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Q.2. Write a comprehensive note on Behavioural approach to management.


Explain the significance of the Behavioural approach in management. What are its main features? Discuss.

Behavioural Or Social Science Approach

Historical Perspective
The Behavioral or social science approach developed as a corollary to the human relations approach.
Social scientists and organization theorists are of the opinion that best results can be obtained by building theories of management and organization based on findings of the Behavioural sciences, such as psychology, sociology, psychiatry, economics, cultural anthropology and philosophy.

Behavioural approach reflects the findings of intensive carried out by Behavioural scientists like Chester I Bernard, Douglas McGregor, Chris Argyris, A.H. Maslow, Herzberg, Rensis Likert etc. many of the conclusions of the Hawthorne studies have been reaffirmed by subsequent research studies. Moreover, certain ideas have been refined, extended and these behaviour scientists have highlighted other important ideas. These scientists have tried to eliminate the exaggeration of the importance of informal relations. The focal point of management action is the behaviour of human being in the organization – management as a technical process only, was given up.

Behavioural scientists conduct research to answer the question.

“Why a person or a group of persons behaves or acts in a particular manner? They try in answer in any problems faced by the managers by explaining the behaviour of the people”.

Elements Or Concepts or Features Of Behavioural Approach

The Behavioural approach concerns itself with the social and psychological aspects of human behaviour in organization. The behaviour of members of an organization clearly affects both its structure and its functioning as well as the principles on which it can be managed. Behavioural researches have provided sufficient evidence that human element is the key factor in the success are failure of an organization. In several experiments, it has been observed that people prefer to be consulted rather than receive order or information. Less reliance on the use of authority is preferred.

Some of the more important elements or concepts of Behavioural approach may be outlined as follows:

1. Individual Behaviour
Individual behaviour is closely linked with the behaviour of the group to which he belongs. The group dictates changes in his behaviour. Individuals observe those work standards which are prescribed by the group.

2. Informal Leadership
Informal leadership, rather than formal authority of managers is more important for setting and enforcing group standards of performance. A a leader, a manager may be more effective and acceptable to subordinates, if he adopts the democratic style of leadership.

3. Participation
If the subordinates are encouraged and allowed to participate in establishing goals, there will be positive effect on their attitude towards work. If employees are involved in planning, designing the jobs and decision-making, there will be least resistance to changes effected in technology and work methods.

4. Motivation by Self-Control and Self-Development
Behavioural scientists maintain that by nature most people enjoy work and are motivated by self-control and self-development. Managers should try to identity and provide necessary conditions conducive to the proper and sufficient use of human potential. The managers attitude towards human behaviour should positive. They should know that average man is not lazy by nature. But he is ambition. Every man likes to work and prefers to assume responsibilities. MacGregor maintains that employees favour self-direction and self-control. Behaviouralists believe that in place of the concept of social man the concept of self-actualizing man would be more appropriate to explain human motivations.

Chester I Bernard pointed out that material reward is of crucial signification only upto a definite point. The incentives of status, power, good physical conditions opportunities of participation and good social (i.e., cultural interrelationships) are very important.

5. Informal Organization
Behaviouralists particularly Bernard, consider informer organization as an essential part of the formal organization. Informer organization must always be taken into account while determining managerial behaviour.

6. General Supervision Not Close One
As regards supervision of subordinates, Behaviouralists particularly Likert, are not in favour of close supervision. They advocate general supervision, which tends to be associated with high productivity.

Basic Assumptions (Are Propositions) Of Behavioural Scientists

The Behavioural science approach is based on certain assumptions about man and organization, which my be looked upon as their prepositions (statements of opinion or judgement) also. Those may be outlined as follows

1. Organization is socio-technical system involving people and technology as their primary components.

2. The behaviour of the members of an organization clearly affect both its structure and its functioning, as well as the principles on which it can be managed.

3. Individual’s behaviour is closely linked with a greatly influenced by the behaviour of the group to which he belongs.

4. A wide range of factors influences work and interpersonal behaviour of people in the organization.

5. Congruence (agreement) between organizational goals and individual goals organizations members would be established.

6. Several individual differences in perceptions, aspirations, needs, feelings, abilities and values of people excite in the organization, such difference along with their changing nature over periods of time have to be recognized.

7. Informal leadership rather than the formal authority of supervisors is more important for increase in employee performance.

8. Democratic leadership style and participative managerial style encourage positive attitude of employee towards work and faster’s high moral and initiative among them.

9. By nature most people enjoy work and are motivated by self-direction, self-control and self-development.

10. Conflict in organization may to some extent to inevitable and at times even desirable for development, innovation and creativity in certain cases. Conflicts and cooperation coexist in organizations. Conflicts are not to be suppressed, but are to be resolved and that too not always. Coordinated in vital for achievement of organizational goals.

The above preposition are important elements of Behavioural science thinking. Thus the Behavioural approach represents a significant advance over the human relations approach.

The major areas of research and analysis by the Behavioural scientists are interaction between organizational structure, work performance and employees behaviour, consequences of traditional, coercive controls on humans, influence of technological advances and changes on group behaviour, human needs and aspirations, theories of motivation and leadership, developmental aspects of human resources, organizational behaviour aspects, group dynamics, patterns of communication and their importance in the organization, managerial styles and their impact on employee behaviour, organizational climate, culture and politics, organizational development, change and conflict, organizational rules and status, and so on.

Fahim Patel

By Fahim Patel

Fahim Patel is the Content Manager of guesspapers.net. A graduate from Karachi University, he has intensive experience in content production.