Fundamental Concept of OB

Like all other discipline/subjects, OB (Organizational Behavior) is also based on certain key elements also called 'Fundamental concepts or assumptions'. There are four key elements in OB. These are people, structure, technology, and the environment in which organization operates.

Organizations are run by people. People consist of individuals and groups. Though people have much in common (they become happy by having gains and sad by in losing something valuable), yet they differ from each other. One can find glaring differences in people's trait, intelligence, personality or any such trait. It is, in fact, individual differences the manager cannot adopt one formula or standard across the board for dealing with employees. Instead, manager has to treat employees with individual differences differently. It is because of individual differences, the subject matter of OB begins with individual.

An individual joins organization along with his/her social background, likes and dislikes, pride and prejudices. What is to say is that an individual's family life cannot be separated from organizational life. Therefore, OB studies an individual as a whole person.

Human behavior is always caused. Behavior is directed towards some goals. There is always a cause behind every human behavior or act. For example, when a worker is absent from work, there is a cause behind. The manager must know the cause to solve the problem. People are living, thinking, feeling beings. The manager, therefore, needs to treat them with human dignity, not just like an economic tool.

Organizations are social systems. There are two types of social systems that exist side by side in an organization. One is the formal and other is the informal social system. The formal relationship of people in organizations is called structure. Different jobs are required to accomplish the organizational goals and objectives. For example, there are managers and employees, accountants and assemblers. These all people performing different jobs at different levels have to be related in some structural way so that their work can be effectively coordinated.

That people need organizations and organizations also need people also comes under the purview of OB. It means that OB is based on mutuality of interest. It is mutual interest that unities people and organization to go side by side for accomplishing individual and organization goals.

Technology provides the resources with which people work and also affects the tasks that they perform. The great benefit of technology is that it allows people to do more and better work. But, it also restricts people from doing things in various ways. In fact, it has costs as well as benefits.

All organizations operate within a given internal and external environment. In fact, no organization exists alone. An organization is a part of a larger system that contains other factors or elements, such as a government, the family, and other organizations. All of these of mutually influence one another in a complex way. Thus, organizations are influenced by the external environment. Environment, thus, affects people by influencing their attitudes, working conditions, etc. It will not be less than correct to mention that an organization is the effect for which environment is the cause. Hence, environment also becomes a key element in the study of OB.

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