizational goals. He or she will be able to describe how his or her employees behave and why. Understanding why people behave the way they do can alleviate frustration for managers who are facing difficult situations with employees. Managers who understand the behavior of their employees can predict which employees might be dedicated or which may cause problems. Managers can then take preventive actions. In this way, managers have some control over the way an employee’s behavior may affect their performance. Managers can leverage training and development opportunities to correct employee behavior or further develop an employee. Many organizations use online learning platforms to provide employees with training courses. Training can be purchased through content vendors, accessed through free online courses, or developed from within the organization. Organizations that create their own online courses can tailor the courses to meet the micro and macro needs of the organization.
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