Organizational Behavior Factsheet

What is Organizational Behavior (OB)?

In order for companies and organizations to be successful, they must cultivate a successful and productive work environment for their employees. How is this done? By understanding how Organizational Behavior, or OB, affects employees when working within teams and organizations.

Organizational Behavior:


  1. Is the study of employee behavior as it pertains to group dynamics
  2. Helps employers and management teams understand their employees’ motivations and how to help motivate them to produce the best results
  3. Provides management with the tools to predict how employees will react to change

OB uses strategies to establish how structures within a company will operate. The pecking order starts at the top and trickles down through management teams, ending with individual employees. But how do companies know who to put in charge? They use strategies to ensure that the corporate ladder is lined with a management team that will align tasks with the company’s vision and objectives, and steer employees, and therefore the company, toward positive productivity (Borkowski, 2016, p. 453).

Many companies use OB data to create strategies that organize its internal structure, forming a hierarchy that employees will react positively to, thereby creating a productive environment.


Each industry has its own hierarchy breakdown, depending on the data collected from previous OB observation. This specific breakdown determines:

OB data can be used to understand how employees will react to certain organizational structures within different types of industries. This is helpful because it allows management teams to predict how changes in structure will effect employees and how to accurately plan for these changes in order to keep their teams running smoothly and productivity levels up.

  1. The layout of management teams
  2. who employees report to in the chain of command
  3. and how workloads are delegated between teams and employees
  4. Group Dynamics & OB

    Organizational Behavior’s central focus is on group dynamics; how individuals behave in teams within organizations.

    These studies showed that creating teams within companies can build and foster bonds between employees, bolstering teamwork and morale. This also creates a loyalty between the employees as the company.

    One of the dynamics of organizational teams is division of group tasks among the members of the team. This can increase productivity and strengthen the group bond as it shows each team member that their participation is appreciated and an integral contribution to the task completion and positive management feedback.

    By definition, motivation is used to persuade individuals to positive thinking and behavior to create positive results.

    How does that relate to OB?

    Management teams use motivation to drive employees to put forth their best effort in the workplace, in order to achieve the most favorable outcome. This can also result in the employee receiving a reward of sorts at the culmination of the assigned task.

    However, motivation does not always have to be monetary. Many times, the knowledge and pride that comes with a job well done is reward enough by itself for employees.

    Positive Motivation

    Managers who offer incentives, such as monetary rewards or recognition, are using positive motivation methods to steer their teams toward positive productivity and the organization’s vision and goals.

    Negative Motivation

    The same can be said for negative motivation; the end result is not favorable to either the individual or the team, such as low team ranking, or job loss. This motivates the employee or team to do their best in order to avoid negative results.


    Borkowski, N. (2016). Organizational Behavior, Theory, and Design in Health Care (2nd ed.). Retrieved from