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ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

FINAL LEARNING DIARY

AKUA SERWAA ANSAH MIB31 GROUP A

COMPLETENESS AND TRANSFER Leadership From what I learnt in class, leadership is the process of a figure having influence on a group of people or an organization as a whole. This figure bears the title of a leader and directs his followers toward a common goal by setting an example and creating an environment in which the team members feel actively involved in the entire process. Leadership can be seen from theoretical approaches which include the trait approach, the behavioral approach and the contingency approach, which I found the most interesting. The trait theories of leadership indicate that there are some people who inherit certain traits like ambition, which naturally define them as leaders. As such leaders are born and not made. However one of the difficulties of this theory is the ability to answer why some people possess some of these traits and qualities but are not leadership material. The behavioral theories according to what I understood, is founded on the belief that leaders are made and not born. Therefore there is much more focus on the behaviors that define a leader rather than the mental qualities that they posses. Therefore people can learn to become leaders by picking up and improving those behaviors. The contingency theory is based more on environmental variable which determines the appropriate style of leadership to be applied. Therefore this theory summarizes that leadership success depends on the environment, the leadership style and the type of followers and the circumstances at hand. I understood that no leadership style is the best in all situations. I can relate to this as I had the opportunity to lead a team in my former internship. I did my best to allow my members to have the opportunity to participate fully in the task we were supposed to accomplish. In order for them to benefit from the experience I would delegate responsibilities for them to handle on their own. Initially my trust in their performance was low since they were beginners. For that situation my approach included more guidance and less autonomy. From my experience I will not say I was born a leader. Most of these traits were learnt along the way to enable me manage my team effectively. Motivation Another interesting topic studied during the course was motivation. This was explained as the process that initiates, guides and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. In my own words I understood motivation to be a way of encouraging individuals to exhibit desired behaviors or actions which are requisite to achieving a certain goal. In an organization this factor is very important since there is the need to sustain a level of commitment in an individual towards their job or responsibilities and reinforce their skills. This tends to have

an impact on the performance of the employees. The key elements of motivation are intensity, direction and persistence. Among the theories established by Douglas McGregor in my opinion I believe that theory Y is correct: The assumption that employees like work, are creative, seek responsibility and can exercise selfdirection. They however need to be guided to be able to carry out all these traits. This guidance have been explained in a number of theories, goal setting theory is said to be very essential to performance thus defining goals and delivering appropriate feedback enhances the performance of employees. The expectancy theory is said to be based on the fact that employee motivation is an outcome of how much an individual wants to be rewarded, the assessment that the action will lead to the expected performance and the belief that the performance will lead to a reward. Employers and managers therefore need to adopt various strategies to motivate workers. In my personal experience, I can identify my source of motivation as being rewarded with appreciation verbally and being involved in more work. I will not deny the fact that monetary reward is a necessity. But for me that will come anyways so the additional factor that would motivate me to work harder is when I am commended and given more challenging responsibilities. This made me feel that my efforts were appreciated and beneficial to my superiors enough for them to seek my participation in subsequent assignments. Team dynamics A team is a number of people with skills which are aimed towards a common purpose or goal. Our lesson identified many types of groups of which the formal group will be relevant for the context of an organization. They usually have designated work assignments and established tasks that they need to accomplish in order for the team as a whole to accomplish its goal. All teams have norms that they abide by which range from performance norms to appearance norms to social arrangement norms. Group members are required to conform to these norms in order to be accepted as members of the group. The issue of social loafing is an interesting subject on the fact that individuals tend to work less when in groups than when working as individuals. Teams are governed by external influences which they have to abide by. I have had to work in teams for organizing or serving on working groups. Most of the time the work was divided among the team members to speed up the process. From this I learnt to respect the views of every member even if I felt they were irrelevant. Conflict From our lessons conflict is a disagreement over issues of substance, and emotional antagonisms that cause frictions between individuals and groups. Some of the causes of conflicts in an organization include communication or miscommunication, and structural variables which include competition for limited

resources, power struggles and office politics and then conflict in teams which results from differences in ideologies and individual goals. The views about conflict have evolved over the years as the traditional view sees conflict as something that is to be avoided because of its harmful effects. The human relations view is more objective and sees conflict as inevitable in groups. The interactionist view also believes that conflict is a positive force in a group and necessary for the group to perform effectively. I believe that conflict is inevitable therefore there is the need to properly manage in order to reap benefits. My approach is to deal with conflicts immediately, than drag them. I had disagreements with a colleague who I saw to be bossy and liked to give unnecessary instructions even though it was not in his place to do so. We therefore had a few altercations but did not let it manifest into anything serious by being open about our dislikes. It is best to deal with a conflict immediately before it runs out of control.

DEVELOPMENT The topics that were covered for various areas of organizational behavior tend to have numerous links. In my view leadership and motivation go together. This view is supported in the article by Daniel Coleman Leadership gets results. One of the main roles of a leader exuded in this text is how leaders motivate their members to guide them to achieve the goals of the group. In order for a leader to reach a high level of leadership there needs to be a great sense of self motivation and motivation for his followers. This tends to be quite complicated as one of the main difficulties leaders face is the ability to get their followers to be passionate about the goals that they are set out to achieve. How can a leader successfully portray their vision into the minds of others? The response to this seems to be intertwined in the various leadership styles used to manage organizations. The leadership styles can be applied in many ways however according to the article only four out of the six have a positive effect on the subjects. The ability to exert the right leadership style in the right circumstances has a corresponding effect on the team. For example leadership which involves minimum supervision tends to trigger the creativity of the members and enables their self motivation. This will make the workers more diligent and drive them to find different solutions to increase productivity. Another link that can be established is between individual values and group behavior. Individuals who form part of a team come with their different attitudes and personalities which make them unique. These can be positive or negative depending on the circumstances or the work at hand. The various attitudes can be complementary and move the group ahead at the same time it can retard group progress when differing values and beliefs clash, and make it difficult for team members to understand each other. The environment surrounding the team also plays a role in affecting the individuals behavior as much as the individual affects

the team, because behavior can be shaped through learning. Therefore individual values and teams must be managed in a way for them to complement each other for the success of the group, by proper application of positive reinforcements, negative reinforcements and the required punishments. The inability for members to properly manage their differing attitudes can be illustrated in a personal experience with a team member who, a night before a presentation had modified all the slides because in her opinion the information on the previous slides were not good enough. Her new ideas were not bad however all this could have been avoided if she had shared it with the team for us to work on our individual parts ourselves. This affected our final grade for the project. I will also talk about the link between leadership and organizational change. I believe that leadership has a very essential role to play in organizational change. As leaders are meant to possess the knowledge and skills to tackle goal oriented tasks one must know that to be an effective leadership change is bound to be implemented. The ability for a leader to effectively manage this change will depend on the leadership approaches used in properly communicating and implementing this change. For example a leader who encourages participation will be able involve others in the change process to be able to reduce the amount of resistance that he faces. As a successful leader is required to possess the qualities of being able to identify him with the needs of others, this should be taken into consideration when planning the targets to be able to put in place the required training for the others to easily accustom themselves to the change.

REFLEXIVITY I developed a keen interest for the concepts during the course because I viewed them as very essential for the success of an organization. Class discussions and explanations given in class gave me a deeper understanding of the concepts discussed above and how they could be effectively applied by managers when managing an organization. To support this, the case studies that were discussed and worked on in class gave me practical understanding on how some of these concepts could be applied in real life situations and how to solve issues. For example the case on Bobs meltdown gave me the opportunity to think about how conflicts develop among employees and how they can be fuelled by wrong approaches. The inclusion of the different perspectives of other individuals showed the importance of digging deeper into the source of the conflict to be able to tackle it from its roots. The point of view of others revealed that Bob had a history with bad attitude towards other employees although he was a very dedicated worker. This contributed to the solution and showed how to manage problem employees who at the same time seems to be an asset to the organization.

Also result-oriented approaches must be taken carefully when changing behavior in an employee to avoid demotivating the individual or undermining the authority he possesses in the organization. It was also interesting to work on some of the assignments as teams. Team work was helpful considering the load of work and limited time. My team usually divided into smaller groups and worked on different questions. We would then review the various parts as a team to make corrections. Being in a team therefore reduced the workload and facilitated the process and the various ideas and skills coming from different people enriched the assignments for the module. In conclusion I would advice that one of the key elements in an organization is leadership. Mangers should apply the appropriate leadership styles that fit both the organization and its goals. whatever is applied from the start point will have a ripple effect on other areas be it team management, how to motivate employees or how to effect organizational change. It will also be essential for every manager to have training and in depth knowledge about organizational behavior to ensure effective management.