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Major Contemporary Issue Affecting Organisational Behaviour Today Commerce Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Commerce
Wordcount: 1795 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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According to Griffin and Moorhead (2012), “Organisational behaviour is the study of human behaviour in organisational settings, of the interface between human behaviour and organisation, and of the organisation itself”.

As Knights and Willmott (2007) pointed out, in order to have a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of “organisational behaviour” as a field of study, the three areas that make up “organisational behaviour” must be studied together. These areas include human behaviour, the relationship between human behaviour and organisations, and the organisation itself. And they must be analysed from three points of view which are individual, as team or group and as an organisation.

Question 6. Choose a major contemporary issue affecting organisational behaviour today..Discuss its practical implications for managing people…

Murray, Poole and Jones (2006) are of the view that, with the ever increasing globalisation of the continents of the world, organisational culture, product and production diversification, teamwork, information technology, flexible working practices are regarded as some of the current issues affecting organisations.

For the purpose of detailed analysis and word count, I have decided to pick “organisational culture” as one of the contemporary issues to discuss.

Organisational culture: Every organisation has a culture and it is this culture that defines the performance as well as the excellence of the organisation as a whole. Over the past years, organisational culture has been researched in order to get to its dept on how it affects both customers and employees.

According to Ravasi and Schultz (2006) “organizational culture is a set of shared mental assumptions that guide interpretation and action in organizations by defining appropriate behaviour for various situations”.

Organizational culture play an important role in every organization because it portrays the organization’s values, norms, beliefs, systems, working language and habits. Therefore, priority should be given to organizational culture because it defines the company’s image (Mullins, 2007).

It is necessary to understand the concept of organisational culture by typologies and classifications.

Handy (1982) pointed out four types of culture that would help in the understanding and classifications of organisational culture and they include personal culture, risk, role and power.

As suggested by Scholtz (1987), stable, reactive, anticipating, exploring and creative are used to describe the typologies of organisational culture.

To be able to point out the functions of organisational culture, it is necessary to know the determinants of organisational culture.

In an article entitled (building organisational culture that stimulates creativity and innovation), Martins (2003) stated that the determinants of organisational culture are “structure, support mechanisms, behaviour that encourages innovation and open communication”.

Kilmann, Saxton & Serpa (1986) pointed out the following functions of organisational culture. Organisational culture help organisations stand out which distinguishes them from other organisations hence, their identity is portrayed. It also encourages stability in organisations. Employees and leaders in organisations could be changed but a relative stability is maintained over a period of time as organisational culture is passed on from “generations to generations”. An organisation with a strong culture could have competitive advantage in the marketplace if it keeps abiding on its culture (Brown 1998).

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Organisational culture has great implications on both the employees and the company as a whole. For example, Hewlett Packard advised HP employees to develop 3 personal and 3 organisational goals that they would like to achieve each year as a change of their culture. After two years into this new system of culture, HP reported that there was no loss in productivity even when some employees were working shorter hours and more employees were able to be retained.

Question 1: Advantages and disadvantages of working as part of a team for the Individual.

There is no definite definition of team but as Mckenna(2012) pointed out, “a team could be described as a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, common performance, and a common approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.


As suggested by Mckenna(2012), one of the advantages of working as part of a team for the individual is the motivation he/she gets from the members of the team to accomplish their tasks. Usually, members of the team are motivated when they work with the thought that other members of the team are depending on them for the objective of the team to be achieved. With such thought in their minds, the individual tend to be motivated unlike when he/she works alone, there is no one to motivate him/her (Cole, 2005).

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Cole (2005) is of the view that when individuals get together as a team different abilities and experience would be showcased by individuals towards achieving team objectives. These are some of the different abilities that would be seen in an individual: people with leadership spirit, good planners, thinkers, ideas person and humorists, those with technical or professional knowledge, those with good communication skills. This would help an individual to express his/her ability as a dormant ability would definitely “quench” if it is not put to work.

Another advantage of a team for an individual working in team is the experience gotten from it. Working in a team help individuals to gain experience. Especially with the different abilities and approaches each members of the team used in tackling a problem. Although he/she might not be an expert in the application of such ability but they would have gained that experience and would be able to apply it when they encounter such tasks again in the future (McKenna, 2012).


As pointed out by Koontz and Wiehrich (2008), one of the disadvantages of working as part of a team for the individual is the team’s goals and objectives that must be achieved. An individual cannot work towards achieving personal goals because whatever task he/she has been allocated to in a group must be accomplished with the aim of meeting the group’s objectives. In other words, he/she must give up personals goals and work towards group goals hence, organisational goals and objectives is the priority and not personal goals (Prakken, 2000).

Barker and Angelopulo (2007) is of the view that working in a team consumes time. This is because every member must be given an opportunity to speak in a meeting which would take a while for the team to arrive at a conclusion. Also, since “time is money”, it may cost an individual to work as part of a team and such costs could involve transportation, lodging and other overhead costs(Mukherjee and Basu, 2005)

Conflicts within a team are usually problems for an individual. This is because it demoralises an individual, reduce his/her motivation towards accomplishing the task allocated as well as reduce communications to other members of the team hence, the level of individual cooperation with the team would drop which may lead to unaccomplished mission for the individual as well as the team (Mukherjee and Basu, 2005).

5. An employee’s individual personality has no part to play in his/her day to day behaviour at work..It’s not something employers need to worry about’. Critically evaluate this statement.

There are four main drivers that influence the behaviour of an individual personality hence, they have a great effect on the performance of an employee at work. This means employers need to take cognisance of this if they want to receive the best performance of their employees.

The following are the four drivers, namely self motivation of employees, employees’ ability, employees’ role perceptions and situational factors (Miller, Vandome and John, 2010).

According to Miller, Vandome and John (2010), Motivation refers to the “internal forces that affect the direction, intensity and persistence of a person’s voluntary choice of behaviour”.

McShane and Von Glinow(2003) were of the view that direction refers to the path on which employees channel their strengths towards achieving the organisational goals. Intensity refers to the degree of effort or the level of seriousness employees have applied towards achieving organisational goals. And persistence is refers to how long an employee is willing and able to put his/her time in order to achieve organisational goals (Miller, Vandome and John, 2010).

Employers need to take note of employees that have direction, intensity and the ones that are persistent in what they want to achieve as they have great implications in the performance of each employee.

According to McShane and Von Glinow (2003), ability refers to “both the natural aptitudes and the learned capabilities required to successfully complete a task”. Employers should look for such type of people to employ in their organisations. This is because they are people that have natural skills to learn things quickly; also they are people that have acquired experiences which makes them competent for any task allocated to them (miller, Vandome and John, 2010).

As McShane and Von Glinow (2003) pointed out in (Organisational Behaviour), role perceptions has to do with the level to which an employee understands the role or tasks he/she suppose to perform in an organisation. This also involves the employee understanding the the importance of these tasks to the organisation and the behaviour he/she will use to accomplish such tasks (Taderera, 2010).

Taderera (2010) is of the view that situational factors refers to conditions especially environmental factors from outside the organisation that affect an employee such as consumer preferences & economic factors and environmental factors such as “time, people, budget and work facilities”. Usually, these environmental factors are beyond the control of an employee especially in the short run (McShane and Von Glinow, 2003). This means that employers need to tackle and arrange these factors in such a way that they won’t interfere or interrupt the performance of their employees.


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