An understanding of organizational behavior is important to managers, who have a responsibility to improve organizational effectiveness, an organization’s ability to achieve goals. A goal is the desired future result that an organization seeks to achieve.
In the past 10 years, the challenges managers face in using human resources effectively and managing organizational behavior have increased. These challenges arise from changing forces in the technological, global, and social or cultural environments.
The organization can gain a competitive advantage, a way to outperform other organizations that provide similar goods and services. They may pursue any or all of the following objectives: increase efficiency, increase quality; increase innovation and creativity; and increase responsiveness to customers.
Organizational efficiency increases by reducing the amount of resources, such as new people or materials, needed to produce quality goods or services. Organizations try to find better ways to use and increase the skills and abilities of their workforce. Cross-training workers to perform different tasks and finding new ways to organize workers to use their skills more efficiently improve efficiency. The global competitive challenge organizations face is investing in the skills of workers because better-skilled workers make better use of technology. Increased competition has also put pressure on businesses to increase the quality of the goods and services they offer. One approach to increasing quality is called Total Quality Management, a technique borrowed from the Japanese. Total quality management implies a completely new philosophy of behavior management in organizations and includes elements such as giving workers responsibility for finding ways to do their jobs more efficiently and ways to improve quality.
An organization’s ethics are rules, beliefs, and values that describe the ways in which managers and workers should behave when faced with a situation that may help or harm other people inside or outside an organization. Ethical behavior improves the well-being of individuals, groups, organizations and the organizational environment. Ethics establishes the goals and behaviors appropriate to the organization. Many organizations have the objective of making a profit in order to pay workers, suppliers and shareholders. Ethics specifies what actions an organization must take to make a profit and what limits must be placed on organizations and their managers to prevent harm.
The challenges of managing a diverse workforce increase as organizations expand their operations internationally. There are several issues that arise in the international arena. First, managers must understand cultural differences to interact with workers and associates in foreign countries. Understanding the differences between national cultures is important in any attempt to manage behavior in global organizations to increase performance.
Second, the managerial functions of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling become more complex in a global environment. Planning requires coordination between managers at home and abroad. The organization, the distribution of authority and responsibility for decision making between the headquarters and the foreign country is an important function of global managers. Leading requires adapting your leadership styles to accommodate the differences in attitudes and values of foreign workers. Governance involves setting the organization’s evaluation, reward, and promotion policies and training and developing a globally diverse workforce.