When thinking back over the past fifteen years I am amazed by how many things have changed in the workplace. There was a time not so long ago when it was common for an employee to work their entire career for one company. An employee could expect to receive a decent pension plan upon retiring, and possibly even leave their career to a family member. Fifteen years ago it was also unheard of to have a computer on each desk, and to send e-mail thousands of miles across the globe. The employee-employer relationship has changed almost as quickly as technology in the workplace. A willingness to learn about organizational behavior (OB) will support companies and individuals to succeed in this fast-paced, ever changing world.
Organizational behavior can be defined as "the study of individuals and groups in organizations" (Schermerhorn, Hunt & Osborn, 2003, ch. 1, p.
2). In order to grow, one must be willing to change and much of the corporate restructuring, downsizing, and mergers of the 1980s utilized OB to determine how best to alter the organization for positive growth. In a time when technology was just getting its start and the economy was at a low, companies were scrambling for ways to stay afloat. Change agents abounded during this tumultuous time as companies hired consulting firms to assist in restructuring. These changes were transformational in nature and were often not handled well from the employees' perspective. Had companies been more in tune with their workforce these changes may have been better received and understood.
On one is immune to this type of change. I experienced my first downsizing within my first two years in the workforce. I am a firm believer that change is a wonderful thing. Every change that I have encountered...