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									       What is XB?
      A classroom-as-organization that engages participants
XB    with the skills, attitudes, and knowledge of management.

      A class that doesn't start with "Let's pretend that …" combines
      aspects of simulation, case, game, lecture, and encounter group, but
      it's not quite any of them. Call it XB: the eXperience Base.

      Other ways of teaching Management and Organizational Behavior
      approaches have benefits and drawbacks. Lectures present theory to
      those who can stay awake. Games keep you awake but oversimplify
      reality. Cases present realistic dilemmas, but you imagine decisions
      that you couldn't really execute. Simulations draw you in, but you
      have to play a pretend role and then suspend the simulation for
      theoretical discussion. Folding paper airplanes proves easier than
      learning. Nor does emotional involvement in a simulation replicate
      real organizational experience. How do you feel about encounter
      groups? You learn a lot about yourself through deep emotional
      experience. Maybe too deep! Besides, the "unstructured" group
      environment won't teach you much about complex organizations.

      XB skims the cream and dumps the whey of these approaches. The
      teacher – "Senior Manager" - creates an organization with a mission:
      for participants to teach each other, learn organizational behavior,
      and practice management. The XB Manual (each participant receives
      one) contains instructions for every task. These programmed tasks
      are divided, creating departments (and the opportunity to talk about
      departmentalization). The Senior Manager delegates responsibility for
      execution to the participants and then sits back to let the participants
      run the organization.

      It doesn't work.

      It doesn't work for the same reasons that real-world organizations
      don’t work. People don't do what other participants ask them to do;
      they don't read, for example. Participants experience a modicum of
      the chaotic reality whose chill presence disturbs the sleep of every
      entrepreneur. They feel the weight of their responsibility for leading
      other participants to achieve their assigned objectives, and they
      recognize a fear that has shaped organizations since the dawn of
      history but whose overhead cost organizations can no longer afford in
      the age of information, fear of peers. They appeal to the Senior
      Manager (The Leviathan!) to assume control. The Senior Manager
      steadfastly delegates. It doesn't work.

      But when XB doesn't work, it does work. With learning as our
      mission, we observe whatever happens as a case from the literature
      and then do what management theory tells us to do. Learning from
reading, coaching, and making mistakes, each department learns to
run its own aspect of the organization and sees how its function ties
in to the whole.

Participants learn how to observe with discipline, to think before
acting, to take responsibility, and to use personal commitment to get
others to accomplish objectives. XB becomes an organization of real
people doing real work.

Description of XB for Professors of Management and
Organizational Behavior

Description of XB Pedagogy for All Teachers

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