Organizational behavior refers to the attitudes and behavior of the individuals in the organization. Organizational behavior is a inter-disciplinary field of study that draws from many of the behavioral sciences. The goal of organizational behavior is to apply the concepts from the other behavioral sciences to pressing problems that management may be facing, as well as applying organizational behavior to the administrative theory and practices. With the problems of organizational behavior, there are a number of available strategies that can be utilized. In the past, the study of the organizations and the management used a closed-systems view. The purpose of this view was to maximize the efficiency of internal operations. In taking this particular point of view, the uncertainty of the external environmental factors were often denied. This traditional closed-systems view of any organization makes substantial contributions to the theory of organizational design. At the same time many organizations have come to be viewed as very precise and extremely complex machines. In this frame of mind, the human work force was often reduced to nothing more than a mere component of the overall organization. Something similar to that of a part of a robot programmed to put together a vehicle.
One of the primary responsibilities for management is to create and maintain the organizational characteristics that both reward and encourage a collective effort. There is no single definition for what organizational culture really is. Organizational culture has been viewed as so important to the organization that, in the long run, it may be the one decisive influence for the either the survival or fall of the organization (Hofstede 1998a, 488). Organizational culture is typically seen as a cognitive phenomenon, meaning the collective programming of the mind. Organization culture can also be characterized using the three levels of organizational culture. (Schein 1988)
The first and most visible level is behavior and artifacts. This is the observable level of culture, and consists of the behavior patterns and outward manifestations of culture. Artifacts and behaviors can describe what a group is doing, but not explain the why.
The next level of organizational culture is values. A companies values define and to a larger extent determine behaviors. The values are not as directly observable, as behaviors are. There may be a difference between the stated and the operating values. People will attribute their behavior to the stated values of the organization.
And finally the last level of organizational culture is assumptions and beliefs. To really understand culture, we have to get to down to the deepest level, the level of assumptions and beliefs. The underlying assumptions grow out of values, until they are taken for granted and have dropped out of awareness.