We have covered methods organizations might use to address issues related to the way people behave at work. In addition, you should now be familiar with the large number of factors, both within an individual and within the environment that may influence a person?s behaviors and attitudes. In the coming years, society is likely to see a major shift in the way organizations function, resulting from rapid technological advances, social awareness, and cultural blending. OB studies hope to enhance an organization?s ability to cope with these issues and create an environment that is mutually beneficial to the company as well as its employees.
Our values and personality explain our preferences and the situations we feel comfortable with. Personality may influence our behavior, but the importance of the context in which behavior occurs should not be neglected. Many organizations use personality tests in employee selection, but the use of such tests is controversial because of problems such as faking and low predictive value of personality for job performance. Perception is how we interpret our environment. It is a major influence over our behavior, but many systematic biases color our perception and lead to misunderstandings.
Several theories view motivated behavior as attempts to satisfy needs. Based on this approach, managers would benefit from understanding what people need so that the actions of employees can be understood and managed. Other theories explain motivated behavior using the cognitive processes of employees. Employees respond to unfairness in their environment, they learn from the consequences of their actions and repeat the behaviors that lead to positive results, and they are motivated to exert effort if they see their actions will lead to outcomes that would get them desired rewards. None of these theories are complete on their own, but each theory provides us with a framework we can use to analyze, interpret, and manage employee behaviors in the workplace.
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