Vicarious Observational Learning through Visual Media: The 12 Angry Men Film as an Organizational Behavior Primer


  • J. Duane Hoover Texas Tech University


The classic 1957 black and white film 12 Angry Men is used as a primer for an organizational behavior course, a mechanism that sets the stage for and reinforces the unfolding of the course over the duration of the semester. This use of film as visual media is placed in the context of vicarious observational learning theory. Adopting the framework of whole person experiential learning, the paper illustrates the use of the cognitive dimension through the use of course concepts, the emotional dimension through the dramatic elements of the film, and then behavioral skill preparation as the group dynamics illustrated in the movie are dissected and put into the mode of potential application in any group or team setting. An example of a 14-item course handout that is utilized by students as they view the film is provided and discussed.