Questions on Organization Behaviour, Structure, Processes
Words : 2500
Question 1: What similarities and differences do you see among planning, organizing, leading and controlling functions? Explain Do managers who perform well in one function likely to perform well in the others? Why? If managerial work is characterized by 'brevity, variety and fragmentation', how do managers perform basic management functions such as planning, which would seem to require reflection and analysis?
Question 2: Identify major personality traits and describe how personality can influence workplace attitudes and behavior Extroversion is considered a “good” quality to have - how about introversion? Why? Do people from the same country / ethnic background have a common personality type? Why? Explain.
Question 3: “A company’s obligation is to be profitable – unprofitable enterprises can’t afford to be socially responsible”. Discuss why you agree or disagree with this statement. How can management create an ethical culture? Is it socially responsible for organizations to undertake political activity or join with others in a trade association to influence the government? Discuss.
Question 4: What is meant by the core competency and synergy components of strategy? Explain. Perform a SWOT analysis for the university campus you attend. Do you think your campus administrators consider these factors when devising their strategy? Why it is important for an organization’s control system to be linked to its overall strategy?
Case Study: Summer Job
John, a university student, was happy. He had just been able to find a summer job. The job might not be that interesting in itself, working on the factory floor, but at least he was going to make a bit of money that would help him to support himself through his studies at university. Perhaps more important was that he had finally managed to get his ‘foot in the door’ in a company which may give him the opportunity to work part-time throughout his remaining two years at the University. He knew that with the current high unemployment levels it wasn’t easy to find even a factory job. He was determined to make the most of this and show the plant manager who had hired him that he was willing to work hard. That might help him to expand his job beyond the summer.
On the following Monday John turned up to work and was given a brief tour of the factory by the plant manager to familiarize himself with the various work areas and the steps in the production process. He was also briefly introduced to some of the other workers, nearly all of them ‘old-timers’ who had been with the company for many years. Even if the company was working on a reduced staff level during the summer period, there was still a crew of about twenty who were going to look after both delivery and production. John’s job was in the assembly stage, where he was going to be one of twelve people assembling products for the car industry. Seven people were employed in either the delivery section where the trucks came in to pick up the products or in the packaging section where the orders were packed either into boxes or crates. Another person drove the electric lifter which was moving the products between the various assembly points and finally out of the storage or packaging area.
After the brief tour the plant manager called over Ken, one of the other people in the production process, and told him to show John how to do the assembly job that he had been allocated. It did not turn out to be very difficult and John grasped the basics of the task fairly quickly. Ken lingered around for a while and they chit-chatted for a while before he returned to his work station.
John noticed during the morning that the work pace among the other workers around him was pretty relaxed. The only time it seemed to pick up was when the plant manager came through the factory, which happened a couple of times. On one of these trips the manager came over to john to check how he was going. When he saw how quickly John had been able to learn the task he was quite impressed and told John to keep it up. John felt pretty proud that he had been able to impress the plant manager, and he became so engrossed in his job that he did not notice that it was time for the lunch break until the whole factory floor was deserted.
He felt a bit stupid when he walked into the canteen where the rest of the staffs were already into their lunch packs. He also noticed a few strange looks from some of the workers and that couple suddenly lowered their voices as he came into the canteen. After getting his lunch box out of the fridge he looked around to see which group he would join. He discovered Ken over in one of the corners, sitting with another worker, and decided to join them. He had not had much time to get to know any of the other staff. As he sat down at the table and opened his lunch box both Ken and the other person mumbled some excuse about having to see a couple of other people over at the far end of the canteen. John was left on his own with his lunch.
The afternoon continued very much in the same way as the morning. John kept on working at a good pace, and the assembled products were piling up at his work station. His pile seemed to be higher than any of the other seasoned veterans. He noticed again that they seemed to take it easy and also that a few of them tended to walk around talking with some of the others.
Just before the coffee break in the afternoon, Ken came up to John to see how he was going. Ken seemed to be bothered about something but John could not put his finger on what it was. Just before Ken left, he made a bit of a joke about how hard John seemed to be working. The next day was much the same, but John overheard some remarks he was obviously intended to overhear about ‘smart arsed’ university types. When he went to get his lunch it was missing, but nobody knew anything about it! John felt the atmosphere was decidedly frigid.
Questions: Focusing on the relevant OB concepts, explain what happened in this case. Briefly explain what would you do if you were John? Why? Assume that you were replacing the plant manager in this company, how would you rectify this situation? Will strong or weak cultures have the greater impact on employees? Why? Are there times when a strong culture might reduce effectiveness? Discuss.
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