Organizational Theory and Behavior

1.  It is around 1830 and you are a part of a family in England living in a rural area.  Your family has subsisted off of a small farm and you have made money to buy other necessities by working as part of a cottage industry in textiles.  You were just told that your services would no longer be needed in the cottage industry because a new plant has been set up in the nearby city.  You have been offered the opportunity to work in the new factory, but it would mean having to move to the city because factory work would involve long hours.  You know that your spouse and six children cannot survive on subsisting alone, but it could make due with increased factory pay.  Discuss the changes that your family will face moving to the city and how this new “industrial revolution” will lead to the need for organizational study and theories.  (20 pts)

2.  As a new manager, you are discussing challenges that your organization is facing with performance.  Your colleagues seemed surprised that everyone performed at a high level during the last two weeks when a headquarters evaluation team was at the site when performance had been much lower in the past.  You have the chance to enlighten him/her.  What are some of the conclusions about human behavior in the workplace that were uncovered by the Hawthorne studies? (10pts)

3.  You now have the opportunity to lead an organization as the newly hired CEO.  One of the things you noted during the hiring process was that the organizational culture seemed to be taking the organization in the wrong directions.  You also noted that there seemed to be groups and cliques that had their own ways of doing things within the organization. As the new leader, how can you help create a strong culture in the organization? Explain and cite examples. Can a leader eliminate culture without replacing it with something else?  (20 pts)

4.  You are in a management position in your organization and have experienced success at getting your team to be effective at accomplishing its goals.  One of your colleagues has years of experience and is known for his/her management skills.  He/she is very “systems oriented” and organized and always seems to complete tasks on time – yet something seems missing.  There is little creativity from their group and also little commitment.  His/her staff has high turnover – not promotions but lateral moves.  There doesn’t seem to be much relationship between your colleague and his/her team.  What might be at play here?  If your colleague was open to suggestion, what might you recommend?  Is it possible to be a good manager but a poor leader?  (20 pts)

5.  Your organization is very diverse, but there are certain parts of the organization that seem to be less diverse than others.  Some of the interactions between groups are not ideal and you suspect there may be some bias involved.  Though you know there is some stereotyping, you are not aware of any prejudice or scapegoating.  You want to make sure your team is aware of the differences and how to recognize them. Explain the terms stereotyping, prejudice and scapegoating and how they are related? (20 pts)

6.  As a new manager in an organization, you know from the CMGT 572 class that there is a psychological contract that exists between you and your subordinates.  What are some of the specifics of this perceived contract that you will be expected to live up to? What will you expect from your subordinates as part of this contract?(10 pts)

7.  One of the challenges in your new position is that rewards were not being used effectively in the past.  You want to make sure that as the new supervisor, that you have a rewards system in place that increases effectiveness within your organization.  You know from your CMGT 572 class that while the relationship between rewards and satisfaction is not perfectly understood it is generally recognized that reward packages satisfy three criteria. The key to getting an effective rewards system is based on being able to address these. What are these criteria and what are some examples of rewards that might meet the criteria identified? (20 pts)

8.  Good team work is vital to the success of your organization.  As a new manager you want to encourage cohesiveness with your teams.  What are some things you can do to encourage cohesiveness?  What is the relationship between cohesiveness of a work group and conformity to group norms and what do you need to watch out for as your work groups become more cohesive? (20 pts)

9.  As a leader/manager in your organization you typically will have to deal with negotiation in a variety of ways during your career.  You think back to your CMGT 572 class and remember some things about negotiation and remember that there are different approaches to negotiating. You also remember that you can control and prepare for how you will negotiate. What negotiation approach will you adopt and why? (20 pts)

10.  “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely” Lord Acton 1887- You remember from CMGT 572 that power is necessary in organizations to accomplish goals, but you also know that power can be abused and misused. What can you as a leader/manager do to ensure that power is kept in check and used for intended purpose? (20 pts)

11.  As a new leader/manager you know from your CMGT 572 class that communication plays a major part in organization effectiveness. What are some things you can do as a leader to ensure good communication within your organization?  Describe some examples that illustrate the benefits of improved communication.  Who is responsible for the message received? (10 pts)

12.  As a new leader in your organization you know from your CMGT 572 course that change is a necessary component to keep your organization effective and successful.  But you also know that people are naturally resistant to change. In what ways do employees commonly resist change and what can you do to establish a culture that is more accepting of change? What can you do about overt and covert resistance? (10 pts)

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