The Nationalsozialistische Betriebszellenorganisation (NSBO) was formally formed on 15 January 1931, but the prehistory of this organization began a few years earlier.
The first workplace-groups for NSDAP voters was formed in 1928, when Johannes Engel formed the NS Wählerschaft, later redesignated NS Arbeiterkampfbund, in the Knorr Brake factory in Berlin.
The Gauorganisationsleiter in Berlin, Reinhold Muchow, suggested in June the same year that such groups (known as Zellen) should be formed in all workplaces and he formed a Sekretariat für Arbeiterangelegenheiten together with Engel. In May 1930 the Gaubetriebszellenabteilung was formed in Berlin with Muchow and Engel as its leaders.
There was soon calls to form such Zellen all over the country and a Reichsbetriebszellenabteilung (RBA) was formed on 15 January 1931 and it was redesignated the NSBO 8 Mar 1931.

The leader of the Deutsche Arbeitsfront (DAF), Dr Ley announced that the NSBO was to be made a part of the DAF on 2 May 1933. Now began an internal struggle between Ley (loyal to Hitler and his brand of Nazism) and the NSBO, dominated by left-wingers loyal to Strasser. The NSBO generally saw themselves as fighting for the worker against the capitalists and even went on strikes together with the communists.
The power of the NSBO was soon weakened and the final blow was the Night of the Long Knives in 1934 when Hitler acted against the left-wing of the party organization and several of the NSBO leaders was arrested.
The NSBO survived until the end of the war, but it was a mere shadow of its former self.