Issues in the Workplace
There are three important pieces that make up an organization: people, process and technology. Business processes are essential in accomplishing organizational tasks while technology assists in making sure that these business processes are done. However, it is the people component that is the core of any organization. More than the operations systems and technology, it is the manpower, the people’s combined intelligence, experience and dedication that contribute to the success of any organization. It is the lever that ensures that business processes and technology are in tuned with each other, facilitating a smoother business flow. Studies have shown that when people are treated well in an organization, their feeling of self-worth and job satisfaction will increased, resulting in increased productivity and boosted morale (Korren, 1983, p. 11). Given the significance of humans in an organization, it is interesting to note that human behavior in organizations is not easy and always unpredictable. In order to understand the human behavior in an organizational setting, industrial and organizational psychology is always applied.
Industrial and organizational psychology (I/O psychology) refers to the application of psychological principle on human organizational problems (Morris, 1993, p. 675). It deals with three areas: personnel psychology, organizational psychology and human factors psychology. Personnel psychology centers on the “selecting, training, and evaluating people in an organization” (p. 675). Meanwhile, organizational psychology studies how people adjust to the work environment. It also concerns areas on work motivation, job satisfaction, group issues and leaderships (p. 675). Human factors psychology, on the other hand, emphasizes on creating an efficient and effective work environment (p. 675).
One way of recognizing how psychology runs in a workplace setting is to know how individuals react as such, their attitudes, values, and behavior. Understanding individual differences provides a better opportunity in understanding the impact of human behavior on the work environment.
Values are defined as “beliefs that guide actions and judgments” (Carrell, Jennings, and Heavrin, 1997, p. 98). An individual’s value is developed from his or her cultural setting, which include family, friends, teachers, surroundings (p.99). With regards to work, a person’s values may concern with achievement, concern for others, helping others, honesty and fairness (p. 100). Values vary from one person to another. The differences are what results in conflicts in the workplace. For example, two employees in the same team weigh achievement differently- one deems success as important while the other does not really give much importance to it. This discrepancy in values affects their attitudes towards work. Attitude is defined as an individual’s inclination in response to objects, people or events (p. 101). In the above example, the person who does not value achievement so much will probably dislike his/her work, and the attitude will be job dissatisfaction. On the other hand, the person who gives significance to achievement will give a positive attitude towards his/her job. Attitudes are said to be “good predictors of behavior”, offering signs as to how an employee will react (Newstrom and Davis, 2002, p. 212). If an employee is not satisfied with his/her work, not only will it affect job performance but may also contribute to his/her relationships with others. A dissatisfied employee may become aggressive and retaliate or maybe he withdrawn (p.212). The aggregate of an individual’s attitudes, values and behavior plays a significant factor in the study of organizational behavior. It affects how an organization will work, survive and thrive. Aside from the individual’s biases, the environment of the workplace, the degree of communication, culture and organizational process should also be taken in consideration to completely analyze the impact of human behavior in an organizational context.
An understanding of human behavior in an organizational setting is important. As stated earlier, organization comprises three vital components- people, processes, and technology. How people behave the way they behave and why is crucial in melding personal needs and objectives with the overall need and objectives of organization. Knowing the differences will help the organization address why certain behaviors are conducted and how to respond.
Carrell, M., Jennings, D. and Heavrin, C. (1997). Fundamentals of organizational
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Korren, S. (1983). The human side of organizations 3rd ed.
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Morris, C. (1993). Psychology an introduction 8th ed.
New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Newstrom, J. and Davis, K. (2002). Organizational Behavior 11th ed.
New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin,