Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: October 03, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412956253 | Print ISBN: 9781412916707 | Online ISBN: 9781412956253| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
S. Alexander Haslam
Organizational behavior (OB) defines a field of applied social science that has two complementary objectives related to the fact that the term organization refers both (a) to an entity (e.g., a corporation or business) in which people's behavior is coordinated and regulated, and (b) to the outcome of that coordination and regulation. The first objective is to understand the behavior and experience of people who participate in organizational life. What motivates them to work hard? How can they be influenced and led? What produces effective communication and decision making? How do group affiliations and power affect people's perceptions and interaction? The second objective is to understand how organizations themselves function as a consequence of the social and contextual elements they contain and that impinge on them. How is an organization's performance affected by the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the individuals within it; by group dynamics; and by the To ...