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Putting the pieces together

Goals of organisational behaviour

Having previously looked at what OB is, and the disciplines that contribute to our understanding of behaviour in organisations, let’s now consider the main goals of OB.

According to Johns and Saks (2005) the aims of OB could be said to be the effective prediction, explanation and management of the behaviours that take place in organisations.

  • Prediction – this is an important prerequisite for an organisation as it enables the prediction of future behaviours and can generate meaningful insights or solutions to any problems around misbehaviour in the organisation. It also permits the prediction of future occurrences through systematic study.
  • Explanation – this enables organisations to understand why people behave as they do and in certain ways under various conditions. The ability to understand behaviour is a necessary condition for effectively managing it.
  • Management – this enables organisations to get things done through people. If organisations are able to predict and explain behaviours, then they can be equipped with the knowledge to effectively manage them. From an OB point of view, they will have a good basis to develop an effective strategy to manage their employees.

Prediction and explanation help us to analyse people’s behaviours, while management focuses on creating and putting strategies into action. However, other scholars and professionals have defined and classified the goals of OB is various ways.

Your task

Can you identify the goals of OB within your organisation or an organisation that you are aware of?

Be sure to support your opinion with a brief rationale and by providing relevant examples.

Don’t forget to capture your thinking in your learning log or portfolio.


Johns, G. and Saks, A. (2005) Organizational Behaviour: Understanding and Managing Life at Work. 6th edn. Toronto: Pearson Prentice Hall

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This article is from the free online course:

An Introduction to Organisational Behaviour: How to Understand Your People

Coventry University