Guide to Organizational Behaviour: Definition, Types, Model, Goals, and Its Importance

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“Organizational culture is simply the response of an organization to its political influences, both internal and external.” Larrie D. Ferreiro

Diverse businesses draw people from a wide range of social and economic backgrounds. Moreover, they have diverse workforces, which may include people with diverse cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds.

A happy workforce can help to create a positive work environment, improve productivity, reduce turnover rates, and increase profits.

Thus, understanding employees’ behavioral patterns and the impact they have on the organization is essential, and this is where organizational behavior comes in.

A variety of factors believed to influence Organizational Behavior (OB), which is both fascinating and challenging. Organizational Behavior is related to individuals, groups of people working together in teams, as well as situational factors. 

For a complete overview of organizational behavior, its importance, and its types, here is a comprehensive guide.

What is organizational behavior?

Organizational behavior is concerned with people’s interactions within organizations. It is concerned with how individuals interact within an organization and how to improve workers’ performance within the organization. 

Since human factors contribute to a company’s better productivity, studying human behavior is imperative. For the study of organizational behavior, research related to improving job satisfaction, increasing job performance, and encouraging leadership are included.

Organizational behavior is the most important for a company that wants to explore and improve its workforce. They are the foundation for managers to produce better results. 

Brief History of Organizational Behaviour 

The concept of organizational behavior originated in the 1990 AD. During that period, F.W. Taylor advocated that providing improved working situations could increase productivity. But this approach is just the initial momentum for organizational behavior. 

Moreover, during the First World War period, in 1920 AD, Whiting Williams published a book named “What is in the workers’ mind?”. It changed the thinking of entrepreneurs about the importance of human relations in an organization.  

Hawthorne Electric Company experiment helped understand the core concept of social systems in the workplace and human issues to be solved by understanding the human factor.

 And after the Hawthorne experiment, the ethical or human conduct in an organization improved remarkably. So till now, it is the origin of the Human Resource profession.

The environment is less important than social factors. When employees find they are being heard, they can provide better results to the company. Also, it helps to increase the productivity of an employee.

Examples Of Organizational Behavior In The Workplace

Multiple factors affect organizational behavior. And the company managers can use these factors to evaluate the work culture better. Let’s discuss them one by one.

Personality:  Personality is one example of organizational behavior. The best way to determine if a candidate is a good fit for an organization is to understand their personality.
Leadership: Leadership can be either focused, goal-oriented, broad, or centralized. Or it can simply be the result of a position of authority.
Power, authority, and politics: Political science, power, and authority work interdependently in a workspace. To run a successful business, one has to use these elements perfectly depending on organizational rules and ethical guidelines.

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Elements of organizational behavior

To explore OB’s elements, we need to first review what OB actually is and what are its examples. Organizational behavior has four core elements. Let’s find out what are these four elements.

The essential element of OB is people. Here people mean an employee that works for that organization. So, you must take care of how well the people are treated and how well you listen to them. 

As the backbone of an organization, they help to achieve the organization’s goals by doing the work systematically. So, if there are any changes in their behavior, a leader needs to know the reason behind that.

The employee that works individually or in groups creates the whole structure. It is the layout of the organization. The roles and responsibilities of people in a structure should be clearly described. If you do so, there will not be any confusion regarding their duties which results in greater efficiency.

People and structures are not enough for an organization. When you provide the needed technology, people can perform the task effectively. If you fail to provide technology, it will be difficult for people to complete their responsibilities.

It also helps to reduce production costs. Depending on the work needed to complete, you can use technology.

The last one is “Business Environment.” For an organization to run successfully, external factors also matter the most. Business leaders must study both the internal environment (organizational culture) and the external environment (economic, social, political, and cultural) factors. Don’t hesitate to make any changes when you find them necessary.

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Levels of organizational behavior

OB uses the three levels to analyze the behavior of people. And these three basic levels are Individual, Group (Team), and Organization System level Analysis. These levels are interrelated to each other. Organizational Behavior analyses the interaction between these three levels and, at last, decides how they can improve the organization’s performance.

To increase ROI, analyze each level carefully and create a healthier work environment. Following is the list of three levels of organizational behavior.

Individual Level
Building blocks for group formation are individuals in organizations. Everyone is unique by their nature. Individual level, in another term called Micro level of Analysis. It revolves around psychology. It is related to the individual thought process, including their characteristics, such as attitude, job satisfaction, emotions, moods, values, personalities, perception, and motivation. 

Group Level
Group level is also called Meso level of Analysis. It mainly revolves around social psychology, anthropology, and sociology. Simply, it focuses on how the people working together to finish the task interact. And the group can be either formal or informal.

 The organization assigns formal groups to complete specific tasks. But informal groups are not determined by the organization. The Meso level of Analysis contains decision, communication, power, politics, conflict, and Leadership.

Organization System Level
And finally, the top level of Organizational Behavior is the Macro level of Analysis (Organization system). They mainly revolve around organizational anthropology, organizational sociology, and organizational psychology. It focuses on how organizations engage with each other in the marketplace.

The significant factors for Analysis are organizational structure, power, politics, culture, change, and development. 

When different individuals are brought together, they create a group. Similarly, when multiple groups are combined, they form an organization. 

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Model of organizational behavior

The discipline of organizational studies focuses on the behavior of individuals and management. 

Organizational behavior is an interdisciplinary approach. So, it includes knowledge from multiple fields, such as anthropology, sociology, and psychology. This information helps to solve human-related organizational issues.

If you go in-depth, organizational behavior revolves around 3 theoretical approaches. They are Cognitive, Behaviorist, and social learning frameworks.

 In contrast to Edward’s cognitive theory which relies on probability and incentive concepts, Pavlov’s and Watson’s behaviorist framework relies on observation power. Furthermore, social learning theory is concerned with how the stimulus is connected to the response.  

Let’s put some light on the list of five models of organizational behavior.

Autocratic model

The autocratic model depends on power, strength, and formal authority. This model gives the power to the managers or owners to make decisions and dictate. At the same time, the employees follow their orders and are entirely dependent on their bosses. Factory management tended to follow an autocratic model during the 1800s and 1900s. At the time of the Industrial Revolution, it was a prominent model.

Advantages of the autocratic model

  1. Obedient and disciplined employees.
  2. Quick decision-making and a high level of secrecy.

 Drawbacks of the autocratic model

  1. People are easily frustrated because of the minimum wage. 
  2. Employees feel insecure as their ideas are not welcomed. 

Custodial Model

The times came when managers started noticing that their employees felt unheard of and frustrated. So, to remove those insecurities and problems, the progressing managers focus on the rewards-based concept. They think it can help them to remove those issues. 1930s welfare programs conducted for the employees generated the Custodial model of OB.

The custodial model relies on economic resources to motivate the employees. They offer health services, finance packages, cars, and so on as incentives. So, this model depends on the firm rather than the manager or bosses.

Additionally, they retain the employees and reduce over time. Now it’s time for the employees to show their loyalty to their company.

Advantages of the Custodial Model

  1. Motivate employees.
  2. More skilled workforce.

Disadvantages of the Custodial Model

  1. Can retain low-performing employees, and not everyone is satisfied with incentives; some want praise.
  2. It ignores the physiology of workers.

Supportive model

Unlike the above model, the Supportive model’s basic idea is the leadership position. This model focuses on understanding the factors that inspire their employees. 

Employees in the supportive model are focused on job performance and participation. Here the job of the manager is to assist the employee. 

This model understands that employees are not any devices you can use as per your wish; they have their characteristics. So it is essential to make employee contributions and be helpful. It gives a chance for the employees to take the initiative and improve themselves. That’s why the employee feels a sense of participation under the supportive model.

Advantages of the Supportive model

  1. A healthy relationship between manager and employee.
  2. Greater productivity and harmony in the organization.

Disadvantages of the Supportive model

  1. To support the employees they have to spend more time.
  2. It might not be the best for workers who just came to work and get paid.

Collegial Model

The collegial model eliminates the bosses and subordinates. All the colleagues work together as a team to accomplish a task in this model. No one has to worry about either status or position. 

The collegial Model can also be called the extension of the supportive model. So it is about the partnership between management and employees. This model expects the employees to feel they are part of a whole and must contribute. 

Moreover, they have to recognize others’ contributions as well. Here the manager is like a coach who has to create a positive workspace with an energetic environment.

Advantages of Collegial Model

  1. Teamwork.
  2. Better discipline.

Disadvantages of Collegial Model

  1. Role conflicts can arise.
  2. Every team member may not give their full efforts.

System Model

The system model is the emerging model of today’s era. It tries to balance the goal of the individual employee with an organizational goal. Now the managers have to show their emotional sides too. 

They have to be caring, understanding, and passionate. It is the base of a positive corporate culture.

Advantages of system model

  1. Healthy work environment. 
  2. Good communication.

Disadvantages of system model

  1.  It can be quite complex, making them difficult to understand.
  2. Employees can be static and inflexible, meaning they may not be able to adapt to changing conditions or new information.

Scope of organizational behavior

Having proper knowledge of organizational behavior is imperative to generate a positive impact and a healthy environment in an organization. The scope of organizational behavior can be generally defined as its ability to govern or influence an organization’s operations. A three-fold concept is incorporated in OB.

Individual behavior

As its name suggests, it is the study of an individual’s attitudes, learning, job satisfaction, motivation, and personality.
Example: Before making a perception about someone, it is better to understand them. And for that, conduct various interactive sessions.

Inter-individual Behavior

Inter-individual behavior is when communication happens between the employees among themselves. It helps to solve problems quickly by understanding each other’s qualities.
Example: Understanding people’s leadership qualities, group conflicts, power and politics, and group dynamics to conduct a new board members list.

Group Behavior

Group behavior is about the efforts a group of employees makes to achieve something within the organization. It studies the structure, formation, and effectiveness of the organization.
Example: Strike

Why is organizational behavior important in the workplace?

Until now, we have understood that organizational behavior helps improve the workspace’s efficiency by understanding the social and economic factors that affect how teams work. The key to an organization’s success is how people interact and work with each other.

Studying organizational behavior helps to motivate workers, increase their performance and build a strong relationship between employees and the organization. It also assists in making the decisions needed for human resource management, hiring, and employee retention processes. Now, let’s discuss the importance of organizational behavior in the workplace in detail.

Good workplace relationships

Though finding the problems that are affecting employee relationships might be a difficult job, it is an essential one. Also, the study of organizational behavior is vital for businesses facing problems due to changes in market forces and pandemics.

Organizational behavior helps managers and leaders to solve issues by communicating with them. Moreover, the chance of misunderstanding gets low. As a result, a good workplace relationship can be generated.

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Creates a psychologically safe workplace

If there is a psychologically safe working environment, the employees can generate new ideas and experiment with them. Using time-tracking software like Tivazo can enhance employee performance, resulting in increased productivity for a business.

Psychologically safe workplaces help employees perform better. The study of organizational behavior helps leaders determine their attitudes toward employees. So, managers can create a safe workplace where they feel at home. 

Teams with higher efficiency

An organizational behavior study provides you with a clear view of the similarities and differences that workers share. And the leader can use the information to create a better team. There is no doubt that a team with good chemistry will understand and support each other. They also have an idea about their colleague’s strengths and weaknesses. 

So, to achieve long-term success by increasing team members’ confidence, the study of organizational behavior is helpful.

Employee motivation

Lack of motivation can cause employees to leave the job. Without motivation, the employee won’t give 100% effort to their work.

The study of organizational behavior can assist leaders in understanding the motivational tools necessary to enable their employees to perform at their peak.

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Nature of employees

The employee that brings positive vibes to that work has a better possibility to increase the performance of the company. In contrast, a stressed employee can disturb the overall company’s performance. 

So, to achieve success, it is crucial to understand the employee’s nature at work. And for that study of OB is important, and it helps the manager to the reason behind their behavior. 

Better communication 

To bring the best result, leaders must communicate with their employees first. And the workers behave according to the surrounding environment. If their leader is dominant, they may get frustrated. And that can be the reason for their behavior change. But if the leader or colleagues are someone who listens to them and shows their strength, they may align better with them.

The study of OB assists managers/leaders to understand in which type of organizational model workers perform well.

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Goals of organizational behavior

The study of organizational behavior examines the behavior of individuals and groups within an organization. To manage human resources effectively, organizations need to know, understand, predict, and control human behavior. The following goals have been defined by OB:

To describe

The first goal of OB is to describe how workers behave under various circumstances.

To understand

And then the next objective is to understand why they behave as they do. Understand the reason behind every action.

To predict

Realizing or predicting the future behavior of workers is another goal of OB. Such as managers predicting why their employees are working/leaving their company.

To control

The last and most important goal of OB is to control and create a healthy working environment for the organization.

Managers must take every necessary action to develop the team’s commitment and skill.


The main reason behind the study of OB is to generate a productive and healthy work environment. Leaders should conduct organizational behavior research to bring out the best in their employees. Moreover,  if they need to change their customer service or improve their ethical behavior, they need to do that as well.

This article covers every detail of organizational behavior, including the importance of organizational behavior, goals, types, and model. 

I hope you enjoy reading the article. Don’t hesitate to share it with your friends if you find it informative.


1. What is an organizational behavior example?

There are many types of organizational behavior, including personality, leadership, power, and authority. 

2. What are organizational behavior skills?

Organizational behavior skills include effective communication, financial management, time management, team-building, and conflict resolution. 

3. How organizational behavior can benefit you?

Individuals can gain a deeper understanding of themselves and others, improving careers and efficiency.  Additionally, Organizational Behavior can motivate employees and improve the success of companies.

4. What is the purpose of organizational behavior? 

Organizational behavior is primarily concerned with understanding people’s behavior, resolving disputes, hiring qualified employees, increasing productivity, and building a good team. Thus, it is essential to the success of any organization.