Organisational Behaviour Classes review – a summary and afterthought from an international perspective
By Michael Glasek, Class of 2023
Corporate culture, organisational behaviour, and how things work at a company. Is it essential to talk about ways of approaching, analysing and optimising "the human factor" in the work environment?
Without a second thought, yes! Imagine a working space where teams are formed with people complementing each other skills and abilities. Imagine a place where we can skip the lengthy processes of sending resumes, receiving no feedback, or finding out if you're a perfect fit.
I am sure everybody would like to live in a world like this. Can we achieve that? With the help of data science (e.g. for analysing the sent-in resumes and cover letters without giving away the "human approach") and, what is a more critical, psychological and behaviouristic approach, I believe we can.
Easy steps to understand corporate culture
Where do we start? By educating ourselves, of course. And that is precisely why Organisational Behaviour classes (hosted and presented by professor Kao Kuo-yang高國揚) were one of the gems of the Global MBA programme at National Yang-ming Chiao Tung University in Taiwan. During the course, we were taught a plethora of subjects, including KSAO statements, O*NET analysis, how to approach the interviews (both from the interviewee and interviewer's perspective), analysing and writing job descriptions and job advertisements, locating yourself on the "what role do I play in my work environment and life" spectrum and much more. What I loved most about it, we didn't only base our knowledge on academic books and materials (which, of course, also play a critical role). Still, we engaged in numerous activities such as role-playing, team assignments and first-hand knowledge from experts in various industries.
What can we learn from the classes?
The class also touched on the subject of leadership which is critical to any management position, be it guiding your team to reach quotas or finish the task, giving advice and developing your team's career paths, managing your own career/business or being at the very top of the position chain. Acquiring these skills is essential to anybody who plans on advancing their career. I have learned a lot about how to be a leader in terms of talking and giving feedback to colleagues from many different cultures, where aspects like giving face or personal life are treated much differently than what I am used to.
During the course, we learned how to be an effective (but also, what is often forgotten, human) leader and incorporate your mindset into the working environment in different industries and cultures.
Individualistic approach to Organisational Behaviour
As an international student from a vastly different (Western) culture, I also learned something I was not expecting to come across during this class. Seeing how an approach to specific issues like internal and external communication, the definitions of things like achievements, expectations and "ideal colleague" were entirely different to what I knew and was used to in the European culture. Attending the Organisational Behaviour classes opened my eyes to many aspects I knew before (or had thought about) in a much different light. Why? It was the exposure to feedback from both a Taiwanese professor and also a large group of Taiwanese students, where the latter were not students making their first steps into working life but people with at least a few years of experience who could share their experiences and introduce me to a vastly different outlook on what is corporate culture or organisational behaviour.