- Business Management - Business Administration

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Structure and Behavior

The study of the structure on one hand, and the study of the human behavior in the organizations on the other hand, must be combined through a systematic study. Chiavenato, in reference to Schein, establishes that it is necessary to remark the difference between behavior and structure, the structural aspects are static elements in the organization and refer to the arrangement of its different components, for example, the departmentalization, the authority and the responsibility given, the number of hierarchical levels, the control area or environment, etc.

Schein says that "The deficiency of this approach is not in the fact of being mistaken, but in the fact of being incomplete". In order of being able to analyze an organization it is necessary to understand it, which makes us, complementary, study its behavior as a human group.

The behavior is dynamic and refers to the cultural norms which determine the environment of an organization, to the quality of the human communications, to the positions and functions assumed by the persons inside the groups, to the ways in which problems are faced and resolved, to the values and the methods of the organization, to the styles of leadership applied, to the competence and cooperation between people and groups.

"Illusion and reality are the two big components of our lives. But when we ignore reality, reality shows a revenge" José

Ortega y Gassett

One of the most dangerous illusions is the fact of thinking that the development or the progress of the human being and the organization can be generated just by modifications within the structures.

Just when the "social climate" is good and the relationships between the members go on properly, when the business is exempted of major conflicts and every individual is, at least, somehow motivated and has understood the importance of harmony and group work, when each worker feels he is improving as a human being through his work within a shared activity in cooperation, it is possible to be sure about the efficiency of the organization. Therefore, if the development of the organization is pretended, the existent behaviors between people and groups must be studied and something done about it.

Each organization, seen as a social system, tends either -depending on the will of its high management positions or proprietary- to foment determined values, habits, attitudes and behaviors within its integrants; and generally by counter position, tends to discourage all those who go against the "establishment" (according to the psychologist and sociologist Guy Aznar this happens not only in the organizations but also happens in the entire society.) This behavior, wished and fomented by the organization, we should name it as the formal behavior, the one expected by those who are the authority.

On the other hand, since the structures of the organizations are filled by people, and given that they demonstrate, in different ways, their personality in the execution of their work, framed by certain styles of relationships with other individuals of the organization, Chiavenato says that "these styles end up being structured as traditions which reign over the variety of interpersonal relationships within the organization". Such traditions hardly could be changed just by the modification of the formal structure. Here we are, then, in front of the phenomenon of informal behavior.

According to Chris Argyris, the organization is essentially dynamic and is composed by formal and informal groups with different goals, remarking three types of processes within it:

The socializing Process: each individual adapts his goals to the goals of the organization, becoming an agent of the organization. It can be noticed this way that there is a formal socialization and an informal socialization.

The personalizing Process: each individual tries to satisfy their own aspirations.

The process of Fusion: According to Argyris is both processes (the socializing and the personalizing one) match this produces the process of fusion, confounding the goals of the individual and the goals of the organization, being this situation, of course, the ideal level a manager should wish reach. If this does not happen, an unbalance will be produced which result will depend, on each case, from the combination of the powers of the socializing and personalizing processes. - Business Management - Business Administration


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