Questions on Organizational Behavior Prepared by Dr. Stephen Hartman, School of Management, New York Institute of Technology. 1. How have American companies suffered in recent years? In an effort to reduce costs, restructuring and downsizing have affected almost every organization. However, recent research suggests that there are costs for these organizations in terms of their impaired ability to perform long term. Many companies have shown poor leadership when trying to capitalize on technological breakthroughs; e. g. , Kodak; Xerox. 2.
What are some of the new challenges confronting managers in today’s business environment? The global, one-world economy is changing the nature of competition. The second generation of the Information Age, marked by advances in decision support and telecommunications technology, is changing the nature of work in all organizations. The “quality Service Revolution” is changing the focus of competition among world competitors as product and service quality become increasingly important to consumers, both internally and externally. 3. What are the three dimensions of management and how are they important.
The three dimension of management are technical, conceptual, and human. It is absolutely essential for managers to develop meaningful solutions to today’s complex management problems by using innovative technological solutions that provide answers to problems people and organizations are having. Furthermore, it is critical to management’s success that they be able to meaningfully understand human resource needs and be able to successfully deploy these resources. 4. What are the differences between organizational behavior, organization theory (OT), personnel/human resources (P/HR), and organization development?
Organizational behavior is theoretical and micro-oriented. OT is theoretical and macro-oriented. P/HR is applied and micro-oriented. OD is applied and macro-oriented. 5. Discuss Henri Fayol’s contributions to organizational theory. Henri Fayol has been called the father of management. Henri Fayol was a successful French industrialist. He also created the first school of management. He was responsible for developing the major classical management concepts of planning, organizing, developing, staffing, coordinating, and budgeting (PODSCORB).
He also was the first to develop the importance of lateral communications with his gang plank theory of communications in organization. Henri Fayol belongs to the administrative management branch of the classical school. His entire working career was spent with a mining company, Commentary-Fourchambault Company, where he rose from an apprentice to General Manager in 1888 remaining there until his retirement in 1918. He is credited with turning the company around from a threatened bankruptcy into a strong financial position by the time of his retirement at age 77.
As a result of his management experience, Fayol strongly believed management theories could be developed and taught to others. His first writing on administration, Administration Industrielle et Generale, was published in 1916 in the Bulletin of the Society of Mineral Industries and later appeared as a book. The book became prominent in the United States after a second English translation appeared in 1949 under the title General and Industrial Management. Henri Fayol’s Fourteen Management Principles a. Division of Work.
Division of work, specialization, produces more and better work with the same effort. It focuses effort while maximizing employee efforts. It is applicable to all work including technical applications. There are limitations to specialization which are determined by its application. b. Authority and responsibility. Authority is the right to give orders and the power to exact obedience. Distinction must be made between a manager’s official authority deriving from office and personal authority created through individual personality, intelligence and experience.
Authority creates responsibility. c. Discipline. Obedience and respect between a firm and its employees based on clear and fair agreements is absolutely essential to the functioning of any organization. Good discipline requires managers to apply sanctions whenever violations become apparent. d. Unity of command. An employee should receive orders from only one superior. Employees cannot adapt to dual command. e. Unity of direction. Organizational activities must have one central authority and one plan of action. f. Subordination of Individual Interest to General Interest.
The interests of one employee or group of employees are subordinate to the interests and goals of the organization and cannot prevail over it. g. Remuneration of Personnel. Salaries are the price of services rendered by employees. It should be fair and provide satisfaction both to the employee and employer. The rate of remuneration is dependent on the value of the services rendered as determined by the employment market. h. Centralization. The optimum degree of centralization varies according to the dynamics of each organization. The objective of centralization is the best utilization of personnel. . Scalar chain. A chain of authority exists from the highest organizational authority to the lowest ranks. While needless departure from the chain of command should be discouraged, using the “gang plank” principle of direct communication between employees can be extremely expeditious and increase the effectiveness of organizational communication. j. Order. Organizational order for materials and personnel is essential. The right materials and the right employees are necessary for each organizational function and activity. l. Equity.
In organizations equity is a combination of kindliness and justice. The desire for equity and equality of treatment are aspirations to be taken into account in dealing with employees. m. Stability of Tenure of Personnel. In order to attain the maximum productivity of personnel, it is essential to maintain a stable work force. Management insecurity produces undesirable consequences. Generally the managerial personnel of prosperous concerns is stable, that of unsuccessful ones is unstable. n. Initiative. Thinking out a plan and ensuring its success is an extremely strong motivator.
At all levels of the organizational ladder zeal and energy on t he part of employees are augmented by initiative. o Esprit de Corps. Teamwork is fundamentally important to an organization. This is encouraged by creating work teams and using extensive face-to-face verbal communication. While subsequent organizational research has created controversy over many of Fayol’s principles, they are still widely used in management theory. 6. Discuss Max Weber’s contributions to organizational theory. Max Weber can be classified in the bureaucratic management branch of the classical school.
Weber, the son of a prominent Bismarckian era German politician, was raised in Berlin and studied law at the University of Berlin. After assuming an appointment teaching law at the University of Berlin, Weber assumed teaching appointments in economics at the Universities of Freiburg, Heidelberg, Vienna, ending with his death after a bout with pneumonia. Weber’s interest in organizations evolves from his view of the institutionalization of power and authority in the modern Western world. He constructed a “rational-legal authority” model of an ideal type bureaucracy.
This ideal type rested on a belief in the “legality” of patterns of normative rules and the right of those elevated to authority to issue commands (legal authority). Weber postulated the rules and regulations of a bureaucracy serve to insulate its members against the possibility of personal favoritism. Weber Believes All Bureaucracies Have Certain Characteristics: a. A well defined hierarchy. All positions within a bureaucracy are structured in a way permitting the higher positions to supervise and control the lower positions. This provides a clear chain of command facilitating control and order throughout the organization. . Division of labor and specialization. All responsibilities in an organization are rationalized to the point where each employee will have the necessary expertise to master a particular task. This necessitates granting each employee the requisite authority to complete all such tasks. c. Rules and regulations. All organizational activities should be rationalized to the point where standard operating procedures are developed to provide certainty and facilitate coordination. d. Impersonal relationships between managers and employees.
Weber believes it is necessary for managers to maintain an impersonal relationship with the employees because of the need to have a rational decision making process rather than one influenced by favoritism and personal prejudice. This organizational atmosphere would also facilitate rational evaluation of employee outcomes where personal prejudice would not be a dominant consideration. e. Competence. Competence should be the basis for all decisions made in hiring, job assignments, and promotions. This would eliminate personal bias and the significance of “knowing someone” in central personnel decisions.
This fosters ability and merit as the primary characteristics of a bureaucratic organization. f. Records. Weber feels it is absolutely essential for a bureaucracy to maintain complete files regarding all its activities. This advances an accurate organizational “memory” where accurate and complete documents will be available concerning all bureaucratic actions and determinations. Weber’s bureaucratic principles have been widely adopted throughout the world. Yet, there are many critics. 7. Discuss Frederick W. Taylor’s contributions to organizational theory.
Taylor has been termed the father of scientific management. As the name implies, it was a scientific approach to managerial decision making. The name was intended to contrast his approach with the unscientific approaches that characterized traditional management practices at the time. Taylor’s major techniques included time and motion studies whereby the work task was divided into its constituent elements or motions and eliminating wasted motions so that the work would be done in the “one best way” as well as timing the remaining motions in order to arrive at an expected rate of production.
Taylor also pushed strongly for standardization in the design and use of tools. Tools and procedures were standardized in accordance with what designs were most effective in a given context. Taylor also advocated a worker be assigned a given quantity of work each day based on the results of time study. This was forerunner of modern day goal-setting. Taylor claimed the primary motivation of an employee was to earn money. Therefore, the way to get an employee to work harder was to pay by the piece.
This system, known as the piece rate system, was intended to provide individual employee productivity incentives. 8. What was the Hawthorne study and why was it important? The Hawthorne Experiments consist of two studies conducted at the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company in Chicago from 1924 to 1932. The study’s particular focus is on lighting and attempts to operationalize many of the principles of scientific management. The initial study in 1924 was conducted by a group of engineers seeking to determine the relationship of lighting levels to worker productivity.
The study was done in connection with the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. The results of the study’s findings are extremely interesting since worker productivity increases as the lighting levels decrease until the employees are unable to see what they are doing after which performance naturally declines. Beginning in 1927 a second group of experiments commenced with a group of five women in the bank wiring room. During the course of the experiment, the women are supervised by the experimenters conducting the study.
Additionally the workers in the experimental group are given special privileges including the right to leave their workstation without permission, rest periods, free lunches and variations in pay levels and workdays. As with the first set of experiments, the second group of experiments result in significantly increased rates of productivity. In the second experimental study in 1928 the Harvard researchers, F. J. Roethlisberger, Professor of Human Relations, and Elton Mayo, a Professor of the Industrial Research Department, became associated with it.
After extensive research, the results were not published until 1939, they conclude the primary determinant of the increase in productivity is the change in the supervisory arrangement rather than the changes in lighting or other associated worker benefits. Since the experimenters became the primary supervisors of the employees, the intense interest they displayed for the workers was the basis for the increased motivation and resulting productivity. Essentially the experimenters became a part of the study and influenced its outcome.
This is the origin of the term Hawthorne Effect describing the special attention researchers give to a study’s subjects and the impact it has on its findings. While the result of the Hawthorne studies failed to answer the specific question of the relation between illumination and worker productivity, the study did create a strong theoretical foundation for the human relations view of management. 9. Discuss Chester Barnard’s contributions to organizational theory. Barnard led a highly successful management career rising to the position of the President of New Jersey Bell Telephone Company.
He was also very active professionally including acting as the head of the Rockefeller Foundation. After giving a series of lectures on management, Barnard published his only book, The Functions of the Executive, in 1938. Basically, Barnard feels organizations are communication systems. He feels it is particularly important for managers to develop a sense of common purpose where a willingness to cooperate is strongly encouraged. He is credited with developing the acceptance theory of management emphasizing the willingness of people to accept those having authority to act.
He feels the manager’s ability to exercise authority is strongly determined by the employee’s “zone of indifference” where orders are accepted without undue question. Contrary to Weber beliefs that communication flows from the top of the organization to the bottom, Barnard feels organizational communication flows from the bottom to the top. He states there are four factors affecting the willingness of employees to accept authority: 1. The employees must understand the communication. 2. The employees accept the communication as being consistent with the organization’s purposes. . The employees feel their actions will be consistent with the needs and desires of the other employees. 4. The employees feel they are mentally and physically carry out the order from the higher authority. Barnard also feels informal organizations within formal organizations perform necessary and vital communication functions for the overall organization. This is consistent with his belief that the executive’s main organizational function is acting as a channel of communication and maintaining the organization in operation.
Barnard’s sympathy for and understanding of employee needs in the dynamics of the organizational communication process positions him as a bridge to the behavioral school of management many of whose early members were his contemporaries. 10. Who was Mary Parker Follet and why was she important to organizational theory? One of the earliest pioneers in the behavioral movement was Mary Parker Follet. Follet received an education in political science and pursued a professional career as a social worker where she became absorbed in work place related issues. She strongly believes in the inherent problem solving ability of people working in groups.
Rather than assuming classical management’s strongly hierarchical position of power in organizations, Follet asserts power should be cooperatively shared for the purpose of resolving conflict. She is best known for her integration method of conflict resolution as opposed to the three choices she sites of domination, compromise or voluntary submission by one side over another. If, for example, an individual is sitting in a library on a warm spring day near an open window and a second person decides to share the table but wishes to close the window to avoid the draft, we have the basis of a conflict.
Now one person could try and dominate the other and force the window to either be open or closed leaving the other person unhappy. A second alternative is for one person to simply submit to the wishes of the other, but be very unhappy. The third alternative is to compromise and close the window half way which will not satisfy either person. Follet states the best way to handle this situation is to resolve the issue jointly through “creative conflict resolution” where, in our example, the newcomer may voluntarily agree to sit in another part of the library adjusting the window according to his/her preference.
In this case, both parties to the conflict are happy as the issue has been resolved according to their own desires. Creative conflict resolution involves cooperatively working with others to devise inventive new ideas often providing strong interpersonal benefits. 11. Discuss Herbert Simon’s contributions to organizational theory. The death knell of classical management theory was pronounced by Herbert Simon in his book Administrative Behavior: A Study of Decision-Making Processes in Administration Organization published n 1947.
Simon is particularly critical of the principles of administration including span of control and unity of command while saying all of the principles collectively were “no more than proverbs”. Simon found the principles of classical administration to be contradictory and vague. Simon’s greatest management contribution is in decision making theory for which he received a Nobel prize. Simon states decision makers perform in an arena of bounded rationality and that the approach to decision making must be one of satisficing where satisfactory rather than optimum decisions are often reached.
Satisficing successfully adapts to and is a realistic solution for the limited time and resources a manager has when considering alternatives in the decision making process. 12. Disccuss Abraham Maslow’s contributions to organizational theory. Receiving his doctorate in psychology, Abraham Maslow was the first psychologist to develop a theory of motivation based upon a consideration of human needs. Maslow’s theory of human needs has three assumptions. First, human needs are never completely satisfied. Second, human behavior is purposeful and is motivated by need satisfaction.
Third, needs can be classified according to a hierarchical structure of importance from the lowest to highest. Maslow believes the needs hierarchy can be classified into five specific groups. To reach successive levels of the hierarchy required the satisfaction of the lower level needs: 1. Physiological needs. Maslow groups all physical needs necessary for maintaining basic human well being into this category. These needs become acute and predominant if any or all of these needs are unsatisfied. However, consistent with Maslow’s theory of motivation, once a need is satisfied, such as thirst, it no longer is a motivator. . Safety needs. These needs include the need for basic security, stability, protection, and freedom from fear. A normal state exists for an individual to have all of these needs generally satisfied. Otherwise, they become primary motivators. 3. The belongingness and love needs. Once the physical and safety are satisfied and no longer are motivators, than the belongingness and love needs emerge as primary motivators. The individual will strive to establish meaningful relationships with significant others.
Deprivation of the belongingness and love need will result in significant personality maladjustment. 4. The esteem needs. An individual must develop self confidence. In order to do this it is essential to the individual to have adequacy from achieving mastery and competence leading to the achievement of status, reputation, fame and glory. This achieves satisfaction of the self-esteem needs. 5. The need for self-actualization. Assuming all of the previous needs in the hierarchy are satisfied, a “new discontent and restlessness will soon develop…
A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write … What a man can be, he must be. ” Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory helps the manager to visualize employee motivation. It helps in understanding the motivations and needs employees have and the requirement to satisfy basic needs in order to achieve higher level motivation. 13. Discuss Douglas McGregor’s contributions to organizational theory. McGregor is the other major theorist associated with the Human Relations school of management.
McGregor believes there are two basic kinds of managers. One type of manager, Theory X, has a negative view of employees assuming they are lazy, untrustworthy and incapable of assuming responsibility while the other type of Manager, Theory Y, assumes employees are trustworthy and capable of assuming responsibility having high levels of motivation. Theory X 1. Employees normally do not like to work and will try to avoid it. 2. Since employees do not like working, they have to coerced, controlled, directed and threatened with punishment to motivate them to work. 3.
The average employee is lazy, shuns responsibility, is not ambitious, needs direction and principally desires security. Theory Y 1. Work is as natural as play and therefore people desire to work. 2. Employees are responsible for accomplishing their own work objectives. 3. Comparable personal rewards are important for employee commitment to achieving work goals. 4. Under favorable conditions, the average employee will seek and accept responsibility. 5. Employees can be innovative in solving organizational problems. 6. Most organizations utilize only a small proportion of their employees’ abilities.
Mcgregor’s Theory X and Y is appealing to managers and dramatically demonstrate the divergence in management viewpoints toward employees. As such, Theory X and Y has been extremely helpful in promoting management understanding of supervisory styles and employee motivational assumptions. 14. Discuss Renesis Likert’s contributions to organizational theory. While being the director of the Institute of Human Relations at Ann Arbor, Michigan, Likert conducted a series of empirical studies on the differences between good and bad supervisors defined on the basis of high and low productivity.
His research is based on employee interviews in separate departments in many different organizations where a scale of feelings is developed, the Likert scale, regarding employee attitudes toward their supervisors. This was correlated with their productivity. Based on his research, Likert developed a four level managerial classification system. System 1 utilizes a supervisory system based primarily on fear and punishment. This results in an authoritarian supervisory system where employees are usually not consulted concerning major decisions.
In System 2 organizations rewards are used to motivate employees with some freedom being allowed to comment on organizational decisions. However, managers have the primary decision making responsibility and employees in a System 2 organization must act cautiously. System 3 organizations are more open to employee consultation regarding the managerial decision making process and overt managerial threats are avoided. Likert states the System 4 organization is the most open and participative and is the ideal state managers should strive to achieve. This is termed the democratic model.
Likert states the more an organization’s management approximates the System 4 model, the more productive it will be. 15. Discuss Frederick Herzberg’s contributions to the study of organizational behavior? Additional empirical research was performed by Herzberg on 200 engineers and accountants. The research objective was to determine work situations where the subjects feel highly satisfied and motivated as opposed to those where the reverse is true. The research reveals that the work itself and achievement as well as recognition for the achievement are the primary motivators.
Herzberg terms these factors satisfiers or motivators. Factors having a negative motivation impact on the research subjects are the working conditions, salary, job security, supervisory methods and the general company management climate. Herzberg terms these factors hygiene factors or dissatisfiers. From this research Herzberg developed the motivation-hygiene model of management. The model states that employee motivation is achieved with challenging enjoyable work where achievement, growth, responsibility and advancement are encouraged and recognized.
The environmental or hygiene factors, such as poor lighting, ventilation, poor working conditions, low salaries, and poor supervisory relations, serve as dissatisfiers. The difference between motivators and hygiene factors is that motivators cause an employee to develop his/her own internal motivations, whereas hygiene factors can make an employee unhappy and dissatisfied, but cannot motivate him/her. The job itself is the motivator. 16. Discuss David C. McLelland contributions to organization theory. He performed research on motivation patterns.
In the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) where an individual writes a descriptive analysis of their individual reactions from unstructured pictures. McClelland determines the motivational state of the subjects from these descriptions. Based upon this research, McClelland developed an achievement motivation theory consisting of four sets of needs: achievement, affiliation, competence and power. Achievement motivation is a need people have to succeed through overcoming challenges. The affiliation motivation is similar to Maslow’s belongingness and love need where people relate to others on a social basis.
The competence need is the desire to accomplish a job well done, and the power motivation is the need to control others and make a difference in the outcome of a given situation. McClelland believes people have strong needs. His achievement motivation theory is important for managers seeking understanding of employee motivational patterns. 17. Discuss W. Edwards Deming’s contributions to organizational theory. Deming received his doctorate in physics from Yale and was invited by the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers to visit Japan in 1950.
In addition to urging the Japanese to use sampling methods to test for quality control, he also taught them the best way to lowered production costs was improved quality. Dr. Deming is concerned with increased organizational productivity by applying statistical quality controls as well as improving organizational communication Although well known in Japan, Deming was ignored for years in the U. S. ; however, this began to change after he was featured on an American TV show dealing with the reasons why the Japanese competition was threatening American business.
He soon became sought after by American corporations coping with the mounting international competitive threat. Deming’s Fourteen Management Points: 1 Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive, to stay in business, and to provide jobs. 2 Adopt a new philosophy. We are in a new economic age, created by Japan. We can no longer live with commonly accepted styles of American management, nor with commonly accepted levels of delays, mistakes, or defective products. 3 Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality.
Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place. 4 End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag. Instead, minimize total cost. 5 Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs. 6 Institute training on the job. 7 Institute supervision: the aim of supervision should be to help people and machines and gadgets do a better job. Supervision of management is in need of overhaul, as well as supervision of production workers. Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company. 9 Break down the barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team to foresee problems of production and use that may be encountered with the product or service. 10 Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force which ask for zero defects and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships. The bulk of the causes of low productivity belong to the system, and thus lie beyond the power of the work force. 1 Eliminate work standards that prescribe numerical quotas for the day. Substitute aids and helpful supervision. 12 Remove the barriers that rob the hourly worker of his right to pride of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality. Remove the barriers that rob people in management and engineering of their right to pride of workmanship. This means abolishment of the annual rating, or merit rating, and management by objective. 13 Institute a vigorous program of education and retraining. 14 Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. 8. Discuss the evolution of management theory. The evolution of management thought has followed societal trends of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The nineteenth century works of Charles Babbage and Robert Owen were concerned with the early factory system as well making social progress. The classical school and bureaucratic school of the early twentieth century were the first efforts to generate a comprehensive theory of management. This school included Max Weber and Henri Fayol. Fayol was the father of the administrative management school.
He had a profound affect on much of administrative theory during the early part of the twentieth century. Frederick Taylor, the engineer, established the scientific method of management. The behavioral school made a profound influence on management theory. It is a revolutionary period of management theory. It includes the Nobel prize winning critic of the early proverbs of administration, Herbert Simon, as well as the landmark Hawthorne Experiment ushering in the human relations branch of the bureaucratic method. The behavioral school also includes the first female organizational theorist, Mary Parker Follet.
A major result of the behavioral school is the demise and repudiation of the classical school of management. The human relations school of management is extremely important in dealing with the concept of employee motivation. Herbert Maslow developed the hierarchy of needs theory while Douglas McGregor developed Theory X and Y. The behavioral research school applies much of the needs theory developed by Maslow in actual organizational settings. The contemporary management school brings a more interdisciplinary approach to the field of management.
The very important writings of W. Edwards Deming in the area of productivity improvement and those of Peter Drucker on MBO and management innovation have a major impact on the way today’s organizations are managed. The integrative methodologies of the systems approach and contingency theory give managers the latitude they need to integrate the research of the many management schools. Finally, the quality school of management is extremely important in presenting a comparative management model. W. Edwards Deming is the pre-eminent theorist in this school.
It has also become known as Total Quality Management (TQM). 19. Discuss the Behavioral School of Management. The behavioral movement in management was a direct result of the frustration experienced with the classical school’s failure to explain individual behavior within organizations. Curiously, the Hawthorne experiment, originally intended as a showcase application of classical management theory, so dramatically demonstrated the classical school’s shortcomings that it marked a point of no return. The behavioral school was an outgrowth of this revolutionary management experiment.
The behavioral movement includes Mary Parker Follet and Herbert Simon as well as numerous psychologists who turned from studying individual behavior to organizational behavior. In addition, the Hawthorne experiments marked the passing of the classical school of management. 20. Organizational theory is extremely interdisciplinary. What are the foundations for the discipline? There are three basic building blocks for organizational theory. They are anthropology, sociology, and psychology. 21. Discuss the significance of reliability and validity in organizational theory research.
Reliability is the accuracy of measurement and consistency of results. Validity is whether the study really demonstrates what it is supposed to demonstrate. Internal validity assures that there are no plausible alternative explanations other than those reported (threats of internal validity). Additionally, there are 3 types of validity researchers must be concerned with in understanding research in organizational behavior: Content – how well the measure captures the behavior of interest. Predictive – an objective statistical relationship between what is being predicted (criterion) and what is being used to predict it (predictor).
Construct – the degree to which observable characteristics converge with similar concepts or discriminate between dissimilar concepts. 22. Compare and contrast sensation with perception. Sensation deals mainly with very elementary behavior that is determined largely by physiological function. The senses are bombarded by numerous internal and external stimuli and persons use the sense to experience color, shapes, loudness, odor, and taste. Perception is more complex and broader than sensation, and can be defined as an interaction of selection, organization, and interpretation.
While perception depends on the senses for raw data, the cognitive process filters and modifies these data. 23. Because people are confronted by constant stimuli, they are unable to attend to them all. Therefore, they select only a small number at any given time. This is accomplished through the principles of perceptual selectivity. What are the various external attention factors that affect perceptual selectivity. a. Intensity – the more intense the stimulus, the more likely it is to be perceived. b. Size – the larger, the object, the more likely it is to be perceived. c.
Contrast – external stimuli which stand out or which are not what people are expecting will receive more attention. d. Repetition – repeated external stimuli are more attention-getting than a single stimulus. e. Motion – more attention will be paid to moving objects than to stationery ones. f. Novelty and Familiarity – new objects in a familiar setting or familiar objects in a new setting are attention getting. 23. What is attribution? Attribution refers to how persons explain the causes of behavior. Perception will vary depending on whether internal, personal attributions or external, situational attributions are made.
People attribute bad outcomes to others while claiming credit for positive outcomes. 24. Discuss the role of heredity in determining personality. The exact role that heredity plays in personality is inconclusive. However, research on identical twins (the Jim twins) raised apart has shown some support for this perspective. Despite a continuing debate on heredity versus environment, genetics experts and educational psychologists generally argue that intelligence is to some degree inherited. 25. What did the Milgram study demonstrate about the role that the situation plays in the human personality?
Subjects from a variety of occupations administered increasing levels of shock to a fellow learner. The subjects were exposed to the accomplice’s vocal responses (moans, screams, pleas, etc. ) and were encouraged by the experimenter to continue the experiment. Contrary to expert opinion, almost two-thirds of the subjects went ahead and administered what they thought was a very dangerous or even fatal amount of voltage. The results of the experiment suggested that people tend to obey those in authority positions, even though their behavior goes against their personality or better judgment. 6. What are successful organizational socialization strategies? Provide a challenging first job. Provide relevant training. Provide timely and consistent feedback Select a good supervisor to be in charge of socialization. Design a relaxed orientation program. Place new recruits in work groups with high morale. 27. Discuss attitudes as a complex cognitive process. They tend to persist unless something is done to change them. They can fall anywhere along a continuum from very favorable to very unfavorable. They are directed toward some object about which a person has feelings and beliefs. 8. Discuss the role attitudes play in organizational behavior in terms of help people adapt to their work environment. They help employees adjust tot heir environments and are a basis for future behaviors. They help employees defend their self images and justify actions. They provide a basis for expressing central values. They help supply standards that allow people to organize and explain the world around them. Go to Top of Form 29. Discuss how it is possible to change employee attitudes. Provide new information. Use fear Resolve discrepancies between attitudes and behavior
Use influence from friends or peers. Employ co-optation whereby disgruntled employees are made a part of the process and given credit for it. 30. Discuss the importance of job satisfaction in achieving productivity. Most research evidence indicates that there is no large positive relationship between satisfaction and productivity; however, if people are rewarded equitably, they will be more satisfied and they may strive for a greater performance effort. 31. Discuss the relationship between job satisfaction and absenteeism. There is an inverse relationship between job satisfaction and absenteeism.
People who believe that their work is important tend to have lower absenteeism then those who don’t. It is important to remember, however, that high job satisfaction will not necessarily result in low absenteeism, but low job satisfaction is likely to bring about high absenteeism. 32. Discuss how Victor Vroom’s Expectancy Theory depicts a process of cognitive variables which reflect individual differences in motivation. What are the variables in his the Expectancy Theory. Valence – the strength of an individual’s preference for a particular outcome.
Instrumentality – the degree to which a first level outcome will lead to a desired second level outcome. Expectancy – the probability that a particular effort will lead to a particular first level outcome. The model helps management understand workers’ motivation, but does not provide specific solutions to motivational problems. 33. Discuss how equity theory argues that a major input into job performance and satisfaction is the degree of equity or inequity that people perceive in their work situation. Inequity occurs when a person perceives that the ratio of his/her outcomes to inputs are unequal.
Inputs and outcomes are based on perception. Motivation under this perspective can be defined by the drive to restore equity. This may be done in several ways: Alter the inputs or outcomes Cognitively distorts the inputs or outcomes. Leave the field Act on the other Change the other Feelings of inequity can occur not only when a person feels cheated, but also in the case of overreward. There has been research support for the theory. 34. Compare and contrast job enlargement and job enrichment. Job enlargement is termed horizontal job loading.
It makes the job less specialized by adding more functions to it, but without increased responsibility for the worker. Job enrichment is a direct outgrowth of Frederick Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory of motivation. In particular, job enrichment is concerned with designing jobs that include greater variety of work content, require higher levels of skill, give workers more autonomy and provide feedback. Job enrichment vertically loads the job, which means that there are not necessarily more tasks to perform, but more responsibility for the overall job. 35.
Explain the quality of work life (QWL) approach to job design. QWL is a more general approach to job design. It is primarily concerned with the impact of work and organizational climate on people, and how this in turn influences organizational effectiveness. Design efforts are focused on the human-technology-organization interface. Employee participation in problem solving and decision making is central to this approach. 36. Explain the sociotechnical approach to job design. This approach is grounded in systems theory. It is concerned with the harmony between personal, social and technological functioning.
This approach generally involves the redesign of technological work processes and the formation of autonomous, self-regulating work groups. 37. Discuss the interrelationship of goal setting with human resource management. Effective goal setting includes the following elements: specific goals are more effective than vague, general or “do your best goals. ” difficult, challenging goals tend to be more effective than relatively easy, mundane goals. Owned and accepted goals arrived at through participation are preferred to assigned goals. Objective, timely feedback about progress toward goals is preferable to no feedback. 8. What are the four major techniques of administering reinforcement? Fixed-ratio schedules – reinforcement is given after a fixed number of responses. This schedule tends to produce a high response rate that is vigorous and steady. Fixed-interval schedules – reinforcement is given after a specified time or period, measured from the last reinforced response. Under a fixed-interval schedule there is an uneven pattern that varies from a slow response immediately following reinforcement to a vigorous response immediately preceding reinforcement.
Variable-ratio schedules – reinforcement is given after a randomly varied number of responses. Each response has an equal chance of being reinforced regardless of the number of responses that have preceded it. Variable-interval schedules – reinforcement is given after a randomly distributed length of time. 39. Discuss the five step problem solving model for O. B. Mod. The first step involves the identification of critical behavior. These behaviors are those which make a significant impact on performance — the ten percent of the behaviors that account for eighty percent of the performance.
Critical behaviors may be identified by a person closest to the job, like the immediate supervisor or the job holder. The next step involves measuring the behaviors. A baseline frequency is obtained by counting the number of times the behavior occurs under existing conditions. Measurement also occurs after the intervention as well to note changes occurring because of the intervention. It is important that observational data be gathered as unobtrusively as possible. After identification and measurement of the behaviors, a functional analysis is performed (A-B-C).
A is the antecedent cue, B is the behavior, and C is the contingent consequence. The functional analysis often reveals that there are many competing contingencies for behavior. Thus, it is important to identify only the contingent consequences. The intervention strategy strengthens and accelerates functional performance behaviors and/or weakens and decelerates dysfunctional behaviors. There are two major strategies: Positive reinforcement – represents a form of positive control of behavior; it is more effective and long lasting than negative control.
This involves the application of a positive consequence following functional performance behavior. Punishment/positive reinforcement – It should be used to weaken and decelerate dysfunctional behaviors. it should never be used alone but always be combined with positive reinforcement. Reasons for this include the fact that punished behavior tends to be only temporarily suppressed, that it may have a disastrous side effect, and it is difficult for a supervisor to switch roles from punisher to positive reinforcer. The last step involves a systematic evaluation of performance improvement.
There are four levels of evaluation: The reaction level refers to whether people administering and experiencing the approach like it. The second level is learning. This helps answer the question of whether people using the approach know why they are using it. The third level is aimed at behavioral change; that is, are the behaviors actually changing? The Fourth level is performance improvement, which is the overriding purpose for O. B. Mod. This step is important, since behavioral change may not necessarily reflect performance improvement. 40.
What improvements have O. B. Mod applications made in organizations? Increased employee productivity Reduced absenteeism and tardiness Improved safety and accident prevention Improved sales performance 41. Discuss the Iowa leadership studies. The Iowa study was the first to analyze leadership using scientific methodology and they showed that different styles of leadership can produce different reactions from the same or similar groups. A group of boys were submitted to three different types of leadership (authoritarian, democratic, laissez fair).
These styles were manipulated to show their effects on satisfaction and frustration/aggression. The authoritarian group reacted either aggressively or apathetically, the laissez faire group produced the greatest number of aggressive acts, and the democratic fell in between. The vast majority preferred the democratic leader to the other two. 42. Discuss the Ohio State Leadership Studies. The Ohio State Leadership studies showed consistency in identifying two dimension of leadership: consideration and initiating structure.
These studies were the first to point out and emphasize the important of both task and human dimensions in assessing leadership. While this approach lessened the gap between scientific management and human relations, the validity and focus of the study has been criticized. 43. Discuss the Michigan Leadership Studies. Using supervisors and clerical workers in an insurance company, these studies showed that supervisors of high producing groups were more likely to have employee-centered and general supervisory styles. Low producing groups had supervisors with essentially opposite characteristics and techniques.
Employee satisfaction, however, did not show a direct relationship to productivity. 44. Discuss the trait theory of leadership. The “Great Man” theory says that a person is born either with or without the necessary traits for leadership. A more recent and realistic approach accepts the fact that leadership traits are not completely inborn, but can be acquired through learning. The results of a search for universal traits are disappointing, and the only consistent result was that leaders are generally brighter than their followers, but not too much so. 45.
Discuss Fiedler’s Contingency Theory of Leadership. His contingency model contained the relationship between leadership style (human relations or task-direct) as measured by the Least Preferred Coworker (LPC) scale, and the favorableness of the situation (leader-member relations, degree of task structure, and position power). Situations are favorable for the leader when all three situational dimensions are high. When the dimensions are low, the situation is unfavorable. Under highly favorable or unfavorable situations, task directed leaders are more effective.
In situations of moderate favorableness, by far the most common situation, human relations leaders are more effective. 46. Discuss Blake and Mouton’s managerial leadership grid. These theorists identify five leadership styles arranged along the dimensions of “concern for production” and “concern for people. ” The impoverished” style (1,1 manager) shows minimum concern for people and production. The most effective style (9,9) manager) is highly concerned with both people and production.
The “middle-of-the-roader” is the 5,5 manager. 4. The “country club”style (1,9) manager) is very concerned about people and minimally concerned about production. The “task” style (9,1 manager) is very concerned about production and minimally concerned about people. 47. Discuss Hersey and Blanchard’s life-cycle or situational approach to leadership. The model suggests there are two major styles (task and relationship) and a leader’s style should be varied according to the level of maturity exhibited by subordinates.
Task style: organizing and defining subordinate roles; explaining tasks in terms of when, where, and how subordinates should do them. Relationship style: open communication and psychological and emotion support in leader’s personal relationships with subordinates. Subordinate maturity is defined by degree of achievement motivation, willingness to take on responsibility, amount of education/experience. Four basic leader styles in this approach are: telling (hgh-task/low relationship) selling (high-task/high-relationship) articipating ((low-task/high/relationship) delegating (low task/low-relationship) 48. Discuss the findings of Luthans’ Real Managers Study. In an attempt to discover what managers really do, Luthans and his colleagues conducted a comprehensive four-year study based on observations of the daily activities of managers from various levels and types of organizations. “Successful” managers, defined in terms of speed of promotion, spent relatively more time than other managers in networking activities and relatively less time in human resource management activities. Effective” managers, defined in terms of their unit’s performance and the satisfaction and commitment of their subordinates, spent relatively more time than other managers on communication and human resource management activities and relatively less time in networking activities. The differences found between those managers being promoted and those managers judged as most effective point to the need for organizations to properly identify and reward good performance.
Short-run solutions may focus on performance appraisal and reward systems; long-run solutions may involve the development of cultural values that support and reward effective performance. 49. Discuss the major characteristics of a group. A group is a collection of individuals in which there is; interaction among members perception of group membership shared norms and values, and fate interdependence (what happens to one member affects other members, and what happens to the group as a whole affects individual members) 50. Discuss the major characteristics of a primary group.
A primary group has feelings of comradeship, loyalty, and a common sense of values (family and peer groups). Work groups also have primary group qualities. 51. Discuss the major characteristics of a coalition. Coalitions are very powerful groups in organizations. They include the following characteristics: Interacting group of individuals; Constructed deliberately by members for a specific purpose; Independent of formal organization structure; Lacking a formal internal structure; Mutual perception of membership; Issues-oriented to advance purposes of numbers; External forms; and
Concerted member action. 52. Besides primary groups and coalitions, what are some other types of groups? Membership groups – groups to which the individual actually belongs. Reference groups – those to which an individual would like to belong because she or he identifies with them. In groups – those who have the dominant values. Out groups – those who are on the outside looking in. 53. Describe the concept of groupthink and what causes it. Groupthink is a dysfunction of highly cohesive groups. It results from the pressures on individual members to conform and reach consensus.
One of the first symptoms is called “risky shift. ” This refers to the fact that groups make more risky decisions than individual members do on their own. To help overcome the disastrous effects of groupthink, minority and unpopular viewpoints should be encouraged, and the pros and cons of each alternative course of action should be examined thoroughly. 54. What are some advantages of committee action over that of individual action. Combined and integrated judgment Greater horizontal communication between departments and reduced conflict Increased motivation and commitment of members due to participation. 5. What are some disadvantages associated with committees time consuming and costly Divided responsibility leading to no individual responsibility or accountability Decisions are often products of excessive compromise and minority domination. 56. Discuss the role of norms in organizations. Aid in group survival and provision of benefits. Simplify or make predictable the behavior expected of group members. Help the group to avoid embarrassing interpersonal problems. Express the central values or goals of the group and clarify what is distinctive about the group’s identity. 7. What are some practical benefits to be derived from informal organization. Makes for a more effective system;Lightens the work load on management;Fills in gaps in managers’ abilities;Provides a safety value for employee emotions; and Improves communication. 58. Discuss some sources of job stress such as extraorganizational, organizational, group and individual stressors. Job stress is not limited to things that happen at work. Extraorganizational stessors include things such as change, gender and class, and community conditions.
Organizational stressors can be grouped into organizational policies, structures, physical conditions, and processes. The work group can be a potential source of stress stemming from three major areas: lack of group cohesiveness, lack of social support, and conflict. There are many individual-level stressors. Role stressors (including conflict, ambiguity, overload, and underload), and personality dispositions that have dramatic effects on the individual at work. 59. What are some of the dysfunctional effects of high levels of stress that are of major concern to human resource managers.
The problems exhibited by the individuals may be physical, psychological or behavioral: Most of the research over the years has been devoted to the impact that stress has on physical health. A high level of stress accompanies by high blood pressure and high cholesterol can result in heart disease, ulcers, and arthritis. such physical ailments have consequences for both individuals and the organization. Little attention has been given to the impact of stress on mental health, but the psychological problems resulting from stress are just as important as the physical problems.
Affective and emotional outcomes include: anger, anxiety, depression, irritability, loss of self esteem, moodiness and dissatisfaction. Stress-related workers’ compensation insurance claims are increasing at a faster rate than other types of claims. Direct behaviors that may accompany high levels of stress include: Under/overeating Sleeplessness Increased smoking and drinking Drug abuse 60. Discuss the major classifications of power as outlined by French and Raven. Reward power – this source of power depends on the person’s ability and sources to reward others.
The target of the power must value these rewards. Coercive power – this source of power depends on fear. The person with coercive power has the ability to inflict aversive consequences or to make threats that the target believes will result in aversive consequences. Legitimate power – this power source depends on the position or role that the person holds. Legitimate power can come from the cultural values of a dominant group, accepted social structure, and being designated as representative of a powerful person or group.
Referent power – this source comes from the desire on the part of other persons to identify with the agent wielding power. Expert power – this source is based on the extent to which others attribute knowledge and expertise to the agent. In particular the target must perceive the agent to be credible, trustworthy, and relevant. 61. How are power and politics interrelated in organizations? The acquisition of power in an organization depends greatly on political strategies. Four reasons are given for this conclusion: Coalitions in organizations compete for resources.
Coalitions will seek to protect their interests and positions of influence by moderating environmental pressures. Unequal distribution of power has dehumanizing effects. The exercise of power within organizations is one aspect of the exercise of power within the larger social system. 62. What are some specific political strategies for power acquisition within organizations? Maintain alliances with powerful people. Embrace or demolish. Divide and rule. Manipulate classified information. Make a quick showing. Collect and use IOU’s. Avoid decisive engagement (don’t ruffle feathers).
Progress one step at a time. Wait for a crisis. Take counsel with caution. 63. What are the major categories of organizational communication. Management Information Systems – generally computerized systems which integrate networks of information that support management decision making, strategic planning, customer service activities, and actual communication. Telecommunication Technology – involves the transmission of information within and between organizations using computer, telephone, and television technologies, wireless systems of portable phone, and wired systems of fiber optic linkages.
Existing telecommunications applications include telephone caller ID, electronic mail, electronic data interchange (EDI), voice messaging, and electronic bulletin boards. Nonverbal – nonword human responses, such as body language, time, space, paralanguage, environmental context, etc. , that convey meaning. 64. Feedback makes communication a two way process. Effective feedback can be characterized by the following: Intention – feedback should be directed toward aspects of the job. Specificity – feedback should provide specific information so that the recipient knows what needs to be done.
Description – effective feedback provides information in objective terms rather than presenting a value judgment. Usefulness – effective feedback is information that an employee can use to improve performance. Timeliness – the more immediate the feedback, the better. Readiness – employees must be ready to receive feedback. Clarity – feedback should be clearly understood by the recipient. Validity – effective feedback is reliable and valid. What are some methods of promoting effective upward communication and improving managers’ listening habits?
Grievance procedure – allow employees to make upward appeals and protect individuals from arbitrary action by their direct supervisor. Open Door policy – allows subordinates to interact with their supervisor when needed or wanted. Counseling, attitude questionnaires, and exit interviews – these contribute valuable upward information for management to correct or prevent problems. Participative techniques – either informal or formal participation programs generally result in more satisfied employees and, occasionally, better performers.
Ombudsperson – encourages subordinate-initiated communication, especially in large, depersonalized organizations. 65. Discuss the effectiveness and problems of participative decision making. Effectiveness is influenced by leadership styles, and personality, and situational, contextual, and ideological factors. One of the problems with participation is that it is very time consuming. Also, managers often ask for participation but do not let subordinates become intellectually or emotionally involved or utilize their suggestions. 67.
What are some examples of formal programs of employee participation in organizations? The Scanlon Plan is a pioneering form of labor-management cooperation. Suggestion plans or boxes represent another traditional participation program. Quality circles, a technique widely used in Japan, are small groups of volunteers from the same work area who collectively solve work-related problems. Self-managed work groups have become very popular in the most innovative firms. These groups run themselves and have proved to be very productive in firms such as General Mills. 68.
What are some criticisms of the Weber’s bureaucratic model? Specialization – creates conflict between specialized units. Hierarchy – individual initiative and participation are often blocked. Upward communication and horizontal communication are impeded. Rules – rules often become ends in themselves. Rules are used for punitive control from above. Impersonal characteristics – are concerned with human problems (both employees an customers) associated wit bureaucratic structures. 69. What are Warren Bennis’ criticisms of bureaucracy? Does not allow personal growth and development.
Develops conformity and groupthink. Does not take into account the informal organization. Has no judicial process. Does not possess adequate means for conflict resolution. Communication and innovation are distorted or thwarted. Does not fully utilize human resources. Cannot assimilate the influx of new technology. People in bureaucracies become conditioned and dull. 70. What are the various types of departmentation? There are many types of departmentation: functional, product, geographic, time, service, customer, equipment and alpha-numeric.
An organization is identified by the type of departmentation at the primary level, although lower levels may be represented by different types. 71. The staff concept in organizations was developed by the military. One of the problems in using this concept in organizations is the conflicting definitions regarding line and staff positions. Under a pure military approach, line carried decision making authority, whereas, staff acts in an advisory capacity. When applied to other types of organizations, the distinction becomes fuzzy.
Often, lower and middle managers are line within their own departments, but become staff when dealing with outside departments. This can result in a breakdown of communication and open conflict. 72. Discuss the composition of a the matrix form of organization. The functional department heads have line authority over their departments, but the functional personnel are assigned to given projects. Matrix designs have both vertical and horizontal structures and incorporate characteristics such as hierarchy and unity of command. Matrix structures discourage informal groups and the nurturing of superior-subordinate relationships.
Matrix structures include the positive aspects of both the functional and project designs, such as flexibility of personnel, responsiveness to project needs and customer desires, specialized knowledge, and one manager is the focal point for each project. 73. What is organizational culture and how does it develop. Culture can be defined as a common perception by the organization’s members. Cultures develop using some version of the following steps: Founder’s influence. Initial core group who shares a common vision with the founder. Founding core group creates the organization.
Common history is developed with the addition of others. 74. What are the characteristics of Theory Z? Employment with the organization is fairly long term. More emphasis is given to training and evaluation than promotion. There is emphasis on job rotation and broad based training. Decision making is carried out with emphasis on group participation. There is attention and concern for all aspects of the workers’ life. Responsibility is assigned on an individual basis, and control is maintained informally, but there are explicit performance measures. Go to Top of Form Contact Dr. Stephen Hartman Return to Table of Contents