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Avoid the Hustle

Organizational Behavior (OB)

Category: Essay Writing

MAN571/Organizational Behavior (OB)

Applications Paper

 

Overview

You will submit one 10 page paper with 4 sections.  This “paper” consists of a set of four SECTIONS (think of them as mini-papers) in which you will apply concepts from the following chapters of your textbook to real-world organizational behavior. These chapters relate to the following critical topics in OB.

 

Your paper submission will be in APA. Limit the use of first person pronouns. Use APA headings and subheadings. Do not include outline nomenclature (outlining is only for planning purposes). Remember no quotes are allowed. Paraphrase all and cite the APA way.

 

–          Motivation

n  Chapter 5: Foundations of Employee  Motivation

n  Chapter 6: Applied Performance Practices

–          Decision-Making

n  Chapter 7: Decision-Making and Creativity

–          Teamwork

n  Chapter 9: Communicating in Teams and Organizations

–          Communication

n  Chapter 11: Conflict and Negotiations in the Workplace

 

Guidelines

–          Title Page – Follow standard format for the MBA program by using the APA title page show in your APA 6th edition manual.

–          Format – per APA manual

n  Double-spaced

n  Font: Times New Roman, 12 point

n  Margins: per APA

n  Page numbers: upper right corner

 

–          Length – The total of your mini-papers should be a minimum of twelve (12) pages in length.  This minimum does not include the title page or a reference page. Most students will require more space for in-depth responses. No abstract is required.

 

–          Terminology and Concepts – Note that you are expected to use and define organizational behavior (OB) terminology.  Make frequent references to and explain concepts from the text.

 

–          Behavioral Examples – Include specific examples of leader/employee behavior that applies to the scenarios you are analyzing.

 

–          Ethical Considerations – Consider and discuss the ethical issues associated with each situation and any recommendations you make for leader behavior.

 

–          Recommendations – Make your recommendations as specific as possible.  Include details. For example:

n  Weak: “To meet her need for belongingness/affiliation, I would appoint Felicia to a team.”

n  Stronger: “To meet her need for belongingness/affiliation, Felicia should be appointed to the Warehouse Quality Improvement Team.  Team members include X, Y, and Z.  Benefits of relationships with these contacts include…Team leader will be asked to mentor Felicia for possible succession to the role of facilitator.  Per Theory A, these actions will contribute to Felicia’s sense of belongingness by…”

 

Notice how in the above example, the writing has eliminated first person pronouns by rephrasing.

 

 

–  Sources – Use APA to cite/reference and other sources.  Use the skills learned in weeks 4 and 5. Go to your online library. Find academic scholarly peer reviewed articles to support and justify all opinions. Back-up opinions and observations with the experts. Paraphrase all. No quotes are allowed.

 

HEADINGS AND TOPIC SENTENCES:

To ensure full credit, do not include the boldface headings that appear in the outlines for your papers. Be sure, however, that you do outline as you plan your paper. Planning is a key to success. Also remember that all papers in your 571 class must be submitted to GROWS before submitting for grading. Manage your time accordingly.

 

Papers that do not include APA formatted headings may be returned for correction.  Late penalties may apply.

Submission of Assignment and Evaluation

–          You will receive a grade and feedback within 72 hours from the due date and time.

–          Twenty percent (20%) of your grade is based on the quality of your writing and eighty percent (80%) is based on the quality of content.

–          To print out grading criteria, go to Doc Sharing and download the file: “Grading Criteria – Paper.”

 

Instructor Availability

Remember that this assignment is designed to facilitate learning.  If you get stuck on a question, your instructor is available to assist you. Please contact the instructor for assistance several days before the due date.

 

Mini-Paper Topics

 

SECTION #1 – Motivation and Rewards

 

In this paper, you will evaluate some aspects of an employee’s work motivation on a particular job. The employee could be you, a fellow worker, or an employee you supervise(d).  You may base this analysis on a current or prior workplace.

 

Outline for Paper #1 (use outlining for planning – when you write your paper make sure it is in APA)

 

Introduction

In a few sentences, explain the purpose of your paper and briefly introduce the job you will analyze.

 

I. Needs Analysis 

 

A. Needs Theories

Apply Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy Theory to this employee. Identify and discuss the level of need that is most important to the employee in this job right now. Link this need to McClelland’s Theory of Learned Needs.  For example, Maslow’s need for Belongingness relates to McClelland’s need for Affiliation. Evaluate the degree to which the current motivation and rewards system addresses his or her unmet needs and/or encourages him or her to work more effectively. For more information on Maslow’s Hierarchy, do external research.  Here is a helpful site:  If this site is no longer available, the web is rich with sites that offer credible information on this theory.

B. Job Design

The chapter on Applied Performance Practices discusses job design, a key motivational tool.  Apply the Job Characteristics Model to this employee.  For example, assess which of the five core job characteristics meet this employee’s needs and/or encourages him or her to work more effectively and which do not.  Explain your evaluation. Link these job characteristics to the employee’s critical psychological states and performance outcomes.

 

II. Recommendations

 

A. Needs Theories

Keeping in mind the employee’s most prominent need on the hierarchy/learned need, provide at least two (2) ideas for making the job more rewarding. For example, if an employee’s most prominent need is Physiological, he or she may be deficient in money for food and shelter. This employee might be motivated by hope for a raise, promotion, or a gain-sharing program. In this case, you could apply knowledge of “Financial Reward Practices” from the chapter on Applied Performance Practices. To be sure that fulfillment of the employee’s needs are linked to organizational performance, also consult with “Improving Reward Effectiveness” in the chapter on Applied Performance Practices. Notice the application of these reward principles to other levels of needs.  For example, status-based benefits may appeal to an employee’s need for esteem.

 

B. Job Design

Referring to core job characteristics in The Job Characteristics Model, provide at least three (3) ideas for changing the job design to make the job more motivating. Be specific.

 

Conclusion

Sum up the mini-paper in a few sentences.

 

SECTION #2 – Decision-Making and Creativity

 

In this paper, you will evaluate some aspects of a decision-making process that took place in your current or a prior workplace or in an organization with which you are familiar. If possible, focus on a complex decision that was made by a group.

 

Outline for Paper #2

 

Introduction

In a few sentences, explain the purpose of your paper and briefly introduce the situation that required a decision.

 

I. Decision-Making Process Analysis

Describe and evaluate the decision-making process.  Here are the subsections of this section of your paper:

A.  Rational Choice

To what degree was the Rational Choice Decision-Making Process followed either on a formal or informal basis?  Your textbook will assist you in thinking through this process and its potential problems. Address the six steps.  For example: Which steps were applied?  How were they applied?  Which were skipped?  Why were they omitted? Include any problems that were encountered during steps that were taken.  Your textbook includes an excellent discussion of potential problems.

 

Choose Option B1 or B2

 

B1.  Involvement and Creativity

To what extent was employee involvement and creativity and encouraged during this decision-making process?

 

OR

 

B2.  Constraints on Team Decision-Making

Which of these constraints applied—i.e., time constraints, evaluation apprehension, pressure to conform, group think, or group polarization?

II. Recommendations

 

  1. Rational Choice

Make at least two (2) recommendations for improving the quality of the decision-making process.  For example, you may recommend use of a more structured process, inclusion of missed steps, and/or ways to avoid specific problems that occurred.  Your recommendations should be specific and actionable.

 

Choose Option B1 or B2

 

B1. Involvement and Creativity

Make at least two (2) recommendations for increasing employee involvement or creativity in decision-making.  Your recommendations should be specific and actionable.

OR

 

B2. Constraints on Team Decision-Making

Make at least two (2) recommendations for minimizing constraints on team decision-making. Your recommendations should be specific and actionable. Note textbook discussion of.

Conclusion

Sum up the mini-paper in a few sentences.

 

SECTION #3 – Teamwork

 

In this paper, you will evaluate and make recommendations for improving group/team effectiveness in an organizational setting. This group or team may function or have functioned in your current or a prior workplace or an organization with which you are familiar.

 

Outline for Paper #3

 

Introduction

Explain the purpose of your paper and briefly introduce the group or team you will evaluate. In your introduction, characterize this as a group or team and justify your distinction

I.                   Team Effectiveness Analysis

Apply the Model of Team Effectiveness  as follows:

 

A.    Organizational and Team Environment

Which of the six elements (i.e., reward systems, communication systems, etc.) represent strengths and which represent weaknesses?  Explain your reasoning.  Include behavioral examples of problems and issues. [Note: This question is worth 10% of your grade; respond thoughtfully.]

 

B.     Team Processes

 

Select Option 1a or 1b.

 

1a. Team Development

If this is a group or team in which you are currently working, which stage of development is the team or group in?  What problems or issues is the team or group facing at this stage? Provide some examples.  If this is a team or group in which you currently worked, select one of the stages and describe team member behaviors in that stage.

 

OR

 

1b. Team Norms

What are some of the informal rules of behavior that are shared by team members?  According to your author” “Norms guide how team members deal with clients, how they share resources, whether they are willing to work long hours…”

Also respond to 2.

 

  1. Team Cohesiveness

Evaluate the group or team’s level of cohesiveness.  Define cohesiveness in your own words and justify your assessment by including examples of “Influences on Team Cohesiveness.”

 

  1. Recommendations
A.    Organizational and Team Environment

Based on problems and issues identified in the Organizational and Team Environment evaluation above, make at least three (3) recommendations for improving team effectiveness. Be specific.

 

B.     Team Processes

Based on problems and issues identified in the Team Process evaluation above, make at least three (3) recommendations for improving team effectiveness. Be specific.

 

Conclusion

Sum up the mini-paper in a few sentences.

 

SECTION #4 – Communication

 

In this paper, you will analyze an interpersonal communication in which you participated within an organizational setting. This could involve a face-to-face interaction, a phone call, or an e-mail exchange.

 

Outline for Paper #4

 

Introduction

In a few sentences, explain the purpose of your paper and briefly introduce the situation. In your introduction, identify the sender (e.g., you, your boss, etc.) and the receiver. Also briefly identify the content of the message.

 

I.                   The Communication Process Model

 

A.    Communication Channel

Identify and evaluate the communication channel.  Include an analysis of any special problems—e.g., nonverbal communication that contradicted verbal communication or “emotional contagion” in a face-to-face meeting, special problems with email etc. Also include your evaluation of the “media richness.”  Was the richness of the media appropriate or inappropriate to the situation?

 

B.     Communication Barriers (Noise)

Identify and describe communication barriers or sources of “noise” .  Also consider any cross-cultural or cross-gender challenges presented in the communication.

 

II.                Recommendations

How could this communication have been more effectively handled? Make at least four (4) specific, actionable recommendations for process improvement.  Focus on sender effectiveness and noise reduction.

 

Conclusion

Sum up the mini-paper in a few sentences.

 

 

NOTE 1: if you do not have sufficient work experience to respond to any of these topics, you may role play. Be sure to contact your professor, however, for approval and advice.

 

NOTE 2: Do not write your paper in outline format. Instead you are required to use the second textbook listed in your syllabus: the APA manual. Write the paper in APA format.

 

NOTE 3: Submit only one 12 page paper to your instructor. Do not submit the sections as separate papers.

 

NOTE 4: Use GROWS writing center to review your paper PRIOR to submission.