Organizational Behaviour Essay
Part A consists of three questions. Be sure to include both the questions and the responses in the document you submit. Your total combined responses for these three questions should not exceed 1000 to 1500 words.
1. Marketing specialists at Napanee Beer Co. developed a new advertising campaign for summer sales. The ads were particularly aimed at sports events where Napanee Beer sold kegs of beer on tap. The marketing group worked for months with a top advertising firm on the campaign. Their effort was successful in terms of significantly higher demand for Napanee Beer’s keg beer at sports stadiums. However, the production department had not been notified of the marketing campaign and was not prepared for the increased demand.
The company was forced to buy empty kegs at a premium price. It also had to brew some of the lower priced keg beer in vats that would have been used for higher priced specialty beer. The result was that Napanee Beer sold more of the lower priced keg beer and less of the higher priced products that summer. Moreover, the company could not initially fill consumer demand for the keg beer, resulting in customer dissatisfaction.
Use open systems theory to explain what occurred at Napanee Beer Co. Begin with a brief description of open systems theory. Use your own words (paraphrase) and remember to cite all sources using APA style.
The open systems theory states that organizations are entities that continually exchange resources with its external environment. The organization is dependent on the external environment for resources such as raw materials, employees, financial resources, and information and equipment which are the organizations inputs. Those inputs are used by the organizations internal subsystems, such as production and marketing, and are subsequently turned into outputs such as products, services, employee behaviours, profits/ losses, and waste/ pollution (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 4).
According to the open systems theory (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 4), the organization Napanee Beer Company’s internal subsystems were not operating efficiently. Due to the lack of communication between the marketing group and the production team, production was unaware of the increase in demand for the product and did not order enough inputs to meet this larger demand. Consequently, the materials used were much more expensive than they would have been had they been ordered earlier. This oversight cost the company sales on higher priced specialty beer and caused customer dissatisfaction.
Had the production team been aware of the success of the marketing campaign, which was geared towards sporting events where Napanee Beer sold kegs of beer on tap, they would have been able to order the appropriate amount of kegs, saving the company a lot of money. This is not an issue between the external and internal environment but an issue with Napanee’s internal subsystems effectiveness (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 4.). The lack of communication between departments weakened the company’s ability to maximize its input to output capability; therefore, the company was not functioning at a high level of efficiency (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 5.).
2. The sales office of a large industrial products wholesale company has an increasing problem: salespeople are arriving late at the office each morning. Some sales reps go directly to visit clients rather than showing up at the office as required by company policy. Others arrive several minutes after their appointed start time. The vice-president of sales doesn’t want to introduce time clocks, but this may be necessary if the lateness problem isn’t corrected.
Using the MARS model of individual behaviour, diagnose the possible reasons salespeople may be engaging in this “lateness” behaviour. Begin with a brief description of the MARS model. Use your own words (paraphrase) and remember to cite all sources using APA style.
The MARS model represents the four factors that influence people’s behaviour and performance. These factors are motivation, ability, role perceptions, and situational factors (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 26). Motivation is what drives a person in a particular direction and the passion and persistence in which they pursue something (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 26). The ability of an employee refers to their natural aptitudes as well as their acquired capabilities (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 27).
An employee’s competencies refer to his or her skills, knowledge and other characteristics that may be beneficial to the organization (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 27). Role perception is the third factor in the MARS model. This refers to how closely the employee’s perception of their job duties aligns with the employer’s (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 27). The final factor in the MARS model is situational factors. Situational factors involve conditions that are not part of the employee’s skill set or personality and are often out of their control (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 28).
According to the MARS model of individual behaviour, the possible reasons salespeople may be engaging in this “lateness” behaviour is first the lack of motivation they are feeling to show up to the office at their scheduled start time (McShane & Steen, 2009, pp. 26-28). This could be due in part to the lack of incentive they receive for showing up on time. Furthermore, the absence of negative consequences for showing up late has not shown the sales reps that the company is serious about this policy. In order for the sales reps to be motivated to show up to the office in the morning instead of seeing clients first, there needs to be some kind of reinforcement from the company that demonstrates that showing up on time is a behaviour that they expect and value.
The sales reps were most likely hired because of their ability to gain new customers and sell products; therefore, they see this aspect of their job as being priority and do not see the value in showing up at the office first. The biggest factor effecting this situation is role perception (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 27). The sales reps do not have a clear understanding that arriving at the office on time is an essential part of their job duties. It is clear from the sales reps behaviour that they are not aware of the importance of being at the office in the morning before they head out to see clients. While this may be a company policy in writing, it is not well practiced in the office, so it is perceived by employees as a recommendation rather than a rule. Situational factors may also contribute to the “lateness” problem (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 28). This could be because face time at the office does not support their task goals which are to go out and see clients and sell products. The sales reps might find the commute to the office an inconvenience whereas they could instead cut that commute out of their day and drive straight to a client’s office.
3. Big Box Construction Company has received warnings from government safety inspectors that employees at some of its construction sites are not wearing the required safety helmets and noise-protection equipment. The company could lose these contracts if safety practices are not maintained. The company has warned employees that they could be fired if they don’t wear the safety gear, but this has had little effect. Describe an A-B-C analysis for this situation and provide two types of behaviour modification interventions that might change employee behaviour in this situation. In an A-B-C analysis of this situation the antecedent would be the warning the employees received from the company informing them that they must wear safety gear on the job site.
The behaviour is that some of the employees are not wearing safety equipment on the construction sites. And the Consequences are that the employees face termination if they continue to disregard this policy (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 66). Two types of behaviour modification interventions that might change employee behaviour in this situation are: 1) Positive reinforcement, the supervisor can offer praise to the employees who are adhering to the safety guidelines (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 66). In addition, there could be a reward in place such as a bonus for employees who are wearing their safety equipment on the site every day. 2) Punishment, although punishment might generate negative feelings toward the company and supervisor, it is necessary because of the severity of the breach (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 67). The type of punishment will depend on the frequency of the offence. For example, the first offence could result in a write-up, the second offence in a suspension without pay, and the third dismissal.
Read Case Study 4.1: Conestoga-Rovers and Associates on pages 97 and 98 of the textbook and answer the three discussion questions that follow it. Your answer for this case study should not exceed 600 to 800 words in length and should incorporate, where appropriate, content from Lessons 1, 2, 3, and 4.
1) Why does Conestoga-Rovers and Associates and other companies try to create a positive work environment?
The text explains that according to the dual cognitive-emotional attitude process, the positive emotional experiences employees encounter on a daily basis at Conestoga-Rovers contributes to their job satisfaction (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 80). When employees are satisfied with their job they are more likely to be accommodating to the organization’s clients, helpful to their co-workers, and can experience increased overall productivity (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 87). Therefore, it is beneficial for the company to foster a positive work environment where its employees are frequently feeling positive emotional experiences, so that their outlook on their jobs and the company will be much more favourable (McShane & Steen, 2009, p.80).
According to the model of emotions, attitudes, and behaviour (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 79), our emotions will have a direct impact on our behavioural intentions which in turn will most likely affect our behaviour. If the employees at Conestoga-Rovers are bombarded with positive emotions in their work environment, than they are more likely to behave in a way that is agreeable to the company.
Conestoga-Rovers acknowledges and appreciates its human capital and realizes that its employees knowledge provide a competitive advantage to the company (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 7). They realize that in order for the company to retain its valued employees and attract new ones they need to foster a positive work environment. By “adapting employment practices” to suit the needs of their employees the company is striving to retain its valued intellectual capital (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 6).
2) How does this company manage to provide events and perks that employees value?
At Conestoga-Rovers and Associates having fun and maintaining a work-life balance are fundamental to the company and its employees. This is evident in the many perks this company offers its employees that vary from its extremely active social committee to the onsite daycare facility. As stated in the case study, an employee of Conestoga-Rovers suggested that the company build an onsite daycare facility, never really expecting that they would take her request so seriously. However, much to the employee’s delighted shock the company complied. This demonstrates the company’s dedication to its employees wants and needs.
In addition the company has assembled a social committee to listen to what it is that employee’s value and have evidently been able to deliver to the Conestoga-Rovers employees what they want. By doing this for their employees the organization is building organizational commitment and loyalty to the company (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 89). By involving employees in company decisions that affect them and listening to their needs they are strengthening their employee’s social identity within the organization. This shows employees that their opinions are not only heard but are valued and trusted by the organization (McShane & Steen, 2009, p.89). The company has a “work hard-play hard mantra”, and their “social events and activities play an integral role in the company’s culture (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 97). This is evidently closely aligned with its employee’s values; therefore, the employee’s feel comfort in their shared values with the company prompting them to remain loyal to the company (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 89).
3) Is it possible that employees can have too much fun at work?
From personal experience, I think that it is possible to have too much fun at work. When there are too many social events at work it takes away from an employee’s personal time and time at home with their family. An employee can feel forced to participate in social events that they do not want to partake in, and this can end up having a contrary effect to what the company is striving for. This added pressure to attend social events can add stress for the employee and take away from time needed to complete his/her work.
Conversely, having fun at work can help build camaraderie amongst the employees and reduce the consequences of stress such as job burnout. Attending social functions can give employees a break from the monotonous routine of their job tasks; therefore, reducing the risk of emotional exhaustion and indifference towards their jobs (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 91). Fun events with co-workers can also help to build on an employee’s social awareness. For instance, when employees are interacting with each other and building personal relationships as well as professional relationships they are better equipped to “perceive and understand the emotions” of their co-workers (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 84). Because they are getting to know their peers personal situations a little better, the interaction allows them to be able to experience some empathy for their co-workers.