Understanding Behavior: Systematic Study, Evidence-based Management & Intuition

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  • 0:07 Understanding Behavior
  • 0:38 Intuition Study
  • 1:39 Systematic Study
  • 2:56 Evidence-based…
  • 4:11 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
Intuition, systematic and evidence-based management are three different ways that employees can be analyzed in an organization. The results of the studies allow companies to improve employee programs, training and daily work environments.

Understanding Behavior

Organizations need to study individual and group behavior in order to identify key elements to help improve overall work environments. Systematic study, evidence-based management and intuition are three ways to conduct this type of organizational behavior study.

Messy Chocolates is a chocolate bar company that has been in business for over ten years. They use all three ways to understand the behavior of their employees. Let's take a look at the simplest form of trying to decipher employee behavior and actions.

Intuition Study

Intuition can help aid in understanding employee behavior. Intuition is when an individual depends on gut feelings, basic observation and common sense. The biggest issue with using intuitive study is that it does not encompass the entire picture of employee behavior. Managers might be just assuming facts and not continuing to find proof of behavior.

For example, Carmela Bar is a marketing manager for Messy Chocolates. She is trying to understand why one of her assistant marketing managers is not performing very well. She has spent the last week watching her work and believes that her gut instinct will tell her what the issue is with her subordinate. Carmela believes that Susie is jealous of her coworker who was recently promoted and is not working to her potential out of protest and anger.

Unfortunately, Carmela did not understand the full picture and was incorrect in her observations. The real reason Susie was underperforming at work was that she was having marital problems at home.

Systematic Study

The second type of observation is more scientific in nature and is called systematic study. This observation helps provide a stronger way to accurately predict behavior. First of all, systematic study assumes that there is a pattern to the behavior and that it is not random. Systematic study believes that the patterns can be identified and cultivated to improve individual performance. The method of accomplishing this is by examining behavior, looking for cause and effect and searching for specific evidence. The steps in a systematic study are:

  • Understand the problem and collect pertinent data.
  • Make sure to examine the problem from all sides and then develop a plan of action.
  • Implement the solution.

If Carmela had utilized a systematic approach to Susie's poor work effort, she might have come to a different solution. For instance, Carmela might not have just watched Susie at work. She might have interviewed her and her coworkers to try and find other possible causes for Susie's downfall. Eventually, with more insightful research, Carmela would have determined that Susie's personal life was the cause of her poor work habits. Carmela would have systematically analyzed each potential reason for why Susie was not performing.

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