Program Overview:

Major in 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.

Program Goals

Graduates will be prepared to:

  • Integrate knowledge of organizational behavior and other social sciences, communication studies, and the fundamentals of finance and accounting for application to real-world scenarios
  • Demonstrate analytic, communication, collaborative and problem-solving skills
  • Lead, communicate, and work effectively with diverse individuals and teams across organizations
  • Understand the effects of behavior at the individual, team and organizational levels on an organization
  • Demonstrate ability to make the crucial decisions required of leaders of complex organizations

Required Courses

Communication Foundation

  • COMM ST 205 Theories of Persuasion
  • COMM ST 250 Team Leadership and Decision Making
  • COMM ST 360 Theories of Organizational Communication
  • ENGLISH 205 Intermediate Composition: Business Communication


Organization Behavior

  • ORG BEH 301 Organization Behavior
  • ORG BEH 307 Leadership Principles and Practice
  • ORG BEH 310 Organizational Change
  • PSYCH 204 Social Psychology
  • SOCIOL 302 Sociology of Organizations


Analytical Foundation

  • ACCOUNT 201 Introduction to Financial Accounting
  • FINANCE 202 Introduction to Finance
  • SOCIOL 226 Sociological Analysis
  • STAT 202 Introduction to Statistics
  • 3 300-level courses in organization behavior or communication studies, focused on organization behavior (courses in other disciplines may satisfy this requirement, with consent of Assistant Dean)

Program Details

Organization behavior is concerned with how people interact with each other in the workplace and how their behavior impacts an organization. The study of human resources, employee compensation, employment law and labor relations is complemented by deeper examination of psychological and social motives for employee behavior through courses in sociology and psychology. 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 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.