How do people behave within a firm? What impact do their individual and team attitudes have on results? How do some organizations succeed in managing their human resources? Organizational Behavior helps to understand and manage the internal mechanisms of corporations.
The importance of Organizational Behavior for business
Organizational Behavior (OB) is a specialty that investigates the impact that the actions of individuals and groups have within organizations, with the aim of applying this knowledge to improve effectiveness and efficiency.
Although human conduct has many nuances, certain common denominators can be grouped together and studied to optimize performance. Thus, through different theories, it is possible to focus on correctable aspects once they are detected. This is the richness of a field of study in which disciplines such as psychology, economics and sociology converge.
For example: it is possible to detect that there is room for improvement in the system understood as an 'organized whole', to establish the priority in the search for employee satisfaction or to pursue the perfection of work techniques.
The organization as an environment of people
One way of defining a company is as a social system made up of people, and whether you want to work in it or manage it, you need to understand its inner workings. Analyzing these mechanisms makes it possible to describe and explain the actions of employees and to resolve their conflicts.
OB describes the behavioral dynamics that occur between groups and individuals in an environment. Understanding these interrelationships helps managers to achieve their goals, improve productivity and understand what motivates their employees.
It is in the interest of any company to stimulate knowledge sharing in order to perform daily tasks, but also with information related to the work situation. When workers share what they know, it enhances creativity, stimulates innovation and improves results for individuals, teams and organizations. Cultivating knowledge sharing can generate competitive advantages.
Prediction is the key to planning
We have already mentioned that one of the fundamental objectives of OB is to explain how employees act in order to understand their motivations. But perhaps the basic objective of OB is to predict their behavior before it happens, in order to plan the company's next steps.
Stephen P. Robbins wrote in his book Organizational Behavior that the best reason to apply it is that it is predictive. By observing attitudes and habits, a manager can collect data on productivity, talent spotting, turnover or absenteeism and predict future behavior in the face of change.
With this information, a manager will decide how to present these changes so that they are better received or consider not doing it at all. Models based on Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning can be key tools in prediction and, therefore, in decision-making.
Building a culture
Building an organization's culture requires knowing the people who shape and share it. A deep understanding of Organizational Behavior will improve a leader's ability to build teams and manage conflict. In this way, human resources staff can shape organizational culture. So, they will be able to focus on their employees and work results.