OB is an open social system. It is a unified whole of interrelated and interacting subsystems. It is influenced by environment. OB system helps to understand, predict and manage behavior at work.   


                                                                            Figure: OB System

Individuals Subsystem- consists of individual employees having individual differences from each other in the sense of biological characteristics, ability, personality, emotions, values, beliefs and attitudes.

Group Subsystem- consists of two or more individuals come together and work to achieve organizational goal. Groups differ in size, composition, cohesiveness, role, statues and norms.

Organizational Subsystem- consists of structure (it is division of work defines authority and responsibility and provides coordination) and culture (it is common values, beliefs and norms that guide behavior in organization).

Components of OB system:

OB system has input-processing-outputs and feedback components.

  • OB Input

They are also called independent variables. These characteristics are essentially in place when an individual enters the workforce, and there is little management can do to alter them. There are three types of input variables to the OB system: individual level variables, group level variables, and organizational level variables.

Individual level: Biological characteristics (age, gender, etc), ability, values, attitudes, personality, emotion, etc

Group level: Group composition, Group size, etc

Organizational level: Organization structure, culture, leadership, etc

  • OB Process

The received information from input is processed at three different levels to produce output (dependent variables).

Individual level: Motivation, perception, learning, decision making, etc

Group level: Communication, leadership, power & politics, conflict process, etc

Organizational level: Design of formal organization, HR policies & practices, Interaction with external environment, etc

  • OB Output

They are also called dependent variables. These are the key factors that OB wants to explain and predict and are affected by inputs. Some key factors are:

Productivity: It is output to input ratio. An organization is productive when it can produce more outputs relative to the inputs (in monetary terms).

Absenteeism: It is the failure to report to work. Absenteeism results in workflow disruption, delay in important decisions, low productivity

Turnover: The voluntary and involuntary permanent withdrawal from an organization

Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB): It is a discretionary behavior that is not part of an employee formal job requirements, but that nevertheless promotes the effective functioning of the organization. Organizations need employees who will do those things that aren’t in any job description.

Job Satisfaction: It is the amount of overall positive effect (or feelings) that an individual holds toward his/her job. Unlike the previous four variables, job satisfaction represents an attitude rather than a behavior. Job satisfaction is negatively related to absenteeism and turnover.

  • Feedback of OB system:

This components of OB system provides information to redesign OB inputs and processing to achieve organizational effectiveness.