Organizational Behavior: Emotions, Moods and the Group

Introduction

Organizational behavior refers to the knowledge of how individuals or groups act through a system approach. It comprises of the relationship between people in terms of individuals, a small group and the whole organization with an intention of building a better relationship. A positive group behavior aims at achieving member’s objectives as well as those of the organization. It is a field that deals with human behavior, teams, change and leadership in both formal and informal organizations along with the social surroundings which dictates the degree and extent of motivation.

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Concept of emotions in organizational behavior

Emotions comprise of experiences of pain, joy or anger and form a central component in determining the reactions of a human being when subjected to various types of stimuli. Physiological, social and even cognitive processes can be affected either directly or indirectly by emotional changes. For these reasons, organizations try to change organizational practices and task designs towards increasing positive emotions and minimizing the negative emotions so as to increase the welfare of the members.

Emotions influence the behavior of an organization in various ways. For example, they form an interface mediating between environmental and behavioral output and ensure all central needs of social systems are met. Emotional interface allows flexibility for a person to adjust to differences in the environment. When emotions prepare an appropriate action, this is not followed by immediate release of actions but rather delays and therefore there is a latency time through which additional details are processed allowing for an alternative response. This delay enables one to have a continuous evaluation which is important in that, it takes into consideration of reaction of other individuals. (Fredrickson, 1998 pp23-26)

The theory of emotion also recognizes linkage between specific behavior and specific emotions. If the emotions are positive, they are linked with slower and highly variable responses while if they are negative they are linked with faster and less variable responses. Strong negative emotions produce behaviors whose guidance is minimal because there is very little time for the cognitive process to take place. It is therefore important in an organization to emphasis the regulation of strong emotions that are negative.

Positive emotions on the other hand do not attract much attention because they are not associated with problems that require solutions. They are however important in ensuring effective operation of organizations especially if they are not intensely positive as this may cause a psychic cost. Emotions are also very much related to motivation in helping an individual to shape his goals and maintain persistent effort through the obstacles in situations where there exists differences in tendencies to emotions. An event like downsizing can cause an emotional reaction which would weaken commitment of individuals toward desired goals and therefore adversely affect job performance. (Bradley, 1990 pp18-21)

Concept of moods in organizational behavior

When organizational members are in a more positive mood there is increased likelihood of them performing specific activities. This makes their affective state more positive increasing their tendency to perform beneficial behaviors. Such behaviors which are socially desirable include helping each other on request or even on voluntary basis. An employee who experiences a positive affect perceives his organization and its members to be more deserving extra assistance. Such a person who is in good moods increases his will to perform good behavior in effort to extend his positive feeling. (Bower, 1981 pp13-16)

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In Asia for example, companies operate under labor market that are very tight and this influences organization citizenship behavior. Singapore is one such case which suffers an acute labor shortage at every sector coupled with low rates of unemployment that ranges between 1.6 to 2.6 percent. Under such conditions, there is always increased external mobility which creates dissatisfaction as employees are not wiling to stick to the same job.

Such workers know it is very easy to get a replacement job which requires less role behaviors. They are therefore always dissatisfied with their jobs and hence less motivated to exercise citizenship behavior in their organization. This occurs in situations where the number of jobs exceeds the supply of employees. Such companies with little control over economic influences on their employees try to design some influence over their employees to trigger their positive moods.

The state of mood in an individual is by nature transitory. Its relative duration is also short-term and tends to be influenced by mundane occurrences. The challenge in studying the effect of mood to an employee arises from the difficulty in ascertaining the employees’ mood and therefore a thorough research requires to be done. The mood of an employee can easily be influenced positively by controlling factors like the tasks assigned and providing a supportive environment to states that are more pleasant.

If an organization is concerned with the moods of an employee, the benefits are automatic because such an employee becomes a good corporate and contribute to a desirable action in the organization. This is only achieved if the employees are provided with a pleasant atmosphere.(Gardner, 1985 pp14-17)

Concept of team learning in organizational behavior

Team learning refers to an adaptation that focuses to provide solutions in an organization by initiating an approach open to questioning. The world of business is changing at such a high rate that makes it difficult for the solution of problems in an organization to be obtained from books or in expert’s mind. Fast solutions can easily be found from team members in an organization through team learning by identifying key questions that need address.

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The members then try to find solutions using the available resources by trial and error method. Teams which are self-managed provide potential in downsizing organization and the opportunity to improve productivity. Such a team requires development of a lifelong culture of team learning. Team learning as a concept comprise of four major components. They include questioning, diversity in valuing, and process of communication as well as review of learning.

An organization differentiate between a high performing team and one that is low performing by focusing on success factors when faced with a project that is new or a problem. A team has a role in advising by gathering information and making a report as well as innovating through creation of ideas and then experimenting to find out if they are workable. A team makes promotions by exploring opportunities.

It presents them to the members and also assesses and test new approaches for applicability. Team learning requires an organization so as to establish ways of working out things and deliver the outputs. It makes inspection by controlling the system to see if it is working and provides maintenance to safeguard the process. It makes proper linking through integration of the members work. (Meyer, 2004 pp25-27)

Team-learning ensures that problems are viewed from different opinions so as to come up with the most workable solutions. This creates diversity in the organization behavior preventing the occurrence of group think for better results. However, the negative influence of team-learning in an organization arise from the fact that disagreement is likely to occur creating conflict and therefore only learning teams that are committed use diversity in a positive way.

Team-learning promotes communication between its members as this is essential process that creates togetherness. Communication is done through discussion to diagnose the cause of the problem and this helps the organization to address the actual problem they have rather than what they think they have. The negative influence in discussion is that sometimes it can be long and complex and therefore the team can easily lose track.

This means the team has to summarize to give everyone equal understanding. The concept of team-learning influences group behavior positively in that, it encourages feedback during the learning review. Learning review summarizes every process carried out by the members to find out if there was good communication and value diversity. Every member gets a chance to review all that went on in case there was a conflict during the meetings. Without team-learning in an organization, the potential of an organization can therefore never be realized. (Kling, 2000 pp13-16)

Concept of group dynamics in organizational behavior

Group dynamics in an organization refers to the study of group processes. A group comprises of two or more employees who work together connected by duty relationship. Various dynamic processes develop when employees interact and cause influence to each other. A group dynamic forms process that is different from individuals who are collected at random. Such processes include relations, norms, development and social influence all of which affect behavior among the employees.

This field is usually concerned with behavior of small groups which can be aggregate, secondary, primary and category groups. When employees work under group dynamics, they relate in perspective that comprises of three dimensions. These are inclusion, control of the duty processes and affection.(Postmes, 2001 pp33-35)

Every group in an organization tries to resolve every issue in all the above stages one at a time before proceeding to the next. The converse of these processes also applies when a group cannot resolve in a particular stage, an outstanding issue. Decision making in a group dynamic makes employees to pretend getting along with each other, a stage which is known as forming. Employees work on the issues and keep down the politeness even if their tempers flare up.

Group dynamics encourages an individual in an organization in getting used to his colleagues and therefore develop trust which increases productivity. It encourages members to perform towards a common goal and on a cooperative basis. If there are mistrust within a group the organization may never develop the required norms. Group dynamics bring about group therapy in an organization an approach that members can use in aiding their cause.(Mullen,1994 pp24-27)

Conclusion

Organizational behavior is a complex human relationship that interacts in various ways. How a member behavior can have a direct or an indirect impact on other member’s behavior. The interaction of members in an organization has no exact boundaries and involves exchange of goods, culture and ideas with the surrounding environment. Emotions, moods, team-learning and group dynamics therefore influence human behavior although these may not enter into the conscious thought of the concerned members in the organization.

References

Emotions

Fredrickson B. (1998): what good are positive emotions: review of general psychology, pp. 23-26.

Bradley M. (1990): Emotion, attention and startle reflex: psychological review, pp. 18-21.

Moods

Bower G. (1981): mood and memory: American Psychologist, pp. 13-16.

Gardner M. (1985): Affective service display and customer mood: journal of consumer research, pp. 14-17.

Team learning

Meyer J. (2004): employee commitment and motivation: Journal of applied psychology, pp. 25-27.

Kling R. (2000): learning about information technology and social change: the information society, pp. 13-16.

Group dynamics

Mullen B. (1994): the relationship between group cohesiveness and performance: psychological bulletin, pp. 24-27.

Postmes T. (2001): Quality of decision making and group norms: journal of personality and social psychology, pp. 33-35.

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