Organizational Behavior Skills Needed by Managers

by Antonia Lawrence; Updated September 26, 2017
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Managers of businesses large and small can become more effective by adopting organizational behavior tools to help deal with employee and workplace conflicts. Organizational behavior relies on a combination of psychology, sociology and political science to better understand business culture. Business leaders can use an organizational behavior approach to manage individual, groups and entire companies. With basic organizational behavior skills, managers can develop positive work attitudes and productive behavior in their employees.

Psychology

For managers to be effective it is critical that they understand employee needs and motivators. One of the best ways for managers to understand the underlying emotions and goals that drive employee behavior is to create clear and open channels of communication with employees. Whether they speak with individuals, teams or entire divisions, a manager who understands and reacts to employee psychology can help create a work environment conducive to productivity.

Sociology

In addition to understanding the psychological motivators that drive employee behavior, another skills that effective managers need to master is understanding the culture of the company in which their employees collaborate. Each company encourages employees to interact in specific ways: Some are more hierarchical; some, team-oriented. Some encourage mentoring; in others, each employee looks out for himself. Managers who understand the social influences of their companies can lead people in the most appropriate and effective manner.

Political Science

Particularly in larger organizations, managers who master the political environment of their organizations can become more effective leaders. Because managers deal with individuals but are often responsible for teams or divisions, understanding their political culture and attitudes can help managers motivate, control and reward their employees in ways that complement the overall corporate culture. Because organizational behavior concerns the entire business entity, a keen understanding of company politics gives managers key insight to overarching company goals as well as practices or targets that influence individual employees.

About the Author

Based in Seattle, Antonia Lawrence has been writing and editing since 2007. Lawrence has worked and traveled extensively in both Europe and Asia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and French language from Agnes Scott College and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Florida.

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