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Corporate Culture

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.

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.

Organizational Behavior Definition

Organizational Behavior Definition

“Organizational behavior is directly concerned with the understanding, prediction, and control of human behavior in organizations.” — Fred Luthans.

Organizational behavior is the study of both group and individual performance and activity within an organization.

This area of study examines human behavior in a work environment and determines its impact on job structure, performance, communication, motivation, leadership, etc.

It is the systematic study and application of knowledge about how individuals and groups act within the organizations where they work. OB draws from other disciplines to create a unique field.

For example, when we review topics such as personality and motivation, we will again review studies from the field of psychology. The topic of team processes relies heavily on the field of sociology.

When we study power and influence in organizations, we borrow heavily from political sciences.

Even medical science contributes to the field of Organizational Behavior, particularly in the study of stress and its effects on individuals.

There is increasing agreement as to the components or topics that constitute the subject area of OB.

Although there is still considerable debate as to the relative importance of change, there appears to be general agreement that OB includes the core topics of motivation, leader behavior, and power, interpersonal communication, group structure and processes, learning, attitude development and perception, change processes, conflict, work design, and work stress.