Category Archives: Organizational Behavior

Motivation Incentives

Motivation is the word derived from the word ’motive’ which means needs, desires, wants or drives within the individuals. It is the process of stimulating people to actions to accomplish the goals. In the work goal context the psychological factors stimulating the people’s behavior can be –

  • Desire for money
  • Success
  • Recognition
  • Job-satisfaction
  • Team work, etc…

Incentive is an act or promise for greater action. It is also called as a stimulus to greater action. Incentives are something which are given in addition to wagers. It means additional remuneration or benefit to an employee in recognition of achievement or better work. Incentives provide a spur or zeal in the employees for better performance.

The need of incentives can be many:

  • To increase productivity,
  • To drive or arouse a stimulus work,
  • To enhance commitment in work performance,
  • To psychologically satisfy a person which leads to job satisfaction,
  • To shape the behavior or outlook of subordinate towards work,
  • To inculcate zeal and enthusiasm towards work,
  • To get the maximum of their capabilities so that they are exploited and utilized maximally.

1. Monetary incentives

Those incentives which satisfy the subordinates by providing them rewards in terms of rupees. Money has been recognized as a chief source of satisfying the needs of people. Money is also helpful to satisfy the social needs by possessing various material items. Therefore, money not only satisfies psychological needs but also the security and social needs. Therefore, in many factories, various wage plans and bonus schemes are introduced to motivate and stimulate the people to work.

2. Non-monetary incentives

Besides the monetary incentives, there are certain non-financial incentives which can satisfy the ego and self- actualization needs of employees. The incentives which cannot be measured in terms of money are under the category of “Non- monetary incentives”. Whenever a manager has to satisfy the psychological needs of the subordinates, he makes use of non-financial incentives. Non- financial incentives can be of the following types:

Security of service – Job security is an incentive which provides great motivation to employees. If his job is secured, he will put maximum efforts to achieve the objectives of the enterprise. This also helps since he is very far off from mental tension and he can give his best to the enterprise.

Praise or recognition – The praise or recognition is another non- financial incentive which satisfies the ego needs of the employees. Sometimes praise becomes more effective than any other incentive. The employees will respond more to praise and try to give the best of their abilities to a concern.

Suggestion scheme – The organization should look forward to taking suggestions and inviting suggestion schemes from the subordinates. This inculcates a spirit of participation in the employees. This can be done by publishing various articles written by employees to improve the work environment which can be published in various magazines of the company. This also is helpful to motivate the employees to feel important and they can also be in search for innovative methods which can be applied for better work methods. This ultimately helps in growing a concern and adapting new methods of operations.

Job enrichment – Job enrichment is another non- monetary incentive in which the job of a worker can be enriched. This can be done by increasing his responsibilities, giving him an important designation, increasing the content and nature of the work. This way efficient worker can get challenging jobs in which they can prove their worth. This also helps in the greatest motivation of the efficient employees.

Promotion opportunities – Promotion is an effective tool to increase the spirit to work in a concern. If the employees are provided opportunities for the advancement and growth, they feel satisfied and contented and they become more committed to the organization.

The above non-financial tools can be framed effectively by giving due concentration to the role of employees. A combination of financial and non- financial incentives help together in bringing motivation and zeal to work in a concern.

Positive Incentives

Positive incentives are those incentives which provide a positive assurance for fulfilling the needs and wants. Positive incentives generally have an optimistic attitude behind and they are generally given to satisfy the psychological requirements of employees. For example-promotion, praise, recognition, perks and allowances, etc. It is positive by nature.

Negative Incentives

Negative incentives are those whose purpose is to correct the mistakes or defaults of employees. The purpose is to rectify mistakes in order to get effective results. Negative incentive is generally resorted to when positive incentive does not works and a psychological set back has to be given to employees. It is negative by nature. For example- demotion, transfer, fines, penalties.


Motivational Strategies

One of the biggest challenge in an individual is to find a motivation to start something and keep the momentum going be it losing weight or saving money, this applies to all.. Once you have the momentum going everything else can just fall in place, but getting that momentum going can be a challenge.

Same challenge is in an organization for the manager to motivate his employees so that the organizational goal can be met. A high level of employee motivation is derived from effective management practices. To develop motivated employees, a manager must treat people as individuals, empower workers, provide an effective reward system, redesign jobs, and create a flexible workplace.

Let us look at some of the motivational strategies

1. Rewards

This is one of the oldest and the best strategy of motivating employees. A reward is a work outcome of positive value to the individual. Organizations are rich in rewards for people whose performance accomplishments help meet organizational objectives. Rewards can be awarded in two ways:

Extrinsic rewards are concrete rewards that employees can find very motivating, and to be most effective should be provided fairly, strategically, and linked to performance. These are externally administered. They are valued outcomes given to someone by another person, typically a supervisor or higher level manager. Examples of extrinsic rewards include bonuses, raises, paid vacations and promotions.

Intrinsic rewards are mostly qualitative in nature and cannot be quantified for example more respect, recognition etc. Think of the “natural high” a person may experience after completing a job. That person feels good because she has a feeling of competency, personal development, and self-control over her work.

2. Goal

Sometimes it can be hard to do things that seem boring or complicated. It is so easy to just put them off until tomorrow instead of dealing with them now (even if we secretly know that tomorrow never comes). One way to deal with this is to start creating your life plan and have a goal.

When you have a goal that you really want to achieve it is easier to motivate yourself to get cracking. Even if you are not motivated by the process you can be motivated by the final results.

When you create your goal the next thing you can do is to let others know about it. Tell everyone that is close to you what you plan on doing and how you plan on doing it. Ideally you want to tell someone who will understand and support your goal.

By letting others know your intentions you know that other people are watching you and are holding you accountable for your goals. This way you are more likely to stay motivated to prove to others that you are not a failure and that you are a man of your word.

3. Do the Hardest Thing First

Sometimes we procrastinate simply because we do not want to do the hardest thing on our list. When we have something that we just don’t want to do all of these motivational strategies can go out the window. Even if you are still able to motivate yourself that energy will be put into pointless things that give you a false sense of accomplishment, but really doesn’t helped you to reach your goal.

When you have something you don’t want to do, it is exactly what you need to do first. Instead of postponing it all day think of how much more you will accomplish if you get rid of it first and then go after all of the easier tasks.

4. Make It Fun

No matter what you have to do you should be able to make it fun. After all if we enjoy what we are doing it is a whole lot easier to keep doing it.

5. Redesigning Jobs

Many people go to work every day and go through the same, unenthusiastic actions to perform their jobs. These individuals often refer to this condition as burnout. But smart managers can do something to improve this condition before an employee becomes bored and loses motivation. The concept of job redesign, which requires a knowledge of and concern for the human qualities people bring with them to the organization, applies motivational theories to the structure of work for improving productivity and satisfaction

When redesigning jobs, managers look at both job scope and job depth. This can be done by:

  • Job Enlargement
  • Job Rotation
  • Job Enrichment

6. Creating Flexibility

Today’s employees value personal time. Because of family needs, a traditional nine-to-five workday may not work for many people. Therefore, flextime, which permits employees to set and control their own work hours, is one way that organizations are accommodating their employees’ needs.

7. Play to employees’ strength.

A Manger must know his employees’ strength and weaknesses, this is needed to find out what is needed for a specific employee to perform and to understand and capitalize on those employees who can perform a specific task in best manner.

ERG Motivation Theory

Clayton Alderfer has proposed an alternative hierarchy of needs – called the ERG Theory of Motivation. The letters E, R and G stand for Existence, Relatedness and Growth.


The below diagram shows ERG theory




The existence needs in this theory refers to the physiological and security needs of Maslow. Relatedness needs refers to belongingness and esteem needs. Growth needs refers to both self-esteem and self-actualization needs.


Although ERG Theory assumes that motivated behavior follows a hierarchy in somewhat the same fashion as suggested by Maslow, there are two important differences.


Firstly, ERG theory suggests that more than one kind of need might motivate a person at the same time. For example, it allows for the possibility that people can be motivated by a desire for money (existence); friendship (relatedness), and an opportunity to learn new skills (growth) all at the same time.


Secondly, ERG theory has an element of frustrations-regression that is missing from Maslow’s need hierarchy. Maslow maintained that one heed must be satisfied before an individual can progress to needs at a higher level, for example, from security needs to belongingness. This is termed as satisfaction—progression process. Although the ERG theory includes this process, it also suggests that if needs remain unsatisfied at some higher level, the individual will become frustrated, regress to a lower level and will begin to pursue low level needs again. For” example, a worker previously motivated by money (existence needs) is awarded a pay rise to satisfy this needs. Then he attempts to establish more friendship to satisfy relatedness needs. If for some reason an employee finds that it is impossible to become better friends with others in the work place, he may eventually become frustrated and regress to being motivated to earn even more money. This is termed as ‘frustration-regression’ process.


The ERG theory emphasis on the following key points regarding needs:

  • Some needs may be more important than others.
  • People may change their behavior after any particular set of needs has been satisfied.


Importance of Motivation

Motivation is a very important for an organization because of the following benefits it provides:

1. Puts human resources into action

Every concern requires physical, financial and human resources to accomplish the goals. It is through motivation that the human resources can be utilized by making full use of it. This can be done by building willingness in employees to work. This will help the enterprise in securing best possible utilization of resources.

2. Low Employee Turnover and Absenteeism

When the employees are not satisfied with their job then they will leave it whenever they get an alternative offer. The dissatisfaction among employees also increases absenteeism. The employment training of new employees costs dearly to the organization. When the employees are satisfied with their jobs and they are well motivated by offering them financial and non-financial incentives then they will not leave the job. The rate of absenteeism will also be low because they will try to increase their output.

3. Improves level of efficiency of employees

The level of a subordinate or a employee does not only depend upon his qualifications and abilities. For getting best of his work performance, the gap between ability and willingness has to be filled which helps in improving the level of performance of subordinates. This will result into-

  • Increase in productivity,
  • Reducing cost of operations, and
  • Improving overall efficiency.

4. Leads to achievement of organizational goals

The goals of an enterprise can be achieved only when the following factors take place :-

  • There is best possible utilization of resources,
  • There is a co-operative work environment,
  • The employees are goal-directed and they act in a purposive manner,
  • Goals can be achieved if co-ordination and co-operation takes place simultaneously which can be effectively done through motivation.

5. High Performance

Motivated employees will put maximum efforts for achieving organizational goals. The untapped reservoirs, physical and mental abilities are tapped to the maximum. Better performance will also result in higher productivity. The cost of production can also be brought down if productivity is raised. The employees should be offered more incentives for increasing their performance. Motivation will act as a stimulant for improving the performance of employees.

6. Builds friendly relationship

Motivation is an important factor which brings employees satisfaction. This can be done by keeping into mind and framing an incentive plan for the benefit of the employees. This could initiate the following things:

  • Monetary and non-monetary incentives,
  • Promotion opportunities for employees,
  • Disincentives for inefficient employees.
  • In order to build a cordial, friendly atmosphere in a concern, the above steps should be taken by a manager. This would help in:
  • Effective co-operation which brings stability,
  • Industrial dispute and unrest in employees will reduce,
  • The employees will be adaptable to the changes and there will be no resistance to the change,
  • This will help in providing a smooth and sound concern in which individual interests will coincide with the organizational interests,
  • This will result in profit maximization through increased productivity.

7. Leads to stability of work force

Stability of workforce is very important from the point of view of reputation and goodwill of a concern. The employees can remain loyal to the enterprise only when they have a feeling of participation in the management. The skills and efficiency of employees will always be of advantage to employees as well as employees. This will lead to a good public image in the market which will attract competent and qualified people into a concern. As it is said, “Old is gold” which suffices with the role of motivation here, the older the people, more the experience and their adjustment into a concern which can be of benefit to the enterprise.

From the above discussion, we can say that motivation is an internal feeling which can be understood only by manager since he is in close contact with the employees. Needs, wants and desires are inter-related and they are the driving force to act. These needs can be understood by the manager and he can frame motivation plans accordingly. We can say that motivation therefore is a continuous process since motivation process is based on needs which are unlimited. The process has to be continued throughout.

We can summarize by saying that motivation is important both to an individual and a business. Motivation is important to an individual as:

  1. Motivation will help him achieve his personal goals.
  2. If an individual is motivated, he will have job satisfaction.
  3. Motivation will help in self-development of individual.
  4. An individual would always gain by working with a dynamic team.

Similarly, motivation is important to a business as:

  1. The more motivated the employees are, the more empowered the team is.
  2. The more is the team work and individual employee contribution, more profitable and successful is the business.
  3. During period of amendments, there will be more adaptability and creativity.
  4. Motivation will lead to an optimistic and challenging attitude at work place.

Kinds of motivation

There are four kinds of motivations as shown in the below grid.

  1. Positive
  2. Intrinsic
  3. Extrinsic
  4. Negative

Motivation Types

Extrinsic motivation

It is related to ‘tangible’ rewards such as salary and fringe benefits, security, promotion, contract of service, the work environment and conditions of work. Such tangible rewards are often determined at the organizational level and may be largely outside the control of individual managers.

Intrinsic motivation

It is related to ‘psychological’ rewards such as the opportunity to use one’s ability, a sense of challenge and achievement, receiving appreciation, positive recognition and being treated in a caring and considerate manner. The psychological rewards are those that can usually be determined by the actions and behavior of individual managers

Positive motivation

In real sense, motivation means positive motivation. Positive motivation induces people to do work in the best possible manner and to improve their performance. Under this better facilities and rewards are provided for their better performance. Such rewards and facilities may be financial and non-financial.

Negative motivation

Negative motivation aims at controlling the negative efforts of the work and seeks to create a sense of fear for the worker, which he has to suffer for lack of good performance. It is based on the concept that if a worker fails in achieving the desired results, he should be punished.

Motivation – An Introduction

Motivation is the word derived from the word ’motive’ which means needs, desires, wants or drives within the individuals. It is the process of stimulating people to actions to accomplish the goals. Motivation is the key to organizational effectiveness. The manager in general has to get the work done through others. These ‘others’ are human resources who need to be motivated to attain organizational objectives.

In the work goal context the psychological factors stimulating the people’s behavior can be:

  • desire for money
  • success
  • recognition
  • job-satisfaction
  • team work, etc

One of the most important functions of management is to create willingness amongst the employees to perform in the best of their abilities. Therefore the role of a leader is to arouse interest in performance of employees in their jobs. The process of motivation consists of three stages:-

  1. A felt need or drive
  2. A stimulus in which needs have to be aroused
  3. When needs are satisfied, the satisfaction or accomplishment of goals.

Therefore, we can say that motivation is a psychological phenomenon which means needs and wants of the individuals have to be tackled by framing an incentive plan.

According to George R. Terry, “Motivation is the desire within an individual that stimulates him or her to action.”

In the words of Robert Dubin, it is “the complex of forces starting and keeping a person at work in an organization”. Viteles defines motivation as “an unsatisfied need which creates a state of tension or disequilibrium, causing the individual to move in a goal directed pattern towards restoring a state of equilibrium, by satisfying the need.”

According to Encyclopedia of Management. “Motivation refers to the degree of readiness of an organism to pursue some designated goals and implies the determination of the nature and locus of force inducing a degree of readiness.”

On the basis of above definitions, the following observations can be made regarding motivation:

  1. Motivation is an inner psychological force, which activates and compels the person to behave in a particular manner.
  2. The motivation process is influenced by personality traits, learning abilities, perception and competence of an individual.
  3. A highly motivated employee works more efficiently and his level of production tends to be higher than others.
  4. Motivation originates from the-needs and wants of an individual. It is a tension of lacking something in his mind, which forces him to work more efficiently.
  5. Motivation is also a process of stimulating and channelising the energy of an individual for achieving set goals.
  6. Motivation also plays a crucial role in determining the level of performance. Highly motivated employees get higher satisfaction, which may lead to higher efficiency.
  7. Motivating force an^ its degree, may differ from individual to individual depending on his personality, needs, competence and other factors.
  8. The process of Motivation helps the manager in analysing and understanding human behavior and finding but how an individual can be inspired to produce desirable working behavior.
  9. Motivation may be positive as well as negative. Positive motivation includes incentives, rewards and other benefits while negative motivation implies some punishment, fear, use of force etc.

10. The motivation procedure contributes to and boosts up the morale of the employees. A high degree of motivation may lead to high morale.

Basic Motivational Model

People’s behavior is determined by what motivates them. Their performance is a product of both ability level and motivation. Given below is the basic model of motivation. Although motivation is a necessary contributor for job performance, it is not the only one. Along with ability, motivation is also a combination of level of skill, knowledge about how to complete the task, feelings and emotions, and facilitating and inhibiting conditions not under the individual’s control.

Motivation Model

Performance = function (ability × motivation)

However, what is clearly evident is that if the manager is to improve the work of the organization, attention must be given to the level of motivation of its members. The manager must also encourage staff to direct their efforts (their driving force) towards the successful attainment of the goals and objectives of the organization.

Geert Hofstede’s five dimensions of national culture

The word culture is used frequently in organizational behavior. Culture is the learned and shared way of thinking and acting among a group of people or society. Cultures vary in their underlying patterns of values and attitudes.

The way people think about such matters as achievement, wealth and material gain and risk and change may influence how they approach work and their influence with organization. A framework offered by Hofstede offers one such approach for understanding how values differences across national cultures can influence human behavior at work.

The values that distinguished countries from each other could be grouped statistically into four clusters. These four groups became the Hofstede dimensions of national culture:

  1. Power Distance (PDI)
  2. Individualism versus Collectivism (IDV)
  3. Masculinity versus Femininity (MAS)
  4. Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI)
  5. Long-Term Orientation (LTO)

A fifth Dimension was added in 1991 based on research by Michael Bond who conducted an additional international study among students with a survey instrument that was developed together with Chinese employees and managers.

Cultural 01

1. Power Distance

Power distance is the willingness of a culture to accept status and power differences among its members. In cultures with low power distance, people are likely to expect that power is distributed rather equally, and are furthermore also likely to accept that power is distributed to less powerful individuals. As opposed to this, people in high power distance cultures will likely both expect and accept inequality and steep hierarchies.

The fundamental issue here is how a society handles inequalities among people. People in societies exhibiting a large degree of power distance accept a hierarchical order in which everybody has a place and which needs no further justification. In societies with low power distance, people strive to equalize the distribution of power and demand justification for inequalities of power.

2. Uncertainty Avoidance

Uncertainty Avoidance is referring to a lack of tolerance for ambiguity and a need for formal rules and policies. This dimension measures the extent to which people feel threatened by ambiguous situations. These uncertainties and ambiguities may e.g. be handled by an introduction of formal rules or policies, or by a general acceptance of ambiguity in the organizational life.

The majority of people living in cultures with a high degree of uncertainty avoidance, are likely to feel uncomfortable in uncertain and ambiguous situations. People living in cultures with a low degree of uncertainty avoidance, are likely to thrive in more uncertain and ambiguous situations and environments.

Countries exhibiting strong UAI maintain rigid codes of belief and behavior and are intolerant of unorthodox behavior and ideas. Weak UAI societies maintain a more relaxed attitude in which practice counts more than principles.

3. Masculinity vs. Femininity

It is the tendency of a culture to stereotypical masculine or feminine traits. These values concern the extent on emphasis on masculine work related goals and assertiveness (earnings, advancement, title, respect et.), as opposed to more personal and humanistic goals (friendly working climate, cooperation, nurturance etc.)

The first set of goals is usually described as masculine, whereas the latter is described as feminine. These goals and values can, among other, describe how people are potentially motivated in cultures with e.g. a feminine or a masculine culture.

Japan is considered a very masculine culture whereas Thailand is considered a more feminine culture.

4. Individualism vs. Collectivism

In individualistic cultures people are expected to portray themselves as individuals, who seek to accomplish individual goals and needs. In collectivistic cultures, people have greater emphasis on the welfare of the entire group to which the individual belongs, where individual wants, needs and dreams are often set aside for the common good.

5. Long vs. Short Term Orientation

Long-Term Orientation is the fifth dimension, which was added after the original four dimensions. This dimension was identified by Michael Bond and was initially called Confucian dynamism. Geert Hofstede added this dimension to his framework, and labeled this dimension long vs. short term orientation.

The consequences for work related values and behavior springing from this dimension are rather hard to describe, but some characteristics are described below.

Long term orientation:

  • Acceptance of that business results may take time to achieve
  • The employee wishes a long relationship with the company

Short term orientation:

  • Results and achievements are set, and can be reached within timeframe
  • The employee will potentially change employer very often.


Hofstede provided a definition of culture and how culture can be measured. His research showed that cultural differences matter. Managers in international organizations operate according to their country’s values, rather than to the organization’s culture.

Employees from related national cultures work in similar fashions, thereby reducing the chance of conflicts. Hofstede’s model provides managers of cross-cultural relations a tool to help them understand differences in value sets and behavior.

The model negates that one set of principles is universally applicable by confirming that there are multiple ways of structuring organizations and institutions. An organization’s wider social and cultural environment plus its technology determines the level of bureaucracy and centralization (Scott, Hofstede).


When Hofstede’s first results were criticized by Asian scholars, he added time orientation as a fifth dimension thereby raising doubts about whether the typology itself was exhaustive.

Culture is a far too complex and multifaceted to be used as a straightforward organizational change control. “You do not control culture, at best you shape it” (Green).

Cluster of countries based on Hofstede’s dimension of individualism collectivism and power distance

Cultural 02

The Hawthorne Studies

As human beings, all of us yearn for recognition – be it at home or at work. A lot of studies have been conducted to understand the correlation between human psychology and personal productivity. One of the earliest and most quoted ones, popularly known as the Hawthorne Study, dates back to the 1920s.

The aim behind the Hawthorne study was to find out the effect of physical environment changes on employees in an organization. Various factors were considered during the research, most importantly the psychological aspects such as working hours, managerial leadership, group pressure etc. During the course of research it was found that the biggest impact came from the attention paid to the employees.

The Hawthorne studies were conducted between 1927 and 1932 at Western Electric`s Hawthorne plant near Chicago. (General Electric initially sponsored the research but withdrew its support after the first study was finished.) Several researchers were involved, the best known being Elton Mayo and Fritz Roethlisberger, Harvard faculty members and consultants, and William Dickson, chief of Hawthorne`s Employee Relations Research Department.

The studies were intended to examine the influence of environmental variables on a group of production workers. The group of workers was divided into two subgroups: a test group, which would undergo environmental changes, and a control group. The members of the control group would work under normal, constant environment conditions.

The first major experiment at Hawthorne studied the effects of different levels of lighting on productivity. The researchers systematically manipulated the lighting in the area in which a group of women worked. The group`s productivity was measured and compared with that of another group (the control group) whose lighting was left unchanged. As lighting was increased for the experimental group, productivity went up-but, interestingly, so did the productivity of the control group. Even when lighting was subsequently reduced, the productivity of both groups continued to increase. Not until the lighting had become almost as dim as moonlight did productivity start to decline. This led the researchers to conclude that lighting had no relationship to productivity-and at this point General Electric withdrew its sponsorship of the project!

The next experiment utilized a mainstay of scientific management: incentive-based, piecework system. The researchers expected, according to the conventional wisdom of the day, that this would inspire the employees to dramatically increase their pace. However, rather than working as fast as they could individually, the workers calibrated themselves as a group. Employees who worked more slowly than average were derided as “chiselers.” Employees who attempted to work faster than the group were called “rate busters.” In other words, any significant deviation from the collectively imposed norm was punished.

These results were, of course, a major blow to the position of scientific management, which held that employees were only motivated by individual economic interest. The Hawthorne studies drew attention to the social needs as an additional source of motivation. Taylor’s emphasis on economic incentives was not wholly discredited, but economic incentives were now viewed as one factor–not the sole factor–to which employees responded.

Four general conclusions were drawn from the Hawthorne studies:

  1. The aptitudes of individuals are imperfect predictors of job performance. Although they give some indication of the physical and mental potential of the individual, the amount produced is strongly influenced by social factors.
  2. Informal organization affects productivity. The Hawthorne researchers discovered a group life among the workers. The studies also showed that the relations that supervisors develop with workers tend to influence the manner in which the workers carry out directives.
  3. Work-group norms affect productivity. The Hawthorne researchers were not the first to recognize that work groups tend to arrive at norms of what is a fair day’s work; however, they provided the best systematic description and interpretation of this phenomenon.
  4. The workplace is a social system. The Hawthorne researchers came to view the workplace as a social system made up of interdependent parts.

The Hawthorne Experiments are mainly criticized on the following grounds:

1. Lacks Validity:

The Hawthorne experiments were conducted under controlled situations. These findings will not work in real setting. The workers under observation knew about the experiments. Therefore, they may have improved their performance only for the experiments.

2. More Importance to Human Aspects:

The Hawthorne experiment gives too much importance to human aspects. Human aspects alone cannot improve production. Production also depends on technological and other factors.

3. More Emphasis on Group Decision-making:

The Hawthorne experiments placed too much emphasis on group decision-making. In real situation, individual decision-making cannot be totally neglected especially when quick decisions are required and there is no time to consult others.

4. Over Importance to Freedom of Workers:

The Hawthorne experiment gives a lot of importance to freedom of the workers. It does not give importance to the constructive role of the supervisors. In reality too much of freedom to the workers can lower down their performance or productivity.


In modern business, the Hawthorne effect is still considered vital in team management. Managers can help employees increase their work output by paying attention to their daily work and recognizing and rewarding accomplishments. These gestures provide a sense of enhanced self-worth value for the employee. This is a huge motivational factor and can be applied to individuals and teams for increased performance levels.

Like the work of Taylor, the Hawthorne studies have recently been called into question. Critics cite deficiencies in research methods and offer alternative explanations of the findings. Again, however, these studies were a major factor in the advancement of organizational behavior and are still among its most frequently cited works.


Multicultural Organization

Multicultural Organization Development presently includes a fairly broad range of visions, definitions, assumptions, strategies, techniques, terminologies, goals and objectives. They include people working under such titles as Managing Diversity, Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity, racism and sexism awareness training and cross-cultural training.

Definition by Jackson and Hardiman (1981)

A multicultural organization:

  • Reflects the contributions and interests of diverse cultural and social groups in its mission, operations, and product or service;
  • Acts on a commitment to eradicate social oppression in all forms within the organization;
  • Includes the members of diverse cultural and social groups as full participants, especially in decisions that shape the organization; and
  • Follows through on broader external social responsibilities, including support of efforts to eliminate all forms of social oppression and to educate others in multicultural perspectives.

Six Stages of Developing Multicultural Organization

Jackson and Hardiman (1981) have developed a model that describes three levels and six stages in the multicultural development process. The stages are sequential. Experiencing the learnings and limitations of each stage contributes to the ability of the organization to move to the next stage. An organization may demonstrate indicators of one, some, or all of the stages in its separate divisions or departments.

There are six stages of development of a multicultural organization. These stages form a continuum

Level I

Stage One: The Exclusionary Organization

The Exclusionary Organization is devoted to maintaining dominance of one group over other groups based on race, gender, culture, or other social identity characteristics. Familiar manifestations of such organizations are exclusionary membership policies and hiring practices. Even though such organizations are directly violating laws, they unfortunately still exist.

Stage Two: The Club

This organization is characterized by the maintenance of privileges by those who traditionally have held power. These organizations may seem to comply with the law by hiring and promoting women and minorities; however, they manage to maintain the club organization by selecting only those who possess the ‘right’ credentials and perspectives.

For instance, many organizations in the US were the exclusive domain of the white male. Although women and minorities were later allowed to enter these organizations, they had a very limited role to play in organizational activities.

Level II

Stage Three: The Compliance Organization

The Complicate Organization is committed to removing some of the discrimination inherent in the “club” by providing access to women and minorities. However, it seeks to accomplish this objective without disturbing the structure, mission and culture of the organization. The organization is careful not to create “too many waves” or to offend or challenge its employees’ or customers’ racist, sexist, or anti-Semitic attitudes or behaviors.

The Compliance Organization usually attempts to change its organizational racial and gender profile by actively recruiting and hiring more racial minorities and women at the bottom of the organization. On occasion, they will hire or promote “token” racial minorities or women into management positions, usually staff positions. When the exception is made to place a woman, racial minority, or member of any other oppressed social group in a line position, it is important that this person be a “team player” and that s/he be a “qualified” applicant. A “qualified team player” does not openly challenge the organization’s mission and practices, and is usually 150% competent to do the job. However, the strategy is more of meeting the letter of the laws, not the spirit.

Stage Four: The Affirmative Action Organization

The Affirmative Action Organization is also committed to eliminating the discriminatory practices and inherent “riggedness” of The Club by actively recruiting and promoting women, racial minorities, and members of other social groups typically denied access to our organizations. Moreover, the affirmative action organization takes an active role in supporting the growth and development of these new employees and initiating programs that increase their chances of success and mobility. All employees are encouraged to think and behave in a non-oppressive manner, and the organization may conduct racism and sexism awareness programs toward this end.

This organization’s view of diversity also includes the disabled, Latinos, Asians/Asian American-Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, the elderly, and other socially oppressed groups.

Although the affirmative action organization is committed to increasing access for members of diverse groups and increasing the chances that they will succeed by removing those hostile attitudes and behaviors, all members of this organization are still required to conform to the norms and practices derived from the dominant group’s world view.

Level III

Stage Five: The Redefining Organization

The Redefining Organization is a system in transition. This organization is not satisfied with being just “anti-racist” or “anti-sexist.” It is committed to examining all of its activities for their impact on all members’ ability to participate in and contribute to the growth and success of the organization.

The Redefining Organization begins to question the limitations of the cultural perspective as it is manifest in its mission, structure, management, technology, psycho-social dynamics, and product or service. It seeks to explore the significance and potential benefits of a diverse multicultural workforce. This organization actively engages in visioning, planning, and problem-solving activities directed toward the realization of a multicultural organization.

The Redefining Organization is committed to developing and implementing policies and practices that distribute power among all of the diverse groups in the organization. The redefining organization searches for alternative modes of organizing that guarantee the inclusion, participation, and empowerment of all its members.

Stage Six: The Multicultural Organization

The Multicultural Organization reflects the contributions and interests of diverse cultural and social groups in its mission, operations, and product or service; it acts on a commitment to eradicate social oppression in all forms within the organization; the multicultural organization includes the members of diverse cultural and social groups as full participants, especially in decisions that shape the organization; and it follows through on broader external social responsibilities, including support of efforts to eliminate all forms of social oppression and to educate others in multicultural perspectives.

Organizational Behavior – A Multidisciplinary Approach

Study of organizational behavior cannot be undertaken in single discipline, it is necessary to provide multidisciplinary, behavioral science perspective to it. Although there are areas of overlap among the various social sciences, their sub-divisions and related disciplines such as economics and political science, the study of behavior can be viewed in terms of three main disciplines – psychology, sociology and anthropology. All three disciplines have made an important contribution to the field of organizational behavior.

Psychologists are concerned, broadly speaking, with the study of human behavior, with traits of the individual and membership of small social groups. The main focus of attention is on the individual as a whole person, or what can be termed the ‘personality system’, including, for example, perception, attitudes and motives.

Sociologists are more concerned with the study of social behavior, relationships among social groups and societies, and the maintenance of order. The main focus of attention is on the analysis of social structures and positions in those structures – for example, the relationship between the behavior of leaders and followers.

Anthropologists are more concerned with the science of humankind and the study of human behavior as a whole. As far as organizational behavior is concerned the main focus of attention is on the cultural system, the beliefs, customs, ideas and values within a group or society, and the comparison of behavior among different cultures – for example, the importance to Muslim women of wearing trousers to work. People learn to depend on their culture to give them security and stability and they can suffer adverse reactions to unfamiliar environments.

The contribution of relevant aspects of psychology, sociology and anthropology underpins the field of organizational behavior. Behavioral science attempts to structure organizations in order to secure the optimum working environment. It is concerned with reconciling the needs of the organization for the contribution of maximum productivity, with the needs of individuals and the realization of their potential. In terms of the applications of behavioral science to the management of people, we need also to consider the relevance and applications of philosophy, ethics and the law.


Management and Organizational Behavior – by Mullins