BUAD 304: Leading Organizations
Syllabus Spring 2014 (A Schedule)
Course Instructors
Lecture Section 14720
Professor Jody Tolan
Department of MOR
Office: Bridge 303H
Phone: 213-740-4681
E-mail: tolan@marshall.usc.edu
Office Hours: Wednesdays 2-3:30 pm
Lecture Section 14726
Professor Michael Coombs
Department of MOR
Office: Bridge Hall 303
Phone: 213-740-9290
E-mail: mcoombs@marshall.usc.edu
Office Hours: By appointment
Lecture Sections 14732, 14738
Professor Sarah Townsend
Department of MOR
Office: HOH 403
Phone: 213-740-8420
Email: sarah.townsend@marshall.usc.edu
Office Hours: By appointment
Lecture Sections 14744, 14750
Professor Nate Fast
Department of MOR
Office: HOH 404
Phone: 213-740-1047
Email: nathanael.fast@marshall.usc.edu
Office Hours: By appointment
Discussion Instructors
Professor Christopher Bresnahan
Office: BRI 303G
Phone: 213-740-0175
Email: Buad304@yahoo.com
Office Hours: Mondays 4 pm and by appt
Professor Jody Tolan
Office: BRI 303H
Phone: 213-740-4681
Email: tolan@marshall.usc.edu
Office Hours: Weds 2-3:30 pm and by
Course Description
Leadership requires effective management of people and a clear understanding of human
behavior and social processes. Leaders need to have a good understanding both of
themselves and of those whom they will lead. Leaders need to know why people behave
as they do in relation to their job, work group, and organization. This knowledge of
individuals’ perceptions, attitudes, and behavior enables leaders to choose appropriate
leadership styles and managerial practices to increase organization effectiveness and
positive human outcomes.
The course moves progressively through individual, group, and organizational levels of
behavior drawing on concepts and practices from the field of Organizational Behavior
(OB). It also examines the interrelationship of behavioral phenomena among these levels.
Studying OB provides a basic understanding of your own and others’ behavior,
particularly in teams. It enhances your ability to communicate and work effectively with
others, core skills of leadership. Our goal is to help you strengthen your people
management skills so you can be a successful leader in any field you choose.
Course Objectives
Developing the behavioral skills you need to be a successful leader of yourself and
others, including working in teams.
Understanding the main ideas relating to organizational behavior and their impact on
creating a high-performing organization.
Understanding what leadership means and what is involved in becoming a successful
leader in today’s business organizations.
Appreciating leadership skills as an essential complement to the technical skills you
are learning in other courses.
Learning concepts and approaches that will enable you to analyze organizational
problems and develop appropriate solutions.
Course Learning Outcomes
After taking this class, students should be able to:
 Explain the effect of personality, attitudes, perceptions and attributions on their
own and other’s behaviors in team and organizational settings.
 Describe and apply motivation theories to team and organizational scenarios in
order achieve a team’s or an organization’s goals and objectives.
 Explain types of teams and apply team development, team effectiveness, and
group decision-making models and techniques.
 Analyze and apply leadership theories and better understand their own leadership
 Analyze bases of power and influence tactics and their impact on achieving their
own personal career goals and the organization’s objectives.
 Identify and apply tactics for resolving conflict and handling interpersonal
communication in work groups.
 Describe how organizational cultures are formed and sustained, and the benefits
and liabilities of strong organizational cultures and subcultures.
 Describe the determinants and elements of organizational structure and its impact
on an organization’s performance.
 Explain and apply a variety of organizational change methods to improve
employee, team and organization performance.
Relation to Marshall School Learning Goals
In this course, emphasis will be placed on the USC Marshall School of Business learning
goals as follows:
1. Our graduates will understand types of markets and key business areas and their
interaction to effectively manage different types of enterprises.
2. Our graduates will develop a global business perspective. They will understand how
local, regional, and international markets, and economic, social and cultural issues impact
business decisions so as to anticipate new opportunities in any marketplace.
3. Our graduates will demonstrate critical thinking skills so as to become future-oriented
decision makers, problem solvers and innovators.
4. Our graduates will develop people and leadership skills to promote their effectiveness as
business managers and leaders.
5. Our graduates will demonstrate ethical reasoning skills, understand social, civic, and
professional responsibilities and aspire to add value to society.
6. Our graduates will be effective communicators to facilitate information flow in
organizational, social, and intercultural contexts.
Course Format
This course is organized in a blended learning format which means you will
engage with the material in three integrated modes: (1) weekly online video lecture
sessions; (2) weekly discussion sessions; and (3) bi-weekly lecture sessions that you will
attend six times during the semester. One mode or format is not more important than
another. Each builds on the other to help you understand and apply the concepts of the
The online sessions will explain key conceptual frameworks found in the reading
assignments. They will also use short stories and videos to illustrate how corporate
leaders are implementing the concepts you are learning. It is expected that you will do the
required reading prior to viewing the online sessions. The reading and online lecture
viewing MUST be completed prior to attending lecture and discussion session meetings.
Knowing this material will support your participation in the interactive lecture and
discussion sessions.
The lecture sessions will address the course material in a highly interactive format
including short case studies, self-assessment measures, and question-and-answer periods.
It is expected that you will come to your lecture sessions prepared to discuss the assigned
material and to participate in the learning activities.
The discussion sessions will focus on issues related to actual leadership situations
and experiential exercises to learn leadership skills. They will integrate skill development
with the concepts covered in the reading assignments and online sessions. It is expected
that you will come to your discussion section meeting prepared to discuss the assigned
material and participate in the learning exercises.
Changing Discussion Sections
Registration is managed online through the My USC portal. If you are registered
for BUAD 304 but interested in another discussion section, monitor registration online
for availability and drop/add online. Remember that each discussion section is attached
to a lecture section. Before changing your discussion section, confirm that both the
lecture & discussion section work with your schedule. If you are concerned about losing
your spot before you can successfully add a different section, make sure you complete the
transaction at the same time (i.e. in the same online session). The system will not drop
you from the class if a new spot is not available. You may consult an advisor in the
Advising Office located in BRI 104 if you need assistance using the online
system. Contact your discussion instructor with any other questions about changing
Course Materials
There are three different formats available of the required textbook. You are only
required to purchase one format. There is a paperback format, looseleaf student value
edition, and an eBook format via online access. Each format is listed below with its
corresponding ISBN number. All formats include the access code for the required Self
Assessment Library (SAL) which is accessible online via MyManagementLab. You must
obtain a Self-Assessment Library access code in order to complete required assignments.
We’ll address questions about materials in our first discussion session.
Required Text:
 Stephen P. Robbins & Timothy Judge. Essentials of Organizational Behavior, 12th
edition required
Select one of the following formats:
o Paperback Format: ISBN-10: 1269564196 packaged with MyManagementLab
o Student Value Edition/Looseleaf: ISBN-10: 1269563769 packaged with
MyManagement Lab
o MyManagementLab with eText: available online at www.pearsonmylab.com
with a credit card
 MyManagementLab Course ID: Enter tolan90502 when registering online at
www.pearsonmylab.com. This gives you access to the required SAL.
IMPORTANT NOTE: These ISBN numbers are unique to USC so if you purchase the
textbook elsewhere please make sure you are buying the US Domestic version of the
12th edition and have access to the SAL.
Other Required Material:
 Case Analysis Project case available at the USC bookstore to be announced later.
The weekly online video lectures as well as PowerPoint presentations, course
announcements, and communication will be available from the course web page on
Blackboard. To access Blackboard from your web browser, enter
https://blackboard.usc.edu, and use your USC username and password to log in. For the
course web page, select 2014 Buad_304_14720: Leading Organizations (for all of Prof.
Tolan’s sections), or 2014 Buad_304_14726: Leading Organizations (for Prof. Coombs’
sections), or 2014 Buad_304_14732: Leading Organizations (for all of Prof. Townsend’s
sections), or 2014 Buad 304 14744: Leading Organizations (for all of Prof. Fast’s
sections). Your lecture section number may be different but don’t worry – you will be in
the right course. We consolidated sections together in Blackboard to make
communication more efficient. You can use the tabs on the left-hand side to access the
materials and navigate the course web page. This will be explained in more detail in your
first discussion meeting.
For your discussion section web page, select the similar link that contains your discussion
section number. You can use your discussion section web page to communicate directly
with your discussion instructor, your project team members, and other classmates from
your discussion section.
Participation in Discussion Sessions
Homework in Discussion Sessions (3 written assignments)
Team Homework Assignment
Team Homework Peer & Self Evaluation
Homework in Lecture Sessions (5 written assignments)
Team Case Analysis Project
Team Case Project Peer & Self Evaluation
Progress Exam
Final Exam
*You must attend the lecture and discussion sections in which you are registered
in order to receive participation and/or homework credit for those sessions.
Participation in Discussion Sessions: This part of your grade will be based on
consistent and effective contributions to class discussions. You are expected to attend every
class session having read, thought about, and prepared any assigned material. You should
be prepared to contribute to all class discussions, demonstrating your preparation by asking
questions whenever necessary and by integrating the vocabulary and concepts from the
readings and video lectures, as well as your own experiences, into your comments. The core
component of your participation grade is an active and insightful contribution to the
conversation in the classroom, not just attending the class.
A smaller component of your participation grade comprises your involvement in
research activities. You can choose one of two options below to fulfill this requirement.
Please note that, if you do not complete one of these two options, you will lose points for
this part of your grade.
Option 1:
First, you can participate in research studies. To do this, you will attend sessions outside of
class, conducted by researchers in MOR at Marshall. You will earn ½ credit or 1 credit for
each separate study you complete; most sessions are no more than an hour long. You will
need to obtain 4 credits during the semester in order to fulfill the research requirement. If
you choose this option, please register for an account at http://marshall-mor.sonasystems.com/ (see instructions posted separately to Blackboard) no later than Monday,
February 3, 2014. Those who do not register or reactivate by this date will be required to
complete Option 2 (research papers). After you verify your account, you will need to check
the site regularly to find open studies and sign yourself up for appointments. Studies are
scheduled throughout the semester, on various days and times. It’s important that you
complete your credit early; if you wait until the end of the semester, there may not be
enough studies available. You are not guaranteed an available study spot. To receive full
participation points, you must earn your first credit by Friday, March 14, 2014 (before
spring break). Your other credits can be earned any time before Friday, May 2, 2014 (the
last day of classes). As a courtesy to the researcher and other students waiting for spots,
please use the online system to cancel your appointment ASAP if you can’t make it.
Please note: If you earn your first 3 credits by showing up to ALL of your scheduled sessions,
on time, then you will earn your 4th credit “free,” as a bonus. That is, the system is “earn
three, get one free”-- again, provided that you show up to all three early sessions as
scheduled and on time.
Option 2:
Your second way to complete the research requirement is to write 3 short, 3-page research
papers on topics prearranged with your Discussion Instructor. Papers must be turned in no
later than May 2, 2014 to your Discussion Instructor.
Students must be aged 18 or older by Friday, March 14, 2014 in order to choose Option 1;
otherwise, you will need to use Option 2.
IMPORTANT NOTES: (A) If you already have a research study account from a past
BUAD 304 or BUAD 497 course, you will need to email the administrator from the website
in order to request account reactivation. Past credits earned CANNOT be used for current
courses. (B) If you are enrolled for Marketing BUAD 307, please make sure you visit the
Marketing research study website your Marketing Professor has given you. Please see your
Marketing syllabus. Each course has its own unique Sona Systems web address. Credits will
NOT transfer from one class to the other for credit fulfillment, no exceptions.
Homework in Discussion Sessions: This portion of your grade will be assessed
on both timely and complete submission of homework. Three Discussion HW
assignments are posted in Blackboard will be due at the beginning of each session as
indicated in the Weekly Assignments schedule at the end of this document.
Please note: You must attend the entire discussion session to get credit for the
homework. Having someone else hand in your homework when you did not attend class
constitutes an academic integrity violation for both parties and will be treated
accordingly. Your discussion section instructor will provide you with additional details
about homework expectations.
Team HW Assignment: This group assignment will be completed in the teams
that are assigned in Week 4 by your discussion instructor. It is expected that you will
apply what you have learned about creating and managing effective teams and motivation
while completing this assignment. The assignment involves completing a case analysis
of a real-life scenario and submitting a 5-page, double-spaced written analysis. The
specific assignment with grading rubric is posted on Blackboard and will be reviewed in
discussion. Your grade on the team HW assignment is a “team grade” that will be
assigned equally to all members of the team. Please note: You will complete a self and
peer evaluation for this team assignment that contributes to your overall course grade. If
you do not participate fully in team meetings and tasks, you will not receive the team
grade but be assigned an individual grade that is lower than the team grade. This may
also constitute an academic integrity violation and will be treated accordingly.
Homework in Lecture Sessions: This portion of your grade will be based on
timely and complete submission of homework. Five assignments consisting of selfassessment measures (SAL) and 1- to 2-page single-spaced answers to questions posted
in Blackboard will be due at the beginning of each session as indicated in the Weekly
Assignments schedule at the end of this document. Please note: You must attend the
entire lecture session to get credit for the homework. Having someone else hand in your
homework when you did not attend class constitutes an academic integrity violation for
both parties and will be treated accordingly. Your discussion section instructor will
provide you with additional details about homework expectations.
Progress Exam and Final Exam: These exams include short essay questions
based on a case with questions about the material covered in the course. Refer to the
exam study guide which is posted on Blackboard for information on the format of the
questions, topics covered, and a sample question. The progress exam will take place on
the date specified in the course outline (room TBA) during lecture meeting times. Makeup progress exams will not be permitted. The final exam will take place on the date and
time assigned for the lecture session time slot in the University final exam schedule
(room TBA). If you have another final exam scheduled for the same time as the final
exam for this course, you must let your discussion instructor know about the conflict at
least 3 weeks prior to the final exam.
Team Case Analysis Project: This team project gives you the opportunity to
demonstrate your ability to apply concepts from the course to analyze real organizational
problems and develop appropriate solutions using what you have learned. Utilizing case
studies in this way provides real-world practice without the risk and deliberate
application of skills and knowledge to determine what, how, when and why it works in
the case scenario. The case will be available at the bookstore by mid-semester. Your
grade on the case analysis is a “team grade” that will be assigned equally to all members
of the team. Please note: You will complete a self and peer evaluation for this team
assignment that contributes to your overall course grade. Additionally, if you do not
participate fully in team meetings and tasks, you will not receive the team grade but be
assigned an individual grade that is lower than the team grade. This may also constitute
an academic integrity violation and will be treated accordingly.
The case analysis should be 8-10 typed pages, double-spaced using 12-point font
and 1-inch margins. The cases will be graded according to the Case Project Grading
Rubric (on Blackboard) which contains specific instructions about the assignment. This
assignment will be explained further in discussion.
Academic Integrity
USC seeks to maintain an optimal learning environment. General principles of
academic honesty include the concept of respect for the intellectual property of others,
the expectation that individual work will be submitted unless otherwise allowed by an
instructor, and the obligations both to protect one’s own academic work from misuse by
others as well as to avoid using another’s work as one’s own. All students are expected to
understand and abide by these principles. SCampus, the Student Guidebook,
(www.usc.edu/scampus or http://scampus.usc.edu) contains the University Student
Conduct Code (see University Governance, Section 11.00), while the recommended
sanctions are located in Appendix A.
Should there be any suspicion of academic dishonesty, students will be referred to
the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards for further review,. The
Review process can be found at: http://www.usc.edu/student-affairs/SJACS/ . Failure to
adhere to the academic conduct standards set forth by these guidelines and our programs
will not be tolerated by the USC Marshall community and can lead to dismissal.
All BUAD 304 students are held to the standards outlined in SCAMPUS. The use
of unauthorized material or technology, communication with fellow students during an
examination, attempting to benefit from the work of another student, and similar behavior
that defeats the intent of an examination or other course work is unacceptable and will be
treated accordingly. Other integrity violations include handing in someone else’s
homework assignment for them when they did not attend class, or claiming credit for
words or thoughts that are not your own, which includes having your name appear on a
team project/paper when you did not fully participate in completion of the project/paper.
These actions will have significant impact on your final grade, such as receiving a failing
grade for an assignment, a lower participation grade, or failing the course if it is
determined that there was cheating on an exam.
Students with Disabilities
Any student requesting academic accommodations based on a disability is
required to register with Disability Services and Programs (DSP) each semester. A letter
of verification for approved accommodations can be obtained from DSP. Please be sure
the letter is delivered to your Discussion Instructor as early in the semester as possible.
DSP is located in STU 301 and is open 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The phone number for DSP is (213) 740-0776. For more information visit
www.usc.edu/disability .
Retention of Graded Coursework
Final exams and all other graded work which affected the course grade will be
retained for one year after the end of the course if the graded work has not been returned
to the student (i.e., if we returned a graded paper to you, it is your responsibility to file it,
not ours).
Statement on Technology Use
Please note that computer laptop or tablet use is not allowed during the discussion
and lecture sessions. It is far more important to participate than to take detailed notes. A
few hand-written notes will suffice. After each discussion and lecture session, you may
want to take some time to reflect on the learning experience and type up whatever notes
seem useful. All communication devices such as cell phones, Blackberries, etc. capable
of sending and or receiving electronic communication and all entertainment devices such
as wifi-enabled devices, tablets or other communication platforms are to be turned off
and kept off throughout the class session. Receiving or sending communication or
entertainment during class disrupts the learning environment and is rude to those around
Instructors may deny Participation/Contribution points to students misusing technology
during class. We invite you to “Be Here, Be Present!” to create an engaging learning
Emergency Preparedness/Course Continuity
In case of a declared emergency if travel to campus is not feasible, USC executive
leadership will announce an electronic way for instructors to teach students in their
residence halls or homes using a combination of Blackboard, teleconferencing, and other
Weekly Schedule of Assignments & Activities
1 (1/13-1/17)
Reading & Online Session
Foundations of Leadership
Discussion Session
Lecture Session (A)
Introduction to Course
Read: Ch. 1, 2, & 3
2 (1/20-1/24)
Martin Luther
King, Jr. holiday
Leader as Sense Maker
No discussion sessions due to the
Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday
Read: Ch. 4 (pp 54-60/Emotional
Intelligence & its implications),
Take the following tests located on
the online Self-Assessment Library
that came with your text. Self score
and bring the printout to class.
3 (1/27-1/31)
4 (2/3-2/7)
Leader as Motivator
Leader as Sense Maker
Read: Ch. 7 & 8
*Meet in ELC – basement of Bridge
No reading or online session
Leader as Sense Maker
Review Chapters 5 & 6 to prepare for
Discussion HW #1 Due: See
Discussion HW Assignments document
in Bbd. Bring results of SAL Jungian16 Personality to class.
What’s My Basic Personality?
What do I Value?
What’s My Emotional
Intelligence Style?
No Lectures for A Schedule
Lecture HW #1 Due: See Lecture
HW Assignment document in Bbd
Take the following tests located on
the online Self-Assessment Library
that came with your text. Self score
and bring to class.
 What Motivates Me?
Teams assigned in class today; See
Team HW Assignment on Bbd.
5 (2/10-2/14)
Reading & Online Session
Leader as Team Developer
Discussion Session
Leader as Team Developer
Read: Ch. 9 & 10
*Meet in ELC
6 (2/17-2/21)
President’s Day
Leader as Stylist
No discussion sessions due to
President’s Day holiday
7 (2/24-2/28)
Leader as Ethical Decision Maker Leader as Communicator
Lecture Session (A)
No Lectures for A Schedule
8 (3/3-3/7)
Progress Exam – Room TBA
Read: Ch. 11 & 12
Read sections on ethics:
Ch. 6 (p. 92); Ch. 12 (p. 192);
Ch. 13 (pp. 212-13);
Ch. 16 (pp 258-259)
Review Chapter 11 to prepare for class
Leader as Politician
Leader as Stylist
Read: Ch. 13
Review Chapter 12 to prepare for class
Team Homework Assignment
Due: Turn in paper to BRI306 no
later than 3 pm on Monday,
March 10th.
Review Case Analysis Project
Review Team Homework Assignment
Due in Week 8; Assignment with
grading rubric on Bbd
Lecture HW #2 Due: See Lecture
HW Assignment document in Bbd
Take the following tests located on
the online Self-Assessment Library
that came with your text. Self score
and bring printout to class.
 What’s My Leadership Style?
No Lectures for A Schedule
9 (3/10-3/14)
Reading & Online Session
No reading or online session
Discussion Session
Leader as Politician
Lecture Session (A)
Lecture HW #3 Due: See Lecture
HW Assignment document in Bbd
*Meet in ELC
Take the following tests located on
the online Self-Assessment Library
that came with your text. Self score
and bring printout to class.
 What’s My Preferred ConflictHandling Style?
10 (3/17-3/21)
Spring Recess
Spring Recess
11 (3/24-3/28)
Leader as Structural Architect
Leader as Negotiator
Spring Recess
No Lectures for A Schedule
12 (3/31-4/4)
Read: Ch. 15
Review Chapter 14 to prepare for class
Leader as Maker of Culture
Leader as Structural Architect
Read: Ch. 16
* Meet in ELC
Lecture HW #4 Due: See Lecture
HW Assignment document in Bbd
Take the following tests located on
the online Self-Assessment Library
that came with your text. Self score
and bring printout to class.
 What Type of Organization
Structure Do I Prefer?
13 (4/7-4/11)
Leader as Developer of Talent
Leader as Structural Architect
Read: Article TBD
Review Chapter 15 to prepare for class
No Lectures for A Schedule
Team case analysis due in
Bridge Hall 306 no later than
3:00 pm on Friday, April 11th.
Discussion HW #2 Due: See Discussion
HW Assignments document in Bbd.
14 (4/14-4/18)
15 (4/21-4/25)
Reading & Online Session
Leader as Change Agent
Discussion Session
Leader as Change Agent
Read: Ch. 17 (pp. 263-272,
* Meet in ELC
No reading or online session
Leader as Developer of Talent
Lecture Session (A)
Lecture HW #5 Due: See Lecture
HW Assignment document in Bbd
Take the following tests located on
the online Self-Assessment Library
that came with your text. Self score
and bring printout to class.
 How Well Do I Respond to
Turbulent Change?
Review assigned article to prepare for
No Lectures for A Schedule
Discussion HW #3 Due: See Discussion
HW Assignments document in Bbd.
16 (4/28-5/2)
Leader as Visionary
Leader as Change Agent
Review Chapter 18 to prepare for class
Bring your questions to review for the
final exam
Final Exam Schedule (Information about the room location will be provided during the last week of classes):
 Tuesday evening lectures take their final on Tuesday, May 13 from 7-9 pm.
 Thursday evening lectures take their final on Thursday, May 8 from 7-9 pm.
 Friday 10 am lectures take their final on Monday, May 12 from 8-10 am.
 Friday 12 noon lecture takes its final on Friday, May 9 from 11 am – 1 pm.
Lecture HW Assignments
The overall goal of the lecture assignments is to have you apply the material you are learning to your own life and observe the world around
you through the lens of the concepts and ideas you are learning.
These assignments are NOT simply a summary of the course material. Focus more on your reactions to what you’ve learned, heard and
read. Your written response is based on the development of your insights into/on a specific topic. It is not a log of activities but rather a
short essay of your well-reasoned reflections and thoughts supported by the concepts and ideas from the video lectures, class and the
textbook. In the process of completing these assignments, you are making sense of what you are learning and exploring its relevance.
Common questions that arise from these reflections include:
What happened?
Why did it happen?
What can be learned from this for future actions?
The specific assignments are structured to create an arc where you increasingly engage with the course material in the context of your larger
world. You will begin by reflecting on past experiences, and then plan for future ones. You will relate what you are learning to paths taken
by leaders who have demonstrated success. You will observe the operation of the principles we discuss out in the wild. And, finally, you
will actively apply a concept covered at some point in the term by making a behavioral change and exploring what results.
Each assignment should be at least one page, single-spaced but no longer than two pages. Personal and subjective comments are appropriate
in these assignments, including the use of personal pronouns. These are not the types of assignments where there is a single “right” or
“wrong” answer. You will be evaluated on the use and application of the course material and the thoughtfulness of your response. The due
dates noted below correspond to the same Lecture HW numbers and due dates in the syllabus.
Reflect on an experience (eg. group/team work, job experience, college choice, etc.) where you felt like you just didn’t fit in. Using the material from the video
lecture and class, explain what caused this feeling. What could have been done differently to make the situation better? Using the benefit of hindsight, what
advice would you give your former self if you were starting over? If the situation is still ongoing, are there practical steps you can take to improve the
situation? Potential course concepts that apply include: personality, values, attitudes, motivation and fit.
DUE: Week 4 for A, Week 5 for B.
The quality of your team’s processes is a critical factor for determining the level of success your team will achieve this semester. It is essential that teams and
their members periodically evaluate performance in order to improve. This is a two-part assignment. Bring both parts to lecture. Class discussion will rely on
this information.
a. Before attending lecture, complete the Group Process Evaluation Form located in the Homework Folder on Blackboard. Spend some time reflecting
on how your team is working together: what’s working well, what’s getting in the way? The form also contains questions about your own
contributions to the team. Bring a printed copy of the completed form with you to lecture.
b. Read the article, Making Feedback Helpful by L.K. Michaelsen & E.E. Schultheiss located in the Homework Folder on Blackboard. Write a 300word paragraph summarizing your reaction to the article and how you might apply it at your next team meeting.
DUE: Week 7 for A, Week 8 for B.
Read a minimum of 5 articles from the Corner Office column in the New York Times (http://projects.nytimes.com/corner-office). Of these five columns, select
the profile of the person whose style of leadership you most identify with or admire and discuss why this person’s leadership is particularly impressive to you.
Use concepts from the class (e.g., leadership, ethics, power and politics) in discussing this person’s appeal. Include a list of the 5 profiles you read noting the
name, company and title of the essays.
DUE: Week 9 for A (before Spring Break), Week 11 for B (after Spring Break).
Spend an hour in a local place of business (e.g., coffee shop, bank, retail shop, fast food restaurant, etc.) observing the environment and the employees. Record
your observations about their culture as it relates to what you learned in this course. For example, were you able to clearly identify different characteristics of
the company’s culture? How? Was the company’s culture evident in the physical set-up? In the way the employees acted? How do you think the culture was
developed; was it developed purposefully or has it evolved over time without formal structure? Use what you’ve learned about how cultures are developed,
sustained, and serve a purpose within an organization in your response.
DUE: Week 12 for A, Week 13 for B.
Actively apply something you’ve learned in class to your own life by doing something differently as a result of what you’ve learned. That is, select one
concept from the class and put it into practice by making a concrete behavioral change. For example, you may choose to apply the guidelines for effective
feedback in discussing roles and responsibilities in a team project; or you may use the results of your SAL assessments in considering summer internships or
job offers
(i.e. fit); or you may have identified a specific personality trait that you need to actively manage so it doesn’t have a negative effect on a situation; or you
change your attitude or perception in order to be more successful in a project, task or experience; or you may make a change in your study habits to capitalize
on principles of motivation. Reflect on your experience and consider: was it useful? Successful? Inconclusive? Frustrating? What do you think about the
concept/idea/framework you explored now that you have personal experience with it?
DUE: Week 14 for A, Week 15 for B.
Discussion HW Assignments
Each assignment should be at least one page, single-spaced but no longer than two pages. You will be evaluated on the use and application
of the course material and the thoughtfulness of your response. The due dates noted below correspond to the same Discussion HW numbers
and due dates in the syllabus. You should consult the Homework Guidelines on Blackboard for further information.
Discussion HW#1:
Complete the SAL Jungian-16 Personality Assessment and bring the results printout to class. We will complete a class activity
based on the different personality types.
Read the following case and answer the questions that follow. Turn in the written assignment in Discussion.
DUE: Week 4
Case Incident: Predictions That Didn’t Quite Pan Out
• Prediction: “More people are going to be put to work this summer.”—Vice President Joe Biden (June 17, 2010)
o Status: By August, job growth in the private sector fell by two-thirds and unemployment increased to 9.8% in November.
• Prediction: “The market is telling you that something is not quite right…The Chinese economy is going to slow down regardless”—
Investment Analyst Marc Faber (May 3, 2010)
o Status: The Chinese economy grew by 9.5% over the rest of the year.
• Prediction: A quick, prepackaged bankruptcy for General Motors might stall, leading to "a long period of bankruptcy which I believe
would result in liquidation of the company."— CEO Rick Wagoner (March 17, 2009)
o Status: GM’s bankruptcy court lasted a mere 40 days, and by September the company held $43 billion in cash.
• Prediction: "My long-term opinion is that the bear market has several years left to run, and stock prices will go a lot lower. … So any
rally that happens is going to be a bear market rally." — Robert Prechter, CEO at research company Elliot Wave International (February
27, 2009)
o Status: The S&P 500 was up 64% from its lowest point by the middle of December and stocks have continued to perform well since.
• Prediction: "I think this is a case where Freddie Mac (FRE) and Fannie Mae (FNM) are fundamentally sound. They're not in danger of
going under…I think they are in good shape going forward." —Representative Barney Frank (July 14, 2008).
o Status: Just two months later the mortgage companies were in conservatorship and the government had pledged to invest $100
billion in each.
• Prediction: "I think Bob Steel's the one guy I trust to turn this bank around, which is why I've told you on weakness to buy Wachovia." —
CNBC commentator Jim Cramer (March 11, 2008).
o Status: Investors fled Wachovia within the next two weeks and the company nearly failed, with shares losing half their value from
September 15 to December 29.
1. Despite the difficulty of making predictions, many people confidently make assertions about what will happen in the future. Why do
you think this is?
2. What perceptual or decision-making errors can you identify in these predictions?
3. Can you think of some predictions you’ve made that haven’t turned out the way you expected?
4. Why do you think it’s so hard to make accurate predictions?
Discussion HW#2
Write a two-page memo based on the following prompt. Use the Memo Template on MS Word. The content is more important than
the format. Class and small group discussion will be based on this memo.
DUE: Week 6
As you are aware, you and your classmates are working in teams for your team homework and case analysis project in this course. Imagine
that one of the teams in your class has hired you as a consultant to make sure that their team project goes smoothly. Drawing on what you
have learned about teams and motivation, discuss specific steps they should take to be a high-performing team that is efficient, effective and
even enjoyable.
Discussion HW#3
Read the following two cases and answer the questions that follow. Turn in the written assignment in Discussion.
DUE: Week 13
As discussed in the textbook, organizations measure employee performance for a variety of reasons, including determining which employees
need training, who is performing well enough to earn a performance reward, and who deserves a promotion. Performance appraisal
information can also help determine where problems lie in the company’s overall training and selection systems and defend HR decisions
such as firings in court.
In light of these multiple uses, it might surprise you to learn that some companies are moving away from formal appraisal processes.
Business scholar Jeffery Pfeffer describes how HR managers at companies like Apple had to bribe managers to complete assigned reviews
with free tickets to San Francisco Giants games, and the head of HR at SAS received cheers from employees when he had a bonfire to burn
performance appraisal forms. Clearly, appraisals are not popular with the managers asked to perform them. Pfeffer notes that the subjective
nature of these reviews is troubling to many managers, leading employees to spend much of their time ingratiating themselves with the boss
rather than doing their jobs. Moreover, appraisals put the focus on individual performance rather than on the performance of whole teams.
Research conducted by Globoforce found that more than half the 631 survey respondents believed appraisals did not accurately reflect their
performance on the job.
So what is the alternative? Zappos now rates employees not on how well they accomplish tasks but rather on how well they embody the
company’s core values. This feedback is delivered much more frequently during the year than the traditional annual performance meeting.
Nor are the ratings used for disciplinary actions or promotions, though employees who get low scores are invited to take developmental
classes to improve the fit between their behavior and the company culture. Apple has also eliminated annual performance reviews as neither
timely nor helpful. Other companies have developed performance management software that automates and streamlines a more continuous
performance review, allowing employees to track their performance in real time.
1. Have you ever been through a performance appraisal? Do the reactions to appraisal systems described here match your experience?
Why or why not?
2. What are some potential advantages of providing employees with more regular developmental feedback than an annual meeting?
3. Are there potential drawbacks to eliminating conventional performance appraisal systems? What systems would need to be put in
place to replace formal appraisals?
4. Would you feel comfortable providing others with performance feedback? What are some of the possible reasons managers often
prefer not to give employees critiques of their performance?
Is it unethical—or illegal—for a hiring organization to check an applicant’s credit history? The Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC) seems to think so. It is suing Kaplan Higher Education Corporation for its use of credit checks, alleging that relying on
poor credit histories to reject applicants has adverse impact on minority applicants, with no legitimate purpose justifying its use. Justine
Lisser, an EEOC spokesperson, said, “Credit histories were not compiled to show responsibility. They were compiled to show whether or
not someone was paying the bills, which is not always the same thing.”
In its defense, Kaplan maintained that it typically conducted credit checks: “The checks are job-related and necessary for our organization to
ensure that staffing handling financial matters, including financial aid, are properly screened.”
A 2011 survey of employers revealed that 21 percent conducted credit checks on all applicants. That was up from 15 percent the year before.
Two-thirds conduct credit checks on some applicants, up from 61 percent in 2010.
Joey Price, with BL Seamon, thought she had found the perfect candidate for a conference planner position. The candidate was fresh out of
college but had experience planning conferences and a good academic record. But when Price found out that the candidate had multiple car
repossessions, extremely high credit card bills, and collection agencies after her, she rejected her. “A credit report doesn’t lie,” Price said.
1. Do you think organizations should be allowed to investigate applicants’ credit histories in the hiring process? Why or why not?