Study of organizational behavior cannot be undertaken in single discipline, it is necessary to provide multidisciplinary, behavioral science perspective to it. Although there are areas of overlap among the various social sciences, their sub-divisions and related disciplines such as economics and political science, the study of behavior can be viewed in terms of three main disciplines – psychology, sociology and anthropology. All three disciplines have made an important contribution to the field of organizational behavior.
Psychologists are concerned, broadly speaking, with the study of human behavior, with traits of the individual and membership of small social groups. The main focus of attention is on the individual as a whole person, or what can be termed the ‘personality system’, including, for example, perception, attitudes and motives.
Sociologists are more concerned with the study of social behavior, relationships among social groups and societies, and the maintenance of order. The main focus of attention is on the analysis of social structures and positions in those structures – for example, the relationship between the behavior of leaders and followers.
Anthropologists are more concerned with the science of humankind and the study of human behavior as a whole. As far as organizational behavior is concerned the main focus of attention is on the cultural system, the beliefs, customs, ideas and values within a group or society, and the comparison of behavior among different cultures – for example, the importance to Muslim women of wearing trousers to work. People learn to depend on their culture to give them security and stability and they can suffer adverse reactions to unfamiliar environments.
The contribution of relevant aspects of psychology, sociology and anthropology underpins the field of organizational behavior. Behavioral science attempts to structure organizations in order to secure the optimum working environment. It is concerned with reconciling the needs of the organization for the contribution of maximum productivity, with the needs of individuals and the realization of their potential. In terms of the applications of behavioral science to the management of people, we need also to consider the relevance and applications of philosophy, ethics and the law.
Management and Organizational Behavior – by Mullins