The first time I taught an introductory organizational behavior class was in 1980 or 1981. I was a second-year doctoral student in organizational psychology at The University of Michigan. I had no teaching experience (except for one guest lecture I had given to a large undergrad class -- it was terrible; harried and dull). Yet that didn't stop the the Michigan Business School from giving me the chance to teach the class to some 60 students. I sure learned a lot that year... I still remember the strapping 250 pound football player who broke down in tears after he failed a test (to his credit, he passed the class once he started studying harder).
I have taught various versions of the class perhaps 35 times by now, and in some ways it remains the same. There are certain topics that, at least in my view, always ought to be included such as motivation, employee selection and socialization, influence, leadership, and teams. Over the years, I have started emphasizing innovation and organizational culture a bit more, and I do focus more explicitly on evidence-based management and the challenges of weaving academic research with real managerial decisions and actions.
And perhaps the main change is that I do straight lecture less and introduce more interaction. Although I still present material, I press students more to comment, to do lots of short writing assignments, to work in teams, to do short presentations, and to do in-class interactive exercises. I also bring in more people from the "real world" who can bring the lessons from the class alive. Every year, I add another small element or two to make the class a bit more interactive and realistic. And now, I put most of the materials on an online platform called NovoEd, which makes things a lot easier. But the heart of the class happens live -- the platform just makes things easier. It still is a different animal than the leadership class that I help to teach at the Stanford d.school, as there is still a lot of discussion, reading, and writing, while the "d.leadership" class entails embedding duos in organizations with the aim of making them more creative.
My favorite part of the organizational behavior class is the final exam. Students learn the question on the very first day of class: "Design the ideal organization: Use course concepts to defend your answer." It is VERY difficult, it forces students to think all term about which lessons matter most and how they fit together, and the best exams are astoundingly good. And when students try to write it the night before (despite all sorts of measures to stop them, including a draft due about 10 days before the deadline), it shows. I wrote a post here on the final a few years back, and as I said, I guess my answer to the question is The No Asshole Rule! although I didn't restrict myself to 2000 or 3000 words!
I start teaching it again in a few days, and I am, as usual, quite excited to do so. Here is the outline if you are interested (note that about 80% of the links are live and most of the readings are free to anyone): 280_Syllabus_2015Winter_In_Class_JAN3rdRIS.
This class is taught in the the Stanford Engineering School, as is our d.school class (the d.school is also part of the Engineering School, although a lot of MBAs do take our classes), but I do think that, despite all the hand wringing about how irrelevant traditional management education is becoming and how the MBA education is going to become "disrupted" is overblown. Yes, we are moving things onto the web for efficiency reasons, and a lot of the stuff on the web is becoming more social, interactive, and realistic.
But there is still no substitute for a live class discussion, having an in person interaction with someone like IDEO's marketing head Whitney Mortimer or earlier stage venture capitalist Michael Dearing, or sitting down, face to face, and going through line after line of a draft with a student. In fact,my view is that what we've been learning from online education is teaching us to make in-class education better (to focus on what works best live and in-person) and what we learn in-class makes online education better (e.g., an online "lecture" is a lot better after you have given it live to 10 or 15 groups). In addition, it many cases, the dividing line between "online" and "off" is blurring, as we might give students an assignment online, then have them do it live in-class or in a company, and then perhaps post it on an online platform.
So while there always be bumps along the way, I am optimistic that "traditional" business education is changing for the better as a result of all the online stuff, and the online stuff will keep getting better too, but it won't go away anytime soon.