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2011-2012 MBA Course: Organizational Behavior

2011-2012 MBA Course: Organizational Behavior

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  • ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR Course Booklet Semester 1 2011/2012 FTMBA/MBAIB Course
  • Contents Page NumberCourse Details................................................................................................... 3Course Description and Objectives ................................................................... 3Learning Outcomes ........................................................................................... 3Planned Student Learning Experiences............................................................. 4Teaching Approach ........................................................................................... 4Assessment....................................................................................................... 4Feedback .......................................................................................................... 6Guidelines for formatting and handing in assessed work:.................................. 6Failure to attempt or complete assessed coursework or an examination........... 7Exam arrangements for Disabled students........................................................ 7Plagiarism Statement ........................................................................................ 7Appeals ............................................................................................................. 7Consultation ...................................................................................................... 7Course Monitoring Surveys ............................................................................... 8Required Text(s)................................................................................................ 8Course Website................................................................................................. 8Advised Preparatory Work................................................................................. 9Course Lecturer................................................................................................. 9Study Programme ........................................................................................... 10Lecture Outlines and Readings ....................................................................... 13Exam Papers................................................................................................... 13Appendix 1: Further Reading........................................................................... 13Putting you at the heart of business 2 FTMBA – Organisational Behaviour
  • Course DetailsCourse Code: BUST11214Title: Organisational BehaviourCollege: Humanities and Social ScienceSchool: The University of Edinburgh Business SchoolCourse Organiser: Nick OliverContact Hours:Semester:Lectures:Tutorials:This is a 10-credit course. As per the Scottish Credit Qualifications Framework (SCQF), this meansthat it should entail 100 hours of student effort. For example:Contact hours Four one day sessions of 8 32 hours hours durationPreparatory reading 33 hoursTutorial work Incorporated into main sessions 20 hours plus preparation for group exercises and presentationsAssignments End of course assignment 15 hours Total 100 student effort hoursCourse Description and ObjectivesIntroductionOrganisation Behaviour covers a wide range of organisational issues from the micro level (egindividuals at work) through to the macro level (eg organisational design). The course is based on aphilosophy that organisational concepts represent a form of ‘intellectual tool kit’. These ideas andconcepts can be used to gain insight into a variety of organisational issues – for example, how peoplecan be motivated, how decisions are made, how organisations can be configured for effectiveoperation, and so on. The emphasis is providing core concepts that will help you to understand andmanage with complex organisational settings. There is a strong emphasis on the development ofanalytical skills, on the translation of theory into practice and on experiential learning.Objectives• To introduce ideas and concepts useful in the analysis of micro and macro organisational processes• To encourage reflection and critical thought about organisations and the activities that occur within them• To develop an appreciation of how theory can be translated into practical application• To develop your skills in interpreting (and therefore in acting effectively within) different organisational contexts.Learning OutcomesKnowledge and Understanding: • Fluency with key concepts from the field of Organisation BehaviourPutting you at the heart of business 3 FTMBA – Organisational Behaviour View slide
  • • Appreciation of the importance of problem-framing to problem resolution • Understanding of a range of models of phenomena such as motivation, team dynamics and effectiveness, decision-making, organisational design, culture and change.Cognitive Skills: • The ability to recognize ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ complexity and respond appropriately • Understanding of how different models and assumptions may be used to gain insight into particular situations, the ability to use competing models to generate such insight in order to take appropriate action • The ability to be able to stand back and view complex situations in perspective • The ability to recognize the key shapers of organisational structures and processes.Subject Specific Skills: • An ability to work in teams, and to use the skills of team members to best advantage • The ability to apply models of decision-making to a variety of choices • The ability to see the implications of particular organisational structures for organisational climate, operation and resilience.Planned Student Learning ExperiencesThe course offers a varied learning experience via an integrated mix of lectures, group work andclass discussion, visiting speakers and practical exercises. There will be opportunities for discussionand debate amongst participants, and participants are encouraged to apply the ideas to their ownexperience. The culmination of the course is “The Production Game” in which the class are dividedinto companies of 7-8 people that compete to physically manufacture simple products.Teaching ApproachThe emphasis in the course is on blending theory and practice by putting ideas and concepts to work.This will be achieved by analysing cases, by discussing real-world problems from visiting practitionersand by practical exercises that provide first-hand illustration of the ideas in action.AssessmentForm of Assessment:You have a choice of two topics for your assignment. Both are integrative and are designed so thatyou can apply concepts covered in the course analytically – that is, to give you scope to reflect on,and write about, a broad cross-section of the material that we have covered in the course in relationto your actual experiences. Answers to both options should be around 2,000 words in length.Option 1: The Production GameThe Production Game provides a rich, first-hand experience with which to think about a wide array oforganisational issues. The purpose of this option is to allow you to draw out the lessons that emergedfrom the Game, and to think about how the ideas and principles covered in your OB course apply to itPutting you at the heart of business 4 FTMBA – Organisational Behaviour View slide
  • Your report should analyse the performance, activities and processes of your company in the Game.In doing so you should utilise the performance data that will be provided at the end of the Game andanalyse the reasons behind the (usually substantial) differences in performance between differentcompanies.Your report should address at least some of the following issues:1. The strategy that your company pursued. Did you decide to pursue particular types of order? Which ones? Why? Did your choices prove to be correct – if so, why, if not, why not? What does ‘strategy’ actually mean in the context of the Game?2. How your strategy was formulated – the decision processes that you and your team members went through.3. How did you design, organise and control your company? How was the enterprise managed? What was your underlying model of organisation and what shaped this? What formal and informal structures and processes were either designed upfront or evolved during the game? Were these appropriate?4. Issues concerning group processes and dynamics. Was there a clear leader? If so, what was their style, and was this appropriate? What roles did they fulfil? Was your group effective – if so why? If not, why not? Were the individuals in your team well-motivated, and if so by what? Was there conflict and how was this managed? What kind of a culture developed in your team, and why?5. Did the team learn as it went along, making improvements and fixing things? Or did you get stuck, repeating the same errors again and again?6. What insights do cross- company comparisons reveal?Option 2: Shapers, Dilemmas and Trade-offs in OrganisationsTwo themes that run throughout the course are: (a) that organisational structures and processes are shaped by a several factors or contingencies and (b) that all organisational forms are characterised by dilemmas and trade-offs – for example between autonomy and control; flexibility and consistency; quality vs speed of decision- making and so on.Drawing on examples from your own experience, or from material covered in the course, map out thekey factors that shape the ways in which organisations are coordinated and controlled. You shouldpay particular attention to the trade-offs inherent in any organisational design, identifying examples ofhow such trade-offs may be resolved.The assignment will constitute 100% of the final course mark.Assessment Criteria:There are three main assessment criteria: • Evidence of a sound understanding of the core concepts and models in the area in question • Ability to recognize the assumptions on which any such concepts are based, and the limitations of these • Ability to use the concepts diagnostically (for example to a case, to your own experience or to a simulation) in order to generate significant insight.Putting you at the heart of business 5 FTMBA – Organisational Behaviour
  • Dates of Assessment:The submission date for the assignment is Monday, 31 October 2011 by 4pm.FeedbackIndividual essay/assignment feedback will be provided on a feedback form in the appropriate format.Assignment marks and feedback will be made available by Monday 28 November 2011. Feedback Format Weeks 1-2 Discussion of student presentations and practical exercises Week 3 Production Game Week 11 Feedback on assignmentGuidelines for Formatting and Handing in Assessed Work:All completed assignments should be stapled and clearly labelled with the student’s examinationnumber. Names should NOT be written on the assignments themselves, so that they can be markedanonymously. Students are asked to attach an assignment submission sheet as front cover. Thestudent’s name should be written on this sheet along with the examination number. A template for thiscan be found at www.business-school.ed.ac.uk/mybiz.When the assignments are received the assignment submission sheet will be removed before theassignments are sent to the relevant lecturer(s) for marking. Students must also submit eachassignment electronically by TURNITIN which can be located on WebCT. For the group assignment,once the groups have been composed, a group member will be assigned as responsible for this.Please see instructions via the student portal. This is to enable checks to be carried out for plagiarismon a random basis, or if suspicions are raised.The University has a standardised penalty for late submission of coursework. The School will apply auniform penalty of a reduction of 5 marks for each 24 hours beyond the coursework deadline(Saturday, Sunday and University Public Holiday not included) unless late submission has beenrequested in advance of the submission date and approved in writing by the course organiser. Forexample:- an essay with a mark of 65% which is less than 24 hours late will be given a final mark of 60%- an essay with a mark of 65% which is between 24-48 hours late will be given a final mark of 55%- an essay with a mark of 65% which is 48-72 hours late will be given a final mark of 50% and so on...The penalty will not be applied if good reasons can be given, such as documented illness.COURSEWORK DEADLINES ARE ABSOLUTE AND MUST BE STRICTLY ADHERED TOOTHERWISE THE STANDARDISED PENALTY WILL BE APPLIED WITHOUT EXCEPTION.Extensions to coursework deadlines will normally only be granted in cases of illness or otherextenuating circumstances. An extension can only be granted by the course organiser; requests foran extension to the deadline must be agreed with the course organiser prior to the courseworkdeadline. If this proves impossible, students must attach a letter of explanation to the coursework,signed and dated. If you are given an extension, you must ensure that the Postgraduate Office (RoomGF.15, 29 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9JS) has written proof of this, e.g. in the form of anemail from the course organiser.Putting you at the heart of business 6 FTMBA – Organisational Behaviour
  • Failure to Attempt or Complete Assessed Coursework or an ExaminationWhere a student fails to attempt or fails to complete assessed coursework or an examination, thecourse organiser will seek to establish from the student whether the failure is legitimate (i.e.supported by appropriate documentary evidence) or not. A failure to attempt assessed coursework oran examination without good reason will result in a zero mark being awarded for that element ofassessment. In the case of a legitimate failure to attempt or complete assessed coursework, thecourse organiser may decide to offer an extended submission deadline (without marks deduction forlate submission). Where a student is able to produce evidence of legitimate reasons for failure toattempt or complete an examination, and where it has not been possible to offer an extendedsubmission deadline for a legitimate failure to attempt or complete assessed coursework, the courseorganiser will refer the case to the Special Circumstances Committee.Groupwork IssuesWhere group work is involved, should there be any problems with the group dynamic, these shouldbe raised by two concurring members of the team with the course organiser before the ReadingWeek.Exam Arrangements for Disabled StudentsIf required, specific reasonable adjustments will be made to enable disabled students to sitexaminations, including any written, practice or oral examination, continuously assessed courseworkor dissertation which counts towards the final assessment. For more information about the supportdisabled students can receive and the approval process for making reasonable adjustments visithttp://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/disability-office/students/support-we-offer. Arrangementsfor degree examinations must be approved in advance by the Registry (650 2214), and the DisabilityOffice (650 6828) for dyslexic students, and reported to the examiners. The Registry requiresnotification of specific examination arrangements for dyslexic students well in advance of examinationweeks and specific deadlines apply (see http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/registry/other-info/dyslexia). For all other disabled students the Registry must see and accept a medical certificateor similar documentation relating to the student or be satisfied that an acceptable certificate will beproduced. Such students should discuss their requirements with their Programme Director and/or theDisability Office at the earliest opportunity.Plagiarism StatementPlagiarism and cheating are offences against the University discipline. The full text of the University’sregulation on plagiarism and cheating can be found on the University’s website athttp://www.docs.sasg.ed.ac.uk/AcademicServices/Discipline/StudentGuidanceUGPGT.pdfAppealsThe process for students appealing against the assessment of grades is described in the Code ofPractice for Taught Postgraduate Programmes.ConsultationStudents are encouraged to raise any concerns of a subject specific nature with the relevant courseorganiser. All but the simplest issues take time to resolve, and so please raise the issues as soon asyou are aware of them.In the event that your course organiser cannot assist you, please contact your Programme Director.Putting you at the heart of business 7 FTMBA – Organisational Behaviour
  • Course Monitoring SurveysBecause the PGT programmes are constantly being streamlined to remain progressive andcontemporary, it is essential that you provide feedback on the courses you undertake so that theacademic and administrative staff can be aware of your needs and the needs of your peers; the onlyway we can do this is if you let us know our strengths and what can be improved to make yourlearning experience with us as relevant and fulfilling as possible.At the conclusion of every semester you will be asked to complete anonymous online coursemonitoring surveys. You will be notified when the surveys relevant to your programme become live.The results of these surveys will then be collated and distributed to the course lecturer(s) who will inturn provide feedback on the course.All information provided by students and course lecturer(s) will be taken into consideration bydecision makers within the Business School – and may alter the way that future courses areadministered. We are providing you with an outlet to voice your opinions and it is very important forthe current state and the future of the Business School and its students that you do so.Required Text(s)Buchanan, D and Huczynski, A. (2010) Organisational Behaviour, (7th edition), Prentice Hall.The set text provides a comprehensive coverage of most aspects of this subject. Because the courseemphasizes the application of ideas to a variety of situations and contexts, your emphasis should beon developing a good understanding of the basic concepts and on developing a proficiency at usingthese diagnostically.For those who are interested in a particular topic, suggestions for extra reading will be provided.These readings are often classics in the field, for those who are interested in understanding theoriginal source material, or particularly interesting and topical applications and illustrations of theideas.Any reading that is suggested has been checked to ensure that it is available within the University ofEdinburgh Library system and be found by visiting the Library catalogue search page:http://catalogue.lib.ed.ac.uk/Additional material will be added to WebCT, our virtual learning environment, as the courseprogresses.Course WebsiteLecture materials will be made available online via WebCT, which is accessible from the “quick links”area on MyBiz http://www.business-school.ed.ac.uk/mybiz/homeOn the course website you will be able to find a copy of this booklet, course handouts,announcements and other facilities. It is important that you regularly check the WebCT system inorder to keep up to date with the course. You should be automatically registered for all your courses;if you are not please consult the Programme Secretary (email office+mba@business-school.ed.ac.uk)to ensure that your records are in order. A user guide and full details of how to logon and use thesystem are available on the website. N.B. It is vitally important that you check your WebCT mailboxregularly OR set it up so that it forwards messages automatically to your regular e-mail account.Putting you at the heart of business 8 FTMBA – Organisational Behaviour
  • Advised Preparatory WorkThis will be publicized as the semester progresses.Course LecturerProfessor Nick Oliver (Course Co-ordinator)Tel: 0131 650 3811Office: Room 4.01, Business School, 29 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9JSEmail: nick.oliver@ed.ac.ukhttp://www.business-school.ed.ac.uk/about/people?a=15015&staff_id=503Nick is Professor of Management and Head of the Business School. He joined Edinburghin January 2007, having spent 14 years at the Judge Business School, Cambridge. Priorto that he was at Cardiff Business School (for seven years) and the before that with theSystems Group at the Open University for four years.Nicks teaching areas include Organisational Behaviour, the management of innovationand Operations Management.He is co-author of The Japanization of British Industry (1992), which examined thetransfer of Japanese management practices to the UK. Nick’s research spans two mainareas: manufacturing performance and product development. He has led a severalinternational benchmarking studies in Japan, Europe, North America and China in thesetwo domains. With respect to manufacturing, his research focuses on lean production andinternational comparisons of high performance manufacturing (with particular reference tothe automotive industry). In the area of innovation, he has researched the management ofnew product development in the automotive and electronics industries and inter-firminnovation networks in the biotechnology and automotive industries. Most recently he hasexamined the dynamics of business failure through an analysis of the collapse of the MGRover car company, and the interplay between lean product development processes andbrand identity. He is currently working on issues of organizational resilience.Dr Tom Calvard, lecturer in Human Resource Management, will also be contributing to anumber of sessions. Tom’s areas of speciality include: effective teamworking; diversitymanagement; empathy and perspective-taking; part-time working; boundary spanning;and work-life balance.http://www.business-school.ed.ac.uk/about/people?a=14481&start=^CPutting you at the heart of business 9 FTMBA – Organisational Behaviour
  • Study ProgrammeThe course comprises a total of four one-day sessions, and within these there will be typicallybe four sessions of around 1.5-2.0 hours duration. Each session will typically comprise a reviewof thinking in a particular area and discussion of the how the ideas find expression in practice.Some sessions will include practical exercises and case analysis and one or two guestspeakers are planned.Day 1: 22 September 2011Day 1 Session 1: Introduction, perception, metaphors and modelsThis session introduces the course and explores how assumptions about organisations shapeinterpretation of organisational problems, and the ways in which we solve such problems. Thedominant perspectives on organisations are reviewed, drawing on Morgan’s work on “images” oforganisations. The fundamental dilemmas of organisational design will be discussed.Core readingBuchanan and Huczynski, chapter 1 “Explaining Organisational Behaviour, chapter 8 “Perception”.Day 1, Session 2: MotivationThis session reviews different approached to the issue of motivation. Content and process theoriesof motivation are described a variety of job design practices analysed. ‘High-commitment’organisational forms are discussed.Core readingBuchanan and Huczynski, chapter 9 “Motivation”, chapter 14 “Traditional work design”,Day 1, Session 3: LeadershipThis session will examine the nature of leadership and different approaches to leadership. Thesignificance of leadership to other aspects of organisational behaviour, such as change and power,will also be explored.Core readingBuchanan and Huczynski, Chapter 19 “Leadership”.Day 1, Session 4: Guest Speaker: a) Jim O’Sullivan, CEO Edinburgh Airport b) Briefing for the ‘Production Game’4:15-5:30: Guest speakerOrganisationally airports are very interesting due to a huge variety of operations in one cluster(everything from retailing, immigration, baggage, aircraft management, ATC, security) and when thereis an issue (eg volcanic ash, snow) the interdependencies mean that things snarl up quickly anddramatically. There also issues of safety and security, so in some parts of the operation there is noroom for error. The purpose of this session is to encourage reflection on the management challengesinherent in this situation, and how these can be met.Putting you at the heart of business 10 FTMBA – Organisational Behaviour
  • 5:30-6:00: Introduction to the Production GameThis session will introduce the Production Game and kick off the planning and preparation for this.Day 2: 29 September 2011Day 2 Sessions 1 & 2: Groups Dynamics and High Performance TeamsThis session explores the nature of work groups, and poses the question ‘What makes an effectiveteam?’ A variety of factors are considered, including group structure, stage of development, thenature of the task and communication processes. The latter part of the session will be devoted toanalysing a particular example of high performance teams, namely Formula 1 Race Teams.Core readingBuchanan and Huczynski, chapter 10 “Group Formation”, chapter 11, “Group structure” and chapter13, “Team working”.Day 2, Session 3: Decision-makingDecision-making is central to the management process – indeed, a great deal of management isessentially about making appropriate choices under difficult and uncertain conditions. This sessionreviews the orthodox rational approach to decision-making and contrasts it with alternative views -bounded rationality, the garbage can, political models, the logic of rules and obligation and pastinvestments.Core readingBuchanan and Huczynski, chapter 20 “Decision-making”.Day 2, Session 4: Guest Speaker: Les Matheson, Managing Director Retail Products Royal Bank of ScotlandLes will examine the cultural and organisational issues across the financial services industry thatcontributed to the recent problems of the Royal Bank of Scotland and analyse the changes RBS hasmade to avoid this and other similar problems. There will be a particular emphasis on the cultural andorganizational changes that RBS has made.Les went to school in Aberdeen at Robert Gordons College and came to Edinburgh University wherehe graduated with a B Com (Hons) in 1982. He joined Procter & Gamble on their Brand Managementgraduate scheme and worked there for seven years.He then joined Kraft, working in London, Brussels Zurich and Buenos Aires, where he was GeneralManager of their Food Business. He then joined Citibank in Taiwan as Marketing Director North Asia,thereafter moving to Singapore, Tokyo and Sydney in various management roles.In his last role before joining RBS he was CEO for Citibank consumer business in Central Asia, whichincluded Hong Kong, Australia, the Philippines and the Pacific Islands. He was also CountryCorporate Officer for Australia. He was Deputy Chairman of the Australian Bankers Association.Putting you at the heart of business 11 FTMBA – Organisational Behaviour
  • Day 3: 6 October 2011Day 3 Session 1: Organisational DesignThe problem of organisational design has two dimensions; how best to divide up the work of anorganisation, and how best to co-ordinate the sub-units created by this division. At the individual orwork group level these questions find expression in the problem of job design. At a macro-organisational level are issues of the grouping of functions and integration of activities. The particularform taken by any organisation will be shaped by several factors - size, technology, the nature of theenvironment, but there can be a profoundly political dimension to organisational design as well.Core readingBuchanan and Huczynski, chapter 15, “Elements of structure”, Chapter 16 “Early organisationaldesign and chapter 17 “Organisational architecture”.Day 3 Session 2: Production Game PreparationThis session will be available for planning and preparation for the Production Game in the afternoon.The Conference Room and Roof Terrace are available for this purpose.Day 3 Sessions 3&4: The Production GameNote: this session will run continuously from 14:00 until approximately 1830 in the Conference Roomand Roof Terrace, 4th Floor. “The Production Game” is a simple business simulation in which the class are divided intocompanies who compete in a marketplace by physically manufacturing a simple product. The Gamereveals many of the dynamics of strategy, organisation and operations and provides a concrete,shared experience to which you can apply the ideas covered in the course. It is essential thateveryone takes part in this session.Day 4: 13 October 2011Day 4 Session 1: Production Game Debrief and PresentationsDay 4 Session 2: Power and ConflictFor those who view organisations from a rational perspective, conflict and organisational politics aresymptoms of a malaise - signs of a badly managed organisation. Others see conflict as healthy, asign that the groups who comprise an organisation are defending their interests. In this session thesources of power and conflict in organisations are analysed, along with the typical strategies whichmay be employed by those who attempt to exert influence in organisations.Core readingBuchanan and Huczynski, chapter 22 “Power and politics”, chapter 21 “Conflict”.Day 4 Session 3: Organisational CultureSince the publication of Peters and Waterman’s best seller In Search of Excellence (1982) whichclaimed a link between a ‘strong’ organisational culture and business success there has been a greatPutting you at the heart of business 12 FTMBA – Organisational Behaviour
  • interest in culture in management circles. This session considers what culture is, how it may bediagnosed, and the factors which create and sustain a strong culture. The significance of culture as amechanism of integration and control is considered.Core readingBuchanan and Huczynski, chapter 4 “Culture”.Day 4 Session 4: Change and Learning/ Course OverviewThis session will explore two issues. In the first part we will look at the process of planned change,and some of the different models of change that exist. We will then move on to look at the relatedtopic of learning – the process by which organizations absorb information from their environmentsand adjust - or often fail to adjust - their goals and operating routines in the light of this.The session will finish with a course overview and briefing on the assignment.Core readingBuchanan and Huczynski, chapter 18 “Change”.Lecture Outlines and ReadingsAs aboveExam PapersWhere applicable all available exam papers can be found on the University of Edinburgh website at:http://www.exampapers.lib.ed.ac.uk/Appendix 1: Further ReadingTo be provided on Web CT.Putting you at the heart of business 13 FTMBA – Organisational Behaviour