Organizational behavior (OB) can be defined as the study of human behavior in the workplace. More specifically, investigators employ the principles of the scientific method to help them understand, predict, and manage employee behavior. The knowledge that follows rigorous, systematic study is used to enhance the productivity of organizations and the quality of work life for its employees. Read more about Organizational Behavior.
Organizational Behavior Research Topics
Some research topics of interest within the Micro-OB subfield deal with selecting and training employees, employee motivation, evaluating performance of individual employees, decision making, and employee satisfaction and stress. Areas of investigation within Meso-OB include group dynamics, team effectiveness, job design, and leadership, to name a few. Some main areas of investigation at the Macro-OB level are organizational culture and climate, organizational change and development, employee socialization, power and politics within the organization, conflict management and negotiation, and the interaction of the organization with its environment.
Management and organizational behavior are affected by multiple issues within an organization, from the type of work done, to the industry, to the rules and policies of the company. All of these elements work together to establish a culture within an organization and to provide direction and guidance for employees as they go about their day-to-day work.
Employee productivity is a concern for any organization, and it is a topic directly affected by management and organizational behavior. Management sets the standards for the organization, and managers, in turn, serve as role models for employees. Their behaviors and actions are closely monitored, with the expectation that they "walk the talk." In addition, managers must provide the tools, resources and education that employees need to effectively perform their jobs.
Employee--and customer--safety are critical organizational behavior issues. Employers are legally and morally responsible to ensure the health and safety of their employees. This is accomplished through policy as well as through the inspection and maintenance of equipment, the provision of safety equipment and clothing, and training to ensure that employees know how to avoid accidents and injury on the job.
Employers hire employees who have backgrounds that help them get the job. But that background is rarely enough to ensure effective performance over time. Consequently, organizational behavior is affected by training provided to employees internally and through external resources. Training is generally focused on improving or strengthening existing skills, learning about new technology or regulatory requirements that impact how the work is done, and staying up-to-date on changes in the environment that can change how work is done.
Employee engagement is a term that is commonly used in organizational behavior settings, according to Lin Grensing-Pophal, a communication consultant and the author of "Human Resource Essentials." Employers and managers are concerned about developing an environment where employees feel connected to their work as well as to the mission of the organization, and where they have the ability to offer insights and ideas to help improve the work environment and the production and delivery of products and services. Engagement is affected by the work rules in an organization as well as the culture established by the actions of management.
About the Author
Leigh Richards has been a writer since 1980. Her work has been published in "Entrepreneur," "Complete Woman" and "Toastmaster," among many other trade and professional publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Wisconsin and a Master of Arts in organizational management from the University of Phoenix.
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