You are on page 1of 5

CRICOS Provider No.

00103D Pre-sighted exam S3, 2013 Page 1 of 5
BUMGT5921 Organizations: Behaviour, Structure, Processes
Pre-sighted examination questions and notes on the examination
Semester 3, 2013

QUESTIONS
Section A
Question A1 will be offered in the exam without any change and you will have to answer this
question. As a guide, approximately three pages long relevant answers should be sufficient
for this question. It is worth 20% of the total grade for this course.

Question: A1
Analyze and evaluate your syndicate’s development and functioning as a group or
team according to relevant theories and models you encountered in class or in your
reading. Discuss your own roles in the syndicate and consider leadership issues.
What would you do differently, given your experience and this analysis, to enhance
the performance of the group and the satisfaction of its members?
Section B
A total of Five questions are given below. At examination, Three of these questions (any
three) will be offered. You will have to select Two questions to answer. As a guide,
approximately two pages long relevant answers should be sufficient for each of these
questions. Each of the two questions answered will be worth 15% of the total grade for this
course for a total of 30%.

Question: B1
How would you describe the work of strategic leaders? How do strategic leaders
effectively manage their firm’s resource portfolio such that its core competencies are
exploited, and the human capital and social capital are leveraged to achieve a
competitive advantage? What must strategic leaders do to develop and sustain an
effective organizational culture?

Question: B2
Use the characteristics of mechanistic and organic organizational design options to
describe two different organizations that you know about. Then relate the differences
to technological and environmental aspects. For what type of organization you would
prefer to work? Organic or mechanistic? Explain. Discuss why organizational design
and communication flow are so closely related.

Faculty of Business


CRICOS Provider No. 00103D Pre-sighted exam S3, 2013 Page 2 of 5

Question: B3
In Kurt Lewin’s model of change, what brings about the proposed change? Explain
why there has to be variations made, over a period of time, to the original model.
Evaluate the ethical issues associated with downsizing an organization. How is
appreciative inquiry a different approach to organizational change than a problem-
solving approach?


Question: B4
Looking for something more
Lisa Lee is an office manager for Magic Print, a medium-sized printing business. She is 45,
unmarried and lives by herself. She has been office manager for the last five years and earns
about $54,000. She started in the binding section and has been with the company for 20
years. Lately, she has been feeling bored and that she really hasn’t done much with her life.
She has asked you for a year’s leave-of absence to go on an 'around the world' cruise. You
are the CEO of the company.
How would you tackle this situation? Why? Which motivation theories best apply to this
person and what would you actually do to motivate her? Explain.

Question: B5
Case Study: Family Needs
Family Needs is a large retail chain store. In each of its stores Family Needs ran a trainee
management course which required the trainee to complete two years' work experience in
various departments. The course was designed so that at the end of the two years the
trainee had the knowledge to immediately take over a small department.

The Arlington store was Family Needs’ newest. It was the most popular for management and
staff and had a low staff turnover rate. The China and Glassware Department (henceforth
CGD) inside the store was the best within the chain and was renowned as an effective work
unit. The staffs in the CGD were older women who had worked in the area for a minimum of
ten years each. The manager was a young man of 23 who had completed the trainee course
two years before and had been manager for the last 18 months. His management policy was
one of cooperation. He made most of the decisions himself but was not afraid to ask for help
from his staff. If a staff member approached him with an idea for a display or promotion, he
took notice and, if the idea worked, gave credit to the salesperson.

During the past four months Andrew Brady, a second-year trainee had been positioned within
the CGD. Andrew Brady was being groomed for a leading management role in the selling
side of Family Needs. He had an excellent working relationship with the other staff members,
who respected his ability to get sales and to make management decisions when the manager
was away. Abruptly, the manager decided to return to university and so the position of
manager was left vacant.

Andrew Brady was called into the HRM office and told that he was to take responsibility for


CRICOS Provider No. 00103D Pre-sighted exam S3, 2013 Page 3 of 5
the running of the department until a replacement manager could be found. It was made clear
to him that, as he still had six months of his course to complete he was not in contention for
the position.

For the next two months, Andrew ran the department smoothly and efficiently and gained
respect from other managers. It appeared that the store was no longer looking for a
replacement but was content to allow Andrew to run the department. At the end of the two
months Andrew was called into the HRM office and told that, as from Monday, Joy Smith
would be manager of the department. Andrew was disappointed, but not bitterly.

On Monday the HR manager took the new manager across to the department and introduced
her as 'Joy Smith’. Andrew offered to show her around the store and to help in any way he
could. In doing so, he used her first name and was told, 'As I am the manager now, and
considerably older than you, you will address me as 'Mrs. Smith'. The abruptness of this
remark, and the fact that in the department they all used first names, immediately isolated
her.

As time went on, Mrs. Smith took all the responsibility on herself and refused to ask for
advice. By the end of the first month Mrs. Smith had completely re-organized the layout of the
department so it coincided with the layout of the small local shop she had managed
previously. Many of the ideas she employed ran contrary to those which had been found to
be successful over the last few years. Sales increased marginally in most areas, but in cheap
dinner sets, they fell markedly. The increase in sales was viewed as an indication of success
by Mrs. Smith.

The Dinner Set Incident
On taking over the department Mrs. Smith had allocated each member an area to maintain.
Andrew Brady was allocated the cheap dinner set. Under the previous manager, various
types of displays had been tried and a bulk display was found to be the most effective.
Andrew had handled all displays of promotional material in all dinner setting categories and
had worked out a series of displays designed to obtain maximum exposure and sales without
degrading any of the products. Mrs. Smith’s ideas ran opposite to Andrew’s and she insisted
that he use her ideas, even when sales declined.

The Christmas was fast approaching. Mrs. Smith instructed Andrew how he was to set up the
display. Andrew did not agree with the layout, but when he approached her, he was told to
set it up as she desired. On the first day of the sale, the busiest day of the year, Mrs. Smith
reported in sick. She was to miss three days in all. By the end of the second day, sales within
all areas were considerably below expected levels and staff members suggested certain
changes to help sales. Andrew recommended that they make the appropriate changes to
their areas and said he would try to obtain clarification from the sales manager of the area.
He changed the layout of the dinner set promotion to that which both he and the previous
manager had found to be the best.

Sales on the third day increased markedly, but because of the increased activity, Andrew
was not able to clarify the changes with the sales manager. Andrew and other staff members
decided to get in early the next morning to prepare for the busy day and to allow time to


CRICOS Provider No. 00103D Pre-sighted exam S3, 2013 Page 4 of 5
explain their reasons for the changes to Mrs. Smith if she turned up. Mrs. Smith did show up
the next day and indeed was already there when everybody else arrived. The following
conversation took place:

Mrs. Smith: ‘Why have all these promotions been changed? Who ordered this’?

Andrew: ‘Sales were far below what we expected, so we tried various other promotional
factors to raise them. I tried to see the sales manager to discuss the changes with him, but
with the workload I clean forgot’.

Mrs. Smith: ‘I want them changed back now. Those styles are the best I have found and they
do work’.

Andrew: ‘But the changes increased sales. That’s what we were trying to achieve, so why
should we change them’?

Mrs. Smith: ‘Because I told you to and as I am the manager you have to obey me, and I want
them changed’.

Andrew: ‘Well if you want it, do it yourself’!

(Source: Adapted from Jennifer Chandler and John E Bailey (eds.), Australian case studies in OB, David Syme Business
School, Melbourne, 1983, pp.7-9)

Case Questions: Family Needs
What behavioural aspects have created the problem in the above case? What are the potential
positive and negative outcomes of the situation which developed at the Arlington store? What
would you recommend should be done to solve the situation at this store? Why?




CRICOS Provider No. 00103D Pre-sighted exam S3, 2013 Page 5 of 5
2. ADDITIONAL NOTES

2.1 Preparation
Skills in planning, decision making and time management are implicitly required by
the examination process. Set textbook and other reference books/materials
provide the necessary knowledge base. A much wider reading beyond the set
textbook will be of benefit.

2.2 Examination materials and arrangements
This is a closed book exam. No materials are permitted to be used in the
examination. DO NOT bring this pre-sighted question in the exam venue. New
copies of the examination question paper will be provided.

2.3 Examination length, word length
The examination lasts for three hours.
There is no fixed word limit for the examination. As a general guide, you could aim
somewhere between two to three pages long (approximately 500-700 words)
relevant answers for each question.

2.4 The examination venue
You will know the exact venue location of your examination from the campus
administration where you are studying. Please arrive at the venue well ahead of
time.

Good Luck with the examination!

Dr Syed Uddin
Course coordinator
2 February 2014