Organizational Behavior Degree Program Summaries

Organizational behavior is the methodical study and application of how individuals act alone and in group settings. Degrees in this field are available at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels.

Essential Information

Training in the field of organizational behavior relates to management, statistics, communication and program development for large and small organizations. Bachelor's degree programs offer instruction in the fundamentals, combining courses in business with the social sciences. In a master's-level program, students learn to collect and analyze data as well as design research projects, while doctoral students examine case studies in human resource administration and engage in in-depth research. Courses are often available online especially for master's degree programs.

The prerequisites for a bachelor's program usually include a high school diploma or GED, although an associate's degree or at least 60-80 credits of college coursework are sometimes required. Most master's degree programs require a bachelor's degree, resume, statement of intent, references and an interview. Additional doctoral prerequisites include teacher or employer recommendation, satisfactory GRE scores, demonstrable research skills and a statement of intent.

Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Behavior

A bachelor's degree program relating to organizational behavior may also be called a labor relation major, found within social sciences and business administration programs. Students prepare for leadership roles and learn to implement structural change. Investigation and statistics skills are key in the realm of organizational behavior. Multiple courses teach research and data analysis as procedures used to understand the dynamics of individual or group development. Overall coursework encompasses the motivations within a working environment based on work ethics, employee satisfaction and how group environments affect the way individuals make decisions at work.

Organizational behavior studies cover the leadership and strategic planning techniques relevant to managing an organization. Specific coursework entails:

  • Human resource administration
  • Group culture and learning
  • Evaluation and assessment methods
  • Organization transformation
  • Data collection
  • Research and information use

Master's Degree in Organizational Behavior

A master's degree program for organizational behavior provides practical training related to careers in executive-level consulting, human resources, administration and business ownership. Coursework is designed to address topics related to employee contentment, loyalty and efficiency. Subjects entail training and development, research methods, change implementation and the promotion of teamwork.

A master's degree program in organizational behavior combines statistical analysis and social science theories regarding group behavior. The curriculum addresses:

  • Measuring group experiments
  • Consultation practices
  • Categorizing data
  • Employer and employee ethics
  • Conflict resolution
  • International organizational behavior theories

Doctorate in Organizational Behavior

A Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior is frequently offered in conjunction with human resource administration. Lessons focus on research and case studies relating to negotiation in the work force, power within organizations and team development strategies. An organizational behavior doctoral degree program studies work force politics, human motivations and group dynamics versus individual behaviors. The completion of a research paper and examination is used to prove research ability and knowledge in field. Coursework discusses:

  • Research seminars
  • Negotiation techniques
  • Work ethics
  • Group development
  • Teamwork promotion
  • Communication

Popular Careers

Those with a bachelor's degree relating to organizational behavior often work for government agencies or consulting firms. Positions may include:

  • Management analyst
  • Labor affairs specialist
  • Management advisor

A graduate degree in organizational behavior provides students with an academic background that furthers their professional expertise. Career opportunities may include:

  • Community college instructor
  • Executive coach
  • Employee development consultant

A Ph.D. program provides expert training in organizational behavior and qualifies graduate for positions in multiple industries at the highest level of management. Career options may include:

  • University professor
  • Human resources manager
  • Training director

Career and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that job growth for all psychologists will grow 19% for the years 2014 through 2024, and industrial-organizational psychologists will also see 19% growth that decade. In May 2015 industrial-organizational psychologists earned $77,350 as a median annual salary.

An organizational behavior degree prepares students for work as industrial-organizational psychologists, human resources managers, executive coaches, management advisors and more. Degrees are offered at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral level.

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