Organizational behaviour questions
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 system perspective to explain what has occurred at Napanee Beer Co.
2. Senior officers in a national military organization decided that operations in supplies requisition were inefficient and costly. They brought in consultants who recommended that the entire requisition process be ''reengineered''. This involved throwing out the old practices and developing an entirely new set of work activities around workflow. However, contrary to expectations, this intervention resulted in lower productivity, higher employee turnover and other adverse outcomes. Discuss likely problems with the intervention in terms of open systems perspective.
3. An aircraft manufacturing company developed a computer simulation representing the very complex processes and subgroups that create an airplane. Teams of production employees would participate in a game where trainers gave them the challenge of reducing costs or minimizing space using the simulation. As the trainers predicted, the team's actions would almost always result in unexpected consequences. Explain how this simulation relates to the open systems perspective of organizational behaviour.
4. WindTunnel Ltd, a manufacturer of commercial vacuum cleaner systems, has heard about new computer-based technologies that help vacuum cleaner systems to work more efficiently and provide additional features to users. So far, only one British vacuum cleaner company has apparently moved to integrate this technology into its products, but more firms will soon follow. Senior executives at WindTunnel are also aware of a small engineering firm that has applied similar computer technology to military suction-like products. No one at WindTunnel has much experience or knowledge with this computer technology, yet the company needs such expertise quickly. Explain which knowledge acquisition strategy would best help WindTunnel to gain the necessary intellectual capital.
5. Comment on the accuracy of the following statement: ''Without employees, an organization has no organizational memory.''
6. A courier service laid off a large percentage of its production staff during last year's recession. These low-skilled employees performed routine tasks filling orders. The company now wants to rehire them. However, most of the unskilled employees have since found employment in other companies and industries. Do you think the courier company lost much organizational memory in this situation? Explain your answer.
7. Comment on the accuracy of the following statement: ''An important objective in knowledge management is to ensure that intellectual capital is stored and preserved.''
8. The high-performance work practices (HPWP) perspective holds that effective organizations incorporate several workplace practices to harness the potential of human capital. What common activities do high performance organizations practice?
9. There is an increased interest by organizations about the importance of values in the workplace. Explain the difference between values, ethics and corporate social responsibilities.
10. Many organizations are placing increasing importance on values and ethics in the workplace. Discuss two reasons why workplace values have become more important in recent years. Your answer should briefly define values and ethics.
11. The changing workforce is one of the emerging trends in organizational behaviour. Describe how the workforce is changing and briefly identify two consequences of these changes for organizations.
12. Discuss the four anchors of organizational behaviour.
13. Explain why (i) organizations are characterized as collective entities, and (ii) why their members have a collective sense of purpose.
14. Two organizational behaviour students are debating the idea that many OB theories are contingency-oriented. One student believes that every OB theory should be contingency-oriented. The other student disagrees, saying that most theories should try to be universal. Evaluate both positions and provide your opinion on this issue.