Individual & Group Behavior - Introduction

Organizational behavior is the study of both group and individual performance and action within an enterprise. This field of study scans human behavior in the working atmosphere.

It determines its effect on job structure, performance, communication, motivation, leadership, decision making abilities etc. The way an individual behaves and behavior as a group have two perspectives − internal and external.

Behavior Analysis at Different Levels

Behavior as an individual or in a group is always analyzed by everyone in the organization. It is analyzed at three different levels −

  • Individual level of analysis
  • Group level of analysis
  • Organizational level of analysis

Individual Level of Analysis

Organizational behavior, at this level of analysis massively draws upon psychology, engineering, and medicine. At the individual level of analysis, organizational behavior includes the study of learning, perception, creativity, motivation, and personality.

In addition, it also includes the study of turnover, task performance and evaluation, coordinated behavior, deviant work behavior, ethics, and cognition.

For example − Ram joins a company as an intern and is very open to learning new things but as time passes and he gets promoted his attitude towards his interns becomes rude. This is a fine example of individual level of analysis.

Group Level of Analysis

Organizational behavior, at this level of analysis, draws upon the sociological and socio-psychological discipline. At the group level of analysis, organizational behavior includes the study of group gesture, intra-group and intergroup dispute and attachment.

It is further extended to the study of leadership, power, norms, interpersonal communication, networks, and roles.

An example of this level of analysis − Board of directors of company X decide to give bonus to their workers as they have really worked hard on a certain project.

Organizational Level of Analysis

Organizational behavior, at this level of analysis draws upon sociology and political science. At this level of analysis, organizational behavior includes the study of organizational culture, structure, cultural diversity, inter-organizational cooperation and coordination.

It further includes the study of dispute, change, technology, and external environmental forces. Some other fields of study that adds to the interest of organizational behavior are ergonomics, statistics, and psychometrics.

To have a clear understanding on the topic and avoid any kind of confusion let’s look at an example at different levels and try to analyze it.

Rohit is interested in becoming a singer as he is interested in music and feels he can do better in this field. While his parents force him to pursue his job as a software engineer, as according to his father’s perception a software job pays well and is far better than struggling to become a singer.

In this case, we see Rohit and his father have a clash of opinions, hence this is a case of individual level of analysis.

Extending this example further, if Rohit seeks help from his friends on this matter his friends will support him as they have the same mindset support the idea of following their own dreams, struggling and achieving their goal. Meanwhile Rohit’s father’s friend circle might find the idea of pursuing singing as a career insane and support his father’s decision of opting for a software.

Here we see two different groups of people with contradicting ideologies, this becomes a case of group level of analysis.

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