What Are the Characteristics of Organizational Behavior in the Workplace?

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  • Written By: Tara Barnett
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2019
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There are several common characteristics of organizational behavior in the workplace, but these are dependent on the current conditions of the workplace for their continuation. Essentially, characteristics like these are caused by the state of the workplace and the workers themselves, so changes over time can affect the way organizational behavior unfolds. Behavior also depends on the type of workplace and the expectations of the workers, among many other different qualities. Generalizations about this type of behavior might include information about what factors improve productivity and how the employees see themselves as part of the company.

The best way to understand the characteristics of organizational workplace behavior is to think about what states cause what behaviors in members of the organization. Small actions in a large group can yield large changes on the institutional level. For example, if each employee works just slightly harder, then the effect for the company as a whole can be enormous even though each employee contributed only a little. Organizational behavior studies focus on what states can create changes like these, which affect the attitudes and productivity of workers.

Characteristics of this behavior depend on the culture, workers, and all other variables in the situation. Even so, common characteristics include a relationship between managerial style and worker satisfaction, a connection between worker recognition and stress levels, and an overall tendency for power to cause feelings of being above the rules. These factors play into the particular culture of any work environment.


Some general characteristics have to do with human psychology and are, therefore, often quite common. For example, people who feel invested in the workplace are less likely to steal, and pride can lead employees to effectively police one another. Strong bonds between employees and a connection to the work being done can result in higher productivity, but none of this can counteract negative relations with management. Isolating where problematic relations are occurring can help change the behavior of members of the organization.

One of the most important parts of organizational behavior studies looks at what factors affect productivity. Studies have shown that, for example, employees who are allowed to choose their own schedules and work flexible hours tend to be both healthier and more productive. Likewise, workers who are invested in the company on a personal level may also be more productive. While people studying organizational behavior in the workplace often seek to describe effects that exist currently, they also sometimes conduct experiments to attempt to gain valuable information that can help design better work environments for the future.


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I find organizational behavior in the workplace completely fascinating. I know most people have heard that night shift versus a regular shift puts more strain on your physical health (such an interesting fact!). However, I was wondering more about cubicle versus open-office lifestyles and how that changes the dynamics of a company. Obviously, if people need to collaborate (e.g. advertising), having a more open layout would provide more opportunity to talk and work with others around you; however, are there times when cubicles are actually healthier for workers? Are there jobs that find cubicles create a friendly, more cooperative workplace?

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