Organizational behavior management professionals analyze businesses in order to increase the effectiveness of operations and the proficiency of personnel. A Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Organizational Behavior program prepares students for entry into the field; studies in this program focus on human resources topics such as recruitment and employee relations. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) program equips graduates for advanced positions, and it offers studies in conflict management, training practices and motivation methods. Bachelor's and master's degree programs are commonly offered online. A doctorate can be earned directly in organizational behavior. A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is required to achieve senior-level roles or teaching placement at the postsecondary level.
Bachelor of Business Administration in Organizational Behavior
Majors examine concepts in organizational systems and change management as well as individual and group effectiveness in the modern work environment. Areas of focus include project management, multicultural communications and human development. A high school diploma or GED certificate is required to enter the program.
These baccalaureate programs blend general-education lessons in liberal arts, math, science and the humanities with practical business courses. Core classes emphasize the roles and responsibilities of organizational behavior professionals. Possible subjects covered in the curriculum are:
- Business organization and management
- Employee and labor relations
- Organizational communication
- Recruitment, selection and placement
- Change management
Master of Business Administration in Organizational Behavior
Master's degree program enrollees study advanced theoretical and practical concepts in organizational behavior systems in settings including private business, government and non-profit organizations. Topics of discussion include human resources, labor relations, compensation and effective leadership. Students study the relationship between people and the workplace.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in business administration, psychology or a closed related field from an accredited college or university. Candidates generally are required to have completed undergraduate coursework in areas such as sociology, the humanities and organizational psychology.
Graduate degree programs generally provide advanced instruction in human resource and managerial functions while explaining applications in a variety of settings. Students gain experience in developing programs that promote individual and organizational success. Following are some possible subjects covered in the program:
- Human resource management
- Training and development in organizations
- Leadership and ethics
- Managing and resolving conflict
- Theories of motivation and leadership
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Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior
Doctoral degree programs generally provide the highest level of study and research in the organizational behavior field. Program lengths vary; however, most require 3-5 years of upper-tier coursework in addition to previously completed master's degree credits in the field. Most institutions require the completion and defense of a doctoral dissertation to fulfill the degree curriculum.
Candidates generally must hold a master's degree in business administration, psychology or a related discipline. Some institutions may consider those with only a bachelor's degree if their undergraduate coursework meets department requirements in areas such as human resources management, employee relations and organizational effectiveness.
Classes comprise advanced studies and specialized research in areas including organizational strategic planning, job design and redesign, employee selection and succession planning. Course subjects include:
- Ethical issues in human resources
- Research designs and methods
- Crisis management
- Intergroup relations
- Social behavior in organizations
Popular Career Options
Graduates are equipped to seek advanced positions where organizational behavior management skills can be applied. Career options include:
- Human resources specialist
- Compensation and benefits analyst
- Corporate training and development specialist
Employment and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment of industrial or organizational behavior professionals, such as human resources managers, is expected to grow by 9% from 2014-2024, which is faster than the average rate for all U.S. jobs during that time. Job prospects are brightest for those holding advanced degrees. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for a human resources manager as of May 2015 was $104,440.
Career Information for Graduates
Job applicants holding a Ph.D. are generally qualified to seek advanced positions in the organizational behavior management field, as well as teaching positions on the postsecondary level. In January 2016, Payscale.com reported that the median annual salary for an organizational development manager was $84,199, while the BLS indicated that training and development managers earned a median income of $102,640 per year in 2015.
Students who are interested in learning to promote positive work environments can concentrate their BBA or MBA studies in organizational behavior management, or they can enroll in a Ph.D. program dedicated entirely to the field. These programs build leadership and communication skills, enabling graduates to pursue careers related to human resources.