Osland, Kolb, and Rubin continue to make a fine book better. The buyer is well advised to think about the title before making a purchase. Organizational Behavior: an Experiential Approach makes clear that much of the text will be devoted to things like "Learning Style Inventories," "Thematic Apperception Tests," "Past Experience Inventories", "Active Listening Exercises," Case Studies, Role Plays, and the like. Many of these exercises may be easily completed and scored by the reader. Some, like the Thematic Apperception Test, are difficult for the reader to score accurately, but not impossible. Many of the exercises, such as active listening, require a partner, and some simulations require a larger group to complete the work.
The introductory text to the experiential exercises at the end of each chapter is well written and instructive. In a few words the authors make valuable points about perception, motivation, leadership, decision-making and problem solving, group work, and team development. They have in mind the professional manager who has on-the-job experience; a younger reader might find it difficult to relate to the tone and style of the book, which is aimed at a literate, educated, intelligent audience.
College professors, many of whom are a finicky lot, have adopted this book for their organizational behavior courses for over twenty years. That they continue to select this text is testimony to its enduring appeal and value.
For those readers who want a more conventional approach to the subject of organizational behavior, Stephen Robbins has written a variety of OB books that are comprehensive, readable, and even entertaining. Robbins covers more ground than Osland, but has less room for personal application of the material.
The reader who wants to learn from concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experiementation will find Organizational Behavior: an Experiential Approach an excellent resource for further study and application.