Organisational Behaviour

Executive Summary of IBM

The pressure of competition continues to mount on the firms and their management look for strengthening the operational effectiveness of the firm along with the competitive advantage. This report studied various factors considering the organizational behaviour of an organization that can have a tremendous impact on the firm either positively or negatively. When organizational behaviour is positive, it can result in the organization in the achievement of a competitive edge in the market. Moreover, the factors of organizational behaviour can significantly impact the performance of the individual as well as the organization helping it to accomplish the goals and objectives of the organization.

This report was prepared by analyzing the essential factors of organizational behaviour practised by one of the leading multinational corporations, IBM. The report looked into all the necessary factors for the success and failure of the company. The recommendations were provided at the end of the study for further improvement.


Executive Summary


Company Background

Organizational Behaviour Factors Affecting Success and Failure


Organizational Culture




Organizational Structure

Power, Authority and Conflict

Conclusion and Recommendations


Introduction to Organizational Behaviour

Organizational behaviour has been considered to be one of the most essential tools for every organization in the contemporary world as the modern organizations are continuously and rapidly evolving its cultures within a fast-paced and competitive market (Wagner and Hollenbeck 2014). Organizational behaviour is considered as studying about how the people in an organization setting behave. The principles of organization are implemented along with the goal of making people and organizations work together effectively.

The controlling interests and management of a company must not forget that a business is breathing and living entity. An organization will always have its demeanour and character just like a person. Most of the organizations have been successfully created business behaviour and organizational architecture model that can be regarded as unparalleled within the business and is frequently viewed as innovative in terms of its design.

One such organization is IBM whose significant success could be found in its core business development with the help of decision-making, organizational culture, and organizational structure. It is vital to understand the driving forces of IBM that have led it into this business since many centuries and how its structure, culture, and decision making has defined its business. This report will discuss the factors related to the success and failure of the organizations for which we have chosen IBM to understand its organizational behaviour.

Company Background of IBM

IBM was established as three smaller firms at the end of the 19th century. During that time the company was recognized as CTR, known as Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation. The name, International Business Machines, as it stands currently, was adopted in the year 1924. IBM is one of the international businesses across more than 170 nations having 91 billion dollars as its annual revenue. The company has been focusing on the demands of its customers and not on the requirement of its growth. There is no doubt that the company has put in substantial thought to its development in terms of business. The company has been a leader in the market for the last 75 years and has created a culture of extraordinary accomplishments within the business.

Organizational Behaviour Factors Affecting Success and Failure

The various principles of the organizational behaviour can be implemented to various facets of a workplace to enhance productivity, employee satisfaction, performance, leadership, motivation along with the facilitation of appropriate cross-team collaboration and understand decision-making (Ludwig 2015).

With the ever-changing environment, the roles and responsibilities of the managers have become extra sensitive as they have to understand how to manage a workforce and treat with the obstacles of the modern environment. There is a requirement for the supervisors to develop a kind of behaviour and attitude of the individuals as well as groups within the organization.

An innovative international strategic framework has been created by IBM for the new generation of diversity that can be helpful for IBM to address the emerging challenges taking shape within 160 nations in the world. They have a long-standing commitment towards workforce diversity, affirmative action, equal opportunity, and work-life balance that has advanced into a legacy that made them politically correct and fashionable.


Organizational Culture

The culture of the organization can be defined in terms of values and principles influencing behaviours of the employees and also enlarge to other parties like business partners. The culture of IBM is successful since it emphasizes educating its workers from within. The organizational culture of IBM is aligned with its business goals in terms of leadership in the industry of information technology (Ahmed and Shafiq 2014).

As one of the key technology firms within the international market, it is needed for the company to proliferate the advantages of its culture such as using cultural characteristics for motivating workers so that they can contribute towards the growth of the company despite issues and various challenges. Moreover, cultural features are regarded as essential considerations in the management of IBM due to their influence on human resources.

Some of the components are considered to be most notable in the corporate culture of IBM such as radical thinking, innovation, trust and personal responsibility, and dedication to the success of its every client.

One of the limitations in the organizational culture of IBM is the limited support in the flexibility of the business process which is based on the focus on excellence and innovation of the company. Another negative aspect related to IBM's culture is the insufficient support for self-correction and self-checking of departments and groups within the organization (Barbosa 2014). There is no provision for formally built cultural and institutional support for teams or departments to be more effective while addressing errors associated with the information technology industry.


Motivation is one of the essential factors for improving the productivity of the employees and is helpful for the company to function as a system. The significant aspect of motivation is to align the purpose, aims, and values among teams, staffs, and whole organization (Lăzăroiu 2015). IBM motivates its people by defining a process of establishing goals for the company. It has been revealed in various studies that employees are motivated at work when certain goals of the organization are required to be achieved. This kind of motivation has been well illustrated by the goal-setting theory. Moreover, every group member in the IBM community must be made capable of visualizing the significance of goals that are established by the company.

Thomas, J. Watson, the founder of IBM, laid out key three core values like, excellent services, excellent products and services and respect for the employees that could be considered to be the factors for determining the future of the company and these core values were laid for establishing the motivational organizational climate. Moreover, the principle for "respect for the individual" was imposed at each level of the organization including internationally and nationally. This implies that the employees were free to commit mistakes but were not allowed to insult or demean another person. Treating colleagues badly specifically those under one's authority would ground for dismissal regardless of the tenure of that company of the dismissed employee (Karanika-Murray et al. 2015). This made the people in IBM motivated making them the most productive, happiest, and creative employees within the organization.


Leadership is another vital factor behind the success of every organization as it is beneficial in maximizing the efficiency in achieving organizational goals (Kilburg and Donohue 2014). A leader takes initiatives to begin a task and communicate it to every subordinate. Apart from this, an effective leader tries motivating employees with the help of economic as well as non-economic rewards for completing the tasks efficiently.

The style of leadership is more of a participatory at IBM as the CEO of the company works closely with other immediate executives while executing the organizational policies. The different departments of IBM practice the participatory style of leadership although the leaders of every team are liable for the final decision made (Pawirosumarto et al. 2017).

The team members are engaged in fundamental processes like goal setting along with goal setting and implementation. From this point, the style of participative leadership distinguishes a leader in terms of a facilitator or coordinator within the management of various organizational affairs. It is often said that the current CEO of the organization, Samuel J. Palmisano had join IBM as a salesperson and with the leadership experience which he acquired over the years, he was eventually able to manage to rise in the position that made him the top leader in the organization.


Communication skills are regarded as one of the key factors that are concerned with every business decision and can also be considered as the driver of all the successful outcomes of the business. There is no doubt that effective communication at workplaces is often ranked highest in the list of competencies employers search for in a candidate no matter what the industry or job it is (Pipas and SÎrbu 2016). The way a person communicates impacts everything either it is a little interaction with the coworkers or to the closing of the huge deals.

It has been usually seen that in the technical industry, the company majorly focuses on the skill development rather than on communication, but in the company, like IBM the first thing that takes place in the top of their head is communication which they believe is crucial in helping their clients conquer the demanding workloads as well as be the winner within their domains. IBM is an organization that has been built based on its core values and dedication towards the success of its clients, innovation, and trust along with personal responsibilities. Effective communication is at the centre of those values which is required at each step of the business.

Since leadership is related to human interaction, communication is considered as the key. IBM believes that in regular professional interactions ranging from meetings to the opportunities related to sales and technical engagement of clients, stakeholders come with various priorities, interests, and needs. Good and effective communication is helpful for IBM taking into account all such different interests and making decisions that can best serve their mutual goals.

When the communication is clear and better, it leads to the production of solicitous insights into the imperative challenges that would eventually lead to more satisfied clients and other stakeholders. IBM offers the foundation for numerous huge organizations in the world, from leading international banks to supercomputing centres for research. The servers, software, and storage of IBM are designed in a manner that can help those organizations in conquering challenging workloads and widen the value of the existing investments. IBM understands the needs of its clients and serves them as trusted advisors that lead to empowering them and this starts and ends with the effectual communication.

Organizational Structure

IBM has an organizational structure in the form of a hierarchy as there are distinct levels of leadership that range from departmental to top managers and executive level. The chairman, the president and the CEO of the company are Samuel J. Palmisano. Additionally, the organization has been sub-divided into five different areas for facilitating the smooth functioning of the organization.

The organizational structure of IBM is used to rationalize its product development along with the delivery within the market of information technology. Certain structural characteristics are enabling the organization to support several business aspects along with the mission and vision. The corporate structure of IBM identifies how communication takes place between its regional offices. The organizational structure of IBM is such that it reflects the business priorities. There is an emphasis on product development and innovation which is signified through the key structural characteristic of the company considering management of several product types (Bhaskarabhatla and Hegde 2014). This kind of product development and innovation reflect the priorities in the strategies of IBM for expansion and growth within the global operations.

IBM comprises a product-type divisional organizational structure having the characteristics representing the business processes indulged into managing production, development, sale, and distribution of products. Some of the characteristics defining the corporate structure of IBM are product-type divisions, geographical divisions, and function-based divisions.

One of the disadvantages of the organizational structure of IBM is the restricted support for diversification. Diversification can be viewed as one of the factors for potential growth for the company, specifically due to the radical and rapid advancement of technology taking place within the market and industries.

Power, Authority and Conflict

Some organizations usually do not stick completely with the rules and regulations that result in a vacuum wherein conflicts and power play tend to thrive (Eze and Umar 2014). Therefore, organizations can be managed in a well-defined and systematic manner only when the dynamics of authority, conflict, and power are understood properly

Authority is considered to have a close relationship with the organizational structure and also its cope of implementation is restricted due to the policies of the company. However, the individuals are likely to own unrestricted power by going ahead of boundaries. The current reshuffle of top executives in IBM has led in the concentration of the authority instead of power to the company's CEO owing to the truth that the majority of the executives are made lowered a level below to their actual position. This can be viewed as a power play leading to the conflict within the organization.

Conclusion and Recommendations on Organisational Behaviour

This report has noticeably used some of the core factors of organizational behaviour such as motivation, leadership, communication, conflict and power, organizational structure, organizational culture, and communication concerning one of the leading organizations in the world, IBM to have a better understanding of the concept. By the detailed study on the organizational behaviour of IBM, it can be concluded by mentioning that, organizational behaviour is all about better understanding, control, and prediction of human behaviour within an organization.

In the paradigm of the well-illustrated aspects of organizational behaviour in the report, it can be noted that IBM mirrors attention to every detail, from professional outfit to training and development along with the research on products and services. However, there are still a few aspects on which the company needs to be focused and attentive. IBM must move the structure towards the one which is based on the function-type groups for further emphasizing the research and development efforts addressing the threat of imitation.

The company needs to have a novel structural division that could address prospects related to diversification based on technological integration trends within various markets and industries. Moreover, there is also a requirement for the company to split geographical divisions at present into itsy-bitsy parts for accounting for essential differences residing within the regional markets.

Apart from all this, IBM should also understand the significance of group dynamics like team building and group efficacy. Moreover, there should be extra efforts in motivating its employees so that they could offer the best talents, skills, and competencies. Apart from this, the company should execute the cultural trait that could help increase the flexibility of the business processes. Lastly, IBM must look into integrating self-checking as well as self-correction within the cultural trait of personal responsibility and trust in every relationship.

References for Organisational Behaviour

Ahmed, M. and Shafiq, S. 2014. The impact of organizational culture on organizational performance: A case study on telecom sector. Global Journal of Management and Business Research.

Barbosa, E. 2014. Organizational culture oriented for innovation: Influencing variables. Zeszyty Naukowe Małopolskiej Wyższej Szkoły Ekonomicznej w Tarnowie, (2 (25)), pp.37-45.

Bhaskarabhatla, A. and Hegde, D. 2014. An organizational perspective on patenting and open innovation. Organization Science, 25(6), pp.1744-1763.

Eze, I. B. and Umar, K. 2014. Authority, Power, and Conflict in Organization: Analysis of the Impact of Their Functional Relationship In Organization Performance. European Journal of Business and Management, 6(1), pp.1-22.

Karanika-Murray, M., Duncan, N., Pontes, H. M. and Griffiths, M. D. 2015. Organizational identification, work engagement, and job satisfaction. Journal of Managerial Psychology.

Kilburg, R. R. and Donohue, M. D. 2014. Leadership and organizational behavior: A thermodynamic inquiry. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 66(4), p.261.

Lăzăroiu, G. 2015. Work motivation and organizational behavior. Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice, 7(2), pp.66-75.

Ludwig, T. D., 2015. Organizational behavior management: An enabler of applied behavior analysis. In Clinical and Organizational Applications of Applied Behavior Analysis (pp. 605-625). Academic Press.

Pawirosumarto, S., Sarjana, P. K. and Gunawan, R. 2017. The effect of work environment, leadership style, and organizational culture towards job satisfaction and its implication towards employee performance in Parador Hotels and Resorts, Indonesia. International Journal of Law and Management.

Pipaș, M. D. and SÎrbu, J. 2016. Organizational communication from the perspective of qualitative analysis. Quality-Access to Success, 17.

Wagner III, J. A. and Hollenbeck, J. R. 2014. Organizational behavior: Securing competitive advantage. Routledge.

Remember, at the center of any academic work, lies clarity and evidence. Should you need further assistance, do look up to our Organisational Behaviour Assignment Help

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