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Essay Questions
Major Essay


101.   Explain how and why organizational culture changes
Answer – The world in which all organizations operate constantly changes.  External events such as shifts in market conditions, new technology, altered government policies, and many other factors change over time, necessitating changes in an organization’s mode of doing business and, hence, in its culture.
•   Composition of the workforce-Over time, the people entering an organization may differ in important ways from those already in it, and these differences may impinge on the existing culture of the organization.
•   Mergers and acquisitions-Another, and even more dramatic, source of cultural change is mergers and acquisitions, events in which one organization purchased or otherwise absorbs another.  There have been several cases in which the merger of the two organizations with incompatible cultures has led to serious problems referred to as culture clashes.
•   Planned organizational change-A company deliberately can decide to change its culture in a specific effort to solve problems.   Cultural change also may result from the conscious decisions to alter the internal structure or the basic operations of an organization.  Once such decisions are reached, many practices in the company those both reflect and contribute to its culture ma change.
•   Responding to the Internet-When traditional businesses expand into e-commerce, changes in their organizational culture follow suit.
Pages 557-560

102.   Describe the components of individual and team creativity.
Answer - Creativity in individuals and teams involves three basic components: domain-relevant skills, creativity-relevant skills, and intrinsic task motivation.
•   Domain-relevant skills--any task requires certain talents, knowledge, or skills. Those skills and abilities we already have constitute the raw materials of creativity.
•   Creativity-relevant skills--beyond the basic skills, being creative also requires addi¬tional skills--that is, special abilities that help people to approach what they do in novel ways. Specifically, when fostering creativity, it helps to do the following:
•   Break mental sets and take new perspectives. Creativity is enhanced when people do not limit themselves to old ways of doing things.
•   Understand complexities. Instead of making things overly simplistic, consider complex ways in which ideas may interrelate.
•   Keep options open, and avoid premature judgments. Creative people consider all options. To do so, they consider all the angles and avoid reaching premature conclusions.
•   Use productive forgetting. Creativity sometimes is inhibited by our becoming fixated on certain ideas we just cannot seem to get out of our heads. Thus, it helps to practice productive forgetting--that is, the ability to abandon unproductive ideas and temporarily put aside stubborn problems until new approaches can be considered.
•   Follow creativity heuristics. These are rules people follow to help them approach tasks in novel ways. They may involve techniques such as considering the counterintuitive and using analogies?
•   Intrinsic task motivation--focuses on what people are willing to do. To be creative, a person must be willing to perform the task in question.
Pages 561-562

103.   Discuss the innovation process identifying each stage and explaining what takes place during it.
Answer - Innovation occurs gradually, and scientists have identified five species stages. Stage l--setting the agenda. This involves creating a mission statement-- that is, a doc¬ument describing an organization's overall direction and general goals for accom¬plishing that movement. Stage 2--setting the stage. This may involve narrowing certain broad goals into more specific tasks and gathering the resources to meet them. It also may involve assessing the environment, both outside and inside the organization, and searching for anything that may support or inhibit later efforts to "break the rules" by being creative. Stage 3--producing the ideas. This involves coming up with new ideas and testing them. It also is the stage in which individual and small group cre¬ativity enters the picture. Stage 4--testing and implementing the idea. Now, after an initial group of individuals has developed an idea, other parts of the organization become involved. Resources in the task domain are important at this stage. Stage 5--outcome assessment. The final stage and there are three outcomes are possible. a) If the resulting idea has been a total success, it will be accepted and carried out in the future. b) The process is over if the idea has been a complete failure, in which case there is no good reason to continue. c) If the new idea shows promise, how¬ever, and has made some progress toward the organization's objectives but still has problems, the process starts again at Stage 2.
Pages 573-574

Short Essay

104.   Define organizational culture naming its core characteristics.
Answer – Organizational culture as a cognitive framework consisting of attitudes, values, behavioral norms, and expectations shared by the organization’s members. At the root of any organization’s culture is a set of core characteristics that are collectively valued by the members. See Table 14.1. Organizational cultures differ on several criteria.
•   First, organizations differ regarding their sensitivity to the needs of customers and em¬ployees.
•   Second, organizations differ regarding their interest in having employees generate new ideas
•   Third, companies differ regarding the value placed on taking risks.
•   Fourth, organizations differ regarding, the openness of available communization options.
Pages 545-546

105.   Discuss the characteristics of organizations with strong cultures.
Answer - Organizations with strong cultures are characterized by a) a clear philosophy about how business is to be conducted, b) considerable time spent on communicating values and beliefs, c) explicit statements made that describe the organization’s values, d) a set of values/norms that are shared widely and rooted deeply, and e) careful screening of new employees to ensure that they fit the culture. Such stronger cultures are likely to be found in new organizations that have fewer employees.
Page 547

106.   How is an organizational culture formed?
Answer - It is shaped by three factors. 1) The founders of the company--their personalities, vision, and values. 2) The organization’s experience with the external environment. 3) Internal interaction--the contacts between individuals and groups within the organization and their interpretations of events within the organization.
Pages 553-554

107.   Identify and discuss the tools for transmitting organizational culture.
Answer - The text offers five tools. Symbols are material objects that connote meanings that extend beyond their intrinsic content. Example--the use of the picture of a bull to symbolize strength and stability. Stories illustrate key aspects of an organization’s culture, they convey information about the organization, and reaffirm organizational values. Effective stories relate critical incidents. Jargon is the everyday, special language or slang that helps members define their identities.  Ceremonies are special events that commemorate corporate values. They are celebrations of the organization’s basic values and assumptions. Statements of principle are direct statements about key issues for the organization, often written.
Pages 554-557

108.   Why and how does an organizational culture change?
Answer –If culture tends to be so stable, why and how does it ever change? Why is culture not simply passed from one generation of organizational members to the next in a totally static manner? Because the environment in which all organizations operate constantly change, such as:
•   Composition of the workforce--the people entering an organization may differ from those already in it, and these differences may impinge on the existing or¬ganizational culture. In other words, as people with different backgrounds and values enter the workplace, changes in the organizational culture may be expected to follow.
•   Mergers and acquisitions--one organization purchases or otherwise ab¬sorbs another. Rarely, however, is any consideration is given to the acquired organization's culture. This is unfortunate, because in several cases, the merger of two organizations with incompatible cultures has produced seri¬ous problems, which are referred to as culture clashes.
Pages 557-558

109.   What the components of organizational innovation and their importance to organizational behavior?
Answer - The three components of individual innovation: motivation, re¬sources, and skills are the same for organizational innovation, but used in a different way.
•   Motivation to innovate--organizational innovation requires that organizations have the kind of cultures that encourage innovation.
•   Resources to innovate--organizations must possess cer¬tain basic resources to make innovation possible--in terms of human and financial resources.
•   Innovation management--organizations must develop special ways of managing people to encourage innovation. Specifically, managers promote innovation when they show balance with respect to three key matters: goals, reward systems, and time pressure
Pages 572-573
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