Organizational Behavior – Why do people change?

Our behavior changes as we adapt to different environments and contexts. There are several factors that can influence this process in business organizations. By understanding these factors and taking proactive steps to foster behavior change, organizations can create a more dynamic and innovative work environment.


Leadership is one of the major factors that can have an impact on organizational behavior. Leaders generally set the tone of an organization, affecting its culture and the behavior of employees. Leaders who are positive and supportive are more likely to encourage positive behavior changes in their employees.

Organizational structure

Organizational systems and structures can be enablers or barriers to behavior change. If an organization has a strict hierarchical structure, it may be difficult for employees to speak up and challenge the status quo. However, organizations that prioritize transparency and open communication are more likely to foster behavior change and innovation.

Organizational culture

Organizational culture can drive behavioral change. If the organizational culture promotes continuous learning and development, employees will feel more empowered to take risks and try new approaches. If the culture is inflexible and resistant to change new ideas and processes will be more difficult to implement.

The individual

Personal motivation and individual characteristics also have an impact on organizational behavior. Some people may be more open to change, while others may be afraid of it. It is important that organizations recognize and appreciate people’s individual differences, and provide support and resources to help employees make meaningful changes.

Common factors that contribute to change:

1. Individual growth: People naturally evolve and develop throughout their lives. They gain new experiences, skills, and knowledge, which can lead to personal growth and change in their perspectives, goals, and values.

2. Career advancement: Individuals often seek opportunities for career progression and advancement. They may change their behavior, acquire new skills, or adapt their mindset to align with their professional goals and pursue higher positions or responsibilities.

3. Organizational changes: Changes within the organization, such as mergers, restructurings, or shifts in strategic direction, can significantly impact individuals. These changes may require employees to adapt, learn new ways of working, or modify their behavior to fit the evolving organizational context.

4. External influences: External factors like technological advancements, industry trends, or market demands can necessitate change. Individuals may need to update their skills or adjust their behavior to stay relevant, competitive, and meet the changing demands of their profession or industry.

5. Life events: Life events, such as marriage, parenthood, personal health challenges, or financial circumstances, can prompt individuals to reevaluate their priorities and make changes in their behavior or career choices to align with their new circumstances.

6. Feedback and self-awareness: Constructive feedback from supervisors, peers, or self-reflection can provide insights that encourage personal growth and change. Recognizing areas for improvement and actively seeking personal development can lead to changes in behavior, attitudes, or approaches.

7. Desire for fulfillment: People often strive for personal fulfillment and happiness in their lives and careers. They may seek to align their work with their passions, values, and purpose, which can drive them to make changes in their professional lives and pursue more fulfilling paths.

8. Learning and adaptability: Human beings have the capacity to learn, adapt, and acquire new knowledge and skills. This innate ability enables individuals to adjust their behavior, attitudes, and approaches based on new information, experiences, or challenges they encounter.

It’s important to note that the reasons for change are highly individual and can vary from person to person. Different people may be motivated by different factors, and the specific circumstances surrounding change can influence how individuals respond and adapt. Organizational behavior seeks to understand and manage these dynamics to facilitate positive and effective change within the context of work and organizations.


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Posted in Human Resource Management, Leadership.