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How might managers overcome the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities of using Organizational Behavior (OB) concepts in the workplace? How might managers maximize workplace diversity and minimize workplace discrimination?

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lillia17 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Organizational Behavior (OB) is a framework for understanding how people behave in the work environment. Some positive things that OB studies are diversity, creativity, motivation, job satisfaction, and feelings of belonging. The negative situations that OB might encompass include workplace aggression, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or injustice.

Managers can minimize discrimination and maximize the benefits of diversity by creating an environment where the positive parts of OB can thrive. For example, companies that purposefully seek out and hire many types of people from many backgrounds (i.e., diverse people) may boost the feeling of inclusion, belonging, and teamwork amongst their employees. However, simply hiring many types of people is not enough; managers must also create opportunities for these teams of diverse people to feel that their voices are heard, their ideas are valued, and there is space for creativity.

Managers should listen to the multiple perspectives and opinions of their employees and use these inputs to make better-informed decisions for the company. In turn, if employees believe the management team values their ideas, they will feel more job satisfaction and may produce more for the company.

The most important thing managers can do is build an environment of dignity and respect. Rather than focusing on the neative aspects of OB, managers can focus on these two positive traits by encouraging and rewarding dignified and respectful behavior.

For more on this topic, see the attached link to “Demographic Diversity” from UMN’s (University of Minnesota) site on Organizational Behavior.

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Managers might overcome the challenges of using Organizational Behavior (OB) by adapting their management style to one that conforms more with the relevant challenge they face, like switching from the Autocratic model to the Supportive model, which is oriented toward employee need and addresses diversity. Managers might take advantage of the opportunities of using OB by emphasizing the Collegial model, which orients toward employee self-actualization and is relevant to aspects such as building an ethical culture.

Organizational Behavior is the study of individual, group, and organizational structure in the workplace. The aims of OB relate to areas such as employee job satisfaction, customer service, and job performance. Some challenges of using OB concepts relate to globalization, diversity, and information technology. Some opportunities from using OB concepts are improving interpersonal skills, developing technical skills, and improving job satisfaction.

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