The Buddy Project: A Semester Long Project Aimed at Developing an Appreciation for Diversity


  • Jan Zahrly


The Buddy Project is a semester-long experiential exercise in an undergraduate organizational behavior or human resource management class. Students examine their personal values and attitudes and compare them to the values and attitudes of a person believed to be very different from the student. Students select their own subjects, perform original research, apply relevant management theory to the “different” subject, and examine how they (the students) have changed as a result of the exercise. Assignments include an oral and written term project and various homework papers. This exercise has been used successfully in a very homogeneous university (87.6 % of the students were white/non-Hispanic American). Students have demonstrated an appreciation for University and have rated the exercise highly.