Organizational behavior- exam Questions Essay Example

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    Management
  • Document type:
    Math Problem
  • Level:
    Masters
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Organizational behavior- exam Questions

SectionA:ShortAnswerQuestions(total15marks)

AnswerallSIX(6)ofthefollowingquestions(seeindividualquestionsformarkand
Word allocations).

Question1A

Identify
and
comment
on
the
ways
in
which
British
Airways
went
about
changing
theirmilitaristic
and
bureaucratic culture to
a customer service
and
customer responsive culture (see the
British
Airways case
on
Moodle). Be
sure
your
comments
demonstrate your
understanding of
core
concepts
relevant
to
how
organisational
cultures
are created, sustained, and transmitted.

(100 words; 5 marks)

British airways changed from government ownership to private ownership; this way enabled British Airways focus on customer service.

British airways (BA) considered the employees through their values, skills, attitudes, and behavior; this enabled employees improve on performance.

BA unblocked the operation system and structure by changing the reward system, work design and the reporting relationship; this enabled BA improve on its operation and provision of customer service (Buchanan, et al. 2005, 203).

BA changed organizational climate; this enabled employees and management team be open to each other, thus improving decision-making.

BA focused at the new culture and made it permanent, which is the leading factor to its success

Question2A.

Outline
the sources of
“noise” that impede
effective communication, especially
electronic

communication.

(50 words; 2 marks)

Naturally occurring noise from natural effects, such as lightning, ionospheric effect, and electronic storm. Solar noise, galaxy, and hot pot are types of noise resulting from water vapour and oxygen resonance in the earth’s atmosphere.

Thermal and shot noise result from all resistances in electronics, such as semiconductor, and resonant circuit.

Question3A.

Identify two
critical
issues
in
the
forming,
storming and
norming
stages
of
group

development
(two
issues
per
stage)
and
their
implications
for
the
effective
management of
groups or teams.

(50 words; 2 marks)

Forming: critical issues are; understanding behavior of group members and responding to challenges together. These issues enable members to work as a team

Storming : tolerance and patience among team members and motivation. Members manage to solve conflicts

Norming : goal making and being responsible and ambitious. Team functions successfully.

Question 4A.

Identify
two
critical
sources
and
two
critical
consequences
of
stress
that
might
arise

from a large
scale change
management program. How could this stress be
managed?

(50 words; 2 marks)

Causes; inability to cope with change and lack of qualifications, skills, and resources to implement the change

Consequences: conflict with other people and failure of the change management program

This stress can be managed through acceptance of the change, acquisition of the necessary skills and resources, and facing the challenges of the program courageously

Question5A.

How
does
knowledge
of
French
and
Raven’s
five
bases
of
power
assist
managers
to

effectively
manage
their
power in accordance
with high standards of ethical leadership?

(50 words; 2 marks)

Managers understand five bases of power and their differences according to the manner of implementing social change, as well as the situational uses of each power. The knowledge enables managers to understand the most effective power in a specific situation and, how to use different types of power for success of one’s leadership (Cassidy, 2007, 417).

Question6A.

Comment on the
ways in
which the
Big FivePersonalityModel is a predictor
of

workplacebehaviour.

Openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism

The model is a predictor of workplace behavior through combination of the factors and identifying how they work together whereby workers are motivated to get coinciding factors (Clarke, & Robertson, 2005, 365). The factors in the model correlate with job satisfaction of the employee and discourage workplace deviance and absenteeism. Workers manage to cooperate and work as a team through the model.

SectionB:CompulsoryEssayQuestions(totalmarks=45)

Answerallpartsofthe followingTHREE (3) questions. Eachquestioniscompulsory, has a word limitof 650 and a value of 15 marks.

Question1B(continued)

Word limit: 650 words (no leeway; onlythe first 650 words will be read)

Question(i).

Discuss
the
motivation
issues
raised
in
the
case
study
above
(Starbucks:acasestudyin

motivation)
from
the
three
perspectives
below. Be
sure
to
move
beyond
simply
copying a
description of each theory.

  1. Maslow’s hierarchy
    on needs

This refers to the ways through, which people are motivated to reach the level of self-actualization from the psychological needs. The Starbucks corporation was motivated by high competition in the service industry. Schultz the CEO of Starbucks worked for safety, love or belonging and esteem to get his self-actualization that enabled in gaining success. Schultz and other employees looked for safety of the corporation and individuals and loved their work after recognizing the competitors. Employees were given benefits and training, as well as open communication that motivated and empowered them to meet goals of the organization. The CEO and managers respected employees and faced the change, thus success.

  1. Herzberg’s
    two factor
    theory

The theory states that job satisfaction in workplace is caused by motivation and hygiene. It is clear that, employees have to have well-being and get motivated for them to perform. Starbucks Corporation had to look for mental health of its employees in order to realize success where Schultz considered employees as very important asset in success of the corporation. Employees were intelligent, conscientious and they motivated and satisfied with their jobs. The well being of Sarbuck’s employees enabled the CEO to implement change and lead to success. managers had good attitudes towards the employees, thus enabling employees to understand the motives and integrity of their supervisors, thus improved performance.

  1. Adams’ equity
    theory

This theory explains the rational satisfaction through perceptions of fair and unfair distributions of organization’s resources within some interpersonal relationships. Starbuck’s management focused fair treatment of all employees and equal distribution of the corporation’s resources. Duties were equally distributed and performing employees were rewarded as a way of motivating them. Schultz encouraged teamwork where employees shared all duties and they were equally covered by health insurance from the organization. Rewards were also provided to employees equally depending with their qualifications and performance. The corporation compensated all employees equally and provided training and learning sessions to all. The corporation also provided financial assistance to employees seeking for grants, thus improving their performance.

(12 marks

Question(ii)

Given
your
discussion
in
question
(i),
what
conclusions
can
you
draw
about
the

contribution
these theories
make to
the
effective
management
of
motivation
in contemporary
workplaces? (3 marks)

The above theories works towards motivating employees to perform well and this makes requires the management team to motivate employees accordingly (Jones, Jimmieson, & Griffiths, 2005, 372). The three theories are about motivational issues towards performance in the work place. Employees require the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for them to get motivated to work well in the workplace. This is where they employees meet the psychological, and safety needs, gain love and belonging, self-esteem as well as self-actualization to be able to perform well (Goodstein, & Burke, 1999, 6). Employees are very important asset in the performance of an organization, thus require being motivated through having a good and health working environment as well as good pay for their work. Employees cannot perform well if they do not have good hygiene to reflect in the work place. Salaries and benefits provided to employees must enable them to enjoy well-being and perform well in the workplace. It is apparent that Starbuck motivated its employees by providing them with health insurance, and other benefits for them to perform well and meet the goals of the corporation.

The corporation provided training and learning programs to all employees and treated employees with equality to motivate them to perform. Parish, Cadwallader, & Busch, 2008, 35), argued that, managers have good attitude and relationship with employees and this motivates them to work as a team and lead to success of the corporation. All resources and benefits should be provided equally as per the statement of the Adam’s equal theory where fair distribution leads to success and motivation. Motivation to employees leads to success and competitiveness of an organization. Schultz and the management team in Starbuck motivated the employees by encouraging teamwork and treating them equally as well as allowing their participation in the decision-making process of the corporation. For effective management of motivation in the contemporary workplace, management team must understand the three theories and apply them when relating with employees (Rafferty, & Griffin, 2006, 1154). It is apparent that corporation’s performance, matters with the motivational ways practiced by the management team.

Question2B. (15 marks)

Word limit: 650 words (no leeway; only the first 650 words will be read)

Discuss
attribution
theory
and
why
it is
an
important
tool
for
managing
goal
oriented organisational
behaviours. Illustrate
your discussion
with
relevant
workplace applications.

Attribution theory refers to an effective way enabling people to assume that people’s behavior and values are caused by some internal, as well as external situational factors. It is the way of causal explanation of behavior and events. People form attributions for other people behavior and events and they can form attributions for their own behavior and outcomes. For example, a teacher observing a colleague teaching students incorrectly, one is likely to form attribution explanation for the behavior and make conclusion of the colleague being poorly trained. This shows that the teacher attributes the behavior to insufficient skills. A teacher may also attribute her success in teaching a student to her training and experience and for success. Attribution
theory
is
an
important
tool
for
managing
goal
oriented organizational
behaviors because leaders and managers use it to attribute workers’ behaviors and outcome in the workplace.

There are internal and external attributions and managers use them as tools in the management practice through understanding the causes of the employee’s behavior. They also help workers understand their thinking regarding their own behaviors and outcome. Through attribution theory, an organization experiences creation of a strong manager-worker relationship. Formation of attributions allows adaptation of a changing environment, as well as overcoming of the challenges faces in organizational daily activities. When a teacher experiences the desired outcomes, the attributions help one understand the causes of the events to experience the events again. This is different from the moment a teacher experiences unpleasant outcomes, attribution help him or her identify and avoid the behavior and other factors causing the outcomes to occur. If one can understand the reasons of behaving in a certain way, as well as why other people around do the same, one gains a better understanding of him or herself, other people and the organization in general. It is clear that perception of the major causes of specific behavior might affect the actions and judgment of the workers and managers.

However, the locus of causality is either internal or external and this represents the recognition of the external and internal attribution. As Holt, et al. 2007, 253), argued, the covariation model that enhances description of types of information used in making attribution decisions include; consistency, consensus, as well as distinctiveness, thus determining if behavior is based on external or internal factors. Through the attribution theory, a manager and worker manage to shape the behavioral and emotional responses to the outcome, for example a teacher who responds to his or her teaching outcome. If a teacher taught students wrongly, and attributes the teaching error to his or her carelessness ignoring performance of students, he is she is making an internal attribution (Goodstein, & Burke, 1999, 7). This would help one to correct the mistakes done and teach the necessary things for students to pass and gain success. If the same results are attributed to poor examination center results, the teacher is said to be making an external attribution.

Understanding the cause of outcomes and behavior enables in focusing at the emotional reactions and it is possible to understand that international attributions leading to undesirable events and behaviors are associated with some self-focused negative emotions including shame and guilt (Walker, Armenakis, & Bernerth, 2007, 771). On the other side, the external attributions towards the same behavior are associated with some externally focused negative emotions, such as resentment, and anger. The stable causes, such as physical and intelligence or the government laws influences behaviors and outcomes consistently across situations and over time and they are hard to change. Unstable causal factors are easy to change, thus affecting the future expectations of an individual. When there is poor performance in the work of a teacher and attributed by stable cause, it is very hard for the performance to change in future, but when the same poor performance is attributed by unstable causal factors, it is possible to change in the future. This enhances management of workers’ behavior, and meeting of organization’s goals.

Question3B. (15 marks)

Word limit: 650 words (no leeway; onlythe first 650 words will be read)

Evaluate how
organisational
change was
implemented at
British
Airways
(see
the
case on Moodle)
from the
perspective
of
Todd Jick’s 10
commandments for
managing change
(see
Moodle
for
Jick’s article).

The British Airways implemented organizational change through analyses of its organizational structure by understanding its strengths and weaknesses, structure and systems, and competitors and customers (Cohen, 1995). It saw the need of change that was, to enhance performance improvement whereby it changed it from government ownership to private ownership. This was done through improvement of skills, value, behavior, and attitude of staffs (Goodstein, & Burke, 1999, 16). British Airways changed the reward systems, work design, and reporting relationship to manageable ones and changed the organizational climate enabling staffs to solve conflicts and make decisions together. British had a vision of improving its performance and having an attractive future and this motivated it to face the external pressures. It separated its past through reduction of workers, managing its support team and promoting the top management team (Cohen, 1995). BA reduced its hierarchy levels and implemented a performance appraisal and compensation system. BA changed its climate through team building and management practices. BA created a sense of urgency through putting high effort to implement the changes with the help of employees. There airline industry is characterized by high competition and BA wanted to gain from competitive advantage, thus encouraging managers to focus to the long-term competitive threats and face them. BA changed its top management through appointment of Colin Marshall as the CEO. He was an outsider to BA and had marketing background different from that of the past.

BA developed a strong leader role through leadership of Marshall who had a vision of making BA the world’s favorite airline. Marshall aimed at changing the BA’s culture in order to implement his vision (Bordia, et al. 2004, 356). Training programs were introduced where he put staffs first and managers understood the service nature of the airline industry. The CEO employed Nicholas, a psychologist, and consultant as director of human resources who developed some specific tactics, as well as programs that would make Marshall’s vision into reality. Nicholas established training programs for the senior and middle managers, and encouraged individuals to give their feedback about behavior in management practices. The training program enabled to develop a new management style that was open and participative. There was introduction of management information systems with new staffing patterns, uniforms, and support. To line up political sponsorship, BA business was redefined through team building meetings. Managers and other staffs were innovated through formation of working bonds and healthy relationships. There was development of service quality through emotional labor where workers were supported.

BA crafted an implementation plan through changing some management team members and retaining some of past personnel staff to be change agents. A new bonus system was introduced where managers shared financial gains of BA success and opened a terminal 4 at Heathrow Airport for more functional work environment for all staffs. As articulated by Frost, & Moussavi, 2011, 11), this enabled in developing an enabling structures and reinforcements in BA with continued involvement, as well as commitment of the top management. BA believed in the need to change and made alterations in the structure and behavior of employees. Staff went through training, and motivation through being awarded prizes, meetings, recognition and quality programs, and establishment of committee’s networks. BA changed its leadership style and engaged communicate, involvement of people, and being honest to all. Staffs were told all decisions that affected their working and the management was honest about performance of the staff.

When a problem occurred, BA management developed problem-solving sessions to help employees improve their performance. According to Buchanan, et al. 2005, 197, honest enabled effective communication in BA where staffs were empowered to adopt change and be more productive (Cohen, 1995). Marshall the CEO in BA monitored, refined, and institutionalized change through supervising the working of managers and other staffs. The organizational structures and systems were rewired together with the organizational culture and mindset. BA looked at its past and learned in order to manage its future and reach the vision of change. The Marshall, Nicholas and other staffs in BA rededicated themselves through resetting their goals to implement change in BA.

References

Bordia, P., Hunt, E., Paulsen, N., Tourish, D., & DiFonzo, N. (2004). Uncertainty during organizational change: is it all about control?. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 13(3), 345-365.

Buchanan, D., Fitzgerald, L., Ketley, D., Gollop, R., Jones, J. L., Lamont, S. S., … & Whitby, E. (2005). No going back: a review of the literature on sustaining organizational change. International Journal of Management Reviews, 7(3), 189-205.

Cassidy, K. (2007). Tuckman revisited: Proposing a new model of group development for practitioners. Journal of Experiential Education, 29(3), 413-417.

Clarke, S., & Robertson, I. (2005). A meta‐analytic review of the Big Five personality factors and accident involvement in occupational and non‐occupational settings. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 78(3), 355-376.

Cohen, A. (1995). The Portable MBA in Management, New York: Wiley.

Frost, T. F., & Moussavi, F. (2011). The relationship between leader power base and influence: the moderating role of trust. Journal of Applied Business Research (JABR), 8(4), 9-14.

Goodstein, L., D. & Burke, W., W.(1999). Creating Successful Organization Change. ‘Organizational Dynamics, Spring, pp. 5-17.

Holt, D. T., Armenakis, A. A., Feild, H. S., & Harris, S. G. (2007). Readiness for Organizational Change The Systematic Development of a Scale. The Journal of applied behavioral science, 43(2), 232-255.

Jones, R. A., Jimmieson, N. L., & Griffiths, A. (2005). The impact of organizational culture and reshaping capabilities on change implementation success: The mediating role of readiness for change. Journal of Management Studies, 42(2), 361-386.

Parish, J. T., Cadwallader, S., & Busch, P. (2008). Want to, need to, ought to: employee commitment to organizational change. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 21(1), 32-52.

Rafferty, A. E., & Griffin, M. A. (2006). Perceptions of organizational change: a stress and coping perspective. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91(5), 1154.

Walker, H. J., Armenakis, A. A., & Bernerth, J. B. (2007). Factors influencing organizational change efforts: an integrative investigation of change content, context, process and individual differences. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 20(6), 761-773.