Organizational Behavior: The State of the Science

By Jerald Greenberg | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 10
TECHNIQUES FOR TEACHING OB IN THE COLLEGE CLASSROOM

Craig Lundberg Cornell University

The title of this chapter will appear to most readers as both ambitious and foolhardy, yet welcome. The field of organizational behavior (OB) is currently taught in nearly all professional schools and programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as to executives. For numerous reasons it is predictable that OB will be taught in an almost bewildering number of ways. Some of these reasons include: the relative recency and the enormous breadth of subject matter in OB (as evidenced in the other chapters of this volume); OB's multiple overlaps with management generally and the several functional areas of business, the variety of backgrounds, training and experience of OB faculty; the heterogeneity of institutional purposes and values where OB teaching occurs; and the pressures--organizational and personal--for reputation, visibility and security, and so on. Given OB's subject matter, it is not surprising that OB instruction often utilizes, clearly more than any other business field, a more reflexive, more process and context sensitive, and learning centered set of classroom methods. Unfortunately, to date, there have been no attempts to describe or assess OB's instructional methods. Yet, because OB's diverse and evolving knowledge is consciously disseminated, there is a need to highlight both the variety and the vitality of OB instruction. This task is undertaken in this chapter.

This chapter is organized into four major sections. The first sketches the brief, but multifaceted history of teaching OB in the college classroom. The second section describes the rather wide array of classroom teaching techniques currently in use. The third section discusses several ideas and values underlying the design

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