BUS463B – Business and Organizational Management
California Baptist University
Introduction (Gilbert Garza)
The book of Nehemiah was authored by Nehemiah around 430 B.C. The book is Narrative History. The key personalities include Nehemiah, Ezra, Sanballat, and Tobiah. Nehemiah wrote the book to record the events of returning to Jerusalem and rebuilding the city’s wall in 445 B.C. The temple in Jerusalem, itself had been rebuilt in 515 B.C., but there was no protection for the city. Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem in 444 B.C. and used his leadership skills to rally the people to rebuild the wall around the city. God also used Nehemiah to bring order to the people’s social and economic lives. Within a short period of time, the wall around Jerusalem was standing tall and their enemies lost their confidence. The amount of work that was accomplished in such a short period of time was an incredible achievement.
In chapters 1-7, Nehemiah tells the events of his return to Jerusalem from Persia as governor. He organizes and leads the project of rebuilding the city’s walls. Each family built the section of the wall directly in front of their houses. With lots of hard work, and perseverance the mission of rebuilding the wall was amazingly completed within 52 days. This process allowed the people to form an identity and a feeling of importance in their part of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah 6:15-16 English Standard Version (ESV) reads, “(15) So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. (16) And when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid and fell greatly in their own esteem, for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God.”
In Chapters 8-13, After 70 years of Babylonian exile, the people of Israel are in a season of finding and reestablishing themselves as a nation. Ezra the scribe led the Jewish people in a renewal ceremony. This involved a public teaching of the Law. The scripture was read and explained to all who were present. For example, the acknowledgement of the Sabbath Day was reestablished. Nehemiah 8:1 ESV reads, “And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the Lord had commanded Israel.” The Israelites understood that if they were to survive as a nation they must remember and obey God’s Laws. Nehemiah established policies that addressed some of the issues that were being faced. For instance, one of the main concerns was that the mixed marriage families were not teaching their children the Hebrew language. Nehemiah 13:24 ESV reads, “And half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod, and they could not speak the language of Judah, but only the language of each people (Smith).
In this paper we will provide a detailed correlation between the assigned chapters in the Organizational Behavior textbook, the book of Nehemiah, and a specific bible verse not found in the book of Nehemiah. We will support all correlations with research and insight.
What is Organizational Behavior? (Joshua Caouette)
In chapter 1 of the textbook, Organizational Behavior the author shares many concepts, but examples of concepts like History and Numerous Small Decisions can be found throughout the chapters of Nehemiah and the rest of the bible with abundance. The best example of History in the Book of Nehemiah can be found in chapter 3. The entire chapter informs the readers of the enriched history that makes up the organization that has banded together to rebuild the wall by sharing their roles and names. Priests, goldsmiths, perfume makers, rulers and merchants, and various other people from different backgrounds all offer their unique experience and knowledge, as used to define history in the textbook, band together in effort to rebuild the wall (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, p. 12, 2019). Numerous small decisions can be found throughout every chapter in Nehemiah as it is every little decision that has been made that has led to the creation of the book. Besides in the book of Nehemiah a great example of the Organizational Behavior Concept, History, would be 1 Corinthians 14:26. Paul the author of Corinthians writes “What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up” (The Holy Bible, NIV). Again, the bible is sharing a great example of history in which each person’s background, and experience with each other and their trades is what allows for the effectiveness of the organization, which in this case is the church. Much of the history and small decisions behind and within the story of Nehemiah and the bible is what provides the framework for Organizational Behavior in which we will continue to address.
Job Performance (Joshua Caouette)
In Chapter 2 of the Organizational Behavior textbook the author teaches us about behaviors involved with Adaptability, and Counterproductive behaviors all of which have examples that can be found in the book of Nehemiah and throughout the bible.
First of all, In Chapters one, two, four, and six Of Nehemiah, Nehemiah demonstrates Several of the behaviors involved in adaptability that can be found on page 33 of the organizational textbook. Nehemiah’s Behaviors of adaptability are expansive as throughout the chapters he must learn to handle and deal with many challenging situations, but he does so with help from God. In fact, in the very first chapter he deals with an uncertain and unpredictable work situation that the textbook teaches about; he prays to God and calls himself a servant of God. In Nehemiah 1:10, Nehemiah says, “let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel.”(Holy Bible, NIV Version). Nehemiah was ready to change gears “in response to unpredictable or unexpected events and circumstances; effectively adjusting plans, goals, actions, or priorities to deal with changing situations.” (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, p. 33, 2019). This was not the only case where Nehemiah displayed a behavior of adaptability. In chapter 2 of Nehemiah, he demonstrates cultural adaptability and creative adaptability. Nehemiah knows that God is superior and that ultimately whether or not the King gives permission for him to go to Israel is ultimately up to God; however, using creative thinking and showing understanding of the cultural norms, Nehemiah is successful in adapting to please God through permission of the King. He does this by again praying to God in verse 2:5 asking, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in your sight, let him send me to the city of Judah, where my ancestors are buried so I can rebuild it?” (Holy Bible, NIV Version) In chapters 4 and 6 of Nehemiah Sanballat and Tobiah the Ammonite display some Counterproductive behavior in which Nehemiah had to respond to; Nehemiah had to adapt to an emergency or crisis situation, which is another behavior involved in adaptability talked about in the textbook(Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, p. 33, 2019). In the threatening situation Nehemiah sends people to guard areas to prevent potential attacks or assassinations against him, his men, and the city they were trying to rebuild. In chapter 5 of Nehemiah, Nehemiah demonstrates adaptability in approaching a work situation (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, p. 33, 2019). The land was recently hit with famine, so Nehemiah influenced the implementation of new policies which would help the poor. The nobles and officials were charging the people interest as they took out mortgages on land, so that they could afford food during this time. Nehemiah realized that the people needed some relief in these difficult times so in verse 5:7 he angrily yelled “you are charging your own people interest!” (The Holy Bible, NIV Version) The Textbook describes this behavior as one in which someone “quickly and proficiently” learns “new methods or how to perform previously unlearned tasks; anticipating change in the work demands and searching for and participating in assignments or training to prepare for these changes.” (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, p. 33, 2019). In an indirect way through influence Nehemiah anticipated that change was needed, so he initiated it. As it is shown Nehemiah has a very adaptive task performance style of dealing with objectives and people.
In Chapters four, six, and thirteen of Nehemiah, Sanballat, Tobiah the Ammonite, and other various characters demonstrate several counterproductive behaviors that pose challenges to Nehemiah’s organization as he attempts to lead the rebuilding of a city and culture. Some of these oppositions are not completely accurate to the way the textbook would define Counterproductive behaviors, since the book describes it to be only internal within an organization. The initial opposition to Nehemiah’s rebuilding comes from the characters Sanballat and Tobiah in Chapter 4. As Nehemiah and his people began to rebuild, they began to receive what the book calls personal aggression which is a “hostile verbal and physical actions directed toward ” other people (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, p. 42, 2019). In chapter 4, verses 1 – 2 of Nehemiah, he shares that Sanballat “ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said “what are those feeble Jews doing?”’(The Holy Bible, NIV) Sanballat’s associate would sit by his side and ridicule the Jews as well. Later on, in chapter 6, the situation had escalated and then the threats of them went from verbal to physical; the two men and many others would plot to kill Nehemiah as Nehemiah wrote in Nehemiah 6:2 “But they were scheming to harm me” (The Holy Bible, NIV). Eventually, those issues began to resolve and new types of counterproductive behaviors began to happen; these ones were truly internal, and therefore perfectly fit the book’s definition. In chapter 13 Nehemiah began to reform the city he had just finished building. Eliashib had counterproductive behavior in the form of theft. In Nehemiah 13:7-8, he writes that “here I learned about the evil thing Eliashib had done in providing Tobiah a room in the courts of the house of God. I was greatly displeased and threw all Tobiah’s household goods out of the room” (The Holy Bible, NIV). Nehemiah had “also learned that the portions assigned to the Levites had not been given to them, and that all of the Levites and musicians responsible for the service had gone back to their own fields” (The Holy Bible, NIV, Nehemiah 13:10). This was another example of the counterproductive behavior of theft. The last main counterproductive behavior of the chapter was when nobles allowed people to deliver wine, fish, grapes, figs and other various loads into the city of Judah on the sabbath day. In Nehemiah 13:17 he writes about his response saying “What is this wicked thing you are doing – desecrating the Sabbath day? Didn’t your ancestors do the same things, so that our God brought all this calamity on us in this city?” (The Holy Bible, NIV) This kind of counterproductive behavior would be what the textbook calls production deviance. The textbook defines production deviance to be when someone reduces the efficiency of work output (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, p. 41, 2019). In this case the whole point of the organization (the city) is to worship and respect God, so by them not doing so on the day of rest, they are not being as productive. Of Course, Nehemiah is not the only place where we see counterproductive behavior in the bible. In fact, one huge example of counterproductive behavior is when Judas gave away Jesus. The Apostle Paul wrote in Luke 6:16, that “Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor” (The Holy Bible, NIV). Judas was bribed to give away Jesus’s position; this form of counterproductive behavior is known as sabotage. The textbook defines sabotage as “the purposeful destruction of physical equipment, organizational processes, or company products” (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, p. 39, 2019). Jesus was a strong asset to his organization in which Judas helped to take out, so Judas sabotaged the group’s organization. Fortunately, it was all part of God’s plan. All and all, examples of Counterproductive Behavior can be found throughout the bible.
Organizational Commitment (Caleb Rosa)
In chapter 3 of the Organizational Behavior textbook it walks us through what organizational commitment looks like. This is through many vessels such as commitment and withdrawal behavior, types of commitment, types of employees, and employee-employer relationship. There are multiple instances within the book of Nehemiah that portray these ideas. The first instance comes at the end of chapter 2 verse 18. Here, the administration openly and gladly supports the rebuilding of the wall. After Nehemiah proposes his idea to the people, they all reply with, “’Yes, let’s rebuild the wall!’” (NLT). Because these people are volunteering their time and efforts and go above and beyond to fix the wall, they are entering into a relational contract. Nehemiah is going out of his way to gather materials needed and lead these people toward the reconstruction of the wall, and this is how they are paying him back. There are, however, some who are resistant to Nehemiah’s leadership, illustrated in chapter 3 verse 5. The leaders of Tekoa are refusing to work, and instead are standing there doing nothing. By doing this, they are exemplifying two things: the first being withdrawal behavior. Since they are resistant to Nehemiah’s leadership, they are psychologically withdrawing by neglecting and mentally exiting or “checking out.” The leaders are also showing citizen employee behavior, in that they have high commitment because they want the wall to be rebuilt so continue to show up, however they have low performance because they refuse to work. The remaining workers, however, seem to show effective commitment due to the emotional bond they have with their work. The emotional bond is formed through the experiences they went through together, living through Jerusalem and the walls being destroyed. This is the most desirable type of commitment to have because employees with this tend to engage more in actions such as helping, sportsmanship, and boosterism. Additionally, chapter 4 verse 6 shows that the workers were working hard, efficiently, and with enthusiasm. This is an excellent example of what a star employee looks like. As they have high commitment as well as high performance. Lastly, in chapter 5 verses 16-18 Nehemiah shows that he also devoted himself to working and sacrificing alongside the workers. He did not take any land, fed over 150 people every day, did not tax the people, and paid for a certain number of necessities every day. Consequently, the workers are likely under psychological contracts, feeling as though they owe Nehemiah their work because of all he’s done for them.
Organizational commitment can be seen in other parts of the Bible as well. One example of this is the commitment the disciples had toward Jesus. In Matthew 4:19-20 Jesus calls Peter and Andrew to drop everything and follow him and says, “’Come, follow me,’…’and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed him,” (NIV). Peter, Andrew, and the other disciples all display affective commitment, as they know Jesus is the messiah so have an emotional connection to him. The disciples are also entered into a relational contract, this verse is an excellent instance exemplifying that they are willing to go above and beyond for Jesus.
Job Satisfaction (Caleb Rosa)
Job satisfaction is extremely important within the book of Nehemiah considering the goal they are trying to achieve. A few different ideas within job satisfaction come up a few times within the book such as different types of job satisfaction, emotional cognition, affective events theory, and emotional cognition. The first instance happens in chapter 2 verse 5 when Nehemiah asks the king for permission to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall. By asking the king this, it affirms the affective events theory, which says that events can generate affective reactions. The event of the walls being burned down and Jerusalem being torn through triggered emotions within Nehemiah that caused him to react effectively. Later on, in chapter 3 verse 5 the leaders of Tekoa refused to work. This is likely due to their disapproval toward the leadership of Nehemiah. This shows that the leaders of Tekoa have low supervision satisfaction. Nonetheless, the people who are actively helping to build the wall are likely highly satisfied because of the meaningfulness of the work because they are working on something that is very valuable to them and will be for years to come. If meaningfulness of the work is not why they volunteered to do this, they could still be satisfied with the job through coworker satisfaction. The entirety of chapter 3 shows who works on what, and many of them are family members or know each other. Therefore, being able to take more time with friends and family might result in more coworker satisfaction. Additionally, in chapter 4 verse 6 it says that the “…people had worked with enthusiasm,” (NLT) showing again that they were satisfied with the work itself. Furthermore, chapter 5 verses 16-18 show that the people likely have high supervision satisfaction because of everything above and beyond he is doing in order to serve them well. Some might have high pay satisfaction as well, as Nehemiah provides them with food regularly, and daily poultry and cattle. Lastly, in chapter 9, we see emotional cognition as the reading of the Torah has caused them to confess their sins.
The ideas from job satisfaction show up in a few different forms throughout the bible. One example of this is John 13:1-17 where Jesus washes his disciples’ feet. By doing this it is portraying job satisfaction through satisfaction with the work itself. Serving people is very important to Jesus, so by doing so to his disciples, he will happily do it for them. This is also an example of the affective events theory because the event of Jesus washing their feet generates the reaction of the disciples, and now us, to want to serve others like Jesus did them.
Stress (Caleb Rosa)
Chapter 5 of the textbook Organizational Behavior teaches us the different aspects of stress including types of stressors, how people cope with stress, and the role of social support.
The first instance comes in chapter 1 verse 4. Nehemiah just heard the news that the gates have been destroyed and Jerusalem was torn down. In that verse it says that he “…sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned,” (NLT). This is considered a nonwork challenge stressor because it has nothing to do with work, however, significantly impacts his life. In fact, it impacts his life so much that the king notices how much he is bothered, and he uses problem-focused coping leading him to leave for Jerusalem to rebuild the wall. When Nehemiah gets to Jerusalem and announces what he is going to do, the social support for this is enormous, as almost everyone who heard was happy to help. The impact this had was huge, as the rebuilding of the wall would not have been possible without the social support Nehemiah received. However, a nonwork hindrance stressor is put on the people and Nehemiah in chapter 4 when they are threatened by their enemies. Nehemiah then uses problem-focused coping and arms half of his men with weapons while the other half work. Additionally, more nonwork hindrance stressors are put on the workers in chapter 5 verses 1-2 when they complain about not having enough food. The people utilize cognitive coping to identify what was wrong and bring it up to their leader. Nehemiah then applies problem-focused coping to work harder to be able to feed and provide for the people. Lastly, there is another nonwork hindrance stressor in chapter 6, when he gets a letter about rumors that have been going around about him forming a rebellion. However, Nehemiah utilizes cognitive coping in order to solve this problem by realizing the people who sent it are simply trying to discourage them.
Stress is an extremely important aspect of the Bible and there are many situations that the contents of the book are shown within these events. One significant event is when Jesus went in the garden to pray before he knew he would be crucified in Matthew 26:36-44. Jesus is experiencing work challenge stressors, if we look at his job as being the sacrificial lamb for us all. He is specifically stressed about the responsibility involved with it, as he was fully human and was rightly stressed about being crucified. Jesus coped with this stress through cognitive coping, as he thought and prayed, Jesus came to peace with his fate.
Motivation (Christina Baker)
In chapter 2 of Nehemiah, Nehemiah has just gotten back from seeing the broken-down walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah sees the severity of the situation and goes back to the leaders of Jerusalem to encourage and motivate them to join in on the task of rebuilding the walls. A very important part of being a leader is engaging the workforce and motivating them to complete the task at hand by portraying the value and importance of the job at hand. Chapter 6 of “Organizational Behavior” discusses motivation in the workplace. One method of motivating others is through psychological empowerment. Authors Colquitt, LePine, and Wesson define the term and state, “Psychological Empowerment reflects an energy rooted in the belief that tasks are contributing to some larger purpose. Psychological empowerment is fostered when work goals appeal to employees’ passions (meaningfulness)…” (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, p. 185, 2019). This is the method of motivation we see Nehemiah utilize in chapter 2 after his examination of the situation in Jerusalem.
Nehemiah goes before the leaders and makes his case for why they must take action in rebuilding the walls. Nehemiah 2:17 reads, “Then I said to them, ‘You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach” (Nehemiah 2:17, New King James Version). Their response was as follows (2:18), “…’Let us rise up and build’. Then they set their hands to do this good work” (Nehemiah 2:18, New King James Version). Nehemiah successfully motivated the leaders by instilling in them the value of the task. Those in Jerusalem knew how lofty the task of rebuilding would be but saw it as an impossible job. Nehemiah comes in the name of God and convinces them otherwise. He says “let us build the wall” and includes them in the task, showing that he believes they are capable to join in and help in the work the Lord has called them to. A large element of psychological empowerment is the belief that the tasks at hand have value and are “contributing to a larger purpose”. Nehemiah stresses the purpose and weight of the task by stating that it will lift the people out of the distress and reproach they are currently living in.
The concept of motivation can be found in other books of the Bible as well. The authors of “Organizational Behavior” discuss the idea of compensation as a way to motivate employees. They state, “Organizations use compensation practices to increase motivation. Those practices may include individual-focused elements…unit-focused elements…or organization-focused elements…” (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, p. 185, 2019). Money as compensation is a very effective motivator for humans. Money means greater wealth, which means a more comfortable life, which means happiness. Right? Being motivated by money is not a bad thing, however, the love of money leads to sin. Hebrews 13:5 states, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’ “(Hebrews 13:5, English Standard Version). Using money as a motivator can be an effective way to boost employee performance, but all Christ followers are to remain alert to their desires and not allow their fulfillment to come from money.
Trust, Justice, and Ethics (Christina Baker)
In chapter 7 of “Organizational Behavior” by Colquitt, LePine, and Wesson, the authors discuss different types of trust, justice, and ethics and how they are illustrated in the workplace. The three bases for trust are Disposition, Cognition, and Affect based trust. Disposition based trust is a type of trust that is derived from the trustee’s general ability and tendency to put faith in others. Cognition-based trust is rooted in a rational assessment of the leader and the overall trustworthiness. Affect-based trust is derived from a fondness or affection towards the leader that causes one to trust them (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, p. 197-201, 2019. A large part of Nehemiah’s success as a leader is because of the trust that the people of Jerusalem put in him. The trust that they had for Nehemiah was cognition-based trust. The rationale for Nehemiah being trustworthy was the fact that he was appointed by God. Therefore, their trust in Nehemiah had more to do with the trustworthiness of God.
Nehemiah states in chapter 2 before the leaders of Jerusalem that he comes in the name of the Lord who has given him this task. Nehemiah states in verse 18, “And I told them of the hand of my God, which has been good upon me…” (Nehemiah 2:18, New King James Version). Nehemiah gives the people a reason to trust him. And it’s huge. He says that the hand of God is upon him. Therefore, if people deny the authority of Nehemiah, they are doubting the Lord’s plan. We see the trust that the people of Jerusalem have in God in chapter 9 when they confess their sins. The Israelites separated themselves from those of foreign descent and they cried out to the Lord. Nehemiah 9:32-33 states, “Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and awesome God, who keeps covenant and mercy: Do not let all trouble seem small before you that has come upon us, our kings and our princes, our priests and our prophets, our fathers and on all your people from the days of the kings of Assyria until this day. However, you are just in all that has befallen us; For You have dealt faithfully, but we have done wickedly (Nehemiah 9:32-33, New King James Version). The Israelites understand the sin and wickedness they have committed as well as the affliction they have suffered. However, they see God’s provision through it all. They trust in the promises the Lord has made to them. Therefore, they trust God. Nehemiah leads the people by the power of God and they trust him as their leader.
Chapter 7 of “Organizational Behavior” discusses not only the concept of trust, but also justice and ethics, concepts found in many areas of the Bible. Four types of justice are defined in the test. Among those is interpersonal justice. This term is described as, “the perceived fairness of the treatment received by employees from authorities” (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, p. 206, 2019). In extreme situations, injustice from an authority figure can become abusive supervision. This is “the sustained display of hostile verbal and nonverbal behaviors, excluding physical contact” (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, p.206, 2019). There are many verses in the Bible that command leaders to be gentle and fair to those who they are leading. One example of this is Ephesians 6:9. The verse states, “And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him” (Ephesians 6:9, New King James Version). Although this example is illustrating the power a master has over his servant, the same principle can apply to a boss and their employee. Although they are in a higher position of status, they have no greater value than those they have authority over. We are all accountable to our Father in heaven.
Learning and Decision Making (Christina Baker)
In Chapter 8 of “Organizational Behavior”, the authors outline different learning methods as well as the decision-making process that leaders experience. At some point all leaders have to make decisions on behalf of those they are leading. This can be a very daunting task. There are two different kinds of decisions; Programmed and nonprogrammed. Programmed decisions are ones that are made in situations in which a clear solution is available and knowledge of the situation allows for the course of action to be recognized automatically. Nonprogrammed decisions are made in situations that are not common and do not have obvious solutions (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, p. 241, 244, 2019). The decision that Nehemiah was faced with was a nonprogrammed decision, due to the fact that he recognized a problem that was not commonly dealt with.
The steps of the decision-making process for a nonprogrammed decision are stated by the authors of “Organizational Behavior”. The steps are as follows: “Identify the problem, Is the problem recognized? Has it been dealt with before? Determine appropriate criteria for making a decision, generate a list of available alternatives, evaluate the alternatives against criteria, choose the solution that maximizes value, implement appropriate solution, Does the solution deliver the expected outcome?” (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, p. 243, 2019). Although Nehemiah does not follow this exact process, many elements of the nonprogrammed process can be found in his story. First, Nehemiah identifies the problem. Nehemiah first hears of the problem in chapter 1 when men from Judah come and tell him of the reproach in Jerusalem. His response is recorded in Nehemiah 1:4. He states, “So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of Heaven” (Nehemiah 1:4, New King James Version). Through prayer, Nehemiah pleaded with God to hear his prayer and bring the people of Jerusalem out of reproach.
The next thing Nehemiah did was go before the King and confess his sadness. This phase of the decision-making process is determining the appropriate criteria for making a decision. After seeing the issue and praying to the Lord, Nehemiah had an idea of his mind for the course of action to take. However, he had duties to the King and could not leave whenever he pleased. The King was gracious to Nehemiah and allowed him to leave the kingdom to implement his plan to rebuild Jerusalem. This is recorded in Nehemiah 2:6. The verse states, “…So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time” (Nehemiah 2:6, New King James Version). After getting permission from the king, it was time for Nehemiah to implement his plan.
In the latter half of chapter 2, Nehemiah goes to Jerusalem to get a handle on the situation. He sees the severity of the scene in the city. His decision is confirmed to rebuild the walls in the city so that the people are not living in ruin. At this point in Nehemiah’s decision-making process, he has chosen the solution that maximizes value. The decision is to assemble the people and rebuild the wall. He gets the leaders of Jerusalem on board with his plan and they begin to build. The appropriate solution is implemented and the people of Jerusalem come together to rebuild the wall. In chapter 6 of Nehemiah, the rewards of the decision to rebuild the way become clear. Nehemiah 6:15-16 states, “So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in fifty-two days. And it happened, when all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations around us saw these things, that they were very disheartened in their own eyes; for they perceived this work was done by our God” (Nehemiah 6:15-16, New King James Version). Nehemiah’s plan was successful and in only fifty-two days, the broken walls of Jerusalem were built back up and the surrounding enemies were very disheartened. Therefore, the anticipated outcome was delivered.
There is a lot of pressure put on leaders to make decisions. Weighing different options and going through the decision-making process can cause great anxiety on those in positions of power. However, followers of Christ know that they are never alone if they invite the Lord into this process. God invites us into an intimate relationship with Him and wants to hear from us and guide us. Proverbs 16:9 states, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9, New King James Version). Everyone has an idea in their head of the decision they wish to make and how they desire things to turn out. However, sometimes our desires are not aligned with God’s and He leads in a different direction. Through prayer, faith, and hope in a destination greater than earth, pressure is taken off leaders when making important decisions.
Personality and Cultural Values. (Alex Perez)
In chapter nine of the organizational behavior textbook, (Organizational Behavior, Colquitt LePine Wesson) the focus is on personality and the cultural values within management of a team. The case about the Cub’s president, Theo Epstein, and how he changed the losing culture of the Cub’s team actually has a lot of relation to chapter two of the book of Nehemiah. In the book of Nehemiah, Nehemiah feels that he can and should help Judah be rebuilt and help save them from their downwards spiral that they have been facing. Epstein was focused on turning that team from its losing culture and rebuild it to being what it once was before, this is very much like Nehemiah when he wanted to turn Judah around and save them from their problems with the broken gate, the burnt down walls, just the overall bad things that they were going through. They both wanted a turnaround for their places, and had cultural values for their team and city, they changed the culture of the people that they are leading and got them be better than they have been, complete improvement.
Both chapter nine of the textbook and chapter two of Nehemiah (The Holy Bible ESV) have another thing in common, which is the importance of personality. Theo Epstein wanted the people on his team to have the right personality on that team, he wanted players with the right personality makeup to build the right ethos within that club. Nehemiah got the people in Judah with the mindset of wanting to fix everything wrong with the gate and the wall, in verses 17-20 is when the turning point hits and the mindset of everyone comes together. Nehemiah with his speech in front of the people and changed their minds about not rebuilding, the mindset had changed for them and he got the people with the best mental makeup for this job. In the verse to end the chapter (verse 20) he has the quote “The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build.” This personality leading everyone and coming together is what leads to success, for everyone involved.
Chapter two of the book of Nehemiah had a very important showing of culture and personality. Nehemiah saw how badly the culture was within Judah and he wanted to go back to Judah and fix the problems that they are facing. The culture was terrible, everyone just let the damage to the walls and gates be destroyed, his father had died there, and Nehemiah felt like he needed to go and help and change the culture of Judah. Him asking the Lord for permission to do so and for the Lord granting him the permission (Verses 6-8) shows the perfect example of personality that all comes together for a team. This relates to the Cub’s in the textbook of one guy (Theo Epstein) having the personality to want to change the culture and change everyone’s personality to also want to fix Judah.
The verse 1 Corinthians 12:14-18 best resonates with chapter nine within the textbook. “For the body is not one member, but many.” (Holy Bible ESV) Chapter nine is all about culture and personality within a team and how they all come together and work together. You can’t do things alone, not always, and a team of people coming together, this verse represents that a team that works together and comes together as one will always have a great outcome. Togetherness is the subject of these chapters and verse.
Ability (Alex Perez)
Chapter ten of our Organizational Behavior book takes a look at ability, different abilities that each person contains within themselves. The explanation of how each job has different abilities required to perform the task for each job. Ability is relatively different from skills, skills can be trained and taught to different people, while ability can’t really be taught, it is something that you naturally have. This chapter of our textbook has a lot of resemblance to chapters 2-3 of the book of Nehemiah, the work that they do to repair Judah actually has a lot to do with the different abilities of the people of Judah. There are different abilities needed all around Judah to repair and bring together.
Each job no matter where you are requires different abilities to perform, and not everyone can do certain things like other people can. In chapters two and three of Nehemiah, they are rebuilding the wall and the gates that had been broken and only people with the abilities to build the walls and gates, the ones that knew what to do helped the most. In chapter ten of our textbook it shows the FBI and how each job within that organization requires different abilities for the different jobs, they ensure that you have those abilities before even considering you for that job. These two chapters of Nehemiah show the importance of ability, the ability to lead, follow, work, listen, all of these things require ability to be done and everyone within the book of Nehemiah has an ability within them. Cognitive and verbal ability were the main points in Nehemiah chapters two and three, the verbal ability of Nehemiah and then cognitive ability overall with everyone’s ability to solve the problem that they are facing.
Nehemiah showed his verbal ability very well in chapter two of the book of Nehemiah. At the end of the chapter when Nehemiah finally went to the valley to inspect the wall, he saw the trouble that they were in and wanted everyone there to see what trouble they were actually in. “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, and that we may no longer suffer derision.” (verses 17-18 of the book of Nehemiah). This is what got everyone to work together and fix the problem, this best represents the tenth chapter of the organizational behavior textbook.
The verse Romans 12:6-8 is the best verse that describes the ability of each individual person. “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or who he teaches, in his teaching; who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” This verse and the textbook shows ability in its entirety, every individual person has their own unique ability to them that no one else can really have as well. Chapter 10 has a main message of each job requiring different things from each person, this verse and chapter within Nehemiah gives examples of different people coming together with their own abilities to have a better outcome.
Teams: Characteristic and Diversity (Alex Perez)
In our Organizational Behavior textbook, chapter eleven gives us a good insight on how important it actually is that having different characteristics and having diversity within a team. The one perfect example that is shown within the chapter is Whole Foods and how they use diverse teams for all different levels within the organization. Whole Foods shows the best way to have different teams with different characteristics and how exactly they are running so perfectly. Another example that relates to the Book of Nehemiah is the different kinds of doctors and nurses that are used for specific and different jobs during a surgery. These are both examples of work teams and management teams, work teams being represented by Whole Foods and management teams being represented by the doctors.
In Whole Foods, they have a total of eight to ten teams within the store that all work in separate departments. They are all from different places and different backgrounds, but they all come together and work together to carry out tasks that are put in front of them. This is an example of a work team, a team that is permanently put together for their service, full time. This is one of the different variations within team types, which is the one that I think is best used in chapter eleven of the book of Nehemiah. In chapter eleven of the book of Nehemiah (The Holy Bible ESV) has relation with chapter eleven of our Organizational Behavior book (Colquitt LePine Wesson) because of all the different groups that there are in chapter eleven of Nehemiah.
Chapter eleven of Nehemiah showed all of the different groups with different jobs that were within Jerusalem, as well as groups around. “The gatekeepers, Akkub, Talmon and their brothers, who kept watch at the gates, were 172. And the rest of Israel, and of the priests and the Levites, were all in the towns of Judah, everyone in his inheritance.” This is a perfect example of what chapter 11 is talking about in the organization management text, different teams made that have different responsibilities, but they all do it for the same goal and for the same reason. The gatekeepers, the priests, the overseers, these are all different examples of teams and special groups that are permanently made to help make Judah great again and be rebuilt to its best form.
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the lamb, clothed on white robes, with palm branches in their hands.” Revelation 7:9. This shows diversity all coming together, which can be used to be relatable to chapter eleven of our textbook. All of the different teams that are shown within the chapter of Nehemiah can be related to the textbook because of all the different teams that are made for different jobs, like on page 338 where it shows the special tasks for each team and how that requires diversity within a team.
Teams: Processes and Communication (Kat Love)
In chapter 12 of the Organizational Behavior textbook, we learned that teams are affected by the processes used to complete activities as well as how teammates communicate to each other (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, 2019). Additionally, we learned how teams have different states of emotions after working together based on their experiences. In chapter three of the book of Nehemiah, Nehemiah assigns the different families their own taskwork processes of rebuilding the Jerusalem wall. By dividing the work up among the different families, each team member knew exactly what they were to work on and all families had the common goal of rebuilding the wall to protect the city of Jerusalem and the Jews living there. This helped to keep each family motivated because they had a goal capable of achieving for themselves, and as long as everyone worked on completing their task, a much larger goal would be achieved. When the wall was halfway built, there was some task conflict about how doable building the wall was. Nehemiah used the interpersonal process of motivating and confidence building by having half the men protect the wall in case of attack and while the others worked, they also made sure they were protected and had a weapon. This use of interpersonal processes allowed the builders to feel safe and felt that their task was again doable. By chapter five of Nehemiah, some of the families have begun to protest because they needed more food; at first, Nehemiah says he was angry, but then he commands the nobles and officials to forgive debts from their fellow Jews. The communication that the Jewish families had with Nehemiah helped the entire team to be able to continue working towards their common goal. Before the families protested, there was a lack of communication between families and the nobles and officials. In chapter twelve of the textbook, we learned about how important communication is and how it can greatly change the success of a team and the goal they are working towards. Once Nehemiah explained how families were in need of food and reminded the nobles and officials of the team’s common goal. In this case, the families needing more food were the senders and Nehemiah was the receiver, but Nehemiah was also a sender and the nobles and priests were the receivers. If the families had not come together and communicated that some of their needs were not being met, the wall may not have been completed in time and Sanballat and Tobiah would have tried to harm the Jews; in chapter four of Nehemiah, Nehemiah writes that they planned on attacking Jerusalem when they heard the wall was half built.. Throughout Nehemiah the team of Jews building the wall around Jerusalem had cohesion because they were working to glorify God and they all had a common goal they desired.
Another part of the Bible that highlights the importance of a team working towards a common goal is in Romans, when Paul writes, “May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:5-6, NLT). This passage reminds us that as followers of Christ, we must have patience with each other and focus on coming together as a team to glorify God. Our life purpose as followers of Christ is to spread the Gospel and glorify God according to his will for our lives. When we work in teams, it is important to be patient and to provide encouragement through difficult tasks, so that the team can succeed; as followers of Christ, we must also give this patience to our fellow brothers and sisters and provide encouragement through trials and tribulations.
Leadership: Power and Negotiation (Kat Love)
In chapter thirteen of the Organizational Behavior textbook, we learned about the different types of power and negotiation leaders can possess; this chapter explains how influence can be used by leader, the different types of conflict resolution, as well as the strategies and stages of negotiation (Colquitt, LePine, & Wesson, 2018). In chapter two of Nehemiah and throughout the process of building the wall, Nehemiah uses legitimate power given to him by the king to bring the Jewish leaders together to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. Although Nehemiah possesses legitimate power, he influences using collaboration to show the Jewish people that he believes in their goal and wants to help with building the wall. In chapter five verse 16 of Nehemiah, Nehemiah writes, “I also devoted myself to working on the wall and refused to acquire any land. And I required all my servants to spend time working on the wall.” This also helped the Jewish people see that even though Nehemiah led them in building the wall, God was their true leader and Nehemiah was not above them, he was with them and working alongside them. This is a powerful motivating tool Nehemiah used because in chapter four, the builders did not feel that building the wall was possible, but Nehemiah told them that they could do it, and to prove that he knew the wall could be built, he also helped build it. Nehemiah also demonstrates collaboration in the dedication of Jerusalem’s wall in chapter 12. As Nehemiah led the leaders of Judah to give thanks, he also gave thanks and, “sang loudly under the direction of Jezrahiah (Nehemiah 12: 40-42, NLT). Again, Nehemiah is showing the people of Jerusalem that God is their ultimate leader and Nehemiah is a messenger of God to ensure that His plans are accomplished. Also, in chapter four, the builders of the wall demonstrate internalization after Nehemiah tells them to fight for their families and to remember the Lord the builders go back to work and also make sure to protect the city from attackers (Nehemiah 4:14-18, NLT). In the textbook, internalization is described as the most effective response to influence, and the people’s response to Nehemiah being the most effective shows how God was really in control in this situation (Colquitt et al., 2018). In chapter six of Nehemiah, the enemies of Jerusalem try to get Nehemiah to meet with them, but Nehemiah knows they are trying to harm him, so he uses the conflict resolution of avoidance (Nehemiah 6:1-3, NLT). Although the textbook says avoidance usually ends up hurting the team, Nehemiah avoided violence and put his faith in God (Colquitt et al., 2018). The most significant example of negotiation in Nehemiah is in chapters one and two. The stages of negotiating are preparation, exchanging information, bargaining, and closing and commitment. Nehemiah 1: 4 reads, “for days I mourned, fasted and prayed to the God of heaven”. This preparation for Nehemiah helped him exchange information and find favor with the king. Nehemiah asked the king to send him to rebuild Jerusalem, told him how long he would be gone, asked for letters instructing his safe travels, and a letter to give him timber for building the wall. In this case, there is no bargaining described because, “the gracious hand of God was on me [Nehemiah]”. The king allowed Nehemiah everything he asked for and the negotiation was settled. Nehemiah shows leadership power and negotiation, but ultimately the book of Nehemiah shows that God is the true leader and does not need to negotiate with anyone.
Negotiation can also be seen in Luke 14:31-32 which states, “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers matching against him? And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away” (NLT). The importance of negotiation and a leader understanding that they need to wisely choose how their soldiers move into battle shows that even when we trust in God, he expects us to use common sense and wisely make decisions to choose our battles (literally and figuratively). Negotiation is an important tool that leaders use and God created negotiation to prevent harm and to continue His plan.
Leadership: Styles and Behaviors (Kat Love)
In chapter fourteen of the Organizational Behavior textbook, we learned the different styles of decision- making for leaders as well as the behaviors of different leadership. Leader decision- making styles are delegative, facilitative, consultative, and autocratic going from high follower control to high leader control. In Nehemiah, Nehemiah uses both autocratic and delegative decision-making. In chapters two through six, Nehemiah uses autocratic decision making and assigns families to which part of the wall they will work on, but the Jewish leaders agreed with Nehemiah’s decisions and followed what he asked of them. In chapter seven of Nehemiah, Nehemiah exemplifies delegative decision making by appointing his brother Hanani and Hananiah, the commander of the fortress, to govern Jerusalem. In this chapter, Nehemiah also appoints Levites, singers, and gatekeepers. Although Nehemiah is still using autocratic decision making since he is appointing the leaders, he is delegating decisions to them after they are appointed. In day-to-day leadership behaviors, Nehemiah was high on consideration and as seen in chapter five, he cares deeply about the Jewish families building the walls and does not want the rich to oppress the poor when the families are supposed to be working together as one for Jerusalem. By having high consideration for the Jewish families building the wall, Nehemiah motivates the families that although they are tired and do not see when their goal will be completed, they have someone caring for them and making sure that they have what they need to finish the wall. Throughout the building of the wall and up until its completion, the builders go through the entire life cycle theory of leadership stages. In chapter two they are in the telling stage and are ready to start building the wall right away saying, “Yes, let’s rebuild the wall!” (Nehemiah 2:18, NLT). After half of the wall is completed, the builders are in the selling stage and begin to complain, “The workers are getting tired, and there is so much rubble to be moved. We will never be able to build the wall by ourselves” (Nehemiah 4:10, NLT). At this point, Nehemiah had high consideration and encouraged the team through prayer and reminding the builders that the Lord is watching over them. After this, the builders move onto participating and delegating until the wall is complete. Nehemiah proves to be a good leader in this situation because he encouraged the builders and they were excited to start; as they began to realize their task was difficult, Nehemiah provided more encouragement and reminded them that the Lord was by their side and they were working for His good. Nehemiah was a transformational leader using inspirational motivation; when he told the builders of his plan, they were eager to start and even, “had worked with enthusiasm” (Nehemiah 4:6, NLT). Since the builders were building a wall to protect the city of Jerusalem, they valued the end-goal for themselves, and they all worked together knowing that their work was glorifying God.
Moses was also a leader in the Bible who used inspirational motivation to encourage the Israelites to trust in the Lord and that He would help them escape. When the Egyptians were coming to attack the Israelites, the Israelites lost trust in Moses and did not understand that God was going to save them from their captors (Exodus 14); Moses used inspirational motivation and told them, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm (Exodus 14: 13-14, NLT). In this moment, Moses was telling the Israelites to take a jump of faith and trust that God would care for them. After this, God tells Moses to lead the Israelites through the dead sea and his staff would divide the water (Exodus 14:15-16, NLT). Through Moses’ faith and leadership, the Israelites were saved from slavery and death. When leaders work faithfully and live according to God’s will, teams will be successful, and Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt exemplifies how faithful God is.
Organizational Structure (Gilbert Garza)
In chapter 15 of the Organizational Behavior textbook we learned that organizational structure formally dictates how jobs and tasks are divided and coordinated between individuals and groups within a company. In addition, we learned that an organizational chart is a drawing that represents every job in the organization and the formal reporting relationships between those jobs (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, 2019). If there was an organizational chart for the book of Nehemiah it would have God on top as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the organization, with Nehemiah holding the position of Vice President of Operations and Ezra as the Vice President of Ministry Leadership. Nehemiah received his power and authority through God. The entire restructuring of Jerusalem was led and developed by the power of prayer. This is evident in how often prayers are lifted up within the relatively short book of Nehemiah (Patton, 2017). In the very first chapter of the book of Nehemiah we learn that Nehemiah seeks out the Lord and asks that the Lord grant him success in his mission of returning to Jerusalem. Nehemiah 1:11 ESV reads, “O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. Now I was cupbearer to the king.” We discover later in chapter two that God answered Nehemiah’s prayer. Not only did King Artaxerxes grant Nehemiah the permission to return to Judah to rebuild, but we learned that it pleased the king to do so. Another instance that displayed God’s position of authority within the organization was in chapter two. Nehemiah went out during the middle of the night to inspect the amount of work that needed to be done to rebuild the wall. We learn that Nehemiah had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest who were to do the work about his plan to rebuild the wall around the city. Nehemiah 2:18 ESV reads, “And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So, they strengthened their hands for the good work.” Once the people learned that God was leading the organization and he was using Nehemiah to head up the rebuilding project, the people were motivated to do the work.
In addition, we learned about the elements of organizational structure which includes, work specialization, chain of command, span of control, centralization, and formalization. Work specialization is the degree to which tasks in an organization are divided into separate jobs (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, 2019). In the book of Nehemiah during the beginning of the rebuilding of the wall, the work specialization was very specific. From the text we learn that there were laborers and construction supervisors appointed, but the focus was entirely on the rebuilding process and everyone doing their part to help. This was displayed all throughout chapter three of Nehemiah, as we read about the priests, the various people with different skill sets, from different towns and different families who participated in the rebuilding process. As the project progressed and the people of Jerusalem had worked with enthusiasm, the enemies of the Jewish people, led by Sanballat and Tobiah began to mock their efforts. They grew furious as they witnessed the progress that was being made. They made plans to attack Jerusalem to cause confusion amongst the people. These threats caused the work specialization during the rebuilding process to change. The focus of the Jewish people shifted from strictly rebuilding the wall, to both rebuilding the wall and protecting themselves at the same time. We learn from then on, only half of the men worked on the rebuilding project while the other half stood on guard providing protection. Nehemiah also appointed a trumpeter to stay with him to sound the alarm if an attack did take place. He also told everyone who lived outside the walls of Jerusalem to stay inside the city so that they could help guard the city at night and work during the day.
There was a correlation for the other elements of organizational structure in the book of Nehemiah as well. The chain of command which addresses the question of “who reports to whom?” and signifies formal authority relationships was clear (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, 2019). Though there were city officials and other leaders, it was quite evident who had the final say and authority in the book of Nehemiah. All the nobles, officials and people looked towards Nehemiah to receive their purpose and direction on how to proceed throughout the book. The span of control which represents how many employees each manager in the organization has responsibility for (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, 2019) varied depending on the size of the family. In chapter seven we learn that Nehemiah registers the people of Israel and we read about the different families and the size of each one of them. As for centralization, which refers to where decisions are formally made within an organization (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, 2019) we learn that under Nehemiah’s leadership the organization of the rebuilding the wall and the nation of Israel itself had a highly “centralized” structure. Only Nehemiah and other top leaders within the community had the authority to make final decisions. When it comes to formalization, which is the degree to which rules and procedures are used to standardize behaviors and decisions in an organization; we learn that Nehemiah and Ezra used a high degree of formalization in the process of rebuilding Jerusalem. Analyzing the elements of organizational structure within the book of Nehemiah, it can be concluded that the rebuilding of the nation of Israel took on the characteristics of a mechanistic organization. These types of organizations are efficient, rigid, predictable, and standardized organizations that thrive in stable environments. Mechanistic organizations are characterized by a structure that relies on high levels of formalization, a firm and ranked chain of command, with high degrees of work specialization, centralization of decision making, and narrow spans of control (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, 2019).
There are many principles that correlate with organizational structure documented in the Bible. This is particularly evident regarding church structure within the New Testament. This includes the church’s ultimate leader in Jesus Christ, its human leadership, such as elders and deacons, as well as its members, all who make up the Body of Christ (Got Questions Ministries, 2020). Ephesians 1:22 ESV reads, “God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.” This verse clearly exemplifies that Christ is the authoritative leader of the church (MacArthur, 2018). To put this in perspective, if we were to create an organizational chart for the church, Jesus Christ would hold the top position in the organization.
Organizational Culture (Gilbert Garza)
In chapter 16 of the Organizational Behavior textbook we learned that organizational culture is the shared social knowledge within an organization regarding the rules, norms, and values that shape the attitudes and behaviors of its employees (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, 2019). In the book of Nehemiah, the task was to rebuild, not only the walls of Jerusalem, but the organizational culture of the nation of Israel as a whole. Both Nehemiah and Ezra worked together in Jerusalem to restore the city and rededicate its people to God (Willette, 2019). An example of this was shown in Nehemiah 8:9 ESV which reads, “And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law.”
Additionally, we learned about components of an organization’s culture such as, observable artifacts, and espoused values. Observable artifacts are aspects of an organization’s culture that employees and those outside of the organization can easily see or talk about. These artifacts include symbols, physical structures, language, stories, rituals, and ceremonies (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, 2019). The obvious example of an observable artifact in the book of Nehemiah was the wall itself. For the Jews the wall was both a symbol and a physical structure that represented safety, security, and the rebuilding of their nation. One could say that the wall gave them a sense of identity and unity as an organization. The wall was so symbolic that the very thought of it being rebuilt did not sit well with those who opposed the people of Israel. Nehemiah 4:1 ESV reads, “Now when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry and greatly enraged, and he jeered at the Jews.” The book of Nehemiah included other observable artifacts such as rituals which are the daily or weekly planned routines that occur in an organization and ceremonies which are the formal events, generally performed in front of an audience of organizational members (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, 2019). An example of a ritual in the book of Nehemiah would be the reestablishment of the Sabbath Day which was recognized weekly. The beginning of Nehemiah 10:31 ESV reads, “We also promise that if the people of the land should bring any merchandise or grain to be sold on the Sabbath or on any other holy day, we will refuse to buy it.” As for an example of a ceremony in the book of Nehemiah one could point out to the Festival of Shelters that was celebrated in chapter eight. Nehemiah 8:14 ESV reads, “As they studied the Law, they discovered that the Lord had commanded through Moses that the Israelites should live in shelters during the festival to be held that month.”
There are espoused values in the book of Nehemiah as well, which are the beliefs, philosophies, and norms that a company explicitly states. These values can range from published documents, such as a company’s vision or mission statement (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, 2019). An example of this would definitely be the Word of God. One of the most important things that needed to be accomplished in order for the nation of Israel to rebuild itself required them to examine their ways and reestablish the covenant relationship with God. This could not have be more evident than in Nehemiah 10:28-29 ESV which reads, “(28) Then the rest of the people, the priests, Levites, gatekeepers, singers, Temple servants, and all who had separated themselves from the pagan people of the land in order to obey the Law of God, together with their wives, sons, daughters, and all who were old enough to understand (29) joined their leaders and bound themselves with an oath. They swore a curse on themselves if they failed to obey the Law of God as issued by his servant Moses. They solemnly promised to carefully follow all the commands, regulations, and decrees of the Lord our Lord.”
Another subject that we learned about in Chapter 16 that has a correlation with the book of Nehemiah is changing organizational culture through changes in leadership. The task of changing the organizational culture of the people in Jerusalem may have been more of a challenge than leading the rebuilding of the wall for Nehemiah. According to the Organizational Behavior textbook, we learn that changing a culture once one has been established is perhaps even more difficult than creating and maintaining a culture. One of the ways that Nehemiah tried to change the organizational culture with the people of Jerusalem was by creating culture strength. Culture strength is the degree to which employees agree about how things should happen within the organization and behave accordingly (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, 2019). In chapter five of the book of Nehemiah there is an outcry from the poorer Jewish people who are being oppressed by those who were in leadership positions. We learn that Nehemiah was angry when he heard the outcry and the things that were happening to these people. Nehemiah brought charges against the nobles and the officials. Nehemiah instructed the leaders to stop demanding interest from the people and to return the possessions that they had taken. Nehemiah 5:11-12 ESV reads, “(11) Return to them this very day their fields, their vineyards, their olive orchards, and their houses, and the percentage of money, grain, wine, and oil that you have been exacting from them.” (12) Then they said, “We will restore these and require nothing from them. We will do as you say.” And I called the priests and made them swear to do as they had promised.” Another way that Nehemiah helped change the culture was to lead by example. The nobles and the officials were willing to accept what Nehemiah suggested because Nehemiah himself was a very generous leader. We learn that Nehemiah, his brothers, and his servants were lending money and grain to the poor people in Jerusalem. We also gain the insight that from the time Nehemiah was appointed governor of the land of Judah he nor his brothers ate the food allowance of the governor. The governors who were in power before Nehemiah laid heavy burdens on the people. An additional way that Nehemiah led by example was during the rebuilding of the wall. He and his servants persevered in the work on the wall and they gained no land for their efforts. Plus, with his own resources Nehemiah fed over 150 men each day and he did not demand the food allowance of the governor because the burden was too heavy on the people.
There are many verses in the Bible that correlate with organizational culture. In our textbook we learned that espoused values are the beliefs, philosophies, and norms that a company explicitly states that lay the foundation for its organizational culture (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, 2019). The church has espoused values as well. 1 Corinthians 1:10 ESV reads, “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” In 1 Corinthians, Paul is addressing the issue of division in the local church. He is emphasizing the unity of doctrine that is completely based on Scripture which must be the foundation of the church. His emphasis is that lack of commitment to doctrine and commitment to disunity of doctrine will weaken a church and destroy the unity within the body of believers (MacArthur, 2018). The same can be said about a company that does not hold itself or its employees accountable for acting out its espoused values. It can lead to confusion and cause division which eventually can have a negative impact on a company’s organizational culture.
[(Joshua Caouette) (with references to work from Christina Baker, Gilbert Garza, Kat Love, Alex Perez, and Caleb Rosa)]
Concepts of Organizational Behavior can be found throughout the book of Nehemiah and the rest of the bible. Every chapter within the textbook has examples that demonstrate Organizational Behavior. Chapter one of the textbook, What is Organizational Behavior? has stories from Nehemiah that demonstrate the concepts of small decisions and history. In chapter 2, Job Performance we can find concepts like Counterproductive behavior and adaptability. In chapter 3, Organizational Commitment, we learn of the different types of commitment that can be found in the book of Nehemiah, the kind of workers Nehemiah had, and the relationships he had with them. In chapter 4, Job Satisfaction, we learn how significant it was for Nehemiah and his people to rebuild their community and culture. In chapter 5, Stress, we touch on the many different kinds of stresses that Nehemiah and his people had to deal with and how they coped with that stress. As we continue on through into chapter 6, motivation, we touch on how Nehemiah motivates his workforce using psychological empowerment, and emphasizing the importance of all of their work. After chapter 6, in chapter 7, trust, justice and ethics, we discuss how and why the people trusted Nehemiah, which ended up being because of their trust in God. In chapter 8, learning and decision making, we share Nehemiah’s decision-making process and as well as a moment when he had to make a nonprogrammed decision. Next in chapter 9, personality and culture, we talk about the changes in personalities and cultures that took place within Nehemiah’s organization. In chapter 10, ability, we cover both cognitive and verbal ability that Nehemiah and his organization had. In chapter 11, Teams: characteristics and diversity, we talk about each person’s ability and jobs within Nehemiah’s teams. Next in chapter 12, Teams: processes and communication, we wrote about how the teams are affected by the process in which Nehemiah has led them to do and how the use of interpersonal processes works among teammates to motivate and build confidence among team members. In chapter 13, Leadership: Power and Negotiation, we discuss how Nehemiah used influence through negotiation and his leadership ability through his decision-making processes using delegation. In chapter 14, Leadership: styles and behaviors, we speak about the kind of leadership styles nehemiah used, the transformation of those styles from one to another, and the kind of leader Nehemiah was. In chapter 15, Organizational Structure, we go into Nehemiah’s Organizational Structure, how he uses the 5 elements of it, his chain of command, span of control, his organizations centralization, and formulization. Finally, in Chapter 16, Organizational Culture, we discuss the kind of culture that Nehemiah and his organization had, the components of culture within his organization, such as observable artifacts, and espoused values. As demonstrated many concepts of Organizational Behavior throughout all of the chapters can be found throughout Nehemiah, but also it has been shown that these concepts are very universal and can be found in other various parts of the Bible.
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