Organization Behavior

Organization behavior is an interdisciplinary major that combines the theoretical understanding of an organization’s influence on the behaviors and attitudes of individuals with practical applications of that influence within an organization. The major gives students a broad conceptual foundation, drawing upon insights from management theory, social psychology, sociology and communication studies, while developing the communication and analytical skills needed to pursue careers in management, consulting, human resources or entrepreneurship.

Developed collaboratively by schools across Northwestern University, including the Kellogg School of Management, the School of Communication, and the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, the organization behavior major offers a curriculum taught by instructors with expertise in both the theory and practice of organizational behavior. Students in the major develop an understanding of how organizations work, while acquiring sophisticated communication skills and a quantitative competency.

Organization Behavior Courses

ACCOUNT 201-DL Introduction to Financial Accounting (1 Unit)  

Introduction to the financial accounting process, including the identification, recording, and communication of accounting information to external users. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and how their framework fosters the relevance and reliability of financial statements.

COMM_ST 205-DL Theories of Persuasion (1 Unit)  

Survey of major theories that explain how to change another person's attitudes and behaviors. Applications to persuasion within a variety of contexts, including relationships, organizations, legal campaigns, and the mass culture.

COMM_ST 250-DL Team Leadership and Decision Making (1 Unit)  

Theories and research relating to communication in small groups and group decision making.

COMM_ST 360-DL Theories of Organizational Communication (1 Unit)  

Effective communication behaviors and skills for contemporary organizations. Dimensions of organizational communication, including listening, nonverbal communication, ethics, and values. Interactive exercises and practical applications of theory.

ENGLISH 205-DL Intermediate Composition (1 Unit)  

Expository writing at an intermediate level. Emphasis on techniques for writing clearly, precisely, and persuasively. May be repeated for credit with different topic.

ENGLISH 205-CN Intermediate Composition (1 Unit)  

Expository writing at an intermediate level. Emphasis on techniques for writing clearly, precisely, and persuasively. May be repeated for credit with different topic.

FINANCE 202-DL Introduction to Finance (1 Unit)  

Introduction to the basic concepts and models used in finance.

Prerequisite: MATH 101-CN, STAT 202-CN, or college algebra, statistics, financial accounting, microeconomics, and macroeconomics, or equivalents. Carries business credit.

ORG_BEH 301-DL Organization Behavior (1 Unit)  

Examination of aspects of organizations from an integrated perspective, including how the formal organization, culture, people and work can all connect to transform inputs to outputs. Emphasis on understanding individual differences as the foundation of our interpersonal and managerial effectiveness.

ORG_BEH 307-DL Leadership Principles (1 Unit)  

This course introduces the theory and practice of leadership: the capacity to mobilize group resources to affect fundamental change in organizations. Topics include understanding organizations as complex social systems; the difference between leadership and managerial authority; navigating the politics of competing factions within organizations to achieve shared goals; emotional intelligence and the role of building and maintaining relationships of trust to drive optimal performance and continuous improvement; and the role of leadership in creating an environment in which risk-taking and innovative solutions are encouraged, learned from, and rewarded. The classroom, as well as students' experiences, will serve as foundational learning and ultimately become case studies in leadership.

ORG_BEH 310-DL Organizational Change (1 Unit)  

In-depth investigation of the forces driving organizational change and their impact on people and structure.

PSYCH 213-CN Social Psychology (1 Unit)  

Psychological processes underlying social behavior; topics include social cognition, attraction, aggression, prejudice, and behavior in groups. Carries social science credit.

Prerequisite: PSYCH 110-CN.

SOCIOL 226-DL Sociological Analysis (1 Unit)  

Logic and methods of social research, qualitative and quantitative analysis of social data, and ethical, political, and policy issues in social research. Foundation for further work in social research.

SOCIOL 302-DL Sociology of Organizations (1 Unit)  

Structure and function of formal organizations, especially in business and government. Stratification, social control, and conflict. Discretion, rules, and information in achieving goals. Modes of participation. Development of informal norms.

STAT 202-DL Introduction to Statistics and Data Science (1 Unit)  

This course provides an introduction to the basic concepts of statistics. Throughout the course, students will learn to: summarize data using graphs and tables; explain/calculate descriptive statistics, confidence intervals, correlation, regression, and probability; and explain tests of significance and data-production including sampling and experiments. Basic knowledge of algebra is recommended.