MGMT591 Course Discussions Week 1-7


MGMT591 Course Discussions Week 1-7
People are so complicated, there’s so much going on inside each of them, much of what we think…


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MGMT591 Course Discussions Week 1-7

MGMT591 Course Discussions Week 1-7

All Students Posts – 998 Pages

Week 1 All Students Posts – 137 Pages

OB Challenges – 76 Pages

This week, our text discusses the definition of organizational behavior, and in particular, its applied focus. Our lesson focuses on high-performance organizations (HPOs). However, in order to become a HPO, an organization needs to navigate the complexities of the workforce as well as mitigate the challenges that exist. What are some of the biggest challenges and opportunities that exist for managers in using OB concepts? Give specific examples. How can the study of OB help organizations work through these challenges successfully? What does it mean–specifically–to treat employees as your most valuable asset? What is work-life balance all about? Why is this such an important concept for all leaders to understand?…

The Individual: Diversity in Organizations – 61 Pages

People are so complicated, there’s so much going on inside each of them, much of what we think we know about each of them we don’t. That’s where perception, presumption, and attribution, not to mention stereotype, fail us. There is no one set path. Idiosyncratic is the best way to really describe people. Everyone is outside the box. Everyone is an exception to the rule. No one is “the average.” It is ultimately the only true diversity. That makes each person, each individual, one of kind. Nothing routine about any of them. Source: Adapted from Louis Scheimer, Valdosta State University. How can leaders help their followers maximize their learning while minimizing their pain?  Review the attached reading: Motivating Across Generations
1. Do you agree with the author’s basic premise, “The better you understand the unique combination of factors that motivates each generation, the better you can tap those motivators and gain the best combined effort from your entire team.”
2. What is the “unique combination of factors” the writer refers to?
3. What is the most important lesson you took away from this reading? …

MGMT591 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Week 2 All Students Posts – 160 Pages

Satisfied Workers and Individual Differences – 87 Pages

Our discussion this week focuses on the topics in Chapter 3-6 in the textbook. For starters…assume you are new to your job, and on the first day you have a conversation with your boss, who says, “Satisfied workers are productive workers.” Do you agree with her statement? Why? Why not? Please support your opinion with evidence from our readings. Please also remember to respond to your classmates’ posts to stimulate further discussion. I will also introduce discussion starters related to emotion and mood, personality and values, and emotional intelligence as the week unfolds. For clarity, what exactly is job satisfaction? What are the factors that influence satisfaction? Is this something leaders can control and influence?

  1. This one may be a challenge. Describe Moe Stein using the Big Five Personality Dimensions (p. 125 in textbook). Arguably, Mr. Stein has been a business success. How do you explain this in terms of the dimensions? Does he possess a dimension that should be inconsistent with success?
  2. Does Moe Stein experience job satisfaction? What do you believe contributes to this?
  3. What kind of emotions do you see surface in this case? Is there evidence of emotional contagion?
  4. Does Moe Stein have emotional intelligence (EI)? What would Moe’s son say? Analyze Stein in terms of the four EI competencies. Does the fact that Frank’s Sport Shop is located in the Bronx matter?…

Decision Making and Perception – 73 Pages

Poor quality decisions are endemic in business today. As Paul Nutt remarked in his 2002 book, Why Decisions Fail, “Half of the decisions made in organizations fail, making failure far more prevalent than previously thought” (p. 22). Unfortunately, things have not improved dramatically since then.  Fortunately, we have a useful body of knowledge available to help us improve our decision making skill. We’ll begin with a case study to get at some basic decision making fundamentals coupled with additional material I’ll share as we explore this important topic.
Here is our case study on decision making. Discussion questions found at the end of the case document. Address only ONE question at a time. What is your assessment of the Admiral’s decision-making process? Consider the steps in the decision-making process. What steps were skipped or short-circuited?

  1. What type of decision making environment characterized the decision frame in this case? [Structured? Unstructured? Ambiguous? Uncertain?]
  2. What decision-making traps (biases) are evident in this case?
  3. If you were Kimmel’s advisor, what antidotes to the common biases and errors would you have suggested to help his decision-making process?
  4. What role does intuition play in the decision-making process?
  5. Do you see any evidence of groupthink in this case?
  6. Do you detect any individual differences or organizational constraints evident in this case impacting the decision-making process?
  7. Did you see any evidence of creative thinking in this case study?
  8. If you knew then what you know now, how would you have redesigned Kimmel’s structures and processes so that effective decision-making could occur?
  9. BONUS QUESTION: Apply the Paul & Elder model to critical thinking to identify any flaws in the Adm. Kimmel decision making process.
    What is the most important lesson you take from this case?  Can the SUTFS partially explain Dr. Jones’s dilemma?…

MGMT591 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Week 3 All Students Posts – 164 Pages

Application of Motivation Theories – 81 Pages

CLASS…here is our case study on motivation for this week. Concentrate your efforts on helping the class understand the varied motivation theories in our readings this week. Description:
This case centers on a newly minted college graduate who takes a position as an assistant manager at a family-owned chain of video outlets. The new assistant manager’s interactions with his immediate boss, the family’s son, and the owners make for an interesting dynamic for our study of motivation theories this week….Provide an explanation why Robert quit his job using ONE of the following motivation theories.

  • Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy
  • Alderfer’s ERG–>
  • Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory
  • Theory X, Theory Y
  • McClelland’s Learned Needs Theory
  • Vroom’s Expectancy Theory
  • Equity Theory
  • Locke’s Goal Setting Theory
  • Self-Efficacy Theory
  • Reinforcement Theory
  • Procedural Justice
  • Bonus: Self-Determination Theory
  • Bonus: Integrative Theory of Motivation (Exhibit 7-9, p. 208)

What is the purpose of teaching motivation skills to managers? Should managers learn these skills so they can help employees reach their potential? Or are we teaching these skills to managers so they can more effectively manipulate their employees’ behavior? What do you think?…

Job Characteristics Model and Rewards/Recognition – 83 Pages

In Chapter 8 our authors introduce the Job Characteristics Model. Please open the attached excel spreadsheet– Job Diagnostic Survey. Click on the survey tab at the bottom of the sheet and complete the survey. Note that there are 5 tabs…introduction, survey, results, graph of your results, and tutorial.
Post your Motivating Potential Score (MPS) with a shortened title describing the job for which the score applies. Then describe specific things that can be done to enrich the job using the core job dimensions identified by the job characteristics model. What obstacles would have to be overcome to apply the model to this particular job? [Please list the scores for each of the 5 core job dimensions as well]

So what does this mean? Why should we care about someone’s MPS score?
How does this model compare to the process and content models of motivation we’re discovering in our other thread?…

MGMT591 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Week 4 All Students Posts – 119 Pages

What Constitutes a Team? – 70 Pages

CLASS….here is our group and team dynamics case study for this week.


  1. What is the difference between a group and a team? When is a team structure appropriate?
  2. What characteristics define a high performing team?
  3. What is your evaluation of the Fore software team’s process? What were the root causes of the team’s process problems? [In your response define for us what we mean by team process]
  4. What were the strengths of the Fore team? Weaknesses?
  5. Were the differences among the team members a liability or an asset?
  6. How effective has Scott been in leading the Fore software development team? What actions most affected group performance positively or negatively?
  7. Why is the jump to first-time manager so difficult?
  8. Consider the team’s culture: What are the values and norms? What does the team do that is not required but nonetheless affects its performance for better or worse? Why is the culture the way it is?
  9. Research shows that teams go through predictable stages. Using the stages of group development model introduced in the text, assess Matt’s team development cycle. Did the team truly reach the Performing stage? Why or why not?
  10. Consider leadership style: What kind of leadership style is required by a team leader? What is Matt’s leadership style? How might his style affect the culture and outcomes of his team?
  11. Who was most influential on this team? Least influential?
  12. What is the impact of bringing individuals into a preexisting network (team)? Does this have a positive or negative influence on the relationships between all other parts of that collective?
  13. What if anything, should Scott have done earlier to avoid the team’s problems?
  14. At the end of the case, what actions could Matt have taken to increase the team’s effectiveness?
  15. Discuss how a knowledge of any ONE of the following group/team concepts could have benefited Scott:
ü  Roles and role dynamics

ü  Team norms

ü  Status

ü  Cohesion

ü  Team size

ü  Group/team composition

ü  Conflict management

ü  Collaboration

ü  Team charter

ü  Clarifying purpose

ü  Team leadership

ü  Influence


ü  Team structure

ü  Decision making—how do we make decisions

ü  Goals and rewards

ü  Social loafing

ü  Team building

ü  Task and maintenance processes

ü  Communication—how do we communicate

ü  Creating a team culture


16. What key lessons can we take from this case about managing teams?

So…we can say we want our team to demonstrate selflessness, be a strong family, and communicate. But how does a team make this happen? What is the process to get to these behaviors? How are they enforced?…

A Lesson in Team Building – 49 Pages

“Help! I have just been assigned to head a new product design team at my company. The division manager has high expectations for the team and for myself, but I have been a technical design engineer for four years since graduating from college. I have never managed anyone, let alone led a team. The manager keeps talking about her confidence that I will be very good at creating lots of teamwork. Does anyone out there have any tips to help me master this challenge? Help!”

You immediately start to formulate your recommendations. What are the three key things you will advise her to do, and why those three first? Is there a danger in too much cohesion? Please review Six Common Misperceptions about Teamwork by Prof. Hackman, Harvard University.
Do any of his misperceptions surprise you? Why or why not? Check out “What Makes Teams Work?, Fast company

  1. There are several different perspectives on team effectiveness subscribed to by the practitioners in this article. What are the similarities and differences of their approaches?
  2. How do these actual experiences with teams compare to the academic literature on teams in organizations?
  3. Do different organizations require differing approaches to team formation? Why or why not?…

MGMT591 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Week 5 All Students Posts – 157 Pages

Communication and Conflict – 78 Pages

Class…here is our case study on conflict and communication. MR. HART & MR. BING


  1. Based on the discussion of the elements of communication process [Exhibit 11-1] in your text, where are the breakdowns in communications occurring in this case?
  2. What barriers to effective communication are presented in this case?
  3. What in your opinion must be done to improve communication between Mr. Hart and Mr. Bing?
  4. What questions regarding interpersonal communication remain unanswered?


  1. What type of conflict exists in this case? Loci?
  2. What stage of the conflict process is evident in this case? Explain.
  3. What are the antecedents that contribute to the conflict in this case?
  4. What recommendations do you have for resolving the conflict? Use our text framework on dimensions of conflict-handling intention (Exhibit 14-2)
  5. Do you see any opportunity where negotiation might be useful here? Use concepts from our chapter reading pp. 411-423.
  6. Which conflict resolution style would likely be ineffective?
  7. What questions regarding conflict management remain unanswered?

Is there one style that’s more like the natural you and one that you’ve started to adopt based on your current team or organization culture? Where do you think that style evolved from? Which style rings true for you? Which is most like you on a bad day?…

MGMT591 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Leadership – 79 Pages

CLASS…here is our leadership case study for this week–Tale of Two Leaders.
PLUS as part of our coverage of leadership, complete the Personal Power Profile assessment in my first thread and share your results.
NOTE: Toward the end of the week, look for my discussion topics on followership and organizational politics.


  1. Is Dunlap an effective leader? Abrashoff? Why or why not?
    1. Is there a difference between a successful and effective leader?
    2. What is the most effective style of leading? Is it better to be loved or feared?
  2. What types of managerial behaviors did Dunlap exhibit? Abrahsoff? Identify examples of effective and ineffective behaviors exhibited by both leaders.
  3. What do you think the LSI profile of each leader would reveal?
  4. What leadership traits caused Dunlap to experience initial career success but eventual derailment? What traits contributed to Mike Abrashoff’s success? [Consider Fig. 13.1(p. 307) in your text]
  5. Describe the leadership style of each leader using anyone one of the contingency (situational) theories (e.g., Fielder, House’s Path-Goal Theory, Hersey & Blanchard’s Situational Leadership Theory).
  6. Do any of the inspirational leadership perspectives (charismatic, transformational, transactional) apply in this case? Explain.
  7. Are any of the moral leadership theories (ethical, authentic, servant, and spiritual) manifested in this case? Explain.
  8. Are the leaders in your organization like those described here? What effect do they have on the motivation of their followers? Is there something of them in you?
  9. What type and how much power and influence did Dunlap have over his subordinates? What counter power did the employees have over Dunlap? What is the long-term effect of this type of leadership on the output and well-being of the organization?
  10. How did Dunlap get away with being so bad for so long? Can an organization afford to have these kinds of leaders continue to lead others?
  11. Do you see any evidence of organizational politics in this case? Do you think organizations can order the end of power and politics in their organizations?
  12. What prevents leaders such as Dunlap from growing, learning, and changing?
  13. Abrashoff or Dunlap, whom would you hire?
  14. What lessons does this case illustrate about effective leadership?

CLASS….Check out this fantastic 3 minute TED video.
QUESTIONS (Pick one):
+  In the video, what is some of the terminology the narrator uses that shows that he recognizes the importance of the term “followership?”
+  In the video, the narrator says that the leader embraces the first follower as an equal. Remember a time when you embraced as an equal or felt empowered as a follower. What caused you to feel this way? What role does the leader play in empowering followers?
+  In the video, the narrator says that new followers emulate followers – not the leaders? Do you agree or disagree?
+  In the video, the narrator says that leadership is over-glorified. Do you agree or disagree?
+  What’s it like to be a follower in a situation/organization/context with traditional (industrial) mindset of followership? How is it the same or different from a context with a post-industrial mindset of followership?
+  Have your thoughts on followers changed from this exercise? How? Are there ideas about followership that warrant more thought?…

MGMT591 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Week 6 All Students Posts – 155 Pages

Organizational Culture and OCI – 101 Pages

CLASS…Here is our case study on organizational culture.
Please see my first thread posting. Also share your OCI results in the threads.

Zappos Culture

  1. How would you describe the corporate culture at Zappos? Is it an asset or liability? Explain.
  2. If we administered a culture survey to all Zappos employees and management, do you think the espoused culture as described by management would match the culture expressed by the employees? Why or why not?
  3. What effect does Zappos culture have on teamwork, job satisfaction, turnover, and performance?
  4. A company’s corporate culture is mirrored in the character or “personality” of its work environment. Our text discusses three levels of analysis in studying organizational culture. Provide an example from the case or video that illustrates an observable aspect of the culture, shared values, and common assumptions.
  5.  What is the relationship between Zappos’s culture and its business strategy? Why is this important?
  6. Evaluate why you think the culture at Zappos continues to work for them
    despite the many changes in the company over the years.
  7. Do you think Zappos can continue to successfully maintain their culture now that they are merging with Or will the culture morph into something else?
  8. Can Zappos competitors copy their culture? Why or why not? What’s your take on the Zappos seminars to teach others how to emulate its culture?
  9. How and when do cultures typically change and adapt?  Do you think it would
    be difficult to change the corporate culture at Zappos?
  10. Did you ever work at a company or organization with a distinct corporate
    culture?  Do smaller firms have a corporate culture?  What and who shapes that
    culture at small firms or large corporations? Explain.
  11.  Do you think you would be a good fit with the culture at Zappos?
    Explain.  Why is it so important to make sure you fit with the culture at a
    company before you take a job?  What methods do companies use to try and figure
    out if you could both do the job and fit in with the culture?  Why is a good
    fit also important for a company?
  12. What is an important “take away” the Zappos case offers?
  13. Changing a company culture that is unhealthy or dysfunctional is among the toughest management tasks because of the heavy anchor of ingrained behaviors and ways of doing things. Naturally, employees will be reluctant to change and will want to maintain the status quo. Assume you’ve been charged with implementing a culture change at Zappos or any other organization. Help the class understand some of the issues and planning steps you would consider in making a compelling case for culture change as well as implementing the culture-change effort.

With respect to your own organization, ask yourself these questions: Do you know your own culture? Can you articulate it? Is your culture “okay”, but not great? Is cultural change needed? If you know that your culture is weak, but the organization is still performing, is the performance sustainable under those circumstances? Is the impetus for change there?…

MGMT591 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Organizational Structure and Design – 54 Pages

CLASS…here is our case study on organization design and structure.
Self-assessment: Organizational Design Preference…


READ the  June 2014 Talent Management article GOIN ROWE at (attached).

Then address the following questions. Do NOT try to answer all the questions at one time. Respond to ONE question initially. We’ll try to cover all the questions over the course of the week. Feel free to raise other issues as well related to organization structure and design (and what you read in the text).

  1. How would you classify the structure (see section in text “Common Organizational Designs”)? Defend your answer.
  2. Evaluate design in terms of the six elements of  organization structure discussed in your text.
  3. What is the driving force behind shift to the new way of organizing work? Does the new structure match the strategy?
  4. What are the key factors in success in facilitating the use of ROWE, results-only work environment?
  5. What kind of skills, ability, and employee characteristics are required to successfully work in this new environment?
  6. What is the post-geographic office referred to in the reading and how does it differ from the more traditional organization structures discussed in the chapter readings?
  7. What are some critical elements that should be considered when designing virtual work?
  8. Is hierarchy dead at Is hierarchy a good or bad thing?
  9. What effect does the new structure have on spans of control. Define the concept. What is the optimal span of control?
  10. How does the nature of technology influence its organization design?
  11. What challenges will face as they work to sustain the transition to ROWE?  Do you think are the most important sources of resistance to the new design?
  12. Is structure relatively mechanistic or organic in nature? Complete Organization Assessment to help you in this assessment.
  13. What integrating mechanisms do you think does use to coordinate its activities? To what degree does the organization standardize its activities, and how does it do this?
  14. Would you say the organization is highly differentiated (the grouping of people and tasks)? Highly integrated (coordinating the activities of different divisions and functions)? Is there a balance between integration and differentiation?
  15. Would the paradigm work in your own organization? Why or why not?
  16. Give an example of a specific company you know that fits each of the following organization forms: functional, divisional, matrix, hybrid, or virtual.
  17. What unanswered question about organization design and structure do you have?

Does ROWE ask more of the managers or the employees? Please review Gary Hamel’s article “Most of Us Are Working In Big Bureaucratic Organizations Then Ever Before” Do you agree with his thesis that bureaucracy  is a cancer that eats away at economic productivity and organizational resilience? Sylbanus…why is this important?…

Week 7 All Students Posts – 106 Pages

Resistance to Change – 60 Pages

CLASS…here is our case study on change for this week. Although a simple example of a change initiative gone wrong, it offers us many lessons to explore the full spectrum of change management issues. Focus all your efforts on this case study this week! I look forward to your comments and analysis in the threads.
Note: I will add further topics related to resistance and change as the week unfolds.


Using what you’ve learned from your reading and class discussion about organizational change theories and principles, analyze and explain the situation in the JMU postal service warehouse.

Be sure to apply any of the following points in your analysis:

  • Drivers for change
  • Resistance to change
  • Lewin 3-phase change model or Kotter’s 8-step model
  • Force Field Analysis
  • Organizational Development, Appreciative Inquiry
  • Culture and Change
  • Learning Organization

Why do people resist change? Part of the answer lies  in the concept of locus of control. Who is driving the change? Who is influencing its course? Basically, whose change is it?…

MGMT591 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Stress Management and Performance Management – 46 Pages

Currently, a quarter of all employees view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives.   The World Health Organization describes stress as the…Many of us now work in constantly connected, always-on, highly demanding work cultures where stress and the risk of burnout are widespread.
This is a problem that costs U.S. businesses significant losses in terms of productivity, increases in worker’s compensation claims, increased turnover, and increased health-care costs.  Workers will experience job stress at some point in their lives. But what effect does it have on our health? According to new research, work stress damages our health just as much as exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke. See and…
The effects of stress exist on a bell curve — that is, some is good, but too much becomes bad: As the nervous system secretes more and more stress hormones, performance increases, but up to a point; after that tipping point, performance begins to suffer as the hormones continue to flow. Because stress is a threat to productivity and employee well-being, it is important we spend some time on this topic this week.
Review the chapter reading on stress. Complete the attached stress self-assessment. Sharing your results with the class is optional.
Let’s begin our discourse on stress management by starting with Case 5 in our textbook (copy resides in doc sharing).

Class…review the 9 ways successful people defeat stress at the following link…
1. What did you read that surprised you?
2. What is your top 1-2 takeaways that you want to act on?
3. What behaviors do you want to change?

9 Ways Successful People Defeat Stress.docx

What do you think about performance reviews? I am confident we all have experience and thoughts about this topic. Robbins and Judge discuss performance evaluation in Chapter 17 beginning on p. 511. Please read this section and the attached story that follows before considering a response to any of the questions provided at the end.

Week 7 Chap 17 Performance Management.docx

Do you think this is a good approach? Would you add another “enabler?”…

MGMT591 Course Discussions Week 1-7