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Learn about organizational behavior with online courses and programs

Organizational behavior refers to the ways in which people interact with one another in the workplace. It studies how individuals and groups function with the aim of improving effectiveness and performance. Learn more with online courses on edX.

What is organizational behavior?

Organizational behavior (OB) examines the behavior of individuals and groups within an organization. Understanding both aspects can enhance company productivity, increase job satisfaction, and even predict behavior in the workplace.

Organizational structure is also an important factor that contributes to organizational behavior. This can be formal, such as different employees’ roles and responsibilities, or informal, such as cultures, values, and norms that shape workplace behavior.

Knowledge of organizational behavior and how it impacts work environments can strengthen your ability to collaborate with others and contribute to workplace success. Whether you’re in a C-suite position or just starting out in your career, edX can give you the insights you need to perform at your best and lead others to do the same.

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Organizational behavior course curriculum

There are many factors that influence organizational behavior. To gain a comprehensive understanding of how they all work together, it’s good to start with the basics. An introductory course should cover:

  • Individual and group behavior

  • Organizational structure and design

  • Leadership and management

You can continue to build on your foundation with intermediate-level classes, which may discuss the following topics:

  • Organizational change and development

  • Communication and decision-making

  • Employee engagement and satisfaction

  • Conflict resolution and negotiation

To round out your education, you can explore advanced subjects related to organizational behavior. These may include organizational theory, ethical leadership, corporate social responsibility, and organizational psychology.

Learning about how to use this tool can supplement your career in nearly every industry. edX offers a variety of educational opportunities for learners interested in studying these topics, as well as a host of other disciplines. A boot camp can provide flexible hands-on learning for those who want to upskill quickly, while executive education courses are designed for busy professionals. You can also pursue a more comprehensive curriculum in a bachelor’s degree program or, for more advanced learners, a master’s degree program. Find the right learning path for you.

Explore jobs in organizational behavior

If you work or plan on working in an environment where you interact with other employees, you can benefit from learning about organizational behavior. Here are just some of the roles that can contribute to better outcomes in the workplace:

  • Human resources (HR) manager: Uses their understanding of employee needs, motivations, and behavior to develop effective HR strategies.Footnote 1

  • Chief operating officer (COO): Facilitates effective leadership by motivating employees, managing teams, and creating a positive work culture.Footnote 2

  • Business analyst: Uses their knowledge of how people and groups behave to examine organizational processes, systems, and data to identify areas for improvement.Footnote 3

  • Marketing manager: Uses their knowledge of consumer behavior and the behavior of employees in their organization to inform marketing strategies and sales techniques.Footnote 4

  • Healthcare administrator: Manages complex healthcare systems, ensures patient safety, and leads healthcare teams effectively.Footnote 5

Each of these roles will have different education and skills requirements. For example, some employers may seek candidates with a degree in business or marketing, depending on the role. Before deciding on a specific learning path, research the positions you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your career goals.