THEORETICAL IMPLICATION OF ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR THEORY Role of OB Theory in Solving an Organizational Problem: Kurt Lewin, one of the famous behavior scientists, once said there is nothing practical as good theory. Any problem, be it organizational or personal, requires certain steps to be followed, a well-constructed organizational behavior theory explores all those steps. Probably, a single theory may not be providing all of these, yet studying a combination of theories on a particular topic can serve the purpose. (Kreitner and Kinicki, 2004)
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An organizational theory not only tells us the factors for a particular problem, it also provides the inter-relation of the two. When a manager knows the possible factors of a certain problem, he is in a better situation to deal with it, since he knows where to start from and when he knows that how the factors are inter-related, it helps the manager to deal the matter more cautiously. He would be aware of the fact that what steps are potential to worsen the situation and what steps can make the situation favorable. Thus a wiser step can be taken by a manager if he is aware of the relevant organizational theory.
Above all, an organizational theory provides a framework to respond to a certain situation. Having knowledge of the organizational behavior theories means that the manager has the toolkit with him. It is now up to him that which tools he prefers under what circumstances. The manager has to simply relate the situation with a theory (or theories, if appropriate) and use the learning outcome of that theory to apply it.
An organizational theory is formed on the basis of multiple methods like the experience of the person presenting the theory, his experience, observations, surveys etc. Thus when a manager is aware of the theory and he applies it, he actually applies the experiences, observations and the surveys done previously to formulate that theory, which is impossible as well as impractical for him to do in his personal capacity.
With the changing time and space along with new explorations, new theories come into being frequently. Having an awareness of previous ones is necessary to understand the newer one to apply it. Just like, the concept of perfect market in the economics is impractical; however, it is studied because it provides the basis to study other models.
Evolution of an Organizational Behavior Theory:
A researcher can develop theory using multiple sources. For example, meta-analysis (a statistical pooling of surveys to derive some conclusions about certain variables from many different studies), field study (to probe individual or group processes in real organizational setting), laboratory study (variables are manipulated and measured in contrived situation), sample surveys and case studies. A researcher uses one or more than one methods (depending on the situation) out of these to create a frame work for the theory.(Robbins, 2004)
Evolution of theory is a cyclical process. This means, a researcher formulates a theory based on his practical experience that he drove out by applying existing theories and forms a new theory in order to fill the significant gaps of the existing theory. The new theory is then applied by others, those researchers who find gaps in that theory tries to find out what is missing and then includes that to form his own theory. However, this may not always be the case. Sometimes, a theory is something totally contradictory to the existing one, but that also reflects the researcher’s application of the theory. (Newstrom, 2006). In this way we can conclude that, in any case, theories do require their application to give birth to the new theories, according to the ‘changed’ time and space and this is how a subject like organizational behavior remains alive.
Robbins, S., (2004). Organizational Behaviour. City: Prentice Hall College Div.
Kreitner, R., & Kinicki, A. (2004). Organizational Behavior. Boston: McGraw Hill/Irwin.
Newstrom, J., (2006). Organizational Behavior. Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin