3 Limitations of Organizational Behavior (Explained)

Limitations of Organizational BehaviorThe topics which include here are from a specialized point of view that emphasizes primarily the human side of organizations and the kinds of benefits that attention to that side can bring.

It describes the research results identifying payoffs in the areas of stress levels, employee turnover, absenteeism, and a decrease in employee performance.

Nevertheless, we also recognize the limitations of organizational behavior. It will not abolish conflict and frustration; it can only reduce them.

It is a way to improve, not an absolute answer to problems.

Furthermore, it is but part of the whole cloth of an organization. We can discuss organizational behavior as a separate subject, but to apply it, we must tie it to the whole reality.

Improved organizational behavior will not solve unemployment. It will not make up for our deficiencies. It cannot substitute for poor planning, inept organizing, or inadequate controls.

It is only one of the many systems operating within a larger social system.

3 major limitations of OB are;

  1. Behavioral Bias.
  2. The Law of Diminishing Returns.
  3. Unethical Manipulation of People.

Behavioral Bias

Behavioral Bias is a condition that is a reflection of tunnel vision, in which people have narrow viewpoints as if they were looking through a tunnel.

They see only the tiny view at the other end of the tunnel while missing the broader landscape.

Following the behavioral bias, people who lack system understanding may develop a behavioral bias, which leads them to develop a narrow viewpoint that emphasizes employee satisfaction while overlooking the broader system of the organization about all its stakeholders.

It should be clear that the concern for employees can be so greatly overdone that the original purpose of bringing people together, which is “productivity organizational outputs for society” could be lost.

An effective organizational behavior should help accomplish organizational purposes. It should not replace them.

The person who does not consider the needs of people as consumers of organizational output while fighting for employee needs is not applying the ideas of organizational behavior correctly.

It is a mistake to assume that the objective of organizational behavior is as simple as to create a satisfied employee-base, as that goal will not automatically turn into new products and stellar customer service.

It is also a fact that the person who pushes production outputs without regard for employee needs is also not applying organizational behavior in the right fashion.

The most effective OB dwells, acknowledges and appreciates a social system that consists of many types of human needs that are served in many ways.

Behavioral bias can be so misapplied in a way that it can be harmful to employees as well as the organization as a whole.

Some individuals, despite having good intentions, so overwhelm others with the care that the recipients of such care become dependent and unproductive.

They find excuses for failure rather than take responsibility for progress. They do not possess a high degree of self-respect and self-discipline.

The Law of Diminishing Returns

Overemphasis on organizational behavior, the practice may produce negative results, as indicated by the law of diminishing returns.

It places an overemphasis on an OB practice that may produce negative results. It is a limiting factor in organizational behavior in the same way that it is in economics.

In economics, the law of diminishing return refers to a declining amount of extra outputs when more of a desirable input is added to an economic situation.

After a certain point, the output from each unit of added input tends to become smaller. The added output eventually may reach zero and even continue to decline when more units of input are added.

The law of diminishing returns in organizational behavior works similarly.

According to the law of diminishing returns, at some point, increases of a desirable practice produce declining returns, finally resulting in zero returns, and then follows negative returns as more increases are added.

More of a good thing is not necessarily good. The concept means that for any situation there is an optimum level of a desirable practice, such as recognition or participation.

When that point is exceeded, there is a decline in returns realized. To put it differently, the fact that a practice is desirable does not necessarily imply that more of the same practice is more desirable.

Unethical Manipulation of People

A significant concern about organizational behavior is that its knowledge and techniques can be used to manipulate people unethically as well as to help them develop their potential.

People who lack respect for the basic dignity of the human being could learn organizational behavior ideas and use them for selfish ends.

They could use what they know about motivation or communication in the manipulation of people without regard for human welfare. People who lack ethical values could use people in unethical ways.


The philosophy of organizational behavior is supportive and oriented toward human resources. It takes to improve the human environment and help people grow toward their potential.

However, the knowledge and technique of this subject may be used for negative as well as positive consequences. This possibility is true of knowledge in almost any field, so it is no special limitation of organizational behavior.

Nevertheless, we must be cautious so that what is known about people is not used to manipulate them.

The possibility of manipulation means that people in power in organizations must maintain high ethical and moral integrity and not misuse their power.

Without ethical leadership, the new knowledge that is learned about people becomes a dangerous instrument for possible misuse.

More 'Organizational Behavior' Posts ⁄
Related Posts ⁄