Home > Free Essays > Psychology > Psychological Issues > Organizational Psychology: Productive and Counterproductive Behaviors

Organizational Psychology: Productive and Counterproductive Behaviors Report

Exclusively available on IvyPanda Available only on IvyPanda
Updated: Aug 20th, 2019

Organizational Psychology

Organizational psychology is vital in understanding psychological principles which form the links between research methods and human behavior in an organization. Basically, organizational psychology focuses on how individuals think about themselves and activities that affect these thoughts and feelings in an organizational environment especially during selection, perfection, and persuasion procedures.

Application of organizational psychology in members of an organization facilitates advanced stages of maladaptive behaviors studies (Bass, 1990).

To be able to carry out organizational psychology assessment, research and statistics are needed to understand the various behavioral patterns that exist within the scope of an organization. Consequently, organizational psychology theorists overtly argue that cognition alters behavior.

Moreover, it is important to note that the outcomes of organizational psychology vary hugely from one organization to the other. Therefore, research and statistics will facilitate understanding of group thoughts since according to this perspective; emotional distress is assumed to result from maladaptive thoughts expressed in specific behavior patterns. Through research, it is possible to stipulate the different behaviors often associated with different thoughts patterns.

Therefore, comprehensive statistics will establish the sources of such thoughts and help the assessor to understand how to tackle them through a guided self approach. The aim of statistics will be to replace the presumed distorted thoughts of life events with more adaptive and realistic appraisals in an organization (Prosci, 2007).

This self guided approach is based on collaborative procedures that involve designing specific learning experiences to teach organization on how to monitor automatic behavior; recognize the relationship between these behaviors and cognition, ways to test the validity of the relationships, and measures to apply to substitute the distorted thoughts with more realistic cognitions (Weick & Quinn, 1999).

Since research methods focus on the development of a range of skills that is designed to help the organization cope with a variety of life situations, it remains indispensable to the learning process of the organization in order to develop a proactive balance and to make certain that newly acquired behaviors are available when needed.

Organizational psychology studies group behavior within an organization. Therefore, it will emphasize behavioral rehearsal by use of wide-ranging, practical case examples to improve generalization to real life settings. In practice, especially during the assessment periods, organizational psychology will identify signs that might indicate high-risk situations, and seek to employ its newly learned coping skills to address the situation at hand (Britt & Jex, 2008).

The same outlined procedures will be applied to both the contemplators and group membership from the indicated signs of maladaptive behavior in the organization.

For individuals in the advanced stages, the procedures might also include measures to prevent relapse to the same state after assessing the psychology of the organization. These may include skills training and replace prevention approaches. Furthermore, organizational psychology employs the problem-solving therapies in practice on the groups appropriately.

The approach is necessary in situations where the organization has been unable to cope with the problematic situations facing them. Considering the social and personal consequences associated with the inability to cope with the challenges, organizational psychology carry out an assessment that can offer the most effective response if not a permanent solution. This approach may be described as a combination of both coping skills, training procedures and cognitive restructuring techniques (Britt & Jex, 2008).

In using the problem-solving therapy, the emphasis of organizational psychology develops broad approaches for dealing with a wide range of organizational behavior patterns. Thus, organizational psychology is the most practical tool for profiling role success and evaluation of employees through combination of personality, cognitive, and fitness skills.

In addition, it endeavors to perfect the organization through leadership, coaching, and training of the talent studded pool of employees. Therefore, organizational psychology is important in persuasion in an organization. From this perspective, it is important to note that change does not just occur because it seems to be a good idea, but it occurs the moment responsible people are satisfied to justify the difficulties of incorporating change.

As a result, professionals are obligated to ensure change in an organization should be able to come up with strategies that will ensure that there in a need for such a change to take place instead of simplifying on the benefits expected from such changes.

Productive and Counterproductive Behaviors

Irrespective of the size of an organization, productive and counterproductive behaviors influence productivity of that organization. Besides, they form the basic building units of organizational psychology. Thus, comprehensive understanding of these opposite behavior orientation is vital towards maximizing productive behavior while minimizing counterproductive one.

Productive behavior is “defined as employee behavior that contributes positively to the goals and objectives of the organization” (Britt & Jex, 2008, Ch. 4). Therefore, it is factual that productive behavior is directly and positively proportional to productivity level exhibited in an organization.

Generally, it promotes and encourages goal achievement within an organization. On the other hand, counterproductive behavior is “a behavior that explicitly runs counter to the goals of an organization” (Britt & Jex, 2008, Ch. 6). Thus, this type of behavior limits productivity within an organization.

In most cases, this unwanted behavior adopts the form of drug abuse, sexual harassment, alcoholism, employee absenteeism among other vices that are oppositely skewed towards company goals. Generally, this unwelcomed behavior is often associated with ineffective performance.

In order to understand the impacts of productive and counterproductive behaviors on performance and productivity, it is necessary to establish the scope and characteristic of each behavior module. As indicated in the above definition, productive behavior is desired in an organization since it promotes optimal productivity and is in line with the goals and set targets of the organization.

It takes the form of professionalism, organization, respect, optimal performance, and discipline. Therefore, productive behavior stresses to the employee the need for an active cooperation between them and the roles assigned in the planning and execution of the set targets for the assigned roles.

Specifically, productive behavior identifies a range of problem situations facing the organization in their social environment, and generates multiple alternative solutions to those problems and lays a series of procedures that are necessary to achieve desired results (Britt & Jex, 2008).

This will be achieved through discussions and structured activities that involve hypothetical and real interpersonal problem situations designed to help teach the employees problem solving skills. In this scenario, the junior employees and those in advanced stages will require the same set of procedures to help them solve the problems.

Besides, productive behavior puts emphasis on advanced maladaptive behaviors because they provide perfect scenario for understanding the situation and offer comprehensive solutions. In an organization environment, productive behavior will give the employees an opportunity to benefit from the feedback and experiences from their peers and learn anticipated obstacles in implementing the acquired skills that promote productivity (Oliver, 1980).

On the other hand, counterproductive behaviors such as alcoholism, sexual harassment, absenteeism hinder productivity in an organization. When these vices are internalized within the employees, conflicts with role allocation and performance will overshadow the organization’s goals.

Unlike counterproductive behavior, productive behavior examines the challenges that are posed to individuals by maladaptive thought patterns and where possible, help the individuals establish more realistic and adaptive thought patterns that positively influence productivity (Spector, 2008).

To increases productive behavior, it is vital to create healthy work environment and personal growth perspectives that apply to all situations since problems that each individual faces at an interpersonal level ultimately affect the group. In carrying out an in-depth enquiry to each employee’s personal life, organizational psychologists should endeavor to determine which behavioral therapy best suits the individual.

Thus, through properly designed training procedures, talent promotion, and motivation, productive behavior internalization will present that individual with the best alternative ways of solving problems he or she faces in role execution (Feist & Feist, 2006).

For an organization to succeed in calculating relevant organs, departments, and channels for addressing and promoting productive behavior, there must be an all round objective working relationship with the employees. Since all the working class adults in most organizations use up half and plus of their waking hours in work place, employers are given a very unique opportunity to establish and monitor a desirable culture to improve and maintain a healthy workforce.

These may be in the form of psychological, experience, value and beliefs, attitudes, and group common interests (Sinclair, 2010). Unless they take a positive attitude to embrace change and create an environment that motivated change, quantifiable change may just be a dream.

Improving Organizational Performance Simulation

Improving Organizational Performance Simulation Summary

I was taken aback on how research, reflection, and data influence the choice of modification, adoption, and even augmentation in organizational policies on organizational psychology. In my first attempt to review the simulation procedure for identifying relevant solutions, the results were not very convincing.

I believed that the problem was originating from remuneration packages offered by the firm, but this turned out not to be the case. As a matter of fact, Tesco Company has remained very successful over the years but is currently facing series of problems that are associated with management models it uses.

Among these issues include redundancy, poor intra and inter personal communication, and monotony. Stated way back in the late 1890s, the company has presented itself as an equal employer with more than 20, 000 employees. However, in the recent past, a good number of disgruntled customers have registered complaint on the quality of services against their money.

Besides, some employees complain of monotony and communication breakdown in service delivery. In response, the CEO has outsourced Quality Insurers Company that specializes in organizational psychology to reverse this worrying trend. In the initial stage of arresting the situation, Quality Insurers hypothesis is that monotony and communication breakdown are the causes of dissatisfaction. As a result, they have settled on support crew, motivation, and training as intervention route.

Simulation and Solutions

Problem identification

Reflectively, “the simulation process encompasses problem identification, data collection, and solution design” (Feist & Feist, 2006, p.46). The initial step aims at quantifying the causal factors for dissatisfaction of employees. In their interactive blog, it is apparent that management is ignoring concerns raised by employees.

Reflecting on Lewin’s ‘three step theory’, the unfreezing, transformation, and refreezing determine the level of performance in an organization. According to this theory, the first step involves realization that a challenge exists in the organization.

The second step involves transformation of this challenge into a development goal after which implementation step concludes by developing a solution for the challenge (Feist & Feist, 2006). However, the management seems less concerned about the concerns raised by their employees.

Intervention for Stunt Performers

After establishing the reasons for job dissatisfaction, it is vital to conceptualize intervention modules that are intrinsic of observations and data. The company has a budget of $ 250,000 for designing intervention modules. From the many intervention mechanisms proposed by Quality Insurers, I opted for motivation, training, and self evaluation since they are positively skewed towards the outcome. The cost of these intervention modules were at $230,000 and the rating was above 70% on effectiveness scale.

Stunt Consultations

From the above results, the CEO has noticed the immediate need for stunt consultation. Quality Insurers have opted for four stunt performers to pilot this project for its applicability. From the views expressed by colleagues and observation of emotional and skills levels, I opted for Warren, Michael, Nicholas, and James.

The four seem mature; they get along, and are skilful. In addition, they exhibit good interpersonal communication. Reflectively, unless there is need for change from the management, such a change cannot take place in any organization. This is because individuals and organizations tend to develop resistance to any possible change.

Support Crewmembers

This group consists of 30% of the whole Tesco Company workforce. Their morale seems to be very low. From the Quality Insurer’s report, it is apparent that the group lack self esteem, are rigid, and have poor problem solving skills.

My choice of intervention was informed by the need for improving skills through training, team work improvement, and establishing a friendly work ethics. These solutions are directly related to the aforementioned problems. Besides, I would have opined that high performers be confirmed as permanent employees as very few would benefit under this arrangement.

Theory of Employee Motivation

As opined by Maslow, in the hierarchy of needs theory, “primary needs are basic before tertiary needs and must be addressed in that order” (Spector, 2008, p. 36). Among the needs include safety, physical needs, love, self esteem, and room for actualization. As seen among the stunt performers, the need for actualization is the driving force for resignation.

Therefore, the solution for this would be creation of a favorable room for personal development and self actualization in order to retain these talented employees at Tesco Company.

Workplace Knowledge

Job satisfaction is as a result of a systematic and continuous environmental and personality interaction that fosters the right attitude (Spector, 2008). Thus, allocating the right duty to the right person will help achieve this in short and long term. In Tesco Company, social and highly skilled employees should be allocated the right duties than keeping them in a secluded environment.

When assigning duties, personality checks are necessary to promote self satisfaction while the same time, improve performance. In addition, periodic self evaluation and interdepartmental rotation would ensure change of environment. When properly organized, the results would present desirable performance levels.

Conclusively, it is apparent that Tesco Company has been enjoying prosperous functionality, but is currently facing serious job dissatisfaction challenges. As matter of fact, the highly skilled stunt performers are performing below their optimal due to monotony and ignorance of their daily concerns. Several intervention modules have been suggested by Quality Insurers to improve on job satisfaction for the stunt performers and support crewmembers.

Despite the fact that employees are meeting the first four needs as indicated in the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, the stringent need for self actualization remains underdeveloped. In order to resolve this stalemate, it is vital for the company to appreciate the need for periodic trainings, change in environment, and motivation.

The intervention plan is often influenced by the nature and magnitude of the problem. Among the commonly adopted intervention plans include team building, training, structural, and individual actions assessment. After planning the intervention strategy, the plan is then implemented. The speed at which such changes can take place in an organization can also be described as either continuous or episodic.

As the name suggests, continuous change in an organization is one that is ongoing and performed periodically such as offering training skills to employees. To improve on the organizational performance, the management of the organization should adopt strategies that ensure continuous acquisition of knowledge by employees.

Organizational Development

The entire process of organizational development encompasses a comprehensive research action model that endeavors to identify the immediate and future requirements for change. Reflectively, “the process proceeds through assessment, planning of an intervention, implementing the intervention, gathering data to evaluate the intervention, and determining if satisfactory progress has been made or if there is need for further intervention” (Elearn, 2006, p. 89).

The process commence with identification of the need to solve a particular problem after which the situation is assessed. After assessment, the problem is clearly defined and an intervention plan is hatched. The process of implementation involves collection of relevant data which is later used in authenticating intervention effectiveness (Sinclair, 2010).

Several theories have been presented on organizational development. To begin with, the three step theory proposed by Lewin is vital by suggesting “that organizational change has three steps known as unfreezing, transformation, and refreezing” (Britt & Jex, 2008).

According to this theory, the first step involves realization that a challenge exists in the organization. The second step involves transformation of this challenge into a development goal after which implementation step concludes by developing a solution for the challenge.

Besides, the action research model theory also proposed by Lewin summarizes the process of development as involving “problem identification, hypothesis development, testing, and data analysis” (Britt & Jex, 2008, p.69). Moreover, the general system theory opine that “an organization takes something from the environment and transforms it; it then is given back to the external environment altered” (Britt & Jex, 2008, p. 74).

In addition, organizational change theory suggested by Burke explains “how leadership, the external environment, mission and strategy, organizational culture, and individual and organizational performance work together” (Fishbein, 1967, p.484).

The conditions for success of organizational development plan include creation of a healthy working culture, structuring of communication channels, and existence of quantifiable monitoring procedures. As a result, the work environment becomes holistic, soft and socially friendly to the staff. In relation to above argument, organizations have strived to develop good culture by fostering a strong alignment on the monitored path of achieving its goals, missions and vision.


Bass, B. M. (1990). Bass & Sogdill’s Handbook of Leadership: Theory, Research and Managerial Applications. New York: The Free Press.

Britt, W., & Jex, M. (2008). Organizational Psychology: A Scientist-Practitioner Approach (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Wiley.

Elearn, K. (2006). Managing Health, Safety and Working Environment. Alabama: Elsevier.

Feist, J., & Feist, G. (2006). Theories of personality (6th ed.). Boston: McGraw Hill.

Fishbein, M. (1967). Attitude and prediction of behavior. In Fishbein, M (Ed), Readings in Attitude Theory and Measurement (pp. 477-492). New York: John Wiley.

Oliver, R. (1980). A Cognitive model for the antecedents and consequences of satisfaction. Journal of Marketing Research, 17(1), 460-469.

Prosci, M. (2007). Change Management Best Practices Benchmarking Report. Web.

Sinclair, M. (2010). Fear and Self-Loathing in the City: A Guide to Keeping Sane in the Square Mile. London: Karnac Books.

Spector, P. (2008). Industrial and organizational psychology: Research and practice. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Weick, K., & Quinn, R. (1999). Organizational Change and Development. Annual Review Psychology, 50(3), 361-386.

This report on Organizational Psychology: Productive and Counterproductive Behaviors was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Report sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar

certified writers online

Cite This paper
Select a referencing style:


IvyPanda. (2019, August 20). Organizational Psychology: Productive and Counterproductive Behaviors. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/organizational-psychology-2/

Work Cited

"Organizational Psychology: Productive and Counterproductive Behaviors." IvyPanda, 20 Aug. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/organizational-psychology-2/.

1. IvyPanda. "Organizational Psychology: Productive and Counterproductive Behaviors." August 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/organizational-psychology-2/.


IvyPanda. "Organizational Psychology: Productive and Counterproductive Behaviors." August 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/organizational-psychology-2/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Organizational Psychology: Productive and Counterproductive Behaviors." August 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/organizational-psychology-2/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Organizational Psychology: Productive and Counterproductive Behaviors'. 20 August.

More related papers