This assignment is an opportunity to formally apply your OB knowledge to a problem in your own organizational setting. You should focus on the organization in which you currently work so that you are familiar with the policies and procedures of the organization and can gather additional information if needed. Lack of this kind of information is not a good excuse for a superficial analysis.
Organizational Problem-Solving Project I (Parts A & B) should be 5 to 6 pages in length.
Project Part 1 A. Identify an OB Problem
· Describe the Organization . Provide just enough detail on the organization for the reader to be able to understand the problem being described and its importance to the organization. The industry, product or service type, and size of the organization (and whether this is a company-wide problem or specific worksite problem) and whether it is in the U.S. or not are likely to be important factors that provide context. Feel free to omit or disguise the identity of the organization or any details that might be sensitive in nature.
· Identify the Problem . Describe, specifically, one OB-related problem that the organization is struggling with that will serve as the focus of the paper. It may be useful to interview supervisors or colleagues to identify an important problem in your current organization. Be sure that the problem is related to or can be impacted by at least two of the OB topics listed in the point below.
· Be sure to focus on one problem. Resist the urge to discuss a tangle of multiple related problems. Clearly defining and delimiting the parameters of the problem is key to effective problem solving.
· Since this is a course on organizational behavior, the problem should be focused at the individual, group, or intergroup level. Don’t focus at strategy level (e.g., loss of market share due to specific strategic decisions) but neither should you focus on anecdotal problem (an interpersonal conflict you had with a fellow employee). Anecdotal problems may be generalizable as organizational problems (e.g., poor decision making in the management team; an inability to resolve conflicts effectively in teams or between units).
· Resist the urge to focus only on the symptoms. For example, high rates of turnover may be a symptom of one or more underlying problems (e.g., low job satisfaction; low organizational commitment; high stress; ineffective leadership). What theory or model will you use to better understand the problem?
· Resist the urge to define the problem in terms of a potential solution (i.e., the employees need training). The point is to use theoretical concepts and models to help you understand the nature of the problem and design a solution. The solution may indeed involve training, but the theory will tell you what the nature of that training should be.
· OB Topic. Problems often have multiple contributing factors. Choose two of the topics from the list below (or additional topics approved by me) and apply them to the problem. This means that you will describe very specifically how the concepts, principles, and findings represented in the topic are relevant to explaining or understanding the problem and how they can be used to suggest a solution.
· Value-percept (met expectations) theory
· Job Characteristics theory
· Challenge – Hindrance stressors
· Expectancy theory
· Goal Setting theory
· Equity theory
· Psychological Empowerment
· Trust and Justice
· Ethics and ethical decision making
· Cognitive Ability, Personality and selection
· Emotional Intelligence
· Team Design and Team Processes
· Diversity management
· Power, Influence, Conflict and Negotiation
· Leadership Styles and Behavior theories
· Organizational Culture
Project Part 1 B. Provide Evidence of Nature and Extent of Problem
· Collect Data. Students will collect data to identify the problem and support their theoretical interpretation causes of the problem. Data can be qualitative or quantitative.
· Quantitative data may be based on company records, such as turnover rates, company documents, pay scales, or company engagement survey results. Tables reporting this data can be included in an Appendix. If you are able to distribute a questionnaire to a small group of employees (minimum of 10) I can provide you with many suitable scales to measure relevant constructs so that you can examine mean scores and perhaps even correlations.
· Qualitative data can be based on interviews with at least 5 colleagues (either individually or in a focus group) affected by the problem. To collect interview data you should develop an interview protocol that is composed of a series of open-ended questions relevant to the problem and the underlying OB concepts you choose to explain the problem. The protocol questions can identify and ask about important issues but should not be “leading” questions. For example, you should not directly ask “Are you interested in leaving because you are not satisfied with the pay level?” but could ask “What aspects of your job do you find unsatisfying?” and “Do you intend to search for another job in the next 6 months?” Please include the protocol as an appendix.
Be prepared to modify your initial question based on the data collection. This is the nature of an analytical and evidence-based approach