1.1 Background to the study

In all the areas of organisational behaviour, the handling and management of emotions seem more neglected. This is needed for organisations to survive otherwise personal tensions and conflicts may result. People experience great difficulties in copying with fierce even outrageous impulses. The Dutch historian Huizinga (1924) writes about the more ferocious and rather unpredictable shifts of behaviour in Medieval Europe. There undoubtedly were norms and agreements to regulate behaviour and mutual interactions. Bernard du Rosier (1404 – 1475) in his effort to propagate other rules of conduct in organisations emphasised on keeping behaviour, emotions and temper under control continuously. Van(1994) noted that during the period of capitalism, the problems of organisationswere discipline, behaviour management and coordination of employees. Factory regimes were based on a tangled combination of coercion from the side of organisations and willingness or motivation on the workers’ part. Bringing people together in one space implied the danger that they would get in each other’s way, that arguments could erupt as a result of differences in behaviour or that they would over indulge in other activities detrimental to the growth of the organisation. Conformance with the individual regime was indirectly threatened by corruption of the moral in the free time (Van, 1994).

However, with the emergence of Scientific Method by Taylor, the founder of Scientific Organisational Design (1856 – 1915) emphasis shifted to imposition of discipline on the activities of subordinates. He explained how employees managed to restrict production by ‘soldiering and loafing’. He contended that applying individual training, better communication pattern, desirable organisational culture, forum for interaction and association and other measures could gradually overcome the tendencies of soldiering and loafing. His experience provided a good impression on how personal power can be replaced by more ‘neutral’ mechanisms of control.

In today’s increasing interdependent companies and organisations – within the context of the global free-market economy, managers need to understand the synergistic roles played by organisational behaviour forces in influencing behaviour.Multinationals are reorganising in response to the changing environment, hoping to capitalise on opportunities for growth. With emphasis on international business and global economy, there is a search on for a new breed of employees and managers. Such employees know how to conduct business across international borders, is often multilingual, thinks with a world view and is able to map out strategies that keep organisations on business track.

Competition in banking businesses today has made managers in the sector to realise that managing behaviour is complex and challenges innovation, economic growth and corporate sustainability. Consequently, Susmeta (2013) states that managers need to know individual differences among employees since individual differences have direct effect on behaviour stressing that  people who perceive things differently behave differently; people with different attitudes respond differently to directives and that people with different personalities interact differently with bosses, co-workers, subordinates and customers. He further states that knowledge of individual differences helps to explain why some people embrace changes and eventually become successful and others are fearful of it; why some employees are productive only when they are closely monitored while others are naturally productive; why some employees learn new tasks more effectively than others and how organisational behaviour variables can be applied to explain the influence they impact on behaviour and performance.

In this context therefore and considering the critical role of banks in the economy, attempts are made to evaluate how these individual differences impact on the behaviour of workers in this important sector. An understanding of employee behaviour may be required for optimising corporate objectives of the organisation. Attainment of corporate objectives is a function of the effectiveness and efficiency of organisation members. In this context, Bagraim, Cunningham, Potgieter&Viedge(2007) submit that the effectiveness of any organisation is determined by the quality of its members and therefore the procedure adopted in deciding the quality of employees required, establishing those with requisite experience and qualifications to apply and eventually selected are critical.  Consequently, Feldman and Arnold (1983) agree that the process of selecting new organisation members is thought of as a matching process with two simultaneous goals. The organisation seeks to match as closely as possible its own needs with the capabilities of the prospective member. This assertion justifies the rigorous recruitment exercise often experienced in Nigerian banking industry.

Managers are team players empowered by the willing and active support of others who are driven by conflicting self-interests. Acting on those conflicting self-interests are divergent and unpredictable behaviours influenced by certain variables. Organisational behaviour is concerned with the study of behaviour for better understanding, prediction and control, Fieldman and Arnold (1983). Naturally, behaviour of organisation members is influenced by a combination of organisational variables of individual, group, organisational and environmental factors such as motivation, communication, leadership style, group membership, organisational culture among others. Employees are complex combination of attitudes, beliefs and needs. Their minds and brains are complex and have parallel processes running at the same time and driven by some proxies that directly or indirectly compel them to behave in a particular direction.

Fieldman and Arnold (1983) also observe that managing behaviour in organisation is a lot more difficult because future managers are not prepared for the world they will enter, and that new manager’s expectations often exceed reality, displaying feelings of frustration, anxiety, under-utilisation and disappointment. Emphases are on theory rather than the synthesis of theory and practice that prepare managers for the challenges of the actual world. Social systems and social behaviour (and in the case of organisations, individual and group behaviour) can be defined and explained in terms of values, norms, communities and ensuring individual roles. In this context, Fararo, (2001), highlights a number of theoretical propositions derived from behavioural psychology thus:


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