Organizational Behavior

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Organizational behavior (OB) is a field of study that looks at the behavior of individuals, groups and the overarching structure within an organization in an effort to improve organizational effectiveness. The field draws from several different disciplines in the behavioral sciences, and is often broken down into different levels of analysis within an organization:



-Structure (organization systems)

Contributing Disciplines

Organizational behavior is an applied science drawing on numerous disciplines in the behavioral sciences mainly:


-Social psychology



Major Topics in Organizational Behavior


- Attitudes and Job Satisfaction

- Emotions and Moods

- Personalities

- Perception and Decision Making

- Motivational Concepts


- Group Behavior

- Work Teams

- Communication

- Leadership

- Politics

- Conflict and Negotiation

Organization Structure:

- Organizational Culture

- Human Resource Policies and Practices

- Organizational Change

Research Methods

Commonly Used research methods in OB include both qualitative research and quantitative research approaches including:

- Ethnography

- Case study

- Interviews

- Phenomenological study

- Historical research

- Multilevel modeling

- Structural equation modeling

- Time series analysis

Organizational Behavior Issues in Health Informatics

There is an AMIA Working Group on Organizational Aspects of Medical Informatics. The working group has identified what they consider key areas in this topic:

"- To effectively describe the benefits and impacts of information technology in organizations before paradigm shifts fully occur.

- To develop strategies to more effectively incorporate organizational change management into information technology and management efforts.

- To discuss human roles in organizations as linked to information systems to effect outcomes of technology factors critical to the success of systems.

- To develop and share what measurements and methods organizations can use for more success with information systems.

- To promote education and research and better implementation strategies" [1]


  1. Braude RM. People and organizational issues in health informatics. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 4(2):150-1, March/April 1997.

Submitted by Will Loker