HROB*2090 Individuals and Groups in Organizations
Department of Management
The course serves as an overview to organizational behaviour. It examines the individual, the group, the organization and how the three interrelate in order to enhance performance and productivity.
Publisher: Pearson Education Inc.
Note: Pearson’s MyManagementLab is an online study tool. It can help you prepare for quizzes and exams and better understand the course material. For example, MyManagementLab comes with two preloaded Sample Tests per chapter (the Pre-test and Post-test). You can work through these diagnostic tests each week to identify areas you haven’t fully understood. You can also access videos and mini cases related to the course. It is strongly encouraged that you use this resource throughout the semester.
According to research conducted by Pearson, students indicated that using MyManagementLab helped them to achieve better grades.
Course Learning Outcomes
Organizations are such an integral part of our existence we often (and naturally) assume that we understand organizations and the people working in them. Far too often, that assumption is erroneous; people and organizations are complex entities that are not only difficult to understand, but also difficult to manage and work within.
This course is an introduction to the concepts, theories, and ideas guiding behaviour in organizations. This course will introduce you to a wide array of theories on topics relevant to understanding employee and managerial behaviour and provide insight and hands-on experience on how to use this knowledge to address problems that you will face in organizations. Some of the topics covered in this course include the study of personality, motivation, work attitudes, leadership, decision-making, power, organizational change and organizational culture. Some of the questions that we will address include: How do we effectively motivate employees? How does personality affect job performance? What leadership styles are effective with different employees? We will apply theories and tie them to examples of real-world applications. The assigned readings and instructor notes impart conceptual knowledge, and the learning activities and a group project provide students with insight into the application of this knowledge to organizations as well as provide critical experiences in teamwork.
By the end of this course, you should be able to:
Knowledge and Understanding
1. Demonstrate knowledge of OB theories, models and concepts presented in the course;
2. Demonstrate understanding of the role of individual level (micro), and group and organizational level (macro) factors in fostering organizational success;
3. Demonstrate the ability to analyze and evaluate organizational behaviour information; and
4. Understand how evidence-based management is used to diagnosis problems and provide solutions to organizations.
Discipline/Professions and Transferable Skills
5. Demonstrate skills critical to future success as employees and managers including:
• Critical thinking and problem-solving; and
• Written communication skills.
6. Demonstrate the ability to apply the OB theories, models and concepts to organizational settings.
Attitude and Values
7. Demonstrate professionalism in communicating with peers and others.
Teaching and Learning Activities Course Structure
Unit 01: Introduction to Organizational Behaviour (OB) and Evidence-Based Management (EBM)
• Unit 02: Personality and Learning
• Unit 03: Perception, Attribution, and Diversity
• Unit 04: Values, Attitudes, and Work Behaviour
• Unit 05: Theories of Work Motivation and Motivation in Practice
• Unit 06: Leadership
• Unit 07: Decision Making and Groups & Teamwork
• Unit 08: Social Influence, Socialization, and Culture
• Unit 09: Communication, Power, and Politics & Ethics
• Unit 10: Conflict, Stress, and Negotiation
• Unit 11: Organizational Structure, Environment, and Strategy & Technology
• Unit 12: Organizational Change, Development, and Innovation
What to Expect for Each Unit
Textbook: The textbook contains the majority of the course content you will acquire. Please ensure to read all of the assigned chapters, and don’t skip over text in boxes. The stories/additional knowledge in the boxes will help to solidify your learning.
Instructor Notes: First, we will have an instructor notes component. Now, you should know that my notes will be used to supplement the material in the textbook. For the most part, I won’t be regurgitating all the information you’ve read. My notes will focus only on a few of the more complex issues and concepts discussed in the textbook—I’ll try to expand on them and give additional examples to help with your understanding. In addition, I will at times, as needed, introduce new content relevant to a particular topic that I think is important for you to know but that was not covered in your textbook.
Online Discussions: For each Unit, you should be prepared to share ideas regarding the text readings. I’d really like to create a very open climate in this course and that means making people feel comfortable to open up and share with others. In order to facilitate this, I ask that you be sensitive to others’ perspectives and ideas and recognize that often times, there isn’t one single correct response to questions. Now, I’m not saying that I don’t want you to challenge each other and myself; debates are a fantastic source for learning. I’m simply asking that you be sensitive to others’ feelings, and try to be diplomatic if you disagree with others; learning how to do this will really improve your facilitation and interpersonal skills in the real world.
Applied Experiential Exercises: We’ll also be doing a mixture of other applied activities to get you thinking about and applying what you’ve learned. In fact, for most units, I have created some real-world applications of the information you’re learning. And we’ll be reading and discussing a number of cases that illustrate our topics of study in real world situations. These are not graded but will enhance your learning of the course material in practical, and often fun ways. So, I strongly encourage you to take the initiate to do these exercises.
It is strongly recommended that you follow the course schedule provided below. The schedule outlines what you should be working on each week of the course and lists the important due dates for the assessments. By following the schedule, you will be better prepared to complete the assessments and succeed in this course.
Unit 01: Introduction to Organizational Behaviour (OB) and Evidence-Based Management (EBM)
Unit 02: Personality and Learning
Unit 03: Perception, Attribution, and Diversity
Unit 04: Values, Attitudes, and Work Behaviour
Unit 05: Theories of Work Motivation and Motivation in Practice
Unit 06: Leadership
Unit 07: Decision Making and Groups & Teamwork
Unit 08: Social Influence, Socialization, and Culture
Unit 09: Communication, Power, and Politics & Ethics
Unit 10: Conflicts, Stress, and Negotiation
Unit 11: Organizational Structure, Environment, and Strategy & Technology
Unit 12: Organizational Change, Development, and Innovation
Weekly Video Quizzes
Each week you will be required to watch a TED Talk video and then complete a short multiple-choice quiz based on the video. Each video will contain approximately 5 questions. Video Quizzes will assess whether you grasped the main take home message of each video, including the major research findings discussed in the video. You will have 10 minutes for these quizzes and two attempts.
These videos were selected to supplement your learning in the course for several reasons. First, many of the videos present cutting-edge research by leading scholars (not discussed in your textbook or other readings) that will further your knowledge of organizational behaviour. Second, many of the videos challenge common long-standing myths about various aspects of organizational behaviour (e.g., how to motivate people, how to foster creativity, etc.). The primary learning objectives of these videos are to enhance your critical thinking skills, and to reinforce the importance of using research evidence versus common sense/myths, etc. to make informed decisions about individuals and groups in organizations.
As an alternative to a midterm exam, four Applied Quizzes will be administered during class throughout the semester. The Applied Quizzes will present an opportunity to assess your knowledge of OB theories, models and concepts, as well as your ability to apply your knowledge to various organizational contexts. You will have 30 minutes to complete the quiz. These are closed book quizzes and will consist of 20-25 applied multiple choice questions. You will be timed and will only have one attempt to complete each quiz.
Each unit will contain discussion questions related to the unit topics. Every student is expected to make contributions to online discussions throughout the course duration. In particular, you are expected to make three contributions each week, and these are due each week by Sunday 11:59 pm ET. 10% late penalty per day will be considered for late submissions.
For grading purposes, the instructor will select, at random, three Units of your discussions for grading. One of these will be randomly selected from the first third of the course (i.e., from Units 01-04), one from the middle third of the course (i.e., from Units 05-08) and one will be randomly selected from the last third of the course (i.e., from Units 09-12). Only the randomly selected activities will be evaluated. Entries for activities that are not selected for marking will not be evaluated and may not be substituted for those to be marked. Moreover, submissions made once students are informed of which unit was randomly selected for grading will not be graded.
This course requires you to write a traditional sit-down final exam. Final exams are written on campus at the University of Guelph or at alternate locations for students at a distance. The final examination will also present an opportunity to assess your knowledge of OB theories, models and concepts, and your ability to apply your knowledge to various organizational contexts. The final exam will cover Units 08 to 12 (material since Quiz 4) (e.g., textbook, instructor notes, and learning activities). However, the final exam will contain some questions in which you will need to integrate and apply information from the entire course. The format of the exam will be a mix of applied multiple-choice questions and applied problem/case-based questions. Exam preparation and writing tips will be made available on the course web page.
It is assumed that all DE students will be writing their final examination on campus at the University of Guelph. University of Guelph degree and associate diploma students must check WebAdvisor for their examination schedule. Open Learning program students must check the Open Learning Program Final Examination Schedule for their examination schedule.
If you are studying at a distance, you can request to write your final exam at an alternate location. It is recommended that you make arrangements as early as possible in the semester since changes cannot be guaranteed after the deadline. Exam schedules for off-campus exams will be emailed by Week 9 of the course. For more information, please visit Final Exams.