Organizational Behavior and Motivation Psychological and Sociological Insights

There is a significant relationship between behavior and motivation, particularly between groups and individuals. Motivation of a group have a serious impact on individual behavior. Likewise, the motivation of an individual can have a serious impact on a group. Typically, a group’s behavior or a individual’s behavior is not self-motivation, but rather the effects of some type of group behavior.

Crowd behavior and mass behavior are influenced by the emotion being expressed and the generally acceptable behavior for that event. Crowds are large groups of people who gather and are near one another. A mass is a large group of people who are more distant but share common symbols or objects. With crowd behavior, people are in a close proximity setting where they are able to look around and see what is acceptable behavior. Crowd behavior is more dramatized because people who are part of the crowd might not feel the exact same way as the majority, but they exhibit the behavior of the majority. With mass behavior, you are dealing with a general emotion of a large population. Crowd behavior might influence a mass behavior. That is, the fears or joys of a local group may be spread to the masses. For example, a rock concert takes place in a confined space, a building or an open area. The people watching the concert from their seats are the crowd and they exhibit crowd behavior. However, if the same concert were to be broadcasted through a television station, the crowd behavior influences the behavior of the people watching abroad.

Lofland’s “Typology of Spontaneous Collective Behaviors” categorizes crowd and mass behaviors according to their emotion. A family taking refuge in a shelter during a hurricane would be experiencing the crowd behavior directed by fear. Meanwhile, the entire population of a city being evacuated brings about fear everywhere, making it a mass behavior. A group of high school teachers protesting the firing of another teacher exhibits a crowd behavior of hostility. Republicans calling for the impeachment of a president who lied under oath exhibits a mass behavior of hostility. A high school pep rally exhibits a crowd behavior of joy. People waiting in line across the country for the latest Harry Potter book exhibits a mass behavior of joy.

Social movements generally start out as instances of collective behaviors. That is, organized movements for a certain cause develop out of instances where people react completely different to an event than they would normally. However, not all instances of collective behaviors turn into social movements. If a guest speaker gives a speech people do not agree with, the entire audience might walk out on the speaker. In another instance, a group of people might use the same terminology that one of their favorite celebrities use. For instance, Paris Hilton fans might start using the term “that’s hot.” Another example of a spontaneous instance of collective behavior might be for a group of friends to have dinner or go to the movies on a Sunday night because they are all bored. These are instances of spontaneous collective behaviors that do not become social movements.