6 Contributing Disciplines to the Organization Behavior Field

There are some important disciplines in the organizational behavior field which developed it extensively.

Due to an increase in organizational complexity, various types of knowledge are required and help in many ways.

Contributing Disciplines to the Organization Behavior Field

6 Contributing Disciplines to the Organization Behavior Field are:

  1. Psychology.
  2. Sociology.
  3. Social Psychology.
  4. Economics.
  5. Anthropology.
  6. Political Sciences.


Psychology has perhaps the first influence on the field of organizational behavior because it is a science of behavior. A psychologist studies almost all aspects Of behavior.

Psychology deals with studying human behavior that seeks to explain and sometimes change the behavior of humans and other animals.

Psychologists are primarily interested in predicting the behavior of individuals to a great extent by observing the dynamics of personal factors.

Those who have contributed and continued to add to the knowledge of OB are teaching theorists, personality theorists, counseling psychologists and primary, industrial and organizational psychologists.

Some of the numerous areas of interest within the disciplines of psychology are:

  • General Psychology
  • Experimental Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Consumer Psychology
  • Personality and Social Psychology
  • Industrial Psychology
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Educational Psychology
  • Consulting Psychology

Understanding Psychological principles and its models help significantly in gaining the knowledge of determinants of individual behavior such as

  • the learning process,
  • motivation techniques,
  • personality determinants and development,
  • perceptual process and its implications,
  • training process,
  • leadership effectiveness,
  • job satisfaction,
  • individual decision making,
  • performance appraisal,
  • attitude measurement,
  • employee selection,
  • job design and work stress.


The major focus of sociologists is on studying the social systems in which individuals fill their roles. The focus is on group dynamics.

They have made their greatest contribution to OB through their study of group behavior in organizations, particularly formal and sophisticated organizations.

Sociological concepts, theories, models, and techniques help significantly to understand better the group dynamics, organizational culture, formal organization theory and structure, corporate technology, bureaucracy, communications, power, conflict, and intergroup behavior.

Psychologists are primarily interested in focusing their attention on individual behavior.

Key concepts of Sociology are;

Most sociologists today identify the discipline by using one of the three statements:

  • Sociology deals with human interaction arid this communication are the key influencing factor among people in social settings.
  • Sociology is a study of plural behavior. Two or more interacting individuals constitute a plurality pattern of behavior
  • Sociology is the systematic study of social systems:

A social system is an operational social unit that is structured to serve a purpose.

It consists of two or more persons of different status with various roles playing a part in a pattern that is sustained by a physical and cultural base.

When analyzing organizing as a social system, the following elements exist:

  • People or actors
  • Acts or Behavior
  • Ends or Goals
  • Norms, rules, or regulation controlling conduct or behavior
  • Beliefs held by people as actors
  • Status and status relationships
  • Authority or power to influence other actors
  • Role expectations, role performances, and role relationships.

Therefore, organizations are viewed by sociologies as consists of a variety of people with different roles, status, and degrees of authority.

The organization attempts to achieve certain generalized and specific objectives.

To attain some of the abstract ends such as the development of company loyalty, the organization’s leaders appeal to the shared cultural base.

Social Psychology

It has been defined as the scientific investigation of how the thoughts, feelings, and behavior of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined or implied the presence of others.

It deals with how people are affected by other individuals who are physically present or who are imagined to be present or even whose presence is implied.

In general, sociology focuses on how groups, organizations, social categories, and societies are organized, how they function, how they change.

The unit of analysis is the group as a whole rather than the individuals who compose the group.

Social Psychology deals with many of the same phenomena but seeks to explain whole individual human interaction and human cognition influences culture and is influenced by culture.

The unit of analysis is the individual within the group.

In reality, some forms of sociology are closely related to social psychology.

Social Psychologists study an enormous range of topics including conformity, persuasion, power, influence, obedience, prejudice, discrimination, stereotyping, sexism and racism, small groups, social categories, inter-group behavior, crowd behavior, social conflict, social change, decision making, etc.

Among them, the most important topics relevant to the organizational behavior field are behavioral change, attitude change, communication, group process, and group decision making.

Social psychologists making significant contributions. Social psychologists making significant contributions to measuring, understanding and improving attitudes, communication patterns in how groups can satisfy individual needs and group decision-making processes.


The main aim of anthropology is to acquire a better understanding of the relationship between the human being and the environment.

Adaptations to surroundings constitute culture. The manner in which people view their surroundings is a part of the culture.

Culture includes those ideas shared by groups of individuals and languages by which these ideas are communicated. In essence, culture is a system of learned behavior.

Their work on culture and environment has helped us to understand differences in fundamental values, attitudes, and behavior among people in different countries and within different organizations.

Much of our current understandings of organizational culture, environments, and differences between national cultures are the results of the work of anthropologists or those using their methodologies.

The world is the laboratory of anthropologists, and human beings must be studied in the natural habitat. Understanding the importance of studying man in natural settings over time enables one to grasp the range of anthropology.

Familiarity within some of the cultural differences of employees can lead to greater managerial objectivity and depth in the interpretation of behavior and performance.

Anthropologists contribute to study some aspects of organizational settings – similar values, comparative attitudes, cross-cultural analysis between or among the employees.

Political Sciences

Contributions of political scientists are significant to the understanding of behavior in organizations. Political scientists study the behavior of individuals and groups within a political environment.

They contribute to understanding the dynamics of power centers, structuring of conflict and conflict resolution tactics, allocation of power and how people manipulate power for individual self-interest.

In a business field, organizations wanted to attain supremacy in their field and indulge in politicking activities to gain maximum advantages by following certain tasks like Machiavellianism, coalition formation, malpractices, etc.

The knowledge of political science can be utilized in the study the behavior of employees, executives at micro as well as macro level.


Economics contributes to organizational behavior to a great extent in designing the organizational structure. Transaction cost economics influence the organization and its structure.

Transaction costs economics implies cost components to make an exchange on the market.

This transaction cost economics examines the extent to which the organization structure and size of an organization varies in response to attempts to avoid market failures through minimizing production and transaction costs within the constraints of human and environmental factors.

Costs of transactions include both costs of market transactions and internal coordination.

A transaction occurs when a good or service is transferred across a ‘technologically separable barrier’ Transaction costs arise for many reasons.

So we can assume that there are various types of disciplines that involve organizational behavior. They, directly and indirectly, influence the overall activities of OB.

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