Levels of Organizational Behavior
Organizational behavior is concerned with the study of human behavior in organizations, the relation between people and organization, how they influence each other, and developing productive relations between them to realize desired goals. Organizational behavior studies human behavior in the organization on three main levels.
The three levels are individual level, group or team level, and organizational level. At all these levels OB analyses the behavior of people on how, why, and what causes their behavior in organizational settings.
Let’s understand OB’s levels of analysis separately.
This is the first level of OB analysis. At the individual level, organizational behavior studies the behavior of an individual person such as his/her attitudes, motivation, perception, personality, values, ethics, satisfaction, and other personal traits.
The concept of psychology plays important role in the individual-level analysis. The individuals working in the organization are the very existence of the organization. Each individual’s behavior is different from others, as it is natural, and some are affected by social, cultural, and other social variables.
A manager using his psychology, knowledge, and experience should carefully study the individual traits and characteristics of his individual employees. Understanding these attributes helps managers to come up with ideas to develop better and more positive approaches to organizational systems.
The organization also consists of different groups and teams. The group-level analysis of OB studies the behavior of people at the group level, how groups work, why they interact in group work, collaboration, group decisions, etc.
A group is a people who come together to reach some common goals. They can be small or large and formal or informal. In a group people work together, one’s actions affect others, they are dependent on each other, and the goal is achieved through collective effort.
Sociology, social psychology, and anthropology play an important role in studying at this level. In addition, here OB analyses group dynamics, organizational conflicts, politics, communication, etc.
By understanding the behavior of group-level managers can develop ideas on how to effectively handle groups in the organization and lead them.
At this last level organizational behavior analyses how the organization works. It mainly studies how people interact with organizational structure, how the organization with them, and how the external environment forces interact with the organization.
Its major variables such as work environment, organizational structure, culture, change, politics, and environment within and outside of the organization. In fact, it is the study of how to manage individuals, groups, or teams effectively in the organization. Sociology, anthropology, and political science are the major disciplines contributing to this level.
The study organizational level helps managers to understand the performance of individuals and groups and how they are contributing to the organization. By getting this, a manager can develop suitable plans, policies, motivation programs, design jobs, manage change, etc. in order to run the organization smoothly.
All these three levels of organizational behavior are interrelated to each other. A careful analysis of these OB levels helps managers to better understand every employee, create a group of enthusiastic individuals, and assign them an organizational task which increases the potentiality of achieving the given task.