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Organisational Behaviour (OB)

Organisational Behaviour (OB)Read the following case studies and answer all the FOUR questions in both Tasks: (Task 1: Question 1- 25 marks; Question 2- 25 marks; Task 2: Question 1- 25 marks, Question 2 – 25 marks)

TASK 1: Motivation

Equity in Academia

When the last student left Melinda Wilkerson’s office at 5:30 p.m., the young English Professor just sat, too exhausted to move. Her desk was piled high with student papers, journals, and recommendation forms. “There goes my weekend,” she thought to herself, knowing that just reading and commenting on the thirty journals would take up all of Saturday. She liked reading the journals, getting a glimpse of how her students were reacting to the novels and poems she had them read, watching them grow and change. But recently, as she picked up another journal from the bottomless pile or greeted another student with a smile, she often wondered whether it was all worth it.

Wilkerson had had such a moment about an hour earlier, when Ron Agua, whose office was across the hall, had waved to her as he walked past her door. “I’m off to the Rat,” he announced. “Come join us if you ever get free.” For a moment Wilkerson had stared blankly at the student before her, pondering the scene at the Rathskeller, the university’s most popular restaurant and meeting place. Agua would be there with four or five of the department’s senior members, including Alice Bordy, the department chair. All would be glad to have her join them . . . if only she didn’t have so much work.

At the start of her first year as an assistant professor, Wilkerson had accepted her overwhelming workload as part of the territory. Her pay-cheque was smaller and her hours longer than she had expected, but Agua and the other two new faculty members seemed to be suffering under the same burdens.

But now, in her second semester, Wilkerson was beginning to feel that things weren’t right. The stream of students knocking on her door persisted, but she noticed that Agua was spending less time talking and more time at his word processor than he had during the first semester. When asked, Agua told her he had reduced his course load because of his extra work on the department’s hiring and library committees. He seemed surprised when Wilkerson admitted that she didn’t know there was such a thing as a course reduction.

As the semester progressed, Wilkerson realized there was a lot she didn’t know about the way the department functioned. Agua would disappear once a week or so to give talks to groups around the state and then would turn those talks into papers for scholarly journals—something Wilkerson couldn’t dream of having time to do. She and Agua were still good friends, but she began to see differences in their approaches. “I cut down my office hours this semester,” he told her one day. “With all those students around all the time, I just never had a chance to get my work done.”

Wilkerson had pondered that statement for a few weeks. She thought that dealing with students was “getting work done.” But when salaries for the following year were announced, she realized what Agua meant. He would be making almost £1,000 more than she; the human resources committee viewed his committee work as a valuable asset to the department, his talks around the state had already earned him notoriety, and his three upcoming publications clearly put him ahead of the other first-year professors.

Wilkerson was confused. Agua hadn’t done anything sneaky or immoral—in fact, everything he did was admirable, things she would have liked to do. His trips to the Rat gave him the inside scoop on what to do and whom to talk to, but she couldn’t blame him for that either. She could have done exactly the same thing. They worked equally hard, she thought. Yet Agua already was the highly paid star, whereas she was just another overworked instructor.

As she began piling all the books, papers, and journals into her bag, Wilkerson thought about what she could do. She could quit and go somewhere else where she might be more appreciated, but jobs were hard to find and she suspected that the same thing might happen there. She could charge sex discrimination and demand to be paid as much as Agua, but that would be unfair to him and she didn’t really feel discriminated against for being a woman. The university simply didn’t value what she did with her time as highly as it valued what Agua did with his.

Putting on her coat, Wilkerson spotted a piece of paper that had dropped out of one of the journals. She picked it up and saw it was a note from Wendy Martin, one of her freshman students. “Professor Wilkerson,” it read, “I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to talk to me last week. I really needed to talk to someone experienced about it, and all my other professors are men, and I just couldn’t have talked to them. You helped me a whole lot.”

Sighing, Wilkerson folded the note, put it in her bag, and closed her office door. Suddenly the pile of journals and the £1,000 didn’t seem so important.

Answer all the questions (1,500 words)

1. By applying either MASLOW’S HIERARCYOF NEEDS or HERZBERG’S MOTIVATION-HYGIENE THEORY, explain the factors that have contributed to the dissatisfaction of Wilkerson.
(25 marks)

2. How the predicament that Wilkerson is going through could be addressed through VROOM’S EXPECTANCY THEORY
(25 marks)

NB: The answers should briefly explain the theories by providing references (Harvard referencing format).
TASK 2: Managing Teams
Teams at Evans RV Wholesale Supply and Distribution Company

Evans RV Wholesale Supply and Distribution Company sells parts, equipment, and supplies for recreational vehicles-motor homes, travel trailers, campers, and similar vehicles. In addition, Evans has a service department for the repair and service of RVs. The owner, Alex Evans, bought the company five years ago from its original owner, changed the name of the company, and has finally made it profitable, although it has been rough going. The organization is set up in three divisions: service, retail parts and supplies, and wholesale parts and supplies. Alex, the owner, CEO, and president, has a vice president for each operating division and a vice president of finance and operations. The organization chart shows these divisions and positions.

In the warehouse there are three groups: receiving (checking orders for completeness, returning defective merchandise, stocking the shelves, filling orders), service parts, and order filling for outgoing shipments. The warehouse group is responsible for all activities related to parts and supplies receiving, storage, and shipping.

The retail sales division includes all functions related to selling of parts and supplies at the two stores and in the mobile sales trailer. Personnel in the retail division include salespeople and cashiers. The retail salespeople also work in the warehouse because the warehouse also serves as the showroom for walk-in customers.

In the service department the service manager supervises the service writers, one scheduler, and lead mechanics and technicians. The service department includes the collision repair group at the main store and the service department at the satellite store. The collision repair group has two service writers who have special expertise in collision repair and insurance regulations. Two drivers who move RVs around the “yard” also work in the service division.

The accounting and finance groups do everything related to the money side of the business, including accounts payable and receivable, cash management, and payroll. Also in this group is the one person who handles all of the traditional personnel functions.

Alex has run other small businesses and is known as a benevolent owner, always taking care of the loyal employees who work hard and are the backbone of any small business. He is also known as being real tough on anyone who loafs on the job or tries to take unfair advantage of Alex or the company. Most of the employees are either veterans of the RV industry at Evans or elsewhere, or are very young and still learning the business. Alex is working hard to develop a good work ethic among the younger employees and to keep the old-timers fully involved. Since he bought the business, Alex has instituted new, modern, employee-centred human resource policies. However, the company is still a traditional hierarchically structured organization.

The company is located in a major metropolitan area that has a lot of potential customers for the RV business. The region has many outdoor recreational activities and an active retirement community that either lives in RVs (motor homes, trailers, or mobile homes) or uses them for recreation. The former owner of the business specifically chose not to be in the RV sales business, figuring that parts and service was the better end of the business. Two stores are strategically located on opposite ends of the metropolitan area, and a mobile sales office is moved around the major camping and recreational areas during the peak months of the year.

When Alex bought the company, the parts and supplies business was only retail, relying on customers to walk in the door to buy something. After buying the business, Alex applied good management, marketing, and cash-management principles to get the company out of the red and into profitability. Although his was not the only such business in town, it was the only one locally owned, and it had a good local following.

About two years ago, Alex recognized that the nature of the business was changing. First, he saw the large nationwide retailers moving into town. These retailers were using discount pricing in large warehouse-type stores. These large retail stores could use volume purchasing to get lower prices from manufacturers, and they had the large stores necessary to store and shelve the large inventory. Alex, with only two stores, was unable to get such low prices from manufacturers. He also noted that retired people were notorious for shopping around for the lowest prices, but they also appreciated good, friendly customer service. People interested in recreational items also seemed to be following the national trend to shop via catalogues.

So for a variety of reasons Alex began to develop a wholesale business by becoming a wholesale distributor to the many RV parts and supply businesses in the small towns located in the recreational areas around that state and in surrounding states. At the same time, he created the first catalogue for RV parts and supplies, featuring all the brand-name parts and supplies by category and supplier. The catalogue had a very attractive camping scene on the cover, a combination of attractively displayed items and many pages full of all the possible parts and supplies that the RV owner could think of. Of course, he made placing an order very easy, by phone, mail, or fax, and accepted many easy payment methods. He filled both distributor orders and catalogue orders from his warehouse in the main store using standard mail and parcel delivery services, charging the full delivery costs to the customers. He credits the business’s survival so far to his diversification into the warehouse and catalogue business through which he could directly compete with the national chains.

Although it is now barely profitable, Alex is concerned about the changes in the industry and the competition and about making the monthly payments on the £5 million loan he got from the bank to buy the business in the first place. In addition, he reads about the latest management techniques and attends various professional conferences around the country. He has been hearing and reading about this team-based organization idea and thinks it might be just the thing to energize his company and take it to the next level of performance and profitability. At the annual strategic planning retreat in August, Alex announced to his top management team that starting on October 1 (the beginning of the next fiscal year), the company would be changing to a team-based arrangement.
Answer all the questions (1,500 words)

• Alex has announced changing the company into a team-based management. What factors should be consider to transform the company into a team-based management Explain your answer by applying the Team Effectiveness Model (Context, Composition, Work Redesign, and Process).
(25 marks)

• If Alex were to call you in as a consultant, what would you tell him to do Describe the different types of teams, and justify what type of team (problem-solving team, self-managed team, cross-functional team, and virtual team) would be most suitable to the company.
(25 marks)

NB: The answers should briefly explain the theories by providing references (Harvard referencing format).
Word Limit and weighting for the assessment:
• Word Limit – Total word limit- 3000 words.
• Weight – 40% of the module.
Report Structure:-

• Title Page
• Table of Content
• Executive summary
• Introduction
• Question 1
• Question 2
• Question 3
• Question 4
• Conclusions
• References
• Bibliography

Description of Assessment Requirements

1. All assignments must be word processed – handwritten assignments will attract an automatic FAIL grade.

2. Assignments will be graded on the basis of research done, analysis of the facts collated, stand taken and the justification of the stand.
3. All research must be referenced using the Harvard Style of Referencing and a Reference and Bibliography list attached. Improper or lack of either of these constitutes plagiarism and students will be awarded a Zero.
4. Students found copying from other students will also be charged with collusion and awarded a Zero.

Assessment criteria
Content-has the question been answered (20 marks maximum)
Weak answer to the question with little or no justification: 1-7
Satisfactory answer with some justification: 8-14
Good answer with good justification: 15-20

Literature review-Collection of data from a range of sources (35 marks maximum)
Little or no evidence of data: 1-10
Satisfactory range of sources: 11-24
Excellent range of sources: 25-35

Analysis and evaluation of the case study (35 marks maximum)
Weak analysis with little or no evaluation: 1-10
Satisfactory analysis with some evaluation: 11-24
Good analysis with good evaluation: 25-35
Presentation, structure and Harvard referencing (10 marks maximum)
Weak presentation, weak structure and poor Harvard referencing: 1-3
Satisfactory presentation, logically structured argument and satisfactory Harvard referencing: 4-6
Good presentation, logically structured argument and satisfactory Harvard referencing: 7-10


Module Learning Outcomes to be Assessed:-
• understand fundamental concepts and principles of management, including the basic roles, skills, and functions of management
• understand the nature of change in the organisation.
• evaluate the alternative leadership styles and make a decision regarding their appropriate use.

Marking Scheme

Topic Marks Possible
Question 1
A review of contemporary and academic literature
Collection of data from a range of sources

Content and analysis
Has the question been answered / is the answer focused

Question 2
A review of contemporary and academic literature
Collection of data from a range of sources

Content and analysis
Has the question been answered / is the answer focused

Question 3
A review of contemporary and academic literature
Collection of data from a range of sources

Content and analysis
Has the question been answered / is the answer focused 10
Question 4
A review of contemporary and academic literature
Collection of data from a range of sources 13
Content and analysis
Has the question been answered / is the answer focused
Presentation and structure of the assignment including referencing of sources as per the Harvard style. 10

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