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Organizational Behavior 2.

0 – Bauer and Erdogan 1

Instructor Manual

Instructor’s Manual
Organizational Behavior 2.0
Talya N. Bauer and Berrin Erdogan
To love what you do and feel that it matters—how could anything be more fun? Katherine Graham

This quote sums up how we feel about teaching. What could be better than teaching? It is
fun, at times exciting, and it really matters. And one of the best courses in the world to
teach is Organizational Behavior. Together we have been teaching for over 40 years and
have taught thousands of students at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels. Our
teaching styles are different but we share some common values when it comes to
teaching, such as the beliefs that

 organizational behavior matters

 evidence-based research is the foundation of organizational behavior
 different students learn in different ways
 there is no substitute for hands-on learning
 learning the language of OB helps you be more effective in the workplace
 technology can greatly enhance learning
 flexibility in teaching delivery allows for student success

About your author team

Both authors are award-winning teachers who couple deep knowledge and experience
with the research-based conceptual underpinnings of this book with a sincere
appreciation for experiential teaching approaches. Talya graduated from Purdue
University and teaches organizational behavior, management, power and influence,
negotiations, as well as training and development. She is the past Editor of the Journal of
Management and is currently the Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Psychology
and also is on the editorial review boards of Personnel Psychology, Journal of
Management, and SIOP’s journal, Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Her
consulting experience includes work with government, Fortune 1000 companies (such as
Google and Hewlett-Packard), global, and start-up organizations. Her research focuses on
relationships at work from early on in the selection and onboarding stages to retention.
Berrin graduated from the University of Illinois, Chicago and teaches organizational
behavior, management, and human resource management, as well as international human
resource management, and studies the attachment of individuals to organizations through
understanding fairness, leader/subordinate relations, contextual factors such as
organizational culture, and person/organization fit. She is currently the Associate Editor
for the Personnel Psychology and serves on the editorial review boards for the Journal of
Applied Psychology and Journal of Management. Her work has been published in
journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology,
Journal of Management, and Personnel Psychology. She conducts managerial seminars

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throughout the world on the topics of motivation, organizational justice, performance

appraisals, training, and development and worked as a corporate trainer.

Not “just another” textbook

When we decided to write a textbook, we knew we didn’t want to write just another OB
book. Enter Flat World Knowledge. Their model solves many of the common challenges
faculty and students face when it comes to textbooks. Here are a few that have always
bothered us and that Flat World has solved:

 I had to buy the whole book but my teacher didn’t use the XYZ chapter. This isn’t
a problem with our book because faculty can rearrange chapters as well as add
and delete them.

 Textbooks are too expensive! Textbooks have traditionally been very expensive
and the business model of traditional publishing firms has been a huge part of
those costs. With our book, students get to choose how to read the material,
ranging from free online viewing, inexpensive black and white or color books,
audio chapters, to printable PDFs.

 I can’t read the chapter because the bookstore is out of books or I can’t read the
chapters because I ordered the book from and it hasn’t arrived. With
our book everyone can view the book immediately online while they wait a few
days for the book to arrive.

 New editions come out too quickly and don’t really change. The reason that new
editions come out is because used books don’t make money for the publishers but
new ones do. With our book you can change editions when you want and when
you think enough is different to warrant the change.

Our journey in creating this book has been a long one. After we wrote the first draft of
this book, each chapter went through multiple reviews and revisions as well as beta tests
with real students before this textbook made its way to you. A truly virtual team of
authors, copy editors, managing editors, graphic designers, technology gurus, and
publishing experts worked together to create something that has never been done before.

Our book emphasizes active learning, meaningful examples, and tools you can use today
or put in your OB Toolbox for the years to come. How do we do this?
 we wrote opening and closing cases that bring the topics to life
 we include learning objectives, key takeaways, and discussion questions for every
section of each chapter
 we create OB Toolboxes with information you can use today
 we wrote a section on cross-cultural implications for every chapter
 we also wrote a section on ethical implications for every chapter

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 we include original ethical dilemmas, individual exercises, and group exercises

for every chapter
 for faculty we have comprehensive PowerPoint slides, a rich test bank, and an
extensive author-written instructor’s manual to enrich your teaching.

This instructor’s manual is an important support package, and for each chapter we
 discussion questions for the opening and closing chapter cases
 answers to the discussion questions throughout the book
 end of the chapter materials
-ethical dilemmas
-individual exercises
-group exercises
 solutions to the end of the chapter materials
 bonus material such as suggested TED Talks and Idea Podcasts for each chapter
 further reading suggestions.

So, welcome to the textbook revolution. We are happy to have you on the Bauer and
Erdogan’s Organizational Behavior 2.0 team! Given that organizational behavior is an
important business course; our objective in developing this material was to provide
students and instructors with a solid and comprehensive foundation on organizational
behavior that is accessible and fun. Each of the fifteen chapters is comprehensive but
succinct, and action-oriented whether you are just starting out in the world of work or you
are an experienced manager. Moreover, the book and supplements have been written in a
direct and active style such that we hope students and instructors find them all readily
accessible and relevant.

Thank you for joining the revolution

In adopting Bauer and Erdogan, you are quietly joining the revolution that is otherwise
known as Flat World Knowledge, our partner and publisher. For this we thank you. The
people at Flat World Knowledge and your author team share a common vision about the
future of management education that is based on powerful but fun and simple-to-use
teaching and learning tools. Moreover, Flat World Knowledge gives you the power to
choose. Our fifteen chapters are written using a modular format with self-contained
sections that can be reorganized, deleted, added to, and even edited at the sentence level.
Using our build-a-book platform, you can easily customize your book to suit your needs
and those of your students.

Only with Flat World Knowledge learning platforms do you have the power to choose
what your organizational behavior book looks like, when and how you access your
organizational behavior material, what you use and don’t use, when it will be changed,
how much you pay for it, and what other study vehicles you leverage. These innovative
study vehicles range from book podcasts, PPTs, practice tests, and flash cards. Nowhere
on the planet can this combination of user-friendliness, user choice, and leading edge

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technologies be found for business education and learning. And, better yet, everyone on
the planet has free access to it online at a reasonable price!

We hope you find this Instructor’s Manual useful in your teaching.

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Organizational Behavior 2.0
Cases are a fantastic way to bring Organizational Behavior to life for students. Those
with limited work experience can learn a great deal from these examples and those with
much work experience can compare and contrast their own experiences with these.

The next two pages include a summary of the entire opening and closing cases from this
book. While we designed them to go with specific chapters, their content makes sense for
other topics as well. The grid helps to identify those other topics.

Each case comes with discussion questions for students to ponder. Throughout this
instructor manual we provide guidance for those discussions.

Finally, we have created a compilation of all the case we have written for this version and
previous versions of the textbook. These can be found in our casebook which is posted on
the Flat World Knowledge website for supplemental materials to go along with
Organizational Behavior 2.0.

We hope you enjoy these cases and that they are useful in your teaching!

-Talya Bauer and Berrin Erdogan

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Indra Nooyi


Pret a Manager

Angry Birds
Les Schwab

DemandCornerstone On



Facebookers Tweeters

Ch. 1 Organizational Behavior X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
Ch. 2 Managing Demographic and X X X
Cultural Diversity
Ch. 3. Understanding People at Work: X X
Individual Differences and Perceptions
Ch. 4 Individual Attitudes and Behavior X X

Ch. 5 Theories of Motivation X X X X X X X

Ch. 6 Designing a Motivating Work X X X X X X X
Ch. 7 Managing Stress and Emotions X
Ch. 8 Communication X X X X
Ch. 9 Managing Groups and Teams X X
Ch. 10 Conflict and Negotiations X
Ch. 11 Making Decisions X X X X X X X X
Ch. 12 Leading People X X X X X
Ch. 13 Power and Politics X X
Ch. 14 Organizational Structure/Change X X X X

Ch. 15 Organizational Culture X X X X X X X

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Four Seasons

Trader Joe’s

Truckers Long Haul




Ch. 1 Organizational Behavior X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
Ch. 2 Managing Demographic X X
and Cultural Diversity
Ch. 3. Understanding People at X X X X X X
Work: Individual Differences
and Perceptions
Ch. 4 Individual Attitudes and X X X
Ch. 5 Theories of Motivation X X X X X
Ch. 6 Designing a Motivating X X X X X X
Work Environment
Ch. 7 Managing Stress and X X
Ch. 8 Communication X X
Ch. 9 Managing Groups/Teams X X X
Ch. 10 Conflict and Negotiation X X
Ch. 11 Making Decisions X X X
Ch. 12 Leading People X X X X X X X
Ch. 13 Power and Politics X X X
Ch. 14 Organizational X
Ch. 15 Organizational Culture X X X X X X X X

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IdeaCasts and Organizational Behavior

To listen to one of the IdeaCasts, simply click on the link below or go to

# Chapter Title Corresponding Harvard Business IdeaCasts

1 Organizational Behavior IdeaCast 9: New Insights into the Enron Scandal

IdeaCast 31: What is Wikinomics?

IdeaCast 46: Unleash Your Hidden Assets

IdeaCast 62: Customize Your Career

IdeaCast 110: How to Protect Your Job in a Recession

IdeaCast 111: Sustainability—The Only Strategy

IdeaCast 116: A Financial Crisis Fifty Years in the


IdeaCast 117: Competing in the New Global Landscape

IdeaCast 414: To Do Things Better, Stop Doing So


IdeaCast 427: Does Your Sales Team Know Your


IdeaCast 440: What Makes Teams Smart (or Dumb)

IdeaCast 453: Set Habits You'll Actually Keep

IdeaCast 457: Case Study: Reinvent This Retailer

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2 Managing Demographic IdeaCast 117: Competing in a New Global Landscape

and Cultural Diversity IdeaCast 425: Fixing the College Grad Hiring Process

IdeaCast 444: What Still Stifles Ambitious Women

3 Understanding People at IdeaCast 79: Managing Generation Y

Work: Individual
Differences and IdeaCast 95: Gen Xers are Unhappy at Work
IdeaCast 437: Learning What Wiser Workers Know

IdeaCast 460: Understand How People See You

IdeaCast 463: Why We Pretend to Be Workaholics

IdeaCast 474: Test-Taking Comes to the Office

4 Individual Attitudes and IdeaCast 10: Opening Up Innovation and Dealing with
Behaviors at Work Underperformers

IdeaCast 96: Why Zappos Pays Employees to Quit

IdeaCast 416: The Dangers of Confidence

IdeaCast 456: Your Brain's Ideal Schedule

5 Theories of Motivation IdeaCast 75: Managing B Performers

IdeaCast 461: Brian Grazer on the Power of Curiosity

6 Designing a Motivating IdeaCast 99: Retaining Employees When Money is

Work Environment Tight

IdeaCast 433: How to Change Someone's Behavior

with Minimal Effort

7 Managing Stress and IdeaCast 101: Are You Spending Your Time the Right
Emotions Way?

IdeaCast 106: The Importance of Urgency

IdeaCast 451: Be Less Reactive and More Proactive

8 Communication IdeaCast 114: Speaking Well in Tough Moments

IdeaCast  421: Privacy’s Shrinking Future

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IdeaCast 439: Communicate Better with Your Global


IdeaCast 464: Consumer Privacy in the Digital Age

IdeaCast 470: Beating Digital Overload with Digital


9 Managing Groups and IdeaCast 54: Teams that Lead, Innovate, and Succeed
IdeaCast 417: The Art of Managing Science

IdeaCast 426: How Google Manages Talent

IdeaCast 450: Marissa Mayer's Yahoo

IdeaCast 471: The Condensed July-August 2015 Issue

IdeaCast 473: Can HR Be Saved?

IdeaCast 419: Prevent Employees from Leaking Data

10 Conflict and IdeaCast 8: Leading through Conflict

IdeaCast 15: 3-D Negotiation and Using DICE

IdeaCast 70: The Point of the Deal

IdeaCast 71: How to Manage Conflict

IdeaCast 90: Negotiation Strategies for a Downturn

IdeaCast 443: How to Negotiate Better

IdeaCast 468: George Mitchell on Effective


IdeaCast 472: Michael Lynton on Surviving the

Biggest Corporate Hack in History

11 Organizational Decision IdeaCast 6: Make Better Decisions and Retain Your

Making Best People

IdeaCast 63: Making Judgment Calls

IdeaCast 109: Pixar and Collective Creativity

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IdeaCast 436: Making Good Decisions

12 Leading People and IdeaCast 43: Authentic Leadership

IdeaCast 61: How Women Became Leaders

IdeaCast 67: The Leaders We Need

IdeaCast 93: Where Will We Find Tomorrow’s


IdeaCast 102: What Kind of Leader Will You Be?

IdeaCast 449: Why Leadership Feels Awkward

IdeaCast 452: Goldie Hawn on Female Leadership

13 Understanding Power IdeaCast 30: Paths to Power

and Politics
IdeaCast 47: The New Rules of Power

IdeaCast 82: The Power of Unreasonable People

IdeaCast 438: Explaining Silicon Valley's Success

IdeaCast 447: GoDaddy's CEO on Leading Change

IdeaCast 466: Making Sense of Digital Disruption

14 Organizational Structure IdeaCast 83: Learning Organizations

and Change
IdeaCast 445: Innovation Needs a System

IdeaCast 465: The Condensed June 2015 Issue

IdeaCast 467: Evernote's CEO on the New Ways We


IdeaCast 469: Are Robots Really Coming for Our


15 Organizational Culture IdeaCast 35: What It Means to Work Here

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IdeaCast 80: Grooming Top Performers

IdeaCast 96: Why Zappos Pays Employees to Quit

IdeaCast 415: The Future of Talent Is Potential

IdeaCast 420: How to Stop Corporate Inversions

IdeaCast 431: Myths About Entrepreneurship

IdeaCast 462: Ethical CEOs Finish First

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Table of Contents
Navigation Tip: Place your pointer on the page number for any chapter below to be taken
directly to the teaching material for that chapter.
Instructor’s Manual..............................................................................................................1
Organizational Behavior 2.0...............................................................................................1
Chapter 1..............................................................................................................................7
Organizational Behavior......................................................................................................7
Chapter 2............................................................................................................................17
Managing Demographic and Cultural Diversity................................................................17
Chapter 3............................................................................................................................28
Understanding People at Work:.........................................................................................28
Individual Differences and Perception..............................................................................28
Chapter 4............................................................................................................................42
Individual Attitudes...........................................................................................................42
and Behaviors....................................................................................................................42
Chapter 5............................................................................................................................57
Theories of Motivation......................................................................................................57
Chapter 6............................................................................................................................67
Designing a Motivating Work Environment.....................................................................67
Chapter 7............................................................................................................................81
Managing Stress and Emotions.........................................................................................81
Chapter 8............................................................................................................................92
Chapter 9..........................................................................................................................104
Managing Groups and Teams..........................................................................................104
Chapter 10........................................................................................................................115
Conflict and Negotiations................................................................................................115
Chapter 11........................................................................................................................126
Making Decisions............................................................................................................126
Chapter 12........................................................................................................................140
Leading People Within Organizations.............................................................................140
Chapter 13........................................................................................................................152
Power and Politics...........................................................................................................152
Chapter 14........................................................................................................................172
Organizational Structure and Change..............................................................................172
Chapter 15........................................................................................................................184
Organizational Culture.....................................................................................................184

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© Bauer & Erdogan 2016, published by Flat World Knowledge 

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Chapter 1
Organizational Behavior


1. Think about the three eras described above. How would you describe each
of the eras? Please be prepared to support your answer with examples of
2. Think of examples in your own life of when a firm has delivered excellent
customer service. Are there examples in which you’d be moved to write a
positive customer service letter?  What do you think are the main reasons
why Les Schwab Tire Centers, Inc., are so successful at garnering such
positive customer feedback?
3. Do you think Les Schwab Tire Centers, Inc., has a competitive advantage
because of their corporate history? Why or why not?
4. Do you think Les Schwab Tire Centers, Inc., will continue to be as
successful as it has been if it falls on hard economic times? Why or why
5. Which costs to do you think are associated with maintaining a strong
organizational culture, such as that of Les Schwab Tire Centers, Inc.? What
are the potential benefits?

I. Discussion Questions
1. Which type of organizations did you have the most experience with? How
did that affect your understanding of the issues in this chapter?
Students will most likely have had experience with organizations in education
(school and classroom environment) working with their peers, as well as in
introductory employment positions working for a manager. These experiences
shape how students understand the importance of communication, leadership and
team dynamics, which constitute organizational behavior

2. Which skills do you think are the most important ones for being an
effective employee?
Student answers will vary here. Some will say that putting their head down and
working hard while paying attention to detail is the most important part of being an
effective employee. Others may argue that having good communication skills with
their employer, coworkers, and customers is more valuable.

3. What are the three key levels of analysis for OB?

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These are individual, group, and organization. Topics such as personality,

individual motivation, stress, and emotions are individual level topics. Team
dynamics, communication, and leadership are examples of group level variables.
Organizational culture and structure are regarded as organization level variables.

4. Have you ever used journaling before? If so, were your experiences
positive? Do you think you will use journaling as a tool in the future?
Journaling is a very effective method of keeping track of experiences in any OB
situation. It allows for analyzing what methods of behavior prove efficient, and
what methods could be improved or removed from one’s daily routine.

5. How do you plan on using the OB Toolboxes in this book? Creating a plan
now can help to make you more effective throughout the term.
The OB Toolbox features throughout this book will give students suggestions as to
how to apply the material covered to their daily professional and personal lives.


1. Were you surprised by your primary learning style? Why or why not?
Student answers are likely to vary for this question. If they were surprised by their
primary style, you may want to remind them that for some individuals, their
learning style may be a blend of different styles with none of them clearly
dominating. For those who have a clearly dominant style, the effects of the
learning style on their actions and their ability to learn in different environments
will be stronger.

2. How does your learning style affect the kinds of classes you take?
Visual learners may take classes where reading is a heavy component of the class.
They also benefit from seeing diagrams and flow charts to see how materials relate
to each other. Lecture format classes may work well for them. Auditory learners
may also do well in lectures, but for them supplementing lectures with rich
discussions and videos is more essential. Kinesthetic learners are more attracted to
classes where they solve problems or practice the skills actively.

3. Try out a few of the suggestions for your learning style over the next week
and see how they work.
Students may benefit from diagnosing their own style and then following the
recommendations in the book. Specifically,
If you are a visual learner
 draw pictures and diagrams to help you understand
 take careful notes during class so you can refer back to them later on
 summarize the main points of what you learn using charts
If you are an auditory learner
 join study groups so you can discuss your questions and ideas and hear

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 write down any oral instructions you hear in class right away
 consider taping lectures if your professor says it is okay and view
online lectures on topics you are interested in
If you are a kinesthetic learner
 schedule your homework and study sessions so you can take breaks and
move around between reading your notes or chapters
 take good notes during class—this will force you to pay attention and
process information even when you feel like you are getting it
 don’t sign up for long once-a-week classes—they normally require too
much sitting and listening time

4. Now that you’ve learned more about your own learning style, are there
some things you might consider doing to expand on your other styles? If so,
what steps might you take to do this?
Answers will vary, different students will learn in different ways, therefore will
have different areas to improve on. Students will, quite consistently, utilize tactics
including repetition as well as putting themselves in scenarios they may not be
used to in order to learn and establish new and improved habits within their
personal learning style.


1. Create a hypothesis about people at work. Now that you have one in mind,
which method do you think would be most effective in helping you test
your hypothesis?
Here is an example of a possible answer:
Hypothesis: Employees who have a good relationship with their managers are
likely to stay longer at a company.
A hypothesis like this could be tested using a survey. You might survey all
newcomers to an organization at a specific time after they start their new jobs
(such as after three or six months). The questions newcomers answer would be
about the quality of their relationship with the manager. Then, three years from the
start, you may look to see how long each employee stayed at that company. There
may still be people who are employed by the same organization, but three years
would give the researcher time for several employees to quit their jobs. The
researcher would also control for alternative explanations. For example, it is
possible that employees left not because of their poor relations with the managers,
but because of relations with peers, or low performance. Statistically examining
the relationship between newcomer/manager relationship and turnover would be
one way of supporting or rejecting this hypothesis. Of course, any single study will
have its limitations. Therefore, multiple studies in different industries and using
different research designs would strengthen the conclusions.

2. Have you used any of the OB research methods before? If not, what can
you do to become more familiar with them?

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Some students may be familiar with the survey method or case studies. These
methods may be used as part of an OB class or other classes they may be taking,
such as marketing or management. Students who assist actively researching faculty
may gain valuable experience with a wide variety of techniques. Reading
published journal articles in sources such as Journal of Applied Psychology,
Personnel Psychology, or Academy of Management Journal may introduce
students to the different research methods being used in OB. Although it is
difficult to generalize about organizational situations, case studies are a valuable
resource for students interested in learning more about organizational behavior.
Encourage students to seek out case study articles, or to even begin researching
and creating their own case studies about their experience within different
organizations, or based on research they have done.

3. Give an example of a reliable measure.

Asking someone how many years of work experience he or she has is likely a
reliable measure, because even if you ask the question to the same person several
times during the same day, you should get the same answer. The answer does not
depend on the person’s mood, or how you ask the question. In contrast, a question
such as “describe your work ethic” is likely lower in reliability because every time
the question is asked, the interviewee may answer in a slightly different manner.

4. Give an example of a valid measure.

Let’s say you are trying to measure someone’s physical endurance. Asking the
person to run a certain distance within a certain time, or do push-ups and sit-ups
are likely to be valid measures because they capture the intended variable of
physical endurance. In contrast, asking the person whether they are physically fit
may not really be a valid measure for physical endurance because people may
overestimate or underestimate their fitness and endurance levels.

5. How can you know if a relationship is causal or correlational?

Causality is detected in laboratory studies and in experimental designs. Let’s say
you are examining whether participative teaching is positively related to student
learning outcomes. In a correlational design, you would capture whether the
teacher is participative, and the level of student learning. If there were a correlation
between the two, the hypothesis would be supported. Yet, how do you know that
participative teaching is actually causing student learning? Maybe students who are
already engaged are leading to more participation on the part of the teacher, so the
student’s engagement may be causing both teacher participativeness and student
learning. Instead, in an experimental design you would manipulate the teacher’s
style, while employing a control group. The same teacher would be told to act
participatively in one class and behave less participatively in a different class. This
way, we would know that teacher participativeness is not naturally occurring. The
use of a control group would also help eliminate alternative explanations.

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1. Share an ethical dilemma you have observed at work or school to someone in
your class. What do you think should have been done differently and why?
Example: A coworker of mine just got a second job that she enjoys significantly
more than her first job. Because of this, her work ethic at this job has decreased
significantly, putting a burden on the other employees to pick up the slack. A
better approach would be for her to either remain a diligent employee or to turn in
her two weeks and allow a new eager employee to take her place.

2. How has technology and the flattening world affected you in the last ten
years? Please share examples of this.
As an instructor, you may want to share your own experiences, which may differ
slightly from the students’ experiences. In the workforce, generations who grew up
with email, instant messaging and blogs are working side by side with generations
who got acquainted with the Internet in their thirties or later. You may steer the
conversation toward how differences in familiarity with technology is affecting
productivity and workplace relationships. It might be beneficial to examine the
different strengths and weaknesses that are brought to the workplace by those
individuals who are less familiar with the latest advances in technology, and what
benefits these individuals can add to an organization.

3. Do you think the sustainability movement in business is a trend that’s here to

stay or a business fad? Why?
The sustainability movement in business is likely here to stay. This is because
many elements of the sustainability movement are becoming incorporated into
people’s daily living. Consumers are becoming more aware of the dangers of
nonorganic produce or the dangers of hazardous materials in consumer products.
As businesses offer organic produce at affordable (not outrageous) prices,
consumers are finding that it is possible to feed their family with organic food
without bankrupting the household budget. Similarly, while many people in the
United States would resist giving up their car, now that we have more alternatives
such as hybrid cars or cars that run on alternative fuels, consumers are able to
make greener choices. As businesses profit or base their business model on
sustainable business practices, they find that they can make healthy profits this

At the same time, the amount of talk we see about sustainability may have already
peaked. When a trend is new, you are more likely to see BusinessWeek or Wall
Street Journal articles discussing the pros and cons of these movements. As the
movement is absorbed into the culture and into the behaviors of everyday
employees and consumers, we are less likely to see sustainability as being
promoted as a new and novel form of doing business (it will likely become an
everyday occurrence).

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4. Do you see the aging (and retiring) workforce as an opportunity or a threat

for businesses? How do you think this will affect your career based on your
own generation?
The threat of aging is the potential to lose employees who are highly productive
and possess key knowledge about a company’s history and its operations. As
employees retire, their specialized knowledge may be lost to the company.
Moreover, companies may find themselves unprepared. A healthy approach is to
have succession planning in place when faced with this challenge so that future
candidates for these positions are prepared and nurtured in advance. Many
company managers are uncomfortable discussing or planning for their own
retirement or succession. Companies such as Starbucks actively make leadership
development part of its core business practice; as a result the transition of top
managers is transparent and integrated into the organization’s culture. It can be
beneficial for students to reflect on this type of business culture and discuss the
pros and cons of such a culture.

At the same time, there is a growing trend for employees to consider working as
part of their retirement or to postpone their retirement. As long as their needs are
met, these employees are likely to remain in the organization, and be loyal and
productive members of the workforce. Therefore, understanding the unique needs
of all age groups and being an employer of choice for different generations may be
a strategy that pays off.


1. How do you think Xerox was able to motivate its employees through
the crisis it faced in 2000?
Xerox was able to motivate its employees through demonstrating that hard
work pays off. CEO Mulcahy started out as an employee and slowly moved
up the ladder until become CEO about 20 years later. She knew there were
powerful but unmotivated employees before she took over, and knew that not
only a new business model but also motivated employees would save the

2. How does a CEO with such a large number of employees

communicate priorities to a worldwide workforce?
The CEO is able to relate with each employee and their individual perspective
instead of intentionally intimidating them. Because Mulcahy has worked at
Xerox for so long, she has been able to develop close relationships with many
of the employees.

3. How might Ursula Burns encourage employees to take calculated

While she respects that Mulcahy created a strong and successful business, she also
“encouraged individuals to speak their mind, to not worry about hurting one
another’s feelings, and to be more critical.” This allows employees to voice their
opinions, and feel more comfortable taking risks.

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4. Both Anne Mulcahy and Ursula Burns were lifetime employees of

Xerox. How does an organization attract and keep individuals for
such a long period of time?
Good organizations provide employees with incentives. This can appear in the
form of pay raises, health benefits, as well as the businesses’ ability to demonstrate
to their employees and the work they do is valuable and important to the success of
the company.

II. End of Chapter Materials

Create an Action Plan for Developing Your OB Skills
1. Hopefully you have already completed reading this chapter. If not, wait until
you’ve done so to complete this individual exercise.
2. If you have not done so already, please take the learning styles survey
3. In addition, please be sure you have reviewed the table of contents for this
organizational behavior textbook.
4. What themes do you see? How do you think these topics affect your
interactions with others? How might your learning style affect how you’ll
approach this course? Have you ever considered journaling as a technique for
self-improvement and reflection?
5. Now, write down five action steps that you plan to take as you work through
this book. Refer to these steps throughout the term and modify them as needed.

Best Job/Worst Job created by Talya Bauer
1. Think about the best and worst jobs you have ever had. If you have never had a
job, think of a school project instead. What made the job or project great or
2. Now get into a small group of students and share your experience with them.
Listen to what others are saying and see if you see any themes emerge. For
example, what are the most common features of the best jobs? What are the
most common features of the worst jobs?

III. Exercise Solutions and End of the Chapter Materials

Create an Action Plan for Developing Your OB Skills

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1. Hopefully you have already completed reading this chapter. If not, wait until
you’ve done so to complete this individual exercise.
2. If you have not done so already, please take the learning styles survey
3. In addition, please be sure you have reviewed the table of contents for this
organizational behavior textbook.
4. What themes do you see? How do you think these topics affect your
interactions with others? How might your learning style affect how you’ll
approach this course? Have you ever considered journaling as a technique for
self-improvement and reflection?
5. Now, write down five action steps that you plan to take as you work through
this book. Refer to these steps throughout the term and modify them as needed.
Example answer:
1. Set multiple small goals throughout the semester to create individual
motivation in even the smallest tasks.
2. Work on managing stress level, find things that will help during
stressful situations.
3. Practice leadership by initiating conversations with colleagues/ peers
and organize group activities
4. Ask questions that will help develop OB skills
5. Take the general concepts and apply them to specific instances in daily


Best Job/Worst Job

There are many factors that can make a job good or bad. These factors can vary by
individual. For example, one person might find a job enjoyable because it is easy,
while another finds the easy job boring and lacking stimulation. Additional factors
might include other people, the environment, the task itself, associated deadlines,
work hours, role ambiguity, role conflict, pay, or opportunities available.

IV. Relevant TED Talks for bringing course concepts to

A. Listen, learn... then lead by Stanley McChrystal
Synopsis: After spending many years in the military, Stanley speaks of
learning many lessons in leadership. He explains how someone can build a
sense of purpose within a variety of people through listening and learning.

B. Title: How to run a company with (almost) no rules by Ricardo Semler

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Synopsis: “Semler practices a radical form of corporate democracy, rethinking
everything from board meetings to how workers report their vacation days
(they don’t have to). It’s a vision that rewards the wisdom of workers,
promotes work-life balance — and leads to some deep insight on what work,
and life, is really all about.”

Additional Readings

Kenneth H. Blanchard and Norman Vincent Peale (1988). The power of ethical
management. NY: William Morrow and Company, Inc.

Laszlo Bock (2015). Work rules! Insights from Google that will transform your
life. New York: Twelve Publishing.

Stephen R. Covey (2004). The 7 habits of highly effective people. Free Press.

Don A. Dillman, Jolene D. Smyth, and Leah Melani Christian (2008). Internet,
mail, and mixed-mode surveys: The tailored design method. Hoboken, NJ: John
Wiley and Sons.

Peter Ferdinand Drucker (2006). Innovation and entrepreneurship. Collins


Thomas L. Friedman (2008). Hot, flat, and crowded. NY: Farrar, Straus and

Marshall Goldsmith (2007). What got you here won’t get you there. NY: Hyperion.

Neil Howe and William Strauss (1992). Generations: The history of America’s
future. NY: William Morrow and Company, Inc.

Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton (2006). Hard facts, dangerous half-truths and
total nonsense: Profiting from evidence-based management. Boston, MA: Harvard
Business School Press.

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Chapter 2
Managing Demographic and Cultural Diversity


1. IBM has been championed for its early implementation of equality among
its workforce. At the time, many of these policies seemed radical. To
IBM’s credit, the movement toward equality worked out exceptionally well
for them. Have you experienced policy changes that might seem radical?
Have these policies worked out? What policies do you feel are still lacking
in the workforce?
2. If you or your spouse were currently employed, how difficult would it be to
take time off for having a child?
3. Some individuals feel that so much focus is put on making the workplace
better for underrepresented groups that the majority of the workforce
becomes neglected. Do you feel this was the case at IBM? Why or why
not? How can a company ensure that no employee is neglected, regardless
of demographic group?
4. What types of competitive advantages could IBM have gained from having
such a diverse workforce?

I. Discussion Questions
1. What does it mean for a company to manage diversity effectively? How
would you know if a company were doing a good job managing diversity?
A number of indicators would hint that the company is doing an effective job with
diversity management. Here are some examples:
 Diversity among employees (this will be evaluated compared to the
diversity of the labor pool). For example, if only three percent of the
employees in a company are African American, does this mean that the
company is not diverse? This would depend on the diversity of the area
population. The situation would be more suspect and there would be more
reason for concern if the area population were ten percent African
American as opposed to two percent African American.
 Diversity at all levels. This means we would expect diversity not at the
lower levels, but all the way up to the top management team.
 Do most employees feel satisfied and perceive fairness? This means that
regardless of their demographic traits, employees feel that they are fairly
treated and believe that there is a positive work environment.
 Do they follow the law? If they have been sued or received a large number
of complaints, this may be the first hint that they may not be doing a good
job managing diversity effectively.

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2. What are the benefits of effective diversity management?

When companies have a diverse workforce and do a good job managing diversity
effectively, some benefits that they experience are
 higher creativity in decision making
 better customer service
 higher job satisfaction and lower employee turnover as a result
 higher stock prices
 lower litigation expenses
 higher company performance

3. How can organizations deal with the “similarity/attraction” phenomenon?

Left unchecked, what are the problems this tendency can cause?
Employees are more likely to be attracted to people who are similar to them. This
means that they may communicate with, befriend, and interact with those in the
organization who are similar in gender, race, age, or other demographic traits.
While this situation may be perfectly normal, there are some unintended
consequences. For example, in a company where upper level management consists
mostly of males, women who mostly interact with other women may not benefit
from the mentoring a powerful upper level individual may provide. Similarly,
something as simple as having lunch with similar others may mean that some
people gain an advantage over others by being updated about organizational
changes, or by informally influencing important decisions.

Organizations may tackle this issue by having organizationally sponsored

mentoring programs. While employees may naturally gravitate toward similar
others, being encouraged or assigned to interact with others may short-circuit this
process, giving employees a chance to build relationships with those different

Simply bringing all employees together through events like a company picnic may
not be of much help, because often people divide along demographic lines in these
events. Instead, structured activities encouraging people to interact with specific
others may be helpful. When organizing activities, it also makes sense to find
activities that will not divide people along gender, age, or race lines.

4. What is the earnings gap? Who does it affect? What are the reasons
behind earnings gap?
Earnings gap refers to the gap between average earnings of men, women, and
minorities. For example, the median earnings of women who worked full time in
2014 were 81 percent of men working full time. Similarly, in 2008, for every
dollar a Caucasian male employee made, an African American male made around

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79 cents, while a Hispanic employee made 64 cents. Here are some potential
 These figures often aggregate across different occupations, industries and
positions. Therefore, part of the explanation is that women are found in
lower-paying occupations such as childcare as opposed to construction or
manufacturing jobs.
 Differing levels of education are often proposed as part of the reason for
the earnings gap between Caucasians and minorities.
 Women are more likely to take time off to raise small children, which
affects earnings.
 Differences in likelihood and ability to negotiate partly explain the gap.
 While all of the above contribute to the earnings gap, they do not
completely account for the difference. Stereotypes and prejudices continue
to hurt women and minorities, keeping them in less visible positions with
smaller chances for promotions. Studies show that candidates with African-
American–sounding names are less likely to get callbacks.

5. Do you think that laws and regulations are successful in eliminating

discrimination in the workplace? Why or why not?
While the passing of EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)
guidelines definitely increased awareness of prejudices and discrimination, and
went a long way in educating employees and organizations, they are unlikely to
provide the ultimate solution. For one thing, employees who hold prejudices and
discriminatory attitudes may have become aware that it is unacceptable to overtly
discuss these feelings and thus become better at hiding their attitudes and
prejudices. For example, instead of openly claiming that a candidate is too old for
the position, they may be framing the candidate as “a poor fit with the company
culture.” Second, many forms of discrimination are not a result of bad intentions.
When considering the best candidate for an overseas assignment, a manager may
think about a young male employee who does not have kids as opposed to a more
qualified female employee with two children, assuming that the latter employee
would be less interested in uprooting her family. The expatriate assignment may
serve as a stepping-stone for the male candidate in question, grooming him for
future leadership positions. While the action of the manager in question is probably
not illegal per se, the outcome would be discriminatory.

1. What is culture? Do countries have uniform national cultures?
Culture is a form of human expression, in nearly every aspect of life (art, food,
religion, daily routines). Culture usually originates in a specific geographic region,
which can then be practiced in other parts of the world. While in some countries,
there is a uniform national culture, culture is not universal in the United States, and
for that reason it is important for people to respect the culture of others, including
in the workforce.

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2. How would you describe your own home country’s values on the four
dimensions of culture?
Geert Hofstede defines the four main dimensions of culture as:
-Individualism vs. Collectivism
-Masculinity vs. Femininity
-Power Distance
- Uncertainty Avoidance
The United States is an individualist and masculine nation. Its power distance is
very high (a large gap between the wealthy and the poor – 1%), and generally has a
high uncertainty avoidance – stressing precision and efficiency in the workforce

3. Reflect on a time when you experienced a different culture or interacted

with someone from a different culture. How did the cultural differences
influence your interaction?
Depending on the diversity of the class, this question may generate lively
discussion. Students usually are eager to describe the cultural differences they
might have noticed if they have ever been abroad. You may ask them about their
experiences interacting with someone from a different culture while in their local
country. If you have international students in your class, you may ask them to
share their early experiences interacting with locals.

4. How does culture influence the proper leadership style and reward system
that would be suitable for organizations?
The appropriate leadership style seems to depend on the cultural context. For
example, in highly power distant cultures, paternalistic leaders—a leader who is
authoritarian but makes decisions while showing a high level of concern toward
employees as if they were family members—may be preferred. In collectivistic
societies, there may be greater expectations of informing employees about
important decisions. In cultures high in uncertainty avoidance, the level of change-
oriented and transformational leadership behaviors tends to be less frequent.

In terms of reward systems, employees in collectivistic cultures may appreciate

rewards targeting the whole family, such as parties where employees can attend
with their family members. In power distant societies, rewarding managers with
visible status signs such as a company car or a nice office may be expected. In
highly uncertainty-avoidant cultures, having a large percentage of an employee’s
paycheck as base pay as opposed to commissions may motivate employees more.
Finally, in feminine cultures, employees may value paid vacations while in
masculine cultures more material rewards may be more desirable.

5. Imagine that you will be sent to live in a foreign country different from
your own in a month. What are the types of preparations you would benefit
from doing?
The answer should also depend on how long the assignment is. For long
assignments, longer and more detailed preparations would be helpful. You may
want to remind students that in longer assignments, preparing the family members

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who will accompany the expatriate is essential for the success of the assignment.
Many expatriate assignments fail because the spouse feels lonely, bored, or is
otherwise unable to adjust.

Learning about the country’s work culture as well as cultural aspects that affect
daily life would be useful. Some basic language training would be very useful for
more effective communication, as well as demonstrating to new colleagues the
expatriate’s high level of motivation.

The expatriate would benefit from a social network. Trying to establish this
network before departing would be helpful. Contacting future colleagues in
advance may help in getting ready as well as creating the early interactions on
which future relationships would be built.

You may want to remind students that even when going to countries where the
same language is spoken and the culture is similar, such as an American employee
assigned to the United Kingdom or Australia, doing advance planning would be
useful to adjust sooner and perform better.


1. Do you believe that multinational companies should have an ethics code
that they enforce around the world? Why or why not?
While having a global code of ethics should be useful in highlighting the business
practices the organization wants its employees to live by, it is important to craft
this ethics code while considering the different local environments the organization
is going to operate in. If the MNC’s ethics code contradicts national values and is
regarded as ethnocentric, it is likely to be ignored altogether. Instead, it seems
important to draft an ethics code that resonates with employees from different parts
of the world. For example, having an ethics code that prohibits hiring family
members of employees to prevent nepotism may be challenged in a collectivistic
culture, where it would go against strong family-oriented values. Similarly, having
policies against accepting gifts may be admirable for preventing bribes, but in
cultures where gift giving is important, such global guidelines will be challenging
to enforce. In summary, crafting codes of ethics while considering local values,
and higher-level values instead of specific practices, which may vary across
different locales, may be advisable.

2. How can organizations manage a workforce with diverse personal ethical

Dealing with this tricky issue is one of the reasons that companies devise codes of
ethics. Having a code of ethics shows employees the types of behaviors desirable
in a given company. In addition to having written statements, training employees
in a company code of ethics may be useful. This could take the form of presenting
employees with scenarios and then providing the “right” answer, or the way in
which the organization wants such situations to be handled. Indoctrinating new

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employees in the code of ethics starting from early days may help employees
understand how their personal ethics may differ from company ethics and show
them acceptable actions. Finally, when an employee is observed to be
demonstrating behaviors that do not fit with the company’s ethical values,
reinforcing the correct behaviors while discouraging future occurrences of
undesired behaviors may be useful.


1. What are Goodwill’s competitive advantages?

Goodwill has maintained their mission for over 110 years. “The organization has
maintained its core mission to respect the dignity of individuals by eliminating
barriers to opportunity through the power of work.” Goodwill is so successful
because they put 82% of their revenue back into programs to create employment
opportunities, meaning that every 33 seconds of every business day, a new person
is employed and becomes one step closer to economic stability.
2. Goodwill has found success in the social services. What problems might
result from hiring and training the diverse populations that Goodwill is
involved with?
“If you walk into a local Goodwill retail store you are likely to see employees from
all walks of life, including differences in gender and race, physical ability, sexual
orientation, and age. Goodwill provides employment opportunities for individuals
with disabilities, lack of education, or lack of job experience”.  While this is an
excellent approach in many ways, it could be the cause of workforce conflicts -
strong disagreements of beliefs/ opinions / lifestyles...etc.  

3. Have you ever experienced problems with discrimination in a work or

school setting?
Student’s answers will vary. Some may not have experienced or witnessed any
discrimination. Others will have, however the discrimination may be different (due
to race, gender, religious beliefs, sexual preference) etc.
4. Why do you think that Goodwill believes it necessary to continually
This question will generate answers that may lead to more general discussions of
US industries and business tactics. Students will discuss the continual innovations
and advancements in today’s society, and that Goodwill too needs to innovate to
keep up with our fast paced society.

II. End of Chapter Materials

You are working for the police department of your city. When hiring employees, the
department uses a physical ability test where candidates are asked to do 30 push-ups and

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25 sit-ups, as well as climbing over a 4-foot wall. When candidates take this test, it
seems that about 80% of the men who take the test actually pass it, while only 10% of
the female candidates pass the test. Do you believe that this is a fair test? Why or why
not? If you were asked to review the employee selection procedures, would you make
any changes to this system? Why or why not?

A colleague of yours is being sent to India as a manager for a call center. She just
told you that she feels very strongly about the following issues:
a) Democratic leaders are the best leaders because they create a more satisfied
b) Employees respond best to individual-based pay incentives and bonuses as
tools for motivation.
c) Employees should receive peer feedback about their performance level so
that they can get a better sense of how well they are performing.
After doing some research on the business environment and national culture in
India, how would you advise your colleague to behave? Should she try to transfer
these three managerial practices to the Indian context? Why or why not?

Diversity Dilemmas
Imagine that you are working in the HR department of your company. You come
across the following scenarios in which your input has been sought. Discuss each
scenario and propose an action plan for management.
1. Aimee is the mother of a newborn. She is very dedicated to her work but she
used to stay for longer hours at work before she had her baby. Now she tries to
schedule her work so that she leaves around 5:00 pm. Her immediate manager
feels that Aimee is no longer dedicated or committed to her work and is
considering passing her over for a promotion. Is this decision fair?
2. Jack is a married male, while John is single. Your company has an assignment
in a branch in Mexico that would last a couple of years. Management feels that
John would be better for this assignment because he is single and is free to
move. Is this decision fair?
3. A manager receives a request from an employee to take off a Wednesday for
religious reasons. The manager did not know that this employee was
particularly religious and does not believe that the leave is for religious reasons.
The manager believes that the employee is going to use this day as a personal
day off. Should the manager investigate the situation?
4. A sales employee has painful migraines intermittently during the workday. She
would like to take short naps during the day as a preventative measure and she
also needs a place where she can nap when a migraine occurs. Her immediate
manager feels that this is unfair to the rest of the employees.
5. A department is looking for an entry-level cashier. One of the job applicants is a
cashier with 30 years of work experience. The department manager feels that

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this candidate is overqualified for the job and is likely to be bored and leave the
job in a short time. Instead, they want to pursue a candidate with 6 months of
work experience who seems like a better fit for the position. Is this fair? Why
or why not?

III. Exercise Solutions and End of the Chapter Role Plays

While being a police officer can be physically intensive, it is important to consider
if passing the physical test will determine a candidate’s ability to be an effective
officer. For example, the test does not measure a candidate’s endurance. What
good is being able to climb a wall if an officer cannot run three blocks to catch a
criminal? Additionally, one may argue that a certain amount of strength is
necessary to be a police officer in order to restrain an uncooperative suspect. While
this may initially seem valid, it is important to remember that there are a variety of
tools and methods at the disposal of officers to assist in that exact situation. A stun
gun can subdue most individuals, and hand-to-hand combat training would allow
even the smallest and weakest of individuals to effectively perform police duties.
In other words, the organization will need to determine the exact level of
endurance or other physical abilities police officers will need to demonstrate on a
daily basis. If the criteria are set arbitrarily, they may be unfairly excluding some

There are several factors that will contribute to the three ideas failing to work in
India. The first idea your colleague feels strongly about is that a democratic leader
is better for employees. While this may be the case in the United States, India is a
highly collectivist culture with a strong family focus. Children will often defer to
their family to determine what organization they should work for. Because of this
comfort with a clearly hierarchical power structure, employees may feel
uncomfortable with a democratic leader.

While pay can be a great motivator, India’s collectivist culture may not coincide
with singling out an individual for a raise or bonus. Because individuals in India
focus more on team performance than individual contribution, a team-based
incentive would likely work better.

Also related to collectivist culture is the idea of peer review. In more

individualistic societies such as the United States or Australia, peer review can be
an effective feedback tool. In collectivist and high power distant societies such as
India, peers may not be comfortable providing feedback for other employees.
Additionally, any feedback received may not be accurate, because of Indian
employees’ tendency to focus on team contribution.

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In general, a management style more suited for a collectivist, high power distant
society would be more effective than a style representative of successful managers
in the United States. You may advise your colleague to examine the company
culture before implementing any major changes.

1. No. The first thing to consider is that staying extra hours is not mandated by
Aimee’s job description, it was just something she would do anyway. Second,
it would be reasonable to assume that she is organizing her schedule to
accommodate her new child rather than losing her dedication to work. Third, if
Aimee’s performance while at work merits a promotion, then she deserves the
promotion regardless of her schedule outside of work. Finally, Aimee’s child
will not be an infant forever. There is a very good chance that once the child is
a bit older, Aimee will return to her previous schedule. With this in mind,
passing over Aimee for a promotion would not only be potentially illegal, but
also foolish. Instead, management should discuss the nature of the promotion
with Aimee. It is entirely possible that the extra obligations associated with a
promotion would be too much for Aimee at this time. She may be more
comfortable remaining in her current position for the time being.
2. No. Organizational decisions should be based on performance at work and
employee preference. It is not the organization’s job to make decisions about
the nature of an employee’s outside relationships or obligations. Perhaps Jack’s
wife is from Mexico, and Jack has been looking for a way to move his family
to Mexico for a few years. Additionally, John has just purchased a home and is
in no position to move any time soon. In this case, Jack would be the better
candidate. Management should present the opportunity to the employee that is
the best fit for the position and try to get an idea of how a transfer would affect
personal obligations. If Jack is the better candidate, offer it to him first. Let him
weigh the pros and cons and make a decision himself.
3. No. Religion is a touchy subject for many people and an “investigation” would
probably not go over well with other employees. Instead, the organization
could consider having something like flexible time off. In this case, all
employee time off is pulled from the same pool. If employees of different
religions want to take time off for religious purposes, it would be the same as
taking a day off to go on vacation or even for being sick. In this type of
environment, a day off is a day off, regardless of circumstance.
4. This situation encroaches on the idea of accommodation without “undue
burden”. For example, if many employees were packed into already cramped
space, with no room to spare, it would be extremely difficult to accommodate
the employees’ needs. At the same time, if space were plentiful, it may seem
distinctly unfair that one employee gets to take naps during the day. In the
latter scenario, perhaps it would be a good idea to create a nap room for all
employees. Several studies have shown that taking a short nap during the day
can reduce stress and increase productivity. Maybe the employee suffering

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with migraines would be a good candidate for telecommuting, as long as other

employees were given the opportunity as well.
5. While it is possible that an overqualified employee may become bored at an
entry level job, an employee with only six months of work experience might be
just as likely to leave. There is a good chance that the older employee with
more experience is looking for a simple job to make extra money whereas the
less experienced person is looking for a job while looking for a better position.
It would be good idea to determine the intentions for each potential employee
before deciding which candidate would be a better fit.

IV. Bonus Material

A Rose by Any Other Name…

Names tend to carry a great deal of meaning for individuals. Dale Carnegie wrote
the following advice in his book “Remember that a person's name is to that person
the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” To start them sharing,
ask students to add the following points to the conversation- their formal name, the
meaning/origin of their name (if they know it), and any other insights/opinions
they have about their name.

V. Relevant TED Talks for bringing course concepts to life

A. Title: Can we all “have it all”? by Anne-Marie Slaughter
Synopsis: Anne-Marie touches on her previous research and talks on women’s
rights in the workplace, but in this talk expands these concepts to both women
and men, and explains how shifts in work culture, environment and policies
can lead to equality in the workforce.

B. Title: How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them by Vernã
Synopsis: Vernã attempts to show how we do have biases while we try to
overlook them. She talks about how we subconsciously have stereotypical
attitudes towards people who are different from you, and how we should go
away from our comfort and experience diversity for ourselves.

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Additional Readings

Michàlle E. Mor-Barak (2006). Managing diversity: Toward a globally inclusive

workplace. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Alexa Clay and Kyra Maya Philipps (2015). The misfit economy: Lessons on
creativity from pirates, hackers, gangsters, and other informal entrepreneurs. New
York: Simon and Shuster.

Carol P. Harvey and M. June Allard (2005). Understanding and managing

diversity: Readings, cases, and exercises. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson

Robert J. House, Paul J. Hanges, Mansour Javidan, and Peter Dorfman (2004).
Culture, leadership, and organizations: The GLOBE study of 62 societies.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Ellen Ernst Kossek and Sharon A. Lobel (1996). Managing diversity: Human
resources strategies for transforming the workplace. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell

R. Roosevelt Thomas, Jr. (1992). Beyond race and gender: Unleashing the power
of your total workforce by managing diversity. NY: American Management

R. Roosevelt Thomas, Jr. (1996). Redefining diversity. NY: American

Management Association.

Colleen Garton and Kevin Wegryn (2006). Managing without walls: Maximize
success with virtual, global, and cross-cultural teams. Mc Press.

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Chapter 3
Understanding People at Work:
Individual Differences and Perception


1. Have you ever taken part in a selection system such as the one described in
the case? How do you feel about these tests as a job candidate?
2. Should organizations care about how job applicants react to pre-
employment selection tests?
3. Do you feel these tests do a good job of selecting the right person for the
job? What are the barriers to their effectiveness? What problems can
organizations experience when they use employee selection tests measuring
personality and other attributes described in the case?

I. Discussion Questions
1. How can a company assess person/job fit before hiring employees? What
are the methods you think would be helpful?
Person/job fit is the degree to which a person’s skill, knowledge, abilities, and
other characteristics match the job demands. To assess person/job fit, it is possible
to utilize tests to assess the skill, knowledge, or abilities the person possesses, and
whether these match with the job demands. This process starts with the company
identifying the specific levels of skills required by the job, using a job analysis and
a job description. Then, particular tests can be selected. For example, to hire a
computer programmer, job candidates may be asked to write code. To hire a
teacher, the candidate may be asked to deliver a lecture to a live audience. To hire
a human resources (HR) professional, the person may be given a written test
assessing the person’s professional and legal knowledge. When hiring police
officers or firefighters, candidates are routinely given physical ability tests
requiring lifting weights, running, or doing push-ups.

In some instances, professional certification may be used to assess the level of

knowledge the person possesses. For example, instead of testing the HR candidate,
a PHR (Professional in Human Resources) or SPHR (Senior Professional in
Human Resources) certification may be used to assess job relevant knowledge.

Interviews are often useful for detecting person/job fit. In a job requiring conflict
resolution, asking targeted situational questions such as “tell me about a situation
where you had a conflict with someone from a different department. How did you
go about resolving it?” may indicate the degree to which the person is qualified for
the position or not, based on prior experiences.

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Finally, examining someone’s resume may give useful hints for assessing
person/job fit. When the job demands experience in customer service and if the
candidate’s resume shows several years of experience providing customer service,
person/job fit may be inferred.

2. How can a company determine person/organization fit before hiring

employees? Which methods do you think would be helpful?
While using paper-and-pencil tests to assess a prospective employee’s values and
then correlating these values with organizational values is definitely possible, most
companies rely on interviews to assess person/organization fit. Involving future
peers of the candidate in this process may also be useful to see if the person fits
with the team. The interview questions assessing person/organization fit would
touch on topics such as the type of place being sought, the reason for leaving a
prior job, characteristics of the ideal work environment for the person, and the
person’s working style. For example, if the candidate’s answers reflect a liking for
autonomy and empowerment while the hiring organization does not have these
characteristics, it may be a poor culture fit.

One of the recruitment tools successful in ensuring high person/organization fit is

employee referrals. Because existing employees of a company are familiar with the
company culture, they refer friends and acquaintances who are likely to fit with the
company culture. Also, having internship or apprenticeship programs is useful in
attracting candidates with high organization fit. Former interns will be familiar
with the company culture and people working in the organization will have
personal experience with them to assess their culture fit. Therefore if they apply
for a position later on, their organization fit may be high.

3. What can organizations do to increase person/job and person/organization

fit after they hire employees?
For person/job fit, training programs, on and off the job experience, and having
mentors at work who can teach the employee how to perform the job more
effectively would be useful. For person/organization fit, mentors will be useful in
helping the newcomer understand the company values. Orientation programs are
often useful as a first step in teaching employees the company values.

4. How do you think organizations react to overqualified workers? Are these

candidates viewed as highly desirable job candidates? Why or why not?
Students may answer this question differently. Some may say that overqualified
workers are desirable, they will achieve above and beyond expectations of the job
and benefit the company. Others may argue that they are more undesirable.
Employers may feel that they cannot pay the employee the amount that the
employee expects to receive based on prior experience and qualifications.

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1. Think about the personality traits covered in this section. Can you think of
jobs or occupations that seem particularly suited to each trait? Which
traits would be universally desirable across all jobs?

Student answers will vary. Here are some examples for the big five personality

Openness to experience Jobs such as researcher, scientist, careers in advertising,

and jobs with a creative component would fit well with this trait.
Conscientiousness Research shows that this trait is related to job performance in a
number of different occupations. Yet, we should remember that not all jobs are
systematically studied in OB. For example, artists, musicians rarely find
themselves in samples of OB research. You may ask students to speculate on jobs
where low conscientiousness may not be a problem.
Extraversion Jobs in sales and marketing as well as service industries seem to fit
well with this trait. Here, you may want to caution students that some jobs are
stereotyped to require a certain personality whereas the reality may be more
complicated. For example, computer programmers and accountants are often
assumed to be introverts, but in reality they often work in teams and will need to
have excellent social skills.
Agreeableness Agreeableness seems to be a good fit when the job involves
teamwork. Jobs for which someone low in agreeableness may fit well include
being lawyer, auditor, or working in a collections agency.
Neuroticism This trait may be a better fit for non-management jobs with low
levels of interaction with others.

2. What are the unique challenges of managing employees who have low self-
efficacy and low self-esteem? How would you deal with this situation?
When employees believe that they cannot perform a specific task, their actual
performance will likely suffer. These employees will likely set lower goals for
themselves and be less committed to their goals. Similarly, low self-esteem seems
to hurt employee performance because they question their self-worth and are more
negatively affected when they are presented with negative feedback. For
employees with low self-efficacy, training them so that they acquire the skills is
only part of the equation. Showing them that they can indeed be successful in this
task may require verbal encouragement, as well as allowing them to score small
wins and build their self-confidence. For employees with low self-esteem, how
negative feedback is provided will be very important. Managers who provide these
employees with frequent verbal encouragement may help them increase
performance. When providing corrective feedback, making sure that the feedback
targets behavior along with a proposed solution would be useful. Otherwise,
employees with low self-esteem may view negative feedback as a judgment on

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their personal worth and may become demoralized as opposed to viewing feedback
as a helpful aid.

3. What are some methods that companies can use to assess employee
As discussed in the text, personality testing has challenges, such as faking.
Therefore, when selecting employees, companies are advised to proceed with
caution. Yet, companies do not use only personality tests in selection. When
personality tests are used for training employees and planning career development,
they are less likely to suffer from the biases that may occur during employee
selection. If test results are going to be used for the benefit of the employee as
opposed to making judgments about the employee, employees will have more
reason to be open and honest when reporting their personalities.

Interviews may also be useful in gaining information about an employee’s

personality. Asking questions about past leadership experience, preferred work
situations, or past ways in which the person dealt with dilemmas, organizations
may gain information about the employee’s personality.

Here, it may be useful to steer the discussion toward challenging the question
itself: Why should companies worry about assessing employee personality? Isn’t it
more useful to measure skills? In fact, the weak correlation between personality
and job performance indicates that measuring skill levels may be more useful than
measuring personality per se.

4. Have you ever held a job where your personality did not match the
demands of the job? How did you react to this situation? How were your
attitudes and behaviors affected?
Student answers to this question may vary. When there is a mismatch between
personality and job demands, employees are likely to be unhappy at work and are
likely to quit their jobs sooner. This may also increase their stress level and
whether they go “above and beyond” when it comes to performing their job duties.

5. Can you think of any limitations of developing an “ideal employee” profile

and looking for employees who fit that profile while hiring?
There are a couple of downsides to this approach. First, the ideal employee of
today may not be the ideal for the future, and having this profile may encourage
the company to hire a certain type of employees, reducing diversity in the
organization. Second, if the ideal profile is correlated with gender, race, age, or any
other protected characteristic, such profiling may be illegal. Third, this approach
assumes that the best performing employees perform highly because of their
personality. In reality, performance is also a function of the environment the
organization creates, the company culture in place, and the incentives used for
motivating employees. The search for the ideal employee may lead employers to
forget that they have a key role in increasing employee performance.

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1. What are the implications of contrast error for interpersonal interactions?
Does this error occur only when we observe physical objects? Or have you
encountered this error when perceiving behavior of others?
Contrast error is also prevalent when we observe other individuals or teams in the
workplace or in personal life. An interviewer who talks to two excellent candidates
may view a third, moderately strong candidate as a misfit for the position. This
may be because in contrast to the first two, the third person comes across as
weaker than he/she really is. Or imagine that a professor is grading student papers.
Right after grading two papers that were poorly done, the professor who comes
across an average paper may grade the paper higher than it deserves because in
contrast to the first two, the third one appears so much better.

2. What are the problems of false consensus error? How can managers deal
with this tendency?
False consensus error refers to believing that others share our tendencies,
prejudices, stereotypes, or other habits. This leads to the belief that whatever we
are doing, “everybody else is doing it as well.” This may increase the level of
discrimination or other unethical behaviors in the workplace. This tendency may
be dealt with by making it clear that these behaviors will not be tolerated in the
workplace. Having strong ethics guidelines may also be useful.

3. Is there such a thing as a “good” stereotype? Is a “good” stereotype useful

or still problematic?
Some stereotypes may seem good to some people, like the stereotype that older
employees are more loyal to the organization or they are more reliable workers.
You would expect that such stereotypes could lead to some decisions that may
benefit members of the particular group, such as an older job candidate. Yet, using
these stereotypes in decision-making will likely lead to ineffective decision
making. This is because there will be unrealistically high expectations from the
person, and when these expectations are not matched by the reality (such as an
older employee being absent for a couple of days) the person may be penalized
much more harshly for going against the stereotype.

4. How do we manage the fact that human beings develop stereotypes? How
would you prevent stereotypes from creating unfairness in decision-
It is probably not possible to avoid stereotyping altogether. As human beings, we
classify information into categories. The problem is not necessarily the fact that
people have these stereotypes, but we use stereotypes (or generalized assumptions)
to make decisions or inferences about particular individuals. A better approach
would be to collect information about the particular individual. For example,
instead of assuming that an older job candidate would demonstrate higher levels of
safety behaviors, examining the safety records of each job candidate would allow
the decision maker to go beyond stereotypes.

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5. Is it possible to manage the attributions other people make about our

behavior? Let’s assume that you have completed a project successfully.
How would you maximize the chances that your manager will make an
internal attribution? How would you increase the chances of an external
attribution when you fail in a task?
The person who succeeds on a project may manage impressions by using accounts,
or explaining how he or she was able to complete the project more successfully.
Similarly, the person who fails on the project may provide an explanation for the
behavior, explaining the circumstances leading to the failure of the project, hoping
that the decision maker blames the situation, as opposed to the person. Finally,
because the overall relationship with the manager will affect the attributions the
manager makes, spending effort to build a good relationship with the manager may
indirectly influence the type of attributions being made about the behavior.


1. If ethical decision-making depends partially on personality, what can
organizations do to increase the frequency of ethical behaviors?
If ethical decision-making is partly a function of personality, then organizations
may hire people who will have a greater propensity to demonstrate ethical
behaviors. In other words, developing selection tests to screen out people with a
higher likelihood of unethical behaviors may be the solution. Some companies use
honesty tests as part of their employee selection. Still, it is important to remember
that personality is in general a weaker predictor of behavior compared to other
factors such as organizational culture, role models, leadership, or incentives
present to behave ethically. Therefore, creating the situation in which most
employees are encouraged to demonstrate ethical behaviors may be a good

2. Do you think personality tests used in Western cultures in employee

selection can be used in other cultures?
There would be several problems with using these tests in non-Western cultures.
First of all, the prevalence of some traits seems to be culturally determined. For
example, research shows that the level of introversion in society seems to be
higher in Asian cultures compared to Western cultures. Therefore, selection tests
looking for specific traits may find that a greater percentage of candidates are
being excluded from the candidate pool if similar norms are enforced in different
cultures. Second, we do not know that traits are correlated with similar outcomes
around the world. For example, extraversion seems to be important for leaders in
the United States or some other Western cultures, but introversion is correlated
with leadership in Asian cultures. Given these differences, using the same
personality test in different cultures may lead to ineffective decision-making.
Before using any test in a culture different from where the test originated, it is
important to validate the test. This means that after the test is translated, test results
should be compared with actual performance. If the test results continue to be

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meaningfully correlated with important outcomes such as performance, it would be

possible to use the test in that context.


1. How do you think TIAA-CREF’s diversity statement influences their
day-to-day decision-making?
TIAA-CREF’s diversity statement: “Building on our success, our goal is to
ensure that we continue to respect the creativity, talents and experiences that each
employee contributes regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religious belief,
sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, veteran status, medical condition,
or family circumstance. We actively recruit and hire members of underrepresented
groups for opportunities in all areas, at all levels in the organization, to achieve our
objective of a highly diversified talent pool.” This includes their suppliers. So on a
day-to-day basis their decisions always have this diversity statement in mind.

2. Can you think of examples in your own life when a diverse group has
helped or hindered decision-making?
Student’s answers will vary with different personal examples of how diversity
has affected their decision-making.
3. Do you think TIAA-CREF has a competitive advantage due to their
history of valuing diversity?
Student’s answers will vary. Some will say that they do and that they attract
more forward-thinking customers, suppliers and employees. Others will say
no because they limit themselves to certain people and company’s that
maintain the diversity they aim to work with and work for.
4. Do you think TIAA-CREF would continue to value diversity for
decision making as much as it does if it fell on hard economic times?
Why or why not?
Student’s answers will vary based on personal beliefs of the importance of
diversity compared to keeping a company profitable.
5. What costs to do you think are associated with maintaining diversity
during decision-making?
When maintaining diversity within an organization, it is assumed that there
will be a variety of views and opinions that may not agree with those of other
employees. This discord creates difficulties during decision-making, which
could result in wasting time debating over different solutions or even in the
inability to reach a resolution.

II. End of Chapter Materials

You are applying for the job of sales associate. You have just found out that you will be
given a personality assessment as part of the application process. You feel that this job
requires someone who is very high in extraversion, and someone who can handle stress

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well. You are relatively sociable and can cope with some stress but honestly you are not
very high in either trait. The job pays well and it is a great stepping-stone to better jobs.
How are you going to respond when completing the personality questions? Are you
going to make an effort to represent yourself as how you truly are? If so, there is a
chance that you may not get the job. How about answering the questions to fit the
salesperson profile? Isn’t everyone doing this to some extent anyway?
Discussion questions
1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of completing the questions
2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of completing the questions in
a way you think the company is looking for?
3. What would you really do in a situation like this?

Changing Others’ Perceptions of You
How do other people perceive you? Identify one element of how others perceive
you that you are interested in changing. It could be a positive perception (maybe
they think you are more helpful than you really are) or a negative perception
(maybe they think you don’t take your studies seriously).
 What are the reasons they formed this perception? Think about the
underlying reasons.
 What have you done to contribute to the development of this perception?
 Do you think there are perceptual errors that contribute to this perception?
Are they stereotyping? Are they engaging in selective perception?
 Are you sure that your perception is the accurate one? What information
you have which makes your perceptions more valid than theirs?
 Create an action plan about how you can change this perception.

Selecting an Expatriate Using Personality Tests
Your department has over 50 expatriates working around the globe. One of the
problems you encounter is that the people you send to other cultures for long-term
(2- to 5-year) assignments have a high failure rate. They either want to return home
before their assignment is complete, or they are not very successful in building
relationships with the local employees. You suspect that this is because you have
been sending people overseas solely because of their technical skills, which does
not seem to be effective in predicting whether these people will make a successful
adjustment to the local culture. Now you have decided that when selecting people
to go on these assignments, personality traits should be given some weight.
1. Identify the personality traits you think might be relevant to being
successful in an expatriate assignment.

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2. Develop a personality test aimed at measuring these dimensions. Make sure

that each dimension you want to measure is captured by at least 10
3. Exchange the test you have developed with a different team in class. Have
them fill out the survey and make sure that you fill out theirs. What
problems have you encountered? How would you feel if you were a
candidate taking this test?
4. Do you think that prospective employees would fill out this questionnaire
honestly? If not, how would you ensure that the results you get would be
honest and truly reflect their personality?
5. How would you validate such a test? Describe the steps you would take.

III. Exercise Solutions and End of the Chapter Role Plays

The first thing to keep in mind when taking a personality assessment is that some
tests are set up to catch faking. This means that if you do not actually possess a
particular trait, trying to fake that you do may come out in the test. Also,
personality tests, when used with particular jobs, are generally designed to
determine which people would be best suited for the position. In other words, if
you try to fake on a personality test to get a job, there is a good chance you will not
like the job at all, and you may even struggle to perform certain tasks.

The other major issue to consider is that you are making assumptions about the
type of personality a company is looking for. While a sales job may require
someone high in extraversion, this particular sales job may want someone higher
on consciousness than extraversion. Additionally, even if the company wants
someone with some level of extraversion, it may not want someone high in
extraversion. In this case, making yourself seem extremely extroverted might be a
bad thing.

In general, when taking a personality test, it is a good idea to just answer honestly.
If you feel you can perform a particular job, your personality test will likely reflect
that feeling.

There are several key concepts to keep in mind while doing this exercise. People
tend to form opinions about others based on personal observations as well as
observations of others. First impressions carry substantial weight as well. If
someone forms the opinion that you are lazy based on a preliminary interaction, it
will be difficult to overcome the label.

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Are the reasons you think people have formed perceptions of you the actual
reasons? If someone doesn’t know you very well, they may use stereotypes to form

Because opinions are generally formed through observations, any action plan to
change people’s opinion of you should include specific changes in actions. For
example, if people have formed the opinion that you are a slob based on the fact
that your clothes are always wrinkled and mismatched, when in reality you keep
your home very neat and organized, your action plan should include a conscious
effort to have your appearance match your lifestyle.

1. Conscientiousness and openness to experience would be very important for
living within a new culture. Depending on the culture, extraversion may
actually hinder forming relationships and being successful if moving from an
individualistic to a collectivist society. Since being away from friends and
family can be hard, someone high on emotional stability may be better
equipped to handle the transition.
2. Many personality tests measure the big five personality traits (extraversion,
conscientiousness, openness to experience, agreeableness, and emotional
stability). Questions are often rated on a 5-point scale where 1 = strongly
disagree, 2 = somewhat disagree, 3 = neither agree nor disagree, 4 =
somewhat agree, 5 = strongly agree. Sample test questions for each trait are as

At a party I like to talk to as many people as I can.
I often raise my hand in class.
I enjoy meeting new people.

I keep my workplace organized.
I can always tell when someone is having a bad day.
When I start a project, I always follow through.

Openness to experience
I enjoy trying new things.
When I eat out I try to get something different every time.
I am comfortable in unfamiliar situations.

I often get along with others.
I enjoy cooperating.
I do not have a problem following directions.

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Emotional stability
I am often sad.
I get stressed out easily.
I tend to “snap” at others.

3. This will vary.

4. This will vary.
5. One way to validate such a test would be to use it to select employees, then
monitor their performance. With enough employees, you can get an idea of
whether or not the test is accurately predicting successful candidates. Because
this is not always an option, another method would be to have employees fill
out the test, then determine which employees have had success in similar
situations in the past. If the test is valid, there should be a correlation between
the test and past successes in similar situations. Additionally, you could work
backwards by finding people who have had success in similar situations,
having them take verified personality tests, look for correlations, then test for
any traits that show up in the successful people.

IV. Bonus Material

Power of Perception
 This exercise is useful in starting a conversation around how deceptive
perception can be.
 Ask students to read this fable and view the figure below.
 How is this exercise illustrative of perceptual errors?

The Blind Men and the Elephant

by John Godfrey Saxe

It was six men of Indostan

To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approach’d the Elephant,

And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”

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The Second, feeling of the tusk,

Cried, -“Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ‘tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”

The Third approached the animal,

And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”

The Fourth reached out his eager hand,

And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he,
“’Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,

Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun

About the beast to grope,
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”

And so these men of Indostan

Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!


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So oft in theologic wars,

The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

Source: J. Short, T.N. Bauer, L. Simon, and D. Ketchen (2009). Atlas Black: Managing to Succeed. NY: Flat World
Knowledge. Used with permission.

If you were to take into account what each person described as an elephant, it
might look something like the picture above.

V. Relevant TED Talks for bringing course concepts to life

A. Title: The danger of hiding who you are by Morgana Bailey
Synopsis: Morgana, for the first time during this talk, admits to being a lesbian.
She speaks of the dangers of hiding yourself in your life and workplace, and
talks of her struggles to come out and speak. She shows how each individual
difference is important to creating diversity and how no one should hide that.

B. Title: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain
Synopsis: Susan describes how our society places value in outgoing, confident
extroverts. She describes how she attempts to live an extroverted life, and how
she was not able to be herself. She explains the difference between being an
introvert and being shy, and speaks of the importance of introverts in our

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society, and how they too are stimulated, but in different environments than
that of extroverts.

Additional Readings

Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton (2001). Now, discover your strengths.
NY: The Free Press.

Marcus Buckingham (2007). Go put your strengths to work: 6 powerful steps to

achieve outstanding performance. NY: The Free Press.

Daniel M. Cable (2007). Change to strange: Create a great organization by

building a strange workforce. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Wharton School

Susan Cain (2013). Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop
talking. Broadway Books.

Malcolm Gladwell (2005). Blink: The power of thinking without thinking. Boston,
MA: Little Brown.

Heidi Grant Halvorson (2015). No one understands you and what to do about it.
Harvard Business Press.

Ed Michaels, Helen Handfield-Jones, and Beth Axelrod (2001). The war for talent.
Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Sheryl Sandberg (2013). Lean in: Women, work, and the will to lead. Knopf.

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Chapter 4
Individual Attitudes
and Behaviors


1. SAS is involved in cutting-edge technology. Does this give it a distinct
advantage in employee retention and satisfaction over, for example, a
manufacturing company or a food retailer?
2. Do you feel that investing heavily in employee perks ultimately pays off
for a company? Would you feel the same way during hard economic times,
when the pool of highly qualified workers grows and the number of
available jobs shrinks dramatically?
3. How much of an advantage does SAS have, given that the company
produces analytic software to help businesses improve their functionality?
4. What do you think you’d like about working at SAS? What would you
potentially like?

I. Discussion Questions
1. What is the difference between job satisfaction and organizational
commitment? Which do you think would be more strongly related to
performance? Which would be more strongly related to turnover?
While they are both job attitudes, job satisfaction deals with one’s attitudes toward
the work one performs as well as the context in which the work is performed,
while organizational commitment is the attachment to the company. Research
shows that the connection between work attitudes and performance is not
particularly strong, and organizational commitment is weakly related to
performance compared to job satisfaction. For turnover, commitment is a more
relevant predictor.

2. Do you think making employees happier at work is a good way of

motivating people? When would high satisfaction not be related to high
If employees are dissatisfied at work, they are less likely to be motivated. Yet,
simply because they are satisfied will not lead to higher levels of motivation.
Specifically, an employee may be satisfied with work simply because the work is
not very demanding and there is little supervision. Or, the person may like that
he/she can hang out with friends all day, but this will be unlikely to increase the
performance or motivation levels. Similarly, a person may be satisfied with certain
elements of the job, but if abilities are missing, performance will suffer.

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3. In your opinion, what are the three most important factors that make
people dissatisfied with their job? What are the three most important
factors relating to organizational commitment?
-Stagnancy within the company: no innovations in production or staff, no
motivation (no pay raises, no promotions).
-A lack of organization in management.
-Minimal benefits in health care, vacation time, insurance, etc.
These three things relate back to organizational commitment and the willingness of
the company to spend money and time to insure the wellbeing of their employees,
which ultimately lead to a more satisfied and dedicated employee willing to put
their hard work back into the organization.

4. How important is pay in making people attached to a company and

making employees satisfied?
While pay satisfaction is an important element of job satisfaction, it also depends
on personality differences and the type of pay in consideration. Fairness of pay
with respect to referents within and outside the company is important. People
expect their base pay to be fair. Moreover, pay takes many forms under the
category of incentives. Pay that is directly tied to performance, and pay raises one
receives for being an excellent employee are not only important for meeting
employee’s basic needs, but they should also communicate that the person is
valued and appreciated. Despite the importance of pay, it is not the sole predictor
of work attitudes. In fact, the nature of the job one performs (the amount of
challenge involved, whether skills are utilized on the job, etc.) is an important
predictor of satisfaction.

5. Do you think younger and older people are similar in what makes them
happier at work and makes them committed to their companies? Do you
think there are male/female differences? Explain your answers.
Younger and older employees seem to vary in what makes them satisfied with
work. It seems that older employees are more tolerant of many negative elements
of the work environment while younger employees prefer to leave their jobs in
response to their dissatisfaction. Older employees may appreciate the flexibility of
their schedules. Older employees may have more years of work experience,
allowing them to put their current experiences into context and making it possible
to make comparisons. To the extent that age is related to physical condition of the
person, older employees pay more attention to the physical elements of the
workplace. Older employees may face age-related stereotypes and discrimination,
potentially making them more sensitive to fairness of the work environment. To
the extent that their medical bills are higher, satisfaction with benefits may
contribute to their commitment to the organization.

For gender differences, gender-related stereotypes may make women more

sensitive to fairness of the work environment. Also, more women seem to pay

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more attention to the ability to balance work and family obligations; therefore
family-friendly policies may be useful to increase job satisfaction.

1. What is the difference between performance and organizational
citizenship behaviors? How would you increase someone’s performance?
How would you increase citizenship behaviors?
Performance refers to behaviors that are prescribed in one’s job description, while
citizenship behaviors involve behaviors that improve the quality of life within the
organization without being prescribed. Perhaps the best way of increasing job
performance is ensuring that the person has the skills and abilities to perform the
job, whereas citizenship behaviors are less dependent on one’s ability to perform.
Instead, motivation to perform these behaviors is more important. Treating
employees fairly, building effective relations with them, creating a people-oriented
atmosphere would likely increase the level of citizenship behaviors.

2. Are citizenship behaviors always beneficial to the company? If not, why

not? Can you think of any citizenship behaviors that employees may
perform with the intention of helping a company but that may have
negative consequences overall?
Citizenship behaviors may certainly have unintended consequences. Volunteering
to complete tasks undesirable to others may lead to burnout for the individual and
may prevent other employees from learning how to do certain tasks. Organizing
several social events to celebrate the holiday season, while improving camaraderie,
may reduce productivity and may cause stress for other employees who are not
interested in attending. It is also possible that some employees demonstrate
citizenship behaviors as a political tool. An employee offering to bring coffee to
the manager may be doing this as an impression management tactic, which may
lead to negative reactions in coworkers.

3. Given the factors correlated with job performance, how would you
identify future high performers?
Skills and abilities can be detected using skills tests or by reviewing one’s past
experience. General mental abilities may be assessed using intelligence tests. For
example, the Wonderlic personnel test is a fifty-item test that applicants are asked
to complete in twelve minutes. Many organizations use this test in employee
selection because it has been correlated with job performance in a number of

4. Absenteeism is a type of counterproductive work behavior. Can you think

of other counterproductive work behaviors? How can organizations
minimize the occurrence of counterproductive behaviors at work?
Another counterproductive work behavior is indolence (laziness). While the
employee does in fact come to work, they exert minimal effort. This attitude can
spread throughout the workforce and severely harm the productivity of a company.

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Ways to minimize indolence is through the use of incentives to motivate

employees to work hard (pay raises, promotions, employee of the month).

5. In some companies, managers are rewarded for minimizing the turnover

within their department or branch. A part of their bonus is directly tied to
keeping the level of turnover below a minimum. What do you think about the
potential effectiveness of these programs? Do you see any downsides to such
The advantage of these programs is that they may be effective in reducing
employee turnover by communicating to managers their important role in creating
a positive work environment. Yet, if managers feel that turnover of employees is
beyond their control, this could lead to perceptions of unfairness. For example, if
exit interviews show that most employees quit because of pay and managers have
little say in pay decisions, such a reward program would be unlikely to be
effective. Also, a side effect may be that managers, in an attempt to prevent
employees from leaving, start making many exceptions to company policy for
employees who are considering leaving, causing unfairness to other employees.


1. Which factors related to work attitudes in Western cultures should also be
related to work attitudes in other cultures? Are there any that you think
would not be important in a different culture you are familiar with?
It seems that the relevance of elements may be different around the world. In
collectivistic societies, employees expect their companies to take care of their
many needs. In these countries (such as China and Turkey) organizations may
provide housing to their employees, service buses to transport employees from
home to work, and pay for their lunch. Organizations that do not provide these
types of services may experience lower satisfaction in the workforce. Also,
coworker relations tend to be very important to the job satisfaction of employees in
collectivistic societies.

2. Do you think people leave their jobs for the same reasons around the
world? If not, explain why you think so.
Depending on the economic situation within a country, you may expect employees
to remain in their jobs even when they are dissatisfied at work. Quitting one’s job
because one does not fit with the company culture may be a luxury in a developing
country with few job opportunities. Similarly, in countries where employees are
struggling to make ends meet (such as China), very small salary differences may
motivate employees to quit their jobs and go elsewhere. On the other hand, in
cultures that have a long-term view in which patience is valued, advancement
opportunities may be valued as much as the characteristics of the current job.
While employees in cultures such as the United States may be more sensitive to
the characteristics of their current jobs, employees in Japan seem to appreciate the
training they get from the organization and take a longer-term view of whether the
job is meeting their needs.

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Given that a truck driver shortage is expected around the world, how can trucking
companies attract employees who will fit best and stay the longest in the company? Is
it possible to increase retention by hiring the right person?
To find and hire new employees for truck drivers, companies should look at the current
employees they have, observe similar, positive and efficient characteristics within the
different drivers, and begin to come up with a standard type of person who would fit with
this job. This could include characteristics such as marital status (if they are single without
kids, they are less likely to be confined to certain geographic regions and therefore can
move around the country with more freedom). Companies should then target this specific
type of person as a reliable way to find new employees. While this is in some ways
creating stereotypes, in this case it is necessary due to the expected shortages of truck
drivers in the future.

Pay, working conditions, and home time appear to be key in the retention of truck
drivers. What innovative techniques from other industries might apply to the
trucking industry?
 Interpersonal relationships with people at work - a therapist of sorts
 Allowing truckers to choose equipment and destination - the truck they drive/ what
area of the country they drive to and from
 Regular attitude surveys to check on employees mental health

While the life of a truck driver is not for everyone, there are thousands of drivers
who find the job satisfying and perform well on the job. What do you think explains
Different people excel in different aspects of life, some people enjoy long drives, while
others feel uneasy. Furthermore, truck drivers understand that there job is important and
necessary for many companies, and feel a sense of obligation and achievement in their

Safety is a major concern. Poor job performance in this instance can mean the
difference between life and death. Given this, whose responsibility is it to keep truck
drivers feeling good about their jobs and doing well? Why?
Student’s answers will vary. Some will say it is the primary responsibility of the truck
company to train their drivers and insure the mental and psychical wellbeing of their
employee when placing them behind the wheel of a truck. Others will say it is the primary
responsibility of the driver to drive safely, just like any other drive on the road.

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II. End of Chapter Materials

You are a department manager in an advertising agency. The employees of the
department have recently completed an attitude survey. Three employees in your
department reported that senior people in the department harassed them and they were
experiencing a hostile work environment. You do not know who these people are, but
you feel that you need to do something. The surveys were filled out confidentially, and
employees were assured that their identities would not be revealed to management. You
feel that you can identify who they are because the person in HR who administered the
survey is a friend of yours and that person can tell you the demographics of the
employees, which would help you identify them.
1. Should you ask for the identity-revealing information? What are the advantages
and disadvantages of finding out the identity of these people?
2. How would you handle a situation like this now and in the future?

Reading and Responding to Employee Blogs
You found out that one of the employees from your company has created a blog
about the company. Other current and ex-employees are also posting on this blog,
and the picture they are painting is less than flattering. They are talking about their
gripes, such as long work hours and below-market pay, and how the company’s
products are not great compared to those of competitors. Worse, they are talking
about the people in the company by name. There are a couple of postings
mentioning you by name and calling you unfair and unreasonable.
1. What action would you take when you learn the presence of this blog?
Would you take action to stop this blogger? How?
2. Would you do anything to learn the identity of the blogger? If you found
out, what action would you take to have the employee disciplined?
3. What would you change within the company to deal with this situation?
4. Would you post on this blog? If so, under what name, and what comments
would you post?

Exit Interview Role Play and Developing an Attitude Survey
This role-play will be played by three students. One student will be an employee
from the human resources (HR) department conducting the interview, the second
will be the employee who is leaving, and the third will be an observer. The HR
employee and the departing employee will conduct an exit interview. At the
conclusion of the interview, the observer will provide feedback to the HR
employee regarding how the interview could have been improved and how the
employee could have been more open.
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Part 1: Role Play

Be sure to read only the role sheet assigned to you.

HR Employee Role Sheet

You are working for the HR department of ATA manufacturing. The

employee you will be interviewing has been with this company for
three years and is now leaving. Your job is to understand why the
person is leaving and whether other employees still working for your
company may have similar feelings. High turnover is a problem at
ATA and you are hoping to get valuable information regarding what is
making employees dissatisfied. Develop a list of questions to be asked
during the interview. Then, conduct the interview.

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Departing Employee Role Sheet

You have worked for ATA manufacturing for the past three years. In
the past year, you have become deeply dissatisfied with the working
conditions and the job itself. You have now found a different job in the
same industry and are happy to be leaving. The HR department
contacted you to conduct an exit interview. You are very hesitant to
divulge the details of why you are leaving. This is a small industry and
speaking badly about the company does not really have any benefits
for you. Yet, you are an honest person and if the HR shows a sincere
concern to learn your opinion, you would share your thoughts about
what is wrong in this company. You must also get a sense that your
answers will remain confidential.
The reasons you are leaving are (choose three from the following list

and feel free to make up the details):

 Had problems with your  Office politics

manager  Management does not care
 Had problems with about employees
colleagues  Employees treated unfairly
 Dissatisfied with pay or  Other reasons you want to
benefits report
 Little on-the-job training or
development opportunities

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Observer: Did the HR manager do the following?

 Assure the employee of confidentiality?

 Clarify the purpose of this interview? The employee has no
incentive to share real thoughts, so HR employee should be
convincing and highlight how this information will be used.
 Show sincerity regarding the desire to get accurate information?
If not, communicate to the HR employee that the departing
employee has little to gain by divulging the details and HR has a
lot to gain from this interview. Therefore, persuasiveness is

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Part 2
In groups of three, review the information gathered from the exit interview. Many
of these problems may be affecting the rest of the employees. Develop an attitude
survey to be distributed to remaining employees of this company. Develop
questions based on what came out of the interview as well as other areas you feel
may be important to know. Discuss how the surveys would be administered and
what would be done to (a) have a high response rate and (b) ensure the accuracy of

III. Exercise Solutions and End of the Chapter Role Plays

If employees were ensured confidentiality, then that promise must be respected.
Having someone in HR divulge information that may assist in identifying survey
respondents is not only patently unethical, it may be illegal. The goal of the survey
was to determine general attitude of workers, not single out individuals. However,
based on the nature of the responses it is clear that further action should be taken.
One of the best ways to proceed at this point may be to conduct individual
interviews with all the employees who filled out surveys. The fact remains that the
employees that feel they are in a hostile work environment may not want to come
forward, but within a safe, one-on-one environment with a trusted manager, they
may be willing to state their case.

Even if specific employees are never identified, you should take action on the idea
that there are employees that are uncomfortable with the work environment.
Speaking in general terms can address harassment issues without using specific
examples. It may be necessary to conduct another survey to identify which
individuals have been doing the harassing and take direct action with them.

Finally, an organization has the obligation to protect its employees from a hostile
work environment and harassment from any individuals. Therefore, establishing a
complaint mechanism and publicizing this mechanism to employees would be a
good step. Employees should know who to go to in order to voice such concerns.
They should also know that if they voice a complaint about a particular individual,
they will not be harmed as a result of this action.

While employees have the right to express their opinion, there are certain aspects
that cannot be disclosed. For example, some companies have employees sign
documents agreeing not to discuss particular aspects of the organization. If this is
the case, the blogging might become a legal issue. Additionally, while not
necessarily a legal issue, identifying employees by name is inappropriate. At the
very least, employees could be asked to respect the privacy of others by not using

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names in their blogs. More important, the organization may want to simply talk to
employees and address some of the issues causing them to be so dissatisfied.

Keep in mind that two wrongs do not make a right. It is generally not wise to
combat inappropriate behavior with more inappropriate behavior. With this idea in
mind, it would probably only hurt the situation to attempt to post information to
the blog under false pretenses or to attack those posting on the blog via similar

Part 1
Exit interviews are a great way for companies to find out areas where they can
improve. Often, employees will move from one company to another for reasons
that are beyond the control of management (location, company size, industry,
simply not liking the job), but other times employees leave because of
organizational deficiencies. In the latter case, management has an opportunity to
capture the opinion of a less-restrained employee. In other words, because the
employee is leaving and there is substantially less chance of repercussions, he or
she may be inclined to deliver more candid responses to questions.

Here are some sample exit interview questions:

 What is the main reason you are leaving the company?
 Was there a specific incident that caused you to want to leave?
 What were the best and worst aspects of your job?
 Is there anything about your job that could be changed to make it better?
 Were the tasks involved with your job similar to what you expected?
 Did you feel you were adequately trained by the company to perform your
 Did the company provide adequate resources to assist you in performing
your job?
 What is your opinion of the employee review and feedback process?
 Do you feel your job with this company aided you in achieving your career
 Do you have any suggestions on someone that might make a good
replacement for you?
 How could things be done differently to make the workplace better?
 Do you feel your salary/wage was appropriate? Were benefits satisfactory?
 Do you feel you were appropriately managed by your supervisors?
 How could management change to be more effective?
 What is offered by your new employer that you didn’t have here?
 What are the qualities necessary for an employee to be successful here?
 What company policies or guidelines do you feel actually inhibited your
ability to perform your job effectively?
 What is your general opinion of the company?

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 Have you experienced anything that might be considered a hostile work

 If there were any work-related issues that are causing you to leave, did you
attempt to address them with management or HR?
 Would you recommend employment with this company to others?
 Any additional comments.

As a respondent (the employee leaving the company) it is generally best not to

burn bridges with the organizations. If some aspect of the company or job was not
to your liking, be open and honest about it, but refrain from being abusive. If there
was a problem with a specific employee, it may be best not to identify the person
by name. Instead, maybe focus on the fact that there were no channels available to
address the issue, or that you feared a backlash from management or other
employees if you spoke up about something. These are the kinds of organizational
issues companies want to know about. There is always the chance there will be
direct conflict among employees or with aspects of a job, but establishing methods
for dealing with problems as they arise is something that can be built into future
organizational policies.

Be sure to be respectful in your exit interview. If you are leaving a small company
to go work for a major firm, don’t belittle the opportunities the company had to

Part 2
Based on the responses from the exit interview, a survey can be developed to target
specific issues. An easy way to ensure a high response rate is to have employees
complete the survey during paid work hours (as opposed to on employees’
personal time). The accuracy of responses can be increased by ensuring
confidentiality. Remember, the goal of the attitude survey is to get a picture of the
organizational attitude in general, not single out specific employees. Additionally,
it is important for management/HR to keep in mind that surveys of any kind can
become tedious for employees. Constantly administering surveys but not taking
action may lead to employees not taking the surveys seriously, and thus results will
be less accurate.

IV. Bonus Material

Divide the class into smaller groups of about eight people (or another even
number). These groups will be further divided in half.

Read the following situations.

Have one group (or section of a smaller group) come up with a solution focusing
specifically on what is best for the employee, without regard to time or cost. The

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alternate group will come up with a solution focusing on time and money (in other
words, a reasonable solution that is both time and cost effective).

Have the two groups compare the different solutions and try to create a
compromise that satisfies both parties.
 A new accounting program, to be used by all employees, is being
 A company is changing from each employee having an individual office to
employees sharing an open, centralized workstation environment.
 A company is merging with another organization. While most jobs are
secure, several positions overlap and employees will be let go.
 The organization’s reputation for customer service has declined to the point
that it is significantly affecting business.
 The company is being sued by an underrepresented group for having a
hostile work environment.
 A small company is entering a period of rapid expansion to keep up with
customer demand. The number of employees will triple over the next two

Use the following table to put into the ideas that come up in the discussion and pros and
cons of each:

High Cost High Time Investment

Low Cost

Low Time Investment

Source: Brett Guidry, Portland State University. Used by permission of the author.

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V. Relevant TED Talks for bringing course concepts to life

A. Title: The power of believing that you can improve by Carol Dweck
Synopsis: Carol starts of her talk by showing the value of receiving a “not yet”
grade vs. a “failing grade”. She researches “growth mindset”, the idea that we
can increase the learning capacity of our brains and solve problems. She claims
that the individual has the power to learn from their mistakes and improve him
or herself.

B. Title: Your elusive creative genius by Elizabeth Gilbert
Synopsis: Writer of Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth suggests that instead of the rare
person being a genius, every individual has some genius within them.

Additional Readings

Jane E. Dutton (2003). Energize your workplace. Jossey-Bass.

Marvin Ross Weisbord (1991). Productive workplaces: Organizing and managing

for dignity, meaning, and community. NY: Jossey-Bass.

Geoffrey Colvin (2008). Talent is overrated: What really separates world-class

performers from everybody else. Portfolio Hardcover.

Adam Grant (2014). Give and take: Why helping others drives our success.
Penguin Books.

Toy Hsieh (2013). Delivering happiness: A path to profits, passion, and purpose.
Grand Central Publishing.

Paul E. Spector (1997). Job satisfaction: Application, assessment, causes, and

consequences. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Michael C. Hyter, Judith L. Turnock, and James M. Kilts (2006). The power of
inclusion: unlock the potential and productivity of your workforce. Hoboken, NJ:
John Wiley and Sons.

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Chapter 5
Theories of Motivation


1. After reviewing the need-based motivation theories in this chapter, use the
theory to explain how Zappos motivates employees.
2. Why do you think Zappos’ approach is not utilized more often? In other
words, what are the challenges to these techniques?
3. Why do you think Zappos offers a $3,000 incentive to quit?
4. Would you be motivated to work at Zappos? Why or why not?
5. Is happiness synonymous with motivation? When does happiness translate
into motivated employees?

I. Discussion Questions
1. Many managers assume that if an employee is not performing well, the reason
must be a lack of motivation. Do you think this reasoning is accurate? What is
the problem with the assumption?
While at times a lack of motivation may be the cause of a poor performing
employee, this is not always the case. Assuming this places all of the fault on the
employee, when their lack of motivation could be due to issues within the
organization they work for. If the manager assumes it is all on the employee, he
misses the chance to fix aspects of his company that will enhance production and
employee satisfaction.

2. Review Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Do you agree with the particular

ranking of employee needs?
Employee responses to this question will vary. At this point, you may ask them
whether they know people who would put friendship or relationships before safety,
or others who would view esteem needs as more important than social needs. You
could also discuss cross-cultural differences and how they may influence the
ranking of the hierarchy. Finally, you may discuss the situation of the “starving
artist.” Students should have no difficulty envisioning exceptions to the hierarchy.
At this point, it helps to highlight that despite potential differences in the ranking
across individuals, the theory is useful because it provides an elegant
categorization of employee needs.

3. How can an organization satisfy employee needs that are included in

Maslow’s hierarchy?
For each level in Maslow’s hierarchy, there are rewards organizations may
provide. To satisfy physiological needs, organizations rely on decent pay levels.

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Also, if employees are starving, they will not be able to concentrate on work, so
providing food in company cafeterias would be useful. For safety needs, ensuring a
safe work environment, generous benefits, and reasonable levels of job security
could be useful. For social needs, creating a work environment where employees
can interact with each other and build harmonious relationships would be helpful.
Esteem needs can be satisfied using rewards, awards, promotions and other
indicators of advancement. Finally, self-actualization needs would be addressed
using learning opportunities, training and development programs, as well as tuition
assistance programs allowing employees to pursue advanced skills.

4. Which motivation theory have you found to be most useful in explaining why
people behave in a certain way? Why?
Student answers to this question will vary. You may also want to highlight whether
the theories students find most useful are the strongest theories from a research

5. Review the hygiene and motivators in the two-factor theory of motivation. Do

you agree with the distinction between hygiene factors and motivators? Are
there any hygiene factors that you would consider to be motivators?
Several factors that are regarded as hygiene factors may also be motivators. For
example, pay is viewed as a hygiene factor, but it is also an indicator of one’s
advancement in the company or recognition by the company, making pay a
potential moderator. Similarly, supervision is regarded as a hygiene factor, but a
good supervisor who recognizes employees, and provides them with advancement
and growth opportunities may motivate employees.

6. A friend of yours demonstrates the traits of achievement motivation: This

person is competitive, requires frequent and immediate feedback, and enjoys
accomplishing things and doing things better than she did before. She has
recently been promoted to a managerial position and seeks your advice. What
would you tell her?
It is important to highlight that while the chapter discusses the limitations of need
for achievement (and need for affiliation) for management positions, this does not
mean that they would be ineffective managers. They simply need to be aware that
certain behaviors that they may demonstrate could reduce their effectiveness. The
key is increased personal awareness. High need for achievement in the form of
competitiveness, requiring immediate feedback, and the desire to do things alone
so that they are under one’s control may be useful in lower level positions, but
potentially harmful in upper level management positions. Understanding that
management means doing things through others, and that being an effective
manager necessitates coaching, leading other people, and helping them be
successful is an important transition all management candidates will need to make.

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1. Your manager tells you that the best way of ensuring fairness in reward
distribution is to keep the pay a secret. How would you respond to this
There are at least two problems with pay secrecy. First, it does not always work.
People often find out each other’s pay due to security problems in the
organization’s HR system, employees sharing this information with their
confidants, or some employees making the assumption that their pay is common
knowledge. Second, when pay is secret, employees often assume that they must be
underpaid. Regardless of pay is secret or not, the organization will need to review
the pay scale and examine whether pay is correlated with the amount of inputs
(such as skills and performance level) people are bringing to work.

2. When distributing bonuses or pay, how would you ensure perceptions of

There are a couple of steps that may be useful. First, the organization should
decide which factors should be compensated. Is it the performance level? Number
of years of work experience? Abilities being used in the company? Pay should be
commensurate with these inputs. Second, it is important to verify that the pay level
is fair compared to how similar companies are paying similarly qualified positions.
Ensuring that the performance evaluation system being used by the company is fair
is a key part of ensuring pay fairness. Finally, it is important to recognize that
guaranteeing pay fairness is an impossible task. Individual perceptions may vary
and employees may differ in their beliefs regarding what should be rewarded. The
organization should ensure that the basis for pay is justifiable to employees.

3. What are the differences between procedural, interactional, and

distributive justice? List ways in which you could increase each of these
justice perceptions.
Procedural justice is the fairness of decision-making procedures being used by the
company. Employees tend to view procedural justice as higher if they are given
voice in decision making, if they can participate in decisions affecting them, if the
organization shares information with employees, and if organizational decisions
are made based on data in a rational manner.
Interactional justice is the fairness of interpersonal treatment one receives.
Showing sensitivity to employees’ feelings, and being kind and respectful, would
increase interactional justice perceptions.
Distributive justice is the fairness of the rewards employees receive. Ensuring that
reward distribution (such as pay, scheduling, performance appraisals) is consistent
with one’s contribution to the organization would increase distributive justice

4. Using examples, explain the concepts of expectancy, instrumentality, and


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Expectancy: If I try, can I sell two cards a day? If employees feel that selling two
cards is too difficult and there is not much they can do to influence whether
customers apply for the store credit cards or not, expectancy is low and as a result
motivation to try will be low.
Instrumentality: If I sell two cards a day, is it guaranteed that I am going to get a
reward? In this example, instrumentality is high because the Starbucks gift card is
Valence: Do I find the $5 Starbucks card desirable? If employees think that this is
a valuable reward, they are more likely to be motivated.

5. Some practitioners and researchers consider OB Mod as unethical because

it may be viewed as a way of manipulation. What would be your reaction
to such a criticism?
Is management manipulation? By the same token, every incentive system devised
in an organization can be viewed as manipulation! The goal of management is to
ensure that employee actions are consistent with organizational goals. Bringing
employee interests into alignment with organizational interests is how management
operates. It would likely be incorrect to view OB mod as manipulation as it does
not involve cheating or deceiving employees, or forcing them to behave in ways
that they are not interested in behaving. Instead, its purpose is to increase
employee motivation to behave in ways that help the organization be successful.


1. What is the connection between a company’s reward system and the level
of ethical behaviors?
Certain reward systems can potentially increase the tendency of unethical
behaviors. Specifically, in organizations that use goal setting, employees who
come close to goals without reaching targets may feel motivated to cheat in order
to get their bonus. For example, a store manager who comes very close to sales
targets may ask friends and family members to buy merchandise, returning the
items the next day and allowing the manager to collect his bonus.

Moreover, whether ethical behaviors are rewarded or punished will determine the
level of ethics prevalent in the organization. If the organization rewards unethical
players by promoting them and punishes ethical people by passing over them for
promotions, the organization will develop an unethical climate.

2. Which of the motivation theories do you think would be more applicable

to many different cultures?
Student answers to this question will vary. While the motivation theories discussed
in this chapter are likely to generalize to different cultures, individual portions of
the theories may need to be modified. For example, factors viewed as hygiene
factors in the United States and Western cultures, such as a clean and safe work
environment, may be viewed as motivators in cultures where these factors are
missing from a large percentage of organizations. Similarly, while the concept of

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fairness seems to be important around the world, what is viewed as fair or unfair is
a culturally determined topic.


1. How much of Trader Joe’s success can be attributed to the fact that most
larger chain grocery stores do not sell the type of food available at Trader
Trader Joe’s advertises its organic healthy food that is not present in other chain
stores. Along with having healthy food, the food is affordable -- a big factor in
how people grocery shop.

2. Is pay enough of an incentive to continue at a job you do not enjoy?

In the short term, yes, pay is enough incentive. For long-term employment
satisfaction and good efficient production, it is important to have benefits for your
job including feelings of accomplishment, value and happiness.

3. Trader Joe’s promotes entirely from within the organization. This means
that if you are a good, dedicated worker, you can rise up within the company.
Do you feel employees would be as dedicated to the company if this were not
the case? Would high pay be enough to keep employees? What if the company
only promoted from within but pay was not as good?
Student’s answers will vary. Some may say that high pay is enough of an incentive
to keep an employee in the company; others may argue that promotions in
company give employees a sense of value and importance, which may make them
more likely to stay in the organization.

4. A fact mentioned in the case is that Trader Joe's is also a supermarket that
emphasizes cost minimization and low prices. How can an organization
emphasize low prices while also investing in its employees? Are these
contradictory strategies? Why or why not?
The ability to maintain both employee and consumer happiness while making a
profit is the key to running a successful company. While it may same problematic
to emphasize both low prices and investing in employees, in the long term it is
beneficial. Keeping employees happy will reduce the need to hire and train new
employee, which costs a lot more money for the company. Keeping low prices will
keep consumers happy and make them more likely to visit frequently.

II. End of Chapter Materials

Companies are interested in motivating employees: Work hard, be productive, behave
ethically—and stay healthy. Health care costs are rising and employers are finding that
unhealthy habits such as smoking or being overweight are costing companies big bucks.

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Your company is concerned about the rising healthcare costs and decides to motivate
employees to adopt healthy habits. Therefore, employees are given a year to quit
smoking. If they do not quit by then, they are going to lose their jobs. New employees
will be given nicotine tests and the company will avoid hiring new smokers in the
future. The company also wants to encourage employees to stay healthy. For this
purpose, employees will get cash incentives for weight loss. If they do not meet the
weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure standards to be issued by the company, they will
be charged extra fees for health insurance.

Is this plan ethical? Why or why not? Can you think of alternative ways in which you
can motivate employees to adopt healthy habits?

Your company provides diversity-training programs to ensure that employees
realize the importance of working with a diverse workforce, are aware of the equal
employment opportunity legislation, and are capable of addressing the challenges
of working in a multicultural workforce. Participation in these programs is
mandatory, and employees are required to take the training as many times as
needed until they pass. The training program lasts one day and is usually
conducted in a nice hotel outside of the workplace. Employees are paid for the
time they spend in the training program. You realize that employees are not really
motivated to perform well in this program. During the training, they put in the
minimum level of effort, and most participants fail the exam given at the
conclusion of the training program and then have to retake the training.

Using expectancy and reinforcement theories, explain why they may not be
motivated to perform well in the training program. Then, suggest improvements in
the program so that employees are motivated to understand the material, pass the
exam, and apply the material in the workplace.

A Reward Allocation Decision

You are in charge of allocating a $12,000 bonus to a team that has recently met an
important deadline. The team was in charge of designing a Web-based product for
a client. The project lasted a year. There were five people in the team. Your job is
to determine each person’s share from the bonus.

Devin: Project manager. He was instrumental in securing the client, coordinating

everyone’s effort, and managing relationships with the client. He put in a lot of
extra hours for this project. His annual salary is $80,000. He is independently
wealthy, drives an expensive car and does not have any debt. He has worked for
the company for 5 years and worked for the project from the beginning.

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Alice: Technical lead. She oversaw the technical aspects of the project. She
resolved many important technical issues. During the project, while some members
worked extra hours, she refused to stay at the office outside of regular hours.
However, she was productive during regular work hours and she was accessible
via email in the evenings. Her salary is $50,000. She is a single mother and has a
lot of debt. She has worked for the company for four years and worked for the
project for eight months.

Erin: Graphic Designer. She was in charge of the creative aspects of the project.
She experimented with many looks and while doing that she slowed down the
entire team. Brice and Carrie were mad at her due to the many mistakes she made
during the project, but the look and feel of the project eventually appealed to the
client, which resulted in repeat business. Her salary is $30,000. She is single, and
lives to party. She has worked for the company for 2 years and worked for this
project since the beginning.

Brice: Tester. He was in charge of finding the bugs in the project and ensuring that
it worked. He found many bugs, but he was not very aggressive in his testing. He
misunderstood many things, and many of the bugs he found were not really bugs
but his misuse of the system. He had a negative attitude toward the whole project,
acted very pessimistically regarding the likelihood of success, and demoralized the
team. His salary is $40,000. He has accumulated a large credit card debt. He has
worked for the company for three years and worked for the project in the last six

Carrie: Web developer. She was in charge of writing the code. She was frustrated
when Erin slowed down the entire project because of her experimentation. Carrie
was primarily responsible for meeting the project deadline because she put in a lot
of extra work hours. Her salary is $50,000. Her mother has ongoing health issues,
and Carrie needs money to help her. She worked for the company for the past year
and was in this project for six months.

III. Exercise Solutions and End of the Chapter Role Plays

This plan is riddled with issues, many of which involve violations of the law.
While the assumptions made about healthy living and health insurance costs are
technically correct, the way in which the company in attempting to go about
implementing policies is simply wrong. Smoking, as unhealthy as it may be, is
legal in the United States. Aside from the addictive properties of nicotine that
make it incredibly difficult to quit smoking, forcing employees to quit or be fired
could be illegal. Specifically, some states have laws prohibiting organizations from
firing employees because of their smoker status. (Organizations are allowed to
have a policy of no smoking, but they may not be able to hold a person’s smoker
status as a reason to discriminate against them). Additionally, requiring employees

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to meet particular weight, cholesterol, or blood pressure standards or face

additional fees may be illegal, may be viewed as unethical from a business
perspective, and unfair on a personal level.

If an organization truly wants to motivate employees to be healthy, it must take

careful consideration in how it implements policies. For example, it may seem like
a good idea to have some kind of bonus issued to employees who ride their bikes
or take public transportation to get to work. However, the policy may favor those
who happen to live closer to work. While it may be easy for someone who lives a
mile from work to ride a bike, walk or take public transit, someone living twenty
miles away might not have as many options for traveling to and from work.
Additionally, an employee with no children might have more time to go to the gym
or do other forms of exercise that could improve health. It is important for the
organization to be sure to implement policies that are fair for all employees.
Perhaps the company could encourage healthy eating habits through education and
healthy onsite food offerings. If the organization is large enough, it may be able to
have a gym onsite and can encourage employees to exercise during work hours.
The best plan may be to assist employees in developing individualized plans for
improving health, and then encourage or reward them for sticking to the plan.

For this example, it seems like employees are actually rewarded for poor
performance. Employees get to spend the day at a nice hotel, are compensated for
their time, and have no consequences for poor performance. In fact, poor
performance earns individuals another paid day at the nice hotel. Instead of having
an offsite, daylong seminar, it may be more beneficial to have several shorter,
onsite trainings. It might also be beneficial to tie diversity-training direction to the
work environment with specific examples. Generic diversity education is good, but
something that might personally relate to employees will likely be absorbed better.
Continuing education is also a good idea so employees do not forget concepts they
may have already learned.

There are several methods that might be considered for distributing the bonus. The
easiest thing to do might be to divide the bonus evenly, with each team member
receiving $2,000. Based on the descriptions of each team member, however, this
may not be fair. Another method may involve dividing the bonus based on
employee salary. Generally this would not mean giving a larger bonus to someone
with less money, but instead it would be the opposite. This method also assumes
that the employee pay is proportional to the job they are performing. For example,
Devin, the project manager, makes $80,000. Since his salary is the largest, he
would get the largest bonus. The split might look something like this:
Devin = $3,200
Alice = $2,000
Erin = $1,200

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Brice = $1,600
Carrie = $2,000

Of course, we are provided with other information. Some members of the team
were not involved with the project from the beginning, and it seems that certain
members may have slowed the group process. There is also information regarding
team member’s personal financial status. Because the bonus is based on work
output and not on home life, it is not fair to incorporate factors outside of work into
bonus pay. While this may seem harsh given the nature of some of the group
member’s personal information, it ultimately becomes a legal issue. However,
group members could potentially fill out a survey rating each group member
within on individual contribution, effort, quality of work, and how the bonus
should be distributed. If all members come to the same conclusion on the
distribution of the bonus and the contributed workload, the bonus could be divided
based on these surveys.

Another alternative would be to spend the money on a big team outing as opposed
to distributing it to individual members. Taking employees on a retreat for the
weekend may build team camaraderie and reward each member’s unique
contributions to the team without necessarily ranking member contributions. The
truth of the matter is that each member is responsible for the ultimate success of
the team, despite variation in the nature of his or her contributions.

IV. Bonus Material

Motivation theory exercise created by Brett Guidry

Which motivation theories might help to explain the following situations?

 An employee has just become a parent and is taking a job with another
company that pays more and offers better health benefits.
 An employee takes a job offer with a major corporation despite low pay
and long hours.
 An individual pursues a career in nursing after a close relative dies of
 An accountant with ten years’ experience leaves a major accounting firm to
acquire an advanced degree.
 A sales representative passes on a promotion offer.
 An employee transfers from a major oil company to work for a small,
renewable energy organization.

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V. Relevant TED Talks for bringing course concepts to life

A. Title: The optimism bias by Tali Sharot
Synopsis: Tali talks about human tendency to be optimistic. While this in many
ways proves very effective, it can also be dangerous, especially in the case of
expectancy, which may lead to vast disappointment.

B. Title: The puzzle of motivation by Daniel Pink
Synopsis: Daniel questions the effectiveness of rewards, claiming that they can
narrow our focus and restricts us from thinking of possible solutions that may
not be directly in front of us.

Additional Readings

Edward L. Deci and Richard Flaste (1996). Why we do what we do:

Understanding self-motivation. NY: Penguin.

Gary P. Latham (2006). Work motivation: History, theory, research, and practice.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Len Lewis (2005). The Trader Joe's adventure: Turning a unique approach to
business into a retail and cultural phenomenon. Kaplan Business.

Daniel Pink (2011). Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us.
Riverhead Books.

Kenneth W. Thomas (2002). Intrinsic motivation at work: Building energy and

commitment. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Victor Vroom (1994). Work and motivation. NY: Jossey-Bass.

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Chapter 6
Designing a Motivating Work Environment


1. What are some potential problems with closely tying employee pay to
company performance?
2. Nucor has one of the lowest turnover rates in the industry. How much of
the organization’s employee retention is related to the otherwise low pay of
the steel working industry?
3. What would Nucor’s strategy look like in a non-manufacturing
environment (e.g., a bank)?
4. Would Nucor’s employee profit-sharing system work at a much larger
company? At what point does a company become too large for profit
sharing to make a difference in employee motivation?
5. Imagine that the steel industry is taking a major economic hit and Nucor’s
profits are way down. Employees are beginning to feel the pinch of
substantially reduced pay. What can Nucor do to keep its employees

I. Discussion Questions
1. Is job rotation primarily suitable to lower level employees, or is it possible
to use it at higher levels in the organization?
In fact, many organizations use job rotation as part of their management training
programs. As management candidates are rotated to different departments or
different stores, they become familiar with all aspects of doing their future jobs,
and establish a strong network of relationships which will come in handy in their
future leadership roles.

2. What is the difference between job enlargement and job enrichment?

Which of these approaches is more useful in dealing with the boredom and
monotony of job specialization?
Job enlargement is horizontally loading the job, or adding additional tasks. If the
added tasks are interesting and challenging, they have the potential to reduce
boredom and monotony. Job enrichment is vertically loading the job, or giving
employees increased decision-making responsibility. Job enrichment typically
increases the higher-level skills being utilized by the job, and therefore may make
the job less routine.

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3. Consider a job you held in the past. Analyze the job using the framework
of the job characteristics model.
Student answers will vary for this question. If students are lacking in job
experience, you could ask them to review the job of an instructor, or another job
familiar to all of them.

4. Does a job with a high motivating potential motivate all employees? Under
which conditions is the model less successful in motivating employees?
The job characteristics model applies more strongly to employees with a high
growth-need strength. Not all employees in the workforce are trying to satisfy their
esteem and self-actualization needs. Instead, the reason they are working may be to
make friends, to ensure that they have a decent paycheck, or to support themselves
while they go to school. In these situations, increasing the motivating potential of
the job by increasing the five core job characteristics may not necessarily increase
employee motivation, and may even backfire if employees prefer to have a simple
job that does not demand too many skills.

5. How would you increase the empowerment levels of employees?

Organizations may empower employees by giving them true decision-making
authority. Some management styles and organizational cultures are better in
increasing employee empowerment. Empowerment will not be successful if
employees do not have the tools to make their decisions themselves. This means
that empowered employees should be well trained on their jobs, they should have
the abilities to perform their jobs effectively, and they should have sufficient
information and resources to make effective decisions.


1. Give an example of a SMART goal.
Reducing the frequency of employee absences by five percent by the end of this
quarter is an example of a SMART goal.

2. If a manager tells you to “sell as much as you can,” is this goal likely to be
effective? Why or why not?
This goal is not SMART because it is not specific, measurable, or time bound. It is
not a useful goal because there is not a cutoff point that would communicate to the
employee that he or she has been successful. Because the goal involves sales, it
gives employees direction, but it is unlikely to provide a challenge or inspire them
to think outside the box.

3. How would you ensure that employees are committed to the goals set for
One way of increasing employee commitment to goal-setting is to set goals jointly
with employees. Instead of dictating a specific goal level to lower level employees,
managers may meet with employees, review prior performance, and set goals

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tailored to the employee’s skill level. When employees participate in the decision-
making process, they are more likely to be committed to the decision.

4. A company is interested in increasing customer loyalty. Using the MBO

approach, what would be the department- and individual-level goals
supporting this organization-wide goal?
In the MBO approach, goals should trickle down from upper level goals to lower
level goals. The department level goal could be increasing the percentage of sales
coming from repeat customers by ten percent. At the individual level, a similar
goal would be created for each person. (For each sales associate, thirty percent of
sales will come from existing clients.)

5. Discuss an experience you have had with goals. Explain how goal setting
affected motivation and performance.
Student answers to this question will vary. Asking them to describe a goal, and
then analyzing why the goal-setting worked or did not work using expectancy
theory may be a useful exercise.


1. What are the disadvantages of using only supervisors as raters? What are
the disadvantages of using peers, subordinates, and customers as raters?
Relying only on supervisor ratings may be problematic, particularly when the
manager and employee do not have a long history of working together and the
manager does not have many opportunities to observe the employee’s behavior
(such as a job where the manager works in the office while employees interact
with customers). For this reason, using multiple raters may be a good idea.
However, each rating source introduces additional limitations to the appraisal
system. Peer feedback may be useful for developmental purposes, but if peers are
also competitors or if peers are close friends, they may be biased. Subordinate
feedback may be useful for developing leadership abilities, but ensuring the
confidentiality of results will be essential to obtain useful feedback. Customers
may provide useful information but they may volunteer negative feedback more
than positive feedback. For this reason, the organization will need to take steps
encouraging customers to communicate feedback on a regular basis.

2. Do you believe that self-appraisals are valid? Why would it be helpful to

add self-appraisals to the appraisal process? Can you think of any
downsides to using them?
Self-appraisals may in fact be very useful conversation starters. While self-
appraisals are not used to distribute rewards or make decisions about the
employee’s performance, starting a performance appraisal meeting by reviewing
the self-appraisal may show the manager what the employee has accomplished
throughout the term and what sources of additional support the manager may

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provide. Self-appraisals are useful for making an appraisal interview a dialogue

about performance (as opposed to a monologue).

3. Why do some managers intentionally give an employee a higher rating

than deserved? What are the disadvantages of biased ratings? How could
this tendency be prevented?
Many performance appraisals are in fact lenient. This may be because a) the
manager is afraid of the employee’s reactions to a low score and is trying to avoid
confrontation, b) the manager is trying to increase the loyalty of the employee by
giving him or her a high score, c) the manager is trying to avoid the perception that
he or she as a manager is responsible for a low-performing employee, or d) the
manager is trying to make sure that the employee gets a full bonus. When
managers give lenient ratings, the performance problems are not resolved, and
rewards distributed based on these ratings will be unfair. Furthermore, ratings
become less useful as a tool in promotions or pay increases. Organizations may
train managers in giving negative feedback, and make them accountable for their
ratings. Using rankings as opposed to ratings may also deal with this tendency.

4. Some recommend that performance appraisals should be abolished

altogether. What do you think about this approach? What are the
downsides of eliminating appraisals altogether?
Despite all their problems, appraisals serve important purposes. In many
organizations, having performance appraisals forces the manager and the employee
to have a structured conversation about ways to improve performance. It would
certainly be better if managers and employees have these conversations on a
regular basis without an organizational mandate, but the reality is in many
organizations this does not happen without a performance appraisal. Second, if
they are based on objective criteria, appraisals are useful for tying pay to
performance. Motivation theories suggest that tying pay to performance is
important for increasing motivation and performance levels. Finally, particularly in
the litigious climate in the United States, performance appraisals serve important
legal purposes, documenting high as well as poor performance.

6. If your objective is to minimize the effects of rater biases, what type of

appraisal system would you design?
To minimize rater biases, performance criteria need to be objective when possible.
Criteria such as sales figures, number of training programs completed, number of
clients contacted within the quarter are less likely to be subject to rater biases.


1. Have you ever been rewarded under any of the incentive systems
described in this chapter? What was your experience with them?
Student answers to this question will vary.

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2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of bonuses compared to merit

pay? Which one would you use if you were a manager at a company?
The main advantage of a bonus is that it is a one-time reward as opposed to the
permanent increase in base pay when the company uses merit pay. For this reason,
it may be more cost effective to use bonuses. Second, in many companies merit
pay comes to replace cost of living increases in pay. In other words, employees
may develop a sense of entitlement to a merit pay raise. For this reason, bonuses
may be more flexible and highlight that pay is directly related to performance.

3. What are the advantages of using awards as opposed to cash as an

Some students may argue that cash is the best incentive because employees may
buy whatever they want or need using cash. Yet, in some organizations awards
may be very effective. Cash often goes to buy life’s necessities, while awards may
give employees something they appreciate but they would not necessarily buy for
themselves, such as a fancy vacation, or a nice dinner at a popular restaurant.
These types of awards also have the advantage of creating a positive image for the
company during and after the experience. When the organization sends employees
to a fancy vacation for their accomplishments, employees may feel proud, share
this experience with their friends and family members, and feel that they are being
recognized. Due to the symbolic value attached to such awards, it would be
erroneous to dismiss them as being less effective than cash.

4. How effective are stock options in motivating employees? Why do

companies offer them?
Their effectiveness depends on how the market is doing in general, whether
employees can sell company stock when they want to or whether they are required
to hold on to them for a period of time, and the overall risk averseness of the
employee. For high-level management positions, the rationale behind stock options
is to encourage employees to become owners of company stock, thus aligning their
interests with shareholder interests.

5. Which of the incentive systems in this section do the best job of tying pay
to individual performance? Which ones do the worst job?
Perhaps the candidate for the best incentive system (creating the strongest tie
between pay and performance) is piece-rate system because pay and performance
are directly linked. The weakest link exists for organization level systems such as
profit sharing or stock options.


1. Do you have any experience with goal setting leading to unethical
Student answers to this question will vary.

2. Many observers and employees are concerned about the spread between
CEO pay and average employee pay. Is it ethical for CEOs to be paid so
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much more than other employees? Under which conditions would it be

This question may spark lively discussion. Some points of discussion may include
a) the gap in the United States being the widest in the world, b) fairness of paying
CEOs millions of dollars in failed companies, c) whether the current CEO pay
structure does a good job of aligning CEO interests with organizational interests.

3. How would you determine whether a certain incentive scheme or a type of

performance appraisal could be transferred to a different culture?
Here, examining benchmarks within a society would be useful. Instead of making
culture-level assumptions, the organization may discuss with high-level local
employees the potential reception for a program. Pilot testing the program and
gathering feedback from company employees in the host culture may be useful. As
much as the national culture, the corporate culture of the host company branch will
be relevant in answering this question. Multinational organizations may have
organizational cultures that transcend national cultures, which may influence the
acceptance levels for different rewards practices.


1. How does Netflix motivate employees? Which of the approaches discussed
in this chapter (job design, incentives, and performance appraisals) are being
utilized to motivate Netflix employees?
Netflix treats its employees like adults - they have the option to leave or stay, and
if they stay it is because they feel motivated, challenged and engaged and not
because they have to. Netflix puts emphasis on employees who are able to self-
manage and who have good work ethic, and Netflix is willing to pay top $ for ‘top-
notch talent’. Netflix does not use performance appraisal systems or external
incentives, but instead they receive satisfaction from work, good performance and
informal conversations with managers as a part of the daily workflow.
2. What do you think about the absence of policies such as vacations, travel,
or expense reimbursement? What are the downsides of not having such
policies? What is Netflix gaining as a result of not having them?
Netflix gives its employees the ability to do as they please, while telling them to
act in the company’s best interest. This proves effective in the sense that it makes
the employees feel as though they are in control of their employment and have a
good relationship with the company and manager. This seems to work because the
company is very selective on who they hire, however in the long run it could
negatively affect production, but it is unsure how significant of an effect it would
3. Why does Netflix avoid using financial incentives other than stocks? Would
instituting bonuses and other incentives increase motivation? Why or why
Former chief of talent officer of Netflix Patty McCord stated that “satisfaction
comes from work, not from the cookies”. Using external incentives and appraisals
would be “too infrequent to be useful”. They expect consistent high performance

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from its employees. Adding financial incentives such as bonuses could in fact
lower intrinsic motivation.
4. What do you think about companies eliminating performance appraisals?
What makes the absence of performance appraisals work?
While performance appraisals would appear to be effective across the map, they
are not as beneficial in certain cultures.  In collectivist cultures as well as cultures
with high power distance, these methods prove to be ineffective. Performance
appraisal requires openness and social equality in the workforce, which in
collectivist cultures would prove inefficient because employees fear that negative
appraisal will damage interpersonal relationships. It would prove useless in an
authoritarian culture due to the value of social equality in the workplace.

II. End of Chapter Materials

James is about to conduct a performance appraisal for Maria. Maria has exhibited some
performance problems in the past 6 months. She has been coming in late and early, and
she missed two important deadlines. At the same time, she is a very likeable and nice
person who gets along well with others in the office. James also knows that Maria has a
significant amount of debt and getting a bonus after this appraisal would really help her.
James does not want to jeopardize his relationship with her and he does not want to
prevent her from getting the bonus. Therefore, he is considering giving her a “good”
rating in the appraisal. What would be your advice to James regarding this situation?

 A call center is using the metric of average time per call when rewarding
employees. In order to keep their average time low, employees are hanging
up on customers when they think that the call will take too long to answer.
 In a department store, salespeople are rewarded based on their sales
volume. The problem is, they are giving substantial discounts and
pressuring customers to make unnecessary purchases.
 All employees at a factory are receiving a large bonus if there are no
reported injuries for six months. As a result, some employees are hiding
their injuries so that they do not cause others to lose their bonus.

What are the reasons for the negative consequences of these bonus schemes?
Modify these schemes to solve the problems.

Performance Appraisal Role Play
This role play will involve three students. One student will be the supervisor and
the second will be the subordinate. The supervisor and the subordinate will
conduct a formal performance appraisal interview. The third role is of an observer

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who should provide feedback to both parties regarding how they could have
improved their effectiveness.

Be sure to read only the role sheet assigned to you by your professor.

III. Exercise Solutions and End of the Chapter Role Plays

It may seem fair to give Maria a good performance appraisal because of her
personal situation, despite her poor performance. However, these types of
decisions tend to backfire. A reviewer should never allow a personal relationship
to contaminate an employee evaluation. If other employees were to find out about
the dishonest appraisal, or that she received a bonus despite her poor performance,
they would lose faith in the review process as well as losing their respect for the
manager. This loss of faith could in turn cause employees to put forth less effort at
work because they do not feel that effort leads to reward. Additionally, James
might know about Maria’s financial issues but not be aware of aspects of other
employees’ personal lives. Giving Maria a good rating so she gets a bonus
wouldn’t be fair to other employees who may need a bonus and have been
performing better. Finally, an important purpose of a performance appraisal is to
document the level of performance, and giving her a good rating despite her poor
performance defeats the purpose of the appraisal.

Maria’s behavior and poor performance has only been occurring for the past six
months. We can assume that prior to this time, Maria’s performance was better. A
logical conclusion may be that something has occurred within the last six months
that is affecting Maria’s work life. It may be a good idea to bring the performance
issues to Maria’s attention. A discussion may reveal that personal obligations have
arisen causing a conflict with Maria’s work schedule. Adjusting her work hours
may help increase her performance. At the same time, Maria’s behavior may be
representative of someone who is about to leave the organization.

 Hanging up on customers to keep call times low is never a good idea.
Customer service should be based on quality. Instead of relying on average
time per call, perhaps rating employees on the quality of their customer
 Rewarding employees either on sales volume or dollar amount or both can
encourage salespeople to pressure customers into unnecessary purchases.
This is the reason that many stores have done away with commissions or
sales-based bonuses. An alternative method may be rewarding employees

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on customer satisfaction. In other words, an employee providing customers

with sound advice and quality service would earn them financial rewards.
 Injuries hurt employees as well as products. There should never be a policy
that would cause a suppression of injury reporting. Whenever someone gets
injured on the job, the organization should objectively look at what
happened and what can be done to prevent a similar incident in the future.
Setting individual bonuses as opposed to allowing one person’s injury to
affect other employee bonuses would remove the social pressure to
withhold information. Or, instead of zero accidents, employees may get
bonuses for reducing the number of accidents. If the goal is more
achievable and if there are intermediate bonuses for different performance
levels, reporting may not be affected.

The employee and manager role sheets are included below. Be sure that students
follow their roles.

Follow-up questions may include the following:

1. Was the appraisal interview successful in recognizing strengths and
limitations of the employee?
2. Does the employee feel that the interview and the decision were fair?
3. Was there a way in which the interview could have been handled better?
4. Who did most of the talking?
5. Did the manager ask the employee for a self-evaluation? What would be
the advantage of this technique if it were used?

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Employee Role Sheet

You are an account manager at a mid-sized company. Your company completes
small marketing projects to several area companies. Your job is to coordinate the
consultants and analysts who are assigned to each project, and ensure that each
project is adequately staffed. You are the primary contact person with clients.

You feel that you have been very successful at this position. In your opinion, there
are two important performance metrics in this job and you have exceeded both.
First, you ensured that each project remained within budget. Second, your clients
expressed very high satisfaction with your work according to a survey of twenty-
five clients. The reason the projects remained within budget and the clients are
happy is that you made sure each consultant and analyst pulled his/her weight and
made the necessary sacrifices, working long hours and even weekends when
necessary. Marketing consulting is a competitive business and treating customers
as king is necessary to retain them and get their repeat business. Through your hard
work, you were even able to bring in five new clients through referrals. You feel
that you deserve a pay raise. Moreover, you feel that you should be promoted to
project management.

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Manager Role Sheet

You are a director at a mid-sized company. Your company completes small
marketing projects to several area companies. Right now, you are about to conduct
a performance appraisal for the account manager. This person’s job is to
coordinate the consultants and analysts who are assigned to each project, and
ensure that each project is adequately staffed. This person is the main contact with
clients and is also in direct interaction with analysts and consultants your company
employs. This person basically holds a service role. The objective is to ensure high
levels of satisfaction of clients and ensure that team members remain effective and

You feel that the account manager has been successful in client management. The
account manager ensured that projects stayed within budget, and client satisfaction
ratings are high. However, there is a serious problem with this person’s
performance. Specifically, while satisfying clients, this person seriously affected
the morale of internal team members. In order to meet deadlines, this person
scheduled a lot of overtime and weekend work for the fifteen team members
working in his projects. You heard two of them talking about quitting. These
employees are highly skilled and experienced and extremely difficult to replace.
Recently, this person scheduled a meeting between a team member and a client at
nine in the morning. The problem is that the meeting site was four hours away and
the team member had to leave home around five in the morning to make it to the
meeting. You feel that by demoralizing the team, this person has not demonstrated
effective leadership and therefore you do not think that this person is ready for a

The Performance Appraisal Form to be used in your company is simple:

Rate the effectiveness of the manager in terms of the following criteria

1 = unsatisfactory
2 = satisfactory
3 = excellent

1. Client management ___________________

2. Budget management __________________

3. Developing new businesses_____________

4. Leadership__________________________

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IV. Bonus Material

From the Best Sellers list…
created by Talya Bauer
If you ever find yourself in Seattle, Washington, make it a point to go to see fish
literally flying at Pike Place Fish Market. This company transformed a “ho-hum”
job of selling fish to a world-famous enterprise by treating their employees like
partners and making sure their customers had fun—even when buying fish. It all
began by thinking of business in a new way. Fish! Tales by Stephen Lundin, Harry
Paul, John Christensen, and Philip Strand was published in 2002. The book deals
with ways to motivate employees and create positive work environments—all
ideas put to work at Pike Place Fish Market where instead of handing fish over
from the icebox, employees toss them to one another. The book describes their
four-point philosophy to get people fully engaged in their work and personal lives.
The first is to play. “Play is not just an activity; it's a state of mind that brings new
energy and sparks creativity...” While throwing fish around a market may not be
your idea of fun, it certainly looks like fun to the thousands of visitors who watch
them each year. The second is make someone’s day. They encourage readers to
engage fellow employees and customers and to make each other’s days better. The
third is to be present. This philosophy is to make sure that you are fully available
and aware during your conversations with people. And finally, choose your
attitude. Each day you can choose how to act. Being positive will have a positive
effect on others. According to the Pike Place Fish Market, “We are the Seattle
fresh fish company that everyone talks about. Besides offering only the best
quality, freshest seafood, our dedication to having fun and creating excitement
while we work makes us ‘world famous.’” Learn more about Pike Place Fish
Market and their philosophy at In addition, check
out this article from FastCompany magazine:

Making OB Connections…
Fish! Tales draws on basic organizational behavior concepts such as motivation,
job attitudes, communication, teamwork, and creativity in the workplace. In terms
of motivation, Pike Place Fish Market is exhibiting a Theory Y management style,
maximizing factors like achievement and recognition, which are satisfiers, meeting
employees’ needs for achievement and affiliation, and providing employees with
feedback and rewards for organizational performance. Reinforcement theory is
also at work here. When the employees get positive feedback from customers, it
further motivates them to play, make someone’s day, and have a positive attitude.


People vary in their preferences. Something that one person might find motivating
might be a burden to someone else. Divide the class into small groups and have

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each person answer the following questions. After group members compare
answers, have them discuss the reasons behind their preferences and aspects that
make the alternatives undesirable.

1. More responsibility or more pay

2. Having someone tell you what to do or tell others what to do
3. Creating a plan or implementing it
4. Working in a group or working alone
5. Working fewer hours but having a rigid schedule, or working normal hours
but being able to make your own schedule
6. Getting a large bonus or extra paid vacation
7. Working for a major, international corporation or a small nonprofit
8. Working in an office or working out in the field
9. A job that allows you to work from home or a job that requires a lot of
10. A job where you usually work in teams or a job that requires you to work
alone most of the time
11. Interacting with customers or interacting with other employees
12. Having a job that requires physical exertion or a job that requires mental
13. Working during the day or working in the evening
14. Being paid based on performance or having a regular salary

Source: Brett Guidry, Portland State University. Used by permission of the author.

V. Relevant TED Talks for bringing course concepts to life

A. Title: What makes us feel good about our work? by Dan Ariely
Synopsis: Dan speaks about what motivates employees in the workplace. Not
only is it money and joy, but also the idea that they are constantly improving,
transforming, creating progress. These factors give employees a sense of
purpose and importance, allowing them to perform their best work. So how can
employers give their employees this environment where they can excel?

B. Title: Embrace the near win by Sarah Lewis
Synopsis: Sarah talks about how are “near wins” are what motivates us the
most, how being so close to success drives us to keep trying to achieve

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Additional Readings

Albert Bandura (1997). Self-Efficacy: The exercise of control. Worth Publishers.

Lance A. Berger and Dorothy R. Berger (2008). The compensation handbook. NY:

Anne Conzemius and Jan O’Neill (2005). The power of SMART goals: Using
goals to improve student learning. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.

Ron Friedman (2014). The Best Place to Work: The art and science of creating an
extraordinary workplace. Perigee Books.

Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul, John Christensen, and Ken Blanchard (2000).
Fish: A remarkable way to boost morale and improve results. NY: Hyperion.

Sharon K. Parker and Toby D. Wall (1998). Job and work design: Organizing
work to promote well-being and effectiveness. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

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Chapter 7
Managing Stress and Emotions
1. What do you think the long-term benefits will be for Camden Property
Trust and its employees as a result of the way it handled an economic
2. What other suggestions do you have for Camden in creating business
opportunities during a period of economic volatility?
3. How does a company as large as Camden effectively and authentically
communicate to its employees?
4. Does Camden increase or decrease its credibility to staff when the CEO
dresses up as Captain Kirk? Why do you believe this?
5. What steps has Camden taken to help employees manage their stress

I. Discussion Questions
1. Research shows that entrepreneurs who are leading new enterprises
experience low levels of stress. Why would this be true? Explain using stress
The Demand-Control model of stress is a model that explains why entrepreneurs
leading new enterprises experience low levels of stress. The demand for their
product is low, and they are able to greatly control the company (because it is
small and growing).
2. Stress can be in the form of a challenge or hindrance type of stress. Think
about stressors you experienced in the past six months. Were these challenge
or hindrance stress? Does this classification depend on the person?
Student’s answers will vary. Some may bring up factors of stress in school as well
as in employment, which would constitute challenge stressors (actions that cause
stress but promote individual growth). Others may bring up personal stressors that
have prevented personal growth (death of a pet, moving houses, etc. ) that would
constitute hindrance stressors.
3. What other stressors do you have experience with? Can you think of
additional categories of common stressors?
Stressors that I have experienced with include instances when I am to perform in
front of an audience (singing, speaking, playing sports). Many people get stressed
when imagining presenting or performing in front of a crowd.

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1. Have you ever been in a state of “flow” as described in this section? If so,
what was special about this time?
Flow usually happens when individuals are engaged in an activity that is
meaningful and worthwhile to them. The task usually has a deadline or otherwise
requires the person to experience some level of stress. The person will have the
skills to perform this particular job, and the person will engage in the job not
because it is an externally imposed task, but because the person feels truly engaged
in it.

2. Whose responsibility do you think it is to deal with employee stress—the

employee or the organization? Why?
Employees should definitely take actions to manage their own stress because it has
health-related consequences. Yet, organizations often find that employee stress
causes them to reduce productivity, be absent more often, and increase the health-
related costs for organizations. As a result, organizations have a strong incentive to
ensure that the stress level within the organization remains manageable.

3. Do you think most organizations are fair or unfair? Explain your answer.
Student answers will likely vary. An interesting conversation may involve whether
the answer to this question reflects the optimism or pessimism level of the
individual. You may also discuss the consequences of believing that most
organizations are fair or unfair. It is likely that those who believe that most
organizations are fair are more likely to take action when they find themselves in
an unfair organization and be more proactive in finding organizations that will
treat them fairly.

4. Have you ever considered telecommuting? What do you think would be

the pros and cons for you personally?
Student answers will vary for this question. Telecommuting has obvious
advantages such as cutting back on commuting time, managing one’s own time
and controlling one’s work environment, and balancing one’s work responsibilities
and home life. In fact, when telecommuting employees may get more work done
because they will be away from the distractions that may be present at work. Yet,
there are also downsides. Telecommuting is not a good fit for everyone. Those
who have difficulty motivating themselves or employees who have strong social
needs may feel difficulties working or may feel isolated. If telecommuting occurs
over long periods of time, the person may feel disconnected from the rest of the
office, from important people, and from decision making. This may have
disadvantages for one’s career. Because of the many distractions present at home
(such as the potential presence of kids, pets, or household chores), it is important to
create a suitable environment conducive to doing professional work.

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1. How easy do you think it is to “manage” one’s emotions?
The answer will depend on the emotional intelligence level of the person. The need
to present a pleasant and happy appearance regardless of one’s feelings will be
challenging to most people.

2. Which types of emotions are most socially accepted in the workplace?

Why do you think this is?
It seems that there is an emphasis on displaying positive emotions such as joy,
happiness, and surprise. Negative emotions such as anger or sadness are often less
acceptable in the workplace. Given that emotions are likely to spread, negative
emotions may influence the work environment in a negative manner. Positive
emotions, when spread, tend to boost others’ moods.

3. What are factors that affect your emotions?

Emotions are automatic responses to one’s surroundings or the events one
experiences. As a result, they are not always ordered or logical. For example, when
an employee is asked to speak in front of a crowd, the event may remind the
employee of past where the employee failed, and cause the emotion of fear. Or, the
person may feel excited and happy to share one’s opinions in a visible platform. In
other words, emotions reflect the personal interpretation of external events.

4. Share an example of either positive or negative emotional contagion. How

did it start and stop?
Student answers will vary for this question. An example of positive contagion may
be an instructor bringing cookies and coffee to a class, creating positive emotions
in students, leading to a lively discussion, which later leads to the instructor being
satisfied and fulfilled with the career he or she has chosen, and doing something
nice for his or her family. A negative contagion example may be a boss almost
having an accident on the way to work, leading to being angry and irritable at an
employee, who drives angrily on the way home.

5. What do you do, if anything, to try to change how you are feeling? How
effective are your strategies?
This question may be used to make the point that conscious effort may be useful in
changing one’s emotions.

1. What is the worst job you have ever had (or class project if you haven’t
worked)? Did the job require emotional labor? If so, how did you deal
with it?
Here, you may want to inquire whether students engaged in surface, deep, or
genuine acting, and how each type of emotional labor affected their attitudes and
behaviors toward the people or task in question. You may also highlight the
negative effects of surface acting, such as the level of stress experienced.

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2. Research shows that acting “happy” when you are not can be exhausting.
Why do you think that is? Have you ever felt that way? What can you do
to lessen these feelings?
Acting happy while one is not feeling happy is a form of cognitive dissonance. In
general, individuals expect their actions and feelings to be consistent. When they
are not, the inconsistency creates discomfort. Moreover, acting happy when one is
not prevents the person from seeking help or empathy from the ones he or she is
interacting with, which also increases stress levels. One way of reducing the
negative feelings would be engaging in genuine acting and attempting to
empathize with the people we interact with as opposed to only engaging in the
visible signs of happiness.

3. How important do you think emotional intelligence is at work? Why?

Emotional intelligence is particularly important in jobs that involve emotional
labor, because in these jobs emotionally intelligent individuals may experience less
stress and demonstrate genuine acting as opposed to surface acting. Emotionally
intelligent people may also do well in management because they can control their
emotions, understand other employees’ emotions, and modify their behavior
according to the demands of the situation.


1. Explain a time when you have seen emotions help someone to be more
ethical than he or she might have otherwise been.
An example would be someone who engages in whistle-blowing after seeing the
victims of the company’s actions and feeling sad for the victims.

2. Explain a time when you have seen emotions help someone to be less
ethical than he or she might have otherwise been.
An example would be someone who treats another person poorly and
disrespectfully because the target person reminds him or her or of someone
disliked and triggers feelings of anger.

3. Why do you think some countries have so much vacation time compared
to others? In your opinion, is this a problem or not? Why?
The masculinity/femininity level of the culture may play a role in the amount of
vacation time afforded in different cultures. Some cultures emphasize working
long hours and there may be norms for sacrificing family life to further one’s work
objectives, while in other cultures work is viewed as a tool to live one’s life. In
cultures that are extremely work-oriented, stress levels of employees may be
higher and quality of work life may be affected. For example, Japan is a highly
work-oriented culture, and the word karoshi refers to “death by work.” An
example of this was a Toyota employee who died in 2002 at the age of thirty. The
employee collapsed at four in the morning at work, having put in more than eighty
hours of overtime each month for six months before his death.

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1. What are some other jobs that deal with relatively negative or unfavorable
emotions daily?
Parking enforcement officers, construction worker, lawyer, prison guard… etc.

2. In what type of job might American Express’s open emotion policy not be
In jobs that deal with the law (lawyers, judges, police officer, court officers) would
an open emotion policy not be acceptable. In these professions it is important to
keep as unbiased as possible so as to not make decisions that are skewed by
emotions and feelings.

3. What type of personality might be better equipped for dealing with

negative emotions at work?
People who do not hold grudges; those who are able to let things go and have a
short emotional memory are better equipped with dealing with negative emotions.

4. What are some ways you deal with negative emotions either at work or at
school? Do your methods differ depending on what type of situation you are
Student’s answers will vary. In school, taking study breaks is a common stress and
negative emotions reliever. At work, picking your battles, and knowing when
something is worth getting worked up about or not are good ways to manage
negative emotions.

II. End of Chapter Materials

You work at a paper supply company that employs fifty people. A coworker,
Karen, is not your favorite person to be with at work. She is often late to work, can
be unprofessional with coworkers, and isn’t someone you can routinely count on to
go above and beyond her job duties. Last week you even noticed that her breath
smelled like alcohol when you spoke to her about some last-minute orders that
needed to be filled. But, you don’t like to rock the boat and you don’t like to be
disloyal to your coworkers, so you didn’t say anything. However, David Chan just
approached you and asked whether or not you smelled alcohol on Karen’s breath
last Thursday. You are surprised and ask him why. David mentions that he heard
some gossip and wants to confirm if it is true or not.
What will you do?
1. Should you admit you smelled alcohol on Karen’s breath last week? Why
or why not?
2. What are the implications of each course of action?

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3. Would you change your answer if, instead of working at a paper supply
company, you worked as a nurse?

Time Management Quiz
Please answer true or false for each of the statements according to how you
currently manage your time.
1. True or false: I sort my mail when it comes in, open it, place it in a folder,
and deal with it when I am ready to.
2. True or false: I do what my boss asks me to do immediately.
3. True or false: I don’t take breaks because they waste time.
4. True or false: I answer the phone when it rings regardless of what I am
5. True or false: I check my emails as soon as they arrive.
6. True or false: I create a “to do” list at the start of every day.
7. True or false: I do my “heavy thinking” at the end of the day when things
have calmed down.
8. True or false: I don’t like to take vacations because making up the work is
always too stressful.
9. True or false: Multitasking helps me be more effective at work.
10. True or false: I don’t have to organize my office since I always know
where things are.

Time Management Analysis

Create List 1
List 10 activities you did at work (or at school) yesterday.

Create List 2
List five things you think are key to doing your job well (or doing well in school).

Compare Lists
Now, look at both lists and write down which items from List 1 relate to List 2.

Place each activity from List 1 on the following grid.

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Not Urgent
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Unimportant Important

Figure 7.14

Group Discussion
Now, as a group, discuss the following questions:
1. What trends in your time management style did you notice?
2. How much of your “work” time is being spent on things that are directly
related to doing well in your work or at school?
3. What works well for you in terms of time management?
4. What steps could you take to improve your time management?
5. How could your group help one another with time management?

III. Exercise Solutions and End of the Chapter Role Plays

This is an awkward situation, even if you do not like the person. Having to “rat
someone out” is not something anyone likes to do. However, if people are drinking
or using drugs on the job, they may put others at risk. Hiding the fact that you
suspect Karen of drinking at work may be harmful to Karen as much as to the
company. She may need legitimate help that she is currently not getting. All
factors considered, because you were asked a direct question, it would probably be
a good idea to answer honestly.

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The idea of Karen being a nurse actually makes the situation more cut-and-dried.
Nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals are not allowed to drink while
working. It is the duty of others to report anyone that may be suspected of being
impaired at work. When the lives of others are directly involved there is little room
for personal feelings.

1. True or false: I sort my mail when it comes in, open it, place it in a folder,
and deal with it when I am ready to.
Time experts say that each piece of paper should be handled only once. Set aside
your unopened mail and do all these steps when you have the time and energy to
do it from start to finish.

2. True or false: I do what my boss asks me to do immediately.

While this may please your boss, it could be very disruptive to your workflow. If
you are in a rhythm while performing a task and are almost finished, suddenly
changing tasks could cost more time than you realize. Of course, it may not be a
good idea to put your boss’s requests on the back burner.

3. True or false: I don’t take breaks because they waste time.

Taking a break from time to time can actually make you more productive.
Sometimes breaks may not be appropriate or necessary, but there are definite
occasions where breaks are needed.

4. True or false: I answer the phone when it rings regardless of what I

am doing.
Like dropping everything to handle a boss’s request, stopping what you are doing
to answer the phone can be very disruptive. If you are expecting an important call
it is perfectly reasonable to stop what you are doing, but to make it a policy can
cost time unnecessarily.

5. True or false: I check my emails as soon as they arrive.

While this is similar to the phone question, emails can be less disruptive than a
phone call. People tend to be able to read faster than they can verbally
communicate. Not having to immediately reply to a question or request takes some
pressure off of the individual checking the email. Additionally, depending on the
task someone is performing, it may be easier to transition to reading an email and
then back to working than stopping what you are doing to answer a phone. That
being said, checking email constantly can become disruptive. There are situations
that are just not appropriate for checking email, regardless of how seamless the
process may be.

6. True or false: I create a “to do” list at the start of every day.
A “to do” list is a great way to focus your energy. It can help you prioritize tasks
and make sure that nothing gets forgotten.

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7. True or false: I do my “heavy thinking” at the end of the day when things
have calmed down.
Research indicates that people are actually more productive in the morning. As the
day wears on, productivity tends to decrease. It is probably best to set aside time
during the most productive part of the day to do “heavy thinking.”

8. True or false: I don’t like to take vacations because making up the work is
always too stressful.
Returning from vacations may be stressful, but breaks from work can help
recharge people and may prevent burnout. Often, when people come back from a
vacation they are rested, focused, and better able to take on new challenges.

9. True or false: Multitasking helps me be more effective at work.

“Multitasking” is actually a misnomer. Trying to do more than one thing at a time
will often lead to mistakes, sometimes serious ones. The human brain is just not
able to focus on several things at once. When people multitask effectively, they are
actually jumping (often very quickly) from one task to another. At times this may
be necessary to meet a deadline. If you are well organized, you probably know
where there will be a lull or slowdown in one task and can potentially fill the time
with another, smaller task. This can help increase efficiency, but it can also
overwhelm people quite easily.

10. True or false: I don’t have to organize my office since I always know
where things are.
If you always know where things are, chances are you are organized. This is
difficult to accomplish without conscious effort, and many people struggle to keep

List 1
1. straightened my desk
2. checked email
3. talked to co-workers
4. finished a project from the previous day
5. called a client
6. ate lunch
7. made copies
8. installed computer updates
9. wrote a letter for my boss
10. submitted a timesheet

List 2
A. keeping organized
B. doing work

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C. being on time
D. keeping on top of assignments
E. having clear goals

Compare list

1. straightened my desk – organization (A)

2. checked email – doing work (B) and keeping on top of assignments (D)
3. talked to co-workers – keeping on top of assignments (D)
4. finished a project from the previous day – doing work (B)
5. called a client – doing work (B)
6. ate lunch
7. made copies – doing work (B)
8. installed computer updates – keeping on top of assignments (D)
9. wrote a letter for my boss – doing work (B)
10. submitted a timesheet

8 9 2
6 8
4 10
3 7
1 3 1
Not Urgent
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Unimportant Important

V. Relevant TED Talks for bringing course concepts to life

A. Title: How to make stress your friend by Kelly McGonigal
Synopsis: Kelly talks about how changing your beliefs on how stress
affects the health of your body and mind can change your behaviors in
stressful situations, and can even make stress somewhat of a good

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B. Title: The surprising science of happiness by Dan Gilbert
Synopsis: Dan explains how humans are able to be happy even when
things don’t go our way. He suggests that synthetic happiness can be as
real and enduring as the happiness you feel when you stumble upon
getting what you had hoped for.

Additional Readings

David Allen (2002). Getting things done: The art of stress-free productivity. NY:

Dennis W. Bakke (2005). Joy at work: A revolutionary approach to fun on the job.
Seattle, WA: PVG.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (2008). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience.

NY: Harper Perennial.

Peter J. Frost (2007). Toxic emotions at work and what you can do about them.
Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Daniel Todd Gilbert (2005). Stumbling on happiness. NY: Vintage.

Jack L. Groppel and Bob Andelman (1999). The corporate athlete: How to
achieve maximal performance in business and life. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and

Julie Morgenstern (2005). Never check your email in the morning (and other
unexpected strategies for making your work life work). NY: Fireside.

Tom Rath (2013). Eat Move Sleep: How small choices lead to big changes.

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Chapter 8


1. The case only covers the surface of how the changing social media
landscape is introducing challenges for managing employees. What
additional incidents have you observed? What other challenges face
organizations dealing with online interactions among employees, or
employees and third parties?
2. How open are you online? Why do you take this approach?
3. How do you think the incident with the conference attendees could have
been handled differently? What should the respective companies have
4. How do you think companies should respond to social media and the online
presence of their employees? What should a social media policy look like?

I. Discussion Questions
1. Where have you seen the communication process break down at work? At
school? At home?
This question may be a good conversation starter. Particularly for students with
little to no work experience, the opportunity to participate by sharing personal
experiences may be welcome. When students discuss communication breakdowns
at work or at school, it may be useful to analyze at which part of the process the
breakdown occurred, and what could have been done to prevent it from happening.

2. Explain how miscommunication might be related to an accident at work.

Communication breakdowns have been related to accidents in the past. For
example, the most tragic accident in aviation history, the Tenerife disaster (1977)
is at least partially blamed on miscommunication. The pilot of a plane radioed the
tower, stating that they were at takeoff. The tower interpreted to mean that the
plane was in takeoff position and holding, whereas the pilot meant that they were
actually taking off. The result was two Boeing 747 airliners colliding with each
other, resulting in the deaths of 583 people and making this accident the worst
disaster in aviation history.

3. Give an example of noise during the communication process.

Here, it would be useful that noise is not solely caused by environmental factors.
For example, a student not listening to the instructor because he or she is busy
daydreaming or working on an assignment for a different class is introducing noise
into the communication process.

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1. Most people are poor listeners. Do you agree or disagree with this
statement? Please support your position.
This is likely a correct statement, as we all engage in poor listening habits, such as
not paying attention, interrupting while we are listening to another, rehearsing our
answer while listening to someone, acting as if we are listening even though we are
not, or listening while looking for a point of disagreement. These poor listening
habits prevent us from effectively communicating with others.

2. Please share an example of how lack of source familiarity has affected you.
Unfamiliar jargon is an example of how differences in shared meaning may affect
communication. As an example, a professor of HR may use the term DOT
frequently in class to mean “Dictionary of Occupational Titles” while students in
class may assume that the instructor is talking about Department of Transportation!

3. When you see a memo or e-mail full of typos, poor grammar, or

incomplete sentences, how do you react? Does it affect your perception of
the sender? Why or why not?
This is a good point to make a case for the importance of avoiding typos or faulty
grammar in student papers. When a paper is full of typos starting from the cover
page and sometimes including the names of students, the instructor starts reading
the paper with the assumption that students put the paper together in the last
minute and it must not be very good. Particularly in social sciences, where there is
really no right or wrong answer and the quality of the analysis is what the
instructor is evaluating, early impressions may last and the paper may end up
getting a lower grade than it would have if the paper had been edited more

4. Give an example of selective perception.

Selective perception is filtering what we hear or see to suit our own needs. For
example, if you hear a rumor about a manager you like very much, you may
disregard the rumor altogether and forget about it shortly because the rumor
contradicts what you know about your manager.

5. Do you use jargon at work or in your classes? If so, do you think it helps
or hampers communication? Why or why not?
As long as the audience is familiar with the jargon, using jargon as part of
communication likely facilitates the communication process. Assuming that all
members of your classroom are familiar with the jargon, complicated ideas can be
communicated more efficiently.


1. How aware are you of your own body language? Has your body language
ever gotten you in trouble while communicating with someone?

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This question may be used to underline the importance of the consistency between
one’s body language and oral communication. When body language contradicts the
oral message, listeners are likely to pay attention to the body language and other
nonverbal elements and disregard the oral message. Furthermore, body language
inconsistent with verbal message may lead to the listener to feel conflicted and
come to distrust the person.

2. In your experience, how is silence used in communication?

This may be a good point to explain the benefits of silence within communication
and how some people who feel uncomfortable with silence attempt to fill the
silence with ramblings. Silence may communicate to the other party that one is
continuing to listen to the other person’s point. Learning to feel comfortable with
silence may be a good skill to build, particularly during negotiations. There are
studies and anecdotal evidence suggesting that one reason why Western
negotiators sometimes yield during negotiations and give up on certain points is
their lack of comfort with silence. By remaining silent, their Asian counterparts
sometimes manage to get concessions from them!

3. If the meaning behind verbal communication is only 7% words, what does

this imply for written communication?
Even though written communication does not involve body language, it would be
incorrect to conclude that in written communication the receivers mainly pay
attention to the message. The medium used to transmit the message (email versus a
personal letter or a memo), how carefully the message was crafted, and the level of
trust one feels toward the sender, are some elements that are present in written

4. How could you use your knowledge of communication richness to be more

effective in your own communications?
Research shows that effective managers tend to use more information-rich
communication channels than less effective managers. In other words, when it fits
with the message, preferring face-to-face and phone conversations to email, texting
and other written messages may be advantageous. Unless there is a good reason for
using written communication (such as the desire to create a record of the message),
using information-rich media may lead to more effective communication, show the
receiver that you are interested in talking to him or her personally, and allow you
to build more effective relationships compared to what is possible via written

5. What are the three biggest advantages and disadvantages you see
regarding technology and communications?
Technology is certainly making communications more efficient. Today, we are
able to communicate with others around the globe in a cost-effective manner. At
the same time, communication technology introduces barriers that did not exist in
the previous decades. Even when communicating with those with whom we have
the opportunity to talk face-to-face, we tend to use texting or emails, making

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communication less personal. Written media is more prone to misunderstandings

and breakdowns in communication. They are not good at communicating
emotions. As email becomes the default in organizational communication, they
also introduce problems such as information overload.


1. How can you assess if you are engaging in ethical communications?
Here you may remind students that ethical communication involves telling the
truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Withholding information, filtering
information provided to others, and deceiving others are some examples of
unethical communication. You can also discuss the problems associated with
unethical communication.

2. What experiences have you had with cross-cultural communications?

Please share at least one experience when this has gone well and one when
it has not gone well.
Student answers to this question will vary. If you have a lot of students who have
never been overseas, you may ask them about cross-cultural communication they
may have had at school with someone from a different culture, or even think of an
example from the movies or a book they have read. Also, you may want to remind
them that cross-cultural miscommunication may occur even between people from
two English-speaking countries. For example, a manager from the United States
goes to the United Kingdom and compliments a co-worker, saying “I like your
pants! I have the exact same ones.” The colleagues from the United Kingdom get a
laugh out of this, as pants refers to underwear in British English!

3. Some companies have internal social networking pages where employees

can mingle and share ideas and information. How do you think this
practice affects workplace relationships, the effectiveness of workplace
communications, and the ability to coordinate work?
Allowing employees to mingle creates more of a sense of community in the
workplace, where people can use ideas from others and incorporate them to
make more efficient strategies for the company. Learning from other
employees and their experiences can create better equipped employees. Social
media connections could create tension between staff and managers (staff may
complain to others about their bosses via social media).
4. What advice would you give to someone who will be managing a new
division of a company in another culture in terms of communication?
Here, you may discuss topics such as
a. How formal communication should be. In some cultures, people refer to
people at their own and different levels using different words and
superiors are referred to using their title. Not doing so would be
b. Translation of important documents and marketing messages. Using back
translation may help in catching errors.

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c. While English is spoken in many countries in business, it is often a second

language to locals. Different usage of English around the globe may cause
d. The importance of learning some local language to communicate respect
for the locals.



1. As an organization, what qualities do you think Edward Jones looks for

when hiring new financial advisors?
Employers at Edward Jones look for people who are able to be open, receptive to
suggestions and not affected by negative emotions and stress.  They most likely
look for internally motivated employees who are looking for long-term

2. With its success in North America, why do you think Edward Jones has not
expanded across the Pacific or Atlantic oceans?
When a company is debating expansion across the world, they need to remember
the culture diversity, and how they value different aspects of businesses. Edward
Jones is an individual investment company designed to help customers invest for
the long term. While in many western cultures investing is valuable, in other
countries this may not be the case.

3. How has technology enabled Edward Jones to become more effective at

communicating with its employees and customers? Do you think technology
can ever hamper effective communication?
Technology has allowed Edward Jones to branch out their company all over the
United States. It enables telecommuting, video and Internet posted talks.
Technology allows the company to make their 38,000 employees feel heard and

4. What types of customer service policies do think Edward Jones has in

The company stresses the importance of every Edward Jones employee
establishing and maintaining personal relationships with all of their customers to
ensure a reliable and trustworthy name of their company.

II. End of Chapter Materials


The medium is the message: Particularly in employee dismissals

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Terminating the employment of someone is a difficult conversation, regardless

of how big the company is, how good a communicator you are, or what the
reason for departure is. Some companies think that they found an easy way out
of this problem: Why not send a quick, carefully crafted message to soon-to-be
ex-employees? Or how about a mass conference call? A letter to their home
address explaining what is happening and why?

Examples of electronic separations abound. In 2014 in Chicago, Snarf’s

sandwich shop sent a message to 20 employees three days before Christmas,
telling them that the store would be closed indefinitely for remodeling, ending
the message with “Ownership appreciates your service and wishes you well in
your new endeavors.” In 2006, RadioShack made the news by eliminating the
positions of 400 employees and letting them know by e-mail. And as it often
happens with electronic communication, sometimes mistakes are made,
resulting in accidental dismissals. Aviva Investors, one of the world’s largest
insurers, sent a generic termination message intended for one employee to all
of the company’s 1,300 employees.

E-mail is often criticized for being impersonal, but how about a conference
call? Patch, a news service organization, assigned all it employees into one of
two conference call “rooms.”  Then, all employees who dialed into one of the
rooms (reaching hundreds in numbers) were told that their positions were
being eliminated. Companies trying other such efficient methods included
Hugo Boss, where news of the Cleveland plant closing was delivered via
FedEx packages sent to employee homes right before Christmas. Of course,
letting employees go is always hard but being sensitive while doing so is an
important part of business.

1. What is the rationale for conducting mass layoffs through electronic
communication or other, impersonal methods? Do you see any
2. Do you feel that these impersonal methods are the “right way” to
communicate this information?
3. What are some conditions that could justify firing someone via a text
message or an e-mail?
4. Does your decision differ for mass layoffs versus firing for cause? What is
an appropriate method of communicating the news for different types of
employee separations?

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In 2006, Hewlett-Packard Development Company LP became embroiled in a
controversy over methods used to investigate media leaks from its board. HP
Chairperson Patricia Dunn could have simply asked the directors who was the
source cited in the story, sought an apology, and gone from there. With some direct
face-to-face communication, the story would likely have ended quickly. It did not.
“Not only did investigators impersonate board members, employees and journalists
to obtain their phone records, but according to multiple reports, they also
surveilled an HP director and a reporter for CNET Networks, Inc. They sent
monitoring spyware in an e-mail to that reporter by concocting a phony tip. They
even snooped on the phone records of former CEO and Chairperson Carly Fiorina,
who had launched the quest to identify media sources in the first place.” The
situation continued to escalate. For example, The New York Times reported that
HP consultants even considered planting clerical or custodial workers at CNET
and The Wall Street Journal to learn who was leaking information to them.
Following this, Patricia Dunn, as well as three executives, left the company. A
congressional hearing and several Federal investigations later, executives were
charged with felonies, and HP paid $14.5 million to settle civil charges related to
the scandal. HP is not the only company to use such methods; recent admissions by
the investigation firms involved suggest that the use of ethically questionable
investigative tactics by large companies is quite common. “It betrays a type of
corporate culture that is so self-obsessed, (that) really considers itself not only
above the law, but above, I think, ethical decency, that you have to ask yourself,
where did the shame come in?” said Charles King, an analyst with Pund-IT Inc..

Consider this situation from a multiple stakeholder perspective. Imagine you are…
 a CEO faced with leaks regarding your strategic vision. What would you
do to determine who was sharing the information? What would be the
advantages and disadvantages of these approaches?
 a shareholder with HP stock. What would you want to see done to protect
your investment in the company?
 a board member who was spied upon. What would your reaction be to
learning that you were investigated?
 an investigator hired by HP. What role do you have to uphold ethical
As several observers have noted, HP spent a lot of time establishing whether or not
their activities were technically legal but little time considering whether or not
their actions were ethical. The effects of these events were felt for years after that.
After Fiorina’s departure, Léo Apotheker left as CEO. By the time Meg Whitman
took over as President and CEO of HP, things were not going well. In s meeting
arranged to introduce her to a group of software engineers and managers, one
employee told her he was “live blogging” her comments to the group. To this she
replied, “You all have taken leaking to a new art form.”

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Sources: Based on information in Bergstein, B. (2006, September 20). HP spy scandal hits new weirdness
level. accessed at;
Allison, K. (2006, September 30). Spy methods used in other companies. accessed at; Fried, I. (2006, December 7). HP settles with California in spy
scandal. CNET accessed at

You Know What I Mean, Right?
This exercise illustrates how words we commonly take for granted are not
universal in their meaning.
Approximately 20 minutes
1. Write down the number that comes to mind for each of the following
questions. Remember that there are no right or wrong answers—just go
with your first response. Do not discuss your answers with anyone in the
class until instructed to do so.
 My neighbor just bought an expensive car. How much did it cost?
 Several people were in line for the movie. How many people were in
line? _____
 The ballot measure was approved overwhelmingly. What percentage of
votes did the measure receive? _____
 My boss is an older man. How old is he? _____
 I recently saw an article in the paper. How long ago did I see it? _____
2. Your instructor will summarize the responses from the class.
3. Discuss the following questions (either as a class or in small groups).
 Do you agree that words mean different things to different
 How large was the range of responses for each of the questions?
Why was this?
 Did this surprise you? Why or why not?

What can you apply from this exercise to make you a better communicator?

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III. Exercise Solutions and End of the Chapter Role Plays

Student’s answers will vary.

1. What is the rationale for conducting mass layoffs through electronic
communication or other, impersonal methods? Do you see any advantages?
While conducting mass layoffs through electronic communication may appear to
be easier, faster, and more efficient, it can leave a really bad taste in an ex
employee's mouth. It creates an impersonal feel where the employee felt they were
not valued as an individual, and merely for their labor. This can lead people to
speak out against the company, creating bad moral for the entire organization.
2. Do you feel that these impersonal methods are the “right way” to
communicate this information?
Student’s answers will vary. Some may answer ‘yes’, that it is easy to
communicate memos, rules of conduct, new information about the company to a
large group of people. Others may answer ‘no’, that it creates a separation from
staff and management staff, which can create tension and confusion of specific
individual and personal goals of the employees and their specific managers.
3. What are some conditions that could justify firing someone via a text
message or an e-mail?
 If someone is out of the country for a long period of time and does not
communicate why they left, where they are and how long they will be gone.
 If someone is in jail or has been arrested
 If an employer feels that communicating in person is a threat to his or her own

Does your decision differ for mass layoffs versus firing for cause? What is an
appropriate method of communicating the news for different types of employee
There is a difference in reasons for layoffs, but they should be handled similarly:
personally and upfront so as not to cause confusion and to hopefully reduce
animosity of the company.

Leaks about strategy can be a very serious matter for a company. In a highly
competitive market where products tend to be similar, strategy is often a key factor
for gaining a competitive edge. Generally speaking, an organization’s strategic
vision is discussed with relatively-high-level executives. This close circle of
individuals narrows down the leak to only a few people. Let’s assume there are

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seven people who are aware of confidential information that has been leaked to the
press. Here are some ways to potentially weed out a mole:
 Each of the seven individuals could be brought in individually and asked
directly if they have divulged information. Sometimes this is all it takes for
someone to confess. Even if no one confesses, you may be able to get an
idea of who you think the leak is by observing behavior during the
interview. Obviously this would be the easiest and most direct way to
handle the situation. The problem is that it may not work.
 Each of the seven people could be brought in for a one-on-one meeting.
Each person is given a similar outline of some confidential information that
would be “worthy” of leaking to the press; however, each person would be
given different details regarding the information. If one of the people were
to take the information to the press, the specifics of the story would only
point to one person. This tactic is rather sneaky, and may ultimately erode
confidence among senior management. People do not like being lied to, and
that is essentially what this plan would involve. Additionally, the seven
individuals may communicate with each other and discover they all possess
conflicting information.
 Employees who are privy to important company information often sign
nondisclosure agreements. This is a legally binding contract assuring that
no private information will be shared with anyone. Since divulging
information to the press would be a contract violation and therefore illegal,
you might be able to get the news source to divulge the source. The main
problem is that reporters are very, very secretive about their sources. Many
have served jail time after refusing to reveal a source to a judge in a court
of law. Additionally, the process would likely draw attention to the issue.
If, however, the reporter cooperates, it would be a very easy and direct way
to deal with the leak.

As a shareholder, I would probably want to see the situation taken seriously. A

strategy leak could mean leaks in other areas as well. It would also indicate to me
that members of the executive team are not fully committed to the company vision.
At the same time, I would probably not want to see a reaction similar to that of the
HP executives. I would want the people running the company to handle the
situation with tact and dignity and not take actions that would reflect poorly on the
ability of the managing team to deal with bumps in the road.

As a board member that has been spied on, I would likely feel violated. People
expect a certain degree of privacy, and after learning about such egregious privacy
violations they may lose faith in the organization. Many may even leave based on
what has happened.

As an investigator you are hired to do a very specific job. Private investigators are
trained and licensed. While some of the tactics they use may seem to tiptoe on the
edge of legality, actually breaking the law will cost them their license. According
to reports of the HP incident, individuals lied to obtain personal phone records and

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other information. These actions definitely fall into the illegal area. Investigators
have the right to search through any information available, and even to follow
individuals traveling through public areas. However, once someone is in a home or
private business, investigators need to take precautions to not violate personal

People of different socioeconomic class tend to live in homogeneous clusters. For
many people, the idea of buying a new car of any kind is considered expensive.
For someone from an upper class neighborhood, on the other hand, expensive
could mean a car well over $100,000.

“Several” can vary depending an individual’s background. Additionally, the

concept of a line at the theater can present itself differently in people’s minds.
Someone from a small town might consider any line at all, even one with only five
people, to be several. Someone else from a large city might be used to lines with at
least twenty or thirty people, so “several people” might indicate a typical theater
line of about twenty-five people.

“Overwhelmingly” could easily mean anywhere from a simple majority (over fifty
percent) to nearly a consensus. If the public largely supported the ballot,
overwhelmingly may indicate eighty percent. In the 2008 presidential election,
news stations were quoted as saying the American people overwhelmingly
supported Barack Obama, yet he only received fifty-two percent of the popular

It is easy to see that the idea of “older” can be different depending on the speaker.
To a teenager, people in their thirties are “older.” For those in their thirties, people
in their sixties are “older.” The context of the phrase can also change the idea of
“older.” If someone were talking about an older brother, you might think the
brother were one to ten years older. The fact that it is a boss may make you think
of a much older person, perhaps sixty or seventy years old.

“Recently” can change drastically depending on who is speaking. For an

astrophysicist, the earth has only recently formed (about 3.5 billion years ago). A
man who is sixty-seven years old may say he has recently retired (two years ago).
In reference to a newspaper article, if you read the paper every day, recently may
mean within the past three or four days. For someone who rarely reads newspaper
articles, recently could be within the last two months or anything in between.

V. Relevant TED Talks for bringing course concepts to life

A. Title: Beware online “filter bubbles” by Eli Pariser
Synopsis: The Internet is now using someone’s personal information to assess
what he or she think they want to see/hear, and filters what people see. Eli

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argues that this creates a lack of exposure to information that could test our
judgment and ‘broaden our world views’.

B. Title: Gotta share by Improv Everywhere
Synopsis: A fun, short music video on the effect that social media has on our

Additional Readings

Roger E. Axtell (1998). Gestures: The do’s and taboos of body language around
the world. NY: Wiley.

Carmine Gallo (2015). Talk like TED: The 9 public-speaking secrets of the
world’s top minds. St. Martin’s Griffin.

Stephen Denning (2005). The leader’s guide to storytelling: Mastering the art and
discipline of business narratives. NY: Jossey-Bass.

Akash Karia (2015). How to design TED-worthy presentation slides. CreateSpace.

Bill McGowan (2014). Pitch perfect: How to say it right the first time, every time.

Harry Mills (2007). PowerPoints! How to design & deliver presentations that
sizzle and sell. NY: Amacom.

Phyllis Mindell (2005). How to say it for executives: The complete guide to
communication for leaders. NY: Penguin Group.

Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler (2002). Crucial
conversations: Tools for talking when stakes are high. NY: McGraw-Hill.

John D. Walsh (2003). The art of storytelling: Easy steps to presenting an

unforgettable story. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

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Chapter 9
Managing Groups and Teams


1. What are the benefits of creating a team whose members hold hiring power
over potential new employees? What are the potential negatives?
2. What do you think inspires individuals at Pret a Manger to work as a
cohesive team?
3. In the case of Pret a Manger a Manger, do you view the team members or
the management leaders as the most important part of the story?
4. How do you think Pret a Manger a Manger holds team members
accountable for their actions?
5. Do you think that Pret a Manger offers enough of a support system for its
employees in order to create this type of team cohesion?

I. Discussion Questions
1. If you believe the punctuated-equilibrium model is true about groups, how
can you use this knowledge to help your own group?
According to this model, groups will sometimes experience a crisis, or a shock to
the status quo. Knowing this reality and expecting this to happen sometime in the
life of a group may be useful because it motivates the group to take action
afterward. The group can review what went wrong, what could have been done
instead, and how to change its processes to improve them for the future. This step
could be a learning opportunity and a good time to increase the creative potential
of the team.

2. Think about the most cohesive group you have ever been in. How did it
compare in terms of similarity, stability, size, support, and satisfaction?
Student answers will vary. You may want to highlight the factors that cause
cohesiveness, such as the size of a team, history of success, similarity as opposed
to diversity, the level of support available to the team, etc. You may also discuss
the conditions under which team diversity does not necessarily reduce

3. Why do you think social loafing occurs within groups?

Students are often surprised to hear that social loafing does not always occur
because there is a “lazy” member in their group. In fact, all of us are prone to
social loafing when working with others. Factors contributing to social loafing
may include

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 lack of individual accountability

 the perception that one’s contributions are not needed or valued
 feelings of exclusion from the team
 slack resources (the team is too big and there is not enough work to go

4. What can be done to combat social loafing?

There are many strategies, such as
 ensuring that individuals are accountable for completing identifiable
pieces of work
 making sure that members feel valued
 ensuring that members feel their input is needed
 asking team members to evaluate each other and using these
evaluations as part of the reward distribution
 keeping groups small

5. Have you seen instances of collective efficacy helping or hurting a team?

Please explain your answer.
Even though it is a generally desired characteristic within a team, collective
efficacy may sometimes hurt the group by leading to overconfidence and


1. Think of the last team you were in. Did the task you were asked to do
affect the team? Why or why not?
The type of task definitely influences the team processes. Specifically, teams have
different types of interdependencies. In some tasks, working solo is fine, with
members simply pooling their resources, while in other tasks, one member’s output
becomes the other person’s input. As the interdependence increases, opportunities
for interaction and conflict also increase.

2. Which of the 10 work roles do you normally take in a team? How difficult
or easy do you think it would be for you to take on a different role?
Student answers will vary for this question. A good discussion point might be
whether each member should be ready to serve in different roles and whether
developing this flexibility is required for the performance of one’s team.

3. Have you ever worked in a virtual team? If so, what were the challenges
and advantages of working virtually?
There are many advantages to virtual teams, such as allowing a company to reap
cost savings and bringing people from different cultures and perspectives together
to work on a single project. The challenges of virtual teams involve making each
person accountable for specific tasks, as close supervision of each member will not
be possible. Communication technology may also introduce additional challenges,

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such as the challenge of developing relationships while working in a remote


4. How large do you think teams should be and why?

While the right size will depend on the task at hand, research shows that effective
team size ranges between two and twenty.

1. Have the norms for most of the teams you have belonged to been formal or
informal? How do you think that has affected these teams?
While informal norms exert strong influence over individuals, developing formal
norms or team contracts may be useful in creating the informal norms that will
guide the functioning of a team. Establishing formal norms during the early stages
would be useful for the team to discuss areas of agreement and disagreement and
discover the important issues that need resolution.

2. Have you ever been involved in creating a team contract? Explain how
you think that may have influenced how the team functioned.
Scientific research as well as experience working with thousands of teams shows
that teams that are able to articulate and agree on established ground rules, goals,
and roles and develop a team contract around these standards are better equipped
to face challenges that may arise within the team. Having a team contract does not
necessarily mean that the team will be successful but it can serve as a roadmap
when the team veers off course.

3. Should the person requesting a meeting always prepare a meeting agenda?

Why or why not?
Often this is a good idea. The person requesting the meeting will have an idea why
a meeting is necessary and identifying the points of discussion would be useful. At
the same time, in order to ensure that the meeting addresses everyone’s concerns,
this person will need to be open to suggested agenda items.

4. Do you think conducting team meetings standing up is a good idea? Why

or why not?
Particularly for routine coordination meetings, this would be a great idea because it
ensures that only the most important information is shared. We cannot stand up for
too long! There are alternatives that are similar to this format, such as giving the
speaker a heavy object to hold while speaking. This way, it is ensured that the
speaker will not be able to dominate the conversation and will speak briefly.


1. How could some of the things discussed in “Understanding Team
Design Characteristics” help to avoid the common barriers to team

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Here, students are asked to explain how choosing members carefully, determining
the team size, ensuring diversity of the team, and setting team roles will be related
to the amount of conflict and coordination within the team. You may encourage
students to share stories from particularly successful and unsuccessful teams.

2. Have you ever been involved in a team where dominating team

members hurt the team’s performance? Share what happened and how
the team dealt with this.
There are a couple of problems when one team member dominates:
 This situation can lead to groupthink. Members start complying and self-
censoring because it is difficult to go against the leader.
 Members start engaging in social loafing because the dominant person
makes the remainder of the team feel excluded.
 The dominant member starts also feeling alone, stressed, and frustrated with
the rest of the team.
 This situation leads to underutilization of team resources and potentially
could lead to the failure of the team.


1. Have you ever felt pressure from team members to do something you
didn’t want to do? If so, how did you handle it?
Teams can pressure others toward unethical behaviors such as hiding a mistake
from management, or exerting less effort at work so that production is held at a
low level. Students may share their experiences with team pressure and how they
were able to handle the pressure. Organizations may want to institute mechanisms
such as whistle-blowing to help employees who are pressured toward unethical

2. In what ways do you think culture can affect a team?

The level of collectivism within the team will affect how attached group members
are toward each other, the roles they adapt, and whether individuals are used to
being team members. Power distance may be a negative influence over self-
managing teams as individuals may be more used to a hierarchical structure
dictating what each member is responsible for doing, as opposed to coordinating
their own individual actions.



1. Would Robert Henderson’s strategy have worked if GE was manufacturing

an entire plane rather than just an engine? What about if they were
manufacturing medical equipment?

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Henderson’s strategy may not have worked for an entire plane. The engine itself
cost an amount of money that was unacceptable to lose if anything went wrong in
the process. The engine itself was a risk, so it is unlikely GE would have followed
through with funding for an entire plane.

2. Jack Welch stated that productivity “comes from challenged, empowered,

excited, rewarded teams of people.” Do you agree with this statement? What
are some other factors of productivity that Welch may have left out?
Student’s answers will vary on their opinions of the statement made by Jack
Welch. A few factors that may have been left out include: motivated, agreeable,
and hardworking.

3. One of the factors that contributed to the success of Henderson’s new

factory was the use of FAA-certified mechanics. How could Henderson have
accomplished his goal if the industry was suffering a shortage of FAA-
certified individuals?
Some alternative methods Henderson could have taken if he was faced with a
shortage of FAA-certified individuals would be to train himself to become FAA
certified and then train employees himself, allowing himself to personally train and
evaluate new FAA certified individuals.

4. As stated at the opening of the GE story, GE had already invested $1.5

billion in the jet engine project. This implies that GE has a large amount of
money at its disposal. Could Henderson have pulled off his revolutionary
production facility without the amount of financial capital GE provided? How
might his initial planning and the development of the factory have differed if
he was working for a new, small, start-up organization?
Without the financial capital that GE provided, Henderson would have had a very
hard time pulling off what he accomplished. Funding is very important for
creation, and without social, economic, or cultural capital, Henderson would not
have been able to accomplish what he did.

II. End of Chapter Materials

Imagine you work at an ad agency and your team is charged of coming up with the
name for TrueBeauty’s latest perfume. You have been with the company for six
months. The branding team has been brainstorming for the last two hours, filling
up pages and pages of the flipchart with innovative, imaginative names. Feeling
daunted by how loudly, quickly, and assertively branding team members are
shouting out suggestions, you decide to sit this one out, even though you have
some ideas. You are uncomfortable shouting over everyone else and you reason
that the group would discount your input anyway. Plus, everyone else is generating
so many good names that the group is bound to succeed regardless of your input.

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What do you think?

1. Is your lack of participation ethical? Why or why not?
2. What are the implications of speaking up or not speaking up?
3. Would you change your answer if you’d been with the company for 10
years instead of six months?

Think about a team you belonged to and enjoyed. This could be a student or
work team. Now answer the following questions:

1. What was the reason you enjoyed the team?

2. What made the members “click?”
3. What were the norms in the team?
4. How did you decide who would do what?
5. What made you work hard for the team?
Now answer the following questions for a team you belonged to but did not

1. What was the reason you did not enjoy the team?
2. What made the members distant from each other?
3. What were the norms in the team? Were the norms effective?
4. How did you decide who would do what?
5. Did you work hard for the team? Why or why not?

Comparing your experiences, are there things you can do to proactively

manage the team you enter? How can you change your own perceptions and
behaviors to ensure that the team ends up being successful?


Tangram Puzzle

 Originated in China
 Brought to the United States in 1815
 Means “seven boards of skill” in Chinese
 The seven pieces are called a "tans"
 There are two large, one medium, and two small triangles as well as one
square and one parallelogram 

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 Over 6,500 different tangram figure problems have been created.

Objective of the puzzle:

Use all seven pieces to create figures.

Can you create the following figures?

 Boat
 Candle
 Cat
 Chair
 Dog
 House
 Person holding a bowl
 Rabbit
 Rocket
 Swan

Further reading:
Anno, M. (1987). Anno's Math Games (three volumes). New York: Philomel
Books, Gardner, M. (1974). Mathematical Games—on the Fanciful History
and the Creative Challenges of the Puzzle Game of Tangrams, Scientific
American, Aug. 98–103. Gardner, M. (1974).  More on Tangrams, Scientific
American, Sep. 187–191. Slocum, Jerry, et al. (2003). The Tangram book:
The story of the Chinese puzzle with over 2000 puzzles to solve. New York:
Sterling Publishing Company.

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Instructions for group exercise:

1. Copy or print out this puzzle template.

2. Cut out the seven shapes following the lines.
3. Use these seven shapes to create shapes such as boat, candle, cat, chair,
dog, house, person holding a bowl, rabbit, rocket, or swan.
4. You may also create your own tangram puzzles.
5. The class should be divided so that some people do it alone, some in pairs,
and others in trios.
6. Each individual or team should work to create as many different tangram
shapes as possible within ten minutes.
7. After ten minutes, record how many (and which) tangrams were able to be
8. Answer the following questions:
 Did enjoyment of the task vary based on solo vs. team performance?
 Did performance of the task vary based on whether you completed the
task solo, in pairs, or in trios?
 Was there evidence of social loafing?
 Which team roles did you observe being performed?
 If the team is awarded $10, how do you think it should be divided up?
Why or why not?
 How did team effectiveness depend on team composition or

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III. Exercise Solutions and End of the Chapter Role Plays

The simple fact of the matter is that sometimes it is best to “sit it out.” However, in
brainstorming sessions, every idea is valuable. Even if you feel like you don’t have
good ideas, bad ideas can stimulate good ideas. It is unfortunate that the group
seems to be getting out of control, but people often become very passionate during
creative times. The current brainstorming environment may be what everyone else
is used to and something you may need to get used to if you are going to continue
with this particular organization. Although it might be challenging, throwing out a
few ideas can go a long way.

Student’s answers and results will vary.

Student’s answers and results will vary.

V. Relevant TED Talks for bringing course concepts to life

A. Title: Why it’s time to forget the pecking order at work by Margaret
Synopsis: Margaret talks about how the individual at work can thrive in a
social situation in which they have support from the group. Teams that work
together work the best; time builds trust, allowing employees to create their
finest work.

B. Title: The workforce crisis of 2030 - and how to start solving it now by
Rainer Strack
Synopsis: Because it is predicted that by 2030 there will be more jobs than
adult citizens to do those jobs, Strack suggests looking around the world for
employees, however before they can do this, companies must develop new
strategies to run their business and deal with new employees.

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Additional Readings

Deborah G. Ancona and Henrik Bresman (2007). X-teams: How to build teams
that lead, innovate, and succeed. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Donelson R. Forsyth (2005). Group dynamics. Wadsworth Publishing.

J. Richard Hackman (2002). Leading teams: Setting the stage for great
performances. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Rich Karlgaard and Michael S. Malone (2015). Team genius: The new science of
high-performing organizations. HarperBusiness.

Patrick M. Lencioni (2002). The five dysfunctions of a team: A leadership fable.

NY: Jossey-Bass.

Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright (2011). Tribal leadership:
Leveraging natural groups to build a thriving organization. HarperBusiness.

General Stanley McChrystal (2015). Team of teams: New rules of engagement for
a complex world. Portfolio.

Joseph E. McGrath (1984). Groups: Interaction and performance. Englewood

Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

James Surowiecki (2005). The wisdom of crowds. New York: Anchor Books.

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Chapter 10
Conflict and Negotiations


1. Considering the amount of buzz surrounding Hassett’s new technology and

the impact previous, similar advancements have made, was Hassett
necessarily foolish for not taking a quick offer?
2. Is the PointCast situation a case of pride clouding someone’s judgment or
more accurately a representation of the rapidly changing nature of
computer-related business? In other words, if Hassett’s advancement had
been in an industry that is not known for such rapid change, would he have
been considered foolish if he hadn’t held out for more money?
3. The case focuses on how foolish Hassett was for not accepting Rupert
Murdoch’s first or second offer. However, think of the buyout offer from
the perspective of Rupert Murdoch. If the buyout had gone through, News
Corporation would likely have lost hundreds of millions of dollars on the
deal, and the company was effectively spared massive losses by the merger
falling through. What could Murdoch have done differently to protect
against such risky mergers in the future?

I. Discussion Questions
1. What are the types of conflicts that individuals may have at work? Which
type have you experienced the most?
Conflict may be intrapersonal (such as role conflict), interpersonal (between two
individuals) or intergroup (between two groups). All three types of conflict are
prevalent in organizations.

2. What are some primary causes of conflict at work that you have observed
between two people? Within a larger group?
Conflict may occur as a result of an organization’s structure, limited resources,
task interdependence, incompatible goals, personality differences, and
communication problems.

3. Explain how miscommunication might be related to a conflict at work.

Miscommunication may lead to a situation where individuals assume that they
disagree on what to do or how to do things, as well as on interpersonal issues. This
is a good point to ask students to share personal experiences.

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1. What are the most prevalent causes of conflict at work?
Conflict may occur as a result of an organization’s structure, limited resources,
task interdependence, incompatible goals, personality differences, and
communication problems.

2. What are the common outcomes of workplace conflict?

Conflict may have positive outcomes such as
 consideration of a broader range of ideas, resulting in a better, stronger idea
 surfacing of assumptions that may be inaccurate
 increased participation and creativity
 clarification of individual views that build learning

On the other hand, conflict can be dysfunctional if it is excessive or involves

personal attacks or underhanded tactics.

Examples of negative outcomes include:

 Increased stress and anxiety among individuals, which decreases
productivity and satisfaction
 Some people feel defeated and demeaned, which lowers their morale and
may increase turnover
 A climate of mistrust develops, which hinders the teamwork and
cooperation necessary to get work done

Jobs that involve dealing with people and being in high risk situations have a
higher risk of violence as a reaction to conflict.

3. Do you think workplace violence is a problem or not? Why do you think

that is?
Yes, workplace violence is definitely a problem. Every employee should have
the right to go to work and feel comfortable and safe in the workplace. While it
is at times healthy for a company to have arguments and disagreements (which
can help the company grow and expand) it moves a step backwards when
violence takes place. Workplace violence is more common in certain
employment positions than others. In workforces that include a lot of stressful
situations with poor management style, violence is more common.
4. What outcomes have you observed from conflict for yourself? In other
words, how do you feel or act after a conflict?
Student answers to this question will vary. When not prompted, students may be
more likely to mention negative outcomes of conflict. You may want to remind
them that the absence of conflict may also signal problems such as apathy.

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1. List three ways to decrease a conflict situation. What do you think are
some pros and cons of each of these approaches?
 Changing the composition of the team (such as dropping a team member)
may resolve the conflict but this may be a drastic action. While resolving
the conflict at hand, it may cause difficulties in working relationships in the
 Creating a common opposing force (finding a common enemy, or
identifying a common goal everyone can identify with) may bring
conflicting parties together, but it may also be a temporary solution.
 Using majority rule as the decision-making process may move the process
along. At the same time, if the minority opinion was the correct cause of
action, this will be a missed opportunity.
 Problem solving is an effective approach as it gets to the bottom of the
issue creating the conflict, even though it may not always be possible.

2. Do you deal with conflict differently with friends and family than you do
at work? If so, why do you think that is?
Students will probably mention that they approach conflict with strangers and
family members differently. When interacting with our loved ones, we will have
the desire to meet our own goals but at the same time feel motivated to help the
other party reach their goals as well. As a result, we may use collaboration or
compromise as opposed to solely pushing to get what we want. Moreover, with
people with whom we have a long history, we may feel free to discuss our
opinions freely and openly without being afraid that we will offend the other
person. Therefore, avoidance may be less likely in these trust-based relationships.
Of course, student answers will vary and some may bring up family members one
knows are unlikely to change their views, motivating one to avoid conflict.

3. What is your usual conflict-handling style at work? Do you see it as

effective or ineffective?
Here, you may want to make the point that each of us has a range of alternatives
when it comes to conflict management. Most of us follow a single style regardless
of circumstances (such as seeking a compromise regardless of what the situation
entails). Instead, it may be more useful to strategically analyze the situation and
decide whether compromise, collaboration, or even avoidance is the proper action.

4. Describe a situation in which not having enough conflict can be a problem.

In fact, lack of conflict may signal that the workplace has a culture of maintaining
the appearance of pleasant relationships and people are penalized for criticizing the
status quo. Or, it may signal that members are suffering from groupthink. Conflict
may improve the status quo and help the group arrive at better solutions, or
identify problems in the status quo. Therefore, avoiding conflict at all costs is
likely to be a counterproductive activity.

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1. What are the negotiation phases and what goes on during each of them?
Investigation – Determining the goals of the negotiation.
Determining your BATNA - best alternative to a negotiated agreement.
Presentation – assembling and presenting your case.
Bargaining – trying to achieve your goals by getting concessions.
Closure – the end of the negotiation.

2. When negotiating, do you think establishing a BATNA important? Why or

why not?
The BATNA tells you your alternatives if you walk away from the negotiation. For
example, when negotiating for salary, if you know that your BATNA is staying at
this job at the same salary, then you would know not to make any threats or be
emotional during the negotiation. Yet, if you know that your BATNA is to take an
alternative job offer at a higher salary, you would know that you have choices if
this negotiation failed, and this would affect your style during the negotiation.

3. Have you ever used any of the third-party conflict resolution options
available? Have you ever used any of the third-party conflict resolution
options discussed in this chapter?
These resolutions prove very effective in places other than the workforce. It is very
effective in solving conflicts between kids, for example a babysitter or a parent can
sit two children down and hash out any animosity there is by coming to a
resolution or compromise.  Students may then proceed to give personal examples
of conflict resolutions they have utilized in the past and whether they proved
effective or ineffective.


1. Is the goal of negotiation to maximize your economic outcome at all costs?
Why or why not?
Finding a way to make a deal that works for both sides is preferable. Otherwise, if
you have the complete upper hand and use it to “destroy” the other party, it’s likely
that at a future date the other party will have the upper hand and will use it to
retaliate mercilessly against you. What’s more, your reputation as a negotiator will
suffer. As J. Paul Getty said, “My father said: ‘You must never try to make all the
money that’s in a deal. Let the other fellow make some money too, because if you
have a reputation for always making all the money, you won't have many deals.’ ”

2. Is solely working to maximize your (or your company’s) economic outcome

at all costs ethical? Why or why not?
Student’s answers will vary, some will feel that all businesses strive for
maximizing their economic outcome, and others say that leaving lasting positive
effects on our society is much more meaningful.  People’s opinions on what is
ethical will differ person to person.

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3. What are some similarities and differences in conflict management

preference and negotiation practices among different countries around the
globe? Have you had any experiences with individuals from other cultures? If
so, how did it go? How might it have gone better?

Some cultures have a higher or lower threshold for conflict. For example, in
countries such as Japan or Korea, the preference is for harmony (called wa in
Japan) rather than overt conflict.

In Japan, much like Pakistan, the tendency is not to trust what is heard from the
other party until a strong relationship is formed. Similarly, in China, conversations
start out with innocuous topics to set a mood of friendliness. This differs a great
deal from American negotiators who tend to like to “get down to business” and
heavily weigh first offers as reference points that anchor the process as both sides
make demands and later offers.


1. What potential causes of conflict existed at WorldCom during Bernard
Ebbers’ administration?
The leadership at WorldCom was faulty: CEO Bernard Ebbers had a short temper,
was stubborn and did not like the company he worked for. Ebbers avoid making
long-term plans and strategic decisions, ultimately destroying the company’s
financial stability. Organizational structure and communication problems are the
most potential causes of conflict for the downfall of WorldCom.

2. What might have happened if Ebbers had been prone to a different

conflict-handling style, such as compromise or collaboration?
Ebber’s strategies of resolution included avoiding the problem, and ultimately
falsifying financial reports, resulting in investment fraud. A better approach Ebbers
could have taken would have been admitting to having problems keeping up with
growth due to new complex technology and expansion, and then attempting to
collaborate with other higher ups to figure out how to catch up with society and
maintain a functional, profit-earning company.

3. How did having a small “inner circle” of leadership affect the corporate
culture at WorldCom?
A smaller inner circle meant less brainpower to work with- less ideas brought to
the table, less diversity of new ideas and staff. The culture was more authoritarian:
a small group controlling the mass. This meant employees had little say in any of
the company matters, creating tension between the leadership employees and the
rest of the workers.
4. If you were Cynthia Cooper, how might you have dealt with being ignored?
What options did Cooper have to deal with the company conflict?

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Cooper used the conflict-handling style strategy of competing: highly assertive but
low on cooperation. Without help from her coworkers who disapproved of the
company but were not willing to go against it, Cooper had to work alone. While
competing conflict style sounds negative, Cooper was willing to sacrifice her own
job stability in order to find the truth and to reestablish the company’s moral

5. What responsibility did the board of directors have to detect and confront
the problems at WorldCom?
While the board of directors did confront the problems to an extent at
WorldCom, their solution may have not been the most effective. Asking
Ebbers to step down was definitely a start to creating a solution, but they
should have furthered investigation to the real damage Ebbers caused for the

II. End of Chapter Materials

Imagine that you are part of a bargaining team that has been engaged in
negotiations for six long months. One night, as you are getting ready to leave and
are gathering your things, you notice a piece of green paper on the ground near
where Irwin, a member of the opposite negotiation team, was sitting just a few
minutes earlier. When you pick it up, you realize that it is a list of the ideal
outcome for the other team.

At first you are ecstatic, this is the information you need to end these negotiations!
Then you begin to recall your Organizational Behavior course and all those ethical
dilemmas that seemed so easy back then. What should you do? Should you use the
information for your team? I mean, why not, they were careless enough to leave it
behind? On the other hand, would that be ethical?

Thinking back to that OB course, you recall some key questions you should ask
yourself during negotiations:
 Would this be honest?
 Would this involve keeping my promises?
 Would I be following the Platinum Rule and be “treating people the way
they want to be treated”?

As you are pondering these questions you also realize that this is a key decision.
There were some additional questions you should ask yourself around making
ethical decisions if you plan on using this information to help your team:
 Is this decision fair?
 Will I feel better or worse about myself after I make this decision?
 Does this decision break any organizational rules?
 Does this decision break any laws?
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 How would I feel if this decision was broadcast on the news?

Just as you think you’ve made your decision, Irwin from the opposing team walks
back in and asks you if you’ve seen a green piece of paper.

 What would you do?

 What are the ethical dilemmas involved?
 How would you justify your choice?
 What would be the consequences of your choice?


A Case of Listening: When Silence is Golden

Listening can be an effective tool during negotiations. William Devine was

representing a client on a land purchase. “The owner and I spent two hours on the
phone horse-trading contract issues, then turned to the price.” Devine explained.
“We were $100,000 apart.” The owner then said, “The price your client proposes
will leave us well short of our projections. That makes it very tough on us.” The
line went silent.

“My impulse was to say something in response to the silence, and I started to
speak, then stopped. As I hesitated, I sensed that if I said, “My client can pay all
cash,” or “It’s still a good deal for you,” then the owner would take my comment
as an invitation to joust, we would battle over the hundred grand, and my client
would end up having to pay some or all of that sum. The owner had not asked a
question or proposed a compromise, so no response was required from me at that
moment. I decided to remain silent. After what felt like days but was probably less
than thirty seconds, I heard, “But I guess it’s good for us [i.e., his company] to just
get this deal done, so we’ll do it.”

Devine saved his client $100,000 by staying silent.

Questions to think about

1. What does this case suggest about the role of silence in negotiations?
2. Have you ever had a similar experience where saying nothing paid off?
3. Are there times when silence is a bad idea? Explain your answer.

Source: Adapted from Devine, W. (2002, September 30). Anatomy of a Deal-Maker. California
Real Estate Journal,

Salary Negotiations

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Thinking about negotiations is a lot easier than actually engaging in them. In order
to give you some practice with the information in this chapter, you will engage in a
salary negotiation.
1) To make this more meaningful, the exercise will be based on a job that you are
actually interested in. Think of a job you would like to have (either now or in the
future). Imagine you have been offered this job. The salary is okay. It is about 15%
below the market rate for this type of job, but you really want the job.
2) What will you do?
Will you negotiate for a higher salary?
What are the pros and cons of this choice?
3) If you’ve decided to negotiate (and we strongly suggest you do), work through
the next six steps in the OB Toolbox “Seven Steps to Negotiating a Higher
Salary.” Once you are up to step 5, let your instructor know you are ready to begin
the negotiation process.

III. Exercise Solutions and End of the Chapter Role Plays

In this situation you would be given an obvious advantage for the remaining
negotiations. It would be best not to lie to direct questions. You did find the piece
of paper, so you should probably admit it. You’ve read the piece of paper, so you
should probably admit to that as well. The best thing to do, considering the
circumstances, may be to simply be honest about what has occurred. As soon as
the group is together again, tell everyone what has happened and outline the
position your team is in at this point for further negotiations. Admit to the fact that
this gives your side a distinct advantage and ask how others feel the process should
continue at this point. It is entirely possible that both sides may be able to come to
an agreement quickly with so much out in the open. It is also possible that any
agreement will simply fall through. Either way, you will know that you did not
profit from another individual’s honest mistake and you did not have to lie to
anyone to secure a deal.

People often talk when they get nervous. Unfortunately, they may also reveal too
much information or the wrong kind of information that gives the other person an
advantage. Instead of talking, remaining silent may give the other person the
feeling that you are confident, or that you know something they do not. Silence
puts pressure on the other person to do or say something. Sometimes they have the
chance to fully process what you have just said, which could result in a favorable
decision for you. It is probably a bad idea to remain silent if you have been asked a
question. In that case, silence might indicate a lack of knowledge about a subject.
If the conversation has stalled, silence could also be a bad thing. In the example
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from the book, there was no direct question asked and the conversation hadn’t
stalled. The other party was simply contemplating the offer. Attempting to
determine when the other person is contemplating something can be difficult, but
giving them time to think can have substantial payoffs.

It is important to consider other aspects of the job that might be making the pay
lower. For example, is the job in an area where the cost of living is substantially
lower than other places? Are there other perks associated with the job such as
excellent health care, ample vacation time, or good opportunity for promotion?
Does the company have any kind of bonus system that might make up the
difference in pay? These questions are all very important. Also, would you be
willing to work for less pay because you want to live in the city in which the
company is located. Perhaps you feel you do not yet have the experience that
would otherwise allow you to ask for more money. Maybe the economy has been
down and several people are working for less than the typical pay for their

Depending on the circumstances, you may want to ask for more money. Statistics
show that people’s starting salary can have a large impact on how much money
they are able to make over their lifetime. Additionally, the worst that could happen
if you ask for more money is not getting it, yet not asking for more will guarantee
you will not get it.

IV. Bonus Material

Here are the five styles of handling conflict as outlined in the chapter:

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Accommodation Collaboration
Level of Cooperation


Avoidance Competition

Low High

Level of Competitiveness

For the following scenarios, list the pros and cons for each style.

 Two employees within a department refuse to collaborate on projects.

 A group member is constantly showing up late for meetings.
 Despite a company’s tradition of promoting internally, a management
position has been filled by an outsider. Employees who would have been
up for the position are upset.

V. Relevant TED Talks for bringing course concepts to life

Title: The walk from “no” to “yes” by William Ury
Synopsis: In this talk, William offers different ways to create solutions and agreements in
even the most challenging controversial situations “from family conflict to, perhaps, the
Middle East”.

Title: Beware conflicts of interest by Dan Ariely
Synopsis: Ariely talks about how “the pursuit of knowledge and insight” can be affected
and hindered by people’s individual ‘shortsighted’ goals.

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Additional Readings

Harvard Business School Press (2007). Managing conflict (Lessons learned

series). Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Roy Lewicki, David Saunders, and Bruce Barry (2005). Negotiation. NY:

Deepak Malhotra and Max Bazerman (2008). Negotiation genius: How to

overcome obstacles and achieve brilliant results at the bargaining table and
beyond. Bantam.

Leigh L. Thompson (2007). The truth about negotiations. FT Press.

William Ury (1993). Getting past no. Bantam.

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Chapter 11
Making Decisions


1. What do you believe is the role of luck in Rovio entertainment’s success?
2. How did Mikael and Niklas engage in rational decision making? Explain.
3. Which of the Heds’ decisions may be characterized as intuitive decisions?
4. Did the founders of Rovio engage in creative decision making? Explain
your answer using examples.

I. Discussion Questions
1. What do you see as the main difference between a successful and an
unsuccessful decision? How much does luck versus skill have to do with it?
How much time needs to pass to know if a decision is successful or not?
A successful decision is one what meets the needs of the decision maker.
Depending on the topic to be decided, some time will need to pass before we can
be sure that the decision was successful or not. Students will recognize that both
luck and skills have to do with the outcomes of the decision-making process.

2. Research has shown that over half of the decisions made within
organizations fail. Does this surprise you? Why or why not?
Student answers will vary. Many decisions fail because decision makers fail to
consider all alternatives, do not set the decision criteria before making the decision,
or adopt short-term as opposed to long-term goals.

3. Have you used the rational decision- making model to make a decision?
What was the context? How well did the model work?
Rational decision making is likely to be more effective when it is cost-effective to
generate all alternatives and evaluate the pros and cons of all alternatives. When
the decision is important and there is a quality requirement, using rational decision
making will be a good idea.

4. Share an example of a decision where you used satisficing. Were you

happy with the outcome? Why or why not? When would you be most
likely to engage in satisficing?
Students will likely identify many examples of satisficing from their personal
lives, such as how they found a part time job or how they found an apartment to
live. You may want to engage them in a conversation of when it is appropriate to
make satisficing decisions and when it is less appropriate.

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5. Do you think intuition is respected as a decision-making style? Do you

think it should be? Why or why not?
Intuition can be an effective decision-making style for people who have extensive
experience in the area. Yet, for inexperienced individuals, intuition may lead to
poor decision making. Moreover, in organizations we are accountable for the
decisions we make. As a result, even when making decisions based on intuition, it
is important to be able to justify the decisions we make to others in the


1. Describe a time when you fell into one of the decision-making traps. How
did you come to realize that you had made a poor decision?
You may want to ask this question after discussing each of the decision-making
traps. Students will likely have experience with overconfidence, hindsight, and
escalation of commitment biases from their personal or professional lives.

2. How can you avoid escalation of commitment?

Escalation of commitment can be avoided by having predetermined cutoff points,
by ensuring that long-term projects are evaluated periodically, and ensuring that
the decision to continue with a decision is made by someone who is different from
the person who made the original decision.

3. Share an example of anchoring.

Anchoring is the tendency for individuals to rely too heavily on a single piece of
information. For example, when renting an apartment, we may be heavily affected
by how clean the apartment is, and ignore other important elements such as the
neighborhood in which the apartment is located or how big it is.

4. Which of the traps seems the most dangerous for decision makers and
Each of these will be dangerous and costly for decision makers. Dealing with
escalation of commitment is particularly costly, because even when we are aware
of the existence of such a tendency, we may not be able to prevent it. In fact, being
patient with our initial decision despite early setbacks may sometimes be the more
effective course of action. Deciding when we are being properly patient or
escalating in our commitment will be challenging.


1. Do you prefer to make decisions in a group or alone? What are the main
reasons for your preference?
Student answers to this question will vary. You may want to highlight the
advantages of individual and group decision making and how each style will be
appropriate in different circumstances.

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2. Have you been in a group that used the brainstorming technique? Was it
an effective tool for coming up with creative ideas? Please share examples.
You may follow up this question by having a brief brainstorming exercise on a
subject such as “how would you raise $10,000 within a week without borrowing
from someone?”

3. Have you been in a group that experienced groupthink? If so, how did you
deal with it?
You may suggest different ways of dealing with groupthink such as assigning
someone the role of playing devil’s advocate, ensuring that the team leader does
not share his or her preferences until everyone gets a chance to speak, setting two
teams to work on the same problem, etc.

4. Which of the decision-making tools discussed in this chapter (NGT,

Delphi, and so on) have you used? How effective were they?
Student experience with the different methods will vary. When experiences of
ineffective use of these techniques are shared, you may want to ask them to share
the details of their process to see whether the process was carefully followed.


1. How can you assess if you are making ethical decisions or not?
This may be a good point to examine how students evaluate the ethicality of a
decision. An interesting point is that business students are likely to use the
rationale of “this is how businesses are run” or “all the other companies are doing
this” as a potential justification for their own actions. You may want to highlight
the problems with this rationale.

2. Have you seen examples of ethical or unethical decisions being made?

Describe what you observed.
Student answers to this question will vary. You may follow up their answers with
questions about how these situations could have been prevented. Also, you may
want to assess whether there is consensus in the types of actions students view as
ethical or unethical.

3. Have you seen examples of national culture affecting decision making?

National culture is an important influence over decision making. For example, in
power distant cultures, decision-making authority is concentrated at higher levels
in the organization. In uncertainty avoidant cultures, decision making tends to be
risk averse and follows procedures, protocols, and tradition. In collectivistic
cultures, more employees are involved in the decision-making process.

4. What advice surrounding decision making would you give to someone who
will be managing a new division of a company in another culture?

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Here, you may want to ask them to think of a specific country they are familiar
with, and ask students to identify the differences they see in decision-making
processes compared to the United States.

5. What can go wrong when cultural factors are ignored?

Trying to impose one country’s decision-making norms on a different culture will
likely not work and will alienate employees as well as potentially leading to
ineffective decision making.


1. Do you feel that Kodak’s bankruptcy was inevitable? How did high-level
decision making contribute to this situation?
With the type of product that Kodak made, and the inevitable innovations of
technology, it is not surprising that the demand  for film roll cameras significantly
decreased once the simpler, faster and more efficient digital cameras came
appeared on the market.

2. What decision-making errors do you think contributed to the problems of

The inability for Kodak to react in time to the new digital age of camera severely
damaged the company’s ability to grow and remain up to date with societies’ new
technological advancements. Some decision making biases that may have
contributed to the problems of Kodak include: anchoring and adjustment &
judgment on correlation and causality.

3. What do you think Kodak should have done to arrive at a different

Three good strategies Kodak could have used to save their company would have
been adapt, modify, and rearrange. They should have adapted to the new hot
product on the market and attempted to create their own version that would please
customers. Similarly, they could modify prices of old products and modify new
products to make them more useful and resourceful. Rearranging layouts, company
structure and advertisements would put more attention on Kodak, and having this
attention will give them the social capital that they need to innovate.

4. What are the decision-making lessons you would draw from this case?
Making decisions quickly and following through on new plans. Working half
heartedly to transform a company will not be efficient. Putting time in effort into
renovating their brand as quickly as possible is the best way to give the company a
chance in our fast paced society.

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II. End of Chapter Materials

Herb’s Concoction (and Martha’s Dilemma): The Case of the Deadly Fertilizer
Martha Wang worked in the Consumer Affairs Department of a company called
Herb’s Garden Products. Martha was a relatively new employee and had worked
there only six months, while most employees at Herb’s had been with the company
since its beginning back in 1958. She enjoyed her job and hoped to be promoted at
her next performance appraisal. One especially exciting part of working at Herb’s
was that they had made a public commitment to protecting the environment. There
were regular meetings at work about the choice to brand the organization in this
way, sell their products at “green” markets, and capture some of the growing
consumer market for natural products. Martha’s values were closely aligned with
this mentality, so she really loved her new job at Herb’s Garden Products. How
quickly things change.

One day Martha received a call from a dissatisfied customer who complained that
Herb’s Special Fertilizer Mix had killed her dog, an expensive and beloved toy
poodle. Martha knew that the fertilizer was made mostly of fish byproducts and
chicken manure, but she had also heard there was a “secret ingredient” that had
been revealed to long-time employees. The company had advertised the product as
“safe enough to eat for breakfast” and “able to work wonders on any plant.”
However, Martha had used the product only once herself. Shortly after applying
the fertilizer, Martha found several dead birds near the garden where she had
spread the most fertilizer. At the time, she convinced herself this was just a
coincidence. Listening now to this customer describe the death of her small dog
after lying on the soil near the fertilizer, Martha began to wonder if those birds had
perished for the same reason. Martha took the customer’s name and number and
went immediately to her boss.

Martha’s boss was Herb’s nephew, Mac. Once Martha explained her story about
her own experience with the fertilizer and the customer’s claim that it killed her
dog, Mac began to smile. “Some people will complain about the littlest things,”
Mac said. Martha protested that it was her job as a consumer affairs officer to
address the serious concerns of this customer and follow company procedure to
ensure the safety of future customers and their pets. Mac laughed and said, “You
really believe that something is wrong with our product? We’ve been selling this
fertilizer for thirty-five years. People love it! Now and again someone whines
about finding dead animals but that’s just their imagination. After all, we use all
natural ingredients!” Martha thanked Mac for his help and slowly headed back
toward her cubicle. She felt extremely confused and torn about her role at this
point. What should she tell the customer when she called her back? Was the
fertilizer safe? Should she worry about working in a place with potentially
dangerous products? What about quality issues for the company’s products in
general? Were Herb’s other products unsafe or of poor quality? What might be the

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environmental impact of this product as it runs off into lakes and streams? As her
head began to spin with the difficulty of the task ahead of her, the phone suddenly
rang. It was Herb himself, the owner and founder of the company. “Martha,” the
voice on the other line whispered, “Herb’s Special Fertilizer is our best seller!
Don’t let us down.”

Now it is your turn:

What kind of decision does Martha face? What are some of her decision-making
What recommendations do you have for a company facing this situation? What
should they do to deal with this customer complaint? From the perspective of the
management at Herb’s Garden Products, what are some next steps that could be
Source: Jeanne Enders, Portland State University. Used by permission of the author.


The Art of Choosing

In a book entitled The Art of Choosing, author Sheena Iyengar shares a six-
step process for helping you decide between how you spend your time at work
and/or school. These are summarized below:

1. Record all the different categories of tasks you face in a given week.
Spend ten minutes on this.
2. Now record all your responsibilities, tasks, and choices for a given week
for 10 minutes. The more detail you can capture the better.
3. Review the list you generated in step 2. Which can you easily cut? Which
things are redundant or unimportant? Cross out at least 50% of your list (or
75% if you are feeling ambitious).
4. For the remaining items on your list, imagine the challenge you face in
doing this item. Imagine the potential outcome of doing it. Weigh whether
or not this task is worth doing or not. Now cross out items that are more
frustrating than rewarding. Do this until you have no more than ten to
fifteen items remaining.
5. Consider which categories these surviving items belong to from the first
6. How much value do you personally bring to each category of
tasks/categories?  What can you do that no one else will be able to do as
well as you? Where should you try to condition yourself to choose the best
options and where should you settle for satisficing? Go through your list
one last time and try to cross out all but three to five of your top priorities.

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Moon Walk and Talk
Warning: Do not discuss this exercise with other members of your class until
instructed to do so.
You are a member of the moon space crew originally scheduled to rendezvous with a
mother ship on the lighted surface of the moon. Due to mechanical difficulties,
however, your ship was forced to land at a spot some 200 miles (320 km) from the
rendezvous point. During reentry and landing, much of the equipment aboard was
damaged, and because survival depends on reaching the mother ship, the most critical
items available must be chosen for the 200-mile (320 km) trip. Please see the list of
the 15 items left intact and undamaged after landing. Your task is to rank the items in
terms of their importance for your crew to reach the rendezvous point. Place the
number 1 by the most important, 2 by the next most important, and so on with 15
being the least important.

Source: Adopted from NASA Educational Materials .

Undamaged Items My Group NASA My Group

Ranking Ranking Rankin Difference Difference
Box of matches
Food concentrates
50 feet of nylon
Parachute silk
Portable heating
Two 45-caliber
One case
dehydrated milk
Two 100 lb. tanks
Stellar map (of
Life raft

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5 gallons of water
Signal flares
First aid kit
injection needles
Solar powered
FM receiver-

III. Exercise Solutions and End of the Chapter Role Plays

Martha is facing a very difficult decision. To move forward with her suspicion
may cost her a job she truly enjoys. To not act on her suspicion might bring harm
to customers. If Martha overreacts the reputation of the company may be severely
harmed, and if she just lets the situation slide a customer may be severely harmed.
It would seem prudent, based on the information at hand, to at least investigate the
claim. It would not be difficult to determine the safety of the company’s fertilizer.
If the fertilizer is indeed dangerous for animals, the company has an obligation (by
law) to disclose the information. The customer should probably be assured that an
investigation is being done, and management should not attempt to hide any
negative properties of their product. If it works well, customers will likely still buy
it based on performance. On the other hand, cover-ups generally end badly. The
company’s reputation would likely be tarnished beyond repair if any problems
with the fertilizer were revealed through other channels (such as a lawsuit).


The Art of Choosing

In a book entitled The Art of Choosing, author Sheena Iyengar shares a six-

step process for helping you decide between how you spend your time at work
and/or school. These are summarized below:

7. Record all the different categories of tasks you face in a given week.
Spend ten minutes on this.
8. Now record all your responsibilities, tasks, and choices for a given week
for 10 minutes. The more detail you can capture the better.
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9. Review the list you generated in step 2. Which can you easily cut? Which
things are redundant or unimportant? Cross out at least 50% of your list (or
75% if you are feeling ambitious).
10. For the remaining items on your list, imagine the challenge you face in
doing this item. Imagine the potential outcome of doing it. Weigh whether
or not this task is worth doing or not. Now cross out items that are more
frustrating than rewarding. Do this until you have no more than ten to
fifteen items remaining.
11. Consider which categories these surviving items belong to from the first
How much value do you personally bring to each category of tasks/categories? 
What can you do that no one else will be able to do as well as you? Where should
you try to condition yourself to choose the best options and where should you
settle for satisficing? Go through your list one last time and try to cross out all but
three to five of your top priorities.
Student’s answers will vary; their lists will vary and how they edit their lists will
also vary.  Each individual brings their own twist to the table, and how they
perform tasks. Some individuals may be better equipped for certain things than
others and can teach the others how to be a more efficient employee.

NASA Moon Survival Solution
Scoring Instructions
Compare your individual and group rankings to the expert’s rankings. Take the
absolute value of the difference between your answer and the expert answer. For
example, imagine that you put the box of matches as 13 but the experts put it as 15.
You would write “2” in the Individual Difference column. Then do the same for
the group difference. Do this for all 15 items.

Moon Walk and Talk

Source: NASA Educational Materials

Undamaged Items My Group NASA My Group

Ranking Ranking Rankin Difference Difference
Box of matches 15
Food 3

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50 feet of nylon 7
Parachute silk 12
Portable heating 8
Two 45-caliber 11
One case 9
dehydrated milk
Two 100 lb. tanks 1
Stellar map (of 6
Life raft 10
Magnetic 13
5 gallons of water 2
Signal flares 14
First aid kit 5
injection needles
Solar powered 4
FM receiver-

The preceding rankings were adopted from a NASA scientist, Dr. Carlton Allen.
Dr. Allen is the curator and manager of the Astromaterials Research and
Exploration Science (ARES) Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office. His
office is responsible for protecting, preserving, and distributing extraterrestrial
samples to help others learn more about solar system exploration such as the
Apollo Moon rocks and regoliths, Antarctic meteorites, and particles of solar wind.
Dr. Allen’s background is in planetary science.

He notes that the type of lander in which you were traveling would determine your
course of action if you landed on the wrong place on the Moon. If you were in a
two-stage lander (one stage for descent and one stage for ascent, like the Apollo
lunar module), they suggested that you terminate the surface mission, head back to
orbit, rendezvous with Orion in lunar orbit, and head home.

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If returning home was not a choice and you were stuck on the Moon, experts
suggested that you sit tight and wait for someone at the outpost to come and get
you. They agreed that the safest thing to do in this situation, as in most
emergencies, is to stay put and call for help.

If someone from the outpost cannot reach you, then you have no option other than
to try to make it to the outpost. The rankings and explanations below indicate how
each expert ranked the items to help you reach the outpost.

The rationale for specific rankings

Rankin Item Expert Rationale

15 Box of matches “Matches are virtually useless on the
Moon because there is little oxygen.”
3 Food concentrates “Food concentrate is a good source
of food and an efficient way to carry
8 15 meters (about “The nylon rope is useful in scaling
50 feet) of nylon cliffs or craters you have to cross. To
rope prevent injury or in case you cannot
walk, rope is helpful for tying you to
13 Parachute silk “Compared to other items, this item
is of little use.”
8 Portable heating Your space suit will keep you
unit relatively warm, but it couldn’t hurt
to have an additional heat source.
11 Two 45-caliber Can be used to propel you across
pistols craters if you are in the life raft.

9 One case Nutritional value but hard to drink

dehydrated milk without water to mix it with. Just
drinking the water is a better first
1 Two 100 lb. tanks “With basically no atmosphere on
oxygen the Moon, oxygen (O2) to breathe is
the most pressing survival need. The
average person needs about 0.84
kilograms (a little less than 2
pounds) of O2 per day.”
6 Stellar map (of “A map of the Moon’s surface is
the Moon’s your primary way to identify your
constellations) location and help you navigate.”

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10 Life raft “A life raft is of little use for survival

on the Moon. Although it could be
used to drag heavy items, the sharp
regolith would quickly puncture the
13 Magnetic “The moon has no global magnetic
compass field, which makes a magnetic
compass virtually useless.”
2 38 liters (10 “Though we believe there is some
gallons) of water water in the form of ice on the
Moon, there is no liquid water.
Water is essential to all life.
Currently, each astronaut aboard the
International Space Station (ISS)
uses about 11 liters (3 gallons) of
water daily.”
14 Signal flares These would also be relatively
useless due to the lack of oxygen on
the moon.
5 First aid kit “No matter where you are, a first aid
kit is a good idea. Be sure to carry
pain medication and medicine for
4 Solar powered “Hopefully people from the lunar
FM receiver- outpost are looking for you while
transmitter you are trying to reach them. A
solar-powered radio receiver-
transmitter is important to maintain
this communication.”

IV. Relevant TED Talks for bringing course concepts to life

A. Title: Are we in control of our own decisions? by Dan Ariely
Synopsis: Dan Ariely (behavioral economist) questions how rational humans
are when making decisions. He uses visual illusions as well as his own
research to prove his point.

B. Title: The art of choosing by Sheena Iyengar

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Synopsis: Sheena talks about how humans make decisions and how we feel
when we make decisions. She looks at the attitudes of choice in both smaller
decisions as well as larger decisions

C. Title: Why we made bad decisions by Dan Gilbert
Synopsis: Dan goes in debt at how human’s perceptions of value are altered by
superficial constructs and how this hinders our ability to judge whether a
decision is valuable or not worth it.

Additional Readings

Max H. Bazerman (2005). Judgment in managerial decision making. Austin, TX:

Leyh Publishing, LLC.

Gary Belsky and Thomas Gilovich (1999). Why smart people make big money
mistakes and how to correct them: Lessons from the new science of behavioral
economics. NY: Simon & Schuster.

Mihaly Csikszenhmihalyi (2003). Good business: Leadership, flow, and the

making of meaning. NY: Viking.

Malcolm Gladwell (2005). Blink: The power of thinking without thinking. NY:
Little, Brown and Company.

Sheena Iyengar (2011). The art of choosing. Twelve.

Daniel Kahneman (2013). Thinking, fast and slow. Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Gary A. Klein (2003). Intuition at work: Why developing your gut instincts will
make you better at what you do. NY: Random House, Inc.

Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (2005). Freakonomics: A rogue economist

explores the hidden side of everything. NY: HarperCollins.

Paul C. Nutt (2002). Why decisions fail: Avoiding the blunders and traps that lead
to debacles. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Barry Schwartz (2005). The paradox of choice: Why more is less. Harper

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Chapter 12
Leading People Within Organizations


1. Indra Nooyi is not a typical CEO. How does she differ from your idea of
what a typical CEO is like? How do you think your current image of CEOs
was created?
2. Indra Nooyi is touted as being “unusually collaborative” for someone in
charge of a Fortune 500 company. Why do you think her level of
collaboration is so unusual for top executives?
3. Do you think Nooyi’s story represents a transition of American companies
to a different type of leader or simply a unique case?
4. Pepsi-Cola dates back to 1898 and officially became PepsiCo after merging
with Frito-Lay in 1965. What are some challenges the CEO faces today that
were not an issue at that time? What are some aspects that make the
position easier in modern times?
5. If you were in Indra Nooyi’s shoes, what direction would you take the
company, given the success you have had thus far? What are some
challenges that could arise in the near future for PepsiCo?

I. Discussion Questions
1. What traits are evident in leaders you admire? What traits does this
person have? Are they consistent with the traits discussed in this chapter?
If not, why is this person effective despite the presence of different traits?
This question does not have a right or wrong answer and aims to engage students
into conversation. One interesting point that may arise from the discussion is that
often students mention behaviors as well as traits in answer to this question. This
may be a good point to differentiate traits and behaviors and pose the question of
whether traits or behaviors would predict leadership. Also, a follow-up question
could be identifying factors that would make certain traits more or less relevant for
leadership effectiveness.

2. Can the findings of traits approaches be used to train potential leaders?

Which traits seem easier to teach? Which are more stable?
Here, you may discuss the issue of whether traits are teachable. Students may
identify the big five personality traits as less likely to change as a result of
organizational training programs. Intelligence and integrity are also challenging to
teach via organizational training. In other words, the main value of the trait

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approach to leadership may be helping organizations identify individuals with

leadership potential.

3. How can organizations identify future leaders with a given set of traits?
Which methods would be useful for this purpose?
Organizations may use personality tests for this purpose. Furthermore, assessment
centers may be useful to distinguish individuals possessing leadership traits from
those who do not. Assessment centers involve two-to-three-day programs where
candidates engage in a number of structured tasks and their performance is rated
by professionals.

4. What other traits can you think of that would be relevant to effective
Students may identify a number of traits that may predict leadership in different
circumstances, such as desire to lead, internal locus of control, trustworthiness, etc.


1. Give an example of a leader you admire whose behavior is primarily task
oriented, and one whose behavior is primarily people oriented.
Student answers will vary for this question. It may be a good idea to ask students
whether primarily task-oriented or people-oriented leaders can be successful, or if
effective leadership is the ability to demonstrate a combination of both behaviors.

2. What are the limitations of autocratic decision making? Under which

conditions do you think autocratic style would be more effective?
Authoritarian decision making has a number of limitations: Lack of employee
participation may make employees feel disengaged. The decision may not be of
high quality if information pertaining to the decision resides in a number of
different individuals. Authoritarian leadership may lead to employees working
hard when the leader is around and slacking when the leader is not present. At the
same time, if leaders and employees do not share organizational goals to be
attained, if employees do not have the expertise or information necessary to make
the decision or participate in the decision-making process, or if employees are not
interested in participating, then authoritarian decision making may be effective.

3. What are the limitations of democratic decision making? Under which

conditions do you think democratic style would be more effective?
Democratic decision making also has downsides: It takes a long time and is
unlikely to be useful when there is time urgency. It may lead to higher levels of
political behaviors on the part of employees. If employees do not have the abilities,
skills, or information relevant to the decision, democratic decision making may
lead to an ineffective decision. This decision-making style will be more effective
when employees are capable of, and interested in participating in the decision-
making process and when there is not a time urgency.

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4. What are the limitations of laissez-faire decision making? Under which

conditions do you think laissez-faire style would be more effective?
This decision-making style may lead to high levels of conflict among employees
and a high level of role ambiguity. Therefore, when the group is highly cohesive
and when employees have a clear idea what needs to be done and why, this
leadership style is more likely to be effective.

5. Examine your own leadership style. Which behaviors are you more likely
to demonstrate? Which decision-making style are you more likely to use?
Student answers will vary for this question. Students are likely to believe that
democratic decision making and people-oriented styles are the best styles, and
therefore engaging them in a conversation of when authoritarian leadership and
task-oriented leadership may be needed would be a good idea.


1. Do you believe that the least preferred coworker technique is a valid
method of measuring someone’s leadership style? Why or why not?
The LPC scale has been criticized by researchers, so it would be interesting to
capture student perceptions of whether this is a useful scale or not.

2. Do you believe that leaders can vary their style to demonstrate directive,
supportive, participative, and achievement oriented styles with respect to
different employees? Or does each leader tend to have a personal style
that he or she regularly uses toward all employees?
This question aims to find out whether students feel that leaders are, or should be
flexible to change their style based on the demands of the situation. According to
research findings, developing the flexibility to demonstrate different styles at
different times is an important determinant of leadership effectiveness. Yet, this is
easier said than done. Someone who is a directive leader may find it very difficult
to adopt the participative leadership style even when the situation requires. These
leaders may still have a successful career if they select situations in which their
leadership style will be needed.

3. What do you see as the limitations of the Vroom-Yetton leadership

decision-making approach?
Students will likely bring up how complicated the model is. Yet, the criteria used
in this model will likely help leaders decide how much participativeness is called
for in a given situation. Furthermore, students may identify another limitation of
the model: The “right” answer depends on how decision makers answer the
numerous questions that are part of the model, and their answers to these questions
may well be biased. In other words, someone who is in favor of using authoritarian
decision making may answer the question of “Do I have sufficient information to
make the decision alone” affirmatively.

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4. Which of the leadership theories covered in this section do you think are
most useful and least useful to practicing managers? Why?
Student answers to this question will vary. It may be an interesting exercise to
contrast their answers with the level of research support the theory gathered.


1. What are the characteristics of transformational leaders? Are
transformational leaders more effective than transactional leaders?
Here you may point out that the effective leadership style depends on the situation.
Both transformational and transactional leadership styles are related to positive
outcomes, except for passive management by exception.

2. What is charisma? What are the advantages and disadvantages of

charismatic leadership? Should organizations look for charismatic leaders
when selecting managers?
The advantage of charisma is the high level of influence charismatic leaders will
have on their followers. Someone possessing charisma will find it easier to change
someone else’s behaviors. At the same time, there is no guarantee that charismatic
leaders will be effective, and followers may be less likely to question the actions of
charismatic leaders. Organizations may want to look for charismatic leaders during
times of transformational change. For example, if the organization needs a
different culture, a leader who possesses charisma may find it easier to achieve this

3. What are the differences (if any) between a leader having a high-quality
exchange with employees and being friends with employees?
While a high-quality exchange relationship may also involve friendship, it does not
have to. A leader and member may have a trust-based relationship. They may like
each other and mutually respect each other, and yet they may not spend any time
together outside of their work hours and the relationship may be confined solely to
the domain of a work relationship. You may also ask a follow-up question of
whether leader/member friendships will lead to higher performance and other
positive outcomes.

4. What does it mean to be a servant leader? Do you know any leaders whose
style resembles servant leaders? What are the advantages of adopting such
a leadership style?
Servant leadership is a leadership approach that defines the leader’s role as serving
the needs of others. Employee happiness is seen as an end in itself, and servant
leaders sometimes sacrifice their own well being to help employees succeed.
Research shows that servant leadership has a positive impact on employee
commitment, employee citizenship behaviors toward the community (such as
participating in community volunteering), and job performance.

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5. What does it mean to be an authentic leader? How would such a style be

The authentic leadership approach embraces the value of “being yourself.”
Authentic leadership requires understanding oneself. Therefore, in addition to self-
reflection, feedback from others is needed to gain a true understanding of one’s
behavior and its impact on others. The individual exercise for this chapter provides
a structure for the self-reflection part of developing authentic leadership.


1. What is the connection between leadership and ethical behaviors?
Many students will rightly identify the connection between the ability to trust
someone and leadership. In other words, someone who does not demonstrate
ethical behaviors is unlikely to be perceived as a leader. At the same time, leaders
are a powerful influence over the level of ethics within an organization. They serve
as role models, develop the organizational culture, and the way they reward and
punish different kinds of behaviors influence the ethical climate in an organization.

2. Do you believe that ethical leaders are more successful in organizations?

This question is difficult to answer with certainty, but it seems that in the long run,
ethical leadership may win the day. In the short run, unethical behaviors may go
unnoticed and these behaviors may help a leader be successful and get ahead in the
short run. Yet, unethical behaviors are eventually discovered, affecting the
reputation of the individual, as well as the future success of the person in question.
You may discuss a specific example such as lying on one’s resume. As long as the
lie is not detected, it may help the person get ahead. Yet, once it is found out, it
becomes an enormous handicap for the person for the rest of his or her career.

3. Which of the leadership theories seem to be most applicable to other

cultures? Which ones are culturally dependent?
Many of the leadership theories identified in this chapter have been validated in
different cultures. When applying these theories to different cultures, certain
modifications may be needed. For example, it seems that charisma is understood
and valued around the globe, but the factors which lead someone to be viewed as a
charismatic leader are culturally determined.


2. Why does Starbucks Coffee consider internal leadership development such an

important part of its core business process?
Internal leadership development ensures that the organizational culture of the
company is maintained with every CEO successor. In doing this, Starbucks strives
to attract future business leaders and managers to run their stores in the future.
Leadership is not only ingrained in the upper staff but through all employees in the

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3. What possible negative repercussions can the aggressive growth strategy that
Starbucks exhibits have on its leadership agenda?
As demonstrated in the example in the text, the recession of 2009 forced Starbucks
to adjust its accelerated growth of the company. In instances in which the economy
is down, spreading a company out too thin (Starbucks is very close to this) the
organization as a whole can suffer greatly.

4. Over time, how can Starbucks ensure that the importance of leadership
development does not get overlooked?
By retaining the leadership values in every new CEO and employee, and
continually referring to their employees as partners. As more and more people
apply for a job at Starbucks, there is an assurance that Starbucks can cultivate
talented leaders in the large pool of possible employees that they have.

5. How does your experience with leadership and management compare with the
case of Starbucks?
Student’s answers will vary. They will give any personal recollections or
experiences that they have had in leadership roles or in the workforce and how
they compare with the strategies used at Starbucks that are described in this text.

II. End of Chapter Materials

You are currently a department manager and Jim is your “trusted assistant.” You have
very similar working styles, you both went to the same college and worked in the
insurance industry for several years. Before working in this company, you both worked
at a different company and you have this shared history with him. You can trust him to
come to your aid, support you in your decisions, and be loyal to you. Because of your
trust in him, you do not supervise his work closely, and you give him a lot of leeway in
how he structures his work. He sometimes chooses to work from home, and he has
flexibility in his work hours, which is unusual in the department.

Now you decided to promote him to be the assistant department manager. However,
when you shared this opinion with someone else in the department, you realize that this
could be a problem. Apparently, Jim is not liked by his colleagues in the department and
is known as an “impression manager.” Others view him as a slacker when you are not
around, and the fact that he gets the first pick in schedules and gets the choice
assignments causes a lot of frustration on the part of others. They feel that you are
playing favorites.

Discussion questions:
1. What would you do?
2. Would you still promote him?
3. How would you address this unpleasant situation within your department?

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Ideas for developing yourself as an authentic leader
Authentic leaders have high levels of self-awareness, and their behavior is driven
by their core personal values. This leadership approach recognizes the importance
of self-reflection and understanding one’s life history. Answer the following
questions while you are alone to gain a better understanding of your own core
values and authentic leadership style.

Understand your history

• Review your life history. What are the major events in your life? How did
these events make you the person you are right now?
• Think about your role models. Who were your role models as you were
growing up? What did you learn from your role models?
Take stock of who you are now
• Describe your personality. How does your personality affect your life?
• Know your strengths and weaknesses. What are they and how can you
continue to improve yourself?
Reflect on your successes and challenges
• Keep a journal. Research shows that journaling is an effective tool for self-
reflection. Write down challenges you face and solutions you used to check
your progress.
Make integrity a priority
• Understand your core values. What are your core values? Name three of
your most important values.
• Do an ethics check. Are you being consistent with your core values? If not,
how can you get back on track?

Understand the power of words

• Words shape reality. Keep in mind that the words you use to describe people
and situations matter. For example, how might the daily reality be different if
you refer to those you manage as associates or team members rather than
employees or subordinates?

In view of your answers to the questions above, what kind of a leader would you
be if you truly acted out your values? How would people working with you
respond to such a leadership style?

You are charged with hiring a manager for a fast food restaurant. The operations
within the store are highly standardized, and employees have very specific job
descriptions. The person will be in charge of managing around thirty employees.

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There is a high degree of turnover among employees so retention will be an

important priority. Most employees who work in the restaurant are young with low
levels of work experience and few of them view the restaurant business as a full
time career. The atmosphere in the restaurant has a fast pace. In this company,
managers are often promoted from within and this position is an exception.
Therefore, the incoming manager may not receive a warm welcome from
employees who were passed over for a promotion and their colleagues. Finally, the
position power of the manager will be somewhat limited because employees are
unionized. Therefore, the manager will have limited opportunities for distributing
pay raises or bonuses.

Discussion Questions
1. Identify the leadership traits and behaviors that are desirable for this
2. Design an approach to selecting this person. Which methods of employee
selection would you use? Why?
3. Develop interview questions to be used in hiring this manager. Your
questions should be aimed at predicting the leadership capabilities of the
person in question.

III. Exercise Solutions and End of the Chapter Role Plays

Unfortunately it is not uncommon for an individual to be promoted for reasons
other than work performance. In the dilemma presented here, it is difficult to
determine if Jim’s work is good or bad. Others say he is a slacker when you are not
around, but they are also clearly jealous (rightfully so) that Jim gets such
preferential treatment. Jim very well could be an impression manager and still do
quality work. Perhaps he appears to be slacking off to other employees because he
is able to do a great deal of work from home. At the same time, perhaps you have a
skewed opinion of Jim because of your history together. Maybe you aren’t seeing
problems with Jim’s work because you do not supervise him very closely.

It might be a good idea to institute a 360-degree performance appraisal system and

gather performance information from multiple sources. If there is someone else
more deserving of the promotion, this review process should be able to identify
that person. Because you have a close relationship with Jim, it may also be
effective to speak with him directly regarding the concerns of other employees.
Regardless of how the situation is addressed, playing favorites with promotions
can often backfire. Employees can easily become disgruntled if they feel
promotion systems are unfair. Additionally, if an alternate employee would have
made a better candidate, then the company is hurt by not having the best person
available for the job. If Jim is the best candidate, then the reasons for his

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promotion should be laid out for other employees. This is often done when a
company brings in an outside candidate for a job opening rather than promoting
internally. By identifying the specific qualifications, the other employees are more
likely to give credibility to the decision.

Aside from promotion issues, it may still be necessary to address some of the
favorability Jim is receiving. If working from home is unusual, yet Jim is allowed
to because of his personal relationship with you, other employees should have the
opportunity as well. Creating an unfair environment with a single employee can
bring down the morale of others and result in decreased efficacy and cooperation.

Understand your history
Events in people’s lives inevitably shape who they are and how they react to new
situations. For example, imagine you have been a relatively trusting person your
whole life. You have found that time and time again, you can rely on colleagues to
take some of the burden of your workload. When you have delegated tasks in the
past, the work that comes back is of good quality. One day, however, you have
delegated assignments to a new group of individuals. Just before a project is due to
be submitted, you get the work back from your colleagues and it is in terrible
condition. There is no time to make improvements and you are forced to turn in
your project in its current condition, which then causes you to lose a major client
and costs you the job. As a result of this situation, you might have trouble working
with others in the future. You may become so distrusting of new people you refuse
to share the workload, which makes your job incredibly stressful.

Take stock of who you are now

Personality obviously plays a large role in determining actions you take. Someone
who is high in emotional stability could potentially weather severely stressful
situations with such grace that others don’t even realize the stressors exist. An
extrovert is more likely to have a large social network and these individuals are
often thought to be more natural leaders; however, leadership takes more than just
extraversion. Additionally, someone who is very high in extraversion but low in
political skill may frequently step on others’ toes. If an organization is going
through a change, someone high in openness to experience may be able to adapt to
the new change quickly, and combined with the right amount of extraversion and
political skill, may even be able to convince others to accept the changes.

Reflect on your successes and challenges

As mentioned previously, journaling is a very useful tool for tracking changes in
your life. Do you remember exactly how you thought high school or college would
be before you had any exposure to it? Do you remember how you felt about
driving when you first got your license? It is often difficult to see how things used
to be through the veil of the current circumstances. If you made a decision that
turned out to be a bad one, hindsight bias might cause you to become frustrated

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with yourself for missing a seemingly obvious factor. If you kept a journal,
however, you might realize that prior to making the decision you asked several
knowledgeable people for input, spent a great deal of time working out pros and
cons, and made a very rational, informed decision that just happened to not work
out. Furthermore, journaling would allow you to focus on how to prevent such
issues in the future by taking a more positive approach to a failure. Maybe while
journaling you realize you have been beating yourself up for outcomes that were
largely out of your control.

Understand the power of words

Words do indeed have the power to shape reality. This can be demonstrated with
the traditional “glass half empty” saying. By defining a glass as half empty you are
focusing on the negative aspect of the situation. Using the term “empty” brings up
ideas of doing without something, or an event coming to an end. Other feelings are
associated with emptiness such as being sad or lonely. On the other hand, if the
glass is half full you are focusing on what you do have. This can translate into
looking at a situation based on what you can do to change it, rather than dwelling
on what has already happened. The words you use daily will not only affect your
own outlook, but they can alter other people’s moods and behavior as well. By
calling drawbacks “challenges” you may be setting up a mentality in which people
believe something can be dealt with or overcome.

One of the most important traits for this job is likely to be conscientiousness.
Managing thirty employees is not an easy job, and since the turnover is so high, the
manager will not be managing the same thirty employees from month to month. It
will be difficult to keep track of every employee and there will likely be a lot of
paperwork involved with cycling through employees at such a high rate. The
conscientiousness trait will at least ensure that the corporate and legal
responsibilities of the manager are handled and that jobs are performed according
to corporate regulations. Managing young people with little to no experience can
be stressful, and younger people are more likely to quit without giving advanced
notice. At any given time the manager may be short-staffed. To combat the
unpredictable nature of the job, an individual high in emotional stability would
help to ensure that things at the restaurant still ran smoothly regardless of the
chaotic situations that may arise. Extraversion may be more important for this
particular management job than other management positions. Younger people,
particularly those with no experience, can require direct communication. The type
of management required for the job may be difficult for someone who is more
introverted. While this need for extraversion does not mean that managers need to
be extroverted, in this case it would likely help. Furthermore, a manager low on
openness to experience might make a good fit. Because operations of the restaurant
are so standardized, someone low in openness to experience might be more
resistant to change procedures. While this could be a negative if a change needed

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to be implemented in regard to following a proven, standardized corporate

procedure, resistance to trying new things could help.

In terms of desired behaviors, it seems that a people-oriented leadership style may

be more important than task-oriented styles. Given the high level of specificity
involved in the job descriptions, employees will likely figure out how to perform
their jobs very quickly. Instead, the manager will need to gain the trust of the
employees and meet their needs. Employees do not seem to view this position as a
career and the manager has little control over financial rewards. Therefore, what is
left for the manager to do is to try to satisfy employees’ social needs by
communicating with them, supporting them and being likeable.

The manager may also try to instill in employees a sense of accomplishment by

adopting an achievement-oriented style and thereby using goal setting. While
employees do not necessarily view this job as a career, the organization has
promotion opportunities, making it possible to view this job as a step in the career
ladder. Therefore, the manager may act as a coach and engage in goal setting with
those who are open to the idea of selecting this job as a long-term career prospect.

A personality test could go a long way in finding a candidate that would make a
good fit for this job. It would also help to have some kind of interview in which the
potential candidate would be told exactly what would be involved with the job.
The individual applying for the management position should be aware of the
nature of the people that will be managed (young, inexperienced, high turnover).
Someone with experience in that type of setting would also be highly beneficial.
Experience can be determined through a resume review.

Some sample interview questions:

Have you worked with young or inexperienced workers previously?
Are you capable of creating a schedule for what could potentially be an
unpredictable staff?
Are you willing to perform regular employee tasks if necessary?
Are you willing to enforce corporate policies and correct employees for breaking
Can you deal with a high staff turnover?
Can you give an example in your past work experience where you dealt with a
staffing situation?

There is one additional issue that should probably be addressed. Bringing in a new
person for the management position rather than hiring internally may upset some
employees. Effort should be taken to point out the specific reasons an outsider was
brought in. Whatever the qualifications are that made the new manager a good
choice should be explained in no uncertain terms to the other employees. By
identifying unique skills or experiences that made the outside person the best

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candidate for the job, employees who were passed over for promotion may be
more likely to give the individual credit as opposed to grief.

IV. Relevant TED Talks for bringing course concepts to life

A. Title: Lead like the great conductors by Itay Talgam
Synopsis: Itay explains how, comparable to the workforce, in an orchestra, while
the musicians create the beautiful music, it is the responsibility of the conductor to
ensure harmony, rhythm and unification of the music and those who play it.

B. Title: What it takes to be a great leader by Roselinde Torres
Synopsis: Roselinde poses the three crucial questions that future
leaders/managers/company chiefs should ask to excel in the future.

Additional Readings

Bruce J. Avolio and Fred Luthans (2006). The high impact leader: Moments
matter in accelerating authentic leadership development. NY: McGraw-Hill.

Jim Collins (2001). Good to great: Why some companies make the leap... and
others don't. NY: HarperCollins.

Herminia Ibarra (2015). Act like a leader, think like a leader. Harvard Business
Review Press.

James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner (2003). Credibility: How leaders gain and
lose it, why people demand it. NY: Jossey-Bass.

Donald T. Phillips (1993). Lincoln on leadership: Executive strategies for tough

times. Clayton VIC: Warner Books, Inc.

Jeffrey S. Young and William L. Simon (2006). iCon Steve Jobs: The greatest
second act in the history of business. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

Ashlee Vance (2015). Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the quest for a fantastic
future. Ecco.

Gary P. Yukl (2009). Leadership in organizations. Upper Saddle River, NJ:

Pearson Publishing.

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Chapter 13
Power and Politics


1. Have you read this book?  If so, what did you think about it? If not, do you
think you would find value in reading it? Why or why not?
2. Have you ever interacted with someone who used these principles
described above too much? What was your reaction to them?
3. Why do you think so many people are attracted to ideas developed so long
4. Would you add or delete anything from Carnegie’s rules for power and
influence?  Explain.

I. Discussion Questions
1. What does the phrase “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts
absolutely” refer to? What experiences have you had that confirm or
refute this assumption?
This question is posed with the goal of getting the students to understand that
without certain limits, having absolute power may lead to unethical behaviors or
behaviors that do not consider the implications of one’s actions on others.

2. Thinking about the Milgram and Zimbardo studies, do you think you
would behave the same or differently in those situations? Why or why
Here you may want to highlight that these studies were conducted on ordinary
subjects. Yet, when people are given a role and asked to behave in a certain way,
they tend to follow their role. You may follow up on this point by describing a
situation where a student starts working for a company and supervisors and
colleagues expect the person to behave unethically. Students may find themselves
in a situation where they justify their unethical actions with the fact that their
bosses made them do it. You may ask them to consider that checking our ethical
values at the door when we join an organization may be counterproductive to our
careers, health and well being as well as the well being of the people we deal with.

3. What lessons can be learned from the past studies of conformity to help
avoid abuses of power in the future?
One lesson seems to be that unethical behaviors may not always be a function of
unethical individuals. Instead, having checks and balances along the way, and

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encouraging questioning the status quo (such as by using devil’s advocates) may
be a good idea.

4. Give an example of someone you are dependent upon. Think about how
scarcity, importance, and substitutability affect this dependency.
Student answers to this question will vary. If students have difficulty identifying
someone who has power over them, you may ask the question of whether an
instructor would have power over them and why.


1. Which of the six bases of power do you usually draw upon? Which do you
use the least of at this time?
Student answers will vary for this question, but coercive power will likely be used
the least. You may ask them whether the consequences of different power bases
are the same. This would be a good place to differentiate between compliance and
commitment to a decision and which outcome can be achieved by which power

2. Distinguish between coercive and reward power.

Coercive power refers to the ability to distribute punishments, while reward power
refers to the ability to distribute rewards. At first glance, students may assume that
these are two distinctive sources of power. Yet, the consequences of these two
sources are not very different from each other. For example, if employees are
following the directives of their manager because the manager has the ability to
give bonuses, it is also true that the manager has the ability to withhold the
bonuses, or using punishment power. Student answers to the latter part of this
question will vary.

3. Which tactics seem to be the most effective? Explain your answer.

Student answers for this question will vary. According to research, expert power is
more likely to lead to commitment to the decision on the part of employees,
whereas coercive and reward power has a greater likelihood of yielding resistance
or compliance.

4. Why do you think rational persuasion is the most frequently utilized

influence tactic?
Rational persuasion likely is the most frequently used tactic because it is a
desirable trait. Rational persuasion utilizes data and evidence to convince the other
party, as opposed to using rhetoric. Its use does not depend on whether someone
has charisma or not, and the quality of the data and the logic will likely win the

5. Give an example of someone you’ve tried to influence lately. Was it an

upward, downward or lateral influence attempt?

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Student answers to this question will vary. The point of this question is to allow
students to participate in the conversation and reflect on their attempts at influence.
There are no right or wrong answers for this question.

1. Do you think politics is a positive or negative thing for organizations?
Most students will likely identify politics as a negative influence over
organizational life. Therefore, providing some examples of positive political
behaviors would be useful. For example, the project team may be understaffed and
the team may be falling behind as a result. The team leader may use his or her
connections to approach upper management, and make a case for why their team
needs and deserves to have another employee. The manager may use personal
appeals or build a coalition with a different manager and defend this agenda. As a
result, the team may get the person it needs. In the absence of such political
behavior, the team would probably never get what it needed. In other words,
political behavior can be a positive influence over organizational effectiveness if
the political behaviors are not self-serving.

2. Describe an example of a negative outcome due to politics.

High levels of politics have a number of negative consequences such as high
stress, low job satisfaction, low performance, and low organizational commitment.

3. Describe an example of a positive outcome due to politics.

Positive outcomes may include higher organizational effectiveness in some

4. Can you think of additional individual or organizational antecedents of

political behavior?
Other individual antecedents may include belief in an idea or belief in the agenda
to be pursued. When people are highly motivated to get what they want, and if
normal official channels are not successful in getting them these items, they may
resort to political tactics. Among organizational tactics, an organizational climate
encouraging political behaviors will likely create more politics at the individual
level. Moreover, in extremely competitive organizations where winner takes all,
politics may be higher.

5. What political behaviors have you observed within school groups or your
workplace? Were they successful? Why or why not?
Student answers will vary. Most students can think of negative instances of
political behaviors, and it may be harder for them to identify effective uses of
political behaviors.

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1. Have you ever thought about your own social network before? What do
you think about it now?
Student answers will vary. You may want to point out the benefits of analyzing
one’s network and examining its strengths and limitations. Students may be under
the assumption that having a strong network means having a large number of
contacts. The idea that the structure of the network also matters may be new to
most students. Given that you will likely have many students using social
networking Web sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn, examining the structure of
one’s network may be easier than they think.

2. Do you think the direct or indirect approach to doing a social network

analysis is the most accurate?
The indirect approach will likely yield more accurate information but it takes a
long time to analyze and is not very practical. For example, a person may be going
to person A for minor issues and there may be a high level of e-mail exchange
between them, but for all the major issues (a couple of times a year), the person
may be going to person B. Indirectly examining the frequency of communication
between these pairs may be misleading. The direct approach may give accurate
information but individuals must be motivated to share this information with a

3. Do you think it is ethical to play golf or tennis with coworkers to build

your social network? Why or why not?
There is probably nothing unethical about playing golf or tennis with coworkers to
build one’s social network. We all have different needs we are trying to fulfill
when we interact with others, and learning from others, expanding our horizons,
and building a support network for us are all reasons we spend time with others.
This situation becomes more unethical when we stop our relations with others
when they are of no use to us. This would violate the norm of reciprocity and in
addition to being unethical, it may hurt our reputation as a trustworthy person.
Moreover, how we act when we interact with others will also determine the level
of ethics in this situation.

4. How have computers influenced social networking?

Many students will have some experience with social networking sites, and
listening to their experiences will be interesting and informative. Technology is
making it possible for us to keep track of our network and find long-lost contacts.
It is becoming easier to get help from others or seek information from our network.
It also creates some strange situations where people want to add themselves to our
network even though we do not consider those individuals as our contacts.


1. What could be done to make sure that CEOs are paid fairly for their work
rather than as a favor from their friends?

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CEO pay is one of the most controversial issues we currently have in the United
States. You may start by asking the question of how fairness in this situation
should be defined. Is it being paid with respect to one’s results, or is it in
comparisons to other CEOs of similar companies? If it is with respect to one’s
inputs, how those should inputs be defined? Getting the students to think through
these issues complete with the downsides of each alternative would help them
appreciate the complexities of this situation.

2. What is some advice about power that you would give to a colleague who
was leaving to China to set up a new business?
You may start by highlighting that China is a high power distance country where
power is located at higher levels of the hierarchy and those higher up are not used
to sharing of power or being questioned. Moreover, in China influencing others
will require more social skills and building connections. Tactics such as building
coalitions with others, or using the power of social connections (who you know as
opposed to what you know) will be more frequently used in this culture.


1. How is online networking different from or similar to in-person
networking? Please describe your experience with both.
Social networking allows you to communicate with a larger pool of possible
customers and consumers. With social media, you are able to advertise your
product with more exposure. In-person networking provides a much more personal
and individual experience, which may take more time but shows each customer
they are important.
2. What are the downfalls and benefits of social networking?
Social networking is comprised of both benefits and downfalls. Benefits include
strong ties, which indicate emotional (not simply informational) support. It can be
argued that weak ties are also benefits, but in some ways they are downfalls. They
include less frequent interaction and less emotional attachment, so while they are
not as powerful as a strong tie, one can have more of them.
3. In what ways are indirect ties as powerful and important as direct ties?
While direct ties may create a stronger connection with the individual, they are
time consuming and hard to maintain. With indirect ties, people are able to have
more of them without the emotional burden that direct ties may have. Indirect ties
are perfect for marketing and advertising products; you can expose your products
to a mass of people.
4. To what extent have you built your own brand? Is this something that
you have ever considered before?
Student’s answers will vary. They will talk about their personal experience
branding and social networking. Some will have more experience with this than
others, and some would consider taking on branding and networking as a
profession in their future.

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II. End of Chapter Materials

It is two days before your performance appraisal. Your performance this quarter
has been less than desirable. You came close to reaching your sales targets, but you
did not meet them, and you are still hoping to get the merit pay raise to be
determined as a result of your performance appraisal. You do not really like your
manager, but you are hoping to advance in this company, and being on your
manager’s good side may be good idea both for your current performance
appraisal and for your future in this company.

 You are now at a meeting with your manager and a group of employees. Your
manager is giving financial information to all employees about different
markets. Yet, some of this information is inaccurate, which could lead to
wrong pricing decisions and loss of money by the company. If you correct him,
though, he would most likely get upset with you because he does not like being
corrected. Would you correct him? How and when?

 Today is also the day on which your manager’s boss is collecting information
about your manager’s leadership style so that they can give him a 360 degree
appraisal. They assure you that your comments about your manager will
remain confidential, but the nature of your thoughts is such that probably he
would guess you are the person who made those comments. Specifically, you
think that your manager takes offense easily, has a bad temper, and could be
more effective in time management. Would you share your thoughts with your
manager’s manager?

 You are now at the coffee shop and grabbing a cup of coffee and some pastries.
You notice that they have almond coffee cake, which is your manager’s
favorite. Would you pick some up for your manager?

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Map Your Social Network1
Step 1: Think of a specific objective you have at work or school that involves other
people. Once you have thought of an objective, jot it down. You will refer to this
objective throughout the analysis.
Step 2: Use Figure 13.14 to list five to fifteen people at your school or in your
professional network with whom you have regular contact and who are relevant to
the objective you identified.
Step 3: Rate how tightly connected you are with the people in your network using
the given scale (barely connected, loosely connected, somewhat connected, or
tightly connected) on the left-hand side of their name.
Step 4: Circle the name of anyone who has introduced you to four or more new
people since you have known them.
Step 5: In Figure 13.15, place a check mark in the intersecting box of people that
know each other. For example, if person 1 knows person 2, put a check mark
under the 2 at the top of the table. Continue to do this throughout the grid (grayed
boxes should be left blank).
Step 6: Analyze your network using the guidelines on the following calculations.
Step 7: Consider ways to strengthen your network.

Adapted from information in Carpenter, M.A., and Sanders, W.M. (2007). Strategic Management. Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education; Wasserman, S., and Faust, K. (1994). Social network analysis:
Methods and applications. NY: Cambridge University Press; Watts, D.J. (2003). Six degrees: The science of
the connected age. NY: W.W. Norton and Company Ltd.

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Figure 13.14

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Figure 13.15

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Let’s see how your social network adds up:

Calculating Network Size

The number of people you listed as in your own network for this situation

N = ______

Calculating Network Density

It is important to understand what the maximum density of your network is. This
refers to how dense it would be if everyone in your network knew each other.

(N * (N - 1)/2 = M) or ( __ * ( __ - 1)/2 = M)

M = ______

Total number of check marks in Figure 13.15, which represents number of

relationships among people in your network.

C = ______

Density of your network (will range between 0 and 1)

___/___= D

D = ______

Network Size

N = number of people in your network. The more people in your network, the
greater the amount of information and possibly access to greater resources you
have. We stopped at fifteen people but many individuals have more people in
their network than fifteen.

Network Strength

The strength of your network is also important. You can talk about this in
terms of percentages of your relationships. What percentage is very tightly
connected? Close? Somewhat connected? Or barely connected?
 ___% Tightly Connected
 ___% Somewhat Connected
 ___% Loosely Connected

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 ___% Barely Connected

For most people, it would be hard to manage a huge network where all the ties
are very close, just by virtue of the amount of time and energy it takes to
satisfy the conditions for closeness.

Identifying Central Connectors

Count how many names you circled in step 4. Each of these individuals plays
a special role in your network as they are central connectors who serve to
expand your network by introducing you to new people. If you are also a
central connector, this can be a benefit to assessing information as long as you
are able to keep the network from distracting you from your work.

Network Density

Network density is important. When a person’s network density is 1.0 that

indicates that everyone in the network knows everyone else. Whether this is
good or bad depends on a few things. For example, if everyone in your
network has additional networks they belong to as well, you would be playing
a central role in their networks and you would be a boundary spanner. But, if
they also have high network density, the odds are that no new information is
getting introduced into your group. You are basically a closed loop in which
the same people interact with one another, and it is challenging to assess
changes in the environment or to be innovative.

Social networks change over time depending on your tenure in an industry or

company. The longer you have been in a given industry, the more likely it is
that you will see your network size begin to shrink and become more dense.

Consider factors relating to power and influence and how you might go about
strengthening and increasing the size of your network.

What are the pros and cons of doing so?

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In a group, analyze the following individuals in terms of their potential power
bases. The first step is to discuss which types of power a person with the job listed
on the left-hand column could have. If you can think of an example of type of
power they have, write the example in that column.

Table 13.1

Legitimat Reward Coercive Information Referent

e Power Power Power Power Power







III. Exercise Solutions and End of the Chapter Role Plays

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a) If you are going to correct a supervisor it is generally a good idea to do it in a one-on-

one setting. Even though this manager does not like being corrected (and many people do
not), the problems that can occur down the line as a result of bad information could be far
worse. In this case, the company stands to lose money but could also lose credibility,
depending on what the company actually does. When correcting anyone, it is important to
remember that the error is likely the result of an honest mistake. Try not to phrase
anything as, “You made a mistake,” or “Your figures are wrong.” This type of phrasing
can irritate others, even when you are in the right. Instead, try to focus on the mistake
itself. You could say something like, “I think these numbers might be off,” or, “The
research I have been doing doesn’t align with your numbers, and can you help me figure
out why that is?” Again, this is best done in private. If you are concerned about your
recent performance and feel this might affect the conversation, maybe you can even start
by acknowledging that fact.
b) The concerns you have about your manager can potentially be very serious. Just as
employees can learn from managers, managers can learn from their employees. Having a
boss that is difficult to approach can disrupt the flow of information from the ground up.
This lack of information being transmitted along appropriate channels could have serious
consequences for the company as a whole. Time management issues are also very serious
at any level of employment. Although it is possible your boss will know who commented
on these issues, it is also possible that many other employees feel the same way. Being
quick to take offence and having a bad temper are often very salient characteristics, and it
is likely that your manager’s manager is already aware of the issue. This fact goes for
time management as well. It may be necessary to be very broad in your description, or
you could even describe an incident you are aware of but were not involved in (as long as
you were certain your facts were true).
c) Doing something nice for someone can go a long way. Studies have proven that
random acts of kindness will not only affect the person that they are directed toward, but
can carry to others through interactions with them. Obviously there is nothing that
mandates going out of your way to do something nice for your boss, but being a nice
person is never a bad thing. Be aware, however, that doing something nice specifically
for your boss could be perceived negatively. Others (your boss included) may get the
impression that you are trying to suck up for some reason. Perhaps in this situation you
could grab the almond coffee cake for your boss and a few things for other employees.

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Objective: Prepare for a test

Barely Loosely Somewhat Tightly   Name 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 11 12 1 14 15

Connected Connected Connected Connected 0 3
X 1  Amy                     
X 2  Dave                       
X 3  Juan                       
X 4  Maria                        
X 5  Debbie                         
X 6  Pat                         
X 7  Pamela                          
X 8  Scott                           
X 9  Bruce                            
X 10  Anju                            
X 11  Svetlana                            

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Let’s see how your social network adds up:

Calculating Network Size

The number of people you listed as in your own network for this situation

N = 11

Calculating Network Density

It is important to understand what the maximum density of your network is. This
refers to how dense it would be if everyone in your network knew each other.

(N * (N - 1)/2 = M) or ( __ * ( __ - 1)/2 = M)

(11 * (11 – 1)/2 = M

M = 55

Total number of check marks on your network grid that shows the number of
relationships among people in your network.

C = 28

Density of your network (will range between 0 and 1)

28 / 55 = D

D = .51

Network Size
N = number of people in your network. The more people in your network, the
greater the amount of information and possibly access to greater resources you
have. We stopped at fifteen people but many individuals have many more people
in their network than fifteen. In this example there were eleven people in the

Network Strength
The strength of your network is also important. You can talk about this in terms of
percentages of your relationships. What percentage is very tightly connected?
Close? Somewhat connected? Or barely connected?

36% tightly connected

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36% somewhat connected

18% loosely connected
9% barely connected

For most people, it would be hard to manage a huge network where all the ties are
very close, just by virtue of the amount of time and energy it takes to satisfy the
conditions for closeness.

Identifying Central Connectors

Count how many names you circled in Step 4. Each of these individuals plays a
special role in your network as they are central connectors who serve to expand
your network by introducing you to new people. If you are also a central
connector, this can be a benefit to assessing information as long as you are able to
keep the network from distracting you from your work.

Network Density
Network density is important. When a person’s network density is 1.0 that
indicates that everyone in the network knows everyone else. Whether or not this is
good or bad depends on a few things. For example, if everyone in your network
has additional networks they belong to as well, you would be playing a central
role in their networks and you would be a boundary spanner. But, if they also
have high network density, the odds are that no new information is getting
introduced into your group. You are basically a closed loop where the same
people interact with one another and it is challenging to assess changes in the
environment or to be innovative.

Social networks change over time depending on your tenure in an industry or

company. The longer you have been in a given industry, the more likely it is that
you will see your network size begin to shrink and become more dense.

Consider factors relating to power and influence and how you might go about
strengthening and increasing the size of your network.


Legitimate Reward Power Coercive Power Information Referent

Power Power Power
Flight Passengers are Flight attendants Flight attendants Often, flight
attendant required to comply can provide have the authority attendants are the
with flight complementary to remove someone only ones who can
attendant’s items like from a flight for communicate to a
instructions. beverages or not obeying rules. pilot, gaining access
headphones. to specific flight or
aircraft information.

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Computer Computer
programmer programming is a
very specific skill. It
requires years of
education to master.
As a result, these
individuals have a
great deal of
information power.
Even if others have
access to the same
information, they
may not understand
it as a computer
programmer does.
Executive Executive Because executive With direct access to
assistant assistants often assistants handle executives, an
have the ability to many of the tasks assistant can often be
perform many of of executives, the first to know
the actions as the they are often certain kinds of
executives they given the ability information.
assist. While they to make judgment
are generally not calls surrounding
allowed to use this rewards.
power without
consent, they do
technically hold a
great deal of
legitimate power.
Manager A manager Managers are Managers are Managers have
obviously manages often in charge of responsible for contact with higher-
employees. The giving out making sure up members of
manager has bonuses and employees comply organizations. This
legitimate power promoting with rules and means they have
to accomplish this individuals. perform assigned access to
task. tasks. To help in information that
this process, other employees do
managers can not receive.
utilize various Additionally,
forms of managers tend to
punishment, have an overall view
including docking of the departments or
pay, giving unit they are
undesirable tasks managing. This
or bad schedules gives them a unique
(and in severe perspective
cases, firing regarding business
people). operations.
Mailroom Although a
person mailroom person
might be considered
a position without
power, the individual
may have access to
information due to
the nature of the job.
Because most mail
applications are
automated now, this
power is lessening.
But imagine the days

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of sorting mail by
hand. A mailroom
worker would have
knowledge of
between individuals.
Customer Many customer Customer service
service service people have representatives
autonomy in how generally have
representative to handle access to customer
situations. accounts. Although
Compensation for they are not allowed
an event might to share information,
vary depending on they will know the
how the status of the account
representative is of every customer
treated by a they handle.
CEO A CEO is in CEOs make the Just as a CEO CEOs have access
charge of an decisions for an can award a to all of an
organization. organization. contract, he/she organization’s
He/she is This can include can cut someone information. They
generally giving a large off. If a CEO is are responsible for
appointed by a company not getting an strategic planning
board and as far contract to a acceptable price and often know
as the company friend or from a things that no one
is concerned, the deciding distributor, the else knows. CEOs
CEO’s word is whether a bonus CEO can threaten often have so
law. Every will be issued to purchase from much information
aspect of an and for what someone else. power that laws
organization’s amount. are in place to
operations is protect the public
ultimately routed from certain
to the CEO. activities (e.g.,
insider trading).

IV. Bonus Material

Power Exercise: Monopoly
If possible, acquire several monopoly games. Divide the class into groups of five
people. Have each player in each group select a game piece. Here is the twist.
Instead of playing by normal rules, follow these rules:

Tell players to roll to see who goes first, but not to start the game or distribute any
money. After player 1 is decided, explain that player 1 is the dictator. The dictator
can do anything. Rules can be enforced or ignored, but anything the dictator
wants to do is done. The dictator gets $8,000. Player 2 receives $3,000, all four
railroads, both utilities and the red and yellow properties. Player 3 receives $1,000
and all the houses and hotels. Player 4 receives blue, green, orange, and purple
properties and $500. Player 5 receives the brown (Baltic and Mediterranean) and
light blue properties as well as the remaining funds. Let the game begin.

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Source: Brett Guidry, Portland State University. Used by permission of the author.

V. Relevant TED Talks for bringing course concepts to life

A. Title: The psychology of evil by Philip Zimbardo
Synopsis: Zimbardo talks about how easy it is for good people to turn bad
when given power. He talks about multiple psychological experiments done to
show how when given power good people can become evil. Warning: There
are some graphic images in this talk of the Abu Ghraib prison.

B. Title: Does money make you mean? by Paul Piff
Synopsis: Through an experiment in a rigged monopoly game, Paul shows us
how money and power can alter people’s behaviors. People can become rude,
confident and aggressive towards their lower counterparts. This is the danger
of having power, and has been seen in our society for centuries.

Additional Readings

Robert B. Cialdini (2006). Influence: The psychology of persuasion. Collins

Business Essentials.

Robert B. Cialdini (2008). Influence: Science and practice. Allyn & Bacon.

Dale Carnegie. How to win friends and influence people. Any edition.

Jeffrey Pfeffer (1994). Managing with power: Politics and influence in

organizations. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Annette Simmons (2001). The story factor: Secrets of influence from the art of
storytelling. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing.

Duncan J. Watts (2004). Six degrees: The science of a connected age. W. W.

Norton & Company Ltd.

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Chapter 14
Organizational Structure and Change


1. What changes might you make at Toyota to prevent future mishaps like
the massive recalls related to brake and accelerator failures?
2. Do you think Toyota’s organizational structure and norms are explicitly
formalized in rules, or do the norms seem to be more inherent in the
culture of the organization?
3. What are the pros and cons of Toyota’s structure?
4. What elements of business would you suggest remain the same and what
elements might need revising?
5. What are the most important elements of Toyota’s organizational

I. Discussion Questions
1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of decentralization?
Decentralization has the following advantages:
i. Employees are empowered and therefore their motivation increases.
ii. People close to a decision are the ones actually making the decision.
iii. Customer satisfaction may increase because their unique needs will be
taken into account.
At the same time, the following disadvantages may occur:
 People who do not see the “big picture” may be in charge of making the
 Not all employees are capable of or interested in making decisions and if
they are not ready, the decision will not be effective.

2. All else being equal, would you prefer to work in a tall or flat
organization? Why?
Tall organizations have a number of disadvantages for one’s career, such as
having to go through many channels for approval and information. These
organizations may be more bureaucratic and rule-oriented. Yet, they also have the
advantage of providing more promotion opportunities for employees.

3. What are the advantages of departmentalization by product?

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When the organization is departmentalized by the product, the product becomes

the overarching goal around which all resources are mobilized. These structures
tend to be better in marketing a certain product and differentiating it from other
products. These structures are useful in bringing together people from diverse
backgrounds for the good of the product or service to be provided.

4. Have you ever reported to more than one manager? What were the
challenges of such a situation?
Student answers will likely enrich class conversation. Reporting to more than one
manager may be problematic in situations where these managers do not get along
with one another and do not coordinate their actions. This lays the burden of
managing these two personalities on the shoulders of employees. Communication
and coordination difficulties may cause high levels of role conflict and stress for
these employees.

5. What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of being

employed by a boundaryless organization?
Boundaryless organizations may take a number of different forms. Working in a
modular organization will mean that all nonessential functions have been
outsourced. In these structures, ensuring that the outside partners deliver products
and services on time and within the quality standards of the organization may be a
major challenge. Working in such an organization will mean that you will have to
interact with many other companies. Working in organizations that have
eliminated traditional barriers between managers and employees and utilizing
self-managing teams may be rewarding for employees who are ready for
empowerment. Yet, teamwork will also mean that one’s destiny is intertwined
with others and not everyone is interested in or capable of working in such a

6. What can organizations do to institutionalize organizational learning?

What practices and policies would aid in knowledge acquisition and
Instituting a learning culture would be an essential step here. If learning and
constantly improving the organization is a value that is at the core of a company’s
culture, organizational learning will be easier. Also, ensuring that important
information is written down, documented, and passed on to new employees as
part of their organizational onboarding would be useful. If information resides in
individuals, when they leave the organization that information will be lost.

1. Can you think of an organizational or personal change that you had to go
through? Have you encountered any resistance to this change? What
were the reasons?
Student answers to this question will vary. When students describe organizational
experiences with failed or successful change efforts, it may be useful to identify

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where things have gone wrong, and at which stage of Lewin’s change process the
problem resides. Lewin’s three-step model is useful to analyze any change effort
instituted in an organization and students may find it interesting that what happens
before the change is often the key determinant of whether the change is successful
or not.

2. How would you deal with employees who are resisting change because
their habits are threatened? How would you deal with them if they are
resisting because of a fear of failure?
People resist change when it threatens their habits. This means that any change
effort will likely meet with some initial resistance because habits are threatened.
Patience will be a virtue here: Given time, many people will adjust. This would
also mean that organizations will need to allow employees some time to adjust
and practice the new skills so that new habits can be established.

Fear of failure requires a different approach, partly also because employees are
unlikely to admit that they are afraid to fail. Prior training of all employees,
including the seeming experts, may be a good idea. Again, giving employees
plenty of opportunities to practice the new skills and supporting those who are
lagging behind may be good ideas. The organization may want to reassure
employees that employees will have plenty of time to adjust and those who are
not managing the transition are not in danger of losing their jobs. Creating a
supportive atmosphere will be useful to deal with this barrier.

3. What are the benefits of employee participation in change management?

Employee participation has a number of benefits.
 It helps the change effort be successful because the planned change will
reflect the opinions of those who will have to use the new system, process,
or technology. If there are problems that would make the new system
problematic, these will be discovered early on, before the change is
 Employees will have buy-in. When people help design a system, they feel
a sense of ownership and defend it to others.
 Employees will see the strengths and limitations of the different
alternatives and will realize that even though the chosen alternative may
not be perfect, it may be the only workable solution to the problem.
 Employees feel that the organization cares about them, trusts them and
values their opinion, ultimately leading to a better relationship between the
organization and its employees.

4. Imagine that you are introducing a new system to college students in

which they would have to use a special ID number the university creates
for them for activities such as logging on to campus computers or using
library resources. How would you plan and implement the change?
Explain using Lewin’s three-step framework.

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Unfreezing would involve

Letting students know in advance that change is coming.
Explaining to them why change is happening and how it benefits the
students. (For example, using student IDs as opposed to social security
numbers helps prevent identity theft.)

During the change phase

Help students remember their new ID by making it available to them on
their new ID card or a special wallet-sized card.

After the change phase

Ensure that change is permanent—disable the old system so that after a
grace period students are no longer allowed to use their social security

5. Why are successful companies less likely to change? What should

companies do in order to make organizational change part of their
It is interesting that successful companies may not be very interested in changing.
This is because they may feel that whatever they were doing has served them well
and will serve them well in the future. If things are working right now, why take
any chances? Many organizations realize that this may be a serious problem,
preventing a company from foreseeing disruptive changes and taking action in
time. Some companies rotate their managers to give them a new and fresh
perspective or adopt philosophies such as continuous improvement. Making
change a part of culture also means adopting a healthy attitude toward taking
chances and making mistakes along the way.


1. What is an ethical way of conducting layoffs?
When conducting layoffs, companies need to consider the situation of the victims.
Employees to be laid off should be informed of the decision by their immediate
manager in a face-to-face meeting. Victims should also be provided support
services when possible, helping them find new jobs. Organizations providing
outplacement services provide emotional as well as career related support to laid
off employees. Many organizations also provide a severance package to laid off
employees to help them transition to their new lives. Finally, planning the layoff
so that the organization exhausts other alternatives before layoffs are used may be
a good idea. Taking away someone’s job is an emotional decision that affects the
person’s entire life, and should not be the first thing companies do when they are
faced with a downturn.

2. Do you believe that it is an organization’s ethical obligation to share all

information about the planned changes with employees? Why or why

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There is definitely some information that will not be shared with employees
immediately, such as when planning a layoff. Until things become clear, the
company may need to withhold information. Yet, lying to employees is likely to
be viewed as unethical. Assuring employees that things are great even if they are
not will breach the trust between employees and the organization and will create a
culture of mistrust in the organization’s future dealings with employees.

3. What is the relationship between organizational change and national

Cultures differ in the extent to which they are open to change. Some cultures are
uncertainty avoidant, meaning that they are hesitant to take risks and view change
as a threat. How change should be introduced also varies around the globe. In
some cultures, building coalitions to create change may be preferable to using
rational persuasion.


1. How did company leaders like Iosca, Petersen, and Stone help
facilitate change within the company? Did they follow the steps to successful
They were personable - they sat in on meetings. They were steady and reliable
during times of transition and change, and because of this gained trust and support
from employees and customers. They allowed the company to adapt and
transform as the demands on the market shifted as well.

2. What were the reasons for organizational change within Hanna

Andersson, both internally and externally?
Externally, there was an increase in competition with other retailers, as well as the
introduction of online commerce, which posed challenges for Hanna Andersson
and created the need for organizational change. Internally, needs for leadership
change came mainly because of time; Hanna Andersson was ready for new ideas
and for new people to be in charge.

3. How can a company anticipate change? How can the company

effectively prepare for it?
Companies can anticipate change by studying the trending fashions in the market
and looking at how they fluctuate. Companies should create business models that
allow themselves to be adaptable for quick changes as the demand for different
products occurs.

4. What unique challenges do family-owned and -operated businesses

Emotions run high in family-owned and -operated businesses. Things can be
taken personally and cause tension in the company.  It becomes challenging to
distinguish work conflicts from family conflicts, and the organization can suffer
from this.

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II. End of Chapter Materials

Imagine that you are a manager at a consumer products company. Your company
is in negotiations for a merger. If and when the two companies merge, it seems
probable that some jobs will be lost, but you have no idea how many or who will
be gone. You have five subordinates. One is in the process of buying a house
while undertaking a large debt. The second just received a relatively lucrative job
offer and asked for your opinion as his mentor. You feel that knowing about the
possibility of this merger is important to them in making these life choices. At the
same time, you fear that once you let them know, everyone in the company will
find out and the negotiations are not complete yet. You may end up losing some
of your best employees, and the merger may not even happen. What do you do?
Do you have an ethical obligation to share this piece of news with your
employees? How would you handle a situation such as this?

Planning for a Change in Organizational Structure
Imagine that your company is switching to a matrix structure. Before, you were
working in a functional structure. Now, every employee is going to report to a
team leader as well as a department manager.
 Draw a hypothetical organizational chart for the previous and new
 Create a list of things that need to be done before the change occurs.
 Create a list of things that need to be done after the change occurs.
 What are the sources of resistance you foresee for a change such as this?
What is your plan of action to overcome this potential resistance?

Organizational Change Role Play
Manager’s Role
Your company is switching to a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
software. This new system will ensure that there is a common database for all
operations and will provide a close integration of the operations in all
departments. The company estimates that on-time delivery rates will dramatically
improve after the ERP implementation. This is a huge investment, but
management believes that the benefits of this implementation outweigh the costs.
Yet, one important concern is employee reactions. Your employees will need to
be trained in this software and will need to dedicate as much as twenty hours per
week on the implementation. The implementation will take several months. There

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is also the issue of training employees in the new software, which is substantially
more complicated than Excel training!

You are now meeting an employee who is critical to the implementation. This
person is an opinion leader in the company and one of your key people. If you can
secure the individual’s cooperation the transition is likely to go more smoothly.
Unfortunately, the employee became extremely concerned after hearing about
these changes and is considering leaving the company. Have a meeting with this
employee to explain what is going to happen. Your goal is to convince the
employee to stay and motivate the individual to provide support for the program.

Employee’s Role
Your company is switching to a new ERP software. This new system will ensure
that there is a common database for all operations and will provide a close link
between the operations of all departments. The company estimates that on-time
delivery rates will dramatically improve after the ERP implementation.
Management believes that the benefits of this implementation outweigh the costs.
Yet, you have serious concerns. First, during the implementation you will have to
work very long hours. Managers are saying the implementation will take several
months, but based on what you read about the subject, it could be up to a year.
You liked your job before, but now you have started looking for a position
elsewhere. Maybe it is time for a change, given that things will get stressful here.

It is not only the potential for overtime that concerns you. The training that comes
is demanding and you have doubts that you can learn the system in a short amount
of time. You always felt successful at work, but now you are concerned about
future achievement. What if you do not succeed?

Your manager requested a meeting with you. You have suspicions that someone
leaked the fact that you are looking for a new job. You are curious to hear what
your manager has to say. You do not really have to leave, but at the end of the
meeting you should feel that:
a) they value you in this company
b) the project is likely to be a success
c) you can be successful under the new system
d) staying here will be beneficial to you

Discussion questions
1. Was the manager successful in securing the cooperation of the employee?
Why or why not?
2. What could the manager have done differently to secure the employee’s
3. Why was the employee resisting change?

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III. Exercise Solutions and End of the Chapter Role Plays

Information surrounding mergers can be very difficult to negotiate. A company’s
stock could double or triple based solely on the notion that a merger might
happen. For example, Yahoo!’s stock prices swung wildly pending results of
conversations with Microsoft about a possible merger. Because of the volatility
surrounding mergers, if nothing is finalized it is generally best not to say anything
about it (unless you have been instructed to do so). Mergers often mean some
existing employees will be let go. As a result of revealing the possibility of a
merger you may be inciting a panic that could carry very negative consequences.
At the same time, what responsibility do you have to those that you supervise?
Your subordinates often look to you for accurate information and guidance. As
stated in the dilemma, if you tell either employee about the possibility of a
merger, others will find out. Unfortunately for this case, you will not be able to
confide in anyone. With that said, first consider the employee that has come to
you for guidance regarding a job offer. As his mentor, you still have the
obligation to provide guidance as if you were not aware of the merger. Losing a
good employee is obviously bad for the company, but is the job offer good for
your employee? If you feel that your employee will be a good fit with the new
company then you should say so. Try to consider the likelihood of this employee
receiving a similar offer. Maybe it is a good opportunity that should be taken
advantage of regardless of the current situation. In regard to the other employee,
try to look at the situation as an outsider. Is it a good idea for anyone to take on
significant debt? Probably not. Perhaps simply advising the employee about the
consequences of large debt would be appropriate. At no point do you have to
mention the merger, but you can instead talk generally about the unstable nature
of the world. Is the employee attempting to live outside of his or her means? Are
there other options the employee could try instead of buying a home?

Even with the delicacy of the situation, keep in mind that if the merger occurs, it
is likely to be revealed that you had advance knowledge of situation.

The previous structure will consist of functional departments, such as finance,
marketing, accounting, and R&D. In the new structure, there will still be
functional departments, but employees from each department will report to
project managers as well as to their functional managers.

Things that need to be done before the change occurs will include planning the
change, and communicating with employees. Is this the best possible structure?
Why was this change needed? Involving employees in this conversation will help
secure their cooperation. The company will also want to ensure the readiness of
the employees for this change. Functional managers and project managers will

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need to get together to communicate and coordinate as well as set the boundaries
of their areas of responsibility.

Things that need to be done after the change occurs include checking progress,
dealing with the problems that arise from the new structure, and motivating
employees to work under the new system. Miscommunication that may arise
because of reporting to multiple managers will need to be resolved. Because work
will be organized around projects, employees will need to adopt a more
empowered work mind.

In a change like this, both employees and managers are likely sources of
resistance. Project managers will need to develop project management skills. Line
managers will realize that while they are still the managers of their employees,
they do not coordinate or control the day-to-day operations. If the line and project
managers do not get along, the situation is ripe for conflict. In order to execute the
change more effectively, sources of likely resistance will need to be identified.
Having meetings with all involved parties and involving them in the major
decisions will be important.

Manager’s Role
One of the key concerns here is the strong reaction your key employee had to the
news of the new software. It will be important to get to the root of the reaction to
the change. What aspect is most troublesome? Perhaps the employee is not aware
of many of the problems associated with the current system. Perhaps the company
has not done a very good job of informing employees of the benefits of the new
system. Your first task should be to determine what is causing your key employee
to be so against the change.

For this particular exercise, the employee’s concerns are outlined as well as a
method for a manager to address the issues.
 During the implementation the employee will have to work very long
hours. Although management is saying it will take several months, the
employee has information that suggests the process could take up to a year.
o It may be true that long work hours are unavoidable; however, maybe
the company could consider being flexible in when those hours occur.
Giving employees the opportunity to adjust the potentially disruptive
schedule around their own lives may motivate workers to engage in
the transition. The additional act of compensating employees for the
longer work hours may help communicate that the company is
concerned for their well being.
o Because your key employee also has information indicating the
process could take up to a year, you may want to work with this
employee to find a way to prevent such a long transition from
occurring. There are likely common pitfalls that cause an

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implementation of the new system to take longer than expected. If the

employee is well enough informed, he or she may be a great resource
to help avoid a drawn out conversion process. Maybe including the
employee in the transition will motivate the person to stay with the
company and help make the process work. The added ownership for
the key employee may help that person to motivate others to make the
process a success.
 The employee is concerned about having the ability to learn a new system in
a short amount of time.
o Remember that this is a key employee in the company. Chances are
that other employees look to this person for guidance. There is the
distinct possibility that if this particular employee is worried about
learning a new system in a short amount of time, many other
employees are as well. The key employee might provide valuable
insight to the feelings of other employees. Maybe you could explain
that the system cannot work on its own, and having employees
understand the new software is a top priority. If things seem like they
are moving too fast, the training process will be adjusted to
compensate. Remember that the company has already invested a
substantial amount of time and money training employees to work well
for the company. Any new employee who would be brought on would
not only have to learn the new system, but would also have to learn the
organization. Therefore, current employees are a priority. After all, the
new system will ultimately make their jobs easier.
o Perhaps it would help to allow this particular employee to have some
kind of preview of the new system. By allowing this particular
employee to become familiar with the software in advance, the
employee can work with others who might be struggling with the same

Again, remember that the goal of implementing the new system is to make
employees’ jobs easier and dramatically increase on-time delivery rates. It is
entirely possible that once the new system is in place, company profits will
increase as well. Based on this assumption, it may be appropriate to offer a bonus
to employees that have stuck with the company during a difficult transition.
Offering a bonus might also help convey the message to employees that the
organization is confident the new system will increase profits.

Employee’s Role
Depending on how the interview went, the answers to these questions may vary. It
is possible the manager spent too much time focusing on the outcome of the new
system. There were many reasons why the employee was resisting the changes in
the system. Specifically, the new system involved potentially working too many
hours and creating work/life balance problems. There is ambiguity regarding the
consequences of the change: the employee simply does not trust the management
to have correct time estimates. This employee is also concerned about future

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success. He or she is used to being a high performing employee and will want to
preserve these feelings under the new system. Depending on how the manager
handled these issues, the employee may now have built confidence and gained
greater clarity regarding what will happen under the new change. The students
who played the employee role should share their perception of whether the
manager’s handling of the situation could realistically address these issues.

IV. Bonus Material

For each of the following scenarios, imagine how things would be for:
 the CEO
 upper management
 lower management
 lower level employee (salary)
 hourly waged employee
 part time employee

The company is merging with another, local company. There will be extensive
consolidation and any employee redundancy will be removed.
The company has been bought by a large, international firm that wants to expand
its focus.
A company is moving its headquarters to another state.
A company is changing from being privately owned to publicly traded.
An organization has previously communicated with its customers through phone
and email. After an evaluation, the company has decided email communications
are often confusing and require several additional contacts, where a phone call
would likely solve the problem in one step. As a result, the company will be
phasing out email communication over the next sixty days.
A manufacturing company is shifting to manufacturing and distribution.

Source: Brett Guidry, Portland State University. Used by permission of the author.

V. Relevant TED Talks for bringing course concepts to life

A. Title: How to manage for collective creativity by Linda Hill
Synopsis: “What’s the secret to unlocking the creativity hidden inside your
daily work, and giving every great idea a chance? Harvard professor Linda
Hill, co-author of “Collective Genius,” has studied some of the world’s most
creative companies to come up with a set of tools and tactics to keep great

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ideas flowing — from everyone in the company, not just the designated

B. Title: The single biggest reason why startups succeed by Bill Gross
Synopsis: Bill goes into five factors that create success in business startups.
Through his research, he found that the most important factor, more than the
idea itself and the business models, but timing.

Additional Readings

Michael Beer and Nitin Nohria (2000). Breaking the code of change. Boston,
MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Jay R. Galbraith (2001). Designing organizations: An executive guide to strategy,

structure, and process. NY: Jossey-Bass.

Spencer Johnson (1998). Who moved my cheese? An amazing way to deal with
change in your work and in your life. G. P. Putnam's Sons.

John P. Kotter (1996). Leading change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School

Frederic Laloux (2014). Reinventing organizations. Nelson Parker.

Jeffrey K. Liker (2003). The Toyota way. NY: McGraw-Hill.

Keith McCandless and Henri Lipmanowicz (2014). The surprising power of

liberating structures: Simple rules to unleashing a power of innovation.
Liberating Structures Press.

Gareth Morgan (2006). Images of organization. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage


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Chapter 15
Organizational Culture


1. Using the OCP framework, analyze Google’s culture dimensions. Which
dimensions seem to characterize Google Culture?
2. What are the factors responsible for the specific culture that exists in
3. Do you see any challenges Google may face in preserving its culture?
What are the challenges of having this culture for a global organization
with more than 52,000 employees?

I. Discussion Questions
1. Why do companies need culture?
This question is akin to asking why people need personalities! Even if we did not
need them, we have them. Similarly, each organization has a culture that
differentiates it from other organizations. The type of culture the organization has
will have implications for the success of the organization or could be the reason
why the company fails to live up to its potential.

2. Give an example of an aspect of company culture that is a strength as well

as one that is a weakness.
Student answers will vary. For example, in a dynamic environment, having an
innovative culture will likely be an advantage for the organization (such as
Google), while having a culture of stability will be a weakness (such as Kraft

3. In what ways does culture serve as a controlling mechanism?

Culture shows employees desired and undesired behaviors. In this way, it is a
control mechanism. Moreover, as a controlling behavior it is often a stronger
mechanism compared to rules and regulations, because rules are unlikely to exist
for all situations and rules are selectively enforced in many organizations. Culture
leads to employees putting social pressure upon one another to behave in a certain

4. If assumptions are below the surface, why do they matter?

Assumptions are the deep beliefs that exist and are expressed in the values and
artifacts that are more visible. Even when artifacts to the contrary may exist,
assumptions are what drive employee behavior. Imagine an organization that is
rule-oriented, hierarchical, and does not value its people. This organization may

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adopt casual Fridays where employees are free to dress however they want. Do
you think employees will think that the organization is employee friendly? It is
unlikely. In a people-oriented culture, the same policy would be an expression of
the assumption that “employees should be free to express themselves.” In a
different culture, the same policy may simply indicate that the company is
imitating a competitor.

5. Share examples of artifacts you have noticed at different organizations.

Artifacts may involve the dress code, the rules and regulations the company has,
its building, and office layout.


1. Think about an organization you are familiar with. Based on the
dimensions of OCP, how would you characterize its culture?
Student answers to this question will vary. Even if students have little actual
experience within a company, they may be able to identify certain elements of
companies they are familiar with.

2. Out of the culture dimensions described, which dimension do you think

would lead to higher levels of employee satisfaction and retention? Which
one would be related to company performance?
Research indicates that employee satisfaction and retention is highest for people-
oriented cultures. Culture’s relation to company performance is less
straightforward and depends on whether the particular culture of the company fits
with the organization’s environment.

3. What are pros and cons of an outcome-oriented culture?

These cultures may motivate employees to demonstrate high levels of
performance. Because performance is valued, they tend to have objective
performance criteria and may treat employees fairly. These cultures do not
tolerate mediocrity and therefore high performers may enjoy working for these
organizations. Taken to the extreme, these cultures may encourage employees to
violate procedures, be unethical, and value ends above means.

4. When bureaucracies were first invented they were considered quite

innovative. Do you think that different cultures are more or less effective
at different points in time and in different industries? Why or why not?
This is definitely a possibility. When bureaucracy was invented, it replaced a
more personal management style where individual discretion and favoritism was
replaced with rules. At a different time, they became rigid and procedures started
replacing logic. Similarly, different industries definitely require different
organizational cultures to be successful. For example, in industries that are highly
regulated, having a stable and procedure-oriented culture will likely be beneficial,
even though the same culture may be a detriment in a dynamic industry.

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5. Can you imagine an effective use of subcultures within an organization?

For example, a company may have subcultures that fit with the unique needs of
the local environment. A company may have an innovative and risk-taking culture
overall, but may choose to adopt a more stable and rule-oriented culture in a
subsidiary operating in an uncertainty avoidant culture.


1. Do you think it is a good idea for companies to emphasize
person/organization fit when hiring new employees? What advantages
and disadvantages do you see when hiring people who fit with company
Advantages include maintaining the special aspects of a company’s culture, as
well as hiring employees with a greater likelihood of being satisfied and
successful within the organization. Yet, if the existing culture of the company
does not fit with its industry or other external demands and change is needed, then
hiring high person/organization fit employees will actually perpetuate the existing
culture of an organization. Moreover, hiring based on fit has the potential to
threaten the innovativeness of a company.

2. What is the influence of company founders on company culture? Give

examples based on your personal knowledge.
Founders infuse their own personal values into the businesses they establish.
Students may be able to identify examples from popular media such as Microsoft
or Google and how their founders influence their companies’ cultures. Similarly,
students who have experience with family businesses may identify examples of
how one person’s personality is influential in determining the culture of that

3. What are the methods that companies use to aid with employee
onboarding? What is the importance of onboarding for organizations?
Onboarding is important, because when employees quit their jobs or are fired
shortly after they were hired, the organization incurs substantial costs. To help
employees adjust to their new positions, formal programs include mentoring
programs and new hire orientations.

4. What type of a company do you feel would be a good fit for you? What
type of a culture would be a misfit for you? In your past work experience,
were there any moments when you felt that you did not fit with the
organization? Why?
Student answers to this question will vary. Students often find the idea of cultures
novel and useful, and they will be able to identify how they fit or did not fit into
different organizational cultures.

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5. What is the role of physical layout as an indicator of company culture?

What type of a physical layout would you expect from a company that is
people-oriented? Team-oriented? Stable?
There may not be a one-on-one correlation, but physical layout often contains
hints of the company’s culture. In team-oriented cultures we are more likely to see
cubicles as opposed to offices. Moreover, in these cultures there may be more
gathering places for employees, and less of a distinction between high- and low-
status employees’ work-stations. In people-oriented cultures, we would expect an
emphasis on comfort and fun. Stable cultures may have offices, more
standardized workstations, and more distinction between powerful and less
powerful employees.


1. Can new employees change a company’s culture? If so, how?
In ordinary circumstances it will be difficult for one person to change the culture
of a department or an entire organization, but there are circumstances in which the
likelihood of change may increase. The formal position of the new hire matters: A
new CEO will likely be more influential than a lower level employee. Past
performance of the new hire in a different organization matters. Whether the
existing employees view changes as needed is another factor. Finally, the
persuasive abilities and charisma of the newcomer will increase the likelihood of

2. Are there conditions under which change is not possible? If so, what
would such conditions be?
Conditions making change more difficult to achieve include a successful
organization uninterested in change, a large and bureaucratic organization with
many procedures and rules in place, and the lack of a change agent taking

3. Have you ever observed a change process at an organization you were

involved with? If so, what worked well and what didn’t?
Student answers will vary. Students may identify a number of critical events as
the turning point in a company’s culture, such as an external crisis, or the
departure of a leader. A good follow-up question could be whether change would
have been possible in the absence of such critical events.

4. What recommendations would you have for someone considering a major

change of culture within his or her own organization?
The advice to be given to someone in this situation would be derived from the
six stages of culture change highlighted in the book, starting with creating a
sense of urgency, changing key players and gate keepers, serving as a role
model, providing training, changing the reward system, and creating new

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1. Have you seen examples of ethical or unethical organizational cultures?
Describe what you observed.
Student answers will likely vary. At this point, students will likely come to the
realization that ethical behavior is often a cultural issue as opposed to the
presence of “a few bad apples.” This may be a good point to brainstorm about
what organizations can do to create an ethical culture.

2. Have you seen examples of national culture affecting an organization’s

National culture is likely an important influence over an organization’s culture.
This situation will likely visible in different units of a multinational organization.
For example, employees working in Procter and Gamble Belgium will likely
socialize over beers at lunch, while such behavior may be less acceptable in

3. What advice would you give to someone who was interested in starting a
new division of a company in another culture?
The key advice, which would lead to further advice, may be to be a good observer
and listener before creating too many rules and procedures. Some policies and
procedures may be immediately transferable while others may be less likely to go
well in a different culture. Before enforcing all headquarter rules, it is important
to keep an open mind and learn about the local culture.


1. Describe Four Seasons organizational culture in your own words.
Four Seasons hotel has an organizational culture with the ability (staff, resources,
financial aid) to make every guest feel like royalty. They put effort into making
the customer’s stay impeccable, and the company is very particular when hiring
new staff. They train their staff flawlessly on customer service.

2. Despite the long hours and difficult working conditions typical of

service work, Four Seasons still has the ability to motivate its staff to exhibit
exemplary customer service. How might this be explained?
They treat their employees as adults, acknowledge their successes and make sure
they know the importance of their work and how they help keep the pristine
reputation of Four Seasons. Motivated and hardworking, the employees of the
Four Seasons desire to keep the Four Seasons name in high revere.

3. What is the role of Human Resource Management practices in

creating and maintaining this culture?
HR is a group of individuals that make up the workforce of an organization/
company. It is up to these individuals to practice and maintain the culture Four

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Seasons is known for. They are the people that interact first hand with customers,
they must demonstrate their pristine customer service at all times.

4. How do you think this culture was created? What were the forces that
shaped it over time?
Student’s answers will vary. Discussions about different factors and forces that
created culture will occur, students may disagree on which factors are most
prominent in shaping culture.

II. End of Chapter Materials

Your company is in the process of hiring a benefits specialist. As a future peer of
the person to be hired, you will be one of the interviewers and will talk to all
candidates. The company you are working for is a small organization that was
acquired. The job advertisement for the position talks about the high level of
autonomy that will be available to the job incumbent. Moreover, your manager
wants you to sell the position by highlighting the opportunities that come from
being a part of a Fortune 500, such as career growth and the opportunity to gain
global expertise. The problem is that you do not believe being part of a larger
company is such a benefit. In fact, since the company was acquired by the Fortune
500, the way business is being conducted has changed dramatically. Now there
are many rules and regulations that prevent employees from making important
decisions autonomously. Moreover, no one from this branch was ever considered
for a position in the headquarters or for any global openings. In other words, the
picture being painted by the hiring managers and the company’s HR department
in the job advertisements is inflated and not realistic. Your manager feels you
should sell the job and the company because your competitors are doing the same
thing, and being honest might mean losing great candidates. You know that you
and your manager will interview several candidates together.

Is this unethical? Why or why not? What would you do before the interview to
address this dilemma?

Impact of HR practices on Organizational Culture
Below are scenarios of critical decisions you may need to make as a manager.
Select one from each pair of statements. Then, think about the impact your choice
would have on the company’s culture.
1. You need to lay off ten people. Would you
a. lay off the newest ten people?
b. lay off the ten people who have the lowest performance

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2. You need to establish a dress code. Would you

a. ask employees to use their best judgment?
b. create a detailed dress code highlighting what is proper and
3. You need to monitor employees during work hours. Would you
a. not monitor them because they are professionals and you trust
b. install a program monitoring their web usage to ensure that they
are spending work hours actually doing work?
4. You need to do performance appraisals. Would you
a. evaluate people on the basis of their behaviors?
b. evaluate people on the basis of their results (numerical sales
figures, etc.)?
5. You need to promote individuals. Would you promote individuals based
a. seniority?
b. objective performance?

Recruiting Employees Who Fit the Culture
You are an employee of a local bookstore. The store currently employs 50
employees and is growing. This is a family-owned business and employees feel a
sense of belonging to this company. Business is conducted in an informal manner,
there are not many rules, and people feel like they are part of a family. There are
many friendships at work, and employees feel that they have a lot of autonomy
regarding how they perform their jobs. Customer service is also very important in
this company. Employees on the sales floor often chat with their customers about
books and recommend readings they might like. Because the company is growing,
they will need to hire several employees over the next months. They want to
establish recruitment and selection practices so that they can hire people who have
a high degree of fit with the current culture.

Working within groups, discuss the effectiveness of the following recruitment

tools. Evaluate each recruitment source. Which ones would yield candidates with
a high degree of fit with the company’s current culture?
1. Online advertisements
2. Magazine advertisements
3. Radio advertisements
4. Hiring customers
5. Hiring walk-ins
6. Employee referrals
7. Using the state unemployment agency

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Next, create interview questions for a person who will work on the sales floor.
What types of questions would you ask during the interview to assess
person/organization fit? How would you conduct the interview (who would be
involved in the interviewing process, where would you conduct the interview, and
so on) to maximize the chances of someone with a high person/organization fit?

III. Exercise Solutions and End of the Chapter Role Plays

There are several issues to consider after reading this dilemma. The first revolves
around your idea that working for a larger company is not actually a benefit.
While this may be your opinion, and while it may even be true, the fact remains
that a potential employee may still want the opportunity to work for a Fortune 500
organization. Additionally, simply because no one at the branch has been
considered for a position at the headquarters or a global opening yet doesn’t mean
that the right candidate would not be considered. Additionally, when companies
merge or are acquired, there is often a period of adjustment which can
unfortunately last for years.

On the other hand, if you truly believe that the job you will be pitching to
prospective candidates is misleading (based on objective observations, not “gut
feeling”), you should probably address the issue with your supervisor. While
other companies may be doing what your manager is requesting, being just as
wrong as they are will not correct the situation. Perhaps it is important to consider
the consequences of a misleading job offer. A quality candidate might be secured,
but once that individual comes to the same realization you have, he or she is likely
to leave. This kind of turnover could potentially cost the company more than
taking longer to fill the spot. Additionally, at what point do you stop selling the
position and start lying? If the candidate were to ask for examples of benefits
since the company was taken over, can you provide concrete examples? What if
they ask for names of individuals who have been promoted to headquarters?

1. You need to lay off ten people. Would you
a. lay off the newest 10 people?
There is a common phrase, “Last hired, first fired.” This means that
when a company needs to lay off employees, those with seniority are
given preference. However, imagine a company has just expanded into
a new area and recently hired several new employees to handle the
new sector. Obviously by firing these new people with specialized
information, the organization would not function very well.
Additionally, imagine an organization has hired several new people in
preparation for a large group that is about to retire. If the newest

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employees were to be laid off, there would be no one to fill the void
left by the retiring employees. Of course, there is always the chance
that, coincidently, the last ten people hired are the best workers in the
entire company. When the most recent employees are laid off, the
message sent to the employees is that loyalty to the company is more
important than relative performance levels of employees.
b. lay off the ten people who have the lowest performance evaluations?
This option may seem reasonable, and some organizations will
regularly conduct a performance review and lay off the bottom ten
percent of employees. However, “lowest-rated employee” is a relative
concept. There may be little statistical difference among top- and
bottom-ranked employees. Also, imagine a company with several
departments. How would you compare performance from a warehouse
worker to a salesperson? Evaluation standards can easily vary from
department to department. Making a clean cut of the bottom ten
employees based on performance evaluation might leave departments
lopsided. Assuming that evaluations are objective, this decision sends
the message that performance level matters more than time at the
2. You need to establish a dress code. Would you
a. ask employees to use their best judgment?
“Best judgment” varies drastically from person to person. It is not
unusual for someone to explain an inexcusably foolish action by
saying “it seemed like a good idea at the time.” Asking employees to
use their best judgment will likely create a large variation in how
people dress at work. At the same time, this sends the message that the
employees are expected to behave like adults.
b. create a detailed dress code highlighting what is proper and improper?
Sometimes detailed dress codes are necessary for organizations. These
dress codes could be for safety purposes, such as forbidding factory or
laboratory workers from wearing open-toe shoes or certain kinds of
loose-fitting clothing. They could also help a company maintain a
consistent image from location to location such as a fast food
restaurant requiring black shoes, black socks, khaki pants, and a
special shirt bearing the company logo. Sometimes these types of strict
dress codes can insult employees. In a small company, establishing a
dress code may signal that the company is becoming more rule-
oriented. Professional employees may resent that the company does
not seem to trust them.

3. You need to monitor employees during work hours. Would you

a. not monitor them because they are professionals and you trust them?
If you are supposed to be monitoring employees and aren’t doing so,
you can assume someone is doing something he or she isn’t supposed
to be doing. Depending on the nature of the job, the consequences

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could vary greatly. A security person at the Pentagon who isn’t

monitoring employees to make sure they aren’t removing sensitive
information risks leaks of top-secret information. A supervisor at a call
center not monitoring employee calls risks having an employee who is
abusive to customers or simply isn’t doing any work.
b. install a program monitoring their web usage to ensure that they are
spending work hours actually doing work?
Again, depending on the nature of the job, monitoring web usage has
varying degrees of appropriateness. Individuals working at an ad firm
may be insulted by the tight controls placed on web usage. Employees
may regularly work very hard for several hours, then just browse
around the Internet for a few minutes to take a break from work. Also,
long hours demanded by a job might necessitate employees handling
personal business while at work via the Internet. Alternatively, many
people work within fast-paced environments. At a call center
employees are expected to move seamlessly from one call to the next.
Any employee who is spending time browsing the Internet will
effectively be transferring the workload to other employees.

Unless there is a really good reason such as ensuring the security of

the work environment, organizations are advised to use monitoring
sparingly. If employees are not motivated to do their jobs, catching
them in the act is not the solution to the problem. Investigating the
reasons for performance problems will be more meaningful. Using
monitoring software sends the message that employees are not trusted.
4. You need to do performance appraisals. Would you
a. evaluate people on the basis of their behaviors?
This may be a reasonable method for employees whose main job is to
deal with customers. In this case, behavior toward customers is a key
component of the job. On the other hand, imagine a software company
employing a dozen programmers. One particular programmer tends to
snap at others in the office and is generally unpleasant to work with.
This particular individual, however, is a brilliant programmer, and has
been responsible for many breakthroughs for the organization. While
the programmer’s behavior is not optimal, the job performance is
phenomenal. Using these performance appraisal systems sends the
message that people are valued for trying rather than for their actual
b. evaluate people on the basis of their results (numerical sales figures,
Some jobs are difficult to evaluate based on results. A firefighter, for
example, might be called out to ten fires in a given period, eight of
which result in the building or home being completely destroyed.
Could you then say that the individual was not an effective firefighter
because of these results? What if, during one fire, the firefighter was

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responsible for saving five lives? It would be difficult to quantify the

various results that might arise while fighting fires. Other jobs, such as
factory workers, may reasonably be judged on numerical figures, as
long as effort could be directly attributed to the numerical outcome.
Using these systems sends the message that results are what matters.
While creating a performance-oriented culture, these systems may also
create an aggressive or even unethical culture.

5. You need to promote individuals. Would you promote individuals based

a. seniority?
Many people are promoted based on seniority. This may be a reward
for years of dedication to the company, but it may also result in the
more qualified candidate being passed over. This may or may not work
in a company’s best interest. Some workers may be motivated to stay
with an organization based on the notion that they may one day be
promoted if they are around long enough. Conversely, some people
may opt to leave an organization that does not promote based on merit.
These systems often create a culture of mediocrity (high performers
leave and remaining employees start having a sense of entitlement).
b. objective performance?
Objective performance certainly seems like the best method for
promoting individuals within an organization; however, it does not
always work. Some people are phenomenal in a particular position, for
example as a salesperson, but do not possess the skills to manage other
salespeople. At the same time, some jobs are notorious for being
difficult to measure objective performance. Teachers, for example, are
often given raises based on seniority. Many people have tried to
develop a system to measure a teacher’s performance, but differences
in class makeup and school location can skew most measures such as
grades or test scores. Using objective performance as the sole criterion
for promotions will likely create a performance-oriented but also
potentially aggressive and maybe an unethical culture.

1. Newspaper advertisements
This might be a reasonable method for recruiting employees. In one sense
you will reach a group of people who read the paper, which is becoming
more limited and specific each year. On the other hand, many people go to
the newspaper when looking for jobs, thereby giving a more generalized
sample of potential candidates. Additionally, in modern times, many
newspaper advertisements are available online as well, broadening the
potential employee base even more.
2. Magazine advertisement

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An advertisement in a magazine could go a long way in finding an

employee who would make a good fit. Magazines are specific enough to
give you an easy way to zero in on the type of employee you would want
to hire. For example, an advertisement in a magazine geared toward
literature would give you access to people with an interest in literature.
Additionally, people do not generally pick up random magazines when
looking for job offerings, so the ad would remain within a particular
population of interest.
3. Radio advertisement
A radio advertisement, if done appropriately, could draw the types of
employees that the company wants. By selecting particular stations, the
employer could home in on individuals that might work best in the
4. Hiring customers
Based on the job description and personal attributes that the employer is
seeking, hiring customers could would very well. The fact that someone
already shops at the bookstore indicates that the individual is interested in
books. The customer may also be familiar with current staff and may even
shop at the store because of the pleasant environment. Since the customer
knows and likes how customers are treated at this store, he or she may
easily adopt the ethics of the employer and be an excellent fit.
5. Hiring walk-ins
Walk-in applicants may be more familiar with the business; however, they
may also want to work at the bookstore because of its location. Perhaps
they live a few blocks away, or the store is easy to get to. In both of these
cases, the applicants may be applying for reasons that would not
necessarily make a good fit within the company. On the other hand, the
bookstore is family owned. Someone living in close proximity to the store
may have a dedication to the neighborhood and would prefer working for
a small, family owned business rather than a regional or national
6. Employee referrals
This method may work well for the organization. Employees are familiar
with demands of the job as well as expectations for customer service.
They be able to identify people they know would make a good fit, and
because similar people tend to associate with each other, current
employees may also know many other people that would work well within
the organization.
7. The state unemployment agency may work well for the company;
however, the breadth of backgrounds might make it difficult to find an
employee who would work well within the organization. Because
everyone at the unemployment agency is looking for a job (and often any
job) the company may be overwhelmed with applicants, further
complicating the hiring process.

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Sample interview questions

What are the last three books you have read?
What is your favorite book?
What are your two favorite genres?
Have you worked in an unstructured environment before?
Are you a good self-motivator?
Do you generally get along with your coworkers?
Do little things tend to upset you?
Are you generally in a good mood?
Do you like to meet new people? At social events, do you tend to talk to as
many people as possible or stick around one or two close friends?

It might not be a bad idea to allow the potential candidate to be interviewed by

certain staff members as well as the manager. For example, the manager could ask
the questions regarding personality and previous employment. Then employees
could ask questions related to literary preferences and make their own judgments
about personality and whether the person would make a good fit.

IV. Relevant TED Talks for bringing course concepts to life

A. Title: The paradox of choice by Barry Schwartz
Synopsis: Barry explains how culturally in western society there is a
substantial freedom of choice, however this may not prove to always be such a
good thing. In fact, he believes that the freedom of choice has left us
paralyzed and dissatisfied.

B. Title: How giant websites design for you (and a billion others, too) by
Margaret Gould Stewart
Synopsis: As director of product design, Stewart lists the three rules for
designing at such a large scale, and how just the smallest mistakes can cause
global outrage, and affect the lives of people all over the world.

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Additional Readings

S. Chris Edmonds (2014). The culture engine: A framework for driving results,
inspiring employees, and transforming your workplace. Wiley.

Seth Godin (2008). Tribes: We need you to lead us. Portfolio Hardcover.

Edgar H. Schein (2010). Organizational culture and leadership. NY: Jossey-Bass.

Robert Spector (2005). The Nordstrom way to customer service excellence: A

handbook for implementing great service in your organization. Hoboken, NJ:
John Wiley and Sons.

Michael Watkins (2003). The first 90 days: Critical success strategies for new
leaders at all levels. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

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