Unit 3 Organisations and Behaviour

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The aim of this unit is to give learners an understanding of individual and group behaviour in organisations and to examine current theories and their application in managing behaviour in the workplace.

Unit abstract

This unit focuses on the behaviour of individuals and groups within organisations. It explores the links between the structure and culture of organisations and how these interact and influence the behaviour of the workforce. The structure of a large multi-national company with thousands of employees worldwide will be very different from a small local business with 20 employees. The way in which an organisation structures and organises its workforce will impact on the culture that develops within the organisation. This system of shared values and beliefs will determine and shape the accepted patterns of behaviour of an organisations workforce. The culture in organisations that differ in size, for example, or are from different sectors of the economy can be very different. The structure and culture of an organisation are key factors which contribute to motivating the workforce at all levels of the organisation. The Japanese were instrumental in developing a culture of ‘continuous improvement through teamwork’ in their manufacturing industry. This culture has now been exported around the world and encapsulates the way in which structure and culture contribute to patterns of behaviour in the workplace. This unit will develop learner understanding of the behaviour of people within organisations and of the significance that organisational design has on shaping that behaviour

Learning outcomes

1 Understand the relationship between organisational structure and culture

Types of organisation and associated structures: functional, product-based, geographically based, multi-functional and multi-divisional structures, matrix, centralisation and de-centralisation; organisational charts; spans of control; internal and external network structures; flexible working
Organisational culture:classification of organisational culture – power culture, role culture, task culture, person culture; cultural norms and symbols; values and beliefs; development of organisational culture
Diagnosing behavioural problems:concepts; principles; perspectives; methodology
Perception: definition; perceptual selection; perception and work behaviour; attitude; ability and aptitude; intelligence Significance and nature of individual differences: self and self-image; personality and work behaviour; conflict Individual behaviour at work: personality, traits and types; its relevance in understanding self and others

2 Understand different approaches to management and leadership

Development of management thought:scientific management; classical administration; bureaucracy; human relations approach; systems approach; contingency approach
Functions of management: planning; organising; commanding; coordinating; controlling
Managerial roles: interpersonal; informational; decisional Nature of managerial authority: power; authority; responsibility; delegation; conflict
Frames of reference for leadership activities: opportunist; diplomat; technician; achiever; strategist; magician; pluralistic; transformational; change

3 Understand ways of using motivational theories in organisations

Motivation theories: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs; Herzberg’s Motivation – Hygiene theory; McGregor’s Theory X and Y; Vroom and Expectancy theories; Maccoby, McCrae and Costa – personality dimensions
Motivation and performance: rewards and incentives; motivation and managers; monetary and non-monetary rewards
Leadership: leadership in organisations; managers and leaders; leadership traits; management style; contingency approach; leadership and organizational culture
Leadership and successful change in organisations: pluralistic; transformational; communications; conflict

4 Understand mechanisms for developing effective teamwork in organisations

Teams and team building: groups and teams; informal and formal groups; purpose of teams; selecting team members; team roles; Belbin’s theory; stages in team development; team building; team identity; team loyalty; commitment to shared beliefs; multi-disciplinary teams
Team dynamics: group norms; decision-making behaviour; dysfunctional teams; cohesiveness
Impact of technology on team functioning: echnology; communication; change; networks and virtual teams; global and cross-cultural teams


Employer engagement and vocational contexts

Centres should develop links with local businesses. Many businesses and chambers of commerce want to promote local business and are often willing to provide guest speakers, visit opportunities and information about the operation of their businesses.

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