Organizational behavior

Exactly what is an organization? It is a building? A collection of machinery? A legal document containing a statement of incorporation? It is hardly likely to be any of these by itself. Rather, to describe an organization requires the consideration of a number of properties it possesses, thus gradually making clear, or at least clearer, that it is.

The purposes of the organization, whether it is formal or informal, are accomplished by a collection of members whose efforts or behavior are so directed that they become coordinated and integrated in order to attain sub-goals and objectives.

Perception and behavior

All of us at some point or another have had the experience of watching another person do something or behave in a certain way, saying to ourselves, "She acts as if she thought, ... " and then filling in some supposition about the way the other person looked at things.

Simple as the statement "She acts as if she thought ... " may be, it illustrates two important points.

First, what the person thinks she sees may not actually exist.

The second point is that people act on the basis of what they see.

In understanding behavior, we must recognize that facts people do not perceive as meaningful usually will not influence their behavior, whereas the things they believe to be real, even though factually incorrect or nonexistent, will influence it.

Organizations are intended to bring about integrated behavior. Similar, or at least compatible, perceptions on the part of organizational members are therefore a matter of prime consideration.