Improving Performance and Commitment in the Workplace
As an overview, the opening chapter provided background as regards the field of organizational behavior. Organizational behavior had been defined as the “field of study devoted to understanding and explaining the attitudes and behaviors of individuals and groups in organizations (Colquitt, LePine, &. Wesson, 18).” The field of organizational behavior the reasons and behind the actions of individuals and groups in relation to their performances and contribution to the success of the company.
The study of organizational behavior could be best illustrated by the case of Google, Inc., the company that had garnered the reputation for being the ‘best place to work’ by Fortune magazine for two years—in 2007 and 2008 (Sullivan, 42). In essence, Google was one of those companies that had put its people first by putting the company’s heavy emphasis on organizational behavior in its practices. In an industry where the dynamism was high and one with a very fast-changing environment, it had been apparent how its people had been one of the company’s competitive resources (Idinopulos &. Kempler). Google’s people constituted a high resource value—they were rare and inimitable.
The company’s heavy emphasis on organizational behavior in its corporate practices had been directly linked to its profitability—one of the main arguments of OB. organizational behavior being linked to profitability. According to John Sullivan in his article entitled “Google,” the company’s profitability had a direct correlation to its employees’ productivity (42). According to him, the average Google employee contributed around $1 million dollar to the company’s revenues annually (42). With this figure, the company’s stocks had traded from an initial offer price of $85 in 2004 when it went public, up to $700 in 2007 (42).
This job performance and organizational commitment, according to the integrative model in the chapter was potentially influenced by a set of individual mechanisms that include “job satisfaction, stress, motivation, trust, ethics and justice, and learning and decision-making (Colquitt, LePine, &. Wesson, 7)”. In Google’s case, these individual mechanisms were favorable to the employees. The company’s 70-20-10 policy, where the 20% was as mentioned in the case was part of a time for learning–the time for the next big Google project. as well as the 10% which was dedicated to ‘creativity, innovation, and freedom to think (Sullivan, 42).’ The strong organizational culture and structure played a key part to these individual mechanisms.
The company’s culture for learning and giving the employees approval for ideas within days had been some factors that contributed to making these individual mechanisms favorable, that resulted to higher productivity among its employees (Sullivan, 42). However, as was mentioned in the case, the company’s problem in terms of retention of its key employees could be traced back to its policies that concerned the company’s organizational and group mechanisms. The company’s structure, although less bureaucratic should allow some space for new career opportunities for its people. The reason why most of its key employees left and started some business because of the thrill that an entrepreneurial venture could bring, as well as the incentives for profits. By looking at the organizational mechanisms of the company such as organizational structure, this was one of the issues which inhibited employees such as Sean Knapp, as mentioned in the case, to have full control over the project (Colquitt, LePine, &. Wesson, 17). The financial incentives that these people could get when they decided to start a company, as well as the thrill of the entrepreneurial venture should be included in the company’s policies in order to retain these types of employees.
Organizational behavior looked at how individuals and groups within the organization behave, as well as their reasons behind these behaviors. By looking at the reasons that could contribute to employee productivity, a company that had valued its people by giving emphasis to OB—looking at the reasons for their behavior that could result in performance that would contribute to the success of the company, this company would be more likely to keep its people, thus maintain a competitive advantage over its competitors. Because human resource are rare and inimitable, in all kinds of industries people are a definite source of competitive advantage.
Lastly, the chapter showed how organizational behavior had come to develop as a field of study. From the management departments of universities to scientists within organizations, hypotheses had emerged into theories, as their validity had been tested statistically. By employing the scientific method, organizational behavior had been trying to find a more concrete way, not as stringent as a formula to make OB work in the corporate world, and be adopted by companies as a concept that would work in order to enhance their profitability in the process.
Colquitt, J. A., LePine, J. A., &. Wesson, M. J. (2008). Organizational Behavior: Improving Performance and Commitment in the Workplace. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1-17.
Idinopulos, M., &. Kempler, L. (2003, December). Do you know who your experts are?. McKinsey Quarterly, Retrieved September 23, 2009, from Business Source Premier database.
Sullivan, J. (2007, November 19). Google. Workforce Management, 86(20), 42-42. Retrieved September 23, 2009, from Business Source Premier database.
Improving Performance and Commitment in the Workplace