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Organizational Behavior

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ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR

INTRODUCTION:
A person, on hearing this term, would surely think of an individual’s behavior in an organization or his work place, and that’s true even. But, there’s something more to it. If I were to describe Organizational Behavior in a compact manner, I would say that OB is nothing but “Perception and Handling”. Perception- of what a person perceives about him/her own self and others, and Handling-about how he handles and behaves in various situations, be it in an organization or outside it. It’s a study of one’s own self and creation of a broad and holistic perspective.

PERSONAL LEARNING:
When we were first exposed to Organizational Behavior as a subject in our management education, like most of the people even I had apprehensions about it. Most of us failed to understand the need of OB as a subject and thought it to be more of practical in nature rather than theoretical. We used to think that how can a person be taught how to react and how not to react in a particular situation, merely through reading books? But gradually our perception changed. (And this is what OB is all about – PERCEPTION). As the course progressed, we started relating it to ourselves. Though most of us do not have any experience or exposure to organization, but we could relate it to our past experiences. The way how we perceive people, situations, and surroundings and how most of the times we end up being wrong and mistaken. When I entered a b-school, or even my graduation college, I formed opinions about people when I met them, and that’s pretty natural. All of us do so and apparently end up being wrong. (If not always then most of the times). A person, whom we find arrogant, gradually turns out to be a great human being and a good friend. And the person, whom we presume to be nice and friendly, sometimes turns out to be shrewd and mean. So, the first thing I learnt from OB is- take time while forming your opinions about others.
The next thing I learnt was SELF-REALISATION. The Harvard Case Study on THE POWER TO SEE OURSELVES, which we discussed in class, was an eye-opener for me. Each of us, whether we realize it or not, has a self-image. We see ourselves in some way. We all can pick adjectives that describe ourselves. This is the “I” behind the face in the mirror, the “I” that no one knows fully. But are we really the same what we think of ourselves? At least I’m not. I used to think myself of a very confident and composed kind of a person. But after reading the case and the examples quoted there, I could very well relate myself to them. I actually felt that had I been in that situation, I would’ve reacted in the same manner as the person in the case-study, which apparently was not the right way of reacting. I ended up learning an important aspect, that for being perfect, one doesn’t necessarily be acutely self-critical and that criticisms & failure are important aspects of growth.

VALUES AND ETHICS:
Ethics and Values are the most important traits of a human being especially while working in an organization. They portray the character of a person. That’s the reason the corporate nowadays are more focusing on the attitude and values of a person rather than the skill-set. No doubt that skill-set is also required, but the dominant factors are ethics and values. A person with somewhat lesser skills but high on values is given more preference than a person who is highly skilled but low on values, because skills are something that can be acquired. A person can be trained for a particular job and be made skillful, but ethics & values cannot be acquired. They can only be nurtured. They are developed during the life cycle of a person, sowed during childhood and adolescence age and nurtured for the rest of the life. Another reason behind such an outlook of the corporate sector is that they believe that a person who is high on values with lesser skills shall be more loyal to the company than a person who is skilled but low on value. The later could misuse his excess skills and might end up doing something which might not be ethical, such as redeeming fake vouchers, passing fake or bills of higher amounts. The extent cannot be determined by us. But a person who is high on values and is ethical, would follow only what is right, no matter how high of a position he holds. Such a behavior was explained in a case study called “WAVES AND RIPPLES”, which was discussed in the class. The protagonist of the case, the Chief Accountant was fleecing the company in order to pay the debts he incurred due to the crash in share market. For a man with values, his personal goals, his company goals, and his job goals have coincidence to a great extent; and his personal power is directed single-mindedly towards seeing himself in relation to the fulfillment of his executive potential.

TEAM PLAYER:
This is one of the major aspects that OB teaches-be a team player. In today’s corporate world, being a team player is very very necessary. During my engineering days, I used to be very much active in extracurricular activities, especially cultural events. Since then I’ve realized that how important working in a team is and trust me, it’s the most difficult part too. Everybody in a team has different opinions, different frame of mind and a different outlook towards all the issues and coming to a common consensus is really difficult. Even here in this b-school, we all are divided in a group of 6 members and most of us find it difficult working in a group. OB relates this to the organization, where we surely have to work in a team and respect everybody’s opinions. What I’ve observed is that working in a team drives many aspects out of you, the most important one being- Leadership. If you can bind the team together and can bring everyone down to a common consensus, you automatically become a key player of the team.
A person, who is a good team player, wins respect of all as well as helps in increasing the efficiency of the team and indirectly, his company. A manager, who has a big team under him, if does not communicate properly with his team, or doesn’t value his team-mates, can never generate a good output from his team. My previous experiences, as well as my learning of OB have really changed my outlook towards working as a team player. I am more open to suggestions now, more confident and have improved on the art of thinking analytically.

CONCLUSION:
Though OB is a vast subject, and I am yet to learn a lot many things, but for now, I can surely say that it does have brought some transition in me. The case studies, the text and most importantly the examples cited in the class, are all I can relate to. Sincerity, good attitude, focus, determination, hard work complimented with smart work, are some of the traits I’ve learnt till now. But that’s not the end of my learning process. There’s a lot a more to come in OB and so does in my learning. Looking forward to the same.

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