What’s the Difference Between Human Resources and Organizational Behavior?

Human Resources and Organizational Behavior are very similar in some ways. They each work with people working in a company or corporation and find ways to assist them in their position to have what they need, and increase productivity. The only difference is how they go about doing so. The following answers a few of the questions on how each is the same, yet possess separate qualities within the Human Resource field.

Human Resource Department (HR)

HR stands for the Department of Human Resources in a company or corporation. Previously called the personnel department, it is known to assist, facilitate, and monitor the administrative functions and needs of employees within its corporation. HR departments guide leaders and managers in implementing any necessary changes from those existing in a company. HR also works to identify and recruit prospective candidates who possess the best skills for the jobs available. The primary goals for HR are to hire, compensate, and train employees. The department also develops programs, create safety and labor laws, and promotes performance appraisals for the company or corporation.

Organizational Behavior (OB)

Organizational Behavior as a concept was developed out of the human resources department of major corporations and generally operates as a small sector of it. OB is the term commonly used to describe the way people think and work within its organization. Organizational Behavior is not a department, but a team of people, working together to find out what works and doesn’t work for the company. The OB team is usually made up of three to four individuals with a particular project of innovation or improvement. An OB assessment is sometimes carried out by consultants. The OB team often has several goals to achieve. One major goal is often to prevent problems from happening during a change in company policies or the core structure itself. Organizational Behavior staff study employees to see how they can better assist these workers in solving problems that have caused stress that lowers workers’ productivity. Sometimes the Organizational Behavior team is called in to consult corporation reorganization (downsizing) issues.

Education Requirements

Many top HR managers or executives earn elect to earn a PhD in Organizational Leadership, or some other terminal degree that helps credential them to head this important department. Advancing toward a Ph.D. in Human Resources will also increase profitability and merit acknowledgments within the corporation in which one works. Fields of study that are essential for this work are finance, business management, information technology, industrial psychology, and conflict management. The average annual salary is about $60,000 for HR Specialists and $110,000 for HR managers.

Extensive knowledge of workplace law is required for those HR professionals who act as Organizational Behavior professionals. Sociology and skills in market research are background areas that people on the OB need to have. A Master’s in Psychology and Human Resources is an excellent start for the OB career path, however, earning a Ph.D. in Leadership or a PhD in Organizational Behavior will help an applicant gain employment as a top consultant on an OB team. According to the BLS, the average annual salary is about $102,530. However, most high-end corporations or companies can pay as much as $4000 per week for the OB position.