Week 1 DQ 1 In many organizations, being "people-centered" is considered soft, irrelevant, and unrelated to profitability. Using support from historical perspectives of organizational behavior along with your assigned article readings regarding conscious capitalism, explain how you would rebut these arguments. Use the conscious capitalism concept as a framework and consider at least two companies that have successfully adopted this business philosophy to gain success and combat traditional corporate approaches. How do these companies embody the tenet of "higher purpose" and create deeper meaning by focusing their goals beyond profits and inspiring their stakeholders?
Week 1 DQ 2 Review the "Skills Exhibited by an Effective Manager" (Table 1-2 in Organizational Behavior). Identify your particular areas of strength and discuss opportunities for your own development as a manager.
Week 2 DQ 1 Discuss the role that emotional intelligence (EI) plays in the self-leadership. Be sure to provide an analysis of all four dimensions of EI (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management) in your response.
Week 2 DQ 2 Refer to the results of your "Rokeach Values Survey" that you completed for this week's assignment
Week 3 DQ 1 What is the current design of your job? Assume that the opportunity arose for you to utilize the idiosyncratic deals (i-deals) in redesigning your job. What would you do to make your job inherently more motivating? How would you design the feedback and reward systems in the new job? Be sure to include comments on two content theories and two process theories and highlight the significance of each theory.
Week 3 DQ 2 Goal setting research suggests that people should be given difficult goals. Provide an explanation that reconciles this research finding with expectancy theory. Use a practical example (preferably work related) to illustrate this.
Week 4 DQ 1 Refer to Figure 11-2 in the Organizational Behavior textbook. Which of the reasons for team failure have you experienced and how would you do things differently to ensure that any team you are involved in will be successful? Research the tenet of conscious culture and explain its role in promoting successful teams.
Week 4 DQ 2 Although virtual teams are becoming more prevalent, there have been mixed reviews on their effectiveness. Read "The Best Online Platforms for Virtual Meetings," "5 Tips for Virtual Collaboration," and "Yahoo Orders Homeworkers Back to the Office." Discuss the steps you would take to manage a successful virtual team (be sure to discuss how you would choose a platform to use and guidelines for monitoring virtual team performance).
Week 5 DQ 1 Many types of negotiations occur in business settings. This example is indicative of the ethical dilemmas inherent in many negotiations.
Assume for a moment that you are the owner and CEO of a small machine and tool company. You have 35 employees, most of whom are highly skilled machinists who belong to a local union. Generally, you are an open manager with an abiding sense of fair play and ethics. For this reason, you have been able to attract workers who are skilled and committed to the company's long-term success. In fact, labor relations are calm – even harmonious. For example, contract violations are usually handled between you and shop stewards in a problem-solving context with an almost complete absence of acrimony or contentiousness. Now, however, you face a serious and unprecedented issue. Due to an economic downturn, business activity has taken a sharp decline with the expectation that things will get much worse. You have just met with your accountant who has informed you there is no other choice but to lay off people or reduce wages. Your initial meeting with the union representatives shocked you into reality because it was filled with divisiveness, arguing, name-calling, and even occasional profanity. Things turn much worse in the second meeting because the union lawyers are present. After reading the article "Ethics in Negotiation: Oil and Water or Good Lubrication," you are stunned to discover that the deceptive tactics outlined in the article read like a primer for what the union is doing. Answer the following questions based on the case and the article:
- What type of conflict is occurring in this case, and what conflict management style would you, as the manager use? Justify your choice.
- What are the challenges to effective communication in this case and how can these challenges be mitigated?
- How would evidence-based decision making help in resolving this case?
Week 5 DQ 2 Workers increasingly rely on means of technology-mediated communication in the workplace. Besides e-mail, workers commonly utilize tools, such as instant messaging and virtual meeting spaces, to regularly interact with coworkers and clients. How do you think such tools impact interpersonal dynamics in the workplace? What are the benefits and challenges of these tools? How might those challenges be overcome?
Week 6 DQ 1 Conduct some web-based research into one organization that professes to have adopted a servant leadership philosophy (e.g., SWA, Men's Warehouse, TDIndustries). What are the organization's values? Compare these organizations to another in the same industry using major performance metrics (employee turnover, market share, profitability, etc.) and conclude whether or not you think having a servant leader philosophy makes a significant difference in company performance.
Week 6 DQ 2 Read the article, "Leaders, Too, Need Support." How do you see yourself in the role of supportive follower? What power bases would a supportive follower be more likely to employ? What challenges do you have with this concept? What can you do to overcome those challenges?
Week 7 DQ 1 One of your managers hears you have just completed your MBA. He looks at you and smirks and says, "All this emphasis on relationships is overrated. I have always made it clear to my subordinates what they need to do if they want to remain employed. All I have to say to them is 'get it done and you will get rewarded, and if not, there will be consequences.' It truly is that simple! Developing relationships with employees and suppliers or contractors, all that stuff is only good in the textbooks. It never delivers results." Prepare a response to this manager and post it on the discussion board.
Week 7 DQ 2 Contrast the tradeoffs involved when an organization decides it is going to restructure. Be sure that you evaluate the critical organizational design variables that you would want to consider if you were heading up such a project. Next, evaluate the organizational chart for your current organization. Provide recommendations for revising the organizational design so it more effectively serves the mission of the firm and its many stakeholders.
Week 8 DQ 1 Discuss the ethical implications of a leader's role in the socialization of new hires into the preexisting culture of an organization. What responsibility does a company have to inform newly hired persons that it wants to shape their values, perceptions, and behavior to conform to the organization's culture? What impact does socialization have on both individual and organizational effectiveness?
Week 8 DQ 2 Contrast the corporate values espoused by two Fortune 500 companies. Select two firms that seem to manifest very different cultures. Your response should focus on the tradeoffs you would experience working in the two firms in terms of the values you bring to the workplace. How might your values fit in or clash with the culture of these two organizations?