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Organizational Behavior Theories

Organizational behavior is the study of human beings within an organization, such as a business. Most organizational behavior theories are divided into three levels: micro, meso, and macro. Micro-level refers to individuals within organizations. Organizational Behavior TheoriesMeso-level refers to work groups. Macro-level refers to how those organizations behave.

American business executive Chester Barnard (1886-1961) was the first to point out that individuals behave differently when they are within an organization than when they are separate from it. However, since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, there had been theorists who looked at efficiency with an organization.

One of the earliest organizational behavior theories was Scientific Management, created by Frederick Taylor. Taylorism, as it is also known, attempted to use the scientific method to determine the objectives of the organization, define performance standards, assign workers to specialties and perfect optimum performance.

Max Weber developed the bureaucracy organizational behavior theory, which stressed that any organization should have as little bureaucracy as possible, yet still run efficiently. Many of these classical organizational behavior theories have been replaced with more employee-based theories, stressing the idea that happy employees are the most productive.

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