ORGANIZATION BEHAVIOR AND A RECENT NEWS EVENT 8
Organization behavior encompasses study ofhuman behavior at both an individual and group level and the impactit has on the organizational systems. Organization behavior mainfocus is the behavior and attitudes of employees in a firm and howthis affects their productivity. This systematic study of employeesthrough such a mechanism helps to improve efficiency, commitment andjob satisfaction as well as reduce absenteeism and turnover ofemployees. Organization behavior is related but differs fromorganizational theory in that it is more micro oriented with emphasison individual and groups. Organization theory is macro-orientedfocusing on the organization and business environment in general.
Human resource management is a key area whereorganizational behavior studies are inherent because of the constantlinkage with employees through hiring, promotions, appraisals, firingand retrenchment. The rigor of organizational behavior is based onconsistencies in behavior and how this can be used to predictemployee attitudes and aspirations (Robbins & Judge, 2014).It also encompasses systemic and scientific evidence-based studiesthat go beyond mere common sense with considerations of contingencyplans. The systematic studies usually seek for causal-effectrelationships and drawing conclusions based on the evidence present.This is due to the fact that employee’s behavior is predictable andthere exists inbuilt differences between people as there areconsistencies amongst them (Robbins & Judge, 2014).Other disciplines contributing to organization behavior includesociology and psychology.
Critiquing a Current Event in the news from OBPerspective
One of the cases experienced in the recent pastwhich could benefit from organization behavior is the story in theNew York Times. The article was published on racism published on 10thOctober 2016 by Colin Moynihanoct, where ten civilian black employeeshad filed a law suit against New York City Fire Department(Moynihanoct, 2016). The ten black employees working for the city’sfire department complained of continuous, systematic and intentionaldiscrimination. The employees complained of denied promotions and payrises over the years whereas their white counterparts were constantlypromoted and got salary increments.
The ten employees filed a law suit with theEqual Employment Opportunity Commission in the month of August, 2016against the fire department through their lawyer Greg Smith. The lawsuit became public on 12thOctober 2016 when the employees and their lawyer held a pressconference outside the New York City Hall (Moynihanoct, 2016). Theemployees want the City’s fire department to be accountable for thedisparate treatment it has extended to them. They also want thedepartment to change the racist culture embraced by many of its topofficials.
The fire department officials have responded bysaying that the matter will be taken seriously under the leadershipof the commissioner Daniel Nigro. The spokesman also retaliated bysaying that the commissioner had introduced and implemented variouspolicies to increase diversity and fairness in the department overthe previous three years (Moynihanoct, 2016). According to him, thecommissioner had encouraged inclusiveness amongst all the employeeswhether civilians or uniformed.
However, it has become a norm in the firedepartment to discriminate against people of color. For instance,another lawsuit was filed in 2007 by Vulcan Society comprised ofblack firefighters against the biased entry exams which hadpreference for white applicants (Moynihanoct, 2016). The courtawarded more than $100 million dollars in damages to many blackpeople who were discriminated against during these exams.
In the current lawsuit, black civilianemployees receive lower salaries and were often denied promotions orraises even when they retaliated through formal complaints to thecommissioner. These employees are also angry at the continued andwidespread bias and discrimination patterns in the department whichseem to favor the white more than black employees. African Americanemployees are usually harassed and subjected to hostile workingenvironment with more working hours and meager pay.
Some of the examples given in the lawsuitconcerning the payment disparities include, Brandon Mahon a blackcivilian employee who was given the director of youth outreach title,received a pay rise of $48,500 to $56,000 while another whitecolleague in the same job group received an increment of $80,000 from$50,000 (Moynihanoct, 2016). Another Deborah Bowman was denied a payrise of 4% as an administrative manager after approval by thesupervisor while other white managers got the increment.
The law suit also provides another evidence ofdiscrimination whereby a retaliatory mechanism is instituted whenevera black employee files a complaint. For instance, a black employeefiled a complaint against a white colleague and instead of a fairhearing the deputy commissioner promoted the white colleague to asupervisor in a retaliatory response. The lawsuit demands thefollowing changes: desegregation, equitable pay policy, fairpromotions and appraisals and inclusiveness in the department.
There are various benefits of organizationalbehavior studies that can benefit the New York fire department. Thestudies can help in developing personal leadership styles for themanagement which are commensurate with the situational requirementsof the department. For instance, the top officials including thecommissioner can change their leadership styles to become moredemocratic in their dealings. They can improve their communicationskills to be more receptive to employee’s complaints.
The studies can also help in organizationalproblem solving by outlining effective strategies targetingappraisals, promotions, staff-management issues and racial bias. Theten civilian employees were constantly infuriated by the unfairnessand discrimination in payments and promotions. This usually reducestheir motivation at work and ultimately become less effective andless productive. The management should adopt fairness andinclusiveness in their human resource department and ensure equitabledistribution of appraisals for all employees whether black or white.
Organizational behavior can aid in performanceenhancement and designing effective structures for the firm whichpromote diversity and inclusiveness of employees from differentbackgrounds. The studies have a practical application in developingtalents of individuals which is important in survival and progress ofthe firm. The fire department should strive to maintain theprerequisite diversity which shuns segregation and discrimination ofpeople based on their skin color. Most of the time, inherent talentsin each individual can be combined to produce an excellent endresult. Racism and alienation of black employees depresses theirtalents and they cannot perform maximally.
Organizational behavior studies also improvethe performance of the firm due to focus on human element rather thanthe technical aspects thereby putting the firm in a highercompetitive advantage over the others. Compounded by the personalgrowth of individual employees through self-knowledge and insight,the organization is able to derive higher productivity. Everyemployee in the fire department wants to experience personal growthin the long run. Constant harassment and ridicule deters employee’smorale and personal growth. The ten black firefighters weresystematically discriminated in all aspects such that the meager paythey received could never make them progress at work or even sociallyand economically in life.
Organizations like NY Fire Department areconstantly facing many challenges that need to be addressed throughOB. At an individual level there are challenges of job satisfaction,empowerment and ethical behavior. At a group level there are problemsof working together as a unit and diversity in workforce. Employeesin the New York Fire Department are usually seeking job satisfactionin their positions and it is the work of the management to make themhappy and satisfied.
Managers should also strive to empower theiremployees through delegation of duty and level of control of theirwork. This makes them take the prerequisite responsibility over theirroles and decision making. The fire department management should alsoimprove the welfare of the employees through fair and equitablepayments, appraisals, promotions and fair problem solving techniques.
Challenges faced at the organizational levelinclude productivity, absentees, turnover, competition andorganizational citizenship. Such challenges can be solved by buildingon the employee’s loyalty and satisfaction. Managing interpersonalrelationships amongst employees and management can improve efficiencyand productivity. Managing workforce diversity is very important andmanagers should strive to learn the inherent differences in peopleand responding to them appropriately instead of the same blankettreatment of every person.
In conclusion, Organization behavior studiesare aimed at checking employee’s attitudes and aspirations and howthey impact on the firm’s success. Companies should take theinitiative to learn the various characteristics of their employees inorder to deal with them appropriately. Cases of racism, segregation,unfairness and discrimination are very rampant in diversifiedcountries like USA. The isolated case in New York fire department mayreflect the ongoing patterns on many other departments. OrganizationBehavior can help to solve these problems by advocating for equity,fairness and loyalty.
Moynihanoct, C. (2016). 10Black Employees at New York Fire Department Cite Bias.Retrieved from,<http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/13/nyregion/10-black-employees-at-new-york-fire-dept-cite-bias.html?_r=0>October 17, 2016
Robbins, S., & Timothy, J. (2016).Essentials of Organizational Behavior12th Edition, Upper Saddle River,NJ: PearsonEducation, Inc