Organisational Behaviour

I had a discussion last night with a friend about organisational behaviour; also it reflects some issues I heard at another place too.

Looking at behaviour at the workplace I went back to my “handbook” – Handbook of HR Management Practice, by Michael Armstrong. I read it with ambiguity during my MBA degree. It highlights a lot of facts of characteristics of people.

Probably I could write an essay about it, possibly using my own work as an example. This I try truly to avoid. In a nut shell the chapter talks about

  • individual differences – here it highlights values, expectations, self belief and goes into detail of ability, intelligence, personality, background and culture, gender and race.
  • attitudes
  • influences on behaviour
  • attribution theory
  • orientation
  • roles

Lets summarize some bits we were discussing last night. If the expectations in a team differ and the personalities are really different, then how can a team work? What about building relationships at work if you are from diverse backgrounds. What about team coaching? ,-)

Also, focusing on influences on behaviour. Armstrong points out the role characteristics, job characteristics such as autonomy and challenge. The leader behaviours which have an influence on the group and their group characteristics. Ever noticed that if the boss is doing something everyone else thinks it is OK too? I will highlight the situation in regards to owner managers at some point as this is something of particular interest to me.

Roles: the part to be played by individuals in fulfilling their job requirements – is that a comprehensive summary? I am not sure to be honest. My role might be to sell but just by selling I do not fulfill my job requirements, do I? Then I would not be satisfied and happy, ergo would not fulfil my role? I might fulfil my job but not my role – is a role not self-defined as well?

Armstrong even suggests to differentiate job description and role definition. What about the psychological contract – if a team of people have different psychological contracts with their employer – how does that effect the team work, team performance? All of that comes back to performance, role modelling and expectation handling – leading to personal development, training and career management.

As you can say an almost endless topic. Highly interesting. Will surely come back to some more HR topics later on.