The organization, the people, and their management

This topic introduces you to the nature of the organization, management, the behavior of individuals, groups, and teams, as well as the three different types of people management in the organization.

With the help of this knowledge, you will explain why companies prefer to manage their human resources instead of approaching them only “administratively”.

The main message

The deep essence of any organization is: the people, the goals that the organization wants to achieve and the way managers have chosen their organization to function.

Every human resource management decision is a “derivative” of the essence of the organization.

Therefore, human resource management does not give any results in those companies in which managers and owners are not aware of the true nature of the organization and the behavior of the people in it.

Key concepts

Organization, Management, Manager, Individual behavior at work, Individual differences, Group, Group task, Group processes, Team, Team goal (task), Team processes

Basic questions

The organization from the point of view of management. Managers and management. The behavior of the individual. The three individual differences and the reasons for the differences.

The behavior of a group. The behavior of the team. Personnel management. Human Resource Management. Human resource management that delivers “value”.

What should you be able to do after learning this topic?

• To be able to define the key concepts on the topic;

• Be able to explain how we can compare companies and employees and their performance;

• Be able to distinguish a group from a team;

• To be able to use your knowledge on the topic when analyzing the practices of people management in Bulgarian companies.

The organization

“Organization” is a word of Greek origin and means “means”, “way”, “instrument”, i.e. people who have “agreed” to achieve a certain common goal and in the name of achieving the goal, coordinate with each other.

The key characteristics of each organization are three:

  • What is the purpose of the organization;
  • What people are like (for example, in terms of competence);
  • What is the structure of relations between people regarding the work and fulfillment of the common goal.

The three characteristics of the organization clearly show that people are the building block of the organization.

There are various theories about the organization. One of the most popular is the theory of organization as the “open system”.

The basic idea of ​​this theory is that the organization receives its resources from the external environment and gives back to it the product it produces.

In this sense, the organization is dependent on the external environment and needs mechanisms for adaptation. One of them is management.

The concept of human resource management is based on the key characteristics of the organization and the theory of the organization as an open system.

Management and managers

There are different definitions of management. Almost all of them are similar in that they define management as a process of coordinating and uniting the activities of other people, by managers, but in such a way that this activity is effective and efficient (effective).

Coordination is possible if managers: plan, organize, lead and control. The measures of management are efficiency and effectiveness.

Managers are employees of the company with the status to unite and coordinate the work of other employees. According to a popular classification of types of managers, there are managers at the highest management level; middle management managers; managers at the operational (technical) level.

The behavior of the individual

The building blocks of the organization are the people. This explains why all management decisions and actions for human resources are related to employee behavior.

Behavior is a set of perceptions, attitudes, decisions, and results, with the help of which the individual approaches his main goals. It is a function of the individual characteristics and the environment of the company. It is not frozen, but dynamic.

People are like the companies they work for – they do what the rules force them to do, regardless of their characteristics.

If we associate the behavior of the individual in working with the majestic iceberg, we will find something interesting.

We see only one part of the iceberg – the one above the ocean water and we do not see that part of the iceberg that is hidden in the ocean water.

We usually judge how big an iceberg is just by its visible part, but experts say it is only 1/5 of the invisible part – the one that is hidden from our view.

It is the same with human behavior. It has its more easily visible (more visible) sides but is also more difficult to notice (more invisible sides).

For example, we can observe the way the employee works, the results he achieves, and his reactions to the conditions, rules, culture, structure, processes, and management methods.

What is not visible, but also part of the individual’s behavior (invisible behavior) is his personality, the way he perceives (perception), the way the employee explains to himself what is happening to him and around him attribution), the way he makes different decisions in his work.

Not intuitive, but scientific knowledge of the individual’s behavior at work is the right tool for understanding and explaining employee behavior, and this is the basis for better management decisions.

The three main differences

Some managers think they are doing the right thing if they show “equal treatment” to their employees.

For example, they set equal pay for all those who hold the same position, regardless of the final results of the employees.

This is the most unfair treatment possible. The main thesis in the concept of human resource management is that people in the organization are different from each other, should be perceived as individuals with their profile of behavior, and justice requires attitudes, decisions, and actions of managers to be personalized according to individual behavior.

The three main differences between the people who work in the organization are:

(1) their suitability or competence; (2) their motivation;
(3) their satisfaction with working in the company.

The reasons for the differences

The reasons for the differences between people at work are the qualities of their personality; their world of perception; their style of attribution; their style of learning, values.

Group behavior

The group is a formation that plays an important role in the life of the modern organization. It is important both for the company and for the participants in the group.

There, in the group, employees feel more secure, can develop and learn from the experience of others, and have the opportunity to communicate.

That is why one of the tasks of managers is to work with a group of employees.

They need to know how to create a group with its inherent characteristics, as well as manage the results that the group can create.

To cope with its task, the group must have several characteristics: to have work rules; a high degree of agreement and respect on the part of all participants to the group task and norms (cohesion); interactions between the participants regarding the implementation of the task; to maintain appropriate group communications; to have a group structure.

It is especially important how the group task will be defined. It is always different from the individual task because it is significantly more complex, more voluminous, and naturally impossible to perform by a single employee.

The group task can be divided into smaller parts to be performed by individual participants in the group.

So, not every group of people is a “group”. Not every department in the company is a “group”, although formally it exists in the structure of the company.

Depending on what and how much managers know about group behavior, what measures do managers take to manage group results?

Team behavior

People work in three ways – individually, in a group, and a team. A team is a group of people different from the traditional group.

It has two main characteristics: (1) a common goal, which is set before all participants and they fulfill it together (common); (2) strong interdependence between the participants in fulfilling the common goal.

Any identification of the two different words “group” and “team” means a passive expectation of some miracles that will happen by themselves. This misconception about the team dooms to passivity on the part of managers.

In this way, the group of employees cannot acquire the basic characteristics of a team but takes on an overly complex task that is beyond their means.

Unfortunately, the participants’ belief that they will be able to handle the task remains “on paper”, and the trust in them and the team’s capabilities as a better form of work gradually weakens until it disappears completely.


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Here are the three unusual results that a team can achieve due to its characteristics and competent management:

  1. The team creates a specific team product that cannot be created by a single employee or a group of employees;
  2. The team generates a concrete and measurable contribution for the whole company, which is beyond the power of any functional group in the company;
  3. The team develops the professional and personal potential of the participants much more effectively than other traditional forms of training and development.

How well the team manages to achieve these three unusual results depends on how the team’s behavior is managed.

The best management actions to focus the team’s behavior on the three results are:

Choosing the type of team according to whether there is a reason in the company to form a team;

  • Setting a goal for the team;
  • Selection of team members;
  • Creating a special “internal” team environment;
  • Creating an appropriate “external” team environment;
  • Management of factors for the effectiveness of teamwork, etc.

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