Organizational behaviour defined
Organizational behaviour was defined as the term used to describe ‘the study of the structure, functioning, and performance of organizations and the behaviour of groups and individuals within them’. The following are the characteristics of organizational behaviour theory.
How organizations function
An organization is an entity that exists to achieve a purpose through the collective efforts of the people who work in or for it. Organizing is the process of making arrangements in the form of defined or understood responsibilities and relationships to enable those people to work cooperatively together. Organizations can be described as systems that, as affected by their environment, have a structure that has both formal and informal elements.
Organization structures are frameworks for getting things done. Traditional formal structures were based on laid down hierarchies (lines of command) represented in organization charts, and use was made of closely defined job descriptions. But to varying extents organizations operate informally as well as formally by means of a network of roles and relationships that cut across formal organizational boundaries and lines of command. Organization structures can evolve almost spontaneously as circumstances change and new activities have to be carried out.
Types of organization
The main types of organization are described briefly below:
• Line and staff – a traditional organization based on the military model in which a hierarchy of ‘line managers’ carry out the fundamental operations such as manufacturing, sales or customer service while the ‘staff’ functions such as finance and personnel provides them with services, advice and support.
• Mechanistic – a formal organization that is hierarchical with rigid chains of command and control, distinct departments and tightly defined and specialized jobs (usually a characteristic of a line and staff organization).
• Organic – a relatively informal organization with a non-hierarchical, flat structure where the emphasis is on horizontal processes, the elimination of boundaries between functions, teamwork and flexible roles (also known as a lattice organization).
• Matrix organization – an organization that consists of a functional structure with a number of different disciplines and a project structure consisting of project teams drawn from the disciplines.
• Network organization – a collection of interrelated organizations that extends beyond the boundaries of any single organization.
• Virtual organization – an organization that mainly uses electronic means for its members to interact with one another thus minimizing face-to-face contacts.