Factors Influencing Organizational Behavior

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At the inception of every organization, the dream of the founders is to tell success stories. Some of the dreams are realized while others never come to reality because the life of the company and achievement of its objectives are normally dependent on the elements of organizational behavior such as conflict management, innovative decision making, and job satisfaction. This paper highlights three articles on prominent news outlets that focus on the elements of organizational behavior as well as my experiences on the same during my internship.

Job Satisfaction

According to Schwartz and Porath (2014), employees are sometimes dissatisfied with their work due to various reasons. A perfect example of a dissatisfied employee is Luke Kissam who was Albemarle Company’s chief executive. Kissam said that he could not focus on anything he did since he felt like he was untrue to everybody around him, including his company, family, and himself. He needed advice from Schwartz and Porath (2014) on how he and the people he oversees could feel more satisfied and see the performance of his company improve. Gallup’s 2013 report indicates that only 30% of workers in America feel satisfied with their jobs (Schwartz & Porath, 2014). The rest of the employees see their jobs as a depleting and dispiriting experience. Employees mostly become satisfied with their jobs, have positive energy to work, and experience engagement and loyalty when their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs are satisfied. The leaders of these workers and organizations can help the employees experience less perceived stress levels by assisting them to meet these core needs.

In a 2013 survey by Schwartz and Porath (2014), senior organization leaders said that their employees perform better when they feel more energized, important, focused, and valued. However, the seniors were adamant to disclose the number of resources that they invest to ensure that the employees’ needs are met. After Kissam was explained to about the strategies of making him and his employees feel satisfied with their work, he took up the challenge and tried a few things. He started by giving himself some breaks during his workdays and allocated some time to interact with his family.

He set aside one morning each week to reflect on past events and strategize about the future. He then made it a habit of appreciating individuals within and outside his organization by sending them acknowledgment letters. Kissam also championed a broad reevaluation of the practices of his organization such as a flexible work plan and organized a training program for his leaders and managers to enable them to satisfy their needs and of the employees under them. As a result, the safety records and financial aspects of his company improved, and he finds his work more enjoyable (Schwartz & Porath, 2014).

According to Robbins and Judge (2015), managers ought to focus on the attitude of the employees since behaviors are influenced by attitudes and show possible problems. Satisfied employees do not always lead to a successful organization, but a company can be more effective with increased productivity, low employee turnover, more profits, and customer satisfaction if the management strives to make the employees feel satisfied. Initially, Kissam felt dissatisfied with his work, but he and his employees came to like their jobs after he came up with strategies of satisfying their emotional needs.

During my internship, various things in the workplace made me feel motivated to work. My manager organized weekly meetings where he would review our performance and the employees with outstanding abilities would be congratulated. It was an awesome feeling to see my efforts recognized and I strived to improve my performance day by day.

Conflict Resolution Techniques

According to Llopis (2015), the resolution of conflicts happens every day at workplaces. Conflicts can either be a propellant or a disrupter to activities of leaders, teams, or organizations in general. Managers should confront conflicts head-on instead of allowing them to get worse since failure to do so can lead to an unfriendly work environment. Conflict management can be a complicated affair especially if the manager is not well versed with the larger environment surrounding a particular person or department and the impact of the conflict resolution to the work setting. A workplace has very many agendas that usually concur, and at times they may be affected if a conflict is resolved to benefit and advance only one person’s agenda.

Leaders must act responsibly to earn respect by identifying conflict, and the best time to grab the opportunity it brings about before good tension changes to serious troublesome chaos. Some leaders tend to make their work environment look harmonious by avoiding tension instead of dealing with it head-on. Unknown to them, such avoidance creates silos and interrupts employees. A good leader ought to neutralize or minimize conflict instead of letting it develop and become widespread. Sadly, most leaders create man-made, untrustworthy environments to maintain peaceful workplaces. Such leaders create such an atmosphere by focusing on being well-liked, wanting to always have a good reputation, or avoiding situations that may show their leadership vulnerabilities (Llopis, 2015).

According to Robbins and Judge (2015), conflict is sometimes seen as a hindrance to the performance of a group or an organization, but this is not always the case as it can have positive or negative impacts. Reduced performance can occur because of extremely low or high conflict levels. Therefore, an optimal conflict level is important in preventing stagnation, for creativity stimulation, and to release tension while maintaining proper activity coordination. The success of the management of conflict is dependent on the intentions that the concerned parties hold. People intend to compete, collaborate, avoid, or compromise during a conflict. Llopis (2015) shows the possible effects of conflict and portrays leaders as people who are responsible for managing conflicts. However, these leaders are required not to use avoidance as an intention during a conflict resolution but rather be brave enough to approach conflict and control it for the best interest of an organization and its employees.

During my internship period, I heard very many complaints from employees of the company that I was working for regarding the compensation for overtime work since at that time, most of them were required to work extra hours to meet the company’s annual target. The workers tried to raise their grievances through their representatives, but the management remained silent on the issue. The tension escalated to a point where these employees decided to have a go-slow hoping that the management would see the weight of the matter and find a solution to the issue. Unfortunately, the seniors seemed reluctant to address the issue and only threatened to fire the employees who would seem to abscond their duties. The threats did not go well with the workers and what followed was a one week strike, which severely affected the operations of the company. Talks between the workers and the management were held after the seven-day strike, and it was resolved that the employees would be compensated for all the extra time that they had worked. The conflict would not have led to huge losses to the company if the management had solved it right from the beginning instead of avoiding it.

Innovative Decision making

The behaviors of individuals are usually based on the way people perceive the external environment or their beliefs towards it instead of how it is. The explanation and prediction of people’s behaviors can be made easier by understanding how people make decisions. Nevertheless, most important decisions are difficult and unclear such that it becomes hard to apply the rational assumptions of the model. Therefore, some people rely on their intuitions and inject biases and prejudices into their decision-making processes, leading to satisfying instead of optimizing ideas. Managers should assist in the creation of innovative decision making by encouraging employees and teams to be creative (Robbins & Judge, 2015).

Prejudices and their effects on the making of innovative decisions have been discussed by Hess (2017). One of the top priorities of the majority of business leaders is to have a higher quality and fast innovation in their organizations for excellent operations, thus the need for innovative decision making. The need is propelled by faster changes, increased complexity, minimal entry barriers, transparency, as well as rapidly advancing technology. Most business leaders tend to hire better individuals and/or put better processes in place to create faster and better innovation. However, they rarely do anything to enable the same emotionally. Innovation is an emotional process rather than cognitive since it involves doing a new or novel thing where the innovator learns from trial failures.

As children grow, they are taught to avoid mistakes or act stupidly. As a result, people develop emotional defensives to protect their self-perception and ego. One of the major emotional deterrents of innovation is the protection of ego and fear. The only way to see the actual world rather than mere beliefs is by overcoming self-centered perceptions. The best innovators are those who are very open-minded and minimally emotionally defensive when their perceptions are challenged by new facts or other people.

Such people listen reflectively without making judgments by managing their emotions and being emotionally intelligent about their sentiments and other people’s. Social, cognitive, and positive social psychologists such as Barbara Fredrickson and Alice Isen argue that positive emotions lead to improved judgments and the making of decisions activates and boosts creativity, cognitive processing, and innovative thinking. Negative emotions such as fear and anxiety have been found to have opposite impacts (Hess, 2017). Organizations ought to tackle these activators and inhibitors through the implementation of research-bases, processes for ego and emotion management, modeling of leadership roles, culture, and human development.

Organizations should create work environments that are free from or have minimal negative emotions such as insecurities and fears. In his response to how he makes tough business decisions, Colberg, Assurant company’s president, and CEO says that staying committed to one’s principles and values are paramount to meeting certain goals of the business. He says that the leadership team charter of Assurant emphasizes the commitment to ethics and as a result, the making of innovative decisions becomes easy in the organization.

Besides, Colberg emphasizes on being open to other people’s point of view. He gives an example of how a person may tend to have extremely firm opinions about certain features of a proposal even before initially discussing the matter. He advises that one should remain open to lending an ear to other points of view instead of discounting extra information that challenges his/her thinking (Hess, 2017).

The work environment during my internship had remarkable importance on my ability to make innovative decisions. I joined the company at a time when it was coming up with a new product, and the employees’ input was required to mull over a unique and appealing brand name. I had an idea of such a name, but I was hesitant to give my suggestions because I feared other people would see it horrible; I thought no one would take an intern seriously. However, my internship colleague was brave enough to forward his suggestion, and almost everyone liked it. After little tweaks, the name became a prominent brand, and fortunately, his creativity earned him a permanent job in the company. Since then, I never shy away from speaking my mind when asked to contribute to constructive activities.


Maintaining a proper balance and levels of the elements of organizational behavior is not always easy, and an organization can face numerous challenges, which may pose risks to its well-being if its management is not keen to press the right keys. However, having suitable knowledge on how to strike the right balance and applying the same can result in a friendly work environment, which supports innovation and is friendly to everyone within it thus increased productivity.


Hess, E. (2017). Here’s why emotions are the secret sauce of innovation. Forbes. Web.

Llopis, G. (2015). 4 ways leaders effectively manage employee conflict. Forbes. Web.

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, A. T. (2015). Organizational behavior. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.

Schwartz, T., & Porath, C. (2015). Why you hate work. The New York Times. Web.

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