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THEORIES OF ORG. BEHAVIOR

PSYCH 304: THEORIES OF ORG. BEHAVIOR TERM: SPRING 2000
ROOM: HAB 002 TIME: 9:40 EVEN
INSTRUCTOR: DR. STEPHEN P. STELZNER
OFFICE: RICHARDA P27
OFFICE HOURS: 9:30 - 10:30 ODD DAYS; 2:30 - 3:30 EVEN DAYS
(OTHER TIMES BY APPOINTMENT OR DROP IN)
PHONE: OFFICE 363 5410 HOME (612) 537 1161
EMAIL: [email protected]

 

TEXTS

Robbins, Stephen P. (2000). Essentials of organizational behavior, 6th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Ritti, R. Richard (1998). The ropes to skip and the ropes to know: Studies in organizational behavior, 4th edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

 

"In an industrial organization it's group effort that counts. There's really no room for stars in an industrial organization. You need talented people, but they can't do it alone. They have to have help."
John F. Donnelly - President, Donnelly Mirrors

"The workplace has long been dominated by the rule of the carrot and the stick as if we were a nation of donkeys. But the carrot the lure of material well being as defined by money and possessions is subtly losing its savor. And the stick once a brutal club labeled `economic insecurity' has thinned down to a flacid bundle of twigs."
Daniel Yankelovich "The meaning of work"

"One of the best ways for an organization to develop a committed work force is for it to demonstrate its commitment to its employees."
M.A. Verespej "Where people come first" - Industry week

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course concerns the study of human behavior in organizations: how people influence organizational events and how events within the organization influence people's behavior. Organizational behavior is a field in which the principles of psychology are applied to the organization. Thus, it draws ideas from social psychology, learning theory, the psychology of perception, cognitive psychology, as well as other areas of psychology. It also draws from other related fields, such as sociology, anthropology, political science, and management.
The field of organizational behavior covers a wide range of topics: organizational culture, motivation, decision making, leadership, communication, work stress, and so on. In the end, the field of organizational behavior asks two questions: 1) Why do people behave as they do within organizations? 2) How can we use this information to improve the effectiveness of the organization and lives of its members?

 

COURSE OBJECTIVES:

By the end of the course you should be able to:

1. Identify the research methods which are used to study behavior in organizations.
2. Describe the major theories or perspectives used to explain organizational behavior (e.g., theories of motivation).
3. Understand the differences AND interconnections between individual, group, and organizational behavior.
4. Describe the current attempts to apply what has been learned in the field of organizational behavior to the everyday business of working in and/or managing organizations.

 

COURSE METHOD

Discussion is the major method of instruction to be used in this class, yet there will also be a variety of lectures, readings (texts and supplementary), experiential exercises, role plays, and other group experiences. Some of these activities will be structured as cooperative learning experiences, which will be explained further in class. You are encouraged to ask questions and make comments during any of these class experiences.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

PARTICIPATION
Much of this class will center around the discussion of issues and research in organizational psychology. For such discussions to work, your participation is necessary. You will benefit most from the class if you become involved in the class discussions, since it will help you to think through the issues. I think you will find that you enjoy the class more as well. Participation will be worth 160 points. Factors considered: class attendance, attention in class, and "quality" participation in large group discussions, small group discussions, and various class activities. Keep in mind that it is impossible to participate if you are not in class. Thus, regular attendance is required.
[Note p. 28 of the CSB/SJU Academic Catalog 1998-2000: “The instructor determines the attendance policy for his or her class. An instructor may fail a student if the instructor determines that unwarranted absences preclude the student’s progress in class or indicate a serious lack of commitment. Excessive absences in any class, even excused absences, may mean that a student cannot fulfill minimal course requirements.”]

PRE-LECTURE ASSIGNMENTS
For many of our discussions to take place, it will be vital that you read and reflect on the reading before coming to class. For some reading assignments there will be short pre-lecture assignments focusing on your comprehension of the reading. The pre-lectures will focus on your understanding of the case studies in "The ropes to skip and the ropes to know.” Each pre-lecture must be typed and will be worth 10 points for a total of 80 points.

THOUGHT PAPERS
For each major topic we cover in class you will be responsible for writing a "thought paper." A thought paper provides the opportunity to reflect on the material without trying to memorize specific definitions or principles. In each paper you will answer one or two questions related to the topic that we are in the process of covering. The papers are designed to test your ability to reflect on and apply the ideas from class and the readings. In preparation for the papers, keep up with the reading and become involved in class discussions. Four thought papers will be worth 60 points or 240 points total. ALL PAPERS MUST BE TYPED. Plagiarism on the papers will result in failing the course.

GROUP PROJECT
Each of you will be involved in a group project (including both a paper and group "presentation"). You will choose your topic as a team, but you will have to defend your choice to me. (Typically, the project will focus on a topic relevant to organizational behavior which has NOT been covered in class.) The project will involve both library research on the topic, as well as "real life" research/application (e.g., interviews or the report of job experiences). For those of you interested, your research/application will be part of a service-learning project. YOU WILL BE GRADED AS A TEAM, BUT YOU WILL ALSO BE EVALUATED BY YOUR TEAM. The project will be worth 120 points (20=presentation; 100=paper).


GRADES

Tentatively, your grade will be based on the total points accumulated during the term as follows:

DISCUSSION 160 PTS.
PRE-LECTURES 80 PTS.
THOUGHT PAPERS 240 PTS.
GROUP PROJECT 120 PTS.
------- ----
TOTAL POINTS 600 PTS.

Tentatively, grades will be assigned in the following manner:

POINT TOTAL FINAL GRADE % OF TOTAL POINTS
--------- ---------- --------------
552 or above A 92%
540 to 551 AB 90%
492 to 539 B 82%
480 to 491 BC 80%
420 to 479 C 70%
408 to 419 CD 68%
360 to 407 D 60%
359 or below F