Organizational behavior is the analysis and application of information about the peoples’ actions in an organization (McCuddy, 2011). The purpose of organizational behavior is to build a healthier relationship by achieving human, social and organizational objectives (Romando, 2010).
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Moreover, managers study the behavior of the organizations to understand how people are motivated because motivated employees are indispensable to a company triumph while unmotivated employees cause conflict (McCuddy, 2011).
Motivation is an internal drive that accounts for persistence of efforts at work, while motivation theory is the process that describes what triggers and directs human behavior (Romando, 2010). There are three categories of motivation theories and they include content, process and reinforcement theories (McCuddy, 2011).
Content theories focus on internal factors that direct a human behavior, process theories focus on the thoughts of people that direct their behavior while the reinforcement theories put an emphasis on controlling behavior by manipulating its consequences (Romando, 2010).
Content theories strive to satisfy the people needs and they include Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, ERG theory, two-factor theory and acquired needs theory (Romando, 2010). Maslow’s theory has categorized needs into five levels in order of priority as physiological, safety, social esteem and self-actualization, while ERG theory has classified needs into existence, relatedness and growth needs (Romando, 2010).
Existence needs are the desire for physiological needs; relatedness needs are the desire for a good relationship while growth needs are the desire for personal development (Romando, 2010).
On the other hand, two-factor theory suggests that hygienic factors in workplace lead to job dissatisfaction and they include status, security, supervision and policies while motivator factors affect job satisfaction and they include achievement, growth, recognition and responsibility ( McCuddy, 2011). Moreover, acquired needs theory categorizes needs into achievement, affiliation and power needs (McCuddy, 2011).
In an organization, managers strive to meet the needs of employees from physiological level going upwards because employees whose needs are satisfied are highly motivated to produce more ( McCuddy, 2011).
Additionally, a balance between hygienic and motivation factor promotes a conducive working environment (Romando, 2010). For instance, in an organization where the salary is high and employees are responsible for whatever they do productivity is high (Romando, 2010).
The process theories of motivation include Adam equity theory and Vroom expectancy theory (Romando, 2010). Equity theory outlines that people measure fairness of their work outcome in relation to others and besides, felt negative inequity is when an individual feels that he has received less than others in proportion to work input while the vice versa is felt positive inequity ( McCuddy, 2011).
Therefore, in order to motivate employees, a manager should deal with the equity comparison by recognizing that comparisons are inevitable, thus communicating a clear evaluation for any reward given (Romando, 2010). According to Vroom Expectancy theory, the motivation of a person is a function of valence, instrumentality and expectancy (Romando, 2010).
For instance, in an organization motivation is low in the absence of the three functions while it is high when valence is positive and expectancy and instrumentality are high (McCuddy, 2011). Therefore, managers should strive to have a positive valence and a high expectancy and instrumentality in order to motivate the employees.
Reinforcement theories of motivation include classical conditioning and operant conditioning (McCuddy, 2011). In classical conditioning, learning occurs through conditioned stimuli, while in operant conditioning learning is through consequences of behavior (Romando, 2010).
For instance, in classical conditioning an employee may hear his boss criticism and loose psyche for work and the same behavior is repeated every time the criticism is heard ( Romando, 2010).
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On the other hand, in operant conditioning, an employee may work overtime and get praise and as a result, he will be motivated to work overtime (McCuddy, 2011). Therefore, a manager should facilitate behavior that results in pleasant outcome because its repetition is possible, as the employees are motivated (McCuddy, 2011).
Proper management of conflict creates collaboration in the workplace while unmanaged conflict creates division therefore; managers need to be familiar with conflict management strategies used in the workplace (Heathfield, 2009). Conflict management strategies include avoidance, compromise, compete, accommodate and collaborate (Heathfield, 2009).
According to avoidance strategy, confrontation of the conflict does not take place and the conflict resolve on its own (McCuddy, 2011). On the other hand, compromise strategy involves considering the opinion of both parties and the solution sought is acceptable to both parties (Heathfield, 2009).
Furthermore, competition strategy entail meeting one’s own needs no matter the cost and it is a win and lose strategy that is important when the relationship with the other party is not significant (McCuddy, 2011).
Besides, accommodation is a strategy that allows the fulfillment of the other person needs at the expense of one’s own needs (Heathfield, 2009). Finally, collaboration strategy involves acknowledging the differences between both parties and finding a common solution (McCuddy, 2011).
Although the above conflict management strategies are important, collaboration and confrontation work best in the organization. This is because the two strategies involve both parties working together to find a solution (Heathfield, 2009). As a result, the solution reached is acceptable to both parties and this reduces the chances of occurrence of another conflict that can be due to dissatisfaction of one party (McCuddy, 2011).
Heathfield, S. (2009). Workplace Conflict Resolution: People Management Tips. Journal of Management Studies , 43 (89), 117-123.
McCuddy, R. (2011). Organisational Behaviour and Motivation. Journal of Public Adminstration, Research and Theory , 345 (174), 179-190.
Romando, R. (2010). Motivation Theory in an Organisation. Journal of Management , 786 (46), 45-60.