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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Contributing Disciplines to the OB Field - Foundations of Organizational Behaviour

Organizational behavior is an applied behavioral science that is built upon contributions from a number of behavioral disciplines. The main areas are psychology, sociology, social psychology, anthropology, and political science.


Psychology is the science that attempts to measure, explain, and at times change the behavior of humans and other animals. Early industrial/organizational psychologists were concerned with problems of fatigue, boredom, and other factors relevant to working conditions that could disrupt/ impede efficient work performance. More recently, their contributions have been expanded to include learning, perception, personality, emotions, training, leadership effectiveness, needs and motivational forces, job satisfaction, decision making processes, performance appraisals, attitude measurement, employee selection techniques, work design, and job stress.

Sociologists study the social system in which individuals fill their roles; that is, sociology studies people in relation to their fellow human beings. Their significant contribution to OB is through their study of group behavior in organizations, particularly formal and complex organizations.

Social Psychology

Social psychology blends the concepts of psychology and sociology. It focuses on the influence of people on one another. The major challenge deals with the issue of how to implement it and how to reduce barriers to its acceptance.


Anthropology is the study of societies to learn about human beings and their activities. Anthropologists work on cultures and environments; for example, they have aided in understanding differences in fundamental values, attitudes, and behavior among people in different countries and within different organizations.

Political Science

Political science studies the behavior of individuals and groups within a political environment. It focuses on areas, such as, conflict, intra-organizational politics and power.

(Contributing Disciplines to the OB Field)

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