Skip to main content

Organizational Behaviour

Go Search
New Atlas
Atlas, A-Z
Atlas Maps
MPP/MPA Programs
Core Topics
Illustrative Courses
Topic Encyclopedia
Concept Dictionary
Career Tips
Best Practices Project

Applying an Implementation Lens
Balanced Scorecard as a Strategy for Performance Improvement
Building Coalitions
Bureaucratic Politics, Organizational Design and Decision-Making
Cognitive Biases
Defining Policy Problems and Policy Making Under Pressure
Developing Networks for Improvement
Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Instrument Choice
Financing and Fundraising in the Third Sector
Implementation and Policy
Implementation and Policy
Implementation and Risk
Implementation and the Budget Context
Implementation Environment
Implementing through Markets
Implementing with Partners
Improving Organizational Performance Through Competition
Learning as a Performance Strategy
Leveraging Diversity
Managing a Global Team
Managing Conflict
Managing Partnerships: Multi-Party Arrangements
Managing Risk: The “New” Way Forward in Managing?
Mission and Strategy
Models of Policy Making
Modernization of Public Sector Organizations
Multi-Level Governance
Network Assessment and Analysis
Operations and Marketing Strategy
Organizational Alignment
Organizational Behaviour
Organizational Culture
Organizational Performance and Management Reform
Organizing for Collaboration and Partnership
Organizing for Performance
Overview of Recent Trends in Public Administration
Performance Information as a Management Tool
Policy Analysis and Contemporary Governance
Policy Design and Instrument Choice
Policy Evaluation
Public Services in the Age of Restraint - new public service delivery models and the quest to do better with less
Public-Private Partnerships
Recent Trends from Comparative Public Administration
Rules vs. Discretion
The Crisis of “Governability” (1970s) and its Effects
The Meaning of Strategy in Public Management
The Role of Leadership in Strategy and Implementation
The Role of the Board and Strategic Governance in Third Sector Organizations
The Shift to Public Governance
Theories of Human Motivation and Decision Making: Rational Choice
Working in Teams


Organizational Behaviour

This topic examines collective and individual behaviour within public organizations. It helps students who assume administrative responsibilities avoid the mistakes that others have already made. It prepares students for more advanced course work in management theory, project management, human resource management, and management analysis. This topic helps students diagnose administrative situations and locate appropriate administrative practices that fit each diagnosis (American PUAD 612).

Topic Learning Outcome: Upon mastering this topic, students will understand contemporary theoretical debates about organizational behaviour and will be aware of key similarities and differences between the behaviour of public sector organizations and large private sector entities. Students will be familiar with the concept of “organizational culture” and will understand how unique cultures shape the ways that specific organizations and the actors within them behave.

Core Concepts associated with this Topic: Unity of Command; Organizational Culture.

Recommended Readings

American University: PUAD 612 Public Administration in the Policy Process

Herbert Simon, “The Proverbs of Administration,” (1946); also in Administrative Behavior (1947); see his comments on administrative rationality and the psychology of administrative decisions.

Rutgers University: 26:834:215 Introduction to Public Administration

Holzer, Marc and Richard Schwester. (2011). Chapter Two: Organizational Theory and Management. Public Administration: An Introduction. M.E. Sharpe, Armonk, New York.

Harvard MLD-101B Management, Leadership, and Decision Making 

Cramton, C. D., & Hinds, P. J. (2005). Subgroup dynamics in internationally distributed teams: Ethnocentrism or cross-national learning? Research in Organizational Behavior, 26, 231-263.

Sample Assessment Questions:

1.)    1.) What is groupthink? Why is groupthink an important concept for students of public administration and organizational behaviour more generally to understand?

2.)    2.) What is meant by the term organizational culture?


Page created by Sean Goertzen and Ben Eisen; last edited on 19 May 2015.


Important Notices
© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance