What Are the Different Types of Organizational Behavior Courses?

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  • Written By: Helen Akers
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 01 April 2020
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Organizational behavior courses usually focus on topics related to leadership, motivation, conflict, organizational change, and communication. These courses attempt to explain the relationship between human behavior and organizational policies. Psychology and behavioral concepts and theories play a major role in these types of classes, as individual personality characteristics, desires, and needs often interact with an organization's collective culture. Organizational studies can be pursued at the undergraduate or graduate level and are usually part of a business degree program.

Basic organizational behavior courses provide learners with an overall perspective on what shapes a company's culture and management style. General classes also introduce students to theories related to motivation in the workplace, how to manage conflict, how to improve a company's performance, and how to use communication effectively. Advanced level courses that cover a broad range of organizational behavior topics may address how to identify specific types of organizational structures, cultural characteristics, and management styles.

Conflict resolution and conflict in the workplace are some of the popular types of organizational behavior courses. These topics examine how personality differences, viewpoints, and professional goals can sometimes lead to problems. In some cases, conflict can occur with clients and vendors, not just between two or more employees of the same company. Conflict classes attempt to teach students why it occurs and methods that can be used to resolve uncomfortable situations.


Managing change within a company is another topic covered in many organizational behavior courses. Classes in organizational culture change explore what drives companies to change, why the process is often long and difficult, and how managers deal with resistance during the process. Topics in culture change look at how company norms form and why they may differ. Classroom instruction in culture changes may also examine how business leaders design and implement change strategies.

Communication, motivation, and unique workforce experiences are additional types of organizational behavior courses. Classes in these topics cover how various business communication styles are often driven by a company's cultural environment. Communication styles can be used to produce a certain type of response in the workforce, which is related to motivation and leadership strategy. Courses in motivation help students learn the main business theories related to the causes of worker satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

A few courses related to business culture may examine how different gender groups experience and relate to workplace behavior. Some of the topics include career development, harassment, and typical career choices. Challenges in managing diversity and inclusion may not just be related to gender, as perceptions and career needs often differ between workers of different generations, ethnicities, and education levels. Business culture courses that explore managing a diverse workforce often examine ways to create a productive and inclusive environment for a variety of population groups.


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