Organisational behaviour has become one of the most important areas of research as scholars seek to find its relevance in improving the performance of organisations. Several scholars have defined organisational behaviour in various ways. Singh (2010, p. 78) defines organisational behaviour as “The study of human behaviour in organisational settings, the interface between human behaviour and the organisation, and the organisation itself.” This scholar observes that the way an individual would behave as an independent entity is very different from his or her behaviour when acting within an organisation (Chaitanya & Tripathi 2001, p. 220). When acting on behalf of a group or acting within a group, there are some factors that would have a sharp influence on one’s behaviour. This would make the behaviour different from that when one is acting as an individual and when is with the family or friends. According to French (2011, p. 39), organisational behaviour defines the organisational performance. It is suggested that the manner in which members of a given organisation behave will always define the way they address their duties (Mills 2007, p. 93). With the current competitive world market, most organisations are forced to find ways of developing the appropriate organisational behaviour that promotes teamwork, innovation, and the desire by the employees to push an extra mile whenever they are addressing their assigned duties.
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The airline industry- and many other industries- are faced with numerous challenges, top of which are stiff competition, rising fuel cost, and the unstable market. Hong Kong Airline Limited has suffered from these problems as it seeks to gain ground in this fragile industry. However, sometimes the management finds it very challenging to address some of the pertinent problems because of the contrasting needs of the employees. According to Perkins and Arvinen (2013, p. 119), employees are very important part of any organisation. Their role in any firm will be directly reflected in the performance of that firm (Ranganayakulu 2005, p. 39). When the top management develops policies that are meant to address some of the challenges identified above, the employees are always expected to implement them in order to obtain the desired results (Aquinas 2006, p. 48). This can only be possible if there is a positive organisational behaviour that will strongly bind the employees to act in a specific way when addressing specific issues (Bissell & Dolan 2011, p. 38). The researcher suggests that the three elements of organisational behaviour of teamwork, innovativeness, and commitment are highly desirable in the current competitive business environment.
Hong Kong Airlines Ltd has been keen on offering quality services to its employees. It has achieved success through concerted effort of its employees to attract customers from China and other neighbouring countries. However, there has been a problem when it comes to managing some elements of organisational behaviour within this firm, especially when it comes to teamwork. The firm has not been able to come up with an effective organisational behaviour that can address the issue of how the employees should relate amongst themselves, and with the management unit. It is because of this that the researcher considered it necessary to investigate organisational behaviour at this firm to determine how it can be improved to address this problem at this firm.
Research problem, objectives and questions
The overall aim of this research is to determine the impact of organisational behaviour on organisational performance. The researcher seeks to determine how organisations can influence the performance of their individual employees by inculcating a positive organisational behaviour within the firm. To determine this, the researcher chose Hong Kong Airline as the organisation to base the research. The following are the specific objectives that the research seeks to achieve.
- To determine the relationships between elements of organisational behaviour and organisational performance
- To determine how the leadership of this organisation can influence the elements of organisational behaviour.
Based on the above objectives, it was important to develop research questions that would guide the process of collecting data. Walker (2011, p. 62) observes that when collecting both the primary and the secondary data, a researcher will always encounter massive information, some of which may be irrelevant but very interesting. The questions give a clear focus of the information that should be gathered both from the primary and secondary sources (Chis, Kemp & Legge 2007, p. 91). The research questions describing the process of data collection must reflect this (Randhawa 1997, p. 340). The following are some of the specific questions that the researcher seeks to respond to in this study.
- To what extent does organisational behaviour influence organisational performance?
- To what extent does the management of the firm under investigation try to inculcate positive organisational behaviour in their organisation?
- What is the impact of teamwork on increasing the employee productivity
- What is the impact of teamwork on organisational performance at the firm under investigation?
Importance of the research
Hong Kong Airlines Limited is operating in an industry that is highly sensitive and very competitive. A team of self-motivated and innovative employees can be valuable for this organisation in order to achieve success (Robbins, Odendaal & Roodt 2003, p. 74). The employees who directly interact with the customers should always maintain a positive attitude when handling the customers (Chand & Sethi 1997, p. 456). This will boost their level of satisfaction. Other employees in other areas must also maintain a positive workplace environment in order to promote teamwork when addressing various tasks. This can only be achieved when there is a sound organisational behaviour based on strong organisational policies (Parikh & Gupta 2010, p. 93).
The organisation has not been able to find appropriate policies that can help it address this problem because of some erratic organisational behaviour (Dayal & Adhikari 1970, p. 478). Conducting this research on the firm- and other related organisations- is justified because it seeks to find a way through which the current problem can be addressed (Rangnekar 2009, p. 372). It is expected that by the end of this research, the policy recommendations will be able to address some of the existing problems in managing the employees at this firm.
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Scope of the study
According to Zsóka (2007, p. 31), it is always vital to clearly define the scope of the study in order to make the consumers of its content to understand its relevance under different contexts. This will eliminate cases of wrong application of the contents of this document. The secondary data in this research was collected from journals, books, newspapers, and other reliable internet sources (Dwivedi 2001, p. 410). Most of the secondary sources of data were based on varying environmental contexts and in different companies across the world. It has captured information from various companies in different countries from different perspectives (Rastogi 1996, p. 540). However, the researcher confined the process of collecting the primary data to a single company and in a particular country. All the primary data were collected from the employees of Hong Kong Airlines Limited in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Airlines Limited was appropriate because it was close enough to the researcher, and regular visits could be made without any strain. When using the information in this report based on the primary data, this fact should be considered in order to avoid a wrong application.
It is important to discuss the outline of this dissertation at this stage. In chapter 2, the academic context is identified and discussed. A framework for this research is developed from the review of the literature. In chapter 3, the methodology for sampling, data gathering, data analysis, validity and reliability is explained and justified. In chapter 4, the findings from primary and secondary research will be analysed and discussed.
In chapter 5 the summary of the findings from all the chapters are clearly discussed and the implications are given.
The field of the organisational behaviour has attracted massive attention from scholars as they try to find the best ways through which organisations can achieve the best performance using their human resource. According to Yong and Altman (2009, p. 102), “Organisational Behaviour is the study and application of knowledge about how people, individuals, and groups act in organisations.” It seeks to determine how people relate among themselves and with the entire organisation in the process of undertaking their duties. Employees form an important resource in helping firms to achieve their strategic objectives. The individual output of a person has a direct impact on the final output of the organisation.
According to Willis and Hunt (2004, p. 638), employees cannot exist within an organisation in isolation. They need to interact, and find ways through which they can address some of the challenges they face during their work. This is what the study of organisational behaviour entails. Dwivedi (2002, p. 265) says, “Organisational behaviour interprets people-organisation relationships in terms of the whole person, whole group, whole organisation, and whole social system with a view of building a better relationships by achieving individual, organisational, and social objectives.” From this definition, it is clear that organisational behaviour is a broad field that encompasses various topics. As Dwivedi (2006, p. 536) notes, some of the important components of organisational behaviour include elements, social systems, organisational development, work life, change, and models, some of which, will be discussed in this section.
Organisational behaviour has been considered one of the areas that play an important role in improving organisational performance. Three main elements have significant impact on organisational performance. The type of leadership that is used in an organisation will define the ability of a firm to be successful. A leader who understands the needs of the employees and is able to balance the interests of all the stakeholders within an organisation will make an organisation successful in its operations. Group dynamics is the second element that defines how well employees can work as a unit to address common problems within their working environment. Finally, communication strategies are important in the normal coordination of employees and other stakeholders within a firm. All these elements can be understood adequately through organisational behaviour studies. These elements are critically analyzed in the section below.
Elements of Organisational Behaviour
In every organisation, it is important to understand the elements of organisational behaviour and their effect on the quality of life at work for the employees. According to Farnham (2004, p. 430), understanding the organisational behaviour starts with a proper understanding of its goals, vision, and values which are the fundamental elements. The elements are important in defining an organisational behaviour, especially the manner in which employees undertake their duties within a given firm. In turn, Finlayson (1975, p. 36) says that organisational behaviour directly influence the type of leadership, group dynamics, and communication strategies that an organisation uses in its normal operational activities.
These three elements determine the quality of work life for the employees within an organisation. The motivation of the employees in an organisation will depend on their perception towards the work life as presented by the above three elements. If they consider their work life to be of high quality, they will be motivated, and this will be reflected in their output. If they feel that they are ignored, and that the system is unfair, their level of motivation will be very low, and this will be reflected in their output (Gandhi 1992, p. 292). Excellence in performance by the employees is closely related to the way they perceive their level of satisfaction. It is clear, therefore, that these elements are interrelated, and depending on how one it is treated, it may have a positive or negative ripple effect with the final output affecting the organisational performance.
Organisational Behaviour Models
According to Gaper (2002, p. 24), in order to understand the concept of the organisational behaviour, it is important to analyse its models, and their relevance in different contexts. The four models include autocratic, supportive, custodial, and collegial systems (Garial, Singh & Chattered 2007, p. 450).
In an autocratic system, the power rests with the manager whose authority cannot be questioned by the employees. The employees are expected to be very obedient to their boss who issues instructions on how tasks are to be undertaken by different individuals. This authoritarian approach to management is slowly fading away in competitive organisations (Reddy & Gayathri 2000, p. 65). According to (), autocratic leadership has negative impact on teamwork and employees’ commitment. It creates the impression that employees are just tools to be used by the leader to achieve personal gains. This in turn will affect their productivity in the firm.
According to Helmut, Anheier and Ben-Ner (1997, p. 95), this model emphasises on the relevance of using economic resources to control and motivate employees within an organisation. This model holds that every employee is always interested in working for an organisation that pays well. For this reason, they feel that the organisation is the custodian of their monetary needs if such an organisation pays well. An organisation should take advantage of this and pay its employees at competitive rates as a way of boosting their performance. Custodial model is very appropriate when it comes to encouraging innovativeness among employees. As () notes, when employees are comfortable with their working conditions, they tend to be more innovative. This will boost their performance at work.
The managerial orientation of this model lays on the need for the leaders to offer relevant support to the employees in their respective duties (Jain, Jain & Dhar 2004, p. 330). Sometimes it may be necessary to offer some kind of guidance to the employees, especially when they are addressing tasks that are relatively new to them. In this model, the focus is on the job performance. The need for the employee at this stage may be recognition out of exemplary work or status within the firm. This model seeks to encourage commitment among the employees as a way of booting performance results of the employees.
The fourth model seeks to motivate partnership between the management unit and the employees, or among the employees themselves. The model holds that teamwork is very crucial for the overall success of an organisation. Sometimes the management may ignore the force of working as a team, and this may negatively affect the overall performance of the organisation (Reddy & Gayathri 2000, p. 340). The model also seeks to instil self-discipline as employees learn to interact positively with others in order to coexist peacefully.
The first model of autocracy was majorly used during the industrial revolution when there was a massive distrust between employers and employees. It is based on McGregor’s Theory X, which holds that employees are always lazy, and for them to work as per the expectations there is need for the leader to make regular supervision of their work (Saiyadain 2003, p. 10). This explains why this model gives the leader absolute authority over the employees. For a leader to direct a group of lazy employees looking for excuses that can make them abscond their duties, he or she needs such kind of authority that would make him or her revered.
The other three models have more inclination towards McGregor’s Theory Y, which states that employees are self-motivated individuals who are always willing to deliver the best results even without direct supervision (Sayeed 1992, p. 350). The Transformational Leadership Theory has supported this modern approach. This new system seeks to empower the employees and take the supervisory tasks from the managers to the employees themselves. In this approach, individual employees are expected to evaluate their performance and determine if they meet the expected standards. With the use of the right motivational approaches, this has been determined to be the most effective strategy that can help individual employees to change their perception of being mere employees, to being active members of their organisation (Sharma & Joshi 2001, p. 210). They will assume the responsibility of making the organisation successful in its operations.
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Social Systems, Organisational Culture, and Individualisation in the Workplace
According to Jyotsna and Sheetal (2005, p. 468), “A social system is a complex set of human relationships interacting in many ways.” In an organisational setting, the behaviour of an individual may have a direct or indirect impact on other members of the organisation. It means that in this system, a given behavioural pattern of an individual cannot be considered to affect just that one individual (Sharma & Mohapatra 2009, p. 440). They system will get affected by such behaviour in one way or the other, and for this reason, it is important to define how individual should behave while in the organisation. Through consistence, the leadership of an organisation should make an effort to create an organisational behaviour that will define how employees are expected to behave.
Kang and Singh (2006, p. 201) say that developing practices, customs and beliefs within an organisation may need high level of consistency and communication because some employees may resist change even if they are aware that it is necessary. People will depend on the set-up structures to define their behavioural pattern while in a firm. Katuwal and Randhawa (2007, p. 244) define individualisation as “A situation when employees successfully exert influence on the social system by challenging the culture.” This is very common when working with a team of innovative employees who are always interested in challenging the existing system. This approach is always core in maintaining a competitive environment within an organisation. The diagram below shows the way individualisation may affect different firms.
In the first quadrant marked A, there is very low level of individualisation and socialisation which results into isolation. This happens when employees try to avoid free interaction with other employees or members of the organisation. It is not healthy for the overall performance of the organisation. In the second quadrant marked B, there is little socialisation with a high level of individualisation. This means that employees have a strong urge to change the current system that they do not believe in, but the system does not allow them to socialise in order to change the existing system (Sharma 1997, p. 209). This would lead to rebellion among the employees as they struggle to make themselves heard by the relevant authorities.
In the third quadrant marked C, there is high level of socialisation, but low rate of individualisation. In this quadrant, employees interact freely, but they are not able to challenge the existing systems because of various factors. For this reason, they are forced to conform to the existing system even if they are not comfortable with it. In the fourth quadrant marked D, there is high level of socialisation and high rate of individualisation (Singh & Warrier 1985, p. 340). This is the most desirable quadrant both for the employees and for the employees. In this system, employees are at liberty to socialise freely with the fellow employees or seniors officers. They also have strong urge to develop new ways of addressing various tasks within their workplace. Their innovative thoughts will be supported by an enabling environment, which would result into creative individualism. According to Michael (2004, p. 96), very few firms are able to achieve creative individualism because of a number of reasons. It is not easy to have a system that not only allows for close interaction among employees and between the employer and the employees. This in effect, will always frustrate the innovative minds of the employees, a fact that may lead to rebellion.
Ketola (2006, 160) defines organisational development as “A systematic application of the behavioural science knowledge at various levels, such as group, inter-group, and in organisations to bring about the planned change.” Organisational development seeks to promote the working environment of the employees, the productivity of the organisation, its ability to adapt to the environmental forces, and efficiency in its processes (Singh 2005, p. 217). A comprehensive process addresses all the systems and stakeholders in order to promote satisfaction and performance. To achieve this, it focuses on transforming attitude, values, behaviour, strategies, structures, and procedures within an organisational system in order to match the changing environmental forces (Michie & Williams 2003, p. 8). This way, the stakeholders within the organisation will be able to realise that the positive change they desire starts with them. They have to embrace the emerging technologies and be ready to address environmental forces that may affect their operations in different ways. As Kothiyal (2005, p. 120) says, organisational development is humanistic in nature. It lays emphasis on the potential of the employees to deliver success to an organisation. It embraces change, focuses on problem solving strategies, and employs experimental learning as ways of managing the changing environmental forces.
Quality of work life
It is always a general belief that employees would be interested in organisations that offer attractive remunerations. However, this is slowly changing with the emerging group of workers who prefer working in less stressful organisations. According to the research by Leach (1999, p. 285), most organisation have failed to reinvent their workplace environment to reflect the current needs of the employees. The employees themselves solely determine quality of work life, and the remunerations offered is just a fraction of what it constitutes. Employees, being human being, always prefer working in an environment where they are treated with respect. They want their leaders to be considerate when addressing various issues. This means that the management approach used in an organisation may play a pivotal role in determining the quality of work life. Having work programs which are regard and non-responsive to the changing systems in the environment may be very stressful to the employees (Strunk, Schiffinger & Mayrhofer 2004, p. 504). The management must ensure that they are responsive to the environmental changes, and be ready to listen to their junior employees and address their concern whenever they arise.
The approach used in assigning duties may also affect the quality of work life. Lysons (2004, p. 288) notes that employees enjoy doing what they have the best knowledge in so that they can celebrate their success. When employees are assigned tasks that are unique to them, they may be frustrated as they undertake their duties, and this may have negative impact on the quality of work life. Promoting teamwork and high level of interaction among the employees may be another strategy of improving the quality work life (Tripathi & Tripathi 2002, p. 170). Sometimes it may be necessary to allow employees to interact freely in order to promote a scenario where employees are able to help one another in case of difficulties (Blunt 1995, p. 112). A junior manager should find it easy to visit a mid level or a senior manager to help him or her address a problem in her tasks. Both will be able to learn new things in their management roles. Maintaining a high quality work life will help in maintaining a team of motivated employees, which in turn will boot the performance of the organisation (Nilakant 2001, p. 111).
Change in an organisational context is unavoidable, yet the most complex task that organisations always struggle to implement in their system. Conformity is always popular among many employees and even managers (Omer & Jain 2001, p. 244). People want to work with systems they are well aware of so that they avoid making mistakes. However, when presented with new systems that may require them to re-evaluate their skills and competence, they developed a feeling that their capacity to hold their current offices is put in question or under investigation (Cassematis & Wortley 2013, p. 620). This creates some discomfort even among some of the best performers. It is the discomfort that most employees are scared of, making them reluctant to accept change.
Panda (2008, p. 425) warns that change is something that an organisation cannot avoid because environmental forces are not static. Failing to adjust the organisational systems to be in line with the current environmental forces is a sure way of planning to fail. Pandey (1997, p. 45) observes that Kodak was almost sent out of the market it once controlled because of its mistake of avoiding change whose time had come. Other firms have been eliminated because of avoiding change or being too slow in their change management to address the changing environmental patterns (Biswas 1998, p. 72). Any organisation that seeks to achieve better performance with its workforce must have a clear strategy that it plans to use when addressing the issue of change (Tripathi, Kapok & Tripathi 2000, p. 36). It is only through this that employees can remain relevant to the organisation.
Classical Organisation Theory
The classical organisation theory is one of the oldest theories that were very useful, especially before the First World War (Biswas, Srivastava & Giri 2007, p. 34). The theory held that the market is always self-regulated, and the most important thing that organisations should focus on is the production of goods (Tsahuridu & Vandekerckhove 2008, p. 110). This means that the system meant for the production of goods had to be protected at all costs. However, the theory ignored two important stakeholders who play pivotal role in a firm’s success. It never considered the interests of the customers or the employees. This theory could have been relevant during that period when major companies did not face any serious competition in the market (Panda & Gupta 2003, p. 155). It may not work in the current system. This is specifically so because it ignored the interests of the employees. It assumed that employees within an organisation have no alternative but to work within the firm to earn a living. This assumption may have been valid during that period, especially just before the industrial revolution. It is unfortunate that some organisations are still applying some of the concepts of this theory (Bhatnagar 2006, p. 54). This may explain why some of the giant firms are struggling to manage the needs of their organisations.
Neoclassical Organisation Theory
The Neoclassical organisational theory was a direct effort to address some of the misconceptions that were common in the classical organisation theory (Pattanayak, Misra & Niranjana 2003, p. 2002). Mayo was one of the theorists who came out strongly to challenge the classical organisational theories because of some obvious lapses it had. In defining the neoclassical organisational theory, Paul and Anantharaman (2001, p. 264) say, “Organisation is a system of consciously coordinated activities, and the executive has an important role of creating an atmosphere where there is coherence of values and purpose.” This scholar emphasises on the need for the leaders to find ways of managing their employees in a way that would enhance their satisfaction (Bhal 2005, p. 378). Sometimes management units tend to ignore some pertinent issues affecting their employees within an organisation. These issues may have a direct negative impact on the ability of a firm to achieve its objectives that rely on the output of the employees (Bhal & Gulati 2004, 15). The neoclassical organisation theory has been the bedrock upon which many of the current organisational theories have been developed.
The Contingency Theory of organisation has been seen as a superior model of managing the organisational problems than the above two theories. While classical and neoclassical organisational theories emphasised on the need to avoid conflicts as a way of evading their disruptive nature, the contingency theory focuses on how to address these conflicts because they are unavoidable. Prasad (1995, p. 335) says that conflicts within an organisation should not be avoided because it is always manageable. The important thing is always to determine ways through which such conflicts can be addressed to the satisfaction of all the involved stakeholders. This theory has been widely used to address the problem of managing change within an organisation (Rajeshwari 1999, p. 420). External environmental forces are dynamic, and this means that organisations need to find ways of remaining relevant despite this dynamism. The theory holds that it is the role of an effective management unit to adapt to the changing environmental factors (Bakacsi 1998, p. 189). Employees look upon the management to offer guidance on how to manage change within an organisation. It means that the managers should be well informed about the change and its impact on their organisation. They should also know how it should be addressed to avoid disrupting the equilibrium within the organisation.
Prayag (2000, p. 581) says that one of the best ways of managing change based on this theory is to allow the mid and low level managers to make independent decisions at the local level without the bureaucracy of having to receive all the instructions from the top management (Bhal & Gulati 2004, 15). They should have power to make independent decisions over their domains because this not only makes them become responsible for their actions, but also allows the organisation to be flexible in managing environmental forces (Unsworth, Dmitrieva & Adriasola 2013, p. 220). Making decisions contingent on the prevailing situation is vital in helping the mid and junior managers to remain relevant to the local environmental forces.
According to Pravesh and Biswajeet (2000, p. 420), although system theory was developed as early as 1928 by Ludwig von Bertalanffy, its application in organisational setting was made in the early 1980s when it was finally reshaped by scholars such as Rosensweig, Kast, and Scott. This theory holds that an organisation operates like a large system with various components, which are closely interrelated. Any change on any of the variables or components of the system will affect other components directly or indirectly. One central theme that defines this theory is the possibility of the nonlinear relationship between some of the variables in this system (Bakacsi 1998, p. 190). Sometimes a small change in one variable may result into a massive change in other variables within the system. In other cases, a large change in a variable may have a negligible impact on other components of the system (Rabinarayan 2004, p. 320). The focus of the management will be to identify the components, which have massive impact on the other components of the system. An effort should be made to ensure that they produce positive impact on other components of the system. This, however, does not mean that other components with minimal impact to the system should be ignored (Awasthy & Gupta 2004, p. 290). An attempt should be made to ensure that all the components of the system are able to produce positive results.
According to Kothiyal (2005, p. 124), “A theoretical framework” is a collection of interrelated concepts, like a theory but not necessarily so well worked-out.” Based on the review of the literature o this topic, it was considered necessary to develop a theoretical framework for this research in order to explain interrelated concepts in the study. The researcher picked three elements of organisational behaviour in order to develop the framework that explains how they influence organisational performance. The three elements include type of leadership, group dynamics, and communication strategies. The framework below shows the theoretical framework that has been developed.
From the framework, it is hypothesized that the three elements of organisational behaviour of type or leadership, group dynamics, and communication strategies interrelate closely in defining organisational performance.
According to Purang (2008, p. 540), research hypotheses are important because they are prepositions of what is to be expected out of a given study. They allow the researcher to make a prediction of a possible outcome out of a given research process. In this research, it was important to develop a hypothesis for this study. Based on the literature review, the following are the hypotheses that were set for the research.
H1o. There is limited relationship between various elements of the organisational behaviour and organisational performance.
H1a. There is a close relationship between various elements of organisational behaviour and organisational performance.
H2o. Organisational behaviour is not directly influenced by an organisation’s leadership structure.
H2a. Organisational behaviour is directly influenced by an organisation’s leadership structure.
H3o. Organisational behaviour at Hong Kong Airline Limited has not played a major role in its success in the market.
H3a. Organisational behaviour at Hong Kong Airline Limited has played a major role in its success in the market.
The researcher seeks to reject the null hypotheses set above. This would mean that the alternative hypotheses would be accepted.
The chapter focuses on various aspects of research development. It includes methods used in data collection, its analysis and presentation procedures. Every research project applies a particular research design to achieve its objectives depending on its goals. The methods used to conduct research in this project compared closely with the methods proposed in the project proposal (Badenhorst 2007, p. 56). This was so because the project proposal had been proven workable. In research, design deals primarily with aims, uses, purposes, intentions, and plans within the practical constraints of time, location, money, and availability of staff (Barthe 2010, p. 80). In this research study, respondents were briefed in advance.
This was necessary to ensure that respondents were properly prepared psychologically for the activity. This would also help in ensuring that response was given in time to allow for its timely analysis. The officials of Hong Kong Airline Limited were given relevant notice by the researcher. The study population was also amicably informed in order to get them prepared for the study. Briefing was important because it enhances reliability of the study. It is also ethical to inform people before conducting research on them (Barzun 2004, p. 37). The findings were also made public to the participants as one way of ensuring morality in the study.
Quantitative research method
According to Anderson (2009, p. 78), quantitative methods is a type of study that utilises figures to arrive at given conclusions. In this regard, the study will take the form of a survey, where the researcher identifies a sample and posts questionnaires to them (Barzun 2004, p. 75). A sample of the questionnaire is attached to the appendix of this report. In this study, there was need to compare the relationship between different variables in order to establish the cause and effect. The researcher was interested in knowing how the organisational behaviour affected the organisational performance. Quantitative research would help in this study. It would enable the researcher to test the hypotheses set for validity of the research and allow for the use of a small sample as a representation of the total population. According to Anderson (2004, p. 83), qualitative methods explain why a given pattern of events has taken place in a given manner.
Scope of Data Collection
Defining the scope of data collection was considered important for this study in order to guide its usage. According to Bell (2005, p. 74), sometimes one may misuse a given report by applying it in an irrelevant context, making it difficult to achieve the desired results. For this reason, it was considered necessary to define the context under which the primary and secondary sources of data were collected. The researcher used secondary sources of data to define the theoretical perspective of this research. It is important to state that the information given by the secondary sources captured the topic under varying environmental factors and companies. The primary source of data was obtained from the employees of Hong Kong Airline Limited. The researched asked members of this organisation for their perceptions of organisational behaviour at this firm.
The sampled population included managers, supervisors, and junior employees. Twenty managers in the top management and 30 mid-managers were selected. The supervisors selected for the study were 50 and the junior employees were 50. In total, there were 150 participants. Another important criteria used in the selection process was that the participants must have worked within this firm for a minimum of 3 years. The researcher explained to all participants of the survey what this research is all about and what is meant by organisational behaviour in the context of this research in a cover letter. The cover letter is attached to the appendix of this research. The process of collecting primary data was restricted to Hong Kong because of the time and financial constraints. This means that it would not be appropriate to apply the information from the primary data on a global context.
It is important to define the questionnaire design that has been used in this study. The researcher used two key methods to gather relevant data in this research. The first approach was done with the use of questionnaires, which was sent through e-mail to the participating employees of Hong Kong Airline Limited. The focus of the review of literatures was to get information on the application of motivation techniques within the workplace and to determine how it affects organisational behaviour at this particular company (Abinash & Gupta 2005, p. 26).
The questionnaire was structured into four parts. The first part of the questionnaire sought to capture background information of all the respondents who participated in this study. The second part dealt with the demographical factors of the respondents. This was to determine the prevalence of views in different categories in order to ensure that if any inconsistencies were detected, then it would be easy to capture them in their demographic space (Whyte 1989, p. 24). The third section dealt with the academic credentials and work experience of the respondents both at this firm and at other similar institutions (Bowles & Dong 1999, p. 18). The motivation for this section of the questionnaire came from the knowledge that different people would respond differently to various issues, based on their age and academic qualifications (Gusti 2011, p.94). The last part delved into specific issues Hong Kong Airline Limited as an institution under investigation, starting from the understanding of the concept used to develop organisational culture, and its effect on the performance of the firm for the past years (Westman, Brough & Kalliath 2009, p. 591).
This questionnaire employed a mix of closed and open-ended questions to capture different aspects of issues under investigation. The open-ended questions were used because they give the respondents enough time to think about their response, a fact that makes them feel comfortable when responding to the questions set in the study (Glatthorn 2005, p. 57). This allowed the researcher to understand the position of respondents and the reason why they gave specific responses. Open-ended questions also minimise errors that could have occurred in the course of the research. According to Bak (2004, p. 54), respondents are always at ease if they are given the opportunity to respond to the questions freely. This approach eliminates possibility of the respondents ignoring some of the question.
Each response in the close-ended questions can be codified for easy statistical interpretation. According to Falah (2005, p. 118), closed-ended questions are also compatible with computer package. This approach is more specific, which means that its answers are very consistent. This aspect may be impossible when using open-ended questions because respondents are allowed to use their own words (Bell 2001, p. 112). Finally, the closed-ended questions took lesser time to administer as compared to the open-ended questions, a fact that was important given the limited time that was available for the study. The questionnaire was e-mailed to respondents and then the researcher called them just to remind them of the need to respond to the questions and then e-mail it back. The researcher made this decision after consideration of time and resources and resources available for the study. This method may be time consuming, but it is effective. Besides this, the method allowed the respondents to reflect on the set questions and answer them with accuracy (Earl 2009, p. 43). This method is not easily affected by the level of respondent’s literacy skills.
The use of questionnaire enabled the researcher to capture relevant issues, which are unique to Hong Kong Airline Limited. This important because there was limited literature with the desired degree of relevance to the subject matter of Hong Kong Airline Limited. The participants responded to the questions, an e-mailed back the questionnaires for the purpose of data analysis. The availability of the participants heavily influenced the choice of this approach because Hong Kong Airline Limited operates throughout the day, and for this reason, it is not easy to find all of the respondents in one place at a given time (Vaughan & Deep 1999, p. 408). After data collection, it went through a detailed analysis, which culminated into discussion and conclusions discussed in chapters four and five of this report.
The researcher used the questions to determine the perception of the respondents on how various elements of organisational behaviour affect the performance of an organisation. The first research question, which is listed as the third question in section B of the questionnaire, broadly looks at the impact of organisational behaviour on organisational performance. The third research question in this paper, which is the tenth question in the research paper specifically focuses on teamwork as one of the most important variable of organisational behaviour. It seeks to determine the impact of teamwork- an element of organisational behaviour- on the performance of the employees. Performance of an individual employee will always affect the overall performance of the firm.
The researcher was keen on maintaining ethics during the data collection process. One important ethical area was the need to maintain anonymity of the respondents. The researcher assigned them codes instead of using their names to ensure that they remained anonymous. The participants were also selected on a voluntary basis. No one was forced to take part in the study against his or her own free will. Finally, the data obtained from the participants were properly secured from access to third party, and then destroyed immediately after the analysis. This ensured that there was no means of tracing the participants of the study.
According to Westman, Brough and Kalliath (2009, p. 591), in any research, it may not be possible to use the total population to collect relevant data for the research, especially when the population is large. Using the entire population may be tedious because of the large number of people that may need to be interviewed, and the complexity of reaching them. For this reason, it may be necessary to identify a sample population to use in a given study (Dunleavy 2003, p. 53). In this research, the issue under investigation affects firms from the global perspective. It may not be realistic to collect data from the entire population on a global perspective. A sampling technique was used to get a section of the employees at Hong Kong Airline Limited. Stratified sampling techniques were considered appropriate for this study. The strata at this firm were identified as the management and employees. In each stratum, simple random sampling was used to collect data.
Data analysis methods
According to Brause (2000, p. 142), data analysis is the process of transforming raw data into useful information that can be applied in different contexts. Before choosing an appropriate method of analysing data, it is necessary to determine the objective of the study. The study may take categorical, qualitative, or quantitative approach. This study took a quantitative approach of data analysis. Based on the level of accuracy needed, says that analysis of data can take descriptive form or complex statistical inferencing. According to (Goddard 2001, p. 132), the approach used can be univariate, bivariate or multivariate analysis. In choosing the right method, researcher must ensure that set assumptions that are relating to the method are properly adequately satisfied (Gupta 2002, p. 19).
In the process of analysing the data, it was necessary to identify the most appropriate data analysis tool that will be effective enough in leading towards the desired answers. The analysis used relevant statistical tools in order to generate figures from the raw data generated from the field. This method was considered appropriate because this tool allows for the generation of the desired outputs once the data has been coded appropriately. These statistical tools allow for generation of statistical values such as mean, modal, and median values that are vital in identifying the views of the respondents over a set question. This statistical tool also allows for the mathematical analysis of the level of validity of the data collected from the field.
Validity and reliability of the method
Calabrese (2006, p. 97) defines validity as “The appropriateness, applicability and truthfulness of a study. It is the ability of research instruments to produce results that are in agreement with theoretical and conceptual values.” In this research, internal validity was assured by ensuring that the sample used was a true representation of the entire population. The stratified sampling technique used in data analysis ensured that the participants were from different levels of management at the firm. This played an important role in boosting the correctness of the conclusion of the report.
The researcher also ensured that the information collected from the field is not in any way influenced by the personal biasness. According to Delving (2006, p. 82), “Reliability means that the study is consistent and lacks any ambiguity. It is the ability to trust something to provide information that addresses the issue at hand.” This largely depends on the type of tool used in the analysis of the collected raw data. In this research study, the use of statistical tools was considered appropriate in enabling the researcher to arrive at reliable conclusions. Based on the guidelines given by Cramer (2003, p. 34), the research adopted the principle of openness, coherence, and discourse as a way of improving its reliability. In this study, the researcher majorly relied on the principle of openness, coherence, and discourse to enhance reliability of the study.
Analysis of Findings
In chapter 3 of this dissertation, the methodology was clearly defined in order to determine how the primary data would be analysed. In this chapter, the focus will be to analyse the primary data that was collected with the help of questionnaires sent to the employees of Hong Kong Airline Limited. The sample population used in this study had 150 participants. The participants were taken from various levels of management at this institution. There were a few top managers, mid managers, and junior managers at this institution. The majority were the employees at the non-management levels. The data collected were classified into categories for the purpose of analysis. The first category involved the open-ended questions that allowed the respondents to give their perceptions in their own words.
The data obtained from this source was not easy to codify because of the varying views of the participants when giving their thoughts on a certain issue. However, they were classified as supporting or opposing a given issue. This way, it would be possible to codify their responses to allow for mathematical analysis through the relevant software. The second category was the closed-ended questions. These questions were easily codified because there was uniformity in the manner the researchers were expected to give their responses to the questions. The responses were, therefore easy to assign specific codes for easy analysis using the statistical tools used in this study. The research questions were used to help in validating the hypotheses that were set in the previous chapters.
Analysis of Findings
The researcher posed the questions set on this research to the respondents through the questionnaires. The results that were obtained from the field were fed into the spreadsheet in order to generate findings. The following are some of the main questions that were posed to the respondents in this study.
To what extent does organisational behaviour affect organisational performance based on your experience at this firm?
The responses obtained from the participants of the study were fed into spreadsheet, and the results presented in the form of a graph as shown below.
It is clear from the above graph that most of the respondents felt that organisational behaviour has a great impact on organisational performance. It shows that 75% of the respondents noted that the impact is very great, while 15% stated that it is considerably great. Only 2% of the respondents had a contrary opinion. The other 3% of the respondents stated that they were not sure. The results confirm the Culture Theory as explained by Annabelle (2006, p. 858), which holds that a positive culture can be learnt. One of the respondents stated that organisational behaviour has a direct impact on the performance of this organisation. This participant identified an example of a case where employees at this firm neglected their tasks because of a culture that did not support teamwork. In the past, when one was unable to address a specific task, this participant noted that he or she would avoid such task, believing that another employee would be able to address it. Very few members of this organisation were willing to ask for help from their peers. However, this negative culture is slowly disappearing from this firm.
To what extent does the management of this firm try to inculcate positive organisational behaviour in an organisation?
This was another important question in this study that focused on the role of management in promoting positive organisational behaviour. The responses obtained from this question were analysed and presented as shown in the graph below
From their response, it is clear that over 80% of the participants stated that the management making minimal effort to inculcate positive organisational behaviour in this firm. 10% of the participants noted that this effort was too minimal to be noticed. One of the participants said that the management has not clearly come out with programs meant to promote positive organisational behaviour in this firm. Only 5% of the participants, most of whom are in the management unit, stated that the management is making enough effort to inculcate positive organisational behaviour in this firm.
One of the managers stated that the firm is keen on defining organisational behaviour through various programs. Their response reiterates the view of Pandey (1997, p. 45) that most managers have failed to inculcate positive organisational behaviour on their employees. In fact one of the mid managers stated that the top management is doing very little to improve organisational behaviour at this firm. Although some of the mid level managers tried to justify the reasons why the management is unable to inculcate positive organisational behaviour at this firm, they noted that this is a responsibility that should not be ignored. This opinion is shared by Calabrese (2006, p. 99) who says that the management plays an important role in inculcating positive organisational behaviour within an organisation.
What is the impact of teamwork in increasing the employee’s productivity and organisational performance at this firm?
The respondents strongly felt that teamwork has very great impact on employee’s productivity and organisational performance. Over 95% of the respondents noted that it has a great impact of organisation’s performance. One of the respondents stated that teamwork has been one of his main strengths as an employee of this firm. She stated that working as a team has helped her learn a lot in her field, a fact that has improved her skills. Another participant noted that teamwork is very important when addressing challenging tasks because it promotes sharing of ideas. This leads to a positive performance of the firm in the market. It confirms the proposition put forward in Team Role Theory (Rastogi 1996, p. 544). According to Saiyadain (2003, p. 10), this theory holds that the performance of employees can be improved by allowing them to work as a team. In fact, only one percent of the participants stated that teamwork is of no benefit in improving productivity of the participants. The participant claimed that teamwork encourages laziness and idle talks among the employees.
Testing of the research hypotheses
The researcher used the data obtained from the respondents in order determine the truthfulness of the hypothesis that were set in the proposal of this dissertation.
H1o. There is limited relationship between various elements of the organisational behaviour and organisational performance.
This was the first hypothesis of this research. The graph below shows the responses obtained from the participants.
H1a. There is a close relationship between various elements of organisational behaviour and organisational performance.The results in the table above shows that majority of respondents felt that there is a close relationship between the elements of organisational behaviour and organisational performance. It rejects the null hypothesis above. In fact, one respondent noted that reward system influenced his behaviour within the firm. The respondent gave an example where this firm managed to attract more clients because of the teamwork and commitment of employees to offer value to the customers. Another respondent stated that he was forced to engage in regular research in order to enhance innovativeness within the firm. According to Whyte (1989, p. 25), various aspects of organisational behaviour are closely intertwined, and any effect on one of them may have a ripple effect on others. This claim is supported by Zsóka (2007, p. 120) who says that none of the variable in an organisational system should be ignored if success in all the variables is to be achieved. The responses from the participants meant that the first alternative hypothesis is accepted.
The next hypothesis focused on the influence of organisation’s leadership structure on organisational performance.
H2o. Organisational behaviour is not directly influenced by an organisation’s leadership structure.
This was the second hypothesis of this research. The result obtained was analysed and the chart below shows the responses obtained.
H2a. Organisational behaviour is directly influenced by an organisation’s leadership structure.
As shown in the above chart, 97% of the participants stated that organisational leadership closely influences organisational behaviour. The responses obtained clearly rejects the null hypothesis which claimed that the relationship between the does not exist. One of the respondent stated that there are some behavioural patterns that have slowly been turned into a culture at Hong Kong Airline. An example given by the respondent is culture of constant research at the marketing unit of this firm. It started as a common behaviour among the mid managers, but grew to become a cultural practice at the marketing unit. This massive rejection of the null theory above is supported by the claims of Panda (2008, p. 422) who says that organisational behaviour is influenced by the leadership structure within an organisation. Only 3% had a contrary opinion to that of other participants. This means that the alternative hypothesis below was accepted.
The participants confirmed that organisational leadership influences organisational behaviour. As Nilakant (2001, p. 112) employees’ behavioural pattern is always defined closely by the leadership structure.
In the third hypothesis, the focus was to determine the relationship between organisational behaviour and the success of Hong Kong Airline Limited.
H3o. Organisational behaviour at Hong Kong Airline Limited has not played a major role in its success in the market.
The following graph shows the results that were obtained.
H3a. Organisational behaviour at Hong Kong Airline Limited has played a major role in its success in the market.
It is clear that 87% of the respondents felt that there is always a close relationship between organisational behaviour and the success at Hong Kong Airline Limited. The other 12% stated that there is a considerable relationship between organisational behaviour and organisational performance. One of the participants stated that in most of the cases, the overall performance of various departments within Hong Kong Airline depends on the organisational behaviour. One participant gave the example of the cabin crew. The crewmembers have embraced organisational behaviour where they are always willing to work for extra hours while on-board the planes whenever there is a need to do this. This has reduced cases of complaints by the employees of this firm, improving its overall performance. The research by Mangham (1998, p. 318) also concurs with the results obtained above by holding that an employee’s performance is heavily influenced by organisational behaviour. Only one of the participants had a contrary opinion. It means that the alternative hypothesis below is confirmed.
This last hypothesis is in agreement with the arguments of Ketola (2006, p. 150) who suggests that any organisation that seeks to succeed must find a way of maintaining a positive organisational behaviour among its employees.
Summary of the Key Findings
It is clear from the analysis conducted in this chapter that organisational behaviour is an important component that should not be ignored when developing organisational strategies. The following are some of the key findings made from the analysis of the primary data.
- In the company under investigation, it is proven that there is a close relationship between various variables of organisational behaviour organisational performance.
- Organisational behaviour is directly influenced by a firm’s organisational leadership structure.
- Organisational behaviour has a direct impact on the overall performance of this firm based on individual employee’s output.
- The management has a direct responsibility of inculcating positive organisational behaviour in this firm.
- Organisational behaviour affects the ability of employees within this firm to work as a team.
Meaningfulness of results
This research was specifically meant to determine the impact of organisational behaviour on organisational performance in a specific organisation, Hong Kong Airlines. The study focused on determining the relevance of organisational behaviour in improving the performance of this firm. It is clear that variables of organisational behaviour are closely related, and any disruption in one of them may lead to an overall disruption of the entire system. This outcome is supported by the arguments of Geppert (2002, p. 24) who says that organisational behaviour is a system of closely interrelated variables. The study also revealed that organisational behaviour shapes organisational performance within this firm. This behaviour will in turn affect the workplace environment. The study indicates that organisational factors such as teamwork are greatly affected by the organisational culture.
It is in agreement with the research study by Dwivedi (2006, p. 537) who emphasizes on the relevance of teamwork within an organisation. A positive organisational behaviour promotes teamwork, creativity, and innovativeness among employees. This will have a positive impact on the overall performance of this firm, as stated by the participants of the research. The research also revealed that leaders have an important role to play in promoting positive organisational behaviour among the employees. Leaders must nurture teamwork, effective communication, innovation, and positive competition among employees. It is also clear from the study that teamwork should not just be considered as a preserve for the junior employees. The mid-level managers also need to embrace teamwork in order to address some of the challenges they face in the organisation. They must realize that the best way of addressing some of the challenges at the management level is to approach them from a perspective of a team. This way, it becomes easy to address the problems that may arise from time to time.
This study revealed that organisational behaviour is important in defining organisational culture. Organisational behaviour can be developed using motivational approaches. Dwivedi (2006, p. 536) says that people tend to work well when they realize that there is an incentive that comes with a positive performance. The management can find various ways of motivating the employees in order to develop a desirable organisational behaviour. This may come in the form of a reward. The management may develop a program where employees who excel at specific assignments are rewarded using financial and non-financial incentives. The incentive must be based on a behaviour that is considered desirable in the organisation in order to convince others to embrace this behaviour. According to Dwivedi (2006, p. 538), when employees realize that there is a reward for behaving in a given manner, they will always make an effort to behave in that manner in order to win the gifts. Sometimes it may be necessary to use punitive measures in case the incentives fail to work as noted by some of the mid managers at Hong Kong Airline. According to McGregor’s Theory X, human beings are naturally lazy, and need close supervision in order to make them deliver the desired results (Mangham 1998, p. 318). From this study, it is clear how this theory can be applied in a real-life organisational context. Depending on the organisational behaviour that has been embraced by a firm, McGregor’s Theory X or Theory Y may be appropriate when managing employees.
Implications for managers
The findings from this study have direct implication to managers, especially in the service sectors. From this study, the managers must realize that they have a role to play in defining the organisational behaviour at their institutions. As Geppert (2002, p. 25) notes, managers must understand that employees’ behaviour will largely depend on the working environment as defined by the leadership of an organisation. According to Kothiyal (2005, p. 126), managers have a role in promoting positive behaviour among employees in order to create a desirable organisational behaviour. The management should make an effort to promote a positive behaviour that would address issues that are pertinent to the organisation. For instance, the habit of procrastination or absconding of duties can be eliminated through effective leadership within an organisation.
Based on the findings of this study, it is important for the managers to realize that organisational behaviour is created through continuous practice of a given habit. It is not something that can be achieved overnight. As Geppert (2002, p. 25) observes, both positive and negative organisational behaviour can be develop over time based on the attitude taken by the management unit while offering leadership to the employees. It is always easier to develop a poor workplace environment, especially when the management fails to offer an alternative organisational behaviour. It is common to find employees ignoring their duties when they realize that the management is not strict enough. When they realize that the management is comfortable with this, they easily change it into a practice that cannot be easily changed. Such undesirable acts would then turn into a habit of the employees within an organisation. This can easily lead to the downfall of such an organisation. According to Kothiyal (2005, p. 128), developing a positive organisational behaviour can be very challenging. This is especially so if the employees had developed a given trait in their workplace for a long period. Any attempt to change a norm that has become accepted in a given organisation is always met with resistance because employees may consider it a deliberate decision by the management to frustrate them.
It is important to identify some of the limitations in this research in order to guide the usage of its findings. The primary research data was collected from only one company, Hong Kong Airline. The primary data was also conducted within Hong Kong. This means that application of the findings of this report beyond this firm, and beyond this country should be done with caution. For this reason, the researcher recommends further studies of organisational behaviour in airline industry beyond Hong Kong borders. It also recommended that further studies be conducted in other industries other than the airline industry to expand knowledge in this field.
Appendix 1: Questionnaire for Research
Tick as is appropriate
- Gender: Male_________ Female________
- Nationality: Chinese ____ Non-Chinese _____
- Places Ever Worked: Hong Kong ____ Nationally and Internationally_______
- Highest level of education:
High School_____ Bachelor’s_______ Master’s _______ Doctorate______ Other ____
Are you employed? (Tick as appropriate)
For Those Who Are Employed Only
[This part is specifically meant for the current employees of Hong Kong Airlines Ltd.]
- For how long have you been employed at this institution? __________________
- What is your position in the firm as an employee?
- (Tick the appropriate level)
- Non-management staff
- Middle-level management
- Top-level management
- What is your perception on impact of organizational behavior on organizational culture and performance outcome?
- If yes, how positively or negatively has this influenced your performance as an employee of this institution?
- Does not matter
- How well does the management of this firm try to inculcate positive organizational behavior in an organization?
- How would you rate your level of satisfaction as an employee of the institution? Given a scale, where 1= very poor and 5= very good)
- To what extent does Organisational behaviour impact on Organisational culture and performance outcome based on your experience at this firm?
- Very Much
- Not Sure
- A Little
- Not At All
- To what extent does the management of this firm try to inculcate positive organisational behaviour in an Organisation?
- Great Effort
- Considerable Effort
- Not Sure
- Minimal Effort
- No Effort
- How often has leadership acted as your motivating factor in your current or past workplaces?
- Most of the time
- Half the time
- What is the impact of teamwork in increasing the employee’s productivity and Organisational performance at this firm?
- Very relevant
- Quite relevant
- Has some reservations
- Completely irrelevant
- What is the role of junior employees in promoting positive organizational behavior in your current organization?__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- What are some of the factors affecting positive organizational behavior? Kindly explain.__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- What would you suggest to organizational leaders on the best ways of promoting positive organizational behavior?__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- The researcher highly appreciates the fact that you have taken your time to respond to the above questions. The researcher would like to assure you that the information gathered will specifically be used for academic purposes and that it will remain a confidential document that is to be shared between the researcher and the faculty only. Thank you very much!
Appendix 2: Cover Latter
Hong Kong Airline
P.O. Box (insert address)
Re: Survey on Organizational Behavior at Hong Kong Airline
It is with profound respect that I write this latter to you. I am a Masters Degree student at (), specializing in accounting. I am conducting an academic research on organizational behavior at your institution. My interest is to determine how this organization uses organizational culture to define the general behavior of their employees within the firm. I have developed questionnaires, which are attached to this letter, to collect data on specific issues about this firm. The information that will be collected from this research will remain confidential, and your identity will not be revealed to anyone. Do not include your name in the questionnaires, but just the codes provided. The information obtained in the research will be used specifically for academic purposes.
(Insert your name)
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