Behavioral Sciences that Impact and Influence Organizational Behavior

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  • 0:47 Psychology
  • 1:31 Sociology
  • 2:11 Anthropology
  • 2:42 Management
  • 3:17 Medicine
  • 3:49 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
The major behavioral science disciplines that have contributed to the development of organizational behavior are psychology, sociology, anthropology, management and medicine. In this lesson, you'll learn about how these behavioral sciences have influenced the development of organizational behavior.

Organizational Behavior Influences

Organizational behavior (OB) is a relatively new field of study that developed during the birth of the Industrial Revolution. This was a time in United States history where factories and automation created a totally new society based on worker output of goods and services. This period of history became the force behind the need to further study worker productivity, performance and motivation. The major behavioral science disciplines that contributed to the development of organizational behavior are psychology, sociology, anthropology, management and medicine. Let's look at the impact these disciplines had on the birth of organizational behavior.


Hugo Munsterberg was a Harvard psychologist who was interested in the study of applied psychology and how it could be used to examine organizational psychology. It is a subset of psychology, and is called organizational psychology, which was fixated on the motivation and behavior of workers. Motivational theories of organizational behavior were intrinsic to helping companies increase worker productivity, job commitment and achievement. Psychology was a huge part of what became organizational behavior, as it explained the internal and external influences on individuals' work performance and behavior. The second field had an impact on groups within an organization.


Sociology was the second discipline that helped form the basis for organizational behavior. The term means the study of society, and this helps researchers understand group dynamics and how they impact organizations. For example, in 1957 Harvard researchers defined the term role set as how individuals perform different roles in a group environment. Role sets led researchers to further study roles of workers in organizations to see how productivity and motivation could be improved by different techniques using teamwork. Sociology has had a huge impact in group ethics and group interaction. Another surprising discipline has led to the development of organizational behavior.

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