Engineers and Organizational Behavior

Introduction

The study of organizational behavior has gained importance in the past few decades due to the significant changed and added complexities in the organizational work force. Johns (1996, p.6) defines organizational behavior as the study of “attitudes and behavior of individuals and groups in organizations”. Engineers are expected to study organizational behavior as part of their management training. This paper will justify this expectation by showing that knowledge in organizational behavior increase engineers’ efficiency and effectiveness at work.

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Why Engineers should Study Organizational Behavior

Engineers are at times required to play managerial roles in the organization. Management entails the effective and efficient utilization of resources that are available to an organization with an aim of achieving organizational goals and objectives. Knowledge on organizational behavior can assist a person to effectively manage subordinates and make them align their goals to that of the organization (Pugh & Hickson 2007). With this knowledge, the engineer will ensure that the organization has a sense of purpose and is working towards the achievement of some organizational goals. This will be through generation and sustaining of trust between the administration, employees and clients

In an organizational context, decision making is one of the most important activities. Mintzberg regards the most crucial part of managerial activity as that concerned with making decision (Pugh & Hickson 2007, p.44). Organizational behavior studies will enable the engineer to gauge how their decisions might impact employees. With this consideration, more astute decision can be made for the benefit of the entire organization.

Engineers are required to develop “people skills” so as to be most effective in their work. This will involve adopting proper communication skills since communication is the corner stone on which successful business and personal relationships are built. Pugh and Hickson (2007, p.44) state that through interpersonal skills, an individual is able to bring together the needs of an organization and those of the individuals under their command. This is from the understanding that for a person to be effective in an organization, they have to ensure that others are involved in and buy into the ideas and concepts that they are trying to advance. Without this ability, the engineer may be unable to get the resources necessary to undertake novel projects or get his subordinates to work optimally on projects.

A key role of engineers in their managerial capacity is to marshaling the organization’s resources to accomplish some organizational goal. One of the ways through which this can be achieved is by motivating the staff to achieve certain desired goals (Kondalkar 2002). Organizational behavior enlightens a person on the various motivational theories that can be applied to raise performance of employees. Without any in-depth knowledge on motivational theories, an engineer will not know how to best motivate employees leading to low productivity for the organization

In the organizations, the engineer is bound to face contentious issues which elicit different reactions from other workers. How these issues are diffused may spell out the difference between the subsequent success and failure of the organization. It is therefore important for the engineer to possess skills of diplomacy so as to diffuse such conflicts in a productive manner. Diplomacy entails the using of power and authority carefully so as to achieve positive outcomes by being unanimous or arriving at a consensus (London 2002). By using diplomacy, the engineer is equipped to handle contentious issues and arrive at a solution that is not only workable but also acceptable to the various parties involved.

Organizational behavior includes studies on the impacts of external environment on the particular organization (Kondalkar 2002). Engineers work in a world where their work is constantly affected by what is happening in the industry as a whole. Without knowledge of organizational behavior, engineers may be tempted to concentrate only on their internal environment, paying little attention to the external realities. This would negatively impact the organization since the engineer’s work may be out of touch with what is going on in the market.

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Conclusion

This paper set out to show that studying organizational behavior increases the efficiency and effectiveness of engineers. The various positive impacts that come from knowledge of organizational behavior have been highlighted. From this, it can be declared that for engineers to be truly effective in their work, they have to have knowledge of organizational behavior and apply the same in their work setting.

People’s role in Organization’s Success

Organizations are continually pressured to increase their productivity and the role of the people who populate them is increasingly significant. Drucker (1999, p.116) goes on to state that, “No organization can do better than the people it has”. This essay will discuss the assertion that an organizations success depends on the people who populate it. It will be demonstrated that the yield from the human resource really determines the organization’s success.

The present day environment, the success of an organization is based on the establishment of a sustained competitive advantage over the other players in the industry. To achieve the organizational goals of increased productivity, the input of all members remains invaluable (Tosi, Mero & Rizzo 2000). This is so because the overall strength of the organization depends on the abilities of its constituent members since as the maxim goes, “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link”.

Creativity and innovation have in the past few decades become the defining factors of successful and failing organizations. Big organizations such as Microsoft, Starbucks, and Toyota are constantly searching for new ideas that will give them a competitive edge in the market. Sashkin (2003) notes that in most occasions, innovation comes from an individual’s initiative. In this environment where innovation is paramount for the survival of the organization, the availability of innovative persons in the company will lead to its success.

Leadership skills are necessary for the continued success of an organization. Leadership by definition is the process through which a person elicits the support of others to achieve certain desirable goals and objectives (Sashkin 2003). Strong leadership is not only desirable but also essential to the success of the business for it is through it that organizational goals are met. Leadership skills are inherent in the people who populate the organization. If all these people are lacking in leadership abilities, the organization will almost certainly fail.

There is a well established link between employee satisfaction and their productivity at work. As such, being employee motivation of great importance for the welfare of the entire organization. Individual motivation is imperative for the employee to perform exemplary in the organization. Motivation is defined as a “process of stimulating people to action to accomplish desired goals” (Kondalkar 245).

A person’s individual motivation force is mostly a function of their expectancy. In other words, the probability that their effort will result in desirable outcomes will result in the person being motivated to act in a certain manner. Intrinsically motivated employees can be expected to perform high quality of work therefore increasing the growth and success of the organization.

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For a group to classify itself as an organization there must be observable elements of cooperation and coordination within the members in accordance to a pre-prescribed format. In some instances, the preservation of the corporate culture of the organization is crucial for its success. This is especially so when the culture has been responsible for the successful execution of tasks in the organization over a long period of time.

Morgan (2006, p.128) states that corporate cultures develop “as an ethos created and sustained by social processes so as to bury out differences”. This means that the culture is a means by which the various disparate members of the organization can forge some form of alliance and thus work towards. All members of the organization must be willing to adopt the culture if it is to succeed.

Conclusion

The future of the organization is in many cases “in the hands of its employees” and it is therefore most prudent to have capable employees. A successful organization is therefore that which acknowledges that it is indeed only as strong as its weakest link and sets out to not only enlist the support of the most capable employees in the industry but also equip the other members to become better for the entire organization’s benefit.

References

Drucker, PF 2001, Managing the Non-Profit Organization, Taylor & Francis.

Johns, G 1996, Organizational Behavior: Understanding and Managing Life at Work, New York: Harper Collins.

Kondalkar, PF 2002, Organization effectiveness and change management, PHI learning Pvt. Ltd.

London, M 2002, Leadership Development: Paths to Self-insight and Professional Growth, Routledge.

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Morgan, G 2006, Images of Organization, USA: Sage.

Pugh, DS & Hickson, JD 2007, Great writers on organization, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

Sashkin, G 2003, Leadership that matters: the critical factors for making a difference in people’s lives and organizations’ success, Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Tosi, LH Mero, PN & Rizzo, JR 2000, Managing organizational behavior, Wiley-Blackwell.

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