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Organisation Behaviour and Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Organisation Behaviour and Industrial & Organizational Psychology

Relation of Organisation Behaviour to Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Miner (2006) mentioned that “there is a certain arbitrariness” in identifying a “point at which organizational behaviour  became established as a distinct discipline” suggesting that it could have emerged in the 1940s or 1950s. He also underlined the fact that the industrial psychology division of the American Psychological Association did not add “organizational” to its name until 1970, “long after organizational behaviour  had clearly come into existence” noting that a similar situation arose in sociology. Although there are similarities and differences between the two disciplines, there is still confusion around differentiating organizational behaviour  and organizational psychology.

Organisational Behaviour – Importance of Organisational Behaviour O.B. can touch every spectrum of business competitiveness by explaining, predicting, and influencing the behaviour of people.

Let us look at some of them:

  1. Creates Sustainable Competitive Advantage :

    Everyone knows that the voice of Lata Mangeshkar is very melodious. It is valuable, rare and difficult to imitate. Hence, she has been having little or no competition for long and no one could substitute her. This analogy explains sustainable competitive advantage. Resource-based view of firms asserts that competitive advantage is created through valuable, rare, inimitable, and non-substitutable resources.

O.B. converts people in an organisation into valuable, rare, inimitable, and non-substitutable through various OB practices aligned to achieve goals. For example, OB can create a culture of innovation, performance, knowledge sharing, and trust through a combination of individual development, team design, and leadership development.

Google would meet this bill and this is the reason why it is difficult to beat them. Though OB deals with developing people in the organisation, its reverberations can be felt by the customers too. If the employees are not happy or do not behave appropriately with the customers, the result can be disastrous.

  1. Individual Component :

    Rajiv is not able to get results in sales and finds the job very stressful. His boss suspects his introvert nature. If we had a psychometric test before selecting him for the job, this situation could have been avoided. If we erred in selection, we can still confirm his personality trait and shift him to another job profile where he can succeed. A third alternative is to train him to change his behaviour.

This illustrates that OB is important to accomplish the following:

    1. Identify the underlying reasons for poor or non-performance and enable change.
    2. Help a person to modify his/her behaviour to achieve full potential by identifying what motivates a person, how the person can learn and be more creative, and manage stress. In other words, O.B. can facilitate taking a whole gamut of actions required for the person to contribute to competitiveness.
  1. Group/Team Component:

    A company had created two teams simultaneously to develop a new product. The Vice-President, product development, had done so to create internal competition and speed up the product development to beat the competition.

After three months, Team A’ had made no progress, but Team ‘B’ was on the verge of testing the first prototype. Both teams were full of bright people. Hence, the Vice-President wondered what had happened to Team A’. After some deliberation, one Ms Shami Jain was transferred from Team ‘B’ to Team A’.

She realised that Team A’ had far better ideas, but was unable to take a decision. She championed one of the ideas, and within a month, Team A’ came out with a prototype, which was later adopted by the company. What did the Vice-President do? She used her knowledge of Team Wheel from OB and transferred a person who could get Team A’ to decide. This illustrates the importance of OB in designing effective teams.

  1. Organisational Component:

    OB helps in designing, structuring, and changing culture to create a learning and innovative organisation. It suggests ways to implant an organisational sub-culture within the overall culture.

For instance, although employees and organisations in Kerala respond to frequent ‘hartals’ (en forced stoppage of work as a method of protest adopted by political parties in India), employees of various organisations working in the Technopark in Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala, where the IT industries are located, do not participate in such hartals. It shows the existence of a sub-culture in companies located in the Technopark.

  1. Leadership Component:

    Kasper Rorsted is known for transforming Henkel. Armed with the knowledge of OB, he reinvented the culture of Henkel into a ‘winning culture’. His leadership style, knowledge of the leadership style of his team, and understanding of the methods to change the behaviour of people helped him create the winning culture. Leading organisations through crisis and creating transformation are strong contributions of O.B.

  2. External Forces Component:

    Some organization like Airline, Railways, TISCO & SAIL, are widely known for its innovative and fun loving working environment. In fact, having a fun loving nature was the first requirement to get a job in the company. The management actually sponsored its union and encouraged them negotiate even wages. The company recorded quarter after quarter profit, even though every other low cost airline was making a loss. Here, the management knew the external political forces that would intervene to create a union and pre-empted it with its own model of union.

Similarly, global economic slowdown could lead to benching (being on job roll with pay, but no job to do) in IT companies, which leads to loss of experience and developing negative attitudes towards the organisation. O.B. could use tools of learning, job rotation, intrinsic motivators, corporate social responsibility actions and innumerable other methods to counter the impact of a slowdown.

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