Introduction to the Challenges and Opportunities of Organizational Behavior
Organizational behavior is the culture of the organization, which includes how employees interact with each other. This also includes how employees feel about the company. The challenges and opportunities of organizational behavior in most companies include overcoming cultural and ethnic differences, improving productivity, hiring employees suited to the organizational culture or who can improve it, delegating tasks to employees, and finding an appropriate level of life balance. Challenges and opportunities for organizational behavior are massive and rapidly changing for improving productivity and meeting business goals.
Organizational behavior is the analysis of human dynamics within an organization. It helps HR professionals and business leaders to understand the relationship between them and their employees. In addition, it tells a lot about the interaction between employees at the same level. Although organizational behavior varies from one organization to another, its nature has important implications.
In the present times, managers have to deal with various contemporary challenges and opportunities to use organizational behavior concepts and improve productivity. Some of the challenges and opportunities for organizational behavior are listed below.
Challenges and Opportunities of Organizational Behavior
The challenges and opportunities of Organizational Behavior can be fully understood with the help of the following points: –
- Improving Peoples’ Skills;
- Improving Quality and Productivity;
- Total Quality Management (TQM);
- Managing Workforce Diversity;
- Responding to Globalization;
- Empowering People;
- Coping with Temporariness;
- Stimulating Innovation and Change;
- Emergence of E-Organisation & E-Commerce;
- Improving Ethical Behavior;
- Improving Customer Service;
- Helping Employees Balance Work-Life Conflicts; and
- Flattening World.
- Improving People’s Skills: – Technological changes, structural changes, environmental changes occur at a rapid pace in the business sector. Unless employees and executives are equipped to have the necessary skills to adapt to those changes, targeted goals may not be achieved in a timely manner. These are two different categories of skills – managerial skills and technical skills. Some of the managerial skills include listening skills, motivational skills, planning and organizing skills, leading skills, problem solving skills, decision making skills. These skills can be enhanced by conducting a range of training and development programmes, career development programmes, induction and socialisation.
- Improving Quality and Productivity: – Quality is the extent to which customers or users believe that the product or service exceeds their needs and expectations. For example, a customer who buys an automobile has a certain expectation, one of which is that the automobile will start when the engine is started. If the engine does not start, the customer’s expectations will not be met and the customer will find the quality of the car to be poor. The major dimensions of quality are as follows: –
- Performance: -Primary rating characteristics of a product such as signal coverage, audio quality, display quality, etc.
- Features: – Secondary features, additional features, such as calculator, and alarm clock features in the handphone
- Conformity: – meeting specifications or industry standards, the degree of workmanship to which the product’s design or operating characteristics match pre-established standards
- Reliability: – The probability of a product falling out within a specified period
- Durability: – It is a measure of the life of a product having both economic and technical dimensions.
- Services: – Problem and complaints resolution, Ease of repair
- Feedback: – Human-to-human interfaces, such as Courtesy of Dealer « Aesthetics: Sensory features such as exterior finishes.
- Reputations: – Past performance and other abstractions, such as being in the first place.
More and more managers are facing challenges to meet the specific needs of customers. To improve quality and productivity, they are implementing programs like total quality management and reengineering programs that require extensive employee participation.
- Total Quality Management (TQM): – Total Quality Management (TQM) is a philosophy of management driven by continuous achievement of customer satisfaction through continuous improvement of all organizational processes. The components of TQM are: –
- an intense focus on the customer,
- concern for continuous improvement,
- improving the quality of what the organization does,
- accurate measurement and,
- Empowerment of employees.
- Managing Workforce Diversity: – It refers to employing different categories of employees who are heterogeneous in terms of gender, caste, ethnicity, affiliation, community, physically disadvantaged, elderly people etc. The primary reason for employing a heterogeneous range of employees is to harness talent and potential, harness innovation, to achieve synergistic effects among the divorced workforce. In general, employees wanted to maintain their personal and cultural identity, values, and lifestyle, even if they were working in the same organization with similar rules and regulations. The biggest challenge for organizations is to become more accommodating to different groups of people by addressing their different lifestyles, family needs and work styles.
- Responding to Globalization: – Today’s business is mostly market-driven; wherever the demands exist irrespective of distance, locations, climatic conditions, the business operations are expanded to gain their market share and to remain in the top rank, etc. Business operations are no longer restricted to a particular locality or region. The company’s products or services are spreading across the nations by using mass communication, internet, fast transportation etc. More than 95% of Nokia handsets are sold outside their home country of Finland, Japanese cars are being sold in different parts of the world, Sri Lankan tea is exported to many cities across the world, Garment products from Bangladesh are exported to USA and EU countries. Executives of multinational corporations are very dynamic and move more frequently from one subsidiary to another.
- Empowering People: – The main issue is to delegate more power and responsibility to the lower-level cadre of employees and to provide more freedom to make choices regarding their schedules, operations, procedures and method of solving problems related to their work. Encouraging employees to participate in work-related decisions will significantly increase their commitment to work. Empowerment is defined as putting employees in charge of the work they do by gaining some kind of ownership. Managers are going far ahead by allowing employees complete control over their work. The movement implies constant change, with an increasing number of organizations using self-managed teams, where workers largely work without bosses.
- Coping with Temporariness: In recent times, product life cycles are shortening, operating methods are improving, and fashion is changing very rapidly. In those days, managers were required to undertake major transformation programs once or twice a decade. Today, change is an ongoing activity for most managers. The concept of continuous improvement refers to continuous change. In the old years, there used to be a long period of stability and sometimes interrupted by a short period of change, but at present, the change process is an ongoing activity due to competition in developing new products and services with better features. Everyone in the organization today is facing permanent impermanence. The actual work to be done by the workers is in a permanent state of flow. Hence, workers need to constantly update their knowledge and skills to meet the requirements of the new job.
- Stimulating Innovation and Change: – Today’s successful organizations must foster innovation and master the art of change; Otherwise, they will become candidates for extinction over time and disappear from their field of business. Wins will go to organizations that maintain flexibility, continually improve their quality, and beat the competition with a constant stream of innovative products and services in the market place. For example, Compaq was successful in making more powerful personal computers than EBNM or Apple for the same or less money, and in getting their products to market faster than larger competitors.
- The Emergence of E-Organisation & E-Commerce: – It refers to business operations involving electronic mode of transaction. This includes presenting products on websites and filling orders. Most of the articles and media attention given to using the Internet in business has focused on online shopping. The process involves marketing and selling of goods and services on the Internet. In e-commerce, the following activities are happening quite frequently – with a tremendous number of people shopping on the internet, business houses setting up websites where they can sell goods, following transactions such as receiving payments and fulfilling orders.
- Improving Ethical Behavior: – Complexity in business operations is forcing the workforce to face ethical dilemmas where they need to define right and wrong conduct to carry out their assigned activities. For example, should employees of a chemical company blow the whistle if they uncover that its untreated waste in the river is polluting its water resources? Do managers give an inflated performance appraisal to an employee of their choice, knowing that such an appraisal could save that employee’s job? The basic rules governing the components of good ethical behavior are not clearly defined, separating right things from bad behavior becoming more blurred. It has become a common practice to follow unethical practices such as successful executives who use insider information for personal financial gain, employees in competing businesses participating in mass cover-ups of defective products, etc.
- Improving Customer Service: – OBs can contribute to improving organizational performance by showing how employee attitudes and behaviors are correlated with customer satisfaction. In that case, the service must first be production-oriented, using technological opportunities such as computers, internet, etc. We also need to provide sales service and also after-sales service in order to improve customer service.
- Helping Employees Balance Work-Life Conflicts: – In the 1960s or 1970s, normal workers showed up at the workplace from Monday to Friday and worked 8 or 9 hours a day. Workplaces and hours were specified. This is no longer true for a large part of today’s workforce. Employees are increasingly complaining that the line between work and non-work time has become blurred, leading to personal conflict and tension. Several forces have contributed to the blurring of the lines between the working life and personal life of the employees, such as
- The creation of global organizations means that their world never sleeps. For example, at any given time and on any given day, there are thousands of General Electric employees working somewhere.
- Communication technology allows employees to do their jobs at home, in their cars or on the beach in Cox’s Bazar.
- Organizations are asking employees to work longer hours.
- In the end, fewer families have only one breadwinner. Today’s married worker is usually part of a couple with a dual career. This makes it difficult for married employees to find time to meet commitments to the home, spouse, children, parents, and friends.
- Today’s married worker is usually part of a couple with a dual career. This makes it difficult for married employees to find time to meet commitments to the home, spouse, children, parents, and friends. Employees are increasingly recognizing that work is squeezing personal lives and they are not happy with it.
- Flattening World: Thomas Friedman’s book The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century outlines that the Internet has “flattened” the world and created an environment in which more access to information is needed. There is a level playing field. This access to information has led to an increase in innovation, as knowledge can be shared quickly across time zones and cultures. It has also created intense competition, as the pace of business is getting faster and faster all the time. In his book Wikinomics, Don Tapscott notes that large-scale collaboration has changed the way people work, how products are made, and the ability of people to work without ever meeting.