The Importance of Organizational Behavior
Organizational behavior is defined as a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups, and structure have on behavior within organizations for the purpose of applying such knowledge toward improving an organization's effectiveness (Robbins, 2001, p. 9). According to Warren Bennis, "Good leaders make people feel that they're at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens people feel centered and that gives their work meaning." Good leaders know the value of organizational behavior and how these behaviors add value to the business. They also know how to make you feel as though you do make a difference to the organization. They know that organizations are social systems, and not just technical economic systems. Good leaders depend on more than just authority to influence employees to work toward the achievement of organizational goals. They also depend on knowledge gained in other areas such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, and political science to motivate employees.
Over the last decade, leaders have come to the realization that interpersonal skills and not just technical skills are a very important part of being a good leader. Learning institutions have also come to the same realization. They see the importance of having an understanding of human behavior and the role it plays in determining a leader's effectiveness. Courses on people skills and interpersonal skills have been added to most business curriculums. The University of Phoenix's Human Relations and Organizational Behavior (ORG 502) is a perfect example of this. The class deals with human relations theory and practice as it pertains to individual, group and organizational performance.
Companies are also beginning to recognize that managers with above average interperson