Organizational behavior studies human behavior in the workplace and the interaction between people and the organization. When applied to understanding organizational culture, the set of understandings or meanings share by a group of people, and diversity, the differences that exist between individuals, organizational behavior helps a company gain competitive advantage. It does so by improving access to and retention of labor as well as worker productivity and company image. .
According to Vandeveer, Menefee and Sinclair (2006), organizational behavior is the systematic study of human behavior in the workplace, the interaction between people and the organization with the intent to understand and predict human behavior. Based on theories that behavior is generally predictable, there are differences between individuals, there are fundamental consistencies and that there are a set of rules in almost every organizational setting, organizational behavior explores relations in an attempt to determine causes and effects and draws conclusions based on scientific evidence. Two of the many areas of study include organizational culture and diversity. .
Organizational culture is a set of understandings or meanings shared by a group of people that are largely tacit among members and are clearly relevant and distinctive to the particular group which are also passed on to new members (Louis, 1980). There are three levels of organizational culture, behavior and artifacts, values, assumptions and beliefs defined by Schein (1988). Behavior and artifacts include expressions that can be seen, felt or heard, such as dress code, offices, awards and recognition and how people interact with each other. Values include things such as a company’s mission statement, codes of conduct, and slogans. Assumptions and beliefs are tacit in nature; they are not visible and are not easily identified because they exist as unspoken rules.