This assignment is an opportunity to formally apply your Organization Behavior knowledge to a problem in your own organizational setting. You should focus on the organization in which you currently work so that you are familiar with the policies and procedures of the organization and can gather additional information if needed. Lack of this kind of information is not a good excuse for a superficial analysis. Identify an OB Problem. Describe the Organization. Provide just enough detail on the organization for the reader to be able to understand the problem being described and its importance to the organization. The industry, product or service type, and size of the organization (and whether this is a company-wide problem or specific worksite problem) and whether it is in the U.S. or not are likely to be important factors that provide context. Feel free to omit or disguise the identity of the organization or any details that might be sensitive in nature. Identify the Problem. Describe, specifically, one OB-related problem that the organization is struggling with that will serve as the focus of the paper. It may be useful to interview supervisors or colleagues to identify an important problem in your current organization. Be sure that the problem is related to or can be impacted by at least two of the OB topics listed in the point below. Be sure to focus on one problem. Resist the urge to discuss a tangle of multiple related problems. Organization Behavior Problem

Organization Behavior Problem

Clearly defining and delimiting the parameters of the problem is key to effective problem solving. Since this is a course on organizational behavior, the problem should be focused at the individual, group, or intergroup level. Don’t focus at strategy level (e.g., loss of market share due to specific strategic decisions) but neither should you focus on anecdotal problem (an interpersonal conflict you had with a fellow employee). Anecdotal problems may be generalizable as organizational problems (e.g., poor decision making in the management team; an inability to resolve conflicts effectively in teams or between units). Resist the urge to focus only on the symptoms. For example, high rates of turnover may be a symptom of one or more underlying problems (e.g., low job satisfaction; low organizational commitment; high stress; ineffective leadership). What theory or model will you use to better understand the problem? Resist the urge to define the problem in terms of a potential solution (i.e., the employees need training). The point is to use theoretical concepts and models to help you understand the nature of the problem and design a solution. The solution may indeed involve training, but the theory will tell you what the nature of that training should be. OB Topic. Problems often have multiple contributing factors. Choose two of the topics from the list below (or additional topics approved by me) and apply them to the problem. This means that you will describe very specifically how the concepts, principles, and findings represented in the topic are relevant to explaining or understanding the problem and how they can be used to suggest a solution. Organization Behavior Problem

Value-percept (met expectations) theory

Job Characteristics theory

Challenge – Hindrance stressors

Expectancy theory

Goal Setting theory

Equity theory

Psychological Empowerment

Trust and Justice

Ethics and ethical decision making

Cognitive Ability, Personality and selection

Emotional Intelligence

Team Design and Team Processes

Diversity management

Power, Influence, Conflict and Negotiation

Leadership Styles and Behavior theories

Organizational Culture


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