5 Organizational Behavior Theories to Help Your Business - Growth Freaks

5 Organizational Behavior Theories to Help Your Business

Organization chart drawn with a black marker by a white hand

There are plenty of different theories that come from organizational behavior and management. There are various types, such as theories of intelligence, personality, motivation, perception, attitudes, and behavior. All of them can help you out with your business, but today we are going to focus on various approaches regarding leadership and human resources.

Organizational Behavior Theories to Consider

1. Scientific Leadership

This is an older theory regarding the efficiency of the jobs. First, it relies on determining the objectives of the organization. After that, it needs some performance standards to be defined. The theory states that the workers need to be assigned to specialties, and this would be the best way to work efficiently. At the same time, it presupposes optimizing new methods and work processes. Lastly, workers are not required to think a lot, if at all.

2. Decision-Making Approach

Just as the name says, this is one of the organizational behavior theories that focus on the decision-making process. The latter is, in fact, a middle-way between a behavior that does not aim to optimize achieving goals and one that does. The problem here is that most people who must take decision settle for the option that meets the minimum criteria for their success. Ideally, they should be looking for the optimal solution.

3. Neo-Human Relations School

This is one of the modern schools that gave birth to plenty of organizational behavior theories. Here you have some of those that belong to this school:

  • Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – workers need to fulfill their most basic needs (self-actualization, love, safety, esteem and physiological ones);
  • Theory X – leaders should control workers’ behavior. They can also offer rewards to those who meet the standards;
  • Theory Y – people can take responsibility at work; leaders only facilitate the process of achieving the goals.

4. Systems Approach

This views organizational behavior as a system with input and output. For example, a feedback loop can change the system if it’s the case. The management organizes the entire system, while the other branches support its well-functioning.

5. Human Relations Approach

This theory talks about what is commonly known as the Hawthorne Effect. Briefly, the scientists who analyzed people’s behavior noticed that group norms were extremely important for a worker’s performance. The process was simple: a team of Harvard scientists wanted to study the Hawthorne plant in the Western Electric Company. Initially, they wanted to see how did productivity vary depending on the level of plant illumination. However, the fact that they studied the workers made them work even harder.


Finally, these are just a couple of organizational behavior theories that can help you set up or reorganize your business. However, the ones you choose depend both on the type of business you have and on your personal preferences. Some people are more familiar with modern theories and prefer to apply them, while others are loyal to the early theories. Even so, the ultimate goal is to make your business run smoothly.

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Author: Amanda Knowles