Organizational behavior

We explain what organizational behavior is, its characteristics, and the variables that define it. In addition, its purpose, and more.

Los empleados de una empresa comparten información en una reunión.
Organizational behavior is the study of the relationships between people in a company.

What is organizational behavior?

Organizational behavior is the study of people behavior within a specific organizational setting. It is an academic discipline that studies the relationships between individuals and work groups across multiple sciences, including sociology, psychology, and political science.

Understanding the development of organizational behavior makes it possible to measure the impact of human resources management within organizations.

Characteristics of organizational behavior

The main characteristics of organizational behavior are:

  • Description of workspace. It involves observing how people behave in the different areas of an organization from a macro or organizational perspective, group, and individual perspective.
    For example: variables such as productivity, staff turnover, absenteeism rate, job satisfaction, can be observed, among other variables.
  • Understanding the situation. It involves collecting measurable data that can be analyzed to identify potential issues and differences with organizational culture.
    For example: data can be collected through an internal survey conducted by the human resources area with the aim to find out quantitative data on each employee's tasks and qualitative data on their perceptions of their working conditions.
  • Planning. It consists of establishing a plan or strategy to improve a conflict situation among employees.
    For example: the analysis of internal survey data contributes to decision-making at a management level.
  • Monitoring. It involves evaluating the plan progress and results among employees through different communication channels and the use of technology tools to optimize internal communication flow and feedback.
    For example, each department manager must ensure that the new strategies proposed by management are properly implemented, through team or one-on-one meetings that allow for assessing work quality regarding productivity levels.

Relationship between people and the organization

The relationship between people and the organization is a key factor for the permanence of both parties in the partnership. It is therefore important to build an organizational culture that is transmitted to and known by all employees to help create an organizational climate aligned with company values.

Organizations exist for a specific purpose and have their own interests, but they need people to achieve their goals.

Individuals also have their own personal objectives. Being part of an organization can help them meet their needs and fulfill their personal goals.

Purpose of organizational behavior

Los empleados organizan su actividad en una cocina.
Effectively managing organizational behavior contributes to company success.

The purpose of understanding organizational behavior is to ensure the effectiveness of staff management in order to achieve the organization's goals.

For example: Identifying conflict situations or problems among employees can contribute to improving the organizational climate and optimizing performance.

Knowledge of organizational behavior and the proper handling of that information by management can result in improved performance, higher productivity, and ultimately, company success.

Variables in organizational behavior

The main variables that influence the behavior of individuals within an organization are:

  • Variables related to organizational culture. Organizational culture is a company’s identity, encompassing its rules and values. It is the way in which the company manifests itself and develops. Some related variables include:
  • The company's internal policies.
  • Work methodologies.
  • Staff hiring methods.
  • Formal or informal treatment of employees.
  • The organization’s image or reputation as perceived in society.
  • Variables related to organizational climate. Organizational climate is the way employees perceive the organization and is what determines work environment. Some related variables include:
  • Individual ideology.
  • Values.
  • Personality.
  • Age range.
  • Culture.
  • Interests.
  • Feelings.
  • Ideologies.
  • Motivations.


  • "Fundamentos del comportamiento organizacional" Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. A. (2009).  13ra. Edición. Pearson. México.
  • "Comportamiento organizacional" Chiavenato, I. (2009). 4ta Edición. Mc Graw Hill.
  • "Comportamiento en las organizaciones" [Versión electrónica]. SUAyED. (2017). México: UNAM.
  • "Teorías del comportamiento organizacional" Mancera Ruiz, M. (2016). Revista Seguridad minera Nº 100.

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How to cite

Citar la fuente original de donde tomamos información sirve para dar crédito a los autores correspondientes y evitar incurrir en plagio. Además, permite a los lectores acceder a las fuentes originales utilizadas en un texto para verificar o ampliar información en caso de que lo necesiten.

Para citar de manera adecuada, recomendamos hacerlo según las normas APA, que es una forma estandarizada internacionalmente y utilizada por instituciones académicas y de investigación de primer nivel.

DE AZKUE, Inés. "Organizational behavior".
Encyclopedia of Humanities. 23 January, 2024,

About the author

Author: Inés de Azkue

Bachelor of Arts in advertising (University of Morón)

Translated by: Marilina Gary

Degree in English Language Teaching (Juan XXIII Institute of Higher Education, Bahía Blanca, Argentina).

Updated on: 23 January, 2024
Posted on: 28 September, 2023

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