Organizational Behavior Programs: Key Classes

  • Psychology of Work
  • Conditioning Principles and Organizational Applications
  • Research Methods in Behavior Analysis
  • Systems Analysis
  • Ethical Issues in Behavioral Research and Assessments

Although there are several career-related classes that organizational behavior students will need to complete to earn their degrees, five key courses in an organizational behavior program are described below. These classes provide students with valuable knowledge and skills that are essential to a large variety of occupations involving behavior in organizations. And while the titles of these classes may vary somewhat from one school to another, they are typically all required in organizational behavior programs.

Related Resource: 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Organizational Behavior Degree Programs

1. Psychology of Work

One key course in an organizational behavior program is known as Psychology of Work. This is an advanced class that is designed to explore the different types of human behavior in organizations. Topics included in the course are industrial-organizational psychology, employee motivation, the relationship between productivity and job satisfaction, methods used in performance improvement, and ethics in human resource management. During this course, students will also examine how respondent and operant conditioning are used in the interpretation and assessment of employee behavior.

2. Conditioning Principles and Organizational Applications

Another key course that is often required in organizational behavior programs is Conditioning Principles and Organizational Applications. This course introduces students to the basic principles of human behavior as applied to organizations. Course topics include how people acquire certain types of behavior, how and why behavior is maintained, evaluating and assessing behavior in organizations, and variables involved in individual and team motivation. The course ends by exploring various advanced principles of human behavior and how they relate to organizations.

3. Research Methods in Behavior Analysis

Research Methods in Behavior Analysis is another key course that is often required in organizational behavior programs. As described in an article posted on the website Forbes, to be successful, businesses need to ensure that their organizational design is effective. Part of this design involves understanding human behavior in organizations. And to understand human behavior, students will need to learn how to use a variety of research methods. This course examines the most common research methods used to study human behavior in the workplace. Other topics covered in the course include issues in research, experimental designs, data interpretation, and ethics in research.

4. Systems Analysis

Yet another course that is often included in organizational behavior programs is Systems Analysis. This course teaches students how organizational systems can affect employee behavior, as well as how employee behavior can alter organizational systems. In this class, students will participate in a variety of case studies in which they will analyze organizational processes of various companies. They will then work with other students to redesign these systems or create new ones if necessary. Case studies typically include projects on organizational, individual, and team-levels.

5. Ethical Issues in Behavioral Research and Assessments

While the title for this course may vary a bit from one school to another, Ethical Issues in Behavioral Research and Assessments is another important class that organization behavior students will likely need to complete. During this class, students will learn about proper ethical conduct involved in behavioral research and assessments. Subjects they will explore include standards of professional conduct, legal issues in research, resolving ethical dilemmas, ethical decision-making techniques, and contemporary issues in behavioral research and assessments.

Completion of a variety of program-related coursework is required for organizational behavior students to earn their degrees. Students who master the concepts in these five key courses in an organizational behavior program can be assured that they are prepared for exciting and rewarding careers in the field of organizational behavior.