Organizational behavior is a modern form of business management study and research that examines how a company operates based on its hierarchy, employee relationships and leadership styles. It draws from many different disciplines, especially studies of social and psychological aspects of human behavior. Organizational behavior has led to the emergence of many theories of management and business techniques. As the field has grown, analysts have found it convenient to separate the discipline into both micro- and macro- sections in order to differentiate study.


Micro-organizational behavioral studies focus on individual and group dynamics within an organization. In other words, how employees act alone or in teams. On an individual basis, much of micro-organizational behavior is concerned with rewarding employees in ways that work best for them, and studying their personality types to determine where they might be a good fit. Mentorship and coaching also fall in the personal section. Team studies are a very popular part of organizational behavior studies and examine the best ways to form, use and lead teams in a variety of situations.


Macro-organizational behavioral research steps back and looks at an organization as a whole. It studies how organizations move in markets, and how their strategies regarding employees and leadership affect the performance of the entire organization. This is the part of the field that may recommend a flat organization with few levels of management over a complex bureaucracy or a business model using inspirational leadership instead of more aggressive programs.

Micro Changes

The purpose of organizational behavioral studies is to change businesses in ways that make a difference, improving performance and ultimately profits. On the micro level, this has a lot to do with interpersonal relations. Businesses seek ways to coach employees to learn more skills and advance in the company. They study methods to use teams to complete tasks without wasting time or falling into "group think" and argumentative patterns. They also try to create new methods of negotiation and conflict resolution based on psychology and other studies.


Macro-changes affect the organization as a whole and are more related toward policy or business formation. For instance, diversity is a common macro-level topic in the United States, as are job equality and ethical behavior toward clients and employees alike. These are affected by the company's own standards, government regulations and how the company creates and transmits decisions. In the macro-environment, the industry and economy the business operates in can become very important when making key decisions about the future.