Organizational Behavior

Organizational behavior is an applied field of study that uses scientific principles to explain how and why humans act as they do in the corporate or work environment. Continue reading to learn more about careers, degree options and earnings for experts in organizational behavior.

Are Studies in Organizational Behavior for Me?

Overview of the Field

As a field of study, organizational behavior examines several questions about human behavior in organizations, like how decisions are made and how people work together. Studies typically focus on group dynamics, leadership skills and motivation. This multidisciplinary field can include courses in economics, psychology, gender and sociology, in addition to training in business and management.

Career Options

Graduates of organizational behavior degree programs help businesses and other organizations develop leadership strategies and employee coordination programs, as well as implement procedural changes. They may be employed as managers, executives, human resource (HR) professionals, researchers or independent consultants. Aspiring organizational behavior professionals can pursue work in virtually all fields of business, as well as in governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Professional Duties

As a professional in this field with a bachelor's or master's degree, your tasks could include organizing training and compensation programs for employees and promoting occupational safety programs. Maintaining communication between workers and department heads may be a primary job role. Additionally, HR professionals typically answer employee questions about retirement plans, health insurance and other workplace-related issues.

Employment and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that employment of human resources managers, as well as training and development managers, would increase by an average rate nationwide between 2012 and 2022. A slight decline in jobs is expected for labor relations specialists from 2012-2022. The BLS reported in May 2013 that the average annual salary for a human resources manager was $111,180, while training and development managers earned $107,770. As of May 2013, labor relations specialists had an average annual income of $56,590 (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work in Organizational Behavior?

Overview of Educational Options

Degree programs and concentrations in organizational behavior are available at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. This field of study may also be offered as a concentration in a business, human resources or psychology program.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Students selecting an organizational behavior concentration within their major may take courses in labor relations, organizational psychology, human development, consulting and corporate training. Some schools also offer bachelor's degree programs in organizational leadership, which can include coursework in organizational behavior, team building, communications and marketing.

Master's Degree Programs

A Master of Science or Master of Arts in Organizational Behavior program may be combined with studies in human resources or a focus on general organizational behavior. If you're interested in pursuing a management career, you may also consider a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in organizational behavior. Some students pursue dual degree programs that combine graduate coursework in organizational behavior with studies in public health or education. Program features include training in research methodology and the opportunity to participate in an internship.

Doctoral Degree Programs

Doctoral degree programs in organizational behavior are typically designed for students who wish to pursue careers in research institutes or universities. You may earn a doctorate in business administration with a concentration in organizational behavior. In this research-intensive, multidisciplinary program, you may take core business courses and pursue a minor in anthropology or strategic management. Potential areas of graduate research might include how social movements affect firms and inequality in the labor market.

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