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What Is Organizational Behavior?

As part of the LSU Shreveport Bachelor of Science in Management and Administration online program, students must take a course in Organizational Management. This subject holds critical importance for future managers because it teaches them essential leadership skills. However, many students do not know what this topic is before they begin the course.

Don't be fooled by the name; organizational behavior is more than just a buzzword for business professionals. Instead, it is a vital area of study that allows managers to understand employees better, lead more effectively and increase their company's bottom line. The information below can help you know what organizational behavior is, why it's important and how today's leaders can apply these concepts.

What Is Organizational Behavior?

This area of study combines social and psychological sciences to help further the understanding of human behavior within an organization. Investopedia defines it as "the study of the way people interact within groups. Normally this study is applied in an attempt to create more efficient business organizations."

With even a cursory understanding of the role of business managers, you can see how this is a vital subject for future managers to learn. This is more than a crash course in psychology, however. The organizational behavior class gives students the insights they will need to tackle human resource challenges and interpersonal conflicts that may arise throughout their careers.

Why Organization Behavior Is Important

Every conflict that the people in a business experience is unique. Although similar situations may have happened at other companies, there are always influencing factors that can change the equation. Instead of giving new managers a handbook that describes in broad terms how to handle problems, the study of organizational behavior allows students to understand why people act the way they do. This perception can help the leader take a personalized approach to conflict resolution.

Furthermore, understanding what motivates different employees to perform better can help managers devise incentive plans that work. This skill also allows leaders to hire the right people for each position and understand how the new hire will fit into the organization.

Finally, a full understanding of organizational behavior helps create ethical and empathetic leaders. With the knowledge of how people react to different situations and why they react the way they do, managers who have completed this course know what it takes to excel as leaders within their organization, industry and the business world as a whole.

How Managers Use Organizational Behavior Skills in a Business

If you've been around the business world for any time, you have likely heard the term "company culture." This term refers to the way employees feel about each other, the company and the work they do. When it comes down to it, management's understanding and application of organizational behavior determines a company's culture. How well the managers complete this task can make or break a business.

Business writer and Vice President of LeaderFit Renee Baiorunos wrote a piece for Forbes that explained how company culture is the most powerful and practical tool that managers have in their kits. By defining the company's values, sticking to those values and championing good behavior, managers can create an environment that promotes personal and professional growth. All of that starts with a foundational understanding of organizational behavior.

Because companies rely on the talent of their employees, this company culture is vital to the bottom line. That's what makes this skill so marketable for graduates. You can tell potential employers that you want to create a productive company culture and that you know how to do it.

Although "organizational behavior" may sound like industry jargon, it is an essential area of expertise for anyone who wants to become a leader. By studying the way people in a company interact with each other and with the company itself, students can gain insights that will help them in their careers.

Knowledge of organizational behavior prepares students to hire and train employees and resolve conflicts more efficiently than they otherwise would. Furthermore, it gives the manager the required skills to create a company culture that benefits both the employees and the bottom line. It's easy to see that this ability is vital for managers of all kinds.

Learn more about the LSUS Bachelor of Science in Management & Administration online program.


Investopedia: Organizational Behavior

Forbes: Why Organizational Culture Is the Most Powerful Practical Tool for Impact and What to Do About It

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