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Overview[edit]

Chester Barnard recognized that individuals behave differently when acting in their
organizational role than when acting separately from the organization. [3] OB researchers study
the behavior of individuals primarily in their organizational roles. One of the main goals of
organizational theorists in OB is "to revitalize organizational theory and develop a better
conceptualization of organizational life" [4]

Relation to industrial and organizational psychology[edit]


Miner (2006) pointed out that "there is a certain arbitrariness" in identifying "a point at which
organizational behavior became established as a distinct discipline" (p. 56), suggesting that it
could have emerged in the 1940s or 1950s. [5] He also underlined the fact that the industrial
psychology division of the American Psychological Association did not add "organizational"
to its name until 1970, "long after organizational behavior had clearly come into existence"
(p. 56), noting that a similar situation arose in sociology. Although there are similarities and
differences between the two disciplines, there is still much confusion as to the nature of
differences between organizational behavior and organizational psychology. [6]

History[edit]
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(June 2014)

The Hawthorne studies stimulated OB researchers to study the impact of psychological


factors on organizations.[5] In his 1931 book, Human Problems of an Industrial Civilization,
Elton Mayo advised managers to deal with emotional needs of employees. The human
relations movement, an outgrowth of the Hawthorne studies, influenced OB researchers to
focus on teams, motivation, and the actualization of individuals' goals within organizations.
The Second World War prompted a shift the field, as it turned its attention to large-scale
logistics and operations research. There was a renewed interest in rationalist approaches to
the study of organizations.[citation needed] Herbert Simon, James G. March, and the so-called
"Carnegie School" conducted influential OB research. Other prominent OB researchers
include Chester Barnard, Henri Fayol, Frederick Herzberg, Abraham Maslow, David
McClelland, and Victor Vroom, Douglas McGregor, Karl Weick and Mary Parker Follett.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the field became more quantitative and produced such ideas as
bounded rationality, the informal organization, and resource dependence. Contingency
theory, institutional theory, and organizational ecology also emerged.[citation needed]
Starting in the 1980s, cultural explanations of organizations and organizational change
became areas of study. Informed by anthropology, psychology and sociology, qualitative
research became more acceptable in OB. [citation needed