What is Organizational Behavior Management?

K.G. Spangler

Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) is the field of study based on principles of psychology and sociology. It is utilized by businesses to create the best environment for workers as individuals, as an integral part of the business group, and as a component of the overall social culture. Data for implementation is typically gathered by studying the actions and behaviors of workers through observations, questionnaires, individual and group interviews, and evaluations. The goal of Organizational Behavior Management is to help businesses improve their bottom line by keeping productivity up, morale boosted, and developing strong employee loyalty. OBM is the tool used by proactive businesses to stay one step ahead of their employees through behavior analysis.

Organizational Behavior Management strives to ensure productive, engaged employees.
Organizational Behavior Management strives to ensure productive, engaged employees.

In the past, many employers assumed workers were eager for employment and would therefore work in whatever conditions were provided. Technological advancements, an older and more experienced workforce, and the dual-family income are just some factors that have made this way of thinking obsolete. Managerial styles can typically range from authoritative, where the employee is treated like a child; to economic, where retaining one's salary is the goal; to supportive, in which management and the employee communicate freely; to participative, in which there is a partnership with all employees. It is the combination of managerial style, individual behavior, and the likes and dislikes of each employee that will determine success. It is this key factor that has moved many employers toward extensive pre-employment screening, to determine if the individual will be a good fit for the organization and vice versa.

There are numerous positive qualities shared by organizations successfully using Organizational Behavior Management techniques. Among these are effective communication, workforce diversity, systems for motivation and reward, and work teams that also foster individual empowerment. Conflict resolution, adaptability, and innovation are other important qualities. These techniques are best performed through continual communication between employers and employees.

Although extensive research can provide the foundation for Organizational Behavior Management implementation, both sides must be willing to let experimentation prevail. Happy employees typically need to feel empowered, that their employers are willing to adapt policy and procedure when necessary for improvements, and that the potential for both individual and company growth exists. Whereas productivity is generally the ultimate goal of the organization, OBM directly meshes the success of the organization to the sense of accomplishment of the individual, creating a win-win situation.

Through the study of employee, employer, and organizational behavior, OBM helps business owners uncover any areas requiring action. Successful use of Organizational Behavior Management supplies enough change to keep the business environment innovative. At the same time, it provides employees with a sense of purpose, job security, and overall company stability.

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