Insights into Organisational Behaviour in the Workplace

Insights into Organisational Behaviour in the Workplace

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Syed Aquib Ur
Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager
Updated on Jan 24, 2024 18:58 IST

Organisational behaviour (OB) entails examining the dynamics of interactions and mutual influence among individuals, groups, and organisations. Learn about it in detail with types and factors that will enhance your theoretical understanding.  

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As a company, maintaining a competitive advantage in the business environment requires the proper utilisation of its most important assets – the people. 

Management theories, motivation theories, and types of management styles are all interconnected with how employees work – as individuals, as a group or team, and as an organisation. 

If you are a manager, it is important to study, know and predict how individuals behave in the organisation.  In short, the organisational behaviour. 

What is Organisational Behaviour?

Organisational behaviour means studying different types of behaviour of employees as individuals or groups, only in the context of an organisation. 

Now, if you search what exactly is an organisation, the dictionary or the internet will tell you it is the collection of people who are in a structure defined by a hierarchy of authority, and all contribute to a singular purpose that is defined by the company’s vision and mission

What is the Difference Between Organisational Behaviour and Culture?

Organisational behaviour is about understanding and managing individual and group behaviours within an organisation.

Organisational culture, on the other hand, deals with the shared values and practices that define the character of the organisation as a whole.
Further, organisational behaviour examines the psychological, social, and behavioural aspects, which could be of individuals or groups. This is done to improve understanding and promote positive outcomes. In contrast, organisational culture impacts communication patterns, decision-making processes, and overall employee morale.

In understanding dynamics, you may further explore the Difference Between Formal and Informal Organisation

Why is Studying Organisational Behaviour Important?

With clearly defined levels of management, the management process becomes continuous. Managers then constantly need to focus on planning, controlling, directing, and staffing, among other functions of management, which directly relate to organisational behaviour. 

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Managers must make use of organisational behaviour, which helps in bringing efficiency to the team and making the company differentiate itself in the market. 

There are three factors to consider when discussing organisational behaviour. 

  • Observable Behaviours – These are those day-to-day etiquettes or conducts of employees in an organisation. 
  • Analysis of Behaviours – Behaviours in the organisation must be analysed separately for employees as individuals, as well as, employees as groups. 
  • Behaviours of Groups and Organisations – Groups and organisations have different types of collective behaviours. They are also different from how individuals behave independently. 

Types of Organisational Behaviour

The factors mentioned above are studied as three subfields of organisational behaviours, as discussed by John A. Wagner III and John R. Hollenbeck in their comprehensive book, Organizational Behavior: Securing Competitive Advantage.

  1. Micro Organisational Behaviour
  2. Meso Organisational Behaviour
  3. Macro Organisational Behaviour

Micro Organisational Behaviour

Micro organisational behaviour refers to how the employee works at the workplace, all by themselves. This type of organisational behaviour relates to various fields in psychology – clinical (personality), industrial (attitude at workplace) and experimental (motivation to work). 

Explore Psychology courses

Meso Organisational Behaviour

This subfield of organisational behaviour is to study how the employee works in a team. It is important to study how the employee communicates and socialises at work. Factors such as communication, leadership, etc., play a big role here. 

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Macro Organisational Behaviour

This type of research involves researching how the organisation responds in the existing market. Along with that, the leadership and decision-making of the organisation are crucial points to consider.

How Different Types of Organisations in India Affect Organisational Behaviour 

We want to shed light on organisational behaviour in India, as explained by Sharu S Rangnekar in the Economic and Political Weekly in 1969. 

Hydraulic Organisation

Characteristic: Pressure is applied at any point, which is felt equally throughout the organisation.
Effect on Organisational Behaviour: Top management's concern, such as improving quality, is promptly transmitted to all levels. This type ensures a direct and efficient flow of communication.

Spongy Organisation

Characteristic: Pressure diminishes through organisational levels, each level behaving like a sponge to absorb part of the pressure.
Effect on Organisational Behaviour: The top management's concerns may not reach lower levels effectively. It may result in a lack of immediate feedback and challenges in evaluating individual performance objectively.

Snowball Organisation

Characteristic: Every pressure gets magnified, creating a crisis.
Effect on Behaviour: The organisation may face challenges due to exaggerated pressures, potentially leading to crises. This type highlights the importance of managing and mitigating pressure effectively.

Barometric Organisation

Characteristic: A vacuum at the top, with no guidance or pressure.
Effect on Behaviour: Lack of direction from top management may lead to inertia, with the organisation facing crises and making higher losses. Accountability becomes a significant issue.

Explore the Theories of Organisational Behaviour to get more insights into this topic. 

Parting Thoughts

This was all about organisational behaviour in a nutshell. Take up management courses to learn more. 

About the Author
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Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager

Aquib is a seasoned wordsmith, having penned countless blogs for Indian and international brands. These days, he's all about digital marketing and core management subjects - not to mention his unwavering commitment ... Read Full Bio