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Human Behaviour in the Workplace

In his article, Herbert Simon (1979) said that Alfred Marshall defined economics to be a psychological science. Economics, according to Marshall (Simon 1979) is the study of man going about his everyday affairs; hence it is still in large part, about the man’s behaviour. To be more specific, man’s behaviour, according to Simon (1979) is largely linked to man’s rational decision making within an organization and this will be the focus of this paper.

That being said, one cannot discount human behaviour and perception within the global business communities of today. Human behaviour can largely impact the global economy given the linkages that nowadays exist. Consider a mid-sized organization in the UK with a Muslim Arab as one of its managers. The manager has very different culture and his religion plays a big part of his being and it can influence heavily upon his decision making skills.

Naturally, he would not want to eat pork and as such, during corporate affairs, the upper management may have to consider him out of their decision making over the courses served in the catering out of pure respect. Additionally, suppose this same manager has two wives as is allowed by his religion, can he possibly

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bring two wives in the same corporate event without getting some raised-eyebrows from his co-workers? One’s situation and behaviour clearly impacts organization operations.

For instance, a pregnant woman is required to take a maternity leave for her own safety. Her absence in the workplace will certainly impact operations as her substitute has some training to do and a steep learning curve can be costly. A person’s behaviour, just as his or her situation will always impact operations. The workplace must have an atmosphere of harmony within its staff and without this harmony, the workplace will be unpleasant, communication will be problematic and operations will suffer.

Cooperation, aggressive behaviour, competition are just some aspects of human behaviour that can instil or disrupt harmony. The writer of this paper has always considered that applying for a job requires efforts from both the applicant and the potential employer. First impressions are often lasting in the job application process. The economy has been bad enough recently that a person simply applies to what is available than to actually try his luck in one of the organizations he wants to work with.

Online job posting sites has made it easier for applicants to search out the jobs they can apply to within a specific location that matches their interests. The reply from potential employers is the start of the interaction with the applicant. In the writer’s personal experience, there are companies out there who have really bad job application processing. For instance, getting invites for interviews via text messaging is completely unprofessional and one can easily be scammed by such an activity.

Such behaviour by the organization can be off-putting to the applicant and the applicant’s dismay will cause the feeling to be returned by the organization. The organization would not want picky candidates but the applicant already has passed opportunity given the organization’s behaviour per se. Reference: Simon, Herbert. (1979). Rational Decision Making in Business Organizations. The American Economic Review, Vol. 69, No. 4 (Sep. , 1979), pp. 493-513. Retrieved 19 July 2010 from http://www. jstor. org/stable/1808698

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