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SL HR 501 OB (A)/1007

Semester I Terminal Examinations Class of 2009 SL HR 501 Organisational Behavior Part A


1. Behavior is generally ------------- and the systematic study of behavior is a means to making reasonably accurate predictions. a. b. c. d. e. 2. Predetermined Predictable Controllable Uncontrollable Unchangeable

Standing close to another individual to communicate a sense of power is an example of a. b. c. d. e. An authority stance A stereotype A non verbal cue A leadership behavior Attribution

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Operant conditioning is primarily concerned with------a. b. c. d. e. Physiological causes of behavior Cognition of behavior Consequences of behavior Punishment S- R connection

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George Bacon is considered one of the leading surgeons in the field of artificial heart transplants. Even though he is not associated with western Memorial Hospital, he exerts such influence over many of the surgeons there. Such influence is best termed as: a. b. c. d. e. Expert power Coercive power Reward power Legitimate power Referent power

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Which of the following is a major feature of a matrix organization? a. b. c. d. e. Provision for horizontal communication Establishment of profit centers Presence of employees with two supervisors Increased separation of line and staff responsibilities All of the above

SL HR 501 OB (A)/1007 6. Which of the following is one reason why Herzbergs two factor theory is viewed as controversial? a. b. c. d. e. 7. It does not explain why people desire to achieve. It states that job satisfaction and dissatisfaction do not exist on a single continuum. It states that organizational policies have too strong an impact on intrinsic rewards. It does not explain why people choose particular behaviors to accomplish work related goals It does not explain peoples motive for socializing

Sabrina is primarily driven by a need to establish close social relationships with other people. a. b. c. d. e. Growth needs. Existence needs. Relatedness needs. Self-actualization needs Physiological needs

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When a union tries to improve wages and working conditions in order to be consistent with a comparable union whose members make more money, it is using the _________ method for reducing inequity. a. b. c. d. e. Change outcomes Change inputs Distortion of perceptions of self Distortion of perceptions of others Accept the circumstances as it is

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The removal of an unpleasant consequence following a desired behavior is referred to as a. b. c. d. e. Avoidance learning. Punishment. Positive reinforcement. Extinction. Inefficient management.

10. At which stage of group development do members have concerns about the structure, leadership, and objectives of the group? a. b. c. d. e. Forming Storming Norming Performing Adjourning

SL HR 501 OB (A)/1007 11. All of these guidelines can help facilitate communication and keep teams away from interpersonal conflicts except ----------------------a. b. c. d. e. Develop multiple alternatives. Keep team discussion focused on personalities Maintain a balance of power. Never force a consensus. Focus on facts.

12. Once a month, the top managers at Rice Fancy, Inc. make a point of meeting with the work teams in their respective divisions in order to communicate to them the organization's priorities, goals, and needs. This is an example of top management attempting to influence team norms through a. b. c. d. e. Explicit statements Primacy. Carryover behaviors. Critical events. Reinforcement

13. Arita belongs to a horizontal team in her organization. She was selected on the basis of her title, not her expertise. The type of horizontal team she belongs to is likely a(n) a. b. c. d. e. Self-managed work team. Task force Cross-functional team. Committee. Ad-hoc committee.

14. ______ typically are ambiguous, concern novel events, and impose great potential for misunderstanding. a. b. c. d. e. Nonroutine messages Channel richness Routine messages Feedback Nonverbal communications

15. The five types of information communicated upwards are a. b. c. d. e. Implementation of goals, missions, strategies, objectives, and objective budget approvals. Indoctrination, job instruction and rationale, goals, strategies, and procedures. Procedures and practices, performance feedback, memos, e-mail, and rumors. Problems and exceptions, suggestions for improvement, performance reports, grievances and disputes, financial and accounting information. Interdepartmental problem solving, coordination, staff advice to line departments, memos, and faxes.

SL HR 501 OB (A)/1007 16. All of these are all examples of individual barriers to communication except a. b. c. d. e. Semantics. Status of power differences. Wrong channel selection. Interpersonal barriers. Inconsistent cues.

17. Which of the following conflict resolution styles is best when maintaining harmony is important? a. b. c. d. e. Accommodating style Competing style Collaborating style Avoiding style Compromising Style

18. Communication begins with a. b. c. d. e. Encoding Idea origination Decoding Channel selection Listening

19. Decoding and encoding _____. a. b. c. d. e. Are seldom affected by noise Are more accurate if feedback is omitted Are seldom inaccurate Can be affected by conflict, attribution, and perceptions Are only concerned about effective listening skills

20. Organizing stimuli to make sense of them often involves seeking out patterns in the stimuli. Examples of pattern-seeking include all of the following, except _____. a. b. c. d. e. Figure Ground Closure Observation Similarity Continuity

21. The earliest management theories emphasized a/an ____________ perspective. a. b. c. d. e. Structural Integrative Human Negative Positivist

SL HR 501 OB (A)/1007 22. Which of the following statements is NOT true about organizational development (OD)? a b. c. d. e. It is a system-wide change effort. It frequently leads to new organizational structures. It is characterized by participatory methods of change. It emphasizes short-term rather than long-term methods of change. Is supported by the top management

23. An employee who bases his or her job-evaluation rating on an unfair rating form may be a. b. c. d. e. Stereotyping supervisory personnel Engaging in perceptual defense Making a causal attribution Learning about job tasks None of the above

24. According to reinforcement theory, _______. a. b. c. d. e. Ratio schedules encourage short-term repetition of a behavior Interval schedules encourage long-term repetition of a behavior Variable schedules encourage long-term repetition of a behavior Fixed schedules encourage long-term repetition of a behavior Fixed schedules encourage short-term repetition of behavior

25. Shared organizational values are a. b. c. d. e. Unconscious, affective desires or wants that guide society's behavior Influenced by international values Different for the various components of a diverse work force A myth Influenced by regional sentiments

26. Which of the following is a strategy of job design that increases job depth by meeting employees needs a. b. c. d. e. Job rotation Job enrichment Job enlargement Job enrichment and job enlargement Promotion

SL HR 501 OB (A)/1007 27. Specific procedures developed for repetitive and routine problems are a. b. c. d. e. Autocratic decisions Programmed decisions Easy decisions Non-programmed decisions Casual decisions

28. The first contingency model was proposed by --------------- in which he developed an instrument called as Least Preferred Coworker questionnaire. a. b. c. d. e. Frederick Taylor Peter Drucker Elton Mayo Fred Fiedler Mc Gregor

29. Your work-force is diverse in terms of their needs for benefits. Jim is married with two children and his wife is at home full-time. Janet is single and supports her widowed mother. Bob is married and his wife has a high paying job. You decide that you want to devise a benefits program which is tailored to their individual needs. The best choice available is probably: a. b. c. d. e. Traditional benefit programs A flexible benefit program Letting them purchase their own benefits An ESOP Gain sharing plan

30. Which one of the following is not a function of culture according to you? a. b. c. d. e. Improves the organizations ability to hire competent employees Conveys a sense of organizational identity Controls employee behavior Has a boundary defining role Facilitates the generation of commitment to something larger than ones individual self interest.

Part B
Problems testing, Conceptual Understanding and Application, Analytical Ability, Caselets, Situational Analysis / Applications of concepts
1. Give an overview of the evolution of organization theory and design. Discuss the extent to which the major elements of each stage of organization theorys evolution play a role in how organizations are structured and managed today. (10 marks)

SL HR 501 OB (A)/1007 Suggested Answer: Organization theory has evolved through several stages. The earliest stage is the classical management perspective, then the Administrative Principles stage. The focus on administrative principles was followed by the Human Relations stage. Finally, contingency theory as the approach is the most recent. The classical perspective concerned itself with fundamental elements of organizational design and the design of work itself. As organizations grew larger and more complex, the challenge was to make people work together more effectively. Several writers, including Weber, recognized that hierarchy was a crucial element in the centralized control of complex organizations. These writers recognized that organizations were both legitimated and made more effective by various bureaucratic mechanisms including office holding via qualifications, tenure in office and records based administration. The classical approaches can be broken down into scientific management and administrative principles. Scientific management was about the design of the work itself. Associated with Frederick Taylor, scientific management studied each task in detail, including the physical interface between the worker and the task. The goal was to design the job, and the workers approach to the job, in a way that minimized wasted motion and effort in order to produce an acceptable work product with the least time and effort. The administrative principles approach considered the functions that helped run the organization as a whole. Early 20th century writers recognized that organizations functioned best by following unity of command, unity of direction and other principles associated with Fayol, as well as by conducting the executive functions identified by Gulick, such as planning, budgeting and coordinating. Webers writings on bureaucracy addressed both the organizational effectiveness role and the legitimizing role of administrative structure and process. The classical structures and principles remain an important part of todays organizations. The person at the top of the hierarchy is still the final decision-maker. Qualifications, for the most part, are what gets one into organizational positions. Issues of coordination and control remain central to how organizations are run. Just about any organization today can be analyzed in terms of classical features. The Human Relations and behavioral approaches that came after classical organization theory focused more on the human element in organization design and functioning. Studies such as those done at the Hawthorne plant showed that treating employees positively improved both their morale and productivity. Studies focusing on work group behavior showed just how powerful groups of workers could be both for and against what the organization was trying to accomplish. Studies of small group and organizational leadership delved into just what factors induced organizational members to follow the direction of formal and informal leaders. Numerous studies of worker motivation sought to find the best way to get everyone with the organizational program. The very term Human Resources Management is an outgrowth of the human relations approach. Every organization today spends a lot of time and energy in figuring out what motivates employees. It is a big concern in corporate offices trying to figure out end of year bonuses, unionized worksites trying to determine the right uniform salary increase, or government agencies trying to provide workers with a sense of certainty and security with set salary and promotion schedules. All of these activities have at their heart the question of what motivates employees. And Human Resources Departments in almost any organization have employee assistance programs, counseling and other human relations activities that deal with the social/psychological needs of employees.

SL HR 501 OB (A)/1007 Contingency theory is the most contemporary approach to thinking about organizations. The structures, processes and motivational schemes of an organization are seen as dependent on the demands from the environment of that organization. The size of an organization, the number of hierarchical levels it has, the technology it utilizes are all seen as responsive to environmental challenges. The contingency approach can be seen in many aspects of modern organizations. Microsofts turn on a dime embrace of the Internet in 1995 after years of disdain and Microsofts 2001 embrace of security as software feature # 1 caused rapid, substantial restructuring of the organization to meet goals created on the basis of environmental analysis. Even government organizations engage in contingency management. Urban school systems, for instance, are experimenting with all sorts of unique forms of educational structures and incentive systems because politicians, parents, businesses and just about anyone who takes a close look have realized that the product stinks. As this answer has explained, the several stages of organizational theoryclassical, human relations and contingencyhave each left their mark on how organizations are structured and managed today. 2. Explain the concept of stress? Differentiate between the functional and dysfunctional coping strategies for role stress, with suitable examples. (10 Marks) Suggested Answer: To a common man, stress refers to an individuals reaction to a disturbing factor in the environment. According to Luthans, Stress is defined as an adaptive response to an external situation that results in physical, psychological, and/or behavioral deviations for organizational participants. The stress can manifest itself in two ways, i.e. positive and negative. Stress is considered to be positive when the situation offers an opportunity for one to gain something and this is referred to as eustress. Whereas, it is considered as negative when stress is associated with heart disease, alcoholism, drug abuse, marital breakdowns, absenteeism, and a host of other social, physical organizational and emotional problems. It is often referred as distress. Stress can be regarded as a consequence of or a general response to an action or situation that places special physical or psychological demands or both on a person. Coping behavior refers to the ways of dealing with such situations of stress. The dysfunctional coping strategies of stress are: 1. Aggression: Aggression is the most common and most frequent reaction to frustration. It may take any one of the following forms:

General Aggression: General irritation, restlessness, and violent/destructive expressions of aggression (kicking, knocking, breaking things, etc.) are the general forms of aggression. Target directed aggression: Anger, blaming others, and hostility expressed towards people seen as causing disappointment (such as anger towards the boss or subordinate)- whether expressed in person or in absentia- are quite common. Self Directed Aggression: Sometimes the frustrated person may blame himself or herself for the situation. This is self directed aggression. Displaced Aggression: When aggression is directed to a person (s) other than the people

SL HR 501 OB (A)/1007 seen as causing disappointment, it is called displaced aggression. A manager may express anger or resentment to a subordinate because he cannot express anger towards his or her won boss. 2. Regression: Regression is characterized by primitive or previously used modes of behavior. Under emotional pressure, a person may revert to earlier behavioral modes which make him or her feel more secure. Regression may take three forms:

Retrogression: An individual reverts to old behavior. Example: A general manager promoted from the level of a production manager may behave like a production manager and straighten out production problems under the emotional pressure of frustration. Primitivation: Sometimes an individual does something he or she did not do in the past but which nevertheless shows primitive or immature behavior. Stereotype: Frustration may make a person lose all flexibility and revert to fixated, receptive behavior. A manager feeling frustrated may deal with a situation in a known way, repeating the same behavior even if it is seen as dysfunctional. 3. Flight: One reaction to frustration is flight or escape from the frustrating situation. This may take several forms:

Apathy: A manager may not pay any attention to the frustrating situation and may neglect it. Withdrawal: A frustrated employee in an organization may leave it or avoid attending meetings. In a conflict situation, one party may thus withdraw from the situation. Denial: A person may deny feeling any frustration. In order to escape the pain of frustration, one may repress the feeling of pain and deny experiencing any frustration in the situation. Fantasy: One way to escape unpleasant feelings is to daydream pleasant things and create fantasies of doing something one cannot do in real life. Rationalization: Even if one acknowledges frustration, one can explain it away, giving a reason for it. An employee failing to get a coveted reward may see the reward as not worthwhile (sour grapes) or may justify not getting the reward on some other basis. The functional coping strategies of stress are: 4. Exploration: The exploration mode is a problem solving mode. An individual explores the issues with others, takes steps to analyze the situation, and prepares alternative strategies of action. Exploration may take the following forms:

Alternative generation: A frustrated individual may search for alternative avenues. An employee excelling in another area rather than pursuing one in which he or she has failed several times shows a special mode which is called compensation. Self Action: All explorations are action oriented. A frustrated person may search for solutions working alone. Action by others: An employee may alternatively expect others to solve the problem or request others for help.

SL HR 501 OB (A)/1007 Joint action: Often, a better coping mode is joint exploration, collaborating with others in analyzing the problem, and working out alternative action plans. 5. Managing frustration: Managers are frequently required to deal with the frustration of their subordinates. The following sequential steps are suggested for effective management of employee frustration.

Listen to the feelings of the staff Share own feelings of disappointment Share feelings of guilt (if any) Help the employees to own up to their feelings Help the staff to accept and confront the reality Help the staff assess damage caused by frustration Develop alternatives to solve the problem

3.

Write short notes on the following: (10 marks) a. Attitudes versus values

Suggested Answer: Attitudes differ from values. While attitudes are specific, values form a broader and more encompassing concept. Moreover, values also involve a moral flavor of rightness or desirability. For example, the statement that discrimantion against women for industrial jobs is bad indicates ones values. On the other hand, I favor the implementation of an affirmative action program to recruit and develop women for managerial positions in this organization is an attitude. b. Vroom Yetton model of leadership

Suggested Answer: This leadership model is normative in nature fro it simply tells leader how they should behave in decision making. The focus is on the premise that different problems have different characteristics and should therefore be solved by different decision techniques. The effectiveness of the decision is a function of a leadership which ranges from the leader making decisions himself to totally democratic process in which the subordinates fully participate and the contingencies of the situation which describe the attributes of the problem to be dealt with. For a successful leader, it is imperative to know the best approach to solving the problem at hand and to know how to implement each decision making techniques well as and when required. c. Problem solving team versus self managed work teams: Suggested Answer: Problem Solving teams: In this case members share ideas or offer suggestions on how work processes and methods can be improved. Self Managed work teams: One of the limitations of the problem solving teams was that they didnt go far enough in getting employees involved in work related decisions and processes. Self managed teams can not only solve problems but implement solutions and

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SL HR 501 OB (A)/1007 take full responsibility for outcomes. Self managed work teams are groups of employees (typically 10 to 15 in number) who take on the responsibilities of their former supervisors. Fully self managed teams even select their own members and have the members evaluate each others performance d. Steps involved in organizational change Suggested Answer: The steps involved in organizational change are: e. Identification of the need for change and the area of change Develop new goals and objectives Select an agent fro change Diagnose the problem Select methodology Develop a plan Strategy for implementation of the plan Implementation of the plan Receive and evaluate feedback Power versus authority Authority is the right to command and extract work from employees Authority is vested with manager Authority is a narrow concept. A manager may have authority but still may be powerless We cannot identify the markedly distinct faces of authority Authority is mostly vested in the position

Suggested Answer: Power is the ability of an individual to affect and influence others Power is generally associated with leadership Power is a broader concept and also includes authority in some sense. Power has two faces: negative and positive Power is a personal quality 4.

Describe the Blanchard model of leadership (be sure to explain what the key variables in this model are). Describe two scenarios in which two of the leadership styles defined by the theory would be the appropriate styles to use. Be sure to explain WHY these particular styles would be the most appropriate than others. (10 marks) Suggested Answer: HERSEY AND BLANCHARDs SITUATIONAL THEORY
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This model is also called as situational leadership theory. This theory focuses on the followers. Successful leadership is achieved by selecting the right leadership style, which is contingent upon the level of the followers readiness. The emphasis on the followers in leadership effectiveness reflects the reality that it is the followers who accept or reject the leader.

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SL HR 501 OB (A)/1007 The term readiness refers to the extent to which people have the ability and willingness to accomplish a specific task. Like Fiedler, they also identified two leadership behaviors: task and relationship behaviors, but then they have equally added some extra components: Telling ( high task and low relationship): It emphasizes directive behavior Selling (High task and high relationship): The leader provides both directive and supportive behavior Participating ( low task and high relationship): The leader performs the role of a facilitator and communicator Delegating (low task and low relationship): The leader provides little direction or support.

The four stages of follower readiness: R1: where people neither possess the ability nor the willingness to do a task. R2: People are unable but willing to the necessary tasks. R3: People are able but unwilling to perform a task. R4: People are able and also willing to perform their tasks. For R1 telling style of leadership is appropriate, for R2 selling type of leadership would be most functional, for R3 participating style is appropriate and for R4 delegating style of leadership holds good.

Part C
Case Analysis
5. Read the case and answer the following Questions. Giridhar had come a long way from when he joined R.P. Communications (having a turnover of Rs. 20 lakhs) as a trainee artist in 1995 and today he had come to occupy the position of Creative Head at R.P. Communications (with a turnover of Rs. 15 crores). As a young trainee (in 1995), Giri (as Gridhar is addressed by his colleagues) had been an amicable personality, he had always displayed keenness to gain knowledge - learn more, many visible traits of creativity - in the sense try to make "unique"/different from others presentations, willing to share information and so on. It was typically these qualities of Giri which made him approachable to others and appreciated by one and all, and also saw him rising in the organization structure.

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SL HR 501 OB (A)/1007 Nicky Tanwar. The Creative Director at R.P. Communications, who had known Giri right from the time he had joined R.P. Communications as trainee, was surprised at recalling the contents of the just concluded meeting with the members of the creative team at R.P Communications. Meena (a recent recruit at R.P.) had said "Madam, Giri sir scares the hell out of us by refusing to listen to our point of view." Raj, an executive at R.P. Communications had revealed "Madam, Giri withholds important information from us, and creates conflict when he has to interact with other teams at R.P." Mohan, a senior creative manager at R.P. had said that Giri seems to have changed, he seems to prefer to adopt a forcing style, like a controller, and expects all the assignments to be completed before time, and doesn't entertain any questions/or queries from any of the creative team members. Nicky found it hard to believe that a likeable person such as Giri could cause conflict. Nicky had promised the creative team to look into the matter and have a talk with Giri also. After an informal chat with Giri, Nicky felt that one of the causes of Giri's behavior could be Role Ambiguity. This she had concluded from one statement made by Giri "You know Nicky, my team is good, and however, they expect me to behave as I was before. I am trying my best to convince them that in my new role I am expected to perform even better than before." Nicky decided to seek the help of the CEO of team and Grow Leadership Centre (LSLG), a training firm, who regularly holds workshops meant for helping professionals and executives of firms to diagnose their own behavior patterns as well on how to manage stress that could cause various levels of conflicts for the individual as well as the organization. Questions: a. Which leadership style is currently being practiced by Giri and did it underwent any change from his previous leadership style? (10 marks) Suggested Answer: 1 From the analysis of the case it can be derived that presently Giri is adopting task oriented kind of a behavior, where his utmost focus is on work, meeting of deadlines, higher productivity and improving the quality standards. It is for this reason, that he has been projecting a very stern attitude towards his subordinates; he has become so very much overconfident about his caliber due to his past success that he has started looking down upon others. Giri has been reflecting an authoritarian approach towards his people which characterizes a suppressive behavior and dominance over others. As described in the case, Giri has undergone some change on receiving higher opportunity in this organization. Giri was never such oppressive earlier. It may be implied that Giri previously was demonstrating a relationship oriented style of leadership towards his people, because he was cooperative and showed tremendous concerns for his subordinates. He used to perform all the tasks collectively. Hence, he was more of a participative and a supportive type of leader earlier. b. Why do you think, such a change in Giris behavior has taken place and what could be the possible consequences of such a kind of behavior display? (10 marks) Suggested Answer: Some of the possible reasons leading to a change in Giris behavior could be:

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SL HR 501 OB (A)/1007 Ego and overconfidence due to the past achievements A higher degree of stress because of high work pressures and superior expectations from the present role which he is involved into. Role ambiguity and inability of understanding the requirements of the present job and the issues involved in it. There may be a possibility of change in perception of the subordinates, once Mr. Giri took over as their superior due to inappropriate attributions and some personal limitations in perception. This must have equally have contributed for a change in the outlook and the behavior of Giri as well as a response to the change in the behavior of his subordinates Lack of proper communication from the management about the roles expected to be performed by Mr. Giri, leading to ineffective way of handling the present assignments Lack of training or absence of desired skills c. What should be the focus and the coverage of the leadership development plan proposd for Giri? (10 marks) Suggested Answer: The leadership development program for Giri should focus more on strategies for coping against stress and lay more emphasis on techniques for improving the effectiveness in communication. Since, Giri enjoys a senior position, so if he is equally being groomed for climate building, giving and receiving constructive feedback and strategies for managing conflict, then we may observe a change in the behavior of Mr. Giri. First and foremost, Giri requires an overall orientation about the job responsibility which he has been handling and the very expectations from his role should be made clear by the trainers and authorities, so that he gains a true perspective about his role and accordingly plans out his approach. The Leadership development program may equally focus on the importance of charismatic qualities in a leader and self awareness for improved interpersonal relations. Apart from this, Giri equally requires personal mentoring sessions for venting out his feelings created due to the personal and professional blockages and relieving him from the baggage of stress.

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