In recent decades, there has been mounting interest among scholars and practitioners in understanding how organizational behavior can be used to enhance the competitive advantage and performance of organizations (Griffin & Moorhead, 2009). Indeed, it has been found that some discretionary or spontaneous organizational behaviors are critical to the survival and competitiveness of the organization under their capacity to cause individuals to take actions that go above and beyond their stated job requirements (Mayfield & Taber, 2010). In light of this realization, the present paper discusses concepts, suggestions, and thoughts on the value and significance of organizational behavior to a contemporary organization.
Organizational behavior is largely concerned with investigating the impact that people, groups, and organizational structures have on the behavior within an organization, hence its scope covers the core themes of motivation, leadership behavior and power, interpersonal communication, group and team structure, learning, and job design, among others (Griffin & Moorhead, 2009). These notions are central to the competitiveness, performance, and productivity of modern organizations, thus the argument that organizational behavior is an important concept in the development of an organization’s climate that can guarantee or undercut success.
Because the importance of organizational behavior is predicated upon the understanding of how people, groups, and organizational structures interact and affect each other, it is suggested in the literature that a comprehensive assessment of the workplace behavior, business culture, and organizational practices generates greater insights about communication patterns and conflicts, with the view to coming up with tenable solutions to the problems facing contemporary organizations (Bandura, Johnson, & Lyon, 2014; Griffin & Moorhead, 2009).
Consequently, the value of organizational behavior within an organization is reinforced by the fact that it sometimes triggers the implementation of solution-oriented policies (e.g., reward systems, novel communication techniques, or innovative management techniques) to the problems facing the organization, hence ensuring enhanced competitiveness and performance.
Moving on, it is important to mention how prosocial or organizational citizenship behavior is important within the organization, particularly in terms of enhancing organizational functionality and effectiveness. Available literature demonstrates that prosocial behavior, which refers to altruistic actions inspired by factors such as employee’s trust for and attitude toward management and the organization, is important within an organization by its capacity to promote organizational obedience, organizational loyalty, as well as organizational participation (Bienstock, DeMoranville, & Smith, 2003).
According to these authors, organizational obedience is typified by behavior that not only recognizes but accepts the obligation and attractiveness of a rational structure of rules and regulations in an organization, hence its importance in guiding employees to, among other things, exhibits respect for organizational rules and regulations, completes assigned tasks and act responsibly concerning available organizational resources.
Similarly, organizational loyalty as a critical component of prosocial organizational behavior denotes “loyalty to the organization as contrasted with loyalty to one self, other individuals in the organization, or subunits (e.g., organizational departments) and is indicated by behaviors that enhance the organization’s reputation and exhibit collaboration with others to serve the interests of the organization” (Bienstock et al., 2003, p. 361).
Drawing from this elaboration, it is evident that this type of organizational behavior assists in not only promoting the organization’s image and reputation (e.g., by speaking favorably about the organization to others both inside and outside of the organization), but also reinforcing collaboration with other employees and stakeholders with the view to serving the competitive and performance-oriented interests of the organization. On its part, organizational participation is typified by the involvement in the government structures of the organization, hence its importance in galvanizing employees to engage in productive efforts such as attending meetings (even if they are not required), sharing ideas with other employees and stakeholders, and staying informed about organizational affairs (Bienstock et al., 2003).
In addition, available literature demonstrates that constructive organizational behaviors are of critical importance to contemporary organizations as they support direct task performance and facilitate organizational goal attainment through such reinforcing efforts as working hard to meet strict deadlines, assisting coworkers, assuming the initiative to solve unexpected organizational challenges, and engaging in constructive suggestions (Bandura et al., 2014). Such behaviors, according to these authors, are broadly focused on reinforcing organizational competitiveness and performance, hence their importance within contemporary organizations.
Lastly, within the management realm, it is important to note that organizational behavior helps senior management to predict the reaction to and effects of potential shifts in organizational policies and procedures by
- understanding why others in the organization behave as they do,
- having adequate knowledge of the personal needs, motives, behaviors, feelings and career dynamics of individuals,
- understanding the attitudinal processes, individual variations, group or team dynamics, intergroup dynamics, organizational culture, power and authority, and political power, as well as
- understanding interactions with people outside the boundaries of the organization (Griffin & Moorhead, 2009; Mayfield & Taber, 2010).
Such predispositions are of immense value and importance to the senior management of an organization, particularly in terms of planning, organizing, leading, controlling, and effecting the desired organizational changes.
Overall, the present paper has successfully demonstrated that the value and importance of organizational behavior to an organization cannot be underestimated, as organizational behavior is at the core of the critical drivers of the organization including motivation, leadership behavior and power, interpersonal communication, group and team structure, learning and job design, among others. Drawing from this exposition, it is concluded that organizational behavior is a fundamental artery that feeds the competitiveness, performance, and productivity of contemporary organizations.
Bandura, R.P., Johnson, R., & Lyons, P. (2014). Voluntary helpful organizational behavior: Recognition of individual attributes. European Journal of Training & Development, 38(7), 1-33.
Bienstock, C.C., DeMoranville, C.W., & Smith, R.K. (2003). Organizational citizenship behavior and service quality. Journal of Services Marketing, 17(4), 357-378.
Griffin, R., & Moorhead, G. (2009). Organizational behavior: Managing people and organizations. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
Mayfield, C.O., & Taber, T.D. (2010). A prosocial self-concept approach to understanding organizational citizenship behavior. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 25(7), 741-763.