Trends and challenges in management relating to organizational behavior

Discussion of organizational culture. The major theories of personality. Social perception, its elements and common barriers. Individual and organizational influences on ethical behavior. The psychophysiology of the stress response.

Рубрика Менеджмент и трудовые отношения
Вид контрольная работа
Язык английский
Дата добавления 19.11.2012
Размер файла 27,7 K

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1. Discuss the 7 trends and challenges in management relating to organizational behavior

There are many trends within the workplace and around the globe that have and will continue to affect the workplace and your career.

Ethical Challenges

The challenge is to continue to think about business ethics on a day-to-day basis and institute cultures that support ethical decision making. OB research finds that the most important determinant of whether a company acts ethically is whether it has a culture of consistently ethical behavior and if leaders are committed to this ethical behavior.

Lack of Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is a concept that is generally viewed as managing discretionary effort, that is, when employees have choices, they will act in a way that furthers their organization's interests. An engaged employee is a person who is fully involved in and enthusiastic about their work. Engaged employees are those who are performing at the top of their abilities and happy about it.

It is clear that engagement is both a challenge and an opportunity for OB.


Technology has transformed the way work gets done and has created many great opportunities. We are more connected by technology than ever before. Technology has also brought a great deal of challenges to individuals and organizations alike. The technology trend contains challenges for organizational behavior.

Flattening World

There are few barriers to information today, which has created huge opportunities around the globe. A major challenge for individuals in the flattened world is learning how to evaluate the quality of the information they find.

Sustainability and Green Business Practices

Now businesses are undergoing a great deal of “green washing,” which refers to the marketing of products or processes as green to gain customers, without truly engaging in sustainable business practices. SBP are those that meet the present needs without compromising the needs of future generations. The challenge is to reconcile the accountability that publicly owned firms have in generating wealth for their shareholders while attending to the triple bottom line.

Aging Workforce and the Millennial Generation

The aging trend has been predicted for decades. The challenge for organizational behavior is to keep individuals from different generations communicating effectively and managing people across generational lines despite different values placed on teamwork, organizational rewards, work-life balance, and desired levels of instruction.

The Global Marketplace for Staffing: Outsourcing

Outsourcing refers to having someone outside the formal ongoing organization doing work previously handled in-house. The challenge for organizational behavior is managing teams consisting of different nationalities separated not only by culture and language but also in time and space.

2. Describe Hofstede's 5 cultural dimensions

Hofstede found five dimensions of cultural differences that formed the basis for work-related attitudes.

Individualism versus collectivism

Individualism - a cultural orientation in which people belong to loose social frameworks and their primary concern is for themselves and their families. Collectivism - a cultural orientation in which individuals belong to tightly knit social frameworks, and they depend strongly on large, extended families or clans.

Power distance

Power-distance is the degree to which a culture accepts unequal distribution of power. In countries with high power distance, bosses are afforded more power simply because they are the bosses. In countries with low power distance, people believe that inequality in society should be minimized.

Uncertainty avoidance

Uncertainty avoidance is the degree to which a culture tolerates ambiguity and uncertainty. Cultures wit high UA are concerned with security and tend to avoid conflict. People have a need for consensus. Cultures with low UA are more tolerant of ambiguity. People are more willing to take risk and more tolerant of individual differences.

Masculinity versus femininity

Masculinity - the cultural orientation in which assertiveness and materialism are valued. Femininity - the cultural orientation in which relationships and concern for others are valued. Men and women are expected to assume both assertive and nurturing roles.

Time orientation

Whether a culture's values are oriented toward the future (long-term) or toward the past and present (short-term).

3. Discuss the benefits and problems with diversity

Diversity - all forms of individual differences, including culture, gender, age, ability, religion, personality, social status, and sexual orientation. Managing diversity is a battle to value the differences that individuals bring to the workplace.



· attracts and retains the best human talent

· improves marketing efforts

· promotes creativity and innovation

· results in better problem solving

· enhances organizational flexibility

· resistance to change

· lack of cohesiveness

· communication problems

· interpersonal conflicts

· slowed decision making

4. Describe the Rotary Club's 4 way ethics test

Paul Harris and four business colleagues, who founded Rotary International, made an effort to address ethical and moral behavior right from the beginning. They developed the four-way test, which is now used throughout the world.

The four-way test, of what we think, say, or do:

1. Is it the truth?

2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?

3. Will it build GOODWILL and better friendships?

4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

5. Explain the 4 theories of personality

Four major theories of personality are the trait theory, psychodynamic theory, humanistic theory, and the integrative approach.

Trait theory - the personality theory that states that in order to understand individuals, we must break down behavior patterns into a series of observable traits. Gordon Allport, a leading trait theorist, saw traits as broad, general guides that lend consistency to behavior.

Psychodynamic theory - the personality theory that emphasizes the unconscious determinants of behavior. Sigmund Freud saw personality as the interaction among three elements of personality: the id, ego, and superego.

Humanistic theory - the personality theory that emphasizes individual growth and improvement. Carl Rogers believed that all people have a basic drive toward self-actualization, which is the quest to be all you can be.

Integrative approach - the broad theory that describes personality as a composite of an individual's psychological processes.

6. Discuss social perception and its elements (perceiver, target, situation, barriers)

Social perception is the process of interpreting information about another person.

Model for social perception


Selective perception


First-impression error


Self-fulfilling prophecy

7. Identify 5 common barriers to social perception

Selective perception - the process of selecting information that supports our individual viewpoints while discounting information that threatens our viewpoints.

Stereotyping - a generalization about a group of people.

First-impression error - the tendency to form lasting opinions about an individual based on initial perceptions.

Projection - overestimating the number of people who share our own beliefs, values and behaviors.

Self-fulfilling prophecy - the situation in which our expectations about people affect our interaction with them in such a way that our expectations are fulfilled.

8. Discuss Hofstede's 8 dimensions of organizational culture

1. Means oriented vs. goal oriented

*means = how matters; risk averse; low effort

*goal = results matter, risky

2. Internally driven vs. externally driven

*internally = I know best - ethics driven

*externally = customer knows best - service

3. Easy going work discipline vs. strict work discipline

*easy = lose structure, surprises

*strict = cost conscious, serious, punctual

4. Local vs. professional

*local = identify with boss or local unit

*professional = ID with profession

5. Open system vs. closed system

*open = accepts strangers easily

*closed = outsides won't fit in or understand

6. Employee oriented vs. work oriented

*employee = workers taken care of even at expense of the mission

*work = mission is accomplished even at the expense of the workers

7. Degree of acceptance of leadership style

*is the leadership style in line with worker preference

8. Degree of identification with your organization

*how much can workers identify with the organization, the boss, the customer.

9. Explain the ABC model of an attitude


Measured by



· Physiological indicators

· Verbal statements about feelings

I do not like my boss

Behavioral intensions

· Observed behavior

· Verbal statements about intensions

I want to transfer to another department


· Attitude scales

· Verbal statements about beliefs

I believe my boss plays favorites at work

10. Discuss organizational commitment, its importance and different types, including the continuous leading to organizational commitment, and things correlated to organizational commitment

Organizational commitment is the strength of an individual's identification with an organization. There are three kinds of organizational commitment: affective, continuance and normative.

Affective commitment - the type of organizational commitment that is based on an individual's desire to remain in an organization. Affective commitment encompasses loyalty, but it is also a deep concern for the organization's welfare.

Continuance commitment - the type of organizational commitment that is based on the fact that an individual cannot afford to leave.

Normative commitment - the type of organizational commitment that is based on an individual's perceived obligation to remain with an organization.

Affective and normative commitments are related to lower rates of absenteeism, higher quality of work, increased productivity, and several different types of performance.

Certain organizational conditions encourage commitment. Two such conditions are participation in decision making and job security. Autonomy, responsibility, and interesting work also positively affect commitment.

Job satisfaction and organizational commitment are two important work attitudes that managers can strive to improve among their employees.

11. Discuss individual and organizational influences on ethical behavior

Values are systems of beliefs that affect what individual defines as right, good and fair. Employees are exposed to multiple value systems: their own, their supervisor's, the company's, the customer's, and others.

Locus of control - an individual's generalized belief about internal control (self-control) versus external control (control by the situation or by others).

Machiavellianism - a personality characteristic indicating one's willingness to do whatever it takes to get one's own way.

Cognitive moral development - the process of moving through stages of maturity in terms of making ethical decisions.

12. Describe Maslow's hierarchy of needs

Need hierarchy - the theory that behavior is determined by a progression of physical, social, and psychological needs by higher order needs.

Maslow proposed a need theory of motivation emphasizing psychological and interpersonal needs in addition to physical needs and economic necessity. The core of Maslow's theory of human motivation is a hierarchy of five need categories.

1. Self-actualization needs (confidence, achievements, freedom)

2. Esteem needs (fame, recognition, reputation, dignity)

3. Love (social) needs (children, friends, and parents)

4. Safety and security needs (shelter, job security, retirement plan, insurance)

5. Physiological needs (air, water, food, rest, exercise, etc.)

13. Describe McClelland's need theory

McClelland identified three learned of acquired needs, called manifest needs.

These manifest needs were needs for achievement, for power, and for affiliation. Different needs are dominant in different people.

Need for achievement - a manifest (easily perceived) need that concerns individuals' issues of excellence, competition, challenging goals, persistence, and overcoming difficulties.

Need for power - a manifest (easily perceived) need that concerns an individual's need to make an impact on others, influence others, change people or events, and make a difference in life.

Need for affiliation - a manifest (easily perceived) need that concerns an individual's need to establish and maintain warm, close, intimate relationships with other people.

14. Describe Herzberg's 2 factor theory

organizational personality behavior stress

Frederick Herzberg departed from the need theories of motivation and examined the experiences that satisfied or dissatisfied people at work. Herzberg believed that people had two sets of needs - one related to the avoidance of pain and one related to the desire for psychological growth.

Motivation factor - a work condition related to satisfaction of the need for psychological growth.

Hygiene factor - a work condition related to dissatisfaction caused by discomfort or pain.

Hygiene: job dissatisfaction

Motivators: job satisfaction

· Company policy and administration

· Supervision

· Interpersonal relations

· Working conditions

· Salary

· Status

· Security

· Achievement

· Recognition of achievement

· Work itself

· Responsibility

· Advancement

· Growth

15. Describe social exchange and equity theory

Equity theory is a social exchange process theory of motivation that focuses on the individual - environment interaction. In contrast to internal needs theories of motivation, equity theory is concerned with the social processes that influence motivation and behavior. Power and exchange are important considerations in understanding human behavior.

The individual - organizational exchange relationship




- Organizational goals

- Departmental objectives

- Job tasks

- Physiological needs

- Security needs

- Physical needs


- Company status

- Benefits

- Income

- Developmental potential

- Employee knowledge

- Employee skills and abilities

16. Describe Vroom's expectancy theory

Vroom's expectancy theory of motivation focuses on personal perceptions of the performance process. The key constructs in the expectancy theory of motivation are the valence of an outcome, expectancy, and instrumentality.

Valence is the value or importance one places on a particular reward

Expectancy is the belief that effort leads to performance

Instrumentality is the belief that performance is related to rewards.

17. Describe Bandura's Social Learning theory

A social learning theory proposed by Albert Bandura is an alternative and complement to the behaviorist approaches of Pavlov and Skinner. Bandura believes learning occurs through the observation of other people and the modeling of their behavior.

Central to Bandura's social learning theory is the notion of task - specific self - efficacy, an individual's beliefs and expectancies about his or her ability to perform a specific task effectively. There are four sources of task - specific self - efficacy: prior experiences, behavior models (witnessing the success of others), persuasion from other people, and assessment of current physical and emotional capabilities. Managers can help employees develop self - efficacy. The strongest way for an employee to develop self-efficacy is to succeed at a challenging task. Managers can help by providing job challenges, coaching and counseling for improved performance, and rewarding employees' achievements. Research has indicated that women and minorities tend to have lower than average self - efficacy.

18. Describe three major functions of goal setting

Goal setting is the process of establishing desired results that guide and direct behavior. Goals help crystallize the sense of purpose and mission that is essential to success at work. Priorities, purpose and goals are important sources of motivation for people at work, often leading to collective achievement, even in difficult times.

19. Describe 360 degree feedback

360 degree feedback is a process of self-evaluation and evaluations by a manager, peers, direct reports, and possibly customers.

Many organizations use 360-degree feedback as a tactic to improve the accuracy of performance appraisals because it is based on multiple sources of information. Two recommendations have been made to improve the effectiveness of the 360-degree feedback method. The first one is to add a systematic coaching component to the 360-degree feedback. By focusing on enhanced self-awareness and behavioral management, this feedback-coaching model can enhance performance as well as satisfaction and commitment, and reduce intent to turnover. The second one is that the performance feedback component of the 360-degree appraisal be separated from the management development component. The feedback component should emphasize quantitative feedback and performance measures, while the management development component should emphasize qualitative feedback and competencies for development.

20. Discuss the Dell study, and the major issues surrounding finding and retaining women in management, including glass ceiling

Major issues surrounding finding and retaining women in management:

· Glass ceiling - a transparent barrier that keeps woman from rising above a certain level in organizations;

· Women receive lower level of benefits, than man, because salaries for woman persist at a level of 78% of their male counterpart's earnings.

· Women are responsible for managing home and child care, also care for elderly parents.

· Women more likely to experience conflicts between work and home

To understand women's subjectivities in the workforce, Dell commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct a study among women managers in multinational companies around the world.

Objectives of the Study

Dell has a strong commitment to understanding, and addressing the challenges women face in the workplace today. Hence, the challenge is to think globally, and act locally in developing gender egalitarian work forces. Dell had three objectives in commissioning Harris Interactive to conduct this research on women in the workplace:

1. To study women managers in multinational corporations around the world;

2. To understand women's roles in different cultures around the world;

3. To come up with solutions for multinational corporations to address the changing role of women in different cultures, so that positive outcomes can be reached in recruitment, advancements, and retention of women in the workforce.

21. Describe the benefits of eustress and the costs of distress, both individually and organizationally

Benefits of Eustress

Performance (up to an optimum point)


Increased arousal

Bursts of physical strength

Full engagement

cardiovascular efficiency

enhanced focus in an emergency

balance in the nervous system

Costs of distress



Psychological disorders

(Depression, burnout, psychosomatic disorders)

Medical illness

(Have stress related components)

Behavioral problems

(Workplace aggression, substance abuse of

various kinds, accidents)

Participation problems

(Costs associated with absenteeism, tardiness, strikes, work stoppages and turnover)

Performance decrement

(Cost resulting from poor quality or low quantity of production, grievances, and unscheduled machine downtime and repair)

Compensation award

(An organization cost resulting from court awards for job distress)

22. Discuss 4 keys for communicating performance feedback

Once clearly defined and accurate performance measures are developed, there is still the challenge of performance feedback. Feedback sessions are among the most stressful events for supervisors and employees.

Both parties to a performance feedback session should try to make it constructive learning experience, since positive and negative performance feedback has long-term implications for the employee's performance and for the working relationship.

4 keys:

1. Refer to specific, verbatim statements and specific, observable behaviors displayed by the person receiving feedback;

2. Focus on changeable behaviors, as opposed to intrinsic or personality-based attributes;

3. Plan and organize for the session ahead of time;

4. Begin coaching and counseling sessions with something positive.

23. Discuss the 4 theoretical approaches to stress

Stress is the unconscious preparation to fight or flee that a person experiences when faced with any demand.

Four approaches to stress:

1. The homeostatic / medical approach: Walter B. Canon; stress resulted when an external environmental demand upset the person's natural steady-state balance Homeostasis - a steady state of bodily functioning and equilibrium.

2. The cognitive appraisal approach: Richard Lazarus; stress as a result of person - environment interaction; individual differ in their appraisal of events and people.

3. The person-environment fit approach: Robert Kahn; confusing and conflicting expectations of a person in a social role create stress for the person.

4. The psychoanalytic approach: Harry Levinson; two elements of the personality interact to cause stress.

Ego-ideal - the embodiment of a person's perfect self

Self-image - how a person sees himself or herself, both positively and negatively

24. Discuss primary, secondary and tertiary preventive stress management (+таблица в тетради)

Preventive stress management - an organizational philosophy that holds that people and organizations should take joint responsibility for promoting health and preventing distress and strain.

Primary prevention - the stage in PSM designed to reduce, modify or eliminate the demand or stressor causing stress.

Secondary prevention - the stage in PSM designed to alter of modify the individual's or the organization's response to a demand or stressor.

Tertiary prevention - the stage in PSM designed to heal individual or organizational symptoms of distress and strain.

25. Explain the psychophysiology of the stress response

There happens the activation of the sympathetic nervous system and the endocrine system. These two systems work together and trigger four mind-body changes to prepare the person for fight or flee:

1. The redirection of the blood to the brain and large-muscle groups and away from the skin, internal organs, and extremities.

2. Increased alertness by way of improved vision, hearing, and other sensory processes through the activation of the brainstem.

3. The release of glucose (blood sugar) and fatty acids into the bloodstream to sustain the body during the stressful event.

4. Depression of the immune system, as well as restorative and emergent processes (such as digestion).

This set of four changes shifts the person from a neutral, or naturally defensive, posture to an offensive posture.

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