If you are a business student, hoping to choose a topic from organizational behavior, organization and management would be the primary focus of your thesis or research paper. Managerial dynamics could be directly related to how organizations manage their businesses, workplace relationships and motivate employees.
Human resources is a very important aspect of management and some of the other topics you choose in organizational behavior are employee interaction, workplace communication, leadership and change, employee motivation, development and training.
Concepts you can’t miss / Image Source: mayrsom.com
Start by choosing a trendy topic
You must focus on some of the most current topics in organizational behavior research and these relate to employee motivation and training, leadership, workplace communication and social interaction of people in the organization. HRM or Human Resource Management is one of the formal systems used for the management of people in organizations. Managers usually follow the rules and principles of HRM considering concepts such as motivation, leadership and training, employee interaction and communication. So, these are some of the most significant topics you can look up. Collect resources on the topics that you find most interesting. If you relate to a topic and feel that the topic is best for your expertise and interest, just try to select more resources and narrow down on a research question or title.
Once you have the topic, it should be easy to select a research question or a title with a bit more focus, and a narrow and streamlined topic will go a long way to help you guide your research, because choosing a topic seems to be the most challenging aspect of the research process, although writing a thesis could be very time-consuming.
Organizational behavior is about behavioral changes you want to see within an organization, so it is about behavioral changes that you can affect among employees through training, motivational learning and other approaches. Once you google or try out a journal database, use the search terms “organizational behavior and management” and the search terms would usually return several hits on concepts such organizational stressors, organizational citizenship, organizational change, organizational performance, knowledge-sharing behavior, organizational culture, organizational perception, employee motivation, organizational boundaries, work behavior and organizational commitment. There are several research papers discussing employee turnover, diversity in organizations and the impact of learning on organizational change. Search for the relevant and correct resources and after typing your keywords, you’ll get a sense of what’s trending or current in business management or organization behavior research direction.
Work step by step
The Number One trick to choosing the best and the most relevant research topic is to connect the dots between these different concepts that you come across. How do you come up with a coherent topic while juggling all these different concepts? So here’s an exercise you simply need to do while coming up with a brilliant business management topic.
- Write down all the concepts that you come across – write down all these terms or concepts of business, management or organizational behavior in a new document on your computer.
- Try to connect these concepts to come up with a coherent research area. For example, does organizational learning relate to employee motivation? Is employee motivation increased through training? Is organizational commitment related to organizational performance? These are the short concepts that you need to consider to organize your thoughts and finally nail your research question.
- The research question that you select would finally relate several concepts to come to a coherent question or title. I’ll tell you how to do it – for example – take three common concepts in organizational behavior and management – a) organizational performance, b) employee motivation, and c) communication and interaction in the organization. So now that you have chosen the concepts, how do you relate or connect concepts these to come up with a relevant and current research question that your supervisor will completely love?
- This is like a game. Take three ingredients, mix them up and voila – you have a “question”. You always thought that in this world and in this life, you need answers – but as a student, it seems, all you need is a – question. Whoever thought a question is more important than an answer, right? But, you know what? Asking the right kind of questions is the first step towards your intellectual progress and fulfilling your immediate research goal.
- Try to come up with as many questions as you can – just mix and match these three concepts. Be creative and you’ll be surprised how easily you have come up with 5-6 questions by mixing just a handful of concepts. Let me give an example here – Does employee motivation affect organizational performance and how is motivation increased with improved communication? Or, how does communication within an organization impact employee motivation and ultimately affect performance? So, I just came up with two hot topics and research questions, interlinking three concepts – within seconds. If you follow this short rule of mix and match, you too can come up with research topics and absolutely original and interesting research questions – quickly and easily.
- So finally – recollect what I just wrote – collect sources, identify keywords, mix and match – bam, you have the research question. Was that easy or what? Ask that guy from that B-Corp or that Fortune 500 company. These are issues they are worried about. So, as a student if you can come up with the right kind of issues – you are already kicking butt.
Connect the dots…solve the puzzle / Image Source: leanvista.com
Let me take you a bit further into a slightly difficult territory. If you want the research topic to be a bit more technical, throw in a bit of spice. In this case, spice would be ‘technical terms’, may be specific theories or terms like “implicit communication” or “organizational citizenship behavior (OCB)” “Individualism-Collectivism”. Using more technical and scholarly terms in your research question changes the quality of your research topic and gives it more credibility and raises its value.
The justification and rationale of research relates directly to your research question, so no matter what topic you choose, your question must be completely justified and you must provide the rationale for the topic that you choose and explain why it is valuable to your research area.
So, while you choose your topic in business and management, there are several issues to consider – these may be the relevance of the concepts, are these concepts directly related to theories or help explain the interrelationships between organizational management concepts, behavior, performance and communication? Some relevant topics would be business management research, business communication topics, business ethics and organizational responsibility and culture. You can definitely choose your own area of research or research topic and this will be directly related to the research area that you prefer, your interest, knowledge and creativity.
There is a level of flexibility and originality that you experience as a researcher and the research topic that you choose can vary in its applicability, scholarly value or your own interest and creativity. Choosing something that appeals to you is the mantra for a great research question. As long as you prefer to work on one area, the research question will suck you in. This means once you have the right kind of question, you will be able to naturally move along the research direction to come up with the right kind of solutions to your research problems.
Human Resource Really Matters / Image Source: humanresourcesmba.net
Finding your flow
The great thing about choosing a research question is that it pulls you along and directs you what terms to look up, what sources to focus on and what solutions or possible approaches to consider. So, although you are this free spirit who can choose any research topic and work in any research direction, finally when you do have a topic, you focus primarily on where or how the research questions or topics pull you. This is a kind of “riding with the tide” and “flowing with the river” feeling. You will get that feeling once you are really into your research topic and know how to navigate through a range of information on the topic to finally select and use only that are relevant.
Business management and HRM or human resource management concepts are now increasingly linked to organizational behavior and although the interrelationships between concepts in organizational management and business, remain open, flexible and subject to interpretation, studying these interrelationships would be necessary to understand how management concepts are applicable in business and organizational scenarios.
Put in the time and research
Remember to read up and read up all topics and subjects related to organization, management, communication, performance, human resource, leadership, training and motivation. The more you read, the better you learn and the more you learn, you are more likely to understand the interrelationships between concepts quickly. Finally, it is necessary to intuitively understand how businesses and organizations work, and how people function and communicate or interact within organizations.
People’s job functions in organizations relate directly to organizational performance and this may again relate to training and whether training helps to streamline or improve job functions and how this affects overall performance. Leadership directly plays into the people-performance-interaction dynamic as organizational leaders finally direct or guide the training process that improves job performance and highlights or suggests the necessary interaction between people. Understanding a business or an organization is finally about learning the organizational culture and leadership, studying organizational performance and the effects of training, and well as communication between employees and how this may impact management at various levels.
Studying about organizational behavior is the current focus of research in management and students in organizational behavior and management choose their area of research from a range of topics and determine their own relevant research questions from a range of research concepts. These concepts are usually interrelated and this means that one concept in management would be directly linked to another and there is this interconnected perspective that you must look for.
As a researcher, your focus has to be on whether your research topic is current and relevant, whether it solves a problem, whether it adds value, whether there are relevant resources with significant background studies in the research area, and whether your research topic is justified or has a sound rationale. These are some of the points you consider while you conduct your research, so although choosing a topic is important, the other points of research such as adding value and justification are also significant.
Once you are committed to the research process, you will naturally find the right direction to navigate your research topic and also find the right sources. One exercise that I recommend to every researcher is visit business organizations and try to understand organizational culture, communication patterns and organizational commitment of employees. Real world field studies and regular visits to business organizations would naturally improve your knowledge and understanding of the process of business management and how management concepts are directly applied to organizations. In fact, even before choosing a research topic or a research question, try to immerse yourself in real-life scenarios and understand the functions in real-world organizations, businesses, B-corps and larger corporations.
The more you do these field studies and understand real-life business functions, the more likely you are to understand how organizations work and what management concepts are important to define or direct the research focus of your study.
So, to summarize, you can choose a research topic once you are knowledgeable about what you want to do, how you want to proceed with the research and what areas of study you want to focus on. You have to find the research topic of interest after compiling a range of topics that could be potentially interesting to you. From a list of topics, select one specific topic and look up all the concepts relevant to the topic. For example, if your research topic is organizational management, the relevant concepts that you will discover as keywords are communication, behavior, management, leadership, training and organizational culture.
You must integrate all these concepts and finally come up with a coherent research question that will have a proper justification, rationale and add value to your research. Good luck nailing that research topic and most importantly the research question – remember finding a topic is just the beginning, but nevertheless a very important step in your career and academic progress. For an A+ organizational behavior topic, simply follow this blog like a religion. We have written 1,000+ top organizational behavior, business management, communication, and ethics papers written and counting.
10 great organizational behavior research paper topics
Writing a research paper is not as hard as settling on a topic for your paper. Organizational Behavior is an exciting field of study, work and research. Therefore, the problem is not in the sacristy of topics, but in the very plenty of them. There are new and intriguing topics to choose from. While choosing a topic your main criteria should be your interest. No one likes to study, talk, or write about things he or she do not find interesting. You are going to be spending some valuable time with the paper, make sure it is something you can enjoy researching.
Here are a few interesting topics to provide some inspiration:
- Motivation to work in the public and private sector
- Organizational Behavior as a covering topic
- Styles of leadership
- Hierarchies are more efficient than
- Strategies of teamwork
- The lone wolf versus the team player
- Morality and leadership
- Historical analysis of organization building
- Accountability in Social Entrepreneurship
- LGBT organizations
- Social and sexual behavior at work
- Preference for status quo: How it affects an organization
- Trade Unions in an organization
- Stability and changing fields
- Technology in organizational management of employees
- Organizational Violence: What is it?
- Organizational Violence: A historical account
- How people influence others at work
- Is Corporate Social Responsibility a source of employee satisfaction?
- Gender stereotyping: Is there bias in the workplace?
- Information processing in teams
- Women in high positions: Does it harm the organization or women as individuals? (Are the views biased?)
- Do men hate women bosses? (Why)
- How does the physical environment affect organizational behavior?
- Are images and impressions overrated?
- Managerial psychology as a reason for poor incentives
- Ambivalent morality in organizations: Competition or co-operation
- How the social class shapes organizational thought, actions, and culture
These topics are current and relevant to the rapidly changing culture within organizations. Your topic can be a variation of these or you can search for a topic that interests you online. A good topic that is interesting for you also has to have the ingredients of interest for others. Your reader should know why it is worth research and reading. A gripping topic explores a problem, a question or a hypothesis from a fresh perspective. You need to be very careful while choosing a topic for your paper.