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BUS 5450 Organizational Behavior

Course Description

Presents existing research, theories and models explaining how individual and group behavior and processes shape the internal dynamics of organizations. Provides the foundation to understand contemporary debates concerning alternative organizational designs and management practices.

Week 1

Lecture: Course Introduction


  • Define organizational behavior (OB) in applied terms
  • Describe the disciplines that have contributed to the field of OB
  • Discuss the importance of understanding behavior in organizations
  • Explain the time dimension model of measuring effectiveness
  • Explain the relationship between quality and organizational effectiveness

Week 2

Lecture: Dr. Roger Manley – Importance of Organizational Behavior
Lecture: Research in Organizational Behavior
Lecture: Library Overview
Lecture: Organizational Culture


  • Define the terms organizational culture, socialization, and career
  • Explain why it is too simplistic to assume that managers can state that they are creating a firm’s culture
  • Describe the relationship between a society’s culture and organizational culture
  • Explain why valuing diversity has become an important leadership requirement
  • Identify specific practices and programs used by organizations to facilitate socialization

Week 3

Lecture: Dean Niebhur – Experience in Organizational Behavior
Lecture: Thinking Critically About Organizational Behavior
Lecture: Personality and Perceptions


  • Identify the major individual variables that influence work behavior
  • Understand how diversity is influencing the workplace
  • Explain what an attitude is and identify its three components
  • Discuss the relationship between job satisfaction and performance
  • Describe the major forces influencing personality
  • Identify the Big Five personality dimensions
  • Explain how primary emotions can be observed and determined.
  • Discuss the potential problems one faces when using stereotypes to make judgments
  • Describe the role that perception plays in organizing stimuli
  • Explain why and where impression management tactics are used
  • Discuss why emotional intelligence has potential for managerial use, but should be treated cautiously
  • Describe how attribution can be used in evaluating individual and group performance

Week 4

Lecture: Motivation
Lecture: Quality of Instruction and Research


  • Describe three distinct components of motivation
  • Define the key terms in expectancy theory
  • Distinguish between inputs and outputs in equity theory
  • Identify the key steps in goal setting
  • Describe the concept of the psychological contract
  • Describe the relationship between job design and quality of work life
  • Identify key elements linking job design and performance
  • Define the term job analysis
  • Compare the job design concepts of range and depth
  • Describe what is meant by perceived job content
  • Identify the different types of job performance outcomes
  • Compare job rotation and job enlargement
  • Discuss approaches to job enrichment

Week 5

Lecture: Performance Evaluation and Corrective Action
Lecture: Counterproductive Behavior


  • Describe purposes of performance evaluation
  • Explain why a 360-degree feedback program is considered more thorough
  • Discuss reinforcement theory
  • Compare intrinsic and extrinsic rewards
  • Understand the role rewards play in turnover, absenteeism, performance, and commitment
  • Explain why the management of misbehavior is an important responsibility that managers must address
  • Describe some outcomes of misbehavior in terms of property, politics, and interpersonal relations
  • Discuss why sexual harassment can be interpreted as a form of violence
  • Identify why some consider the invasion of privacy to be a moral issue
  • Discuss how an organization’s culture can impact what is referred to as the management of misbehavior norms

Week 6

Lecture: Groups and Teams
Lecture: Conflict


  • Identify the elements in the process of group formation and development
  • Describe the stages of group formation
  • Identify important characteristics of groups
  • Discuss relevant criteria for group effectiveness
  • Identify the characteristics that distinguish a group from a team
  • Describe factors important to team success
  • Explain the contemporary perspective on conflict
  • Distinguish between function and dysfunctional conflict
  • Discuss why intergroup conflict occurs
  • Identify consequences of dysfunctional conflict
  • Describe approaches to managing conflict through resolution
  • Discuss how increased globalization has changed negotiating tactics
  • Distinguish between win-win and win-lose negotiation

Week 7

Lecture: Dr. Manley – Ron Jon Surf Shop Board Member
Lecture: Power
Lecture: Communication


  • Distinguish between influence and power
  • Identify power bases
  • Describe structural power
  • Discuss the concepts of powerlessness and empowerment
  • Identify the contingencies that influence subunit power
  • Explain what is meant by the term illusion of power
  • Describe several frequently used influence tactics
  • Discuss the criteria for determining ethical behavior
  • Identify the considerations for using power effectively
  • Explain the elements in communication
  • Compare major directions of communication
  • Describe the role played by interpersonal communication in organizations
  • Discuss multicultural communication
  • Identify significant barriers to effective communication
  • Describe ways in which communication in organizations can be improved

Week 8

Lecture: Virtual Team Leadership


  • Contrast programmed with non-programmed decisions
  • Identify steps in the decision making process
  • Describe the conditions governing alternative outcome relationships
  • Explain the role of behavioral influences on decision-making
  • Compare individual and group decision-making
  • Identify techniques for stimulating creativity
  • Define the concept of leadership
  • Discuss the trait approach to leadership
  • Explain situational leadership approaches
  • Identify substitutes for leadership

The course description, objectives and learning outcomes are subject to change without notice based on enhancements made to the course. January 2012