Organizational Behavior Concepts And Terms

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Introduction As an amateur linguist, I am fascinated by words. Their origins and meanings help me to better relate to my surroundings and specific concepts. Many would say that one can not begin to understand a word or concept until a meaning is agreed upon. John Locke wrote in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1977) that words signify ideas, and furthermore that if a person can not identify the idea behind the word then the words are lacking in meaning (Kemerling, 2001). This agreement in terminology regarding key concepts is a culmination of my research into word origins, and as defined by Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn in the text Organizational Behavior (2005). Once a concept is defined I can learn from its application in specific situations or experiences therefore; giving the word significance. Organizational Behavior Organizational behavior is the study of human and group behavior in organizations using methods such as sociology, anthropology, psychology, and political science (Schermerhorn, Hunt & Osborn, 2005). This study includes the understanding of key concepts to help us to understand, predict, and possibly influence human behavior in order to achieve higher performance levels. The constant change in an organizations mission and its structure greatly affect the nature of its organizational behavior. To emphasize how as managers we are responsible for being current in our decisions in relation to the organization's culture, how we communicate, how we deal with diversity, and other core concepts of organizational behavior, is imperative. These decisions greatly affect our effectiveness and efficiency, so we must learn as much as we can from our education and experiences, to be the best managers we can be. Organizational Cultures As I have stated, managers have the daunting task of encompassing many different concepts into their decision-making process. Understanding behavior is one thing but understanding how the culture of an organization influences the behavior of an organization is another. Organizational culture is a collective belief system of ethics, norms and values that influence its member's actions (Schermerhorn et al, 2005). Organizational culture is the rules that hold a company together by setting behavior standards either written or implied, and stem from experiences that allow us to decide what we deem important. The word culture is from the Latin root colere, meaning to inhabit, cultivate or honor (Wikipedia, 2005). Each of these meanings can be applied to the organizational sense of culture, because we exist, grow, and respect as members of a group.
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