Organizational Behavior Theories

Most of us are familiar with organizational behavior because we read about it in high school or during graduation. 

But for individuals enrolling in various MBA programs, it becomes a crucial component. Management students know the value of human resources and human resource management in their education. 

Organizational behavior is very lucrative to work in for a living. Today, this article will help you learn about numerous organizational behavior theories and how to study and apply them for our benefit.

Organizational Behaviour: Definition

"Study of human behavior in an organizational situation" is called. Organizational behavior refers to the performance that an individual exhibits within an organization. Individuals build up the organization, while the organization on its own is inanimate. 

This field, which combines the disciplines of psychology, business, sociology, and economics, not only increases organizational productivity but also enhances an individual's personal, social, and professional effectiveness. 

In other words, organizational behavior determines whether a company succeeds or fails.

Popular Organizational Behaviour Theories

Personality Theories

The main Organizational Behavior Theories have extensively addressed the idea of personality. 

Gordon Allport defines personality as "the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his characteristic behavior and thought." 

Since many researchers have highlighted the role of nature in human affective behavior in terms of primal instincts and genetic compulsions, the concept of Nature vs. Nurture is of the utmost importance when understanding the notion of personality.

However, many academics also emphasize the significance of the environment as one of the critical factors determining personality, as an individual's living environment, educational background, influences, and surroundings can impact and foster their character. 

Nature can play a more significant role in identifying the best candidates for leadership positions in business and organizations because some of us naturally possess these traits. Authors like Hal Gregerson, Jeff Dyer, and Clayton Christenson have argued against this point of view by asserting that innovation and business abilities can be taught and cultivated.


Attitudes are another crucial idea in organizational behavior theories. These are sometimes called evaluative statements on things, people, or events and express an individual's feelings. Under "Attitudes," there are mainly two theories:

  • Cognitive Dissonance Theory: The cognitive dissonance theory further explains the relationship between attitudes and behavior, emphasizing how these two are incompatible and inconsistent. It says that because inconsistency makes people uncomfortable, they have tried to minimize it to lessen dissonance and seek stability.
  • Self-Perception Theory: According to the self-perception theory, people make decisions about their attitudes and behaviors based on how they perceive themselves in various contexts.

Bureaucracy by Max Webber

Max Webber defined bureaucracy as the management of huge organizations that is characterized by the following:

  • Hierarchy
  • set guidelines
  • strict adherence to the rules
  • Insincere Relationship
  • Highly specialized labor division.

According to this theory, the guidelines and duties are spelled out in writing. Additionally, a distinct hierarchy of power is dominated by a small number of senior managers.

Taylor's Scientific Management Theory

F.W. Taylor applied science to his approach to behavioral theory. He created four guidelines;

  • Create a scientific methodology for each component of your task.
  • scientifically pick, educate, train, and develop each employee
  • Work with employees to ensure jobs adhere to plans and principles.
  • Task performance, supervision, and motivation were his primary areas of attention.

Henri Fayol's Process Management Theory

Henri Fayol's Process Management Theory is also known as the "Administrative Theory" to underline the confluence of science and administration. He divided the industrial pursuits into six distinct works:

  • Technical
  • Commercial
  • Financial
  • Accounting
  • Managerial

Hierarchy of Needs by Maslow

Maslow created a five-stage hierarchy to examine the factors that motivate employees or the general public. The notion of motivational hierarchy describes five stages in which human wants are met. It is they-

  • Physiological Needs- The first level includes basic needs like food and shelter.
  • Security needs- Security requirements include ensuring employment stability and defining- roles inside the organization.
  • Social needs refer to a person's need to interact with others, in this case, other people working.
  • Needs for Self-Esteem include opportunities for success or promotion and standing in the organization.
  • Self-actualization Needs- It is the greater need for personal or professional growth.

Theory X and Theory Y by McGregor

McGregor came up with two hypotheses, X and Y. He read the lower level engineers or supervisors in the company or plant in X and the higher ranking management in the company's offices in Y. Both theories are opposed, such as:

  • While Theory X contends that most people are sedentary and wait for orders, Theory Y contends that independent employees are inventive.
  • Contrary to Theory Y, which contends that people do better when not under close observation
  • Theory X contends that people need to be prodded to complete tasks, yet Theory Y maintains that people already possess the motivation to complete tasks independently.

Applications of organizational Behaviour Theories

  • Finding out why individuals or groups of individuals behave in a certain way is the goal of studying individual and group behavior. For instance, if there has been a significant amount of turnover inside the business, steps will be taken to address the issue moving forward.
  • Predicting a Specific Behavioral Response to Change: Prediction helps expect how a scenario will turn out. The manager could forecast behavioral responses to change by understanding the organizational behavior approach.
  • Control Behavior: Management significantly contributes to the organization, and their knowledge can be helpful. OB aids in increasing productivity at work.

Features of organizational Behaviour Theories

  • It is a distinct study area: Organizational behavior is built on a multi-disciplinary approach rather than a particular theoretical foundation.
  • The foundation of it is behavioral disciplines: OB is an applied behavioral science that mainly consists of sociology, anthropology, psychology, and social psychology.
  • Both science and art are known as: Because it combines applied research with organizational analysis, it is regarded as both a science and an art.
  • It aims for hope and humanism: Organizational behavior concerns how people interact with organizations.
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