COMMGMT 7006 - People and Organisations (M)
North Terrace Campus - Trimester 1 - 2017
General Course Information
Course Code COMMGMT 7006 Course People and Organisations (M) Coordinating Unit Adelaide Business School Term Trimester 1 Level Postgraduate Coursework Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 6 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Course Description This course explores behaviour in the workplace from an individual, group and organisational perspective. It seeks to develop an understanding of how individual attributes such as attitudes, personality, values and motivation, impact on employee performance. It also considers the role of groups and teams in supporting organisational outcomes, strategies for managing interpersonal and intergroup conflict, organisational communication and the importance of leadership in promoting positive employee behaviours. Topics examined from an organisational level perspective include culture, and stress management.
Course Coordinator: Dr Lisa Daniel
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.Location/s: Week 1 UB 40 – Jan 30 (Basement Nexus 10)Weeks 2 – 5 UB 35 – Feb 6, 13, 20, 27(Basement Nexus 10)Week 6 Nexus 10, Level 1, 126 – Mar 6 (Santos lecture theatre, Level 1 Nexus 10)
Course Learning OutcomesOn successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of organisational behaviour.
- Collaboratively and autonomously research, analyse and evaluate information from a wide variety of sources.
- Apply relevant contemporary theories, concepts and models in order to analyse organisational environments, cases and issues.
- Communicate their findings clearly and effectively using a variety of media.
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Deep discipline knowledge
- informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
- acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
- accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
2-4 Critical thinking and problem solving
- steeped in research methods and rigor
- based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
- demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
1, 3, 4 Teamwork and communication skills
- developed from, with, and via the SGDE
- honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
- encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
3, 4 Career and leadership readiness
- technology savvy
- professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
- forward thinking and well informed
- tested and validated by work based experiences
2-4 Intercultural and ethical competency
- adept at operating in other cultures
- comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
- able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
- demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
1-4 Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
- a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
- open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
- able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
Wood, J., Zeffane, R., Fromholtz, M., Weisner, R., Morrison, R., Factor, A., McKeown, T., Schermerhorn, J., Hunt, J. and Osborn, R. (2016) Organisational Behaviour: Core concepts and applications, 4th Ed. John Wiley and Sons, Milton Qld.
The text may be bought from the bookshop or online via the below link:
Organisational Behaviour: Core Concepts and Applications, 4th Australasian Edition | Wiley Direct | Wiley Direct
Recommended ResourcesThe Communication Skills Guide and The University of Adelaide Writing Centre web page are helpful resources for your academic writing and observance of the protocols and conventions of the Harvard referencing style. You also have access to numerous resources in the library including scholarly journals and alternative contemporary OB texts, but there are many readings which are relevant to the course. You are encouraged to read widely and critically with a focus on recent work (less than 5 years old) in periodicals, refereed academic journals and books. Some contemporary OB texts you may find useful include:
Bartol, K., Tein, M., Matthews, G., Sharma, B and Scott-Ladd. 2010, Management - A Pacific Rim Focus, McGraw Hill, Sydney
Kinicki, A., and Williams, B. 2012, Management – A Practical Introduction, McGraw Hill, Sydney
Robbins, S.P., Judge, T.A., Millett, B., Boyle M., T., 2012, Organisational Behaviour, Pearson Education, Australia
Students are required to read beyond the core textbook to enhance their learning of organisational behaviour. Some specific tutorial preparation readings drawing from the core text, journal articles and various online materials will be recommended as the course progresses. In addition, lectures will include citations you might find relevant, interesting and useful for following up key issues and theories useful in preparing your written assignments.
You are encouraged to become familiar with the on-line and electronic databases and other information sources available in the main library. Familiarity with these information sources is important for the effective searching of academic literature. Some relevant academic journals are listed on the following page however, please note, this list is by no means comprehensive and is offered as a launching point for additional readings.
- Academy of Management Journal
- Academy of Management Perspectives (formerly Academy of Management Review)
- Administrative Science Quarterly
- Human Relations
- Journal of Applied Psychology
- Journal of Organizational Behaviour
- Journal of Management Inquiry
- Organization Science
- Organization Studies
- Work, Employment and Society
MyUni will be used extensively in this course for announcements, resources, and assessment. Students should be actively checking the MyUni course webpage regularly for announcements, lecture slides, general course information, assessment details, tutorial preparation, additional readings and suggested links.
Please ensure you have access before the start of semester. This is your responsibility.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesWeeks 1-6 Intensive 9am - 4pm Monday 30 January - 6 March, 2017
Two topics per week.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.Lecture / Interactive discussion: 3 hours per week (Weeks 1-9)
Online activity / Discussion: 3 hours per week (Weeks 10 - 12)
Reading and preparation: 2 hours per week (approximately)
Learning Activities SummaryWeeks 1-9:
Lectures supported by problem-solving tutorials developing material covered in lectures plus online support.
Students are expected to fully participate in small group discussion based on a series of pre-published questions. Students should come fully prepared having read (at a minimum) the required text but preferrably having engaged with the additional readings as well. Notes as evidence of having prepared appropriately need to be brought to class.
Online lectures supported by problem-solving discussion boards developing material covered in lectures plus online support.
Students are expected to fully participate in small online group discussion based on a series of pre-published questions. Students should enter into online discussion having fully prepared having read (at a minimum) the required text but preferrably having engaged with the additional readings as well. All posts providing an answer to pre-posted questions should be referenced as evidence of having prepared appropriately.
As a minimum contribution you are expected to raise at least one new idea/opinion/point in relation to the weekly question/s and respond to at least one comment by a fellow group member. Answers to questions are expected to be substantive and scholarly of approximately 100-150 words.
Small Group Discovery ExperienceThe Small Group Discovery Experience in this course is based on small group discussion. Weekly Discussion questions are provided below:
1) Selection of working groups.
2) Discussion Topic:
Management today bears little resemblance to typical managerial behaviours a century ago or even fifty years ago.
What have been the main contributors to these changes and how have they influenced the development of modern management?
In your view what has been gained and what has been lost and how have you reached these judgments?
1) Discussion Topic:
Workforce diversity and differences in individual capacity, engagement, personality, appearance, gender, interests, values, etc. impact on the ways individuals behave, are evaluated, and how they assess the role of work in their lives. Yet nonetheless individuals within organisational departments need to work together to achieve departmental goals so there is a limit to the level of individual discrepancy should it potentially interfere with working together harmoniously.How do manager's need to behave to ensure they make the most of individual differences yet at the same time minimise some of the disadvantages?Explain with reference to both literature and your own workplace experiences.
1) Discussion Topic:
A number of theoretical frameworks have been developed over the last fifty years to explain motivation at work and improve individual performances through utilising motivational techniques to stimulate individual effort and achievement.Think of two workplaces from either your own experience or from write-ups in media outlets which have reputations for being good places to work.What type of incentives do they offer to their staff and why are they effective?Explain with reference to both literature and your own experiences?
1) Discussion Topic:
Recent years have seen a huge expansion in knowledge work i.e. work that requires a level of learned skill and knowledge of how to achieve the best outcome.To what extent do you believe organisations should provide forms of employee training?Should training just address work performance skills or should it also include soft skills in human behaviour interaction?Explain your reasoning and refer to relevant literature.
1) Discussion Topic:
What are some of the benefits and drawbacks associated with work flexibility for both the organisation and for the job holder?
Is there any ideal percentage of staff who need to be in place all the time and if so what determines this ratio?
Do you think flexibility will increase in future years? Why or why not?
1) Discussion Topic:
Your textbook outlines an excellent summary of the advantages and disadvantages of group interaction.
Consider ways in which a manager might act to improve the advantages and minimize the disadvantages.
What can group members do to make a group work more effectively together?
1) Discussion Topic:
Individuals differ on many variables ranging from competencies, personality, disability, values, appearance, age, religion, to name just a few. From your reading consider how different aspects of other individual’s behaviour might impact on how you might judge their performance in the workplace, and in turn how these judgments might influence how you would treat them if you were to be their colleague or their manager.How might an organisation act to gain the maximum benefit from the diversity of its workforce whilst at the same time taking into account those circumstances where all staff should be treated identically rather than individually?What options are open to you when you feel you being treated differently than other staff or alternatively when you notice another person being treated more or less favourably than yourself?What outcomes would you be seeking in such situations, how therefore might you respond and why do you believe your response would be the best choice in the circumstances?
1) Discussion Topic:
Sometimes structures within organisations make it difficult for many staff to gain information directly from others with whom there are few formal communication channels.Explore the different ways informal channels operate in your organisation that aim to counteract and compensate for these dilemmas.How well do these succeed and why or why not?
1) Discussion Topic:
This chapter in your textbook contains a brief case study of the boy's club that operated in the Victorian Police Force, in Australia.
What is your view of the impact of such practices on contemporary Australian organisations?
1) Discussion Topic:
Our view of how "good" leadership is exercised has changed significantly in recent times.Look at the list of the 20 characteristics of a strong leader in your textbook. Can you put them into priority order as applied to yourself?Explain how you reached your judgments.
1) Discussion Topic:
Explain how social media has changed the operations of your organisation in the last two years.What new changes are being planned?Do you believe such practices are efficient and effective?Why or why not?
1) Discussion Topic:
Most organisations seek to discover a balance between current and future revenue sources.
Explain how your organisation seeks to foster the development of new ideas, evaluate their potential, and proceed with their implementation.
What are some of the forces that support innovation in some circumstances and might mitigate against it in others?
How are these dilemmas resolved?
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment SummaryAssessment Detail
1. Pre-class quizzes (20%) – INDIVIDUAL - On-line completion and submissionDue midday Monday the day of class (Except week 1 which is DUE midday Friday Feb 3This individual assignment requires you to read the chapters assigned for discussion each week and then complete the on-line pre-class quizzes.
2. Discussion board (30%) – GROUPS – On-line completion and submission
POST 15% (250 words) DUE midday Friday 10/2/17 & RESPONSE 15% (250 words) DUE midday Friday 17/2/17
3. Critical opinion piece (20%) - INDIVIDUAL – 750 words - DUE atmidday on Friday 24/2/17
This is an individual assessment item that requires you to think critically. Thinking critically requires you to ask questions rather than provide answers; it requires you to explore your topic from alternative viewpoints. It is your job to identify, justify and explain why these viewpoints are valid.
4. Case Study - GROUP PROJECT (30%) – 2000 words (Part A & B) – DUE midday Friday 12/3/17
This assessment has two parts – the group component (A) and an individual component (B).
Assessment Detail1) Essay – Due at the end of Week 4 (11:55 pm, 19/6/16). (25%)
Respond to the following prompt in a thoughtful and well written essay that is 2,000 to 3,000 words. Remember toread extensively to support your judgments and to reference all material sourced in your bibliography. The aim is to tackle this assignment as an exercise in applying what you read, in conjunction with your further reflection concerning real life experiences in the workplace.
Assessment TaskIndividuals differ on many variables ranging from competencies, personality, disability, values, appearance, age, religion, to name just a few. From your reading consider how different aspects of other individual’s behaviour might impact on how you might judge their performance in the workplace, and in turn how these judgments might influence how you would treat them if you were to be their colleague or their manager.How might an organisation act to gain the maximum benefit from the diversity of its workforce whilst at the same time taking into account those circumstances where all staff should be treated identically rather than individually?What options are open to you when you feel you are being treated differently than other staff or alternatively when you notice another person being treated more or less favourably than yourself?What outcomes would you be seeking in such situations, how therefore might you respond and why do you believe your response would be the best choice in the circumstances?Refer to your literature in answering these questions.
2a) Case Study 1 – Due at the end of Week 8 (11:55 pm, 17/7/16). (25%)
A copy of the Case Study, Cult Girl, is available on My Uni. Your task is to read and analyse the document from the perspective of organisational culture, group dynamics, teamwork and job design.Assessment TaskIn this case study you are required to consider the following questions in 1,500 words:
* Considering the public debate, how should Brien Sorensen react?* Was he right to think of provocation as a part of his company’s culture?
* Should he work to change the Cult mentality towards a culture that took better care of the girls, who felt wrong about what they did at work?
* Was it his responsibility to nourish and maintain a sustainable gender image for his employees?
2a) Case Study 2 – Due at the end of Week 12 (11:55 pm, 14/8/16). (25%)
OverviewA copy of the Case Study, Sustainability in the Auto Industry, is available on My Uni. Your task is to read and undertake an analysis of the information the document provides .Assessment TaskIn this case study you are required to consider, in 1,500 words, the following:* What critical factors led to the automotive industry becoming unstable?* What role did power, politics and influence have to play in the scenario?* What leadership related issues contributed to the instability and what measures were employed to address the problems?* What measures are necessary for future sustainability of the industry?
3) Contributing to weekly discussions of topics by answering set questions. (25%)
Contributing to weekly topics by answering set questions is an important part of the learning process. Discussions will occur in class time and a set of questions for each week is provided at the end of this outline. Students are expected to have undertaken sufficient reading to fully participate in discussion and to contribute to the learning experience. Marks are allocated for participation and preparation. Marks are based on quantitative and qualitative markers and evidence of preparation. Several times throughout the duration of the course the Lecturer will gather preparation notes and provide feedback (respond to online discussion). Students who attend less than 5 sessions will receive 0 marks and those that attend greater than 10 sessions with preparation materials will achieve full marks.Please note: Discussion in week 10, 11 and 12 will occur online.
SubmissionAll assessment submissions are to be made through TURNITIN.
Late assignments will be penalised in line with University policy.
Resubmission is not available.
Replacement/Additional Assessment may be granted in certain circumstances (e.g. medical, compassionate etc.).
Any requests for extensions must be made in writing, to the lecturer stating reasons, before the due date.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
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