When we ask graduate students what their favorite course was, time and time again, they say Organizational Behavior.
One of the core courses in the MBA program, Organizational Behavior focuses on individual and group behavior and the processes that shape the internal dynamics of organizations.
According to Jarin Eisenberg, an Online Instructor who has taught the course, it “takes students through a deep dive into the theories and core concepts, such as motivation, best practices for structuring an organization and understanding diversity. The assignments in the course require students to apply these theories and concepts to real-life examples.”
By taking theoretical concepts and placing them into real-world situations, students can gain a comprehensive skillset they can immediately use in their jobs.
“The organizational behavior course is the perfect combination of theory and practicality and really pushes students to take an outsider’s perspective to the business world. This course asks students to act as consultants where they have to identify core business issues, explain how they would go about identifying those issues, and then provide recommendations for improvement.”
That “real-life” application of theory is what students appreciate about the course. Brian Tocci, MBA, applied what he learned in his position as Director of Operations at Larsen Motorsports:
“I have been able to take topics I learn about in Organizational Behavior and apply them to better the organization. Many of the concepts in class have been helpful, and I just have to start changing my methods and see what works best for myself and the organization. Everything I have learned has been a huge help at Larsen Motorsports. Hopefully, we can keep using these concepts to make it a better organization and continue being a place where people love to work.”
Tocci implemented a rewards system based off of the course concepts to motivate employees. Read more about it here.
That is just one example of how a student has applied the course concepts in the workplace. Eisenberg says that course provides students with many opportunities to improve their work as well as their career opportunities. In particular, learning the skill of negotiation:
“We spend a whole week discussing negotiation. I always push the students to think of negotiation not as something you do to get the best price on a contract, but how you can use those skills to advocate for yourself! We talk a lot about negotiating pay raises, better working conditions and the best approaches for building long-term relationships with win-win outcomes.
“I love hearing from students who tell me they used what they learned to better advocate for themselves and that no one is going to do it for them. They have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, which negotiating, especially for oneself, can be for people.”
Kareme Thomas, MBA, said that the course was a favorite of his because it helped him better understand how to interact with others.
“The aim of this course was to understand human behaviors in an organizational environment. This was very enlightening for me to understand my coworkers’ actions and attitudes.”
Eisenberg says that learning these best practices and concepts is one of the reasons students enjoy the course. The other is that they get to discuss workplace frustrations.
“Through those discussions, they find commonalities with their peers – they are not alone in their experiences, and that is comforting to know. Then, throughout the term, they learn best practices for combating some of those obstacles or preventing them in the first place. They see that these best practices are achievable and that they can make a difference in their companies and organizations.”
As an instructor, it’s rewarding to see students learn the foundational concepts and understand how to apply them.
“I love seeing students progress throughout the term. You can see with each paper the connections and understanding getting more in-depth and, by the end of the term, they are connecting the concepts and theories they learned throughout and demonstrating how these ideas are interconnected and interdependent. I also really enjoy hearing about their experiences and seeing how they navigate their roles in their companies, their passion for their industry and their desire to grow and learn.”
To learn more about the Florida Tech MBA online program, click here.