Types of Individual Behavior

There are five types of individual behaviors that enable organization to interact with their environment; acquire share; and use knowledge to the best advantage and meet the needs of various stakeholder.


The below diagrams highlights the five type of individual behavior; task performance, organizational citizenship, counterproductive work behaviors, joining and staying with the organization, and work attendance.

1. Task Performance

It refers to goals directed behaviors under individual’s control that support organizational objectives. Task performance behaviors transform raw materials into goods and services or support and maintain technical activities. For example, foreign exchange traders at Wachovia make decisions and take actions to exchange currencies. Employees in most jobs have more than one performance dimension. Foreign exchange traders must be able to identify profitable trades, work cooperatively with clients and co-workers in a stressful environment, assist in training new staff, and work on special telecommunications equipment without error. Some of these performance dimensions are more important than others, but only by considering all of them can we fully evaluate an employee’s contribution to the organization.


2. Organizational Citizenship

Companies could not effectively compete, transform resources, or serve the needs of their stakeholders if employees performed only their formal job duties. Employees also need to engage in organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs) —various forms of cooperation and helpfulness to others that support the organization’s social and psychological context. In other words, companies require contextual performance (i.e., OCBs) along with task performance.


Organizational citizenship behaviors take many forms. Some are directed toward individuals, such as assisting co-workers with their work problems, adjusting your work schedule to accommodate co-workers, showing genuine courtesy toward coworkers, and sharing your work resources (supplies, technology, staff) with co-workers.


3. Counterproductive Work Behavior

Organizational behavior is interested in all workplace behaviors, including those on the “dark side,” collectively known as counterproductive work behaviors (CWBs). CWBs are voluntary behaviors that have the potential to directly or indirectly harm the organization. They include abuse of others (e.g., insults and nasty comments), threats (threatening harm), work avoidance (e.g., tardiness), work sabotage (doing work incorrectly), and overt acts (theft). CWBs are not minor concerns. One recent study found that units of a fast-food restaurant chain with higher CWBs had a significantly worse performance, whereas organizational citizenship had a relatively minor benefit.


4. Joining and Staying with the Organization

Task performance, organizational citizenship, and the lack of counterproductive work behaviors are obviously important, but if qualified people don’t join and stay with the organization, none of these performance-related behaviors will occur. Attracting and retaining talented people is particularly important as worries about skill shortages heat up.


Companies survive and thrive not just by hiring people with talent or potential; they also need to ensure that these employees stay with the company. Organizations with high turnover suffer because of the high cost of replacing people who leave. When people leave, some of this vital knowledge is lost, often resulting in inefficiencies, poorer customer service, and so forth. This threat is not trivial: Between one-third and one-half of employees say they would change companies if offered a comparable job.


5. Maintaining Work Attendance

Along with attracting and retaining employees, organizations need everyone to show up for work at scheduled times. Situational factors—such as severe weather or car breakdown—explain some work absences. Motivation is another factor. Employees who experience job dissatisfaction or work-related stress are more likely to be absent or late for work because taking time off is a way to temporarily withdraw from stressful or dissatisfying conditions. Absenteeism is also higher in organizations with generous sick leave because this benefit limits the negative financial impact of taking time away from work. Studies have found that absenteeism is also higher in teams with strong absence norms, meaning that team members tolerate and even expect co-workers to take time off.



Organizational Behavior – McShane | Von Glinow



5 responses

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  4. Nice copy paste mate.

    1. I mean the picture of course, the text is well written and informative. 🙂

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