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Overview

If you were that kid who always brought an ant farm to show-and-tell, fascinated by its orderly structure and seamless group efforts, you may have found your calling. The essence of group conflict, collaboration, and cooperation form the basis of a major in organizational behavior studies. Here, you’ll learn all about organizations: how they work, who’s involved, and why things sometimes fall apart. Or, better yet, why they don’t.

The workplace is one of the best examples of organizational behavior, so the major will focus largely on how people interact with each other on the job and how their behavior has a crucial impact on the organization as a whole. You’ll learn about why people behave the way they do and how their actions can be understood and analyzed psychologically. In addition to taking a look at human resources, employee compensation, and labor relations, you’ll also examine the more emotional aspects, such as what motivates employees to do their best and what happens when the quality of their work weakens. You’ll study elements of psychology, management, sociology, political science, government, education, and industry in order to reach a deeper understanding of organizational behavior. By understanding the fundamentals of the field, you’ll be able to not only predict behavior but also control it. Also important are the responsibilities and challenges of a manager and such principles as reinforcement and punishment and how they come into play in the workplace. You’ll also touch on employment law.

Your studies in organizational behavior will take you from the individual level to the group level, and you’ll see that the effects of individual behavior are truly profound. (Just like back in that ant farm . . . a workplace in and of itself.) No matter where your major takes you, you’ll have the knowledge you need to observe, analyze, and manage individuals and groups with intelligence, compassion, and dignity.

SAMPLE CURRICULUM

  • Arbitration

  • Business Ethics

  • Career Development

  • Compensation

  • E-Commerce

  • Employee Benefits

  • Employment Law

  • Ethnocultural Issues in the Workplace

  • Gender and Management

  • Human Resource Management

  • Labor Relations

  • Models of Organizational Change

  • Negotiating Strategies

  • Organizational Consulting and Development

  • Power and Politics in Organization Behavior


HIGH SCHOOl PREPARATION

The best preparation for a major in organizational behavior studies is a good selection of courses in the humanities, math, and science. This field requires excellent communication skills, so take courses in English and languages that will strengthen your reading, writing, and speaking abilities. History courses might give you some new perspectives on the role of work in the world. Understanding the larger world will give you a strong foundation on which to build your knowledge in this field.