MSCI211 Summary

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MSCI211 Summary


  • Final Topics

    1. What are culture dimensions? How can they be applied in OB? Ch. 3, p42 Answer: Link (Culture is the learned and shared way of thinking and acting among a group of people or a society.) Some popular dimensions of culture include differences that can be observed in:

    1. Language; 2. Time orientation; 3. Use of space; and 4. Religion;

    Hofstedes five dimensions of national cultures and national cultures include:

    1. Power distance: the willingness to accept status and power differences among its members. 2. Uncertainty avoidance: tendency to be uncomfortable with risk and ambiguity. 3. Individualism-collectivism: tendency to emphasize either individual or group interests. 4. Masculinity-femininity: tendency to value stereotypical masculine or feminine traits. 5. Long-term/short-term orientation: tendency to emphasize values associated with the future,

    such as thrift and persistence, or values that focus largely on the present. Note: on p46 there are 3 types of culture differences: (1) relationships with people, (2) attitudes toward time, (3) attitudes toward the environment. In my opinion it is not the range of this question. Please indicate if you think this is incorrect. Application?

    2. What are the major types of organization structures? Whats the application of each of them? Ch. 11, p215 (Horizontal specialization) Prof. Blake said he preferred the bureaucracy types: Pure types:

    1. Mechanistic type (machine bureaucracy): emphasizes vertical specialization and control, with impersonal coordination and a heavy reliance on standardization, formalization, rules, policies, and procedures. It is often used to achieve efficiency.

    2. Organic type (professional bureaucracy): emphasizes horizontal specialization, extensive use of personal coordination, and loose rules, policies, and procedures. It is often used for problem-solving and satisfying individual customer needs. Hybrid types:

    3. Divisional pattern: groups individuals and resources by products, territories, services, clients, or legal entities. This structure is often used to respond to diverse external threats and opportunities. This is used to allow different divisions to be more or less organic or mechanistic.

  • 4. Conglomerate: firms that own several different unrelated businesses. It is always used in the organization is providing varies kinds of services. (not sure about this, double check)

    /* There are 3 pure forms of organization structures:

    1. Functional structure: grouping individuals by skill, knowledge, and action yields. This structure is often used in small firms. Even large firms use this structure in technically demanding areas or when low cost is a major competitive focus.

    2. Divisional structure: groups individuals and resources by products, territories, services, clients, or legal entities. This structure is often used to respond to diverse external threats and opportunities.

    3. Matrix structure: a combination of functional and divisional patterns which assigns an individual to more than one type of unit. This structure is often used when precise integration and control are needed across many sophisticated functional specialties and corporations.

    4. Mixed structure of above three. */

    3. What are high performance organizations? Ch. 2, p26 A high performance organization is designed to bring out the best in people and achieve sustained high performance. The essential foundation for the high performance organization is intellectual capital, the sum total of knowledge, expertise, and energy available from an organizations members. HPOs tend to organize workflow around key business processes and follow human-resource policies that are designed to increase employee flexibility, skills, knowledge, and motivation. The key components of HPOs include:

    1. Employee involvement 2. Self-directing work teams 3. Integrate production technologies 4. Organization learning 5. Total quality management

    4. What roles do people play in organizations? Chapter 4, Ch10? Pp 190 cant find maybe p189 types of new comer.

    1. Tough battler. 2. Friendly helper. 3. Objective thinker.

    If it is the managerial roles, that will be in Ch.1 p12

  • 5. What are organizational change strategies? Whats the application of each of them? Ch. 19, p385 There are 3 strategies of organizational change.

    1. Force-coercion strategy: uses authority, rewards, and punishments as the main reasons to change. This strategy can be applied when you believe that people who run things are basically motivated by self-interest and by what the situation offers them in potential personal gains or losses.

    2. Rational persuasion strategy: try to make change happen through the use of special knowledge, empirical support, or rational arguments. This strategy can be applied when you believe that people are basically rational and are guided by reason in their actions and decision making.

    3. Shared-power strategy: actively and sincerely involves the people who will be affected by a change in planning and making key decisions about the change. This strategy can be applied when you believe that people have complex motivations.

    6. What styles are there to handle conflict? When is it appropriate to apply? Ch. 18, p367 Conflict can be handled in many ways, but the important goal is to achieve or make it possible for there to be true conflict resolution (occurs when the reasons for a conflict are eliminated). There are several indirect conflict management approaches:

    1. Reduced interdependence: when workflow conflicts exist, managers can adjust the level of interdependency among the units or individuals. This can be applied when the units tasks can be adjusted to reduce the number of required points of coordination.

    2. Appeals to Common Goals: to common goals can focus the attention of potentially conflicting parties on one mutually desirable conclusion. This can be applied when the potential dispute is seen through a common framework that helps the parties recognize that they need each other in order to achieve common goals.

    3. Hierarchical Referral: uses the chain of command for conflict resolution, i.e. refer the problem for more senior managers up the hierarchy to solve. This can be applied when the problem is not severe or recurring.

    4. Altering Scripts and Myths: The scripts become rituals that allow the conflicting parties to express their frustrations and to recognize that they depend on each other through the larger corporation. This can be applied in some situations that conflict is superficially managed by scripts, or behavioural routines that become part of the organizations culture.

    As well as the direct conflict management approaches: (cooperativeness attempting to satisfy the other partys concerns, assertiveness attempting to satisfy ones own concerns)

  • 1. Cooperative and unassertive solution (lose-lose) - smoothing or accommodation (involves treating differences as being small and finding areas of agreement): letting the others wishes rule. Smoothing over differences to maintain superficial harmony.

    2. Uncooperative and unassertive solution (lose-lose) - avoidance (involves pretending a conflict does really exist): downplaying disagreement. Failing to participate in the situation and/or staying neutral at all costs.

    3. Cooperative and assertive solution (win-win) collaboration (involves recognizing that something is wrong and needs attention through problem-solving) and problem solving (uses information to resolve disputes): seeking true satisfaction everyones concerns by working through differences, finding and solving problems so everyone gains as a result.

    4. Uncooperative and assertive solution (win-lose) competition (is trying to win by force, superior skill, or domination) and authoritative command (uses formal authority to end conflict): working against the wishes of the other party. Fighting to dominate in win-lose competition and/or forcing things to a favourable conclusion through the exercise of authority.

    5. Medium state solution (lose-lose) - compromise (occurs when each party gives up something of value to the other party): working toward partial satisfaction of everyones concerns; seeking acceptable rather than optimal solutions so that no one totally wins or loses.

    7. What are the different media types of communication? Whats the application of each of them? Ch. 16, p330 (Channel richness)

    1. Face-to-face 2. Telephone 3. Videoconferencing 4. E-mail 5. Written memos, letters 6. Posted notices and bulletins

    The first 5 media are richer than the 6th one, they can be used to pass the complex and open-ended information. The 6th medium is leaner, and it works well for more routine and straightforward messages, such as announcing the location of a previously scheduled meeting.

  • Ch.1

    *OB = the study of individuals and groups in orgs Dramatic changes signal the emergence of a new workplace with

    - high technology - global competition - demanding customers, - high-perf sys.

    *Workplace is changing

    - Demise of command-and-control - New workforce expectations - Critical role of information technology - Belief in empowerment - Emphasis on teamwork - Concern for work-life balance

    *Valuing workforce diversity is a key theme *workforces are increasingly diverse in terms of

    - gender - race and ethnicity - language - age - able-bodiedness - sexual orientation

    Glass Celling Effect: a hidden barrier that limits the advancement of women and minorities in orgs. Org learning is the process of acquiring knowledge and using info to adapt successfully to changing circumstances. Learning