Organisational Behavior

Most of us are born in an organisation (A Maternity Home). After early childhood, we enter our educational phase and pass through several organisations (Playschool, primary and high schools, and college). We then enter a professional phase, another set of organisations- employing organisations. In short our lives are knotted with life in organisations. 50% of our wakeful life is spent in organisations. This means that we live in, live through and live for organisations during most of our wakeful life. Organisations thus form an important part of our daily existence. This importance can be seen through our interactions. On the one hand we try to influence the organisations; on the other hand we are also influenced by organisations so much so that at times we lose our identity. We are known by our behavior- which is often a result of our being a member of an organisation- as an IITian , a bureaucrat, a business man, a policeman etc. For examples, ex-defense employees continue to walk straight and keep their hair short.  A bank employee counts the cash that he receives even though he happens to be outside the bank environment. A police man rarely shakes hands while bidding good-bye; instead, he salutes.

An exciting dimension of behaviour , be it of individuals or organisations, is their ability to learn and even unlearn. This is because behavior can be modified to a very large degree. Consider the case of Air India before and after the entry of private airline operators. Several travelers now feel that there is an appreciable change in the way AI staff respond to and deal with passengers. Though behavior is modifiable, every aspect of it is not changeable. For example imagine that you are meeting an ex- colleague or a friend after a long time, you may notice some changes in his behaviour, and he may display some degree of sophistication in communication. However he would retain some of his early behavioral patterns like show of warmth and affection.

Organisational behavior is as complex and elusive as human themselves. We are all social animals and need to follow social rules and etiquettes because the world itself is an organisation! Universe is a cosmos and not a chaos. There exists a mental affinity; a scientific law; a rhythm of mental relationship in which the entire living world is held together, in one web of love. Today’s youth needs to develop himself/herself as an universal person to attain a holistic personality, where there is appreciation for all ways of life and culture.

“When man learns to understand and control his own behavior as well as he is learning to understand and control the behavior of plants and animals, he may be justified in believing that he has become civilised.”- E C Stakman


 Vilasini Udaybhaskar Nair