Organizational Behavior Activity

Is it possible to teach organizational behavior in a classroom? See how this instructor accomplishes this.

Goal: The purpose of the XB group project was to demonstrate the challenges of an organization in a controlled environment.


Students were given a shortened version of the XB Manual (by Roger Putzel) at the beginning of the second week of class. Students had 4 weeks to prepare for the 2-week group project. They were assigned groups, and the XB Mini Manual  was used as a guideline to help them understand their roles.

For more information on the XB mini manual, please contact the instructor here at:


  1. The instructor divided up the class in 4 groups, and in those groups, 3 teams were created.
  2. Students could select who was in the teams, but not in the groups. The students were assigned a variety of activities such as:
    1. Setting up grading criteria
    2. Creating team norms
    3. Setting up criteria to gauge if their final presentation was understood
  3. During the 2-week project, the groups carried out their work within their groups, and outside of their groups - giving discussion, case reviews, emails. The following weeks included a case review and debrief.
  4. For the first 2 weeks, students were able to ask the instructor (also known as the CLO - Chief Learning Officer) or Leading Manager (the TA) any questions. After that, all questions had to be answered through the XB program manual. However, if there was something they had to figure out (like how to work with another group, for instance the Responsibility Department) the instructor provided a suggestion but did not give guidance.
  5. In weeks 2, 3 and 4, the class had a brief discussion.
  6. In Week 5, the 4 groups started asking for time to talk to each other, give announcements and surveys.
  7. In weeks 6 & 7, the students each had to give (as a group) a discussion for approx 40-50 mins, and ran the entire class according to XB Project Rules.
  8. The OB Textbook, their research, surveys, YouTube, the XB Mini Manual, and anything they found relevant to discuss their topics. They had to make sure others understood and complied with their area, and they really went out of their comfort zone to ensure this happened

Comments: The instructor advises that it is important to pay attention to the details, to be positive and to support the students. The activity is a great and rewarding experience, but there will always be some rough patches for the students.

Assessment: The students made a presentation. There was a discussion of the experience in the following session, and learning principles were derived from the lead students for the group to share. The students wrote a summary of what they learned in a reflection and shared their grades within their group as part of the requirement of the project.

Submitted by Ashley Prisant Lesko, Business & Management