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After hearing a seminar on organizational learning, a mining company executive argues that this perspective ignores the fact that mining companies could not rely on knowledge alone to stay in business. They also need physical capital (such as digging and ore processing equipment) and land (where the minerals are located). In fact, these two may be more important than what employees carry around in their heads. Evaluate the mining executive's comments?
It is said that the CEO and other corporate leaders are keepers of the organization's memory. Please discuss this.
A federal government department has high levels of absenteeism among the office staff. The head of office administration argues that employees are misusing the company's sick leave benefits. However, some of the mostly female staff members have explained that family responsibilities interfere with work. Using the MARS model, as well as your knowledge of absenteeism behavior, discuss some of the possible reasons for absenteeism here and how it might be reduced.
It has been said that all employees are motivated. Do you agree with this statement?
The organization for which you have been working for five years is suffering from a global recession. In response, it changes your compensation structure. Discuss the role of moral intensity, moral sensitivity, and situational influences in this context?
You have been asked to select job applicants for a nine-month over-winter assignment working in an Antarctic research station with a dozen other people. Assuming that all candidates have equal skills, experience, and health, identify the level of each personality dimension that would be best for people working in these remote, confined, and isolated conditions?
Imagine a situation of conflict between you and your boss. Discuss how understanding the elements of self concept, its complexity, consistency, and clarity may be useful in such a situation?
Job satisfaction leads to increased job performance. This statement has supplanted earlier thought on how job performance doesn't necessarily depend on job satisfaction. What has caused the shift in thought over the years, and do you agree with this assessment?
In this chapter, we highlighted work-related stressors such as harassment and incivility, workload, and lack of task control. Of course, there are many non-work-related stressors that increasingly come into the discussion. Please discuss these and discuss their impact on the work environment?
Identify the various ways that employees expressed their job dissatisfaction on the LINK650?
Shaun O'Neill's commitment to the LINK organization dwindled over his two years of employment. Discuss the factors that affected his organizational commitment?
Recall a traumatic event, such as the falling of the Twin Towers in NYC (9/11 attacks), or the bombing of several hotels and restaurants in Mumbai, or the children killed recently in an American school. Based on what you have learned in this chapter, discuss what has happened to you in terms of your cognitive reasoning, your emotional reactions, and your ability to logically deal with these stressful situations?
It has almost become a mandatory practice for companies to ensure that employees have fun at work. Many workplaces now have fully-stocked lounges, games rooms, funky painted walls, and regular social events. A few even have a slide to travel down to the next floor. However, some experts warn that imposing fun at work can have negative consequences. "Once the idea of fun is formally institutionalized from above, it can lead to employees becoming resentful," warns one critic. "They feel patronized and condescended, and it breeds anger and frustration." Apply the attitude model to explain how fun activities might improve customer satisfaction, as well as how they might result in poorer customer satisfaction?
Discuss the expectancy theory model, including its practical implications?
Most people think they are "worth more" than they are paid. Furthermore, most employees seem to feel that they exhibit better leadership skills and interpersonal skills than others. Please comment on this human tendency?
Which of the performance reward practices-individual, team, or organizational-would work better in improving organizational goals? Please comment with reference to an organization of your choice.
Waco Tire Corporation redesigned its production facilities around a team-based system. However, the company president believes that employees will not be motivated unless they receive incentives based on their individual performance. Give three reasons why Waco Tire should introduce team-based rather than individual rewards in this setting?
A fresh graduate is offered a job by an employer she admires even before she can start her job search. The student thinks it is an opportunity and jumps to it. Do you think there is an effect of emotions in her decision making?
Two characteristics of creative people are that they have relevant experience and are persistent in their quest. Does this mean that people with the most experience and the highest need for achievement are the most creative? Explain your answer. Discuss.
A software engineer in the United States needs to coordinate with four team members in geographically dispersed areas of the world. What team challenges might the team experience, and how will they affect the team design elements?
The chief marketing officer of Sawgrass Widgets wants marketing and sales staff to identify new uses for its products. Which of the four team structures for creative decision making would you recommend? Describe and justify this process to Sawgrass's chief marketing officer.
What symptom(s) in this case suggest that something has gone wrong?
What are the main causes of these symptoms?
What actions should executives take to correct these problems?
"An organization comes into being when people can communicate with each other." Discuss the benefits and limitations of communicating with e-mails among team members?
Until recently, a mining company's data resided in the department that was responsible for that information. Property data were on the computers in land administration, hydrocarbon data were in the well administration group, maps were found in the map department, and so on. The executive team concluded that this arrangement was dysfunctional, so the CEO announced that all information would be placed on a central server system so it is widely accessible. If someone needs a color map, for example, he or she can retrieve it from the central server without going through the map department. Rather than welcome the change, employees in several departments complained, offering several arguments why other groups should not have direct access to their data files. Some departments tried to opt out of the centralized server system. Using the model of sources and contingencies of power, explain why some groups opposed the central server model of data access?
Consider a situation in which there is a only one female member on a team of six people, and she is generally excluded from informal gatherings of the team. What kind of influence tactics can she use to address this situation?
In the mid-1990s, the CEO of Apple Computer invited the late Steve Jobs (who was not associated with the company at the time) to serve as a special adviser and raise morale among Apple employees and customers. While doing so, Jobs spent more time advising the CEO on how to cut costs, redraw the organization chart, and hire new people. Before long, most of the top people at Apple were Jobs' colleagues, who began to systematically evaluate and weed out teams of Apple employees. While publicly supporting Apple's CEO, Jobs privately criticized him and, in a show of non-confidence, sold the 1.5 million shares of Apple stock he had received. This action caught the attention of Apple's board of directors, who soon after decided to replace the CEO with Steve Jobs. The CEO claimed Jobs was a conniving back-stabber who used political tactics to get his way. Others suggest that Apple would be out of business today if he hadn't taken over the company. In your opinion, were Steve Jobs' actions examples of organizational politics? Justify your answer.
What sources and contingencies of power existed among the executives and departments at Resonus?
Suppose you are a consultant invited to propose a solution to the problems facing this organization's product delays. What would you recommend, particularly regarding power dynamics among the executives and departments?
Analyze this case in terms of the sources of conflict and conflict handling styles. Your answer should also briefly identify incidents of manifest conflict?
You have just been transferred from one unit of the organization to another unit. On the last day of work in the first unit, your current manager calls your new manager, informing her that you are a tough candidate and that you possess an attitude. The would-be manager calls you, providing you with the information, and expresses apprehension. How would you resolve this conflict?
You are a new program manager with responsibility for significant funding and external relations, and because of downsizing issues in your area, you have lost two valuable employees (actually 1.5, because the second person is on half time now; she used to be your manager and was the person under whom you trained). You have been in the new job approximately two weeks; however, you have been in the unit for more than a year and seen how systems are man- aged, from your manager's perspective. You now have her job. Out of the blue, a senior person (not in your area) comes to you and says he is taking most of your space (when the company had to let the 1.5 people go). He doesn't ask your permission, nor does he seem the least bit concerned with what your response is. What do you do?
Identify and discuss the sources of conflict between Porsche and Volkswagen executives.
Describe the conflict handling styles used by Wendelin Wiedeking and Ferdinand Piëch. Were they appropriate in this situation?
How do you think emotional intelligence, cognitive and practical intelligence influence authentic leadership?
Valve Corporation's organizational structure was described at the beginning of this chapter. What coordinating mechanism is likely most common in this organization? Describe the extent and form in which the other two types of coordination might be apparent at Valve.
Mechanistic and organic structures are two organizational forms. How do the three types of coordination mechanisms operate through these forms?
How have the division and coordination of labor evolved at Merritt's Bakery from its beginnings to today?
Describe how span of control, centralization, and formalization have changed at Merritt's Bakery over the years. Is the company's organizational structure today more mechanistic or organic? Are these three organizational structure elements well-suited to the company in their current form? Why or why not?
What form of departmentalization currently exists at Merritt's Bakery? Would you recommend this form of departmentalization to this company? Why or why not?
Is it possible to have a knowledge of what an organizational culture is before you become a part of the organization? How important is it for you to align yourself with your organizational culture?
In Chapter 2, we discussed "values across cultures," including individualism, collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and achievement orientation. How are these national cultures different from and similar to an organization's culture?
1. In your opinion, what are the dominant cultural values in this organization? Explain your answer.
2. What are the positive aspects of this type of culture?
3. What are the negative aspect of this type of culture?
4. What is this organization's main business, in your opinion? Explain your answer.
5. These groups all reported to one manager. What advice would you give to her about this unit?
What is the role of formal and informal networks in organizations interested in undergoing change?
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