organizational behavior theory

Organizations are analyzed as a set of formal and informal elements, built from human interaction. To understand its complexity, it is necessary to understand how this interaction occurs. Following this line of analysis, we will embroider the field of organizational behavior. 

what is organizational behavior theory

  1. Classical Theory: born from the need to find guidelines for managing complex organizations.
  2. Scientific Management Theory: was the result of the extra effort for greater efficiency in the perfection of work techniques and the creation of standards capable of judging the efficiency of the employee in order to increase productivity within the organization.
  3. Human Relations Theory: emphasizes the importance of the individual and social relationships in organizational life, and suggests strategies to improve organizations by increasing member satisfaction and to create organizations that help individuals achieve its potential.
  4. Systems Theory: for this current, the administration has to be based fundamentally on the systems. “The system is a set of interrelated elements that constitute an” organized whole “, where the result is greater than the sum of its parts.”
  5. Contingency Theory: emphasizes that there is nothing absolute in organizations: everything is relative and always depends on some factor.

objectives of organizational behavior

Systematically describe the behavior of people in different situations. Achieving this goal enables managers to communicate in a common language regarding human behavior at work.

  • It is understanding why people behave in a certain way. Thus, explanations can be achieved and methods can be improved.
  • Following the previous two objectives, you will have the ability to see what is going to happen in the future with employee behavior. Employers, administrators, and managers should acquire the ability to predict which employees are qualified, productive and dedicated in their work, and which are characterized by delays, absenteeism or negative behaviors in the workplace, in order to find preventive solutions.

Control the activities, even partially, of individuals within the work to develop the objectives set and achieve the goals. Teamwork, coordination of efforts and productivity must also be controlled.

Organizational behavior theories

Various theories have been developed within this field of study. Each of them will be explained in detail separately in order to deepen their characteristics.

Organizational behavior has different theories focused on a specific field of study, which allows this concept to be broad and complete.

Specifically, it is made up of these 5 theories:

  • Classical theory

It focuses on the need to find elements to manage complex organizations.

  • Theory of scientific administration

It seeks the perfection of work techniques and the creation of parameters capable of measuring efficiency.

  • Theory of human relations

It prioritizes individuals over the other elements of organizations and suggests strategies to increase the satisfaction of each one.

  • Systems theory

It is an administrative philosophy based on systems, that is, on sets of elements that are related to each other to constitute an “organized whole”, which provides better results than the sum of parts.

  • Contingency theory

He emphasizes that there is nothing absolute in companies and institutions and that, instead, everything is relative.

How is organizational behavior analyzed?

Each organization or company has specific characteristics and challenges. However, there are general parameters that must be followed to analyze organizational behavior.

One of them is the indicators, which must be objective and have a direct relationship with the activities carried out. Among them are:

  • absenteeism;
  • time for task execution;
  • human failures;
  • quality and quantity of production;
  • degree of productivity.

Another method that is useful for evaluating organizational behavior is the incorporation of opinions of collaborators who have had a direct relationship with the organization and its members.

Of course, internal analysis, interviews, and other types of feedback are also very useful, as well as the analysis of databases and files related to the development of each collaborator.

 What characteristics define organizational behavior?

Organizational behavior has been studied for decades. This has allowed specialists to define the characteristics and relevant aspects of this concept, which are useful for its application and analysis. Among the most important are:


The theory of variables of organizational behavior consists of 3 levels: organizational, group, and individual, which in turn are influenced by the environment.

The individual-level has certain beliefs or principles, such as:

people have different needs and always seek to satisfy them;

man has limited response capacity;

man perceives and evaluates;

people think about the future and choose how to behave.

As for the group level, it is segmented into formal groups, made up of command, task and temporary teams, and informal groups made up of interest and friendship groups.

Finally, the organizational level evaluates companies and institutions as a whole, which integrates different activities and efforts with common objectives.

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