We reconsider the structure and formation of OB associations in view of recent radio and infrared observations of the adjacent molecular clouds. As a result of this reexamination, we propose that OB subgroups are formed in a step-by-step process which involves the propagation of ionization (I) and shock (S) fronts through a molecular cloud complex. OB stars formed at the edge of a molecular cloud drive these I-S fronts into the cloud. A layer of dense neutral material accumulates between the I and S fronts and eventually becomes gravitationally unstable. This process is analyzed in detail. Several arguments concerning the temperature and mass of this layer suggest that a new OB subgroup will form. After approximately one-half million years, these stars will emerge from and disrupt the star-forming layer. A new shock will be driven into the remaining molecular cloud and will initiate another cycle of star formation Several observed properties of the OB associations are shown to follow from such a sequential star-forming mechanism. These include the spatial separation and systematic differences in age of OB subgroups in a given association, the regularity of the subgroup masses, the alignment of subgroups along the galactic plane, and their physical expansion. Detailed observations of ionization fronts, masers. IR sources, and molecular clouds are also in agreement with this model. Finally, this mechanism (e.g., T. Tauri stars) which may have formed ahead of the shock as part of the original cloud collapsed and fragmented.