Mapping your Organisational Behaviour

When we talk about Organisational Behaviour, we’re thinking about a wide range of topics, such as human behaviour, change, leadership and teams.

Organisational Behaviour is the study and application of knowledge about how people, individuals, and groups act in organisations. It interprets people and organisation relationships in terms of the whole person, whole group, whole organisation, and whole social system. Its purpose is to build better relationships by achieving human objectives, organisational objectives, and social objectives.

What are the elements of Organisational Behaviour?

The character of an organisation is based on the philosophy, values, vision and goals of management. These drive the culture, made up of the formal organisation, the informal organisation, and the social environment.

The culture determines the type of leadership, communication, and group dynamics in the organisation. Employees perceive this as quality of work life, which affects their degree of motivation; and the final outcomes are performance, individual satisfaction, and personal growth and development. All these elements combine to build the model or framework that the organisation operates from.

Models of Organisational Behaviour

There are four major models or frameworks from which organisations operate: Autocratic, Custodial, Supportive, and Collegial*:

  • Autocratic — The basis of this model is power and authority in management. Employees in turn are oriented towards obedience and dependence on the boss. Employees meet their need for subsistence and very little else. The performance result is minimal!
  • Custodial — The basis of this model is economic resources, with management oriented towards money. Employees in turn are oriented towards security, benefits and dependence on the organisation, and they meet their need for security. The performance result is passive cooperation.
  • Supportive — The basis of this model is leadership and managerial support. The employees are oriented towards job performance and participation, and meet their needs for status and recognition. The performance result is awakened drives.
  • Collegial — The basis of this model is partnership and teamwork. Employees are oriented towards responsible behaviour and self-discipline, and meet their self-actualisation needs. The performance result is enthusiasm.

Although there are four separate models, almost no organisation operates exclusively in one. There will usually be a predominant one, with one or more areas overlapping in the other models. Take a look at your own organisation: which models do you see operating there?

Thanks to Don Clark Big Dog and Little Dog’s Performance Juxtaposition

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