Organizational behavior is the study of how people interact within groups. It examines how organizations are structured and how they function. It also looks at how individuals behave within these organizations. It aims to improve organizational effectiveness and individual wellbeing.
There are four main types of organizational behavior models: collegial, custodial, autocratic and supportive. Each model has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Which organizational behavior model is best for your business depends on your specific needs and goals as an organization. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question – you will need to carefully consider which type of organizational behavior model will work best for you.
Read on to learn about the pros and cons of each model so you can make a more educated decision on which one will work best for your business.
The different types of organizational behavior models
There are several different models of organizational behavior that theorists have proposed over the years. The most common include:
Autocratic model – The leader(s) make all decisions without consulting with others in the organization. This model is often used in organizations with a clear hierarchy and where the leader’s authority is not questioned. This model can be effective in organizations where there is a need for quick decisions or where the leader is an expert in the area and the others in the organization are not. However, this model can also lead to problems if the leader is not open to input from others or if the decisions made are not in the best interests of the organization.
Collegial model – This model emphasizes teamwork, collaboration and open communication between employees at all organizational levels. It is often used in creative or knowledge-based industries where innovation is key to success.
Custodial model – This model focuses on security and loyalty within an organization. Employees are seen as property or assets to be managed by those in authority positions. It is often used in hierarchical organizations such as the military or government agencies where there is a need for strict rules and regulations leadership style.
Supportive model – This model is based on the belief that employees need support from their organization to be successful. It often includes benefits such as childcare, health insurance and employee assistance programs.
Systems model – This model views organizations as complex systems made up of interacting parts that must work together for the system to function properly. It is often used in large organizations where there are many different departments or divisions.
But how do you pick the best model for your business?
The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the size and structure of your organization, the industry you are in and your company culture. If you are not sure which model would be best for your business, it is advisable to consult with an organizational behavior specialist who can help you assess your needs and make recommendations accordingly.
How to choose the right model for your business
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best organizational behavior model for your business will depend on several factors specific to your company. However, there are some general tips that can help you choose the right model for your business:
- Assess your needs – The first step is to assess your organization’s needs in terms of its size, structure, industry and culture. This will give you a better understanding of which types of models would be most appropriate for your company.
- Do your research – Once you have narrowed down your options, it is important to do some research on each of the models you are considering. Read about how they work and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Talk to other businesses that have implemented these models to get first-hand information about what they entail.
- Consult with a specialist – If you are still unsure which model is right for your business, consult with an organizational behavior specialist who can help guide you through the decision-making process.
- Consider your options carefully – Ultimately, choosing the right organizational behavior model for your business should be the result of a thoughtful decision based on careful consideration of all available options.
The pros and cons of the collegial model
The collegial model is a type of organizational behavior model that emphasizes teamwork and collaboration. This model is often used in academic or research-based organizations, as it enables employees to pool their knowledge and expertise to achieve collective goals.
There are several advantages of the collegial model:
- Improved creativity and innovation – When employees are encouraged to work together, they can share ideas more freely and come up with creative solutions to problems.
- Greater employee satisfaction – The collegial model fosters a sense of camaraderie among employees, which can lead to greater job satisfaction and motivation.
- Increased productivity – By working together, team members can keep each other accountable and motivated, leading to increased productivity.
- Better decision-making – When multiple people are involved in decision-making, there is less chance of bias or errors being made.
- Stronger relationships – The collegial model can help to build strong, trusting relationships between employees, which can improve communication and collaboration.
- Higher quality work – When team members can review and critique each other’s work, the overall quality of the output is usually higher.
However, as there’s so much discussion that needs to go on for this model to work, there are some disadvantages to be aware of, including:
- Lack of clarity – With so many people involved in decision-making, it can be difficult to come to a consensus and there may be a lack of clarity about who is responsible for what.
- Inefficiency – The democratic process can sometimes be slow and cumbersome, leading to decisions that are not made in a timely manner.
- Missed opportunities – When everyone has a say, some ideas may get lost in the shuffle and may never be implemented.
So, while the collegial model can create a much more collaborative environment, productivity and output can decrease. This model can be used in an environment where high-quality decisions are prioritized over speed.
The custodial model is a type of organizational behavior model that focuses on the employer-employee relationship. In this model, the employer provides resources and support to employees in exchange for loyalty and obedience.
There are several advantages of the custodial model:
- Increased employee motivation – Employees who feel supported by their employers are more likely to be motivated to work hard and be loyal to the organization.
- Improved job satisfaction – When employees feel valued and appreciated, they tend to be happier with their jobs, which can lead to improved job satisfaction.
- Greater productivity – The custodial model can lead to increased productivity as employees feel obligated to work harder when they know their efforts are being recognized by their employer.
- Lower turnover rates – When employees feel satisfied with their jobs and have a good relationship with their employer, the turnover rate will be lower.
While employees will feel much happier because they’re being taken care of, it’s also quite easy for employees to exploit this model and not output as much as their full potential allows them to. This model can be good for a larger company where optimal performance isn’t required, but turnover is extremely expensive and prohibitive.
The ins and outs of the autocratic model
The autocratic model is a type of organizational behavior model that emphasizes complete control by the employer. In this model, employees are expected to obey and follow orders without question. This resembles a “wartime CEO” model, as coined by Ben Horowitz.
There are several advantages of the autocratic model:
- Increased efficiency – The autocratic model can lead to increased efficiency as employees do not need to waste time questioning orders or making decisions.
- Greater control – With the autocratic leader in complete control, there is less chance for things to go wrong or get out of hand.
- Improved discipline – Employees who know they must obey their employers without question tend to be more disciplined and work harder.
- Greater productivity – The focus on obedience and following orders can lead to greater productivity as employees do not have time to goof off.
The main disadvantage here is that people will be unhappy and are likely to happily leave when they get an opportunity to. This model is commonly seen in startups where execution and speed are prioritized over employee well-being.
The advantages of the supportive model
The supportive model is a type of organizational behavior that emphasizes employee involvement and participation. In this model, employees are encouraged to voice their opinions and share ideas.
There are several advantages of the supportive model:
- Increased creativity – When employees feel they have a say in how things are done, they tend to be more creative and come up with new ideas.
- Greater innovation – The open exchange of ideas can lead to greater innovation as employees feel free to experiment and try new things.
- Improved communication – Employees who feel heard and valued tend to communicate better, which can lead to improved communication throughout the organization.
Like the collegial model, extensive discussions can slow down productivity. While employees will feel good that their employers are quite supportive, this method can still lead to high turnover if the salary is low when compared to a competitor’s.
Learn even more about behavioral models and business
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While there are many different types of organizational behavior models, the right one for a business depends on the size and structure of the organization, the industry and the company culture. The advantages of the collegial model include improved creativity and innovation, greater employee satisfaction and increased productivity. However, there are some disadvantages of this model such as lack of clarity, efficiency issues, missed opportunities for ideas and increased conflict potential. To learn even more about organizational behavioral models and business in general, be sure to check out Spring Arbor University’s MBA program.