Organizational Behavior Term Paper

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The organizational structure of my university was based on the bureaucratic style. The hierarchical pyramid command structure placed my department in the mid-level range within the administrative wing of the university. Our department had a department manager and a head manager over him and fifteen employees under them. The department served students with financial aid issues so it was always a very hectic place to work as students constantly came in with questions about their aid and whether their applications were being processed correctly and so forth. Stress levels were sometimes very high within the department as everyone was working on a deadline at certain parts of the year. Other causes for stress included the fact that the organizational workplace culture was not the best in terms of maintaining a positive spirit where respect and job satisfaction were clear goals. Most of the time, it seemed the department head and head manager did not care whether their employees were alive or dead: we were expected to get our work done on time without errors. In terms of offering support for workers, there was not much from the leadership and workers had to try to support one another when things became overwhelming. This paper will describe the organizational behavior of this department and show how factors like theory, emotional intelligence, and the relationship between employee and organizational behavior (as represented by management) were manifested.

Employee Behavior and Organizational Behavior

As Schyns and Schilling (2013) note, bad leaders and managers are individuals who do not take an interest in their employees or who do not engage with them on civil or sympathetic terms. They lack empathy, integrity or interest in their work. They bring negative stimuli to the workplace instead of positive stimuli. The effect of their influences is that workers become discouraged and resentful and can even sometimes go out of their way to sabotage the productivity of the organization. Schyns and Schilling (2013) thus show that managers and leaders must be engaged with their employees on a positive level in order to ensure the success of the organization.

In the financial aid department where, the general relationship between employee behavior and the behavior of the organization was like that represented by Schyns and Schillling (2013) in their study: the department manager was autocratic even though the organizational structure of the university was bureaucratic, and the head manager was disinterested in the workers. For this reason, there was a distinct lack of empathy coming from leadership in the department for the employees. Employee attitudes suffered as a result. Workers were often apathetic and uncommunicative. They expressed dissatisfaction with the job all the time and did little to try to make the workplace more organized and efficient. They did only what they had to when the department manager was around because he would insist on everyone doing things his way and would become irritated and upset when someone violated one of his rules. The head manager did not seem to care one way or the other how the department manager behaved and appeared to just be there as a symbol of authority. The employees made a show of working whenever the department manager was around, but as soon as he was gone, employees again began slacking at work and not getting any of their jobs accomplished. For this reason, the office was always backed up and behind schedule and it was only thanks to a few hard working and dedicated employees that paper work ever got filed on time. Had it not been for these employees, many students at the university would have suffered from financial aid not going through. As it often turned out, when these good employees were not present, such crises did occur, which would upset the department manage even more (the head manager would never say anything).
The fact that the department manager had no real relationship with the workers, however, was what frustrated the process and made that workplace so stressful: the majority of the workers did not want to work because they did not like their manager and their bad attitude reflected his bad approach to leadership (McQuerrey, 2014). As McQuerrey (2014) points out, attitude, performance, interpersonal skills and corporate representation are all affected by the actions of those within the organization. When one person’s bad behavior (especially in such a prominent position as that of leadership) is evident, it reflects poorly on the organization as a whole and can bring down the mood, culture and productivity of the organization as a result. This is certainly what was happening in our department. Likewise, as Bakkeri and Schaufeli (2008) show, “positive organizational phenomena can make a unique contribution to explaining variance in organizational outcomes over and above negative ones” (p. 149). This means that when there are positive elements within a workplace, that workplace is more likely to have positive outcomes as opposed to negative ones where negative stimuli are more commonplace.

Capek (2007) states that employee experiences drive organizational behavior in numerous ways, and this was true in our department: the more negatively that workers experienced the bosses, the more likely they were to drive the organization intentionally into the ground. Capek (2007) also argues: “the nature of employee experiences has a profound impact on the organizational agility required to make improvements to the customer experience” and this was equally true in our department. Many times customers would complain about slowness in the office and this slowness was the result of workers failing to actually do their jobs, which they did not like. Employees felt unappreciated by the bosses and their feeling of isolation caused them to react negatively towards their work, which impacted the students who relied on the workers to get their paperwork filed.

Some workers tried hard, however, which can be explained by the fact that they adhered to personal ideals and principles that, while not expressed in positive terms by management, were deeply embedded in these workers’ own character and thus motivated them to succeed. As Capek (2007) notes, “the context for an individual’s experience starts with what they are trying to accomplish; what’s important to them.” For these workers who did excel and who did pick up a lot of slack from other workers, their individual experience was based on the fact that they were actually trying to accomplish a lot. These same workers rarely complained and never showed a bad spirit, even while others were. Instead, they seemed to accept the fact that no organization is perfect, that managers and leaders also have a lot of stress and may not be able to communicate effectively to everyone’s liking. They did not hold grudges against management for slights or resent the leaders for not showing enough appreciation. They accepted that they had a job to do and they were determined to do it. Thus, their experience in the workplace was not a bad one because they did not let negative stimuli enter into their consciousness.

For workers who did allow negative stimuli to impact their decision making, the outcomes and experiences were always negative. They never accomplished the goals expected of them, shirked their responsibilities,….....

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Bakkeri, A. B. & Schaufeli, W. B. (2008). Positive organizational behavior: Engaged employees in flourishing organizations. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 29, 147–154. Retrieved from

Capek, F. (2007). How Employee Experiences Drive Organizational Behavior. Retrieved from

Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370.

McQuerrey, L. (2014). Importance of Employee Behavior in an Organization. Retrieved from

Schyns, B., Schilling, J. (2013). How bad are the effects of bad leaders? A meta-analysis of destructive leadership and its outcomes. The Leadership Quarterly, 24, 138-158.

Shanks, N. H. & Buchbinder, S. B. (2012). Introduction to health care management. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning. 

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