Supporting Significant Life Events

Unit No-1 Organisations and BehaviourUnit No-1 Organisations and Behaviour

Assignment Brief – General

Unit Title:Organisations and Behaviour

Unit No:1

 

Date Issued

Week beginning 11/02/13

Student Name

Student ID

Due Date – 03/06/13

Lecturer Name: Kavin, Abu, Isaac, Ian

Internal Verifier Name

Mr. M. Azam

 Rules and regulations:

Plagiarism is presenting somebody else’s work as your own. It includes: copying information directly from the Web or books without referencing the material; submitting joint coursework as an individual effort; copying another student’s coursework; stealing coursework from another student and submitting it as your own work.  Suspected plagiarism will be investigated and if found to have occurred will be dealt with according to the procedures set down by the College. Please see your student handbook for further details of what is / isn’t plagiarism.

 Unit No-1 Organisations and Behaviour:Coursework Regulations 

  • Submission of coursework must be undertaken according to the relevant procedure – whether online or paper-based. Lecturers will give information as to which procedure must be followed, and details of submission procedures and penalty fees can be obtained from Academic Administration or the general student handbook.
  • All coursework must be submitted to the Academic Admin Office and a receipt must be obtained. Under no circumstances can other College staff accept them. Please check the Academic Admin Office opening hours.
  • Late coursework will be accepted by Academic Admin Office and marked according to the guidelines given in your Student Handbook for this year.
  • If you need an extension (even for one day) for a valid reason, you must request one. Collect a coursework extension request form from the Academic Admin Office. Then take the form to your lecturer, along with evidence to back up your request. The completed form must be accompanied by evidence such as a medical certificate in the event of you being sick. The completed form must then be returned to Academic Admin for processing. This is the only way to get an extension.
  • General guidelines for submission of coursework:
  1. All work must be word-processed and must be of “good” standard.
  2. Document margins shall not be more than 2.5cm or less than 1.5cm
  3. Font size in the range of 11 to 14 points distributed to including headings and body text. Preferred typeface to be of a common standard such as Arial or Times New Roman for the main text.
  4. Any computer files generated such as program code (software), graphic files that form part of the course work must be submitted either online with the documentation or on a CD for paper submissions.
  5. The copy of the course work submitted may not be returned to you after marking and you are advised to have your personal copy for your reference.
  6. All work completed, including any software constructed may not be used for any purpose other than the purpose of intended study without prior written permission from St Patrick’s International College. 

LEARNING OUTCOMES AND ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:Unit No-1 Organisations and Behaviour

OutcomesAssessment criteria for pass.

To achieve each outcome a learner must demonstrate the ability to:

LO1 Understand the relationship between organisational structure and culture1.1 compare and contrast different organisational structures and culture

1.2 explain how the relationship between an organisation’s structure and culture can impact on the performance of the business

1.3 discuss the factors which influence individual behaviour at work

LO2 Understand different approaches to management and leadership2.1 compare the effectiveness of different leadership styles in different organisations

2.2 explain how organisational theory underpins the practice of management

2.3 evaluate the different approaches to management used by different organisations

LO3 Understand ways of using motivational theories in organisations3.1 discuss the impact that different leadership styles may have on motivation in organisations in periods of change

3.2 compare the application of different motivational theories within the workplace

3.3 evaluate the usefulness of a motivation theory for managers

LO4 Understand mechanisms for developing effective teamwork in organisations4.1 explain the nature of groups and group behaviour within organisations

4.2 discuss factors that may promote or inhibit the development of effective teamwork in organisations

4.3 evaluate the impact of technology on team functioning within a given organisation.

Unit No-1 Organisations and Behaviour:Summary of assessment Plan

The Learning Outcomes (LO) are covered in one assignment/coursework divided into four closely linked scenarios reflecting the relevant Assessment Criteria (A.C). See Evaluation Sheet below for LO and A.C
LOA. CAssessment

Methods

Issue date Formative Due date
 LO1  1.1,1.2 & 1.3Individual report Teaching Week  2 Teaching week  4
LO22.1,2.2, & 2.3Individual reportTeaching Week  2Teaching week  7
LO33.1,3.2, & 3.3Individual reportTeaching Week  2Teaching week  10
LO44.1,4.2 & 4.3Individual reportTeaching Week  2Teaching week  14
Final Submission Week Beginning 03/06/13

Unit No-1 Organisations and Behaviour:Assignment Brief Questions

Instructions: Answer all the tasks of the each Learning Outcome  

Assignment Tasks

Read the following Case Study carefully. Answer each of the questions at the end of the case study in about 300-350 words.

There are four parts in the Assignment Task each covering the required Learning Outcomes in the module.

Please answer each question within 300-350 words.

Unit No-1 Organisations and Behaviour:Case Study One

The following case study covers LO1

Surviving Greenscape’s Hard Times
Unit No-1 Organisations and Behaviour
In ten years, Greenscape had grown from a one-person venture into the largest nursery and landscaping business in its area. Its founder, Lita Ong, combined a lifelong interest in plants with a botany degree to provide a unique customer service. Ong had managed the company’s growth so that even with twenty full-time employees working in six to eight crews, the organization culture was still as open, friendly, and personal as it had been when her only “employees” were friends who would volunteer to help her move a heavy tree.

To maintain that atmosphere, Ong involved herself increasingly with people and less with plants as the company grew. With hundreds of customers and scores of jobs at any one time, she could no longer say without hesitation whether she had a dozen arborvitae bushes in stock or when Mrs. McCormack’s estate would need a new load of bark mulch. But she knew when Martina had been up all night with her baby, when Adrian was likely to be late because he had driven to see his sick father over the weekend, and how to deal with Emily when she was depressed because of her boyfriend’s behaviour. She kept track of the birthdays of every employee and even those of their children. She was up every morning by five-thirty arranging schedules so that Johnson could get his son out of daycare at four o’clock and Doris could be back in town for her afternoon high school equivalency classes.

Paying all this attention to employees may have led Ong to make a single bad business decision that almost destroyed the company. She provided extensive landscaping to a new mall on credit, and when the mall never opened and its owners went bankrupt, Greenscape found itself in deep trouble. The company had virtually no cash and had to pay off the bills for the mall plants, most of which were not even salvageable.

One Friday, Ong called a meeting with her employees and levelled with them: either they would not get paid for a month or Greenscape would fold. The news hit the employees hard. Many counted on the Friday paycheck to buy groceries for the week. The local unemployment rate was low, however, and they knew they could find other jobs.

But as they looked around, they wondered whether they could ever find this kind of job. Sure, the pay was not the greatest, but the tears in the eyes of some workers were not over pay or personal hardship; they were for Ong, her dream, and her difficulties. They never thought of her as the boss or called her anything but “Lita.” And leaving the group would not be just a matter of saying good-bye to fellow employees. If Bernice left, the company softball team would lose its best pitcher, and the Sunday game was the height of everyone’s week. Where else would they find people who spent much of the weekend working on the best puns with which to assail one another on Monday morning? At how many offices would everyone show up twenty minutes before starting time just to catch up with friends on other crews? What other boss would really understand when you simply said, “I don’t have a doctor’s appointment, I just need the afternoon off”?

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Ong gave her employees the weekend to think over their decision: whether to take their pay and look for another job or to dig into their savings and go on working. Knowing it would be hard for them to quit, she told them they did not have to face her on Monday; if they did not show up, she would send them their checks. But when she arrived at seven-forty Monday morning, she found the entire group already there, ready to work even harder to pull the company through. They were even trying to top one another with puns about being “mall-contents.”

Unit No-1 Organisations and Behaviour:Case Questions and Learning Outcomes:

LO1 Understand the relationship between organisational structure and culture:

  • Briefly define different types of organizational culture. How would you describe the culture at Greenscape? Under the different types of culture, what type of culture, do you think, is evident in Greenscape?
  • How does the relationship between structure and culture impact the performance Greenscape?
  • What factors might have influenced the behaviour of management and employees at Greenscape?

Case Study Two

The following case study covers LO2 

Unit No-1 Organisations and Behaviour:Right Boss, Wrong Company
Brenda Hogan was continuously on top of things. In school, she had always been at the top of her class. When she went to work for her uncle’s shoe business, Fancy Footwear, she had been singled out as the most productive employee and the one with the best attendance. The company was so impressed with her that it sent her to get an M.B.A. to groom her for a top management position. In school again, and with three years of practical experience to draw on, Hogan had gobbled up every idea put in front of her, relating many of them to her work at Fancy Footwear. When Hogan graduated at the top of her class, she returned to Fancy Footwear. To no one’s surprise, when the head of the company’s largest division took advantage of the firm’s early retirement plan, Hogan was given his position.

Hogan knew the pitfalls of being suddenly catapulted to a leadership position, and she was determined to avoid them. In business school, she had read cases about family businesses that fell apart when a young family member took over with an iron fist, barking out orders, cutting personnel, and destroying morale. Hogan knew a lot about participative management, and she was not going to be labelled an arrogant know-it-all.

Hogan’s predecessor, Max Worthy, had run the division from an office at the top of the building, far above the factory floor. Two or three times a day, Worthy would summon a messenger or a secretary from the offices on the second floor and send a memo out to one or another group of workers. But as Hogan saw it, Worthy was mostly an absentee autocrat, making all the decisions from above and spending most of his time at extended lunches with his friends from the Elks Club.

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Hogan’s first move was to change all that. She set up her office on the second floor. From her always-open doorway she could see down onto the factory floor, and as she sat behind her desk she could spot anyone walking by in the hall. She never ate lunch herself but spent the time from 11 to 2 down on the floor, walking around, talking, and organizing groups. The workers, many of whom had twenty years of seniority at the plant, seemed surprised by this new policy and reluctant to volunteer for any groups. But in fairly short order, Hogan established a worker productivity group, a “Suggestion of the Week” committee, an environmental group, a worker award group, and a management relations group. Each group held two meetings a week, one without and one with Hogan. She encouraged each group to set up goals in its particular focus area and develop plans for reaching those goals. She promised any support that was within her power to give.

The group work was agonizingly slow at first. But Hogan had been well trained as a facilitator, and she soon took on that role in their meetings, writing down ideas on a big board, organizing them, and later communicating them in notices to other employees. She got everyone to call her “Betty” and set herself the task of learning all their names. By the end of the first month, Fancy Footwear was stirred up.

But as it turned out, that was the last thing most employees wanted. The truth finally hit Hogan when the entire management relations committee resigned at the start of their fourth meeting. “I’m sorry, Ms. Hogan,” one of them said. “We’re good at making shoes, but not at this management stuff. A lot of us are heading toward retirement. We don’t want to be supervisors.”

Astonished, Hogan went to talk to the workers with whom she believed she had built good relations. Yes, they reluctantly told her, all these changes did make them uneasy. They liked her, and they didn’t want to complain. But given the choice, they would rather go back to the way Mr. Worthy had run things. They never saw Mr. Worthy much, but he never got in their hair. He did his work, whatever that was, and they did theirs. “After you’ve been in a place doing one thing for so long,” one worker concluded, “the last thing you want to do is learn a new way of doing it.”

Case Questions and Learning Outcomes:

LO2 Understand different approaches to management and leadership:

2.1 Compare the effectiveness of leadership styles of Max Worthy and Brenda Hogan and how they affected the employees.

2.2 What managerial practices, from a theoretical perspective, are evident in the case study? Relate such concepts as scientific management, human relations, functions of management, contingency approach etc.

2.3 How, in terms of managerial and leadership approaches, did Worthy and Hogan differ in running Fancy Footwear?

Unit No-1 Organisations and Behaviour:Case Study Three

The following case study covers LO3 

More Than a Pay Cheque
Samuel Gibson was a trainer for Britannia Home Manufacturers, a large builder of prefabricated homes. Britannia Home had hired Gibson fresh from graduate school with a master’s degree in English. At first, the company put him to work writing and revising company brochures and helping with the most important correspondence at the senior level. But soon, both Gibson and senior management officials began to notice how well he worked with executives on their writing, how he made them feel more confident about it, and how, after working with an executive on a report, the executive often was much more eager to take on the next writing task.

So Britannia Home moved Gibson into its prestigious training department. The company’s trainers worked with thousands of supervisors, managers, and executives, helping them learn everything from new computer languages to time management skills to how to get the most out of the workers on the plant floor, many of whom were unmotivated high school dropouts. Soon Gibson was spending all his time giving short seminars on executive writing as well as coaching his students to perfect their memos and letters.

Gibson’s move into training meant a big increase in salary, and when he started working exclusively with the company’s top brass, it seemed as though he got a bonus every month. Gibson’s supervisor, Mirella Carta, knew he was making more than many executives who had been with the company three times as long, and probably twice as much as any of his graduate school classmates who concentrated in English. Yet in her biweekly meetings with him, she could tell that Gibson wasn’t happy.

When Carta asked him about it, Gibson replied that he was in a bit of a rut. He had to keep saying the same things over and over in his seminars, and business memos weren’t as interesting as the literature he had been trained on. But then, after trailing off for a moment, he blurted out, “They don’t need me!” Since the memos filtering down through the company were now flawlessly polished, and the annual report was 20 percent shorter but said everything it needed to, Gibson’s desire to be needed was not fulfilled.

The next week, Gibson came to Carta with a proposal: What if he started holding classes for some of the floor workers, many of whom had no future within or outside the company because many could write nothing but their own names? Carta took the idea to her superiors. They told her that they wouldn’t oppose it, but Gibson couldn’t possibly keep drawing such a high salary if he worked with people whose contribution to the company was compensated at minimum wage.

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Gibson agreed to a reduced salary and began offering English classes on the factory floor, which were billed by management (who hoped to avoid a wage hike that year) as an added benefit of the job. At first only two or three workers showed up—and they, Gibson believed, only wanted an excuse to get away from the nailing guns for a while. But gradually word got around that Gibson was serious about what he was doing and didn’t treat the workers like kids in a remedial class.

At the end of the year, Gibson got a bonus from a new source: the vice president in charge of production. Although Gibson’s course took workers off the job for a couple of hours a week, productivity had actually improved since his course began, employee turnover had dropped, and for the first time in over a year, some of the floor workers had begun to apply for supervisory positions. Gibson was pleased with the bonus, but when Carta saw him grinning as he walked around the building, she knew he wasn’t thinking about his bank account.

Case Questions and Learning Outcomes:

LO3 Understand ways of using motivational theories in organisations: 

3.1 To what extent the leadership in the company affect the motivational levels of Samuel Gibson?

3.2 Apply either Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory or Frederick Herzberg’s Motivator-Hygiene theory to critically explain how Gibson’s motivation was affected.

3.3 Describe why understanding ‘motivation’ of employees is important for managers.

Case Study Four

The following case study covers LO4 

Teams at Thompson RV Wholesale Supply and Distribution Company

Thompson RV Wholesale Supply and Distribution Company sells parts, equipment, and supplies for recreational vehicles-motor homes, travel trailers, campers, and similar vehicles. In addition, Thompson has a service department for the repair and service of RVs. The owner, Alan Thompson, bought the company five years ago from its original owner, changed the name of the company, and has finally made it profitable, although it has been rough going. The organization is set up in three divisions: service, retail parts and supplies, and wholesale parts and supplies. Alan, the owner, CEO, and president, has a vice president for each operating division and a vice president of finance and operations. The organization chart shows these divisions and positions.

In the warehouse there are three groups: receiving (checking orders for completeness, returning defective merchandise, stocking the shelves, filling orders), service parts, and order filling for outgoing shipments. The warehouse group is responsible for all activities related to parts and supplies receiving, storage, and shipping.

The retail sales division includes all functions related to selling of parts and supplies at the two stores and in the mobile sales trailer. Personnel in the retail division include salespeople and cashiers. The retail salespeople also work in the warehouse because the warehouse also serves as the showroom for walk-in customers.

In the service department the service manager supervises the service writers, one scheduler, and lead mechanics and technicians. The service department includes the collision repair group at the main store and the service department at the satellite store. The collision repair group has two service writers who have special expertise in collision repair and insurance regulations. Two drivers who move RVs around the “yard” also work in the service division.

The accounting and finance groups do everything related to the money side of the business, including accounts payable and receivable, cash management, and payroll. Also in this group is the one person who handles all of the traditional personnel functions.

Alan has run other small businesses and is known as a benevolent owner, always taking care of the loyal employees who work hard and are the backbone of any small business. He is also known as being real tough on anyone who loafs on the job or tries to take unfair advantage of Alan or the company. Most of the employees are either veterans of the RV industry at Thompson or elsewhere, or are very young and still learning the business. Alan is working hard to develop a good work ethic among the younger employees and to keep the old-timers fully involved. Since he bought the business, Alan has instituted new, modern, employee-centered human resource policies. However, the company is still a traditional hierarchically structured organization.

The company is located in a major metropolitan area that has a lot of potential customers for the RV business. The region has many outdoor recreational activities and an active retirement community that either lives in RVs (motor homes, trailers, or mobile homes) or uses them for recreation. The former owner of the business specifically chose not to be in the RV sales business, figuring that parts and service was the better end of the business. Two stores are strategically located on opposite ends of the metropolitan area, and a mobile sales office is moved around the major camping and recreational areas during the peak months of the year.

When Alan bought the company, the parts and supplies business was only retail, relying on customers to walk in the door to buy something. After buying the business, Alan applied good management, marketing, and cash-management principles to get the company out of the red and into profitability. Although his was not the only such business in town, it was the only one locally owned, and it had a good local following.

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About two years ago, Alan recognized that the nature of the business was changing. First, he saw the large nationwide retailers moving into town. These retailers were using discount pricing in large warehouse-type stores. These large retail stores could use volume purchasing to get lower prices from manufacturers, and they had the large stores necessary to store and shelve the large inventory. Alan, with only two stores, was unable to get such low prices from manufacturers. He also noted that retired people were notorious for shopping around for the lowest prices, but they also appreciated good, friendly customer service. People interested in recreational items also seemed to be following the national trend to shop via catalogs.

So for a variety of reasons Alan began to develop a wholesale business by becoming a wholesale distributor to the many RV parts and supply businesses in the small towns located in the recreational areas around that state and in surrounding states. At the same time, he created the first catalog for RV parts and supplies, featuring all the brand-name parts and supplies by category and supplier. The catalog had a very attractive camping scene on the cover, a combination of attractively displayed items and many pages full of all the possible parts and supplies that the RV owner could think of. Of course, he made placing an order very easy, by phone, mail, or fax, and accepted many easy payment methods. He filled both distributor orders and catalog orders from his warehouse in the main store using standard mail and parcel delivery services, charging the full delivery costs to the customers. He credits the business’s survival so far to his diversification into the warehouse and catalog business through which he could directly compete with the national chains.

Although it is now barely profitable, Alan is concerned about the changes in the industry and the competition and about making the monthly payments on the $5 million loan he got from the bank to buy the business in the first place. In addition, he reads about the latest management techniques and attends various professional conferences around the country. He has been hearing and reading about this team-based organization idea and thinks it might be just the thing to energize his company and take it to the next level of performance and profitability. At the annual strategic planning retreat in August, Alan announced to his top management team that starting on October 1 (the beginning of the next fiscal year), the company would be changing to a team-based arrangement.  

Unit No-1 Organisations and Behaviour: Case Questions and Learning Outcomes:
LO4 Understand mechanisms for developing effective teamwork in organisations:

4.1 Has Alan understood the behaviour of groups? Should Alan restructure the company to a team-based model what behavioural factors should he consider?

4.2 What factors are important to promote the development of effective teamwork in the company?

4.3 What other options Alan has, in terms of using technology, to enhance the effectiveness of his proposed team-based arrangement?

Preparing your assignment

Your assignment must strike a balance between theory and practice. Your work must avoid bland description of what is already stated in the case study; description should be limited to what is absolutely necessary to emphasise a point of view or make your analysis clear. Similarly, you should not simply describe theories in your assignment with no practical application of them. You should show due diligence in writing your assignment to ensure that it reflects the highest standard of presentation.

Other key considerations

  • Your assignment must include a cover page with title, student name and number, student contact details (email & mobile phone number), date, word count, and contents page with page numbers.
  • The Introduction in your assignment should cover the background, the issues and the aim of the investigation.
  • Your assignment must use good quality sources (academic material or credible news sources, up to date and relevant to the topic) and correctly referenced using the Harvard system.

General guidelines

  • The assignment must be neatly typed using Font Size-12, Ariel or Times New Roman.
  • Your assignment must word processed on A4 paper, single sided and double line spaced.
  • Both right hand and left hand margin must be suitably spaced.
  • Your written work can be above or below the 10% range of the word limit which is 3,000 words. If your work exceeds the recommended maximum guidelines, then your work will be penalised.
  • An electronic copy of the assignment must be submitted on Moodle by the due date.
  • Plagiarism, spelling and grammatical errors are unacceptable.

Marking criteria

The assignment will be assessed for its overall quality, with the emphasis being upon how components fit together and the suitability of the work for Undergraduate level of research.  The quality of the work will be assessed using the following marking criteria.

DistinctionExcellent in every way. Knowledgeable, incisively analytical, conceptually sound, widely-researched and well-structured. Displays a critical and sophisticated understanding of ideas, debates, methodologies and principles. Comprehensively cited and referenced. A degree of flair apparent in the work.

 

MeritVery good, well-researched, solid. Addresses question. Sensibly structured and well presented. Evidence of analysis, reasoning and evaluation. May have some errors in emphasis but not in fact, and may be limited in terms of supporting material and breadth of coverage. Appropriately cited and referenced.

 

Pass Pass. Descriptive narrative. May be partly irrelevant. Indiscriminate. Lacks structure. Could be more direct and explicit. Little independent research evident. Short bibliography. In some areas, there is evidence of confusion and irrelevance of information. Written content heavily based on lecture notes, but a minimum of understanding to justify a pass.

 

 

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