Emerging Trends in OB – Organizational Behaviour | Management Notes

Emerging Trends in OB
Organizational Behaviour
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Management Notes

The emerging trends in Organizational Behaviour mostly focuses on aspects to make human resource a strategic partner. Present context calls for understanding how human capital management impacts business results.By most estimates, OB emerged as a distant field around the 1940s. However, its origin can be traced/drawn much further back in time. OB has been around for a long time; it just wasn’t organized into a unified discipline until World War II. During the passage of time, over the years, managers have adopted different practices (models of OB) to manage the behaviour of people in organizations. Models are frameworks for possible explanations why people do as they do at work. All the models of organizational behaviour are broadly classified into four types: autocratic, custodial, supportive and collegial.

The journey of OB has been started from autocratic model and its ultimate destination is collegial model.Different experts of OB have presented different emerging trends in OB.In this section, we describe in detail the trends presented by Keith Davis as these trends seem simple, comprehensive and much more universally applicable in nature. At the same time, we also request the readers to go through the trend offered by other two experts for better understanding of the subject matter.

From To
Closed System Open System
Materialistic Orientation Human Orientation
Centralized Power  Distributed Power
Extrinsic Motivation Intrinsic Motivation
Negative Attitude about People Positive Attitude about People
Focus on Organizational needs Balanced Focus on employee and organizational needs
Imposed Discipline Self Discipline
Authoritative managerial role  Managerial role of leadership and team support

1.OPEN SYSTEM:
The trend is toward considering organization as an open system. Open system is composed of subsystems and focus is towards integrations of them and getting synergy effect. Previously an organization was considered as closed system. A closed system is self-contained and governed by rigid structure and tight rules and regulations.
2. HUMAN ORIENTATION:
Many managers in the past viewed that employees come to the workplace to satisfy their economic need only. Therefore, managers mostly offered material rewards like money, benefits, commodities etc. to get the job done. Today, the expectations of employees have changed a lot. Therefore, managerial practices have been changed more towards cooperation, teamwork, support and guidance. People are no more one of the factors of production – they are both ends and means of development.
3. DISTRIBUTED POWER:
Under classical organizational structure, people were viewed only as a means of production. Power was on the hands of managers; only-employees were powerless. Organizations followed centralization of authority. But now, the trend is towards decentralization of power. The focus is towards participation and empowerment of people in organizations.
4. INTRINSIC MOTIVATION:
The focus of managers previously was mostly towards extrinsic motivation. The factors in this category are salary, supervision, job security, company policy etc. In recent years, managers have started offering more intrinsic motivational factors as compared to extrinsic factors to their employees. Intrinsic motivational factors include achievement, recognition, work itself etc.

5. BALANCED FOCUS:
Organization started their journey by focusing much on organizational needs, objectives and results to be achieved. Objectives, needs and feelings of employees were neglected. But later on, managers realized that there should be mutuality of interest–people need organization and organizations need people. The result is that there is balanced focus on employee and organizational needs. So, managers have started formulating super ordinate goals.

6. SELF-DISCIPLINE:
Disciplines are code of behaviour at work places. Traditionally managers focused on imposed discipline like in theory ‘X’. They exercised ‘carrot and stick’ approach to control the behaviour and get the job done. But it provided only a short-term solution and resulted in serious side effects. The emerging trend in OB is towards self-discipline which produces higher results and costs less. It is achieved by managers through creating an environment where employees take themselves as citizens of the organization. In this type of situation, employees are self-motivated, self-controlled and guided by their own judgment.


7. LEADERSHIP AND TEAM SUPPORT:
Authoritative managerial role is characterized by power exercise, getting obedience, dependence on boss and negative attitude toward subordinates. The result is minimum performance, reward, and low job satisfaction. This situation forced managers to adopt collegial role i.e. managerial role of leadership and team support. Managers build a feeling of partnership with employees – employees feel needed and useful. The result (is) increased motivation, performance and job satisfaction.


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  • Orval Dowden

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