Organizational Behavior (OB) can be defined as the understanding, prediction and
management of human behavior both individually or in a group that occur within an
organization. Internal and external perspectives are the two theories of how
organizational behavior can be viewed from an organization’s point of view.
Organisation Behavior is the study of an application of knowledge about how to act
within the org. It is the human tool for human benefits. It applies broadly to the
behavior of people in all types of organization such as business, government,
schools and services organization. Whenever org. Are there is need to understand
Importance of Organisation Behavior
While working in an organization, it is very important to understand others
behavior as well as make others understand ours. In order to maintain a healthy
working environment, we need to adapt to the environment and understand the
goals we need to achieve. This can be done easily if we understand the importance
Following points bring out the importance of OB −
It helps in explaining the interpersonal relationships employees share with
each other as well as with their higher and lower subordinates.
The prediction of individual behavior can be explained.
It balances the cordial relationship in an enterprise by maintaining effective
It assists in marketing.
It helps managers to encourage their sub-ordinates.
Any change within the organization can be made easier.
3. It helps in predicting human behavior & their application to achieve
It helps in making the organization more effective.
Thus studying organizational behavior helps in recognizing the patterns of human
behavior and in turn throws light on how these patterns profoundly influence the
performance of an organization.
Concept of Organisation behavior
Organizational behavior is the branch of social science that seeks to build the
theories that can be applied to predicting, understanding, and controlling behavior
in working organisation .It is the subset of mgmt. Activities concern with
understanding predicting and influence behavior in org. Settings. It is the study of
an application of knowledge about human behavior related to others elements of
the org. Such as structure technology and people.
An organization consists of people with different traits, personality, skills,
qualities, interests, background, beliefs, values and intelligence. In order to
maintain a healthy environment, all the employees should be treated equally and be
judged according to their work and other aspects that affects the firm.
Example − A company offers campus placement to trainees from different states
like Orissa, Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh and many more. However, during and
after training, all trainees are examined only on the basis of their performance in
the tasks assigned.
4. Structure is the layout design of an organization. It is the construction and
arrangement of relationships, strategies according to the organizational goal.
Example − Organizational structure defines the relation of a manager with
employees and co-workers.
Technology can be defined as the implementation of scientific knowledge for
practical usage. It also provides the resources required by the people that affect
their work and task performance in the right direction.
Example − Introduction of SAP, big data and other software in the market
determines individual and organizational performance.
Scope of Organisation Behavior
1. Individual Behavior
It is the study of individual’s personality, learning, attitudes, motivation, and job
satisfaction. In this study, we interact with others in order to study about them
and make our perception about them.
Example − the personal interview round is conducted to interact with candidates
to check their skills, apart from those mentioned in the resume.
2. Inter-individual Behavior
It is the study conducted through communication between the employees among
themselves as well as their subordinates, understanding people’s leadership
qualities, group dynamics, group conflicts, power and politics.
Example − A meeting to decide list of new board members.
3. Group Behavior
Group behavior studies the formation of organization, structure of organization
and effectiveness of organization. The group efforts made towards the
achievement of organization’s goal is group behavior. In short, it is the way how a
Example − Strike, rally etc.
5. Goals of Organisation Behavior
We have identified 8 objectives of organizational behavior;
1. Job Satisfaction
2. Finding the Right People
3. Organizational Culture
4. Leadership and Conflict Resolution
5. Understanding the Employees Better
6. Understand how to Develop Good Leaders
7. Develop a Good Team
8. Higher Productivity
Understanding organizational behavior can shed light on the factors that can
foster or hamper job satisfaction, such as physical settings, organizational rewards
and punishments or work-group characteristics. Job satisfaction, in turn, can
foster higher productivity and reduced turnover, while providing more leverage for
the recruitment of top talent.
Finding the Right People
A ship with all sails and no anchors would flounder, one with all anchors and no sails
would not get anywhere. Organizational behavior can be helpful for finding the
right mix of talents and working styles required for achievement of the task at
hand. This can assist in deciding who to include in a team or task force, as well as in
deciding who to promote to a leadership position or even the ideal profile for new
As organizations grow larger, it may become difficult to keep a sense of common
purpose and unity of direction. Organizational behavior is useful for understanding
and designing the communication channels and leadership structures that can
reinforce organizational culture. As rapidly evolving business environments force
6. organizations to adapt, entering, for example, into global markets or utilizing
virtual workforce, organizational behavior can assist in maintaining a clear identity
without losing flexibility and adaptability.
Leadership and Conflict Resolution
Playing by the book and not making waves may be fine for some organizations, but
the command-and-control mentality of the manufacturing age may become
counterproductive in the knowledge market.
Organizational behavior can assist in fostering leadership, pro-activity and creative
When creativity is allowed, the divergence of opinions is unavoidable, but-
organizational behavior can provide the leadership and the arbitrage dynamics
required for turning conflicts into constructive idea exchanges.
Understanding the Employees Better
Organizational behavior studies help us understand why employees behave the way
they do, and also thereby predict how they are going to behave m the future.
Understand how to Develop Good Leaders
Organizational behavior patterns help in predicting who among the employees have
the potential to become leaders. They also teach us how to mold these employees
so that their leadership potential is utilized to its fullest.
Develop a Good Team
An organization is only as good as the weakest member of its team. It is essential
that all members of the team work in coordination and are motivated to work
together to achieve the best results. The teamwork theories of organizational
behavior are an essential tool in the hands of any manager.
All this leads us to the most important goal of achieving the highest productivity in
realizing the visions and goals of any organization. If implemented well, the
organizational behavior principles help in motivating all the members to do their
7. best. The levels of motivation can be the difference between a good and a bad
result. Really organizational Behavior has so many objectives by which it serves the
organizations, individuals, groups and in a word all the stake holders.
History and Evolution of Organisational Behavior Studies
Origin of Organisational Behavior can trace its roots back to Max Weber and
earlier organizational studies.
The Industrial Revolution is the period from approximately 1760 when new
technologies resulted in the adoption of new manufacturing techniques, including
The industrial revolution led to significant social and cultural change, including new
forms of organization.
Analyzing these new organizational forms, sociologist Max Weber described
bureaucracy as an ideal type of organization that rested on rational-legal principles
and maximized technical efficiency.
In the 1890’s; with the arrival of scientific management and Taylorism,
Organizational Behavior Studies was forming it as an academic discipline.
Failure of scientific management gave birth to the human relations movement
which is characterized by a heavy emphasis on employee cooperation and morale.
Human Relations Movement from 1930’s to 1950’s contributed in shaping the
Organizational Behavior studies.
Works of scholars like Elton Mayo, Chester Barnard, Henri Fayol, Mary Parker
Follett, Frederick Herzberg, Abraham Mas low, David Mc Cellan and Victor Vroom
contributed to the growth of Organisational Behavior as a discipline.
Works of scholars like Elton Mayo, Chester Barnard, Henri Fayol, Mary Parker
Follett, Frederick Herzberg, Abraham Maslow, David Mc Cellan and Victor Vroom
contributed to the growth of Organisational Behavior as a discipline.
Herbert Simon’s Administrative Behavior introduced a number of important
concepts to the study of organizational behavior, most notably decision making.
Simon along with Chester Barnard; argued that people make decisions differently
in organizations than outside of them. Simon was awarded the Nobel Prize in
Economics for his work on organizational decision making.
8. In the 1960s and 1970s, the field became more quantitative and produced such
ideas as the informal organization, and resource dependence. Contingency theory,
institutional theory, and organizational ecology also enraged.
Starting in the 1980s, cultural explanations of organizations and organizational
change became areas of study.
Informed by anthropology, psychology, and sociology, qualitative research became
more acceptable in OB.
Nature of Organisation Behavior
1. A Separate Field of Study and not a Discipline Only.
2. An Interdisciplinary Approach.
3. An Applied Science.
4. A Normative Science.
5. A Humanistic and Optimistic Approach.
6. A Total System Approach.
A Separate Field of Study and not a Discipline Only
By definition, a discipline is an accepted science that is based on a theoretical
foundation. But, OB has a multi- interdisciplinary orientation and is, thus, not based
on a specific theoretical background. Therefore, it is better to reason to call OB a
separate field of study rather than a discipline only.
An Interdisciplinary Approach
Organizational behavior is essentially an interdisciplinary approach to study human
behavior at work. It tries to integrate the relevant knowledge drawn from related
disciplines like psychology, sociology, and anthropology to make them applicable for
studying and analyzing organizational behavior.
An Applied Science
The very nature of OB is applied. What OB basically does is the application of
various researches to solve the organizational problems related to human behavior.
The basic line of difference between pure science and OB is that while the former
9. concentrates of fundamental research, the latter concentrates on applied
research. OB involves both applied research and its application in organizational
analysis. Hence, OB can be called both science as well as art.
A Normative Science
Organizational Behavior is a normative science also. While the positive science
discusses only cause effect relationship, OB prescribes how the findings of applied
research can be applied to socially accept organizational goals. Thus, OB deals with
what is accepted by individuals and society engaged in an organization. Yes, it is not
that OB is not normative at all. In fact, OB is normative as well that is well
underscored by the proliferation of management theories.
A Humanistic and Optimistic Approach
Organizational Behavior applies humanistic approach towards people working in the
organization. It deals with the thinking and feeling of human beings. OB is based on
the belief that people have an innate desire to be independent, creative and
productive. It also realizes that people working in the organization can and will
actualize these potentials if they are given proper conditions and environment.
Environment affects performance or workers working in an organization.
A Total System Approach
The system approach is one that integrates all the variables, affecting
The systems approach has been developed by the behavioral scientists to analyze
human behavior in view of his/her socio-psychological framework. Man’s socio-
psychological framework makes the man a complex one and the systems approach
tries to study his/her complexity and find a solution to it.
10. Contributing Disciplines to the Organization Behavior Field
Psychology has perhaps the first influence on the field of organizational
behavior because it is a science of behavior. A psychologist studies almost all
aspects of behavior.
Psychology deals with studying human behavior that seeks to explain and sometimes
change the behavior of humans and other animals.
Psychologists are primarily interested in predicting the behavior of individuals to a
great extent by observing the dynamics of personal factors.
Those who have contributed and continued to add to the knowledge of OB are
teaching theorists, personality theorists, counseling psychologists and primary,
industrial and organizational psychologist.
Some of the numerous areas of interest within the disciplines of psychology are:
Personality and Social Psychology
Understanding Psychological principles and its models help significantly in gaining the
knowledge of determinants of individual behavior such as
the learning process,
personality determinants and development,
perceptual process and its implications,
11. leadership effectiveness,
individual decision making,
Job design and work stress.
The major focus of sociologists is on studying the social systems in which individuals fill
their roles. The focus is on group dynamics.
They have made their greatest contribution to OB through their study of group behavior
in organization, particularly formal and sophisticated organizations.
Sociological concepts, theories, models, and techniques help significantly to understand
better the group dynamics, organizational culture, formal organization theory and
structure, corporate technology, bureaucracy, communications, power, conflict, and
Psychologists are primarily interested in focusing their attention on the individual
Key concepts of Sociology are;
Most sociologists today identify the discipline by using one of the three statements:
Sociology deals with human interaction arid this communication are the key influencing
factor among people in social settings.
Sociology is a study of plural behavior. Two or more interacting individuals constitute a
plurality pattern of behavior
Sociology is the systematic study of social systems:
A social system is an operational social unit that is structured to serve a purpose.
It consists of two or more persons of different status with various roles playing a part in
a pattern that is sustained by a physical and cultural base.
When analyzing organizing as a social system, the following elements exist:
People or actors
Acts or Behavior
Ends or Goals
Norms, rules, or regulation controlling conduct or behavior
Beliefs held by people as actors
Status and status relationships
Authority or power to influence other actors
Role expectations, role performances, and role relationships.
12. Therefore, organizations are viewed by sociologies as consists of a variety of people with
different roles, status, and degree of authority.
The organization attempts to achieve certain generalized and specific objectives.
To attain some of the abstract ends such as the development of company loyalty, the
organization’s leaders appeal to the shared cultural base.
The main aim of anthropology is to acquire a better understanding of the relationship
between the human being and the environment. Adaptations to surroundings constitute
culture. The manner in which people view their surroundings is a part of the culture.
Culture includes those ideas shared by groups of individuals and languages by which these
ideas are communicated. In essence, culture is a system of learned behavior.
Their work on culture and environment has helped us to understand differences in
fundamental values, attitudes, and behavior among people in different countries and within
Much of our current understandings of organizational culture, environments, and
differences between national cultures are the results of the work of anthropologists or
those using their methodologies.
The world is the laboratory of anthropologists, and human beings must be studied in the
natural habitat. Understanding the importance of studying man in natural settings over
time enables one to grasp the range of anthropology.
Familiarity within some of the cultural differences of employees can lead to a greater
managerial objectivity and depth in the interpretation of behavior and performance.
Anthropologists contribute to study some aspects in organizational settings – similar
values, comparative attitudes, cross-cultural analysis between or among the employees.
Main Challenges and Opportunities of Organizational Behavior
Challenges and opportunities of organizational behavior are massive and rapidly
changing for improving productivity and meeting business goals.
1. Improving Peoples’ Skills.
2. Improving Quality and Productivity.
3. Total Quality Management (TQM).
4. Managing Workforce Diversity.
5. Responding to Globalization.
6. Empowering People.
7. Coping with Temporariness.
8. Stimulating Innovation and Change.
13. 9. Emergence of E-Organisation & E-Commerce.
10. Improving Ethical Behavior.
11. Improving Customer Service.
12. Helping Employees Balance Work-Life Conflicts.
13. Flattening World.
Organisational behavior model
The root level of this model is power with a managerial orientation of authority.
The employees in this model are oriented towards obedience and discipline. They
are dependent on their boss. The employee requirement that is met is subsistence.
The performance result is less.
The major drawbacks of this model are people are easily frustrated, insecurity,
dependency on the superiors, minimum performance because of minimum wage.
The root level of this model is economic resources with a managerial orientation of
money. The employees in this model are oriented towards security and benefits
provided to them. They are dependent on the organization. The employee
requirement that is met is security.
This model is adapted by firms having high resources as the name suggest. It is
dependent on economic resources. This approach directs to depend on firm rather
than on manager or boss. They give passive cooperation as they are satisfied but
not strongly encouraged.
The root level of this model is leadership with a managerial orientation of support.
The employees in this model are oriented towards their job performance and
participation. The employee requirement that is met is status and recognition. The
performance result is awakened drives.
This model is dependent on leadership strive. It gives a climate to help employees
grow and accomplish the job in the interest of the organization. Management job
14. is to assist the employee’s job performance. Employees feel a sense of
The root level of this model is partnership with a managerial orientation of
teamwork. The employees in this model are oriented towards responsible behavior
and self-discipline. The employee requirement that is met is self-actualization.
The performance result is moderate zeal.
This is an extension of supportive model. The team work approach is adapted for
this model. Self-discipline is maintained. Workers feel an obligation to uphold
quality standard for the better image of the company. A sense of “accept” and
“respect” is seen.
Roles in an organisation
According to Mintzberg (1975) managers of all levels of hierarchy behave in the
same way, carry into effect similar activities and therefore fulfill similar roles. He
divided these activities into 10 roles and defines them as “organized set of
Further Stoner and Wankel (1997) grouped these 10 roles into 3 main roles as:
1. Interpersonal Roles: Interpersonal roles are concerned with creating and
maintaining interpersonal relationships in work. These are:
a) Figurehead role: Manager represents organisation in all matters of formality,
legality and socially to inside or outside the organisation. He is like a symbolic of
b) Leader Role: Manager being a leader of the department sets goals, makes plan
to reach the goal, motivates employees look after their needs and leads the team
to achieve that goal.
c) Liaison role: Manager interacts with people inside and outside the organisation
to gain valuable information, to come into an agreement, to gain orders for the
2. Informational roles: These are concerned with informational aspect of
managerial work like receiving, collecting, and disseminating information. These are:
a) Monitor Role: Manager looks out for information regarding the organisation. He
collects the information from inside (like information regarding problem areas of
the organisation) as well as outside (information regarding competition, new
technology, etc.) the organisation through reports, magazines, etc.
b) Disseminator Role: Manager transmits the important information gathered
from inside or outside the organisation to related organisational members. He may
do this by holding informational meetings, sending reports or emails, making phone
c) Spokesperson: Manager transmits organisation's information to outside like
government, departments, public, media etc. This information may include
organisation's annual reports, achievements, plans, policies, etc. They may do it by
holding board meetings or advertising in newspapers, etc.
3. Decisional roles: These are related to making decisions. These are:
a) Entrepreneur: Manager analyses organisation's development opportunities and
possibilities and bring about organic changes to grow the organisation and make it
more profitable. He motivates employees to give their suggestions and achieve
b) Disturbance Handler: Manager takes corrective actions whenever any
disturbance or crisis occurs inside or outside the organisation. Handles disputes
among employees, among employees and business partners, and among business
partners. Thus he plays the role of a rescuer.
c) Resources Allocator: Manager allocates the organisation's resources like
16. people, money, infrastructure, etc. so that it is optimally utilized and enhances its
productivity. He approves plans, budgets and programmes, and set priorities.
d) Negotiator: Manager negotiates with the team, departments and organisations
to defend business interests and gain advantage for his team, department and