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Assessment Sample

Introduction
Organisational Behaviour is a study of people and relationships; therefore, most of the phenomena that you encounter in the field do not have concise, black and white responses. People are complex. Relationships are subtle and changeable. Some OB theories may give the appearance of factoring in all of the possible variables, but there is usually debate about the boundaries of the concepts. As a student, your learning activities in OB will normally require you to grapple with the controversies and inherent uncertainties of key theories. Most teachers of OB will be looking for you to show a systematic approach to your answers in either assignments or examinations. Even when a question is very specifically centred in a chapter, there will normally be opportunities for you to show that you know how the effects can cascade into other topics. There are systemic influences in almost every aspect of people management. For example, consider the following learning activity:
The decisions and actions of supervisors and managers have a direct effect on employee turnover and absenteeism. Critically discuss and debate this statement.

At first glance this may be a question about leadership style (Chapter 6). Naturally, the things that leaders in an organisation decide and do will affect the ways that employees feel about their work. However, thinking from another angle, the ways that jobs are designed (Chapter 9) might be just as important for determining whether people want to turn up for work or would rather work somewhere else altogether. Also the group dynamics in the workplace will surely be relevant (Chapter 5). Another point of view is that turnover and absenteeism are affected by individual motivation (Chapter 4). So your answer to the question ultimately has to draw from multiple sections of the textbook because the reality of complex problems in the workplace merges into a number of systemic causes and effects. Examination or assignment questions in OB may require you to define a key term but as part of a broader response to the question. In the example above, of course turnover and absenteeism are terms that will need clarification as part of the answer. The structure and approach of the rest of the response is normally quite different for each student. We have included a sample paper with permission of a student who has grappled with this particular learning activity. There are comments provided by the instructor in both papers.

Please note: Sample assessment is to be used for personal study only. Distribution and copying is prohibited.

turnover and job satisfaction (Josias. Bashir. on employee turnover and absenteeism Job satisfaction influences employee absenteeism and turnover (Shahzad. Employee performance is a result of personal attributes. What you have done is good in order to establish the premise of the paper. Satisfaction can be affected by reinforcement and punishment which can also affect staff turnover and absenteeism. ‘Job satisfaction is the degree to which individuals feel positively or negatively about their jobs’ (Wood. & Fitzgerald. Zeffane. 2011). Maybe employee turnover and absenteeism are affected by other factors such as stress. and this aspect of a job can directly affect employee turnover and absenteeism. or co workers (Shahzad. Abbas. Abbas. lead and control all aspects of the organisation can greatly affect the performance and the satisfaction level of employees. Hayat. Fromholtz. Comment [AC2]: This is the crux of your introduction. A manager’s ability to plan. 2005). organise. But. Bashir. Abbas. 2006). a relationship between job satisfaction and absenteeism appears to exist (Shahzad. You should really be setting up the aims and objectives in the introduction without too much in-depth analysis. maybe there is more to it than just the effects of superiors. by influencing their motivation levels (Strickler. Hayat. Bashir. The impact of job satisfaction. Superiors can impact upon aspects of an employee’s job satisfaction. Zeffane. & Fitzgerald. 2006). work effort and support from the organisation (Wood. 2011). Hayat. 2011).” Introduction The actions and decisions of supervisors and managers can have a direct effect on employee absenteeism and turnover. & Rehman. and it’s determinants. Fromholtz. can also impact upon absenteeism and turnover. 2011). Consider an extra sentence or two explaining how the rest of your paper will proceed to analyse this key issue. job design is determined by superiors. & Rehman. Ones level of overall job satisfaction is a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic forces (Dawis. 2006). . & Rehman.Critical Essay “The decisions and actions of supervisors and managers have a direct effect on employee turnover and absenteeism. Comment [AC1]: OK but be wary of too many references in your introduction. The decisions and actions of supervisors and managers affect many aspects of an employees work life. Nevertheless. There is a direct correlation between absenteeism. in particular self managing teams. A manager’s decision to implement work teams. Furthermore.

Employee empowerment intrinsically motivates employees (Seibert. it is clear that employees with low job satisfaction are more probable to quit their jobs (Shahzad. effect job satisfaction. responsibility. 2009). Empowerment is another process manager’s control. Job design can also have effect turnover and absenteeism. Motivated employees have a high job satisfaction. which in turn affects absenteeism and turnover. commitment and satisfaction (Brown. Frederick Herzberg’s twofactor theory also explores the sources of work satisfaction and dissatisfaction. 2006). This belief has been come deeply entrenched in the psyche of business (Strickler. which in turn reduces turnover and absenteeism (Shahzad. relationship with supervisor. in regard to the factors that influence job satisfaction. One factor that superiors have control over is their reward system. Herzberg identified responsibility as one of the top motivating factors for employees. Hayat. Almost all of these factors are. 2006). & Fitzgerald. motivation. Abbas. Ultimately. a Harvard clinical psychologist believed that rewards and punishment motivate people. Silver. Bashir. Committed employees are less likely to leave the organisation. Zeffane. Herzberg. 1987). Empowerment can involve an increase in responsibility. Comment [AC3]: Nice analysis with good referencing. 2004). & Rehman. 2010). work conditions and salary (Herzberg. as a result of 12 investigations. the decisions and actions of managers and supervisors. Empowerment liberates employees and encourages them to take on leadership roles (Wood. work itself. Do consider breaking this into separate paragraphs for each of the key issues you are analysing. can contribute to employee turnover and absenteeism. advancement and growth. This in turn increases productivity. Bashir. Zeffane. Fromholtz. reported that the top motivating factors for employees were achievement. This includes pay. & Rehman. & Randolph.Managers and supervisors have a direct impact upon the extrinsic factors that affect job satisfaction. As mentioned previously. 2011) or take more days off. It will improve the logical flow of your writing. Hayat. which can impact upon employee satisfaction. praise and promotions. 2011). Abbas. or can be. B. So therefore it is clear that the actions and decisions of managers and supervisors. & Fitzgerald. influenced by managers and supervisors. Fromholtz. The top dissatisfiers were company policy. His theory distinguishes between sources of work dissatisfaction (hygiene factors) and satisfaction (motivators) (Wood. Skinner. All in all. supervision. recognition. But this is a very long paragraph. 2004). 2006). Thomas and Tymon argue that empowerment is more likely to manifest at higher levels of job satisfaction (Lee & Wang.F. Some suggest that a proper allocation of rewards can have a positive influence on job satisfaction and performance (Branham. .

This is clearly indicative of poor job design. Each can have differing effects on employee absenteeism and turnover. and high levels of motivation reduce absenteeism and turnover. Zeffane. 2006). Fromholtz. Job simplification involves standardising and clearly defining tasks. Fromholtz. can increase job satisfaction and reduce absenteeism and turnover. Herzberg himself says that job enrichment should be a continuous management function (Herzberg. highlighted results of a survey as to why employees leave. 2006). 11% said they left because job duties were boring and unchallenging (Branham. Zeffane. When superiors design jobs using the job simplification approach. On the other hand. Zeffane. boredom and fatigue (Hsieh & Chai. 2004). and it has also been found that work characteristics such as . & Fitzgerald. Their model identifies five characteristics as being especially important to job designs. 1987). 2006). which involves shifting employees between jobs with differing tasks at similar skill levels (Wood. This is simply because simplified jobs can be monotonous. Job design involves the ‘planning and specification of job tasks and the work setting in which they are to be accomplished’ (Wood. & Fitzgerald. and they provide very little intrinsic motivation (Hsieh & Chai. When superiors take the job enrichment approach to job design. These characteristics are. 2006). as an enriched job motivates employees. & Fitzgerald. There are four approaches to job design. which increases performance and satisfaction for individuals (Wood. & Fitzgerald. task significance. unchallenging. skill variety. Fromholtz. Zeffane. Job rotation eliminates monotony. when utilised by supervisors and managers decreases employee absenteeism and turnover. it highly motivates employees by building motivating factors into job content (Wood. Fromholtz.The effects of job design on employee turnover and absenteeism Job design is an aspect of a job that managers and supervisors have a large degree of control over. Job enrichment links in nicely with Herzberg’s two-factor theory. Jobs that are high in these characteristics are said to be enriched (Wood. Fromholtz. & Fitzgerald. this can cause high rates of turnover and absenteeism (Wood. job rotation. Fromholtz. job enlargement increases task variety. Furthermore. autonomy and job feedback. Zeffane. task identity. job enrichment links in with Hackman and Oldham’s Job Characteristics Model. 2004). 2004). The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave. Leigh Branham’s book. 2006). This approach to job design. Zeffane. 2006). Their decisions regarding job design can definitely have some level of impact upon employee turnover and absenteeism. & Fitzgerald. low skilled. Similarly.

particularly self managing teams. 1975).job variety. 2006). 2006). Self managing teams improve productivity. Zeffane. As discussed earlier. which can ultimately lead to a reduction in employee turnover and absenteeism. & Fitzgerald. 2004). Teams. product quality and flexibility. 2007). problem solving skills. Zeffane. managers can empower their employees. reduce the turnover and absenteeism of their . A high level of cohesiveness is required in such groups. Instead. It does appear that employee turnover and absenteeism is reduced by working in effective self managing teams and managers need to acknowledge this. in conjunction with the five core job characteristics. McKenna. ‘Self managing teams are small groups of people empowered to manage themselves and the work they do on a day-to-day basis’ (Wood. team leaders are used to represent the team when communicating with senior managers (Druskat & Wheeler. Self managing teams and employee turnover and absenteeism It’s management’s decision as to whether organisational goals will be most effectively achieved by employees working in teams or individually. and have knowledge of actual results of their work activities. These groups are highly empowered by managers. employees often experience high intrinsic work motivation. 2000). have high performance. experience responsibility for work outcomes. and as a result. Fromholtz. as is expertise. & Steers. 2004). They also improve employee work attitudes and commitment (Merritt & Reynolds. and high levels of motivation decrease absenteeism and turnover. Hackman and Oldham state that to develop intrinsic motivation employees must also experience meaningfulness in their work. increase motivation and morale. & Randolph. Fromholtz. 1981). & Fitzgerald. can have a fundamental effect on employee turnover and absenteeism. Silver. They have freedom and can exercise discretion. which results in low absenteeism and turnover (Hackman & Oldham. empowerment is intrinsically motivating (Seibert. decision making skills and interpersonal skills (Wood. as well as organise their own internal work and structure to best accomplish goals (Langfred. results in their being no need for a formal supervisor. Once these three criteria have been fulfilled. Furthermore. By considering implementing functional self managing teams into their organisations. The way in which they structure their employees can greatly impact employee’s absenteeism and turnover. autonomy and responsibility usually associate negatively with turnover (cited in Krackhardt. Being an empowered and self managing group. and high satisfaction. Porter.

2000). Managers may not have a direct effect on these issues. 2011). & Rehman. such as co workers or a stressful home life. Conclusion It appears that the decisions and actions of supervisors and managers can have a direct effect on employee absenteeism and turnover. but they may be able to offer support to assist their employees. just to name a few. Hayat. Absenteeism can be reduced by handling stress properly’ (cited in Shahzad. & Rehman. Zeffane. Human resource departments can also help improve co worker relations by overcoming barriers to effective interactions across workgroups (Lengnick-Hall & Lengnick-Hall. Stress can be caused by family problems. Abbas. A recent survey indicates that most employees call in sick at the last minute because of personal issues rather than physical illness (Legal Access Plans. Causes of employee turnover and absenteeism. Fromholtz. 2006). Furthermore. Bashir. 2010). Some larger organisations now have Employee Counselling and Assistance Programmes to help employees cope with the strains and stresses of modern day life and employment (Reed Business Information. Bashir. not the decisions and actions of supervisors and managers. functional groups (Wood. ‘Stress is a cause of absenteeism and absenteeism is a cause of stress. managers must be sure that the teams have a high level of cohesiveness. 2005). develop effectively by passing through the five stages of group development and grow into mature. & Fitzgerald. It could be argued that other factors affect absenteeism and turnover. But to reap these positive rewards.employees. Abbas. financial problems and health problems. not related to the decisions of management Maybe the decisions of managers and supervisors aren’t to blame when it comes to employee absenteeism and turnover. Turnover has been proven to decrease when there are satisfactory working terms with peers because there is a negative relationship between satisfaction with co-workers and turnover (cited in Shahzad. maybe it’s an employees co workers who effect their absenteeism and turnover. Stress from employees’ home life is something that managers and supervisors do not have direct control over. The superiors of employees can greatly . Hayat. 2011). Social events and social clubs can also prove helpful in improving coworker relations.

Employee retention is of critical importance to organisational success. from The Career Key: http://www. Comment [AC4]: This is more correctly called a ‘reference list’ under the Harvard style of referencing. Retrieved April 8. J. (2004). there are factors that affect absenteeism and turnover that are not a direct effect of management decisions. job design can greatly affect employee turnover and absenteeism. Job enrichment should be a continuous management function (Herzberg. from Articles Alley: http://www. 2011). New York: Amacom. ‘A company is only as good as the people it keeps’ (Employee Quotations. D. Bashir. it is vital that managers design jobs to be motivating and enriching for employees. Abbas. Job dissatisfaction is one of the most important determinants of turnover and absenteeism (Shahzad.org/asp/career_options/job_satisfaction. L.html Druskat. (2004). Job Satisfaction. They can particularly impact upon extrinsic factors of motivation such as rewards and empowerment. Therefore. (2011). 2010). On the other hand. Retrieved April 5. Factors such as a stressful home life and poor co worker relations can impact absenteeism and turnover. How to Lead a Self Managing Team. self managing teams prove to reduce turnover and absenteeism. . The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave. Additionally. In the words of Mary Kay Ash. 1987) and management should always adhere to the job characteristics model. 2011. V.impact upon an employee’s job satisfaction. The Process of Empowerment. Brown. a famous businesswoman. it is in fact the decisions and actions of managers and supervisors that effect employee absenteeism and turnover. 65-71. & Rehman. (2010). C. V. Furthermore.com/article. MIT Sloan Management Review . R. 2011. and by offering employee assistance programs.careerkey. Bibliography Branham. which can be explored using Herzberg’s two factor theory.php/137250/19/Ethics/Business/1/The_Process _Of_Empowerment Dawis. and it’s ultimately the decision of management as to whether self managing teams are given the opportunity to exist.. & Wheeler. Hayat.articlesalley.detail. U. To help reduce the effects of these factors managers and supervisors may be able to play a support role through their human resource departments. The majority of the time.

afterquotes. job rotation and job burnout: example of Taiwan's high-technology industry . International Journal of Human Resource Management . from Self Managed Teams: http://docs. The Effect of Self-Managing Teams on Manager Commitment and Organizational Tenure in Private Clubs. & Oldham. Merritt. 2011.Employee Quotations. Legal Access Plans. 271-296.. 159-170. 53. Group and Organization Management . & Lengnick-Hall. Development of the job diagnostic survey. W. H. Retrieved April 8.com/reducing-employeeabsenteeism. A. 109-121. Retrieved April 21.htm Hackman. from AfterQuotes: http://www. (1987). 2011. (2000).html Lengnick-Hall. A reassessment of the relationship between job specialization. A.. C.com/great/people/mary-kay-ash/index. M. Retrieved April 21. (2010). 1108-1123. (2000). Journal of Applied Psychology .-Y. Langfred. from Legal Access Plans: http://employee-group-legal-plan.google. Reduce Employee Absenteeism.. The Downside of Self Management: A longitudinal study of the effects of conflict on trust. Academy of Management Journal . (2009). (2004). Hsieh. F. Herzberg. G. D. HR's Role in Building Relationship Networks . C. (2007).. & Chai. Academy of Management Executive . Psychological Empowerment and Job Satisfaction: An Analysis of Interactive Effects. (2010). & Wang.com/Docume nts/Self%2520Managing%2520Teams%2520Commitment%2520Tenure%2520Web%2520Ve r. 2011.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:PlIwGaT9ZM4J:edwardamerritt.pdf+do+self+managing+teams+reduce+employee+turnover&hl=en&gl=au&pid=bl&srcid=A DGEESiXB2QvYcgkDw2B8isM . P. (1975). R. A. G. 885-900.. One More Time: How do You Motivate Employees? Harvard Business Review . autonomy and interdependence in self-managing teams. & Reynolds.-T. Lee.

(2006). M. Comment [AC5]: Don’t forget to also include volume and issue numbers for journal articles. (2011).. (2004). K. Academy of Management Journal . & Randolph.. January). & Fitzgerald. J. performance and satisfaction.. Strickler. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business . & Rehman. S. Organisational Behaviour: Core concepts and Applications. Occupational Health (supplement) .. S. Wood. Bashir. What really motivates people? The Journal for Quality and Participation . Queensland: John Wiley & Sons Australia. 332-349. Milton. Abbas. Hayat. Fromholtz. Taking empowerment to the next level: A multiple-level model of empowerment. J. .Reed Business Information. R. 108-115. (2005. 26-28. J. M.-u.. This is a recurring omission in your reference list. Employers taking proactive approach to EAPs. K. (2006). A. Seibert.. K... Shahzad. Silver. Zeffane. Antedecents of TUrnover and Absenteeism: Evidence from Public Sector Institutions in Pakistan. S.-R..