Sie sind auf Seite 1von 16

CASE EXERCISE TEACHING NOTES

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Leader of California?

This case focuses on the rise of Arnold Schwarzenegger to the governors seat of California and

integrates a variety of topics such as goal setting, leadership, power and influence, and

personality. After presenting a brief background on Schwarzenegger, the case proceeds to

describe the actions that Schwarzenegger took to become governor. The case offers students an

opportunity to observe how setting difficult goals for oneself and being committed to those goals

results in success and performance. A clear example of Schwarzeneggers commitment to his

goals can be found in the quote, there is no one, and when I say no one, I mean no one, who will

back me off my vision. I will go over burning coals for that. Additionally, there are instances

throughout the case where Schwarzeneggers high self-efficacy is apparent. For example,

Schwarzenegger states that I know it from my bodybuilding that I can see my goals very

clearlyIt takes the confidence to ignore critics and naysayers.

Leadership, particularly charismatic leadership, is illustrated throughout the case.

Schwarzeneggers prime-time speech at the Republican convention, coupled with descriptions of

his comedic style and his fame as an actor, all exemplify how charismatic leadership can be

effective. Charismatic leadership (and more broadly, transformational leadership) is especially

relevant in this case, as the recall election of Gray Davis can be described as a crisis and

charismatic leadership is especially effective in such times. A discussion of charismatic leadership

can also lead into trait and implicit theories of leadership, with emphasis placed on

Schwarzeneggers physical size and attractiveness, his extraverted personality, and intelligence.

Finally, the case illustrates how Schwarzenegger uses various types of power (e.g. legitimate

power, referent power) and influence tactics (e.g., coalitions), and political behavior to influence

decision-makers.

Questions for Discussion

1. What words would you use to describe Arnold Schwarzeneggers personality? Do any of these

fit into the Big Five taxonomy of personality? How might these personality traits influence the
degree to which Schwarzenegger is an effective leader? How might these traits have helped

Schwarzenegger get to where he is now?

2. Based on the case, as governor of California, what types of power is Schwarzenegger likely to

have? What types of influence tactics does Schwarzenegger appear to use?

3. How would you describe Schwarzeneggers leadership style using the leadership theories

covered in this textbook? What details of the case lead you to these conclusions? Is

Schwarzeneggers leadership style likely to be effective? Why or why not?

4. Applying concepts from goal-setting theory, explain how goals have influenced

Schwarzeneggers progression to the governors seat. What aspects of the case suggest that

Schwarzenegger is committed to the goals that he has set for himself?

5. Are there any dark sides to Schwarzeneggers charisma and leadership skills? What might

these be, and how might they affect his relationships with others and his ability to govern?

6. How might Schwarzeneggers personality and leadership style help or hinder his ability to

effectively negotiate with other parties such as the teachers union?


What Customers Dont Know Wont Hurt Them, or Will It?

This case primarily covers decision-making topics. The case is fictional and describes an

employee (Elena) of a rental-car company who is being questioned by another employee from the

companys legal department about a car that she rented that was involved in an accident. In a

flashback, it is revealed that Elena realized that there was something wrong with the vehicle but

decided to rent the car anyway.

Determining why Elena rented the car creates several topics for discussion. First, Elena

feels strong pressure to do whatever it takes to rent vehicles to customers even if that means

lying or overlooking potential safety concerns. For example, Elena decided to lie to two customers

who had a reservation for an SUV because her supervisor implied a reward for doing so (If you

want to be a manager, start acting like one). Thus, by disregarding the reservation in order to

obtain a higher rental rate, Elena believed that she would be positively reinforced by her

supervisor. Related to this, at the conclusion of the case, Elena is debating whether to tell the

legal representative that she knowingly rented a car with a damaged tire. She realizes that

punishment is likely to follow if she tells the truth, but that if she lies, and gets away with it, she

may eventually obtain the management position she is seeking and thus will be inadvertently

rewarded for her unethical behavior.

An additional topic for discussion involves attribution theory. Specifically, students could

be asked whether Elena is to blame for her behavior or whether external factors (e.g., Elenas

supervisor, the unethical climate at the rental office) are responsible. Discussion could then segue

into the components of attribution theory (distinctiveness, consensus, consistency).

Finally, the notion of escalation of commitment is relevant. Elenas small lie (the

reserved SUV broke down) leads to lying to other customers, which culminates in renting a

damaged vehicle. Though it is unclear whether Elena will confess in the end, given that Elena

appears to be achievement-oriented, she may be more likely to escalate by lying again.


Questions for Discussion

1. Using concepts from reinforcement theory, explain why Elena might be motivated to lie to

customers. With reinforcement theory in mind, do you think that Elena will confess to the legal

representative? Why or why not?

2. How might the rental offices climate influence Elenas behavior? What factors contribute to the

current climate? What steps could you take to improve the ethics at this office?

3. Do you blame Elena for her behavior or do you attribute her behavior to external factors? How

do concepts from attribution theory fit in?

4. Consider Elenas personality. Would you predict that escalation of commitment will occur (and

she will lie to the legal representative), or will she decide to come clean? Explain your answer.

5. Do you think Elena would make a good leader some day? Why or why not? What factors might

this depend on?

6. What emotions might Elena be experiencing? How might Elenas emotions affect her decision

to tell the legal department manager about the incident with Mr. Reynolds?
Are Five Heads Better Than One?

The primary topic covered in this fictional case is groupthink, with a broader focus on group

decision-making. The case describes a team formed by upper management at an advertising

company with the purpose of developing a commercial for one of the firms clients. Conner, who

assumes the role of team leader, quickly gives his opinion, which turns out to be damaging. As a

result of conformity, and a lack of a strong devils advocate, the team agrees with Conners idea.

Thus, groupthink has occurred. In addition, the case details how Conners idea becomes even

racier as the team progresses, implying that groupshift has occurred as well. The feeling of

camaraderie that develops within the team suggests that the team is highly cohesive. Class

discussion could focus on why groupthink occurred within this team, what factors contributed to it,

and what might have been done to keep it from occurring in the first place.

The team can be characterized as a formal team, but more specifically, because the team

is relatively autonomous and is responsible for seeing the project through from start to finish, it is

better characterized as a self-managed team. One area of discussion could be the ways in which

the design of the team contributed to its decision-making (e.g., would groupthink have occurred if

the team had been given less autonomy?).

An additional topic embedded in the case is team composition. The team is described as

relatively homogenous, and the team members all have similar characteristics in terms of age,

tenure, and personality. With regards to personality, team members are described as friendly,

and they value getting along with others. It thus can be inferred that the team is comprised of

relatively agreeable individuals, which can be related to the discussion on groupthink (i.e.,

agreeable individuals are more likely to go along with others ideas). Discussion could focus on

how a more heterogeneous team might have performed and why such a team might have

performed differently.

Questions for Discussion

1. What factors contributed to the poor performance of the Advert team? As a manager, what

could you have done to help the team perform better?


2. According to the case, the Advert team was given a relatively high degree of autonomy. How

might this autonomy have contributed to the presence of groupthink?

3. Teams can be either homogeneous or heterogeneous. How would you characterize the Advert

team, and how did this affect the teams creativity and performance?

4. What are some group decision-making techniques that could have helped reduce conformity

pressures and groupthink among the Advert team?

5. What different forms of communication could have been employed to improve the sharing of

ideas among the Advert team? How might this have affected its performance and satisfaction?

6. How would you describe Conners leadership style? Why do you think his style wasnt

effective? In what situations might Conner be an effective leader?


Wal-Marts World

This case focuses on the organizational culture of Wal-Mart. Primary emphasis is placed on how

Wal-Marts culture developed and how it has been maintained. The roots of Wal-Marts culture

date back to Sam Walton, who instilled the now famous Saturday Morning Meeting at his Five &

Dime store in Bentonville, Arkansas. During these meetings, Walton encouraged his employees

to offer suggestions for improvement and empowered them to follow through on those

suggestions that he thought were worth pursuing. The Saturday Morning Meeting has continued

at Wal-Mart despite its growth into one of the largest corporations in the world. Discussion could

focus on how Wal-Marts culture has been maintained over the years, with special emphasis on

the importance of the Saturday Morning Meeting. In addition to the Saturday Morning Meeting

serving as a company ritual, discussion could also focus on how the company chant serves as a

cultural maintenance tool.

A discussion of the strength of Wal-Marts culture relates to the notion of core values,

which have been instrumental in sustaining its culture over the years. Perhaps as a partial result

of this sharing of core values, Wal-Mart is able to respond quickly to changes in the market place,

as evidenced by the anecdote about the poker sets. In addition, the attraction-selection-attrition

model could be applied to Wal-Mart, as it may explain some of the similarities among Wal-Marts

managers thus leading to a tight-knit culture.

Finally, although Wal-Marts culture undoubtedly has been a strength, discussion could

also focus on how it could be a weakness. The original practices and ideas of Sam Walton may

not fit in todays business environment, so maintaining Wal-Marts culture may be detrimental to

its growth. Moreover, increased public scrutiny may be pressuring Wal-Mart to change its old

practices.

Questions for Discussion

1. According to the textbook, there are seven primary characteristics that capture the essence of

an organizations culture. How would you describe Wal-Marts culture using these seven

characteristics?
2. Based on this case, would you characterize Wal-Marts culture as strong or weak? Why? How

might Wal-Marts culture contribute to its long-term performance?

3. As an upper manager of Wal-Mart, what steps could you take to either maintain or enhance the

culture of Wal-Mart?

4. What are some aspects of Wal-Marts culture that have persevered, but yet may be

disadvantageous in todays economy?

5. How might Wal-Marts negative press affect employee morale, job satisfaction, and

organizational commitment? As a manager, what steps would you take to improve employee

attitudes?

6. Characterize Wal-Marts organizational structure. Is it mechanistic or organic? Does it have a

high degree of centralization or decentralization? How might Wal-Marts structure affect its

employees in terms of their productivity and job attitudes?


Apples Beethoven

This case focuses on Steve Jobs, current (and former) CEO of Apple Computer. The case

describes how Apple is using the success of the iPod to reemerge as a serious competitor in the

computer industry. Topics covered include creativity, personality, leadership, and motivation.

Primary emphasis is placed on creativity by detailing how the iPod was developed with

Steve Jobs at the forefront. Discussion could center on the three-component model of creativity

and how it applies to Steve Jobs. For example, which of the three components (expertise,

creative-thinking skills, intrinsic task motivation) does Steve Jobs likely possess in the greatest

amount? Which would be most valuable in his position? Although Jobs relies on technological

teams to develop products, he does have expertise in his area. In addition, his comments

exemplify that he is motivated to make each product as successful as possible, and he is also a

creative thinker. Thus, it appears that Jobs possesses all three components to some degree,

though perhaps his strengths are his creative-thinking skills and intrinsic task motivation.

A related discussion could focus on the traits that could be inferred based on the cases

description of Jobs. For example, what traits are associated with creativity (and by extension,

which ones might Jobs possess)? Traits that are related to creativity include intelligence,

openness to experience, risk-taking, locus of control, and self-confidence. Decisions such as

pursuing software development and developing the iMac and the iPod exemplify Jobs risk-taking,

and quotes such as, Okay, if nobody wants to help up, were just going to have to do this

ourselves, suggest that Jobs has an internal locus of control and high self-confidence, all of

which are associated with creativity.

This discussion could be related to both leadership and personality. For leadership,

students could discuss whether Jobs supports the trait perspective of leadership. For personality,

linkages to the Big Five traits (openness to experience) and components of core self-evaluations

(internal locus of control, self-esteem, generalized self-efficacy) could be made, which would help

to explain both Jobs creativity and his ability to succeed.


Questions for Discussion

1. Using the three-component model of creativity, describe what makes Steve Jobs, and by

extension, Apple Computer, successful. Based on the case, which components does Jobs seem

to possess in the highest degree? What aspects of the case led you to this conclusion?

2. What leadership theories are most applicable to Steve Jobs and why? How can these theories

explain Jobss recent successes?

3. Based on the cases description of Jobs, what can you infer about his personality? In other

words, how would you describe his personality using terms from the book?

4. Are situational factors solely responsible for Apples success, or is it due to the traits and

leadership skills of Steve Jobs? If both contribute, which do you believe is more important and

why?

5. Using Lewins Three-Step Model of organizational change, explain Apples development of and

success with the iPod.

6. Would you characterize Apple as a learning organization? Why or why not? As a manager,

what could you do to ensure that Apple continues to be innovative?


GM and the UAW: A One-Sided Negotiation?

This case centers on GM, tracking its negotiations with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union

over several decades. Overall, the case suggests that GMs lack of foresight into the implications

of its agreements with the UAW has led to staggering present and future costs. Primary topics

include conflict, negotiation, power, and decision-making.

Regarding conflict, from GMs perspective, the relationship between GM and the UAW

might be characterized as either accommodating (unassertive and cooperative) or compromising

(midrange on both assertiveness and cooperativeness). Discussion could focus on what factors

lead to this conclusion, and how GMs conflict-handling intentions have led it to its current

financial position. For example, had GM been more assertive in its early negotiations with the

UAW, how might this have affected its current situation?

Students could also discuss whether the GM-UAW negotiations could best be

characterized as either distributive or integrative, and how this characterization has impacted the

ability of each side to bargain successfully. For example, based on the case, it appears that the

UAW was extremely successful in its negotiations (particularly the first agreement in 1941

stipulating that each contract renewal be better than its predecessor). This discussion could

segue into topics such as escalation of commitment and hindsight bias. Escalation of commitment

may explain how GM ended up in its current position, and hindsight bias may explain how outside

observers (such as those reading this case) can easily criticize GM for bargaining itself into

financial jeopardy.

Finally, the notion of power is relevant to the discussion of negotiation. For example, GM

has become dependent on the UAW to survive, and vice-versa. Types of power could also be

discussed; for example, the UAW appears to use both legitimate power (it is formally recognized

by GM) and pressure (in the form of strikes) to get GM to comply with its demands. Paradoxically,

though GM and the UAW are dependent upon each another, the lack of integrative agreements

over the years seems to be threatening GMs survival (and by extension, the unions).
Questions for Discussion

1. How would you characterize the type of conflict that exits between GM and the UAW using the

various conflict-handling intentions described in Chapter 15?

2. Based on the case, would you conclude that GM and the UAW have engaged in distributive or

integrative bargaining? Which type would be better for the two parties in the long term, and why?

3. What types of power does the UAW hold over GM? How has this power influenced its ability to

negotiate with GM?

4. Based on the case, what decision-making errors with the union might have led GM to its

current financial position? What can GM do to eliminate these errors in the future?

5. Although benefits such as a guaranteed wage likely are appealing to workers, how might

such benefits affect employee motivation? How might they affect job satisfaction and

organizational commitment? Could this be a case where management engages in the folly of

rewarding A, while hoping for B?

6. As a manager of a large company such as GM that operates in a highly competitive

environment, how would you attempt to strike an appropriate balance between employee

treatment and company profitability?


A Question of Motivation

This fictional case focuses on motivation, and, to a lesser extent, the related topic of performance

and workplace deviance. The case describes two employees, Stephanie and Alex, who are both

college students working at a local supermarket. Several motivational theories are embedded in

the case.

Stephanies boss, Jonathan, is described in positive terms. By rotating Stephanie from

the checkout counter to stocking shelves to the culinary center, Jonathan is increasing

Stephanies skill variety (an aspect of job characteristics theory). Task identity and autonomy are

also high for Stephanie because she is able to create a product at the culinary center by herself

from start to finish, and when the store runs out of products, she is empowered to reorder the

products from the stores vendors. Given that the culinary center is one of the stores biggest

successes, task significance is also high for Stephanie. Jonathan also sets difficult goals for

Stephanie (sell 10 bottles of truffle oil in one week), thus increasing her motivation.

Alex, on the other hand, is stuck in the produce department, where the components of job

characteristics theory would be low. Moreover, Alexs boss, Dan, engages in unfair treatment. He

pays Alexs coworker, Denise, more than Alex even though Alex does the same things that she

does. Both distributive and procedural justice are thus relevant because Alex is inequitably paid,

and Dan is engaging in biased and inconsistent treatment (he favors Denise). As a result, Alex is

less motivated. In addition, VIE theory can also be brought in, as Alex states that stocking more

apples doesnt get him anything (low instrumentality) but a sticker, which he does not value (low

valence). In contrast, Stephanie has high expectancy, instrumentality, and valence for attempting

the difficult goal of selling 10 bottles of truffle oil.

Finally, Alexs boss engages in interpersonally unfair treatment while Alex is having lunch

with Stephanie. As a result of this injustice, Alex retaliates by knocking his boss lunch to the floor

and admitting to Stephanie that he will put less effort into restocking apples.

Questions for Discussion

1. How can expectancy theory be used to explain the differences in motivation between Alex and

Stephanie? What specifics from the case apply to expectancy theory?


2. Alex states that he is underpaid for the work he does. What motivational theory does this apply

to, and how would it explain Alexs behavior?

3. Using concepts from organizational justice, explain why Alex knocks his bosss lunch to the

floor. What should Alexs boss do to improve the fairness of his treatment?

4. Using concepts from the emotions and moods chapter, explain why Alex retaliates toward his

supervisor. Was his behavior driven purely by emotion, or did cognition also play a role? How so?

5. Compare and contrast Alex and Stephanie in terms of each persons level of work stress. How

might stress affect their attitudes and behaviors within their work environment?

6. Discuss Alex and Stephanie in terms of each persons job attitudes (for example, job

satisfaction, organizational commitment). What factors might be responsible for any differences?
The Big Promotion

The primary topic of this case is leadership, with a lesser emphasis on interviews. The fictional

case describes Devon and Isabella, two candidates vying for an executive leadership position of

a large software company. The two are interviewed by the companys CEO, Paul McAllister, who

asks them to describe their leadership style.

Based on Devons response to Pauls question, it can be inferred that Devon is a

transactional leader. He states that leadership boils down to influence, and that he is able to

achieve influence simply by rewarding good behavior and punishing bad behavior. The discussion

of reward and punishment could be related to reinforcement theory. The behavioral approach to

leadership (particularly initiating structure) and elements of path-goal theory are also embedded

in Devons response, as he states that his role is as an organizer, clarifying what needs to be

done, setting goals, and ensuring that his employees have the necessary resources to perform.

Finally, Devon notes that he engages in fair treatment rewards and punishments are distributed

justly.

In contrast, Isabellas response to Pauls question implies that she is a charismatic and

transformational leader. Isabella states that to be a leader requires a certain something, which

supports the trait perspective of leadership (and traditional views of charismatic leadership).

Isabellas response also exemplifies transformational leadership. Specifically, she states that she

tries to motivate followers by promoting a vision (inspirational motivation), encouraging

employees to think outside of the box (intellectual stimulation), and considering each employees

input (individualized consideration). Isabella believes that the end result of her leadership is a

motivated workforce that comes to see the organization as their own, a view that is consistent

with transformational leadership theory.

Discussion could then focus on who Paul should hire. Based on the case, it is suggested

that the company is in a relatively stable position, implying that either transactional or

transformational leadership would be effective. However, the case also states that uncertainty

may lie ahead, which suggests that a transformational leader would be more effective, particularly

if that uncertainty leads to crisis.


Questions for Discussion

1. Using terms from the text, how would you describe Devons leadership style? How would you

describe Isabellas leadership style?

2. Whose leadership style do you believe would be more effective, Isabellas or Devons? Why?

What, if any, situational factors might their effectiveness depend on?

3. If you were Paul, who would you hire and why?

4. What are some potential downsides to each candidates leadership style?

5. Whose employees do you think are likely to be more motivated, Devons or Isabellas? Whose

employees are likely to have higher job satisfaction, trust in leadership, and organizational

commitment? Why?

6. Based on their leadership styles, in what type of organizational structure would Devon be most

effective? What about Isabella? Why?