Organizational Behavior Definitions and Theories

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Introduction

Organizational behavior refers to the study and implementation of information on how individuals conduct themselves within the organization. Organizational behavior is carried out through a systematic approach where the associations between the individuals and organization are interpreted based on the objectives of an individual, group, company, and social system. The main aim of organizational behavior is to create better associations by fulfilling personal goals, companies’ missions, and the goals of society (Weick 1979, p. 234).

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In addition, the foundation of an organization is dependent on the mission, philosophy, objectives, and core values of the management. As a result, this guides the culture of the organization which is made up of the social surroundings, informal and formal organization. The organizational culture evaluates the form of communication, management, and social dynamics which are found in an organization (Steers & Rhodes 1999, p. 404). The employees see this as the best method that directs their level of motivation. This paper will examine organizational behavior mainly on measuring and managing absenteeism using the organizational behavior theories.

Models of organizational behavior

There are four models, which direct the operation or performance of firms. These are autocratic, custodial, supportive, and collegial models. The foundation of the autocratic framework is the power obtained from an administrative direction of authority. The workers as a result are directed towards reliance and obedience on the supervisor or employer. In addition, the subsistence requirement of the worker is fulfilled, though the productivity outcome is minimal.

Secondly, the foundation of the custodial framework is based on the financial resources within the administrative section. As a result, employees are directed towards safety, advantages, and reliance on the company. Therefore the need of the worker which is fulfilled is the security (Robbins 2004, p. 97). On the other hand, the foundation of the supportive model is based on management with an administrative direction of support. In this model, the workers are directed towards job contribution and performance. Thus, the needs of the employee which are fulfilled are identification and status.

Therefore, the performance or productivity outcome is awakened drives. The foundation of a collegial framework is partnership or affiliation with an administrative direction of group work or teamwork. The workers as a result are directed towards initiative self-discipline and behavior (Steers & Porter 1975, p. 34). Therefore, the employee’s need for self-actualization is achieved or fulfilled. Hence, the efficiency outcome is reasonably enthusiastic.

The autocratic framework originated from the industrial revolution. The executives of this form of company conduct their activities based on McGregor’s Theory X. On the other hand, supportive, custodial, and collegial frameworks start their operation based on the Theory Y of McGregor.

The social system of an organization

The social system of an organization is a multifaceted group of human associations relating in several manners. In a company, the social system consists of all the individuals within it and their associations with one another and to the external environment. The behavior or conduct of one person could have a direct or an indirect effect on the character of other individuals. Moreover, the social system has no limits with the surrounding within it. On the other hand, culture is the traditional character of a society that embraces practices, beliefs, traditions, and knowledge (Herbert 1997, p. 56). In addition, its impact on the behavior of the individuals even though it slowly gets into people’s conscious minds.

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Individuals rely on their culture since it offers them comprehension, safety, stability, and the capacity to react to an existing situation. Therefore, this is the reason why individuals are afraid of change and always want to hold to their cultures. They are afraid of the social system thinking that it might become unstable, their safety is lost; hence, failure to comprehend the new procedure and they will not be in a position to understand the way they ought to react to new situations (Tompkins 2005, p. 321).

Absenteeism from workplace

Absenteeism refers to the regular or consistent failure to attend to one’s obligations or responsibilities. Conventionally, absenteeism from the workplace has been perceived as a sign of poor productivity and it violates the relationship between the employer and his or her employees. Currently, absenteeism is perceived as a sign of mental, social, or medical modification to work (Garrison & Muchinsky 1977, p. 225).

Nevertheless, several workers have applied absence guidelines that create no difference between absences for actual disease and absences for incorrect purposes. One of the guidelines is the measurement by the Bradford factor that records the total quantity and frequency of absenteeism into account without recording the type of absence. Therefore, as a result, several workers feel indebted to go to their workplace while they are sick and spread communicable infections to their colleagues. Hence, the rate of absenteeism increases since more employees are now sick and the productivity rate is reduced among the employees who strive to carry out their duties while sick (Gaudet 1963, par. 3).

The labor force mostly permits absences due to medical reasons when the employee provides to the employer a letter from a healthcare provider or any other related documentation. Sometimes, employees fail to report to work without giving any notice to their employers or supervisors. This is neither considerate nor a profession. The psychological framework that explains this form of absenteeism is called the withdrawal model or framework.

The withdrawal framework presumes that absenteeism shows personal abandonment from displeasing working situations (Hedges 1973, pp. 18-20). Hence, this leads to analytical support in a destructive relationship between job contentment and absenteeism, particularly contentment with the job itself. In addition, individuals who are not satisfied with their responsibility tend to be absent from work more frequent. Therefore, absenteeism could be a great predicament to companies, mostly because it is expensive in terms of productivity and employment of unskilled employees who replace the sick skilled employees (Hawk 1976 p. 300).

Absenteeism is costly to organizations in several ways such as expenses of employing someone else to replace the sick employee and payment regarding sick pay. In addition, indirect expenses can be experienced through reduced performance and reduced degrees of client service which result from utilizing unskilled employees (Hedges 1977, p. 28).

Medical-grounded comprehension of absenteeism obtains support in a study that associates absenteeism with the following; pain at the low back, excessive alcohol intake, smoking, and migraines. Absence resulting from medical reasons is mostly still. However, the distinction between medical and psychological causation is unclear since there are constructive associations between work depression and stress and failure to report to work.

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Therefore, evidence shows that absenteeism is mostly perceived as slightly unexpected or abnormal workplace behavior (Kerr, Koppelmeier & Sullivan 1991, pp. 52-54). For instance, individuals try to hold destructive stereotypes of absentees, under-indicate their absenteeism, and assume that their attendance register is better than for their counterpart colleagues. Therefore, negative attributions regarding absenteeism result in three things; susceptibility to social context, individual character is revealed to social control, and a probable source of workplace disagreement arises.

Types of absenteeism

Absenteeism can be classified into two major forms where each needs a dissimilar form of approach. These types of absenteeism include guiltless absenteeism and blameworthy absenteeism. First, innocent, or guiltless absenteeism describes the aspect where an individual or worker fails to report to work due to reasons he or she cannot control such as accident and sickness (Mikalachki & Chapple 2000, pp. 530-536). Therefore, in a labor force aspect, this type of absenteeism cannot be treated or corrected through disciplinary techniques. Secondly, there is the culpable or blameworthy absenteeism where an individual fails to report to work without any permission having been granted to him or her by the management due to reasons that one can manage (Kanigel 1997, p. 43).

For example, a worker who has been permitted to be absent due to sick leave fails to report to work even when one is not ill. In addition, it is possible to prove that the individual was not ill, hence, accountable for culpable absenteeism. Thus, in a labor force aspect, this form of absenteeism can be treated or corrected through disciplinary measures. For many workers, absenteeism is reasonable, innocent absenteeism that happens infrequently. Processes for disciplinary measures are only implemented to culpable absenteeism. Several companies believe that individuals who are ford of being absent from work can overcome the predicament and resume their normal regular job attendance through treatment and counseling.

Theories of organizational behavior

People carry out their activities in different organizations like healthcare facilities, learning institutions, and companies throughout their lives. Most individuals desire to perform more efficiently in their place of work and to participate in more efficient performance of the companies themselves. It looks reasonable that the more people understand a company or an organization and how they function; the better ought to be their opportunity of putting up with them sufficiently and of fulfilling their objectives. This procedure of designing knowledge involves what the theories of organizational behavior cover. Organizational behavior theories are significant when they are implemented in organizations effectively (Miner 1997, p.25).

There are three types of organizational behavior theories: meso, micro, and macro. Micro theory handles the characters or behavior, status of persons, and minute groups within organizations. This theory has been impacted by psychology greatly. Leadership and motivation are significantly micro subjects, though theories in both sectors might have variables that go beyond the description. On the other hand, macro theory tends to center on the nature and behavior of the company.

The macro theory of organizational behavior does not focus on groups and individuals. Some sections of the organization might be of interest, hence; could be the atmosphere surrounding the organization. Studies in sociology have participated greatly in creating the macro theory which is equivalent to those of psychology in micro theory (Mirvis & Lawler, 1998, p.6).

Meso theory deals with simultaneous research of about two levels. One of the levels focuses on the group or individual variables or procedures while the other level focuses on organizational variables or procedures and linking propositions are designed to associate the two levels (Muchinsky 2002, pp. 320-325).

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Measuring absenteeism

Executives who choose to determine absenteeism within their companies ought to design several numbers of multifaceted decisions regarding the type of measures to be used and the way to use such measurements. These executives encounter an almost bewildering collection of absenteeism indicators, some of which are grounded on frequency while others are based on inactivity. In measuring absenteeism one should decide on the absences that need to be incorporated within their measurements.

That is whether they ought to incorporate all forms of absenteeism or only absenteeism of some particular duration. In addition, one needs to decide which workers ought to be incorporated in the computations, whether all workers ought to be incorporated or not. There are several reasons as to why executives or management ought to measure absenteeism, recognizing absenteeism predicaments, planning the required needs for production scheduling, evaluating, and managing individual costs and payroll and benefits project management (Robertson & Rhodes 1999, p. 400).

According to the organizational behavior theory, absenteeism can be measured by collecting certain types of data that are adequate and exhaustive. Individual-level absenteeism ought to be measured depending on days and episodes list for the entire number of dissimilar groups of absence behavior. For instance, benefits and payroll project management is the main purpose why companies ought to have some information regarding employees who are present and absent at work and reasons why they are absent.

Employees should be paid depending on the days on which they are present at work or should be reimbursed for absenteeism which is covered by contractual provision or benefit program. Therefore, information obtained is individual-based. The data collected covers the days of absence and the purpose of absenteeism (Gary 2007, p. 123).

Research carried out in the past showed that several organizations employ approximately ten percent more employees than required to maintain their production rate. This is an extra expense to the organization. Measurement of absenteeism could assist the organizations in obtaining the optimal staffing levels. Before considering strategies to manage absenteeism, the executive should evaluate and identify absenteeism predicaments. When identifying the absenteeism predicaments, heads of different departments should compare their rates of absenteeism with other departments, organizations, or national rates.

Therefore, for organizations to avoid problems within organizations, absenteeism can be measured through overall rate and frequency. Measuring the absenteeism overall rate is significant in showing the total time lost, though it does not show the type of illness; long-term or short-term, the employees are experiencing. The frequency of absenteeism can be measured by working out on the total number of times one has been absent against the number of employees. As a result, one will get the approximate number of times a worker has been absent (Mc Clennery 1992, p. 241).

Management of absenteeism

Performance loss because of absenteeism is a growing and dangerous threat to the growth and development of an organization. Therefore, management of absenteeism is an effective strategy that executives can implement in their organizations to maintain the productivity rate. Techniques for controlling absenteeism could be grouped into two categories: punishment and incentives. Incentives that act as positive reinforcement strategies could include; promotion, opportunities for career advancement, and bonuses due to regular work attendance. On the other hand, negative reinforcement includes reduction of monthly income, withholding annual leaves, or dismissal from work.

For instance, the firms mentioned within the case study regarding managers using different forms of the method to measure and manage absenteeism were not effective since they were discriminative whereby some workers felt that they were singled out. In addition, some questions which such as gynecological issues that women employees were supposed to discuss with their managers due to their illnesses were not comfortable and essential. Moreover, the aspect of giving incentives was not favorable to everyone since the productivity rate for individuals is different.

Through the organizational theory, an absence management policy can be designed to heighten the performance rate and profit of the organization. Nevertheless, the absence management policy ought to mirror the individual values of reverence and justice and duty management of the health of the workers. In addition, the policy ought to be focused generally on managing the impacts of absenteeism from real illnesses, while at the same time acknowledging that some absenteeism by a discrete minority of workers might be exaggerated (Ash 1992, pp. 199-204).

Secondly, absenteeism can be controlled or reduced through successful communication with the employees. Efficient programs deliver information to workers about the goals of the organizations, the objectives of the absence management policy, and how the policy should be implemented. Discussions with the employees should be on presence instead of absence, and the opportunities the firm has to aid them to become well. Based on the status of absenteeism, advantages and organizational services provided include prolonged sick leave, counseling, constructive judgment, job division, and employment retraining (Hatch 2006, p. 213).

To manage absenteeism successfully, it’s significant to understand what one is handling including the patterns presented by particular groups and persons and entire degrees of absence. Therefore, in examining the information, there is a need to distinguish between normal days off, long-term absence, and short-term absence. This is because each of these might require a dissimilar approach for appropriate achievement. Human resource staff and managers ought to design skills for handling absence with workers as a way of identifying predicaments and providing assistance early. In addition, patterns of character and absence should be looked at, and specifically creating significant alterations in such patterns. Moreover, records on absenteeism must be sustained for one to manage absenteeism effectively (Scott 2007, p. 100).

Conclusion

Absenteeism from work is not a unitary idea. Personal absence behavior might have several causes where some impact on the workers’ capability to attend to their responsibilities at workplace and others impact on the motivation of the employees. For an organization to maintain its production rate, there is a need to measure and manage absenteeism. According to the organizational behavior theory, absenteeism can be measured by collecting certain types of data with information that is adequate and exhaustive. Individual-level absenteeism ought to be measured depending on days and episodes list for the entire number of dissimilar groups of absence behavior.

For instance, benefits and payroll project management is the main purpose why companies ought to have some information regarding employees who are present and absent at work and reasons why they are absent. Employees should be paid depending on the days on which they are present at work or should be reimbursed for absenteeism which is covered by contractual provision or benefit program. Therefore, information obtained is individual-based. The data collected covers the days of absence and the purpose of absenteeism.

In addition, to manage absenteeism successfully, it’s significant to understand what one is handling including the patterns presented by particular groups and persons and entire degrees of absence. Therefore, in examining the information, there is a need to distinguish between normal days off, long-term absence, and short-term absence. This is because each of these might require a dissimilar approach for appropriate achievement.

Human resource staff and managers ought to design skills for handling absence with workers as a way of identifying predicaments and providing assistance early. In addition, patterns of character and absence should be looked at, and specifically creating noting alterations in such patterns.

Relationship between the organizational behavior theory and everyday practice

Organizational behavior theories relate to everyday practices in that they assist in shaping up the behavior of persons and groups within organizations. These theories help in reinforcing constructive or positive behavior that brings growth and development within the organization and community. In addition, when individuals’ behaviors are changed, their productivity rate increases thus, the development of the organization.

Since an individual’s behavior could affect the behavior of other people, theories help people cope up together without any unresolved conflict. As a result, the performance is improved and the productivity rate of the organization is increased.

Despite the theories being used to manage absenteeism at the workplace, they can be used at learning institutions to motivate students in working hard through managing the behavior of an individual and small groups, thus, helping them perform well in school and get well-paying jobs. Executives and personnel in different firms could utilize these organizational behavior theories by utilizing counseling, incentives, and discipline in trying to improve personal and organizational productivity rates. The behavior or conduct of one person could have a direct or an indirect effect on the character of other individuals.

Therefore, the organizational behavior theories relate to everyday practices since, within the community, individuals have to be given directions for them to work and live in unity. Organizational behavior theories tend to handle the behavior of individuals within the organizations to maintain the productivity rate of the employees. Thus, the theories relate to everyday practices because, for an individual to achieve his or her objectives, there is a need to have some guidelines or instructions that will help in carrying out what is supposed to be performed at a certain time.

Similarly, the social system has no limits with its surrounding. On the other hand, culture is the traditional character of a society that embraces practices, beliefs, traditions, and knowledge. In addition, its impact on the behavior of the individuals even though it slowly gets into people’s conscious minds. Individuals rely on their culture since it offers them comprehension, safety, stability, and the capacity to react to an existing situation. Therefore, this is the reason why individuals are afraid of change and always want to hold to their cultures.

They are afraid of the social system thinking that it might become unstable, their safety is lost; hence, failure to comprehend the new procedure and they will not be in a position to understand the way they ought to react to new situations. Therefore, since a theory is a systematic manner that helps people to comprehend circumstances, organizational behavior theories help individuals in coming up with strategies that will change the mind of the individuals who are fixated on their culture for them to embrace change, thus, development within the community and in personal lives. When growth and development are achieved within oneself and the communities, the living standard of individuals is improved, hence, the economy of the country is increased.

Reference List

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