Organizational behavior Free Essay Samples & Outline
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Essay on Organizational Behavior
An organization is an entity of people arranged and managed in order to pursue joint goals. Behavior is described as an array of activities and bearings made by entities and organisms, living or artificial in tune with its or their habitat or environment. Considering that organizations comprise of people, then the interaction between the two aspects; organization and behavior tends to be interrelated with either prevailing at particular points.
Take for example in a company like Apple Inc., which creates a ground breaking electronic devices. The company’s founder and former chief executive officer Steve Jobs, through his creative and an initiative characteristic he influenced the company’s culture and values to focus on creativity and initiative. This organizational culture influenced the individual behaviors of future employees to date, encouraging them to think creatively and be initiative to the extent that competitors are poaching Apple employees in a bid to import the behaviors in order to change their organization’s culture and structure.
An organization’s structure encompasses how it allocates duties, coordinates, and supervises the same towards achieving set goals. Organizational culture is what meaning people attach to the organizational values, their actions, and the visions of the company. This is a collective entity that is created by the organization’s staff.
Types of structures include functional, divisional, and matrix structures. Functional structure divides departments according to the function they play. That is marketing, production, human resource, departments, etc. This structure works especially for small organizations. The divisional structure works best for large multinationals. This allows the company to decentralize decisions to states and regions. The matrix structure employs both functional and divisional structures. The only problem with this structure is that it causes power overlap which results in sluggishness.
Main cultures followed organizations include: normal, pragmatic, and Academy cultures. The normal culture is that where rules are set, and staff members have to adhere to them. In the pragmatic culture, the organization is focussed on the customers while the academy culture focuses on training its staff and giving tasks according to academic background of the staff.
Sometimes organizations opt to change their structures or even culture to enhance performance. The reasons for this change include changes in the market, political, and legal environment. Other reasons could change in business ownership or the adoption of new leadership by the organization. Culture in many organizations is not distinct; it is a mixture of the above and other cultures.
The Nokia Corporation
This Finland-based organization has existed for about 145 years. By 1990s, the corporation had risen to be the world’s leader in the mobile phone business. The corporation has adopted a horizontal structure with departments whose roles are well defined. The departments include the devices department (develops the handsets), service department (deals with the internet, music, games etc in Nokia phones), the corporate development department (deals with future prospects of the corporation), and the NAVTEQ department (deals with developing of navigation maps on Nokia phones).
The Nokia culture has been people oriented. The brand is in about 115 states and uses the tagline “Nokia, connecting people”. The company involves its staff in its activities and upholds innovation and diversity. The company culture stipulates that at the end of the day, the corporation should remain “human”. This describes a matrix kind of structure and a sort of pragmatic culture. The company has been on the top of the mobile production game which means that the culture and structure are effective.
The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company like The Nokia Corporation is a very old company and has passed the test of time. The Coca-Cola Company has after that grown to become one of the world’s most known companies. It leads in the soft drinks industry, and its main competitor is Pepsi. The company survived even the world war among very few companies that managed to overcome the war. The company has a culture that is encompassed in seven values. The values include leadership, integrity, passion, diversity, quality, collaboration, and accountability. The company is also people-oriented. It promises to refresh the world (in body, mind and spirit), inspire optimistic moments as well as make a difference through the creation of value.
The Coca-Cola Company emphasis on diversity, talent and innovativeness among its staff. In the 90s, the company adopted a new organizational structure. The company decentralized to obtain a design where each country had an independent management. The decentralization went further to regions in these countries where each region adopted an independent management. This way, regional management could make decisions without interference from above. This made the company very flexible and effective as people on the ground who had first-hand information were making the decisions. This is a divisional structure and a sort of prismatic culture as well.
Indeed, there is a great connection between a company’s culture, structure, and its performance. The structure touches on the flexibility of the organization. Culture touches on the organization’s ability to develop innovations that will counter competition. Both of these elements contribute directly to performance of an organization. Both The Coca-Cola Company and The Nokia Corporation are market leaders in their respective fields.
However, Nokia’s structure and culture had almost brought the corporation down to its knees in 2011. While this had been happening, The Coca-Cola Company was thriving as usual. A study on this phenomenon will show that the performances reflected on the structures and cultures of these companies. In the recent past, Nokia had faced competition from other handsets producers such as Motorola and Samsung where they had dominated for quite some time. Nokia had developed handsets that it could sell to all types of consumers; high-income earners and the lowest income earners. Its competition closed in on them and obviously something had to be done fast.
Before Nokia could deal with this threat, things turned rather sour for the corporation. The mobile market had been hit by a wave of smartphones. The producers of these phones were and still are Nokia’s competitors. They had innovated the smartphones using the Android technology that the world over had embraced as soon as they were launched leaving Nokia without a substantial market share. Nokia resulted into the production of some brands that could not match the competition. These handsets included the N97 and the Nokia Asha, which was no match for the Apple, HTTC, and Samsung smartphones. Apparently, while Nokia was still engrossed in hardware development, the competitors had already given Nokia a run for their money with much more superior software.
What followed showed Nokia’s lack of flexibility and innovativeness. It was clear by this point that the game had changed but Nokia instead of acting quickly to make amends continued with business as usual. The company is still feeling the effects of this although it was more devastating in the beginning when the corporation made losses for three straight quarters. The decision making at the corporation was the company’s undoing. Bureaucracy was so serious an issue that decisions seemed to counsel out.
Evidently it was time for a change. For the first time in 145 years, Nokia got a CEO, who was not Finnish. It is this CEO, Stephen Elop, who sealed the deal with Microsoft to help the Nokia Corporation produce Windows smartphones. Nokia has already started moving in the right direction. The company produced the first Windows smartphones in the world; the Nokia Lumia series. This move in a very short time saw Nokia reduce the losses and eventually making some little profits.
Elop did not just make an innovative decision on behalf of Nokia; he also changed Nokia’s structure. The company came to have two distinct departments; mobile phones and smart devices. Each department deals with its accounts and marketing. This focus on the market that had turned to smart devices has seen the company’s turnaround from its previous sorry state. The company is still to perform as good as expected. Nokia has been the leader in its field but is not anywhere near the top producers of smart phones. This shows a great deal of lacks of innovations and complacency.
Coca Cola’s culture and structure have changed and seen the company survive even the worst of business times. Coca-Cola a company that termed the world war as a blessing in disguise. The company’s management resulted in giving free drinks to the Allied fighters in the war which saw the company penetrates into new markets and with great consumer loyalty. The company also changed its management structure rapidly enough to overcome the Asian financial crisis. The crisis that had swept India, Malaysia, and Korea saw the company move deeper into these markets after making innovative acquisitions of bottlers and mergers.
In 1985, the company was under serious competition from Pepsi, which resulted into the company making carbonated drinks. This product met a lot of criticism from the onset. Immediately, the company went back to the old product but after rebranding it. On top of that, the company rolled out some products that addressed health issues. Eventually, Coca-Cola remained on top of the game. Coca-Cola has always managed to change its structure accordingly.
It does this strategically by ensuring each region addresses its specific concerns. The structure allows the company to avoid sluggishness in making important decisions. No wonder Coca-Cola has become almost invincible in the carbonated drinks field. While the companies have changed their structure, they have refrained from changing the culture. Nokia changed its culture when it changed its line of business from a normal business to a mobile phones provider. Apparently, structure is easy to change but culture is not. The ability to change accordingly is the difference between Nokia’s losses and Coca cola’s profits.
The process of decision-making is a very vital aspect of everybody that has been bestowed some responsibility in any organization. Everyone in a certain profession, therefore, is bound to be faced with a situation which requires that he or her base the decision on some laid down guidelines. Every organization has an obligation to develop and avail the guidelines on which the employees should look upon when carrying out their responsibilities. These guidelines ensure that a certain behavior is observed and when faced with several options, it helps the employee to choose a certain action over the other regardless of the attractiveness of the others, Bredeson (2012). The result is what is commonly referred to as ethical behavior among the employees.
Ethical behavior has a lot of importance to any organization that upholds them at a workplace. The level of adherence to the ethics laid down directly influences the performance of a certain organization or individual. The code of conduct which is commonly referred to as ethics is formulated by some bodies which have authority over the certain type of organizations. For instance, businesses will be regulated by national or regional boards mandated with the responsibility. Nurses will get their ethics from the national nursing board and so forth. These ethics provide an environment conducive for excelling of all concerned including the employees, customers, investors, shareholders and other stakeholders.
Good ethics is supposed to address several key areas. The first one is the behavior of the concerned people. Behavioral guidelines should address topics such as work attire, language, and harassment. Though these might not seem very important, they are keys to continued success of any organization seeking to excel in any field. They also provide the employees with a legal basis onto which to seek redress in the event of harassment, Evans (2001). Failure to comply with these codes is mainly dealt with by issuance of warning letters and can be a basis for dismissal.
Ethics instill the high degree of integrity if followed to the letter. Integrity in a workplace is such an important tool to develop trust between the employees, their employers, customers and other stakeholders. Ethics requires the workers to always make the right decision whether it concerns an organization’s operation or any other decision that might bring harm or good influence to the organization. The integrity issue coupled with the behavioral aspect requires certain conduct to be observed even when one is not in the workplace. This works to institute the much needed respect in the corporate world. For instance, a teacher or an engineer has to conduct him or herself in a certain manner even when not in the workplace failure to which the respect accorded to him, or her recedes and this also applies to the profession or organization he represents.
Workplace ethics ensures that accountability is maintained in the workplace. Teamwork is also addressed, and commitment by those involved is increased. Productivity is also increased among the employees. The values instilled by the ethics make the employees feel strongly bound to their values and this in turn will make them demonstrate the feelings of this attachment to the values through increased productivity and teamwork. They will also be greatly motivated as they will feel attached to the values instilled by the ethics.
Public image is very important for any for-profit organization. A good public image can make a difference between profit and loss making in the organizations. A good public image tends to attract customers who will have first developed trust in your organization due to the good public image. To build this good public image, the most effective tool is ethics. An organization with well laid down ethics and whose workers adhere to the ethical guidelines is bound to have a very good public image. This will translate into increased profit and hence revenue.
Safeguarding of an organization’s assets is a very important in ensuring continued growth of an organization. Without proper ethics in place, employees tend to steal from the organization. This might be the director in terms of other organizational resources such as work time. Clearly instituted, ethics prevent this scenario by making the employees feel responsible for safeguarding of the assets in their disposal. They also form a basis for the employees to follow when in the decision-making processes.
For example, Engineer’s code of ethics development has taken a lot of time before they were fully developed. Several incidences triggered the concerned people to think of an importance of formulation of a code of ethics for engineers. The most famous ones include collapsing of a bridge in early 1920s and a molasses plant both in the United States of America. The engineers at the time and other concerned people in authority felt that there was the need for the safety of the ordinary folk using the creations of the engineers to be protected. The engineers in their view were supposed to be accountable to the people they render their services to, Greer (2007). This they argued would encourage honesty, impartiality, integrity, equity and fairness to all they extend their services to. The result will be protection of health, welfare and safety of the public. However unlike in another profession the engineer’s code of conduct is more technically inclined as is the profession.
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Bredeson, D. & Goree, K. (2012). Ethics in the workplace. Mason, OH: South-Western/Cengage Learning.
Evans, D. (2001). Supervisory management : principles and practice. London: Continuum.
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Greer, C. (1995). Strategy and human resources : a general managerial perspective. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice Hall.
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