Copyright
Like?

What is Organizational Behavior? - Definition and History of the Field

Start Your Free Trial To Continue Watching
As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 8,500 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.
Free 5-day trial
It only takes a minute. You can cancel at any time.
Already registered? Login here for access.
Start your free trial to take this quiz
As a premium member, you can take this quiz and also access over 8,500 fun and engaging lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Get access today with a FREE trial!
Free 5-day trial
It only takes a minute to get started. You can cancel at any time.
Already registered? Login here for access.
  1. 0:08 Organizational Behavior
  2. 0:56 Internal Perspective
  3. 2:06 External Perspective
  4. 2:39 History of Organizational Behavior
  5. 3:51 Lesson Summary
Show Timeline
Taught by

Jennifer Lombardo

Organizational behavior is the study of both group and individual performance and activity within an organization. Internal and external perspectives are two theories of how organizational behavior can be viewed by companies.

Organizational Behavior

Why do people behave a certain way in an organizational environment? What factors affect job performance, employee interaction, job commitment, leadership and managerial styles? Individuals have studied this very topic for decades in order to find ways of increasing organizational performance. 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. Internal and external perspectives are two theories of how organizational behavior can be viewed by companies. Let's take a look at how the perspectives are different through examining Ninja Corporation.

Internal Perspective

The Ninja Corporation has two human resource managers at their headquarters. Julia and Nick have different opinions regarding how to use organizational behavioral factors to improve work conditions. Julia embraces the internal perspective and believes that employees' behavior is in large part based on their own personal feelings, interactions, thoughts and experiences.

This theory revolves around the idea that, in order to understand individuals in an organizational environment, an individual must understand the person's thoughts, feelings and personal values. Recently, a manager mentioned to Julia that she was having difficulty with motivating one of her subordinates in the sales division. Julia met with the manager and employee to see what advice she could offer in this situation.

Julia spoke with the subordinate, who revealed that he wanted to achieve his sales goals and felt that his co-workers were getting the best territories and extra feedback. Once Julia was able to uncover the subordinate's internal employment issues, she then could explain what motivational techniques would improve his performance to the manager. Her human resource coworker, Nick, had the opposite view of organizational behavior.

External Perspective

Nick was also a human resource manager at Ninja Corporation. He took an external perspective of organizational behavior. He believed that external events and environmental factors affected an individual's job performance and behavior. A recent example of this theory would be when Nick told numerous managers to increase their subordinate's salaries by $5,000 in order to further motivate the sales team. Organizational behavior's history is really a combination of numerous fields of study.

History

The Industrial Revolution brought about the need for understanding human behavior in a work environment. The first mention of analyzing work was with Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915). He viewed job tasks as a bunch of components that could be analyzed and broken down into small parts. Taylor believed you could substitute or replace individuals at any point in the labor process as you could with parts on a machine.

Unlock Content Over 8,500 lessons in all major subjects

Get FREE access for 5 days,
just create an account.

Start a FREE trial

No obligation, cancel anytime.

Want to learn more?

Select a subject to preview related courses:

People are saying…

"This just saved me about $2,000 and 1 year of my life." — Student

"I learned in 20 minutes what it took 3 months to learn in class." — Student

See more testimonials

Did you like this?
Yes No

Thanks for your feedback!

What didn't you like?

What didn't you like?

Next Video
Create your Account

Sign up now for your account. Get unlimited access to 8,500 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.

Meet Our Instructors

Meet all 53 of our instructors