The biggest feature of Organizational Behavior is that Organizational Behavior takes a systematic approach to understand and influence human behavior.
Organizational behavior is the study and participation of knowledge about human behavior in organizations as it relates to other system elements, such as structure, technology, and the external social system.
By nature, the field of Organizational Behavior studies is very distinctive with its own features and characteristics.
According to 6 characteristics or features, Organizational Behavior is;
- A Separate Field of Study and not a Discipline Only.
- An Interdisciplinary Approach.
- Applied Science.
- Normative Science.
- A Humanistic and Optimistic Approach.
- A Total System Approach.
A Separate Field of Study and not a Discipline Only
By definition, a discipline is an accepted science that is based on a theoretical foundation. But, OB has a multi-interdisciplinary orientation and is, thus, not based on a specific theoretical background.
Therefore, it is better to reason to call OB a separate field of study rather than a discipline only.
An Interdisciplinary Approach
Organizational behavior is essentially an interdisciplinary approach to study human behavior at work.
OB tries to integrate the relevant knowledge drawn from related disciplines like psychology, sociology, and anthropology to make them applicable for studying and analyzing organizational behavior.
An Applied Science
The very nature of OB is applied.
What OB basically does is the application of various research to solve the organizational problems related to human behavior.
The basic line of difference between pure science and OB is that while the former concentrates on fundamental research, the latter concentrates on applied research.
OB involves both applied research and its application in organizational analysis.
Hence, OB can be called both science as well as art.
A Normative Science
Organizational Behavior is a normative science also. While positive science discusses the only cause-effect relationship, OB prescribes how the findings of applied research can be applied to socially accepted organizational goals.
Thus, OB deals with what is accepted by individuals and society engaged in an organization. Yes, it is not that OB is not normative at all.
In fact, OB is normative as well which is well underscored by the proliferation of management theories.
A Humanistic and Optimistic Approach
Organizational Behavior applies a humanistic approach towards people working in the organization. It deals with the thinking and feeling of human beings.
OB is based on the belief that people have an innate desire to be independent, creative and productive.
It also realizes that people working in the organization can and will actualize these potentials if they are given proper conditions and environments.
The environment affects performance or workers working in an organization.
A Total System Approach
The system approach is one that integrates all the variables, affecting organizational functioning.
The systems approach has been developed by behavioral scientists to analyze human behavior in view of his/her socio-psychological framework.
Man’s socio-psychological framework makes the man a complex one and the systems approach tries to study his/her complexity and find a solution to it.
Organizational behavior is the study of shaping the behavior of the organizational personnel.
By nature, OB is an applied science that takes a systematic approach that understands the reason behind the behavior and influences it in a way that benefits attaining business goals.
For influencing the human behavior within the organization, OB tries to find the motivation and drive for any particular behavior. It sets an environment that delivers maximum performance from the workers.