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Organizational Behavior


The term organizational behavior is defined as the study of individuals, and workgroups, and the way they act in organizations. Organizational behavior theory interprets these relationships and parses them into sets of individuals that range from a single person through the entire company.


The study of organizational behavior aims to understand, and build, better relationships through the achievement of company goals and objectives, in addition to social objectives. It’s a discipline that combines workplace behaviors with psychology and sociology to understand why individuals and teams in an organization behave and interact in certain ways.

There are four major models, or frameworks, that account for the range of employee experiences in organizations:

  • Custodial Organizational Behavior: a model built upon economics, with leadership emphasis on money.
  • Autocratic Organizational Behavior: a model that is built upon power, with leadership emphasis on authority.
  • Collegial Organizational Behavior: a model built upon partnerships, with leadership emphasis on teamwork.
  • Supportive Organizational Behavior: a model that is built upon guidance, with leadership emphasis on supporting employees.

Related Terms

social skills, interpersonal skills, work environment