There is no shortage of quotes in which inspirational business leaders describe the sources of their success. Their reasons are often diverse, but almost everyone comes back to the same thing: people. The people are the company; they create the success. Please keep in mind though that there is more to successful business leadership than managing human capital. You must have a suitable structure and culture at your firm in order to achieve success. Imagine the U.S. military; it boasts some of the best-trained soldiers in human history, but that talent would be wasted without a structure designed to appropriately deploy forces. In other words, the military would not be as successful without streamlined organizational behavior. Organizational behavior (OB) is the study of how people interact in organizations. These interactions are governed by a number of factors, including your personal life, the personality of your boss or your boss's boss, a direct report, the team you have been assigned to, or the direction that the top of the organization has given to you. OB researchers carefully monitor these dynamics within an organization, because any time there is friction, money is lost. A certain level of friction is to be expected (and often even desired), but most of the friction that occurs within an organization is counterproductive and detrimental to the bottom line. In this course, you will study the factors that have the greatest impact on organizational behavior. From managing individuals and understanding group dynamics to managing conflict and initiating change, organizational behavior affects everyone in a firm.
This course will cover five major OB areas including managing individuals, managing groups, power and politics, conflict management, and organizational change. Before delving into more rigorous content, it is important to understand what an organization is and the history of organizational behavior as a discipline. In taking this into consideration, this course will begin with a look at the basics of an organization.