Organisational Behaviour - Question and proposed answers

Author: Saron S Singh, Director External Relations - Debt Recovery and Administrative Services Limited (DR&ASL)
Posted: January 10th, 2020

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Author: Saron S Singh
Organisation: Debt Recovery and Administrative Services Limited – DR&ASL
Job Title: Director External Relations
Country: Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada (DR&ASL located in the Caribbean)

Organizational behaviour in the workplace represents how employees interact with each other in the given environment. Person-job fit does not mean person-organization fit and hygiene and motivation factors are in different context to the Two-Factor Theory.


  • What is person-job fit and how is it different from person-organisation fit? Why might managers today pay more attention to person-organisation fit than to person-job fit?

Organisational behaviour (OB) is the study of a social unit called an organisation and how behaviours impact on the social unit geared towards achieving a common aim or goal. The study of OB is rooted in psychology, social psychology, sociology and anthropology as these areas deals with theories or OB practices that relate to organisational growth and development. Psychology deals with the various personality studies that determine person-job fit and person-organisation fit. Theories on personality such as Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the big five, Mc Celland’s and Hofstede’s have all made their mark in the psychological study of the personality. It can be considered that person-job fit and person-organisation fit do correlate. As correlation deals with the study of change in one independent variable affecting the dependent various. In addition, it can be hypothesized that the cause of person-job fit effects person-organisation fit. First, we discuss the difference of both cause and effect and why managers pay more attention to one rather than the other.

Person-job fit has a lot to do with the personality of an individual alignment with the job specifications and requirements, but more so characteristics. A job description will state what the requirements and specifications of a job are, but the person’s characteristics and traits are relevant. Assessment blended with the job description requirements creates a person-job fit which is essential to the goal achievement of the departmental goals set by Management in the organisation. Person-organisation fit holds a wider scope than person-job fit as the organisation-fit deals with the wider organisational culture, structure, workflow, recognition and socialization. In many organisations today managers look for in staff members or employees first a person-job fit (micro) and then a person-organisation fit (macro). Or overtly, initially many managers indicate or gather that once there is no person-organisation fit then how useful is person-job fit.

Altogether, the personality assessment is the primary indicator concerning both person job and organisation fit actuality. The MBTI considers extroverted to introverted that is a highly out going as oppose to a more internalized individual. The big five consciousness is the most sort after personality characteristics as a conscious person is an aware employee that seeks out achievement. Mc Cellands need theory is very effective but categorized as expensive to implement but Hofstede’s realistic, intuitive and social relates to the MBTI and big five extroverted and conscientious. That are together the most desired traits in an employee who would seek to achieve organisational goals by the goal setting theory combined with organisational tough task, objectives and aims in the form of a goal(s). These personality types are considered as a worthy challenge that employees pursue to attain both or either intrinsic or extrinsic motivations. A person-job fit does correlate with a person-organisation fit as one can be considered as a cause of and effects another. Though this can be debated or disproven as job fit is more job description based and an organisation fit is rather culturally or socially connected. The person job-fit can be based on technical and conceptual skills, but the organisation fit is more human skills based. Consider an Accountant that has the technical skills to do the metrics of the job along with the conceptual skills to carefully analyze and apply the technical aspects of the job. However, is weak in the area of socially appealing to or translating the technical and conceptual areas of the job. This means that the person job and organisation fit does not correlate. As the Accountant fits the job description requirements but fails in the wider scope of the organisational or cultural or socio-cultural fit. The Accountant is poor at relating with – socializing and fitting into or blending with the cultural aspects of the organisation.

This is why many managers put human skills – person organisation fit over person-job fit. As an organisational scope would be greater appreciated than a job fit. The wider organisation may not necessarily require the Accountant to be highly technical or conceptual as the job description does but would involve a more sociable, extroverted and conscientious individual. This job and organisation fits to be achieved is a very delicate balance that many employees try to attain that is highly sort after. This is why, the person-organisation fit is therefore, and in many cases firstly required as oppose to the job fit. As an ideal employee would embody the broad vision and mission of the employer company which would then create an easier mold for a person-job fit. In today’s diverse work force a person-organisation fit is the first objective. Diversity is more common in the workplace that ever especially in franchises and multinational companies. Persons of varied races, nationalities, backgrounds and social structures have to work within the organisation to achieve its goals. This brings to the fore front workflow, processes and recognition as these areas all have relevance in the organisation as a whole. Workflow ensures that within the organisational structure there is chain of command from one sector to another along with processes that highlight task performance with need recognition. Suffice to state that if there is not proper organisation fit (group or rather teams) and job fit (individual) then the workflow and processes can be hampered. Therefore, managers today seeking out organisation over job fit clearly shows a needed for organisation first over the individual or person goals or aims. Interpersonal relationships in the workplace are very much desired within every department that is to have a work-related proper communication and organisational overview of all individuals within any organisation.

Therefore, person-job fit is not as demanded as person-organisation as the sum is greater than the parts. Considering socialization, culture, diversity, workflow and processes including recognition. Managers today are thinking in a more organisational setting that is team-oriented task that require not only a technical or conceptual individual. Rather, one that possesses human skills that can according to the personality assessments such as the MBTI, Big five and Hofstede’s select or choose a person that is more extroverted, conscientious and social as versus and individual. That is purely metrics and analysis. As the workplace becomes increasingly diverse, we must think organisation first in the context of personality traits that foster task performance in all aims, objectives and goals achievement.

  • Differentiate motivators from hygiene factors. According to the Two-Factor Theory, how might a manager motivate employee?

Organisational behaviour (OB) heavily focuses on the area of motivation as this is a main study of the behaviour of individuals in an organisation and how well they perform task set by Managers. Sociology or social psychology deals the various teams or groups within the organisation and the effectiveness or cohesion of individuals within a social unit geared towards achievement of organisational goals. Motivators can be both intrinsic and extrinsic along with hygiene factors such as company policy, administration, supervision and salary. The two factor or motivation hygiene factors deal with satisfaction and dissatisfaction of employees based on internal or external reasons. Motivation is a very wide topic area, but its importance is key in the task performance of any group, team or organisation. Manager’s motivating employees to collectively or individual execute the broad mission and vision of their organisation is important to the functionality of any organisation. The factors that motivate or demotivate can either hinder or advance productivity and profitability in an organisation as a whole globally. Motivators are primarily intrinsic than extrinsic the hygiene factors and two factor theory hold the same concepts. In Abraham Maslow’s highly studied hierarchy of needs first places motivation emphasis on external factors. That is physiological needs which is food, clothing and shelter this is considered extrinsic factors. Motivators such as customer satisfaction, recognition, job engagement and promotion are all intrinsic. Whereas, hygiene factors like salary, supervision and company policy are all extrinsic. Take into consideration customer satisfaction is achieved when a customer positively responds to a sale or promotion of a company. Customer satisfaction can be expressed through a feedback form that states your staff member was very helpful. Which is intrinsic satisfaction as from a salary increase that is a hygiene factor which is extrinsic. In Douglas Mc Gregory’s X and Y theory X is a dissatisfied employee and Y is a satisfied employee. X is on the lower order of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Y is on the higher order of the needs theory. Intrinsic motivators are also part of the expectancy theory as an employee expects promotion, customer satisfaction and recognition he or she will do the task that will result in these expectants being achieved. Recognition is longer term and reward in short term, therefore employee recognition in the form of employee of the month, most improved or best all-round performer are all lasting motivators for employees. Whilst a salary increase is a reward that is considered a short-term fix as a form of satisfaction and motivation. Managers then, must translate recognition in the form of rewards that will make a lasting impression on employees. This can be done through Variable pay system such as gainsharing, EPOS, piece rate and productivity rewards. Through making the employee affectively connect with being a part of the organisation (person organisation fit) can motivate employees.

Employee motivation must thus first be intrinsic then extrinsic or a careful balance of the both. Mc Gregory’s X theory states that employees do not like to work and must be coerced. Thus, how does it shift to Y theory which is an employee that likes to work and is not coerced. Motivation by Maslow’s lower order first physiological needs, safety, social and then higher order self-actualization. The higher order needs are intrinsic and the lower are extrinsic Maslow states that physical needs first and psychological needs after. Mc Gregory altogether Y theory employee is intrinsically satisfied first and extrinsic after. This should be the way in which Managers motivate their employees, recognition first and reward after. A self-actualized person is validated by the person around them as having achieved psychological balance. Thus, a dissatisfied employee is not necessarily salary based but rather socially or psychologically lacking the needed motivation. Manager’s today are presented with a diverse work force so they are left with the task of understanding each as an individual and then a department.

In a collective society like China, team efforts are highly sought after as opposed to a society like the USA that puts individual first. Motivation can set the tone of a team to either positive or negative that can result in achievement or non - achievement of a manager assigned difficult task. Motivation is based on persistence and effort a motivated team or individual must have a can-do attitude as oppose to cannot. Selfefficacy by Bandura does play a major role in first believing that you can accomplish a task. Self-determination that is the Cognitive Evaluation theory supports self-efficacy and more so deals with doing a task because you enjoy it or are being paid for it is very essential. In determining turnover, task performance and profitability take into consideration a volunteer at an animal shelter who is motivated in giving an eight-hour day. To take care of shelter animal who is now an employee being paid to work an eight-hour day that moves from motivated to demotivated.

The correlation between salary and satisfaction as touched on previously must be done carefully. As it does exist, however as stated in the form of employee shares in an organisation that motivates the employee who feels apart of the company. Rather, than a mere pay increase that or shift in the case of the shelter volunteer than became demotivated as an employee who was a motivated volunteer. The balance between extrinsic and intrinsic rewards are real and must be practiced in a manner. That will not deter or demotivate employees for completing task that initially was challenging and new but may have become normal and mundane. Motivation is important in the workplace as a motivated organisation is highly productive when compared with a demotivated. Dissatisfaction can create neglect of an organisation followed by a soon exit. Managers can motivate through recognition balanced with deserved rewards as they are the driving force behind an organisation strides to accomplish its goals and aims. Motivation according to Maslow and Mc Gregory are higher and lower order of Y and X theory. It is essential that motivation be first intrinsic and then extrinsic that is to be an employee of the month and becomes gain shares or profits for their persistent efforts.

One cannot use mere rewards that are short term motivators but recognition that is longer term in effect. Self-actualization is a higher order need that correlates with self-efficacy, self-determination through cognitive evaluation theory. Managers today must motivate its employees. To achieve the company vision and mission through difficult task that are challenging and new. In either teams or as individuals especially in cultures that are collective or individualistic where recognition and rewards are seen in shifting contexts.