What is an MBA in Organizational Behavior

Are you interested in what motivates people, what drives their behavior at the workplace? Do you consider making it your profession to help organizations work more effectively? Then an MBA in Organizational Behavior could be the right choice for you.

Organizational Behavior is a field of study which aims to understand how individuals, groups and the structure of the organization impact and are impacted by behavior. Business Schools teach Organizational Behavior by combining research on various topics like cognitive and social psychology, economics, sociology and other related fields, and applying it in a managerial context.

In your MBA program, you will learn to understand behavior both at an individual and organizational level. At the individual level, you will study topics like motivation, decision-making, problem-solving, interpersonal communication and influence, conflicts and cooperation. At the organizational level, you will learn about corporate growth and change, learning, leadership, social networks, power and social responsibility.

All in all, you will be equipped with the knowledge and frameworks to help organizations manage their workforce effectively and improve working relationships, teamwork and leadership capabilities.

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Discover information on start dates, credit transfer processes, initial salary expectations, financial aid opportunities, GMAT requirements, tuition fees, student-to-faculty ratios, and average post-graduation employment rates.

What Can I Do With an MBA in Organizational Behavior

MBA’s in Organizational Behavior is best equipped for a career in the Human Resources (HR) field. This could mean working in the HR department of an organization or even a consulting firm, specialized in HR matters.

Organizations usually distinguish between generalists and specialist in the field of HR:

  • Generalists are often called HR Managers. They are the link between the management of an organization and its employees and act as consultants for managers, advising them on human resources issues. Typically, HR Managers are involved with the strategic planning of the workforce together with the top executives and coordinate the work of the specialists and support staff.
  • Specialists are focused on a certain field within the HR department. They are more common in large organizations which require bigger HR departments as well as in HR consulting firms.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the following HR specialties:

  • Employment and Recruiting: Position the organization as an employer of choice to attract qualified employees, collaborate with headhunters and agencies to source new talents, work with hiring managers to identify the ideal candidate
  • Labor and Employee Relations: Develop and lead employee health and safety programs, act as the link between management and employees, negotiate with unions, resolve disputes
  • Training and Development: Identify training needs, develop suitable training programs to address those needs, design training material or liaise with external training providers, oversee training budget
  • Job analysis: Record job requirements and duties across the organization, develop job titles and descriptions, determine suitable compensation
  • Benefits and compensation: Prepare and review salary and benefits packages, ensure benefits are tailored to the needs of the employees, conduct performance reviews, build stock option and bonus plans

What is the Career Outlook for MBAs in Organizational Behavior

In general, employees with a master’s degree earn 20% more on average than those with only a bachelor’s degree and almost 80% more than those without a degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They are also significantly less likely to be unemployed.

Employment of HR Managers is projected to grow 9% from 2016 to 2026, on par with most occupational averages. Employment growth depends largely on the performance and growth of individual companies. As new companies form and organizations expand their operations, they will need more HR Managers to oversee and administer their programs.

In the HR Specialists fields, the employment of Training and Development Managers is projected to grow 10% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the occupational averages. In most job roles, employees are required to take continuing education and skill development courses throughout their careers, creating demand for workers who develop and provide training materials.

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What are Average Salaries for Managers and Executives in Organizational Behavior

The median annual salary for HR Managers was $106,910 in May 2016. The lowest 10% earned less than $63,140 whereas the highest 10% earned more than $193,550. The median annual salaries for HR Managers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

SectorAvg. Salary
Management of companies and enterprises$121,390
Professional, scientific, and technical services$120,980
Healthcare and social assistance$91,250

The median annual salary for Training and Development Managers was $105,830 in May 2016. The lowest 10% earned less than $57,760, whereas the highest 10% earned more than $184,990. The median annual salaries in the top industries in which they worked were as follows[2]:

SectorAvg. Salary
Management of companies and enterprises$114,290
Professional, scientific, and technical services$113,310
Finance and insurance$109,650
Educational services; state, local, and private$99,040
Healthcare and social assistance$96,910

What are Key Qualities for a Successful Career with an MBA in Organizational Behavior

Efficient and organizedWorking in the field of HR requires an orderly approach. When dealing with another individual’s life and career, a drive for personal efficiency and strong self-management skills are required.
Multitasking flexibilityHR professionals are actively consulting and coordinating with managers and top executives who need their assistance and guidance on a variety of topics. This can require constant switching between functional areas.
Effective communicatorHR professionals have to communicate to all levels of an organization, from the top executives to the graduates and interns. You have to be able to find the appropriate tone and approach while being eloquent and convincing.
Ethically resoluteThe HR department is the keeper of confidential information and absolute discretion needs to be upheld at all times. While working with managers, you will have to monitor their actions towards the employees and ensure policies and regulations are duly followed.
Problem solverHR work requires a hands-on approach which needs to be geared towards solving any problem that comes your way. Conflicts and disputes need to be managed and solved in a way that satisfies all parties involved.
Professional empathyMany of the decisions of an HR professional have a significant impact on employees. You need to be able to deal with incomplete information and be comfortable with seeking professional help from experts and attorneys.

What Are Typical Classes for an MBA in Organizational Behavior

  • Managing Human Capital: This course addresses the big challenges that every organization is currently facing with regard to their workforce: What kind of people does our organization need? Where and how do we hire them? How do we keep them productive and engaged? How do we develop our people in the long run? How can we let go of those employees who are not contributing? In short, organizations are looking for answers how they may become places where talented people love to come to work and fully thrive.
  • Ethics of Business: This course establishes a vocabulary around business ethics that allows the students to find their own definition of this topic. Students will be guided by the works of a variety of authors in understanding business ethics while reflecting on their own goals and experiences.
  • Managerial Decision Making: Managers are required to make a multitude of decisions on a daily basis. Some can be made analytically while others require intuition and experience. Students will learn how to make better decisions in all types of situations by using analytical tools and avoiding common pitfalls.
  • Managing in Organizations: This course teaches how to manage people, be it others or oneself. In order to become better managers, students need to understand the underlying factors that determine people’s actions and how to influence them.
  • Strategies and Processes of Negotiation: Collaboration and agreement among people are key to the progress of organizations. This course teaches about the different types of negotiations that managers face and how to engage in them successfully.
  • People Analytics: Managers in modern organizations are expected to competently analyze and make use of existing data, also in the Human Resources field. This course teaches students to analyze and interpret people-related data with the aim to guide managerial decisions.
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On-Campus vs. Online Organizational Behavior MBA Programs

Thanks to modern technology, students have more opportunities for customizing their educational experience than ever before. Higher educational institutions have realized, in order to be competitive in the marketplace, they must offer a wide range of online courses in addition to their on-campus courses.

Each student must weigh their own personal factors when deciding on an online or on-campus program. Some Business Schools might offer hybrid programs with the option to attend classes online as well as on campus. Currently, nearly 3 million students are enrolled in full-time online degree programs with approximately 6 million students taking at least one online course as part of their degree program.

At the moment, 8 on-campus MBA programs and 2 online MBA programs offer a concentration in Organizational Behavior. When deciding for a program, consider if you are willing to move to another state for your studies and if this is financially viable for you.

  • The pros of online learning include lower overhead cost (e.g. free online textbooks, no commuting cost), the convenience and flexibility of choosing your own times for learning, and the comfort of learning from your own home.
  • The cons of online learning include limited social interaction, the cost for a high-speed internet connection, self-motivation and discipline required by the student to progress through the program.
  • The pros of campus-based learning include face-to-face interaction with instructors and fellow students, regularly scheduled class hours and the use of the school’s library and other facilities.
  • The cons of campus-based learning include housing costs, the requirement to travel to classes and less flexibility with regard to the timing of classes.

How Much is Tuition Organizational Behavior MBA Programs

Tuition Organizational Behavior MBA programs can vary based on a number of factors such as in-state or out-of-state tuition or whether you are attending classes at on campus or online. On-campus tuition fees for Organizational Behavior MBA Programs can be as low as $7,048.00 (in-state tuition) and as high as $219,688.00. The average in-state tuition is $49,684.69, which is lower than the average out-of-state or out-of-country tuition of $59,790.95. The online tuition for MBA’s in Organizational Behavior is actually higher with an average of $42,008.01 for in-state tuition and $53,575.30 for out-of-state and out-of-country tuition. Please note that tuition does not include other expenses e.g. housing, transport, which also need to be taken into consideration when budgeting for your MBA.

The financial situation and overall circumstances are different for every student. A lot of different factors are affecting your MBA financing choices, for example, your intended post-MBA career, living costs, your credit situation and current savings. Before making a decision, you may want to run through different financing scenarios to find the best solution for your circumstances. Most Business Schools have a financial aid office which can offer valuable guidance in this process.

GMAT Scores for Organizational Behavior MBA Programs

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is used to compare candidates for MBA Programs and can be seen as a predictor for academic success. The GMAT assesses your analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills. It does not measure business knowledge or skill, nor is it a measure of intelligence.

Students in on-campus programs for Organizational Behavior have GMAT scores ranging from 265 to 737 with an average score of 576, while students of online programs average a GMAT score of 566. Please note that not all schools require a GMAT, but most schools do. The GMAT is one indication of the quality of the student population, but certainly not the final indicator that determines the success of the student during the MBA program or in their later career(s).

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What is the Student / Faculty Ratio for Organizational Behavior MBA Programs

The student/faculty ratio has become an increasingly important criterion for selecting an MBA Program. The times have passed when large auditorium-style classes were considered a good learning environment. A lower student/faculty ratio is beneficial as it allows the faculty to give more attention to the individual student.

On-campus programs have on average 1 faculty member for every 16.36 students, while online programs have 1 faculty member for every15.67 students. These numbers indicate faculty available to students for the entire MBA program which might not be specific to the Organizational Behavior concentration.

To learn more about the faculty at the Business Schools you are considering and to find out the exact number of faculty with degrees and experience in your desired concentration, research the individual school’s faculty pages.

Student Population Organizational Behavior MBA Programs

Full-time programs have generally a larger student population then part-time programs, whilst online programs are more populated than on-campus programs. The student population can vary widely based on the type of institution. For example, on-campus full-time programs can have as few as 2 and as many as 3,933 students, with an average of 320. The numbers below represent the total MBA population for schools that offer the Organizational Behavior concentration. They do not reflect the number of students in the concentration itself.

It is up to personal preferences which size is right for you. The pros of joining a program with a large student population range from more networking opportunities and possibly better school facilities to a wider range of available activities. There are also many pros for programs with a smaller student population like a stronger sense of community and competing against fewer students for faculty attention and internships.

Student Population for Organizational Behavior MBA Students

In an increasingly globalized world, also MBA Programs are becoming more and more international as they are preparing their graduates to compete in a global economy. An international student population can have multiple advantages, like an enhanced learning experience due to the various backgrounds of the students. Having access to alumni from other countries can become a valuable asset during the MBA and in the later career, presenting valuable networking opportunities and connections.

On average 72.99% of students in on-campus programs offering a concentration in Organizational Behavior come from the U.S. Online programs have a more diverse student body with only 75.97% of the student population on average coming from the U.S.

Faculty Information for MBA Organizational Behavior Programs

When deciding for an MBA program, a diversely experienced and educated MBA faculty is certainly a plus for a school. Faculty members with real-life experience in the field they are teaching in and doctorate degrees are a big asset to the students and the university.

On-campus full time MBA programs which offer the concentration Organizational Behavior have on average 71 members of faculty, while on-campus part-time programs have an average 5,611. Online programs tend to have a larger faculty due to the larger class sizes with an average of 71 members of faculty for full-time programs and 5,760 members for part-time programs. The below numbers represent the overall MBA faculty population, not the faculty in the concentration Organizational Behavior.

Best MBA Programs in Organizational Behavior – GMAT Scores, Salaries & Rankings

  • The number of on-campus MBA Organizational Behavior programs offered: 233
  • The number of online MBA Organizational Behavior programs offered: 117

Currently, 233 on-campus MBA programs offer a concentration in Organizational Behavior. If an on-campus program is not available near you, 117 online MBA programs also offer this concentration. There is a certain overlap when MBA programs that offer the concentration on-campus also offer an online variation. The decision for a certain program depends on many factors and the pros and cons for each program should be evaluated in depth before committing.

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