You are on page 1of 13

FEMBA 409:

ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR 2010

Instructor: Professor Corinne Bendersky


Office: Collins Center, A418
Phone: 310.825.1366
E-mail: corinne.bendersky@anderson.ucla.edu
Office Hours: By appointment

COURSE MEETING TIMES AND LOCATIONS


Section 1: Saturdays 2:00 - 5:15 A201
Section 2: Saturday 9:30 – 12:45 B301

COURSE DESCRIPTION AND OBJECTIVES

Management is both a skill and an art. Organizations are complex systems--varying in size, industry
constraints, and structure--and so are the problems that managers face. This course will provide you
with the necessary tools to diagnose and solve organizational problems and to influence the actions
of individuals, groups, and organizations. Specifically, this course is designed to provide a practical
guide to managing behaviour--your own, and that of your co-workers--in organizations. We draw on
social science theory to identify the key human tendencies that can pose obstacles to career
achievement even for the most talented and technically competent individuals. Topics include the
challenges of making decisions effectively, motivating others to implement your vision, influencing
those who resist your ideas, designing and managing teams, organizational diversity, social networks
and key concepts in organizational design. We will explore these issues using readings, cases,
lectures, discussions, and in-class exercises.

Because the course is only ten weeks long and the scope of concepts, theories, and applications is
immense, we have had to be selective in choosing the material. As a class, we will have to be
focused in moving through the concepts, as we will spend only a session or two on topics that could
easily take an entire quarter. My objective is to cover some fundamental ideas in Organizational
Behavior as well as some applications of those ideas. I hope the concepts will provide you with a
framework for organizing your own past experience, as well as guiding additional learning and
reading you will be doing after you complete the course. My objective is not to teach you how to
follow a specific recipe for doing something, but rather to teach you to cook for yourself, by
developing conceptual skills and knowledge so that you can solve novel problems independently and
with confidence.

1
PREPARING FOR CLASS
• It is important that you complete the reading and cases for each session in advance. You will not
profit as much from the class sessions unless you come prepared, nor will you be able to
contribute to the class discussion of the case. The readings are selected to augment the in-class
discussions and lectures. In particular, the readings provide more technical or in-depth
explanations of the research on which the concepts are based and/or provide “real world”
illustrations of how the concept has functioned in an organizational context. For some sessions,
the syllabus lists readings to be done after the class. You will be responsible for these materials
at the time of the exam, as well as being responsible for knowing the concepts from readings
done before class.
• Many of the principles and issues involved in managing people and organizations are relatively
timeless. Consequently, you should not rely on the copyright dates of either the readings or the
cases in evaluating their usefulness. “Classic” readings and cases are included because they
speak to important issues in useful, interesting, and time-tested ways.
• The articles in your case packet provide key ideas and theoretical insights into human behavior
and its impact on productivity and performance. To be sure you have grasped the point of each
article, ask yourself:

o What is the author’s main argument?

o What are the key concepts and principles introduced?

o How can I use this information to tackle the challenges we are discussing in class?

• Many sessions in this course follow a case discussion format. The cases provide concrete
situations to which you should apply the concepts introduced in articles. They provide an
opportunity for you to practice diagnosing the nature and causes of organizational performance,
and to practice thinking through the potential consequences of action strategies. Some of the
cases appear far-removed from problems pertinent to your particular interests or industry
experience, but in general, the lessons from the cases are universally relevant and transcend
particular situations. I have provided discussion preparation questions for each case to help you
prepare for the class.
• I facilitate class discussion of the cases first to obtain all views and second to integrate the
prevailing views that have been presented with theoretical constructs in the class. In this way,
the direction and quality of the discussion is the collective responsibility of the group, not the
sole responsibility of the instructor.
• All required readings and cases for the course may be found in the Course Reader or in the
following assigned book:
o Cialdini, R. (2009). Influence: Science and Practice. Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.

Please note that there is a reading assignment for the first session!

2
COURSE GRADING

Class Attendance and Participation (15% of the final grade). Every session of the course involves
interaction in the form of class discussion, which is an important part of the learning process. To
attain a rich and flexible understanding of the concepts, you need to become actively engaged with
the material by reading the assignments and preparing the cases before class—in other words, be
actively involved in the learning process. Participation also provides you with an opportunity to
develop your communication skills which includes not only the ability to express your own ideas,
but also your ability to listen, inquire and accurately interpret others’ ideas.
Attendance: Students are allowed to be absent no more than 20% of regular class sessions
without a direct grade penalty. Thus, two absences from your 409 class are permissible. An
additional absence will result in lowering the grade by one full letter. Thus, a third absence
would trigger an automatic grade penalty. It is not possible to complete the course with any
more than three absences. The course must be retaken. If you miss a class, you are
responsible for informing the instructor and your TA of your absence ahead of time and for
obtaining announcements, information, handouts, and materials from your classmates or
from the course website. It may be possible to make up a missed class with another section.
To do so, contact the TAs from both your section and the section that you would like to
attend. Made up classes will not be considered absences.
Classroom Discussion: Participating in class discussions is essential to the pedagogical
approach of this course. Your grade on class participation will be based primarily on the
quality of your contributions to the ongoing discussion and your success in leading the
discussion in productive, analytical directions. Comment quality will be assessed using the
following criteria (in order of importance):

Relevance: How is the comment related to the current discussion? Does it link to ideas in
the course readings and discussions?

Logic: Do you explain the reasoning behind your comment using clear evidence and
coherent arguments?

Integration: Does your comment move the discussion forward by building on previous
contributions with new insights?

Individuality: Does your comment contribute a new perspective to the discussion, or does it
simply repeat what others have already said?

A single, high-quality comment is more valuable than several, average-quality ones. High
quality comments are succinct and demonstrate that you have been listening to the
discussion. I will facilitate the discussion with an eye toward inclusiveness, but it is your
responsibility to raise your hand and get involved. I encourage each section to discuss
norms about how to distribute opportunities to participate fairly and optimize the quality of
the discussion. Note that missing a class will impact the participation component of your
grade, since you cannot participate in a discussion if you are not present.
Forum on Course Website: A discussion board is also available for this section, which you
can access from the course website (“Discussion” link). We encourage you to continue our
class discussions during the week, particularly if you find any real-world examples of course
3
concepts in the media or based on your interactions at work. You may include links to
publicly available news stories but please do not post anything proprietary from your
employer on the board. Please keep comments constructive and respectful.

Calculation of participation grade:


5% Peer evaluation
10% Professor and TA evaluation

Peer evaluation: At the mid-point and at the conclusion of the course, every student will
submit confidential self and peer-evaluations on course participation, taking into
consideration how much they learned from each classmate and how constructively each
classmate contributed to their learning experience. Please take into account participation in
both the classroom and website discussions.

Professor and TA evaluation: Your participation will also be measured by the professor and
TA at the end of each class session. To make sure we are fairly and accurately recalling
contribution to the class discussions, the TA will periodically record the comments you make
during class so we have a record to which we can refer when making our assessments.

A final note on citizenship: Unless otherwise noted, computers, cell phones, and other electronic
devices are not to be used during class.

Online Surveys (10% of the final grade): You will complete three online surveys in preparation for
specific classes during the quarter. Links to the surveys and specific instructions will be sent to your
Anderson email address. Completing the first and third surveys each account for 3% of your final
grade and the second survey accounts for 4% of your grade. With your permission, data from these
surveys will be used by Professor Bendersky and her colleagues for academic research as well. You
have an opportunity to anonymously opt out of participating in the research project without
consequence for your grade.

Case Assignments (50% of the final grade):


You have three case assignments: one individual and two group write ups. The Giant Pool of Money
(15%) individual assignment is due in Class 2, the Henry Tam and the MGI Team group case write-
up (15%) is due in Class 6, and the Morgan Stanley/Rob Parsons group case write-up (20%) is due
in Class 9.
• Specific questions for each case write up are in class session of the syllabus when they are
due. Be sure to fully answer every question.
• The case write-up assignments and case on your final exam that receive high grades will be
those that succinctly describe then apply appropriate course concepts to identify and interpret
the managerial issues in the case. In addition, particularly good assignments will provide
specific recommendations for behavior change and point out the strengths and weaknesses of
those recommendations. The best responses will go into more depth about a select number of
concepts, rather than trying to apply as many concepts as possible in a cursory manner.
• It is essential that you use facts from the case and apply the approaches and frameworks
discussed in class and in the readings to your responses. Although concepts from throughout
the course may be applied to your analysis of the case, be sure to incorporate information
4
from the readings that are assigned along with the case. You can assume we are familiar
with the case so you do not need to reiterate the specific details of it.
• When writing your assignments, ask yourself these questions:
• Does my analysis apply the most relevant course concepts and theories to understand
the behavior at hand?
• Do I provide prescriptions for organizational or behavior change that are related to
these course concepts?
• Does my analysis and prescription for organizational or behavior change show that I
understand the course concepts/theories that I applied to the situation?
• Did I write logically, clearly, and succinctly, using appropriate citations and staying
within the page limit?
• Additional information about the companies and individuals in the cases are sometimes
available online, but please stick to the information included in the written case when
presenting your work.
• When writing assignments, be sure to cite your sources. We encourage you to use APA
format (see http://library.osu.edu/sites/guides/apagd.php for more information on this
format). If you are citing readings from the class, you may copy these references as presented
in the syllabus. Failure to credit sources may constitute plagiarism.

Double space your work, use 12- point fonts and 1-inch margins. Please put the following
information in the header of each individual/group assignment: Your UCLA ID number, the
individual/group assignment name, your section letter and the page number. For group assignments,
make sure to include the UCLA ID of all your team members. Do NOT include your name(s).

Assignments should be turned in using Turnitin.com, a website that can be accessed on your class
list at www.my.ucla.edu. Assignments are due before the beginning of class on the day the
assignment is due.

Final Examination (25% of the final grade). The exam will consist of short essay questions
addressing concepts, theories, and facts from the class readings, cases, lectures, exercises and
discussions, as well as a case write-up. The exam will be “open book/open notes” format, and you
will receive the case (but not the associated questions) to read in advance. Computers will be
allowed and we will arrange for you to be able to print your answers in the classroom as well as
submit using Turnitin.com.

Other notes on grading:


Rank System. Grades for each section represent a forced rank system. Your grade
represents the quality of your work relative to that of your section members. FEMBA 409
will be graded within each section using the Anderson School guidelines:
A+, A No more than 20% of the class
A+, A, A- No more than 45% of the class
B- At least 5% of the class
C+ At least 5% of the class

Assignment Feedback: Graded assignments are returned to you with a few individualized
comments written on them. In addition, a detailed summary of the assignment will be
emailed to the class that explains what students did really well and what students struggled
5
with. You can figure out how your grade was determined by comparing your individual
comments with the general feedback memo. If you do not understand your feedback or want
more detail, please make an appointment to discuss it with your TA.

Regrade Requests are generally discouraged and will only be considered when made in
writing with a clear explanation for why a mistake may have been made within one week. If
granted, an independent re-grade may result in the same grade, a higher grade or a lower
grade.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

Class Slides. Copies of a preview version of the PowerPoint slides will be distributed in each class
for you to take notes. These preview versions exclude information that I do not want to circulate
until our in-class activities are completed. Furthermore, for various reasons, the handouts may not be
completely the same as the slides presented in class. A .pdf version of the final slides will be posted
on the course website following each class. You are responsible for the material on the final set of
slides.

Teaching Assistants. Teaching assistants will help collect, read, and grade assignments, and keep
track of class attendance and participation. The TAs are experienced with the course material and
are glad to answer questions in person or via email. Questions and requests for additional feedback
on graded assignments should be directed at your TA.
• Both sections: Nicholas Hays: nicholas.hays.2012@anderson.ucla.edu

6
COURSE OUTLINE AND SCHEDULE OF SESSIONS

UNIT 1: DECISION MAKING AND SITUATIONAL INFLUENCES ON BEHAVIOR

SESSION 1: DECISION-MAKING IN AN ORGANIZATIONAL CONTEXT: WHY DO


SMART PEOPLE MAKE BAD DECISIONS?

In class activities: Auction and Carter Racing

Please do the following reading before class:


• Pfeffer, J. & Sutton, R. I. (2006). Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, & Total Nonsense:
Profiting from Evidence-Based Management. Chapter 1. Boston, MA: Harvard Business
School Press.
• Vandivier, K. (1972). Why Should My Conscience Bother Me? In R. Heilbroner (Ed.), In the
Name of Profit. New York: Doubleday.
• Brittain, J. & Sitkin, S. (1986). Carter Racing (Parts A & B). Kellogg Team and Groups
Center.
• Lyall, Sara (2010, July 12). In BP’s record, a history of boldness and costly blunders. The
New York Times.
• Goel, V. (2009, February 15). How Google decides to pull the plug. The New York Times.
• Ellet,W. (2007). How to analyze a case. Chapter 3, The Case Study Handbook: How to read,
discuss and write persuasively about cases. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing
Corporation.

Discussion preparation questions:


• What factors increased B.F. Goodrich’s commitment to the production of a flawed brake
design?
• What should Lawson have done differently to create change in the organization?
• Should the Carters race?

Please read the following after class:


• Heath, C., Larrick, R. P., & Klayman, J. (1998). Cognitive repairs: How organizational
practices can compensate for individual shortcomings. Research in Organizational Behavior,
20, 1-37.

SESSION 2: SOCIAL CONFORMITY

DUE in class: Individual Assignment—“The Giant Pool of Money”

In class activities: video of Milgram’s psychology experiment on “Obedience to Authority” and


discussion of Enron case. Unit wrap-up.

Please do the following reading before class:


• Cialdini, R. B. (2009). Social Proofs are Us (pp. 99-102, 115-131 of Chapter 4), and
Authority: Directed Deference. (pp.176-187 of Chapter 6), Influence: Science and Practice.
Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.
• Fusaro, P. C. & Miller, R. M. (2002). The downside of rank and yank. Chapter 4 of What

7
Went Wrong at ENRON. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
• Fowler, T. (2005, December 20). Enron’s implosion was anything but sudden. Houston
Chronicle.

Discussion preparation questions:


• What psychological biases and social norms encouraged malfeasance at Enron?
• What organizational policies and practices exacerbated the unethical and illegal behavior at
Enron?
• What organizational repairs might have helped reduce the potential for poor decision making
at Enron?

Giant Pool of Money Assignment Instructions: Go to http://www.thisamericanlife.org. Click


on the “On The Radio” tab and then click on 2008. Scroll down to Episode 355 (05.09.2008)
“The Giant Pool of Money” and click on the orange speaker icon to listen to the program. Listen
to the entire episode (approximately 60 minutes).
1) Drawing on what you learned in Session 1 and the readings that are assigned for Session 2,
identify two psychological processes or biases exemplified by the individuals in the radio
story that contributed to the subprime mortgage crisis.
• Try to be specific, drawing on the most relevant readings and course concepts, rather than
just saying, “These people acted irrationally.”
• At least one of the two processes that you write about should be taken from the Heath, et
al. (1998) reading from Session 1.
2) Ignoring the actual regulatory context of the industry, design an institutional repair that might
help prevent one of the processes you identified in part 1.
3) 3 page maximum (12-point font, double spaced, 1-inch margins).

UNIT 2: SOCIAL CAPITAL AND INFLUENCE

SESSION 3: PERSUASION

In class activities: in class video, social influence dynamics as portrayed in Twelve Angry Men

Please do the following reading before class:


• Cialdini, R. B. (2009). Reciprocation: The Old Give and Take… and Take (pp. 19-30 of
Chapter 2), Commitment and Consistency: Hobgoblins of the Mind (pp. 52 – 53 and 59-73 of
Chapter 3), and Liking: The Friendly Thief (Chapter 5), Influence: Science and Practice.
Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.

After class: Be sure to collect your materials for the negotiation simulation we are doing in
session 4. Look for email with social network survey link in your Anderson email account.

8
SESSION 4: NEGOTIATIONS

Complete prior to class: Online survey about section social network and personal preferences.

In class activities: Salary Negotiation Simulation


Please do the following reading before class:
• Simons, T. & Tripp, T. M. (2003). The negotiation checklist. In Lewicki, R., Saunders, D.
M., Minton, J. W., & Barry, B. (Eds). Negotiation. Fourth edition: 50 – 63. Boston.
McGraw-Hill Irwin.
• Galinsky, A. (2004, August 9). When to make the first offer in negotiations. Harvard
Business School Working Knowledge for Leaders.
• Kellogg Team and Groups Center Case: Salary Negotiation (2001) — to be distributed in
class 3.
o You will be negotiating the situation described in this case with one of your
classmates during class.
o Prepare for your in-class negotiation as if you were negotiating for this job. Make
sure you understand the issues to be discussed and your interests and priorities.
o Do not try to play the role like an actor; instead try to imagine yourself in this
situation.
o Apply the lessons from the readings to your preparation for this simulated
negotiation.
o Because there are two different roles in this simulation with private information, DO
NOT DISCUSS YOUR PREPARATION WITH OTHER CLASSMATES.

SESSION 5: BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS AND SOCIAL NETWORKS

DUE in class: Personal Network Assessment Exercise

In class activities: Section social network and discussion of personal Network Assessment Exercises.
Unit wrap-up.

Please do the following reading before class:


• Krackhardt, D. & Hanson, J. R. (1993). Informal networks: The company behind the chart.
Harvard Business Review, reprint # 93406.
• Ibarra, H. (1996). Managerial networks. HBS case #9-495-039.
• Ibarra, H. (1996). Network Assessment Exercise: Executive Version. HBS case # 9 – 497-003
• Print off your personal social network feedback email message prior to class.

9
UNIT 3: MANAGING GROUPS AND TEAMS

SESSION 6: GROUP PROCESS

Due in class: Group case write-up: Henry Tam and the MGI Team.

BRING YOUR PERSONAL LAPTOP, WITH ETHERNET CABLE, TO THIS CLASS


SESSION

In class activities: Online group process survey. Discussion of David Fletcher case.

Please do the following reading before class:


• Polzer, J. (2003). Leading Teams. HBS case# 9-403-094.
• HBS Case # 9-404-068: Henry Tam and the MGI Team.
• HBS Case #9-493-064: David Fletcher

Henry Tam Group Case Write-up Instructions


Answer the following specific questions about the Henry Tam and the MGI team case:
1) What is your evaluation of the MGI team’s process and assessment of the root causes
of any problems you identified?
2) What could Henry do at the end of the case to improve the team’s effectiveness at this
point?
Your write ups should be 3 – 5 pages, double spaced, 12” font, 1”margins. Each group
should submit one copy of the case, making sure all members’ UCLA ID numbers are listed.

David Fletcher discussion preparation questions:


• Fletcher’s first attempt to build a research team did not work out as intended. Why? What, if
anything should he have done differently?
• What should he do this time around?

SESSION 7: GROUP DYNAMICS

Due in Class: Step 1 of the mid-point group effectiveness check activity

In class activities: Lego Person and mid-point group effectiveness check activity.

Please read the following before class:


• Gittell, J. D. (2000). The paradox of coordination and control. California Management
Review, 42 (3): 101-117.
• Instructions for mid-point group effectiveness check activity, and complete STEP 1.
• Personal group process feedback report from the Qualtrics 360 website.

Discussion preparation questions:


• How was Southwest able to control of the flight departure process without undermining
coordination?

Please read the following after class (handed out in class session 7):

10
• Heath, C. & Staudenmayer, N. (2000). Coordination neglect: How lay theories of organizing
complicate coordination in organizations. Research in Organizational Behavior, 22, 153-
191.

SESSION 8: DIVERSITY

In class activities: Implicit Association Test (IAT) demonstration and diversity discussion. Unit
wrap-up.

Please do the following reading before class:


• Kreuger, A. B. (2002, December 12). What’s in a name? Evidently plenty if you are looking
for a job. The New York Times.
• (2009, January 9). The price of prejudice. The Economist.
• Eagly, A. H. & Carli, L. L. (2007). Women and the labyrinth of leadership. Harvard
Business Review, reprint # R0709C.
• HBS case # 405048-PDF-ENG: Managing Diversity at Spencer Owens & Co.
• HBS case # 405047-PDF-ENG: Managing Diversity at Cityside Financial Services

11
UNIT 4: MOTIVATION AND BEHAVIOR CHANGE

SESSION 9: PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

Due in class: Group case write up of Morgan Stanley/Rob Parsons case sequence.

In class activities: Discussion of Morgan Stanley/Rob Parsons case sequence, including fishbowl
role play. Course evaluations.

Please do the following reading before class:


• Kerr, S. (1995). On the Folly of Rewarding A, While Hoping for B. Academy of
Management Executive, 9 (1), 7-14.
• Cascio, W. (1998). Managing Human Resources. Boston: Irwin-McGraw Hill. Chapter 9: pp.
329 – 353.
• HBS Case #s 9-498-053, 9-498-054 and 9-498-055: The Firmwide 360-degree Performance
Evaluation Process at Morgan Stanley and Rob Parson at Morgan Stanley (A and B).

Morgan Stanley Case Sequence Write-up Instructions


Answer the following specific questions:
1) What is your assessment of Morgan Stanley’s 360 degree performance evaluation
process? Would you describe this process as valid? As reliable? Why or why not?
2) How effective was the 360-degree performance review process as an instrument of
cultural and behavioral change? What limitations of it as an instrument for this
purpose did the Rob Parson’s situation highlight?
3) What is your own assessment of Rob Parson’s job performance? Should he be
promoted? Why or why not?
Your write ups should be 3 – 5 pages, double spaced, 12” font, 1” margins. Each group
should submit one copy of the case, making sure all members’ UCLA ID numbers are listed.

After class: Look for a link to the final survey in your Anderson email account.

THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY: NO CLASS

SESSION 10: MOTIVATION AND PERFORMANCE


Complete prior to class: Online final survey about group process.

In class activities: Discussion of SAS and Lincoln Electric case (in class video). Course review and
final-exam preparation.

Please do the following reading before class:


• Isaac, R., G., W. J. Zerbe & D.C. Pitt, (2001). Leadership and Motivation: The Effective
Applications of Expectancy Theory. Journal of Managerial Issues, 13, 2: 212-226. Focus on
the section entitled, “Expectancy theory: A model of motivation,” pp. 214 – 220, plus
Figure 2 on p. 221.
• Weibel, A. & Rota, S. (2001). Fairness as a Motivator. In B. S. Frey & M. Osterloh (Eds.),
Successful Management by Motivation: 173-189. Berlin: Springer.
12
• Clements, J. (2006, August 16). Money and happiness: Here’s why you won’t laugh all the
way to the bank. The Wall Street Journal.
• Cascio, W. (2006). Decency means more than “always low prices:” A comparison of Costco
to Wal-Mart’s Sam’s club. Academy of Management Perspectives: 26 – 37.
• Stanford GSB Case #HR6: The SAS Institute (A): A Different Approach to Incentives and
People Management Practices in the Software Industry.

Discussion preparation questions:


• Apply expectancy theory to explain how SAS motivates its employees.
• What are the relative roles of extrinsic and intrinsic rewards at SAS?
• Would you be highly motivated at SAS? Why or why not?

After class: Be sure to pick up final exam case.

SESSION 11: FINAL EXAM


• Total of 25 points
– 15 points for 3 case questions
• 4 – 5 page total recommended length
– 10 total points for 3 short essay questions
• 1 page per question recommended length
• You will receive the case (but not questions) at the end of class 10 to read in advance.
– You must turn in the case with your exam materials
– It is a copy write infringement and honor-code violation to copy or otherwise
reproduce the case
• Exams will be administered in two locations (TBA).
• Open-book, open-note, open-computer. You may not be online and cannot communicate
with anyone but the proctor
• Printers will be in the rooms. Set up networking in advance.

13