Organizational Behaviour Case Study 2&3


OrganizationalBehaviour Case Study 2&amp3


Assignment2 Part A

  1. What are the specific characteristics of a 360-degree feedback process and how it might be applied for project staff at this Engineering Company?

Oneof the best ways an organization can have its employees’ developingtheir careers and organizational goal is through periodicalassessment and appraisal with feedback from their bosses, colleagues,peers, sub-ordinates and others (McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012,P140).The general feedback is based on using a wide range of data collectedfrom all employees about the general performance and behaviours ofemployees as observed accurately. This is as opposed to feedback justfrom a single entity such as the supervisor or the management. Thistool helps an organization’s management to improve theeffectiveness of their employees in response to realising the setorganizational goals. In line with (McShane&amp&nbspSteen 2012,P140),the process has some basic characteristics that control itworkability for a credible outcome. The 360 degree tool provides themanagement with a comprehensive observation as in the case where oneis not able to constantly evaluate all the employees’ performanceand behaviour, in the course of the set evaluation duration or period(McShane&amp&nbspSteen 2012,P140).This wide variety of data as used in 360-degree feedback is betterthan what the current management is using today, considering that thesingle dimension of assessment might not be as accurate as wheninformation is collected from a multi-dimension perspective.

However,thedesirable feedback of the 360-degree system can be more effective andaccurate should both the employees and the management be made clearlyaware of their expectations. Once the feedback has been given, itshould guide the individual employees to strive towards attaining notonly individual development but also the set organizational standards(McShane&amp&nbspSteen 2012,P141).This helps each individual employee to realise how their behaviourand abilities are perceived by their peers in their workplace. Whenemployees are part of the assessment process, they tend to reactpositively to the generated feedback which they trust. However, the360 degree feedback can be quite time consuming and expensiveconsidering the vast spectrum of data collection, as well as theinformation collected may either be conflicting and or seriouslyexaggerated to influence future assessment (McShane&amp&nbspSteen 2012,P140).

b). what are the two problems the management should know about the360-degree feedback systems?

Theproblems with this system is that employees tend to inflate theirself and colleagues ratings based on their inter-personalrelationship to avoid conflicts in the future assessments (McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012P140).Secondly, there is a high tendency of employees eliciting a strongerreaction emotionally, when they have to face several criticisms froma wide range of employees than when dealing with criticism from theirmanagers or supervisors (McShane&amp&nbspSteen 2012,P140)

  1. What type of Team-based reward system is used by the XYZ LTD? How can the team-based reward system remain effective?

XYZLtd uses gain-sharing plan rewarding system to appreciate theiremployees’ team work spirit. Organizations have been shifting theirfocus from individual performance to team work for the last fewdecades (McShane&amp&nbspSteen 2012,P158).This shift has not only been achieved on role allocation but also onrewarding based on team’s performance on the assigned roles(McShane&amp&nbspSteen 2012,P158).Employees rewarding is aimed at boosting their work morale towardsrealization of an organizational drive as well as rewardingindividual employees for the value they add to the organization.Although some employees are likely to perform best with or withoutincentives, pairing them and rewarding teamwork motivate someemployees as they get motivation from top performers. While workersneed to possess the ability to work both as individuals and as ateam, incentives influence their overall performance in a major way(McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p159). The XYZ Co. Ltd uses incentive pay tomotivate their teamwork performance amongst their employees.According to McShane &amp&nbspSteen (2012 p 159), gain-sharing payplan involves the group or individual employees receiving incentivesbased on their performance against their given targets. In the caseof XYZ Ltd teamwork rewarding, the specific team’s targets includethe given reduction of production cost, by lowering the labour cost.

Individualemployees have a tendency to behave in a particular manner inrelation to the type of incentive they receive (McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p 159).It is therefore imperative for the management to encourage theemployees’ team’s members positively through physicalrecognition. Secondly, the company needs to link the team effort withits general performance since the perceived cost reduction isentirely dependent on the team’s efficiency (McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p 159).Lastly, the company needs to improve the employees’ paysatisfaction by linking their attained incentives with knowledgesharing and developing a dynamic team spirit (McShane&amp&nbspSteen 2012,P159).This can be done byapplauding individual in-put within the teams to motivate all teamplayers to assume a more pro-active role within their given teamroles. This can as well discourage some lazy members of the team fromriding on the shoulders of others who have high standards of selfdrive. This action will encourage the employees to feel they areentitled to their incentives as per their team roles, an aspect thatis likely to boost their personal commitment towards attaining theset organizational goals.

  1. How does employees’ involvement potentially results in more effective decisions?

Accordingto McShane&amp&nbspSteen (2012),group decisions lead to utilization of a diverse group’s ideas andenhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the skills and knowledgeof any employee (p 198). Mostly, such groups possess a wide range ofideas that can solve quite a range of emerging problems better thanwhen the decision making is left solely on a single individual. Thisis because the involvement of the employees provides a broaderoverview of the evolving or existing problems as compared to thequality given from a single entity perspective. According to McShane&amp&nbspSteen (2012)involving many people in decision making can yield better resultsthan an individual working alone (p 199).Involving the workers in decision making gives them a higher purposeas their voices are helping in solving more meaningful issuesaffecting their organization, since they feel they are not just toolsto someone’s decisions but are part of the success behind thedecisions made (McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p 199).This way, their morale is boosted and it improves their positiveattitude as well as job satisfaction.

Mostof the challenges within an organization have a direct or indirectlink with the behavior of the employees. This means their involvementin decision making keeps everyone alert on the evolving or recurringand is in a better position to propose workable solutions to theexisting problem (McShane&amp&nbspSteen 2012,P199).Toparticipate effectively in decision making, an organization needs toequip its employees with the necessary skills on how to go about it.Failure to do so may lead to employees not grasping what exactly isrequired of them in terms of situational analysis, offeringalternative solutions and choosing the best of the givenalternatives. Additionally, employees who are involved in decisionmaking show a deeper personal commitment to improving theirproductivity by not only discussing their work informally but alsoformally, thus showing a lot of loyalty towards their organization afactor that improves ones job enrichment and employee motivation(McShane&amp&nbspSteen 2012,P199).When employees are involved in decision making they have a highlikelihood of improving them and less likely to fight back thechanges resulting from their decisions (McShane&amp&nbspSteen 2012,P 200).


  1. What type of team building best describes these volunteering activities?

Thetype of team building that best describes the volunteering activitiesat Molson Coors is a task-oriented teambuilding focused at improvingrelations among employees and boosting their morale and jobsatisfaction. A team building aimed at improving relations allowsemployees to know each other, devote their time, energy and mostimportant, share their knowledge and skills in accomplishing a task(McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012, p238).Teammembers who volunteer in activities learn to trust in each other,improve intercommunication and come up with effective ways to solveany conflicts that might arise amongst them.

Themerge between Molson and Coors gave a platform for experiencedexecutives from both companies to share their skills and expertise toachieve a common goal. However, the primary obstacle to maximizingtheir efficiencies is that these experienced managers little knewocher other. This is the primary reason why the executive decided tocome together and build a team building exercise that would allowthem interact at a personal level and speed up team cohesion.

Forinstance, when the team of executives from both companies faceddifficulty to unload a track full of cement roof tiles, they came upwith a strategy of using a bucket line to carry heavy tiles from oneperson to the next through their solid communication. Such anactivity does not only improve team coordination and cohesion butalso enhances effective communication (McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012, p238).

Afterfocusing on volunteering activities as the foundation for thecompany-wide team building efforts, the focus became task-orientedteam building. A task-oriented teambuilding enhances the team’smorale to achieve organizational goals by developing a positiveself-concept of the team and the organization as a whole.Volunteering team building also allows the team members focus ontasks that are aimed at achieving organizational goals and henceboosts the employee’s individual performance and the organizationalperformance.

  1. Explain how the corporate social responsibility (CSR) element of volunteering contributes to team building.

Thecorporate social responsibility element of volunteering activitiescontributes to team building through strengthening team’s cohesionand improving relations. According to McShane&amp&nbspSteen, (2012, p225),activities aimed at CSR allow employees come together, share theirexperiences and skills in accomplishing a task. Through this way, theteam members learn to trust in each other and develop a common bond.Volunteering activities allows team members to get away fromworkplace pressures and share amble time working together at apersonal level. Trust is an essential component of team building thatenables the team members to share their strengths and shortcomingshence enabling them learn from each other and maximize theircompetencies.

Whena team focuses on corporate social responsibility, it allow itsmembers to know the value of working together as a team to givesomething valuable back to the community. Corporate socialresponsibility does not only entail giving donations but also callsfor an organization to involve in activities such as cleaning theenvironment, building houses for the elderly to name but a few. Allthese activities allow an organization’s employees to come togetheras a team and work towards accomplishing a common goal. CSR alsoenables a team to make decisions together as a team and communicateeffectively and through this way the team is able to overcome anyobstacles that might hinder them from achieving their common goals.Another way that CSR as a component of volunteering activitiescontributes to team building is through enhancing team motivation andcommitment. According to McShane&amp&nbspSteen, (2012, p223),CSR enables the organization to keep its employee motivated andcommitted in giving back to the community and enhancing theorganization’s corporate image.

  1. Along with team building, in what other ways do these volunteer activities improve organizations?

Apartfrom team building, volunteer activities bring a number of otherbenefits to an organization. Through volunteering, an organizationgets CRS benefits such as enhanced community and employeeperceptions. In these highly competitive global markets, it is notenough to offer good salaries and training as a strategy to retainthe best employees. Many employees focus on working for anorganization that they are proud to be associated with (McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012, p223).The best way to get a reputable name and image as an organization isthrough giving back to the community through volunteer activities.Therefore, volunteer activities enhance a company’s image thatallows the recruitment and retention of the best talents.

Accordingto McShane&amp&nbspSteen, (2012, p212),volunteer activities improve decision-making and creativity within ateam. While volunteering, team members encounter issues and for themto achieve their common goal, they have to think critically, makequick and wise decisions to overcome the obstacles. Therefore,volunteering activities gives the team members an opportunity toidentify problem and opportunities, choose among alternatives andmake appropriate decisions. In team building, people get a chance topull their skills and knowledge together, to come up with creativestrategies to accomplish their common goals. For instance, when theexecutives from the

Molsonand Coors experienced difficulties in unloading the track, theycreatively came up with a strategy of a bucket line to make theirwork easier and achieve their goal. Volunteerism also motivatesemployees and help in reducing issues such as absenteeism thatnegatively affects an organization’s performance.


  1. Discuss media richness explain how can this engineering firm maximize communication effectiveness with the existing resources in this situation?

Mediarichness is that evaluates communication efficiency by estimating itsability to reproduce the information sent as well as the datacarrying capacity at a given time (McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p253).Media richness is used in evaluating the efficiencies of certaincommunication media such as emails, instant messaging, telephonecalls to name but a few. According to the media richness theory, allmedia of communication differ from each other depending on theirabilities to enable the users communicate and understand the receivedinformation(McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p254).The measured ability in this case is what is referred to as“richness”.

Mediathat have the ability to convey the original message and overcomeissues with ambiguity are deemed rich. On the other hand, media thattake more time for its users to understand the meaning of the sentmessage and do not have the ability to overcome distortion andambiguity issues are deemed les rich (McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p253).For instance, an email cannot reproduce the body movement and facialexpression of the person sending the message hence less richcommunication compared to video conferencing that enables the usersto read each other’s gestures and facial expression. According tomedia richness theory, media that focus on personal communicationsuch as video conferencing and face-to face are more efficient inpassing on important information rather than focusing on less richmedia such as phone call as it allows both verbal and oralcommunication(McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p253).

Thereare several strategies that the engineering firm can implement tomaximize communication efficiency using the existing resources.Instant messaging can be categorized under the class of IT known asgroupware. Groupware enables virtual teams communicate and workcollectively while located in different places. To increase instantmessaging richness, it is important to be brief, appropriate andunderstandable. Brief messages are easy to read and comprehend. Theengineers should be trained on how to write brief messages thatsummarizes a face-to-face conversation. Long messages with complexterms can easily be misinterpreted leasing to distortion andvagueness hence negatively affecting the richness of thecommunication medium.

Emailsare important element of effective communication is appropriatelyused. The engineering firm should learn how to minimize communicationvia emails. It is important to ensure that the emails sent arerelevant and to the point. According to the media richness theory, toenhance the efficiency of emails, it is important for the engineersto combine emails with another communication medium such asface-to-face meetings (McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p254).Since the firm has not yet invested in communication media focused onpersonal interaction such as video-conferencing and skyping, it isimportant for the virtual teams to ensure constant and clearcommunication using the current resources to improve communicationeffectiveness. This will enhance communication amongst themselves andmost important with the customers to avoid ambiguity and distortionof information.

  1. Contrast Jane`s and her predecessor`s approaches to negotiations in terms of the dimensions of interpersonal conflict management style and explain whether Jane`s approach will be effective or not, and how she might approach negotiations initially given the existing situation created by her predecessor.

Janeis planning to use a problem-solving style, which means that she willfocus on high assertiveness and at the same time, aim to get highcooperation. According toMcShane&amp&nbspSteen, (2012), different people have a different approachto a conflicting situation in regard to maximizing their outcomes andmaintaining their inter-personal relationship with others involved(p305). This means that Jane is focusing on satisfying her own interest andat the same time be able to satisfy the suppliers’ interestscreating a win-win situation. In contrast, the former purchasingmanager embraced a forcing style (McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p306),in which he embarked on maximizing assertiveness without making aneffort to boost cooperativeness. Jane’s predecessor aimed atachieving his interests and hence created a win-lose situation. Thewin-lose strategy is advantageous to a company since it lowers costbut at the same time, it has its several disadvantages. One reasonwhy some of the suppliers declined to do business with Jane’spredecessor is that they felt that their interested were never met. Aforcing style is also disadvantageous since it leads to brokenrelations with the suppliers destroying the organization’scorporate image (McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p306).

Thereis a high probability that Jane’s problem-solving strategy will beeffective in closing deals with the suppliers. According to McShane&amp&nbspSteen, (2012 p306),problem solving is the best strategy to solving conflicts atworkplace. Currently, they are some suppliers who have opted not todo business with the firm any longer. To solve the existing conflictswith the suppliers, it is important that Jane should focusidentifying her interests and those of the suppliers. Through thecreation of a win-win situation, Jane will make deals that will leaveher satisfied and the suppliers will walk away with their interesthaving been met. According to McShane&amp&nbspSteen, (2012, p306),one of the advantageous of taking a problem-solving approach innegotiation is that a company is able to establish good relationswith its suppliers leading to trust and loyalty. However, Jane shouldgo strategically with her approach to ensure that her interests arenot compromised in any way.

Giventhe existing situation that has been created by his predecessor, Janeshould begin her negotiation with a cautious win-win direction. It isimportant that Jane should enter the negotiation with aproblem-solving style by sharing information slowly. However, Janeshould be keen to determine whether the suppliers are responding backwith a problem-solving orientation. In any case the suppliers seemreluctant to reciprocate with a problem-solving behavior Jane shouldlook for another negotiation alternative such as compromising style(McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p306-307).In a compromising style, both parties at the negotiating table arewilling to give up something in order to get to an agreement. Afterestablishing good relations with the suppliers, Jane can go back toproblem-solving style but be on the watch out that the suppliers arewilling to respond with problem-solving behaviors.

  1. Comment on the accuracy of the vice-president`s conclusions about Arnold Schwartz, using a minimum of two of the leadership theories and models described in the textbook.

Thereis a high probability that the vice-president conclusions aboutSchwartz are accurate. According to contingency leadership theorydiscussed by McShane&amp&nbspSteen, (2012 p335),Schwartz is not a competent leader to lead the overall organization.It is evident that Schwartz is using the same leadership style tolead and support the recruits and the experienced employees. Thecontingency theory states that a leadership style might work verywell in some situations and fail to work with others. The theorystates that a competent leader should be both flexible and insightfulto facilitate intelligent diagnosis of behavior in relation tocircumstances (McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p335).Schwartz is forgetting that the kind of advice and support newemployees need is totally different with what experienced onesrequire. An overall leader should be able to come up with leadershipstrategies that take care of both the new and old employees in termsof advice, support and guidance by providing psychological supportfor all employees (McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p335).A leader’s effectiveness is based on how best he or she can handlevarious situations. Therefore, if Schwartz is only able to handlerecruits and not the experienced employees, then the vice-presidentis accurate to conclude that he cannot fit to be an overall leader.

Accordingto transformational leadership theory, an effective leader shouldlead employees to embrace change and remain motivated in achievingthe organizational goals (McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p340).It is clear that Schwartz leadership style does not motivate theexperienced employees and this explains why there are lots ofcomplains. As an effective leader, Schwartz should focus on keepingall the employees motivated in handling all the customer issues inthe call center. According to this theory, Schwartz should not applyhis old leadership techniques that he uses with the recruits whendealing with the experienced employees. As a transformational leader,Schwartz should be the agent of change in the entire organizationmost of which should be positive (McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p340).The experienced employees need a leader that will come up withchanges that will give them new challenges and motivate them inovercoming the obstacles. Therefore, the vice-president should thinkof appoint Schwartz as the leader in charge of new recruitsmentorship and support and find another competent overall leader.


  1. Contrast Hillton’s earlier corporate culture with the emerging set of cultural values (new culture).

Organizationalculture involves several aspects of an organization, ranging fromcollective goals, history, strategy, market management style andproducts that contribute to the unique social and psychologicalenvironment o an organization (McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p401).The earlier Hilton’s culture revolved around treating employees asfamily and giving experience based promotions depending with theservice duration. The organization also thrived on the powerdistance, which involved solving their organizational problems basedon the inequality thus, the existence of the outside and insidedepartments within the management (McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p402).This power distance cultural dimension played a key role inallocating social amenities like libraries and recreationalfacilities within the city or in the suburbs. Promotions were alsoinfluenced by the same element with majority of the top managementcoming from the outside department and the junior employees from theinside department.

Onthe other hand, the new culture brought a complete overhaul in thepriory existing corporate culture. This entailed breaking the powerdistance barriers and establishing a fresh managerial team whosepromotions were merit oriented rather than experience. Additionally,the new culture brought about social responsibility andaccountability based on the community needs and not seniority as wasthe case in the earlier culture. The new management team was moredevelopment oriented with the main focus being on balancing thepriory imbalanced social and economic equilibrium (McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p403).This promoted reduced wastage of public utility and as well promotedprofessionalism, an aspect that was priory conspicuously missing.

  1. Considering the difficulty in changing organizational culture, why does Hillton’s management seem to be successful at this transformation?

Changingan organizational culture can be very difficult considering thatpeople have adapted and already used to the existing culture. Tosuccessfully change the latter, one requires change the mindset ofthe working community first, by clearly showing the employees howthey are likely benefit more from the new changes than retaining theold culture. The Hillton’s management is successful at itstransformation considering that the previous regime was sodiscriminative to be embraced by the majority who were the junioremployees (McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p402).There existed a serious disharmony of interests on both personal andcollective goals of the organization because of the individualismthat marked the top management of the earlier management(McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p402).

Thesociety was also not happy with the progress made by the earliermanagement team who were more reliant on providing more jobs withoutimproving the welfare of its employees.

Thecoming of the new management team brought in collectivism and gavepeople hope by promising to change the municipality managementstructure and bring in professionalism in the management. Thesechanges were to address some of the serious needs of the community byprioritizing them and since they were touching the hearts of thecommunity, they were easily acceptable by majority of the juniormanagement who come from the same community.

  1. Identify two other strategies that the city might consider to reinforce the new set of corporate values.

Thecity might as well consider incorporating other strategies that mightadd more value to their new set of values. First the managementshould lead by example in every aspect of its leadership ranging fromhandling crisis to being honesty and respectful of both its clientsand junior employees(McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p403).Secondly, the management should create an avenue where the employeescan share their success stories with the rest of the team (McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p403).This would encourage positive attitude towards performance andquality delivery of services and would build a firm foundation forpromotions without anyone feeling sidelined. It would also beproductive to connect the company values to operations when measuringindividual and organizational returns (McShane&amp&nbspSteen, 2012 p403).This would help the company culture to be directly aligned with themeasures for performance.


McShane,&nbspS.&nbspL.,&nbsp&amp&nbspSteen,&nbspS.&nbspL.&nbsp(2012).&nbspCanadianorganizational behaviour (8th&nbspEd.).&nbspToronto:&nbspMcGraw-Hill&nbspRyerson.