Nature of Organisational Behaviour, Characteristics, Features, Limitations

Organisational behaviour

Table of Content:-

  1. Organisational Behaviour Meaning
  2. Meaning of Organisational Behaviour
  3. Organization Meaning
  4.  Organization Definition
  5. Behaviour Meaning
  6. Define Organisational Behaviour
  7. Organisational Behaviour Definition
  8. Nature of Organisational Behaviour
  9. Characteristics of Organizational Behaviour
  10. Limitations of Organizational Behaviour
  11. Need for Organisational Behaviour
  12. Features of Organizational Behaviour
  13. Objectives of Organisational Behaviour

Organisational Behaviour Meaning – OB

The term Organisational Behaviour is an amalgam of two separate words: Organizational and Behavior. The word ‘organizational’ is derived from the term ‘Organization’ which means ‘relating to an organization.’ So, to understand ‘Organizational Behavior’ we have to discuss these two terms individually.

Meaning of Organisational Behaviour

Concept of organisational behaviour: An organisation integrates both science and people i.e., it links technology with people. This is because technology cannot create expected outcomes in the absence of capable employees. Employees’ behaviour in organizations is often unpredictable as it stems from their intrinsic motivations and values. But to some extent, it can be understood in the context of management, behavioural science, and other disciplines.

Meaning of OB: An organisation is termed a social system because it consists of many interconnected sub-systems. If a person wants to be a part of the organisation or control the mechanism of an organisation, he needs to understand the working of an organization

Organization Meaning

Organization: The term ‘organization’ can be utilized in various ways. Some people define it as an essential activity of management while others simply define it as a process. There is another viewpoint describing ‘organization’ as a system. It means that we cannot present an all-extensive definition of organization.

 Organization Definition

“Organization is the form of every human association for the attainment of a common purpose”.  -Mooney and Riley

“Organization is a pattern of how a large number of people, too many to have intimate face-to-face contact with all others, and engaged in a complexity of tasks, systematic establishment, relate themselves to each other in the conscious, and accomplishment of mutually agreed purposes.” – Pfeiffer and Sherwood

The organization is “the rational coordination of the activity of several people for the achievement of some common explicit purpose or goal, through division of labour and function, and a hierarchy of authority and responsibility.” – Scheim E. H.

Behaviour Meaning

Behaviour: The second word is ‘behaviour’. The action finds expression in behaviour. In other words, behaviour is what an individual does. More precisely, behaviour can be described as the observable and measurable activity of human beings. It may include anything like decision making, communication with the boss, handling of the machine, reaction or response to an order or instruction, etc. 

Behaviour is fundamentally goal-oriented. Our behaviour is commonly motivated by a desire to achieve a goal. The specific goal or motive may not be always consciously known to the person. But it is always there. A particular behaviour is caused by certain reasons. The reasons may be internal feelings (motivation) and the external environment (stimulus). A stimulus is an agent that directly affects the activity of a person.

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Define Organisational Behaviour

Organizational behaviour involves studying and applying information about how individuals and groups behave within a company.

Organisational behaviour also helps explain the relationship between people and organisations in terms of the individual, group, organisation, and the entire system. The goal is to accomplish human, organisational, and social objectives by building better relationships inside the organisation.

Organizational behaviour deals with the organization’s structure, dynamics, performance, and behaviour exhibited by individuals and groups. In short, organizational behaviour encompasses the evaluation of individuals in a corporate environment. It includes motivation, examination, forecasting, attitude, and management of human behaviour.

Organisational Behaviour Definition

According to Keith Davis, “Organisational Behaviour is the study and application of knowledge about human behaviour in organizations as it relates to other systems or elements, such as structure, technology, and external social system”.

According to Sherman Krupp, “Organisational behaviour deals with a micro aspect of the organization, i.e, individual and group behaviour in the organization”.

Definition of ob: OB guides and directs the management on how to achieve the organisational goals effectively by giving importance to human factors. 

Organisational Behavior definition: Organizational behaviour is the study of ‘human behaviour’ within organizations. In general terms, organizational behaviour refers to the study of the behaviour of individuals working in an organization. Organizational behaviour studies the ‘what’ and ‘why’ individuals do in the organization and how their behaviour affects the work of the organization. 

Three types of human behaviour can be seen in an organization:-

1. Intrapersonal Behavior –

Intrapersonal behaviour is the behaviour of the employees which is manifested as a result of their personality, tendencies, perception, motivation, expectation, and internal feelings.

2. Interpersonal Behavior –

Interpersonal behaviour refers to the conduct that arises from interactions between two or more individuals, including groups. This behaviour manifests itself in the form of group dynamics, intergroup conflict, leadership, communication, etc.

3. Organizational Behavior –

It includes the formal structures of the organization and the behaviour of informal groups. In organizational behaviour, all three types of behaviour and its effects and effects on the internal and external environment of the organization are observed, studied, and controlled.

Nature of Organisational Behaviour – OB

The nature of Organisational Behavior (OB) is clarified as follows: 

Nature of Organisational Behaviour

The following points explain the nature of organisational behaviour in detail:

1) Fundamental Part of Management

 Organisational behaviour is a scientific study of how people behave in an organization and helps in improving the focus of management on employees and setting provisions for them. 

2) Multi-Disciplinary Approach

Organisational behaviour has a psychological foundation and several behavioural and social sciences such as psychology, sociology, and anthropology affect its functioning. Various concepts taken from these behavioural and social sciences include learningperceptionmotivationattitude, etc.

3) Normative Science

Organisational behaviour is considered a normative science because it helps in applying the results of different studies in the working of the organization in such a way that it is compatible with society. Hence, individual and social acceptance is also a key factor in the working and decision making of an organization.

4) Science and Art

Organisational behaviour is both a science as well as an art. Science because it involves the use of scientific methods and art because it deals with the behaviour of individuals. The knowledge about human behaviour proves it a science while the application of this knowledge and skill leads towards beings an art.

5) Optimistic and Humanistic  Approach

Organisational behaviour teaches managers to apply a humanistic approach toward employees. It focuses on the fact that it is very important to meet the need of employees and motivate them. It also inculcates a positive work approach by stressing inborn qualities like being independent, innovative, predictive, and capable of giving positive input to the organization.

6) Focused on Organisational Objectives

Organisational behaviour helps to combine both organizational and individual objectives in such a way that both can be achieved at the same time.

7) Total System Approach

Certain factors such as psychological structure, interpersonal orientation, group influence, and social and personal factors are responsible for the complexity of an individual’s behaviour. Thus, organizational behaviour uses a systematic approach to understanding and finding solutions for complex individual behaviour.

8) Action and Goal-oriented discipline

Organisational behaviour, OB is an action-oriented and goal-directed discipline. The major goal of OB & Nature of organisation is to explain and predict human behaviour in an organisational context, so that it may be moulded to result-yielding situations. It provides rational thinking, not an emotional feeling about people and their behaviour.

9) Social Science

Organisational behaviour, OB is a social science because its main subject matter is people and their behaviour. It is an elective field of study that integrates behavioural science like psychology, sociology, anthropology, etc.

10) Integrating approach

Organisational behaviour, OB is of integrating character. It seeks to balance human and technical values at work. It tries to develop a new socio-technical system where human dignity may be preserved with growth and development.

11) An Inexact Science

Organisational behaviour, OB is an inexact science. It cannot provide specific answers to specific organisational problems. The exact prediction of the behaviour of people in organisations is also not possible. “It is possible to predict relationships between variables on a broad scale but it is difficult to apply predictive models on an individual basis.”

12) A Dynamic discipline

Organisational behaviour is a very dynamic discipline. Its main focus is on human behaviour but does not ignore the technical component of the organisations at all. It fully appreciates and recognizes the constraints of the working environment.

13) Organisational behaviour – OB exists at multiple levels

Organisational behaviour, OB has a three-tier system. It deals with individual behaviour, group behaviour, and organisational behaviour as a whole. All these three levels interact with each other and OB tries to assimilate them for good results.

Characteristics of Organisational Behaviour

The characteristics of organisational behaviour are:

(a) It has assumed the status of a different field of study. It is a part of general management. It represents the practical approach to management.

(b) It has a body of theory, research, and application related to the growing concern for people in the workplace. Its study helps to understand human behaviour.

(c) Study of organization principles and research experiences facilitate managers to think creatively to solve human problems in organizations.

(d) This discipline is heavily influenced by many other behavioural sciences and social sciences like psychology, sociology, and anthropology. As a distinct field of study, it tries to integrate different aspects and levels of behaviour.

(e) It provides rational thinking about people. It focuses on three levels of behaviour. They are individual behaviour, group behaviour, and organizational behaviour.

(f) It is mainly concerned with the behaviour of the people in the organizational setting. This can be considered human behaviour in the workplace.

Characteristics of Organisational Behaviour OB

(g) Organizational behaviour seeks to satisfy both employee needs and organizational objectives. The people of the organization fulfil their needs through organizational activities and the responsibility of the organization is to provide the behavioural climate in the organization. The aim is to maintain a balance between human and technological values at work by combining productivity with employee satisfaction.

(h) Organizational behaviour has a psychological foundation. Concepts like learning, perception, attitude, motivation, personality ethics, etc. have been borrowed from psychology, sociology, and anthropology.

(i) Organizational behaviour is an art as well as a science. People regard it as a science because it encompasses knowledge about organizational behaviour. It is an art because it involves the applications of science. In short, it is an inexact science and a developing field of study.

(j) Organizational behaviour is dynamic rather than static. Changes in the behaviour of individuals within organizational behaviour correspond to shifts in the social system.

(k) It tries to reduce wasteful activities through economic and psychological means and thus increase the effectiveness of the people and the organisation.

Limitations of Organisational Behaviour OB

There are many limitations of organisational behaviour. Organisational Behaviour is a new and developing field of study which plays an active role in solving human problems. By using this knowledge, the manager fulfils human needs as well as achieves organizational goals and increases organizational effectiveness. This subject is full of limitations, the main reason for which is the man and his dynamic behaviour. 

Thoughts and feelings have a crucial role in shaping human behaviour, which is largely contingent on circumstances. Therefore, it is very difficult to understand, predict and control it in reality. Frustration, discontent, and industrial conflicts cannot be completely resolved by this. This ideology is based on limited research work and evidence. Therefore, it may not help achieve desired results in all situations, although organizational behaviour has become a widely accepted subject and the approach still has some limitations of ob.

Limitations of organisational behaviour are as follows:-

1. Emphasis on principles, not practice – 

Organizational behaviour is mostly a theoretical subject, it does not lay much emphasis on improving behaviour.

2. Descriptive only, not prescriptive – 

Organizational behaviour is the only descriptive subject. It does not offer any solutions, commands, or instructions for problem-solving, it is limited to the disclosure of problems.

3. No improvement in industrial relations – 

Organizational behaviour has not been successful in preventing industrial disputes, conflicts, and production block activities in the subject organization. Despite implementing the procedures of organizational behaviour, there has been no reduction in incidents like strikes, lockouts, and sabotage, in the institutions.

4. Dual Personality – 

A unique aspect introduced by organizational behaviour management is the concept of a dual character. Managers talk only about ideals in the name of change or development, but their behaviour is dual. They emphasize bringing changes in the behaviour and attitudes of the employees without changing themselves. Managers give the status of servants to the employees and behave inhumanely. All this reveals his dual personality.

5. Prejudice – 

There is a possibility of favouritism with some individuals in organizational behaviour. Those who do not get justice, they remain dissatisfied. They do not take any interest in performing tasks and discharging responsibilities.

Need for Organisational Behaviour OB

The Need for Understanding Organizational Behaviour can be described as given below:

Understanding organizational behaviour is very important for the management of every organization as it provides direction and guidance to them. It helps the top-level executives and the managers to manage the employees dynamically and therefore results in achieving the organization’s goal efficiently. It also helps in understanding and handling the employees.

Unity among the employees can result in better quality work and excellence in working methods. Behavioural science studies these interpersonal relationships in an organization. It provides a better understanding of oneself and others thereafter it improves interpersonal relationships to a great extent, to understand interpersonal relations one needs to study perception, attitude, role analysis, transactional analysis, etc.

Features of Organisational Behaviour

Features of Organisational Behaviour are explained as follows –

To better understand organizational behaviour, we are discussing its main features:-

1. Field of Study – 

Organizational behaviour is a field of ​​study. This is a fairly new field but it is a different subject of study. It is not yet a complete and valid science. Its knowledge has not yet been organised and its principles, and concepts have been taken from other subjects.

2. Subject matter of study – 

Some special aspects are studied in organizational behaviour, the following are the main ones –

  • Single person
  • Group of persons 
  • Structure 
  • Technique 
  • Environment etc.

3. Optimism – 

Optimism forms the core of the fundamental concept of organizational behaviour. A basic belief in the study and implementation of organizational behaviour is that every individual has infinite potential and he is creative, productive, self-sufficient, and has a sense of cooperation in the organization.

4. Study of Employment Behavior – 

Organizational Behavior studies environmental behaviour related to employment. It studies the aspects related to employees’ work, turnover, attendance, leadership, productivity, communication system, group relationships, work stress, etc.

5. Applied Science – 

Organizational behaviour is an applied science. Its scientific base is being strengthened by studies, research, and conceptual developments accomplished in its field. Research is being done continuously about employee personality, values, perception, attitudes, motivation, job satisfaction, and other aspects of human behaviour.

6. Related to the environment – 

Organizational behaviour stresses understanding human behaviour by studying the external and internal environment of the organization. Individual and group behaviour of a person is influenced by the policies, environment, mutual thoughts as well as external conditions and values of the organization.

7. Objectives – 

Organizational behaviour focuses on the study of individuals and groups, but its main purpose is to cooperate in the fulfilment of the goals of the organization. It tries to merge the interests of the “people” and the “organization” by taking a coordinated approach.

8. Art and Science – 

Organizational behaviour tries to find a definite relationship between the causes and consequences of the behaviour of people. For this, it uses techniques, principles, and logic. In this way, it embraces a scientific approach to behaviour.

9. Not Universal – 

Organizational behaviour studies can have a universal scope, but the information gained from them may not have universal applicability. The main reason for this is that human behaviour is not the same in all organizations.

10. Systems Approach – 

Organizational behaviour adopts the systems approach as it considers every factor affecting the functioning of the organization. It analyzes behaviour in terms of social, psychological, and cultural factors.

11. Relevance Principal – 

Efforts are made to develop relevance-oriented managerial behaviour in the organization. Through this study, an attempt is made to develop managerial behaviour according to the possibilities and behaviour of the people. This maintains coordination between the behaviour and managerial skills of the individuals.

12. HR Approach – 

Organizational behaviour embraces the HR approach. That is, it believes in the development, good performance and growth of the employees.

13. Interdisciplinary –

Organizational behaviour is an interdisciplinary study. The principles of sociology, psychology, and anthropology are used in its study. Subjects like political science, economics, history, etc. are also assumed to help in its study. Organisational behaviour can be studied and implemented only by coordinating the knowledge, principles, and behaviour of all these subjects.

Objectives of Organisational Behaviour

Man is a unique and alert social animal. At present, the behaviour of human beings in all government and non-government organizations and the increasing complexity of the organization remains the centre of attention of the managers. 

Organizations are social systems of achieving goals through human efforts and collective actions. Organisational work structure is a mixture of work relationships, technology, and human behaviour. 

Understanding human behaviour is very important in all types of organisations. ‘Organizational Behavior’ discusses this topic. This new field of knowledge is concerned with the systematic study of the behaviour of individuals in the organisation.

Various factors that affect individual behaviour in organisational behaviour can be classified into the following categories: –

  1. Personal Factors
  2. Environmental Factors
  3. Organizational Factors


The conclusion is that organizational behaviour is concerned with the study of the interaction of individual individuals and groups in organizations, the interaction of the organization structure, techniques, and characteristics of the environment. 

Organizational Behavior is concerned with the study of the behaviour of individuals and groups in the organization and its effects on the organization and to predict and control their future behaviour from the information obtained from it.

Thus, organisational behaviour is the study of the behaviour of individuals, groups, and various components of the organization working in the organization and the effects arising out of them and their interactions with the environment so that this knowledge can make the organization effective and purposeful.

Short Answer Type Questions 

1) Define organizational behaviour. Why it is needed?

2) Outline the nature and characteristics of organizational behaviour.

3) Describe the approaches to organizational behaviour development.

4) Mention the determinants of organizational behaviour.

5) Discuss the significance of organizational behaviour.

6) Define emotional intelligence. State its characteristics.

Long Answer Type Questions

1) Discuss the scope of organizational behaviour.

2) Elaborate in detail the various models of organizational behaviour.

3) List the fundamental concepts of organizational behaviour. 

4) What are the various challenges and opportunities for organizational behaviour? 

5) How do disciplines contribute to organizational behaviour? 


 1. What is the organisational behaviour definition?

 2. Explain organisational behaviour meaning.

3. Explain the meaning of organisational behaviour.

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