Every day there are stories in the news about organizations, the workplace, careers, and jobs. Now that you are learning about organizational behaviour, this project will encourage you to interpret and understand these stories in a more informed manner. There is no doubt that contemporary organizations are reeling from the dizzying rate of change that has swept through the past decade or so. This exercise will give you an opportunity to explore some of the changes experienced by organizations and assess the implications (both positive and negative) of these changes for organizations in the future.
- To give you an opportunity to search the media and apply the concepts you learn in Organizational Behaviour to what you observe and read.
- To heighten your awareness of the many changes (positive and negative) which are affecting the workforce; and
- Allow you to show your creative side, while creating a lasting memory of this course.
This project will involve your group preparing a portfolio project that is handed in near the end of term. The portfolio will consist of media items that illustrate OB concepts you have identified and we have discussed throughout the course. For a period of several weeks, you will be searching all forms of media (daily newspapers, popular business magazines, recent movies, news documentaries, television business programs, and the Internet). Your “deliverable” will be a collage of media items amassed into one well-designed portfolio which you will present to your professor, in addition to an analysis of how these items reflect OB theories and concepts.
Your portfolio should reflect “OB in Action” and is a team effort. Determine how the project is divided up within your team. You may want to each pick one of the five areas to complete, while recognizing that everyone must complete the personal reflection section and the whole project must represent a unified and cohesive portfolio format.
The portfolio project must contain (at a minimum) the following FIVE areas:
- companies with interesting organizational cultures.
- Summary of one movie and
- Three articles from three different popular business magazines
- Three newspaper articles referring to business issues
For each of the above areas, you must include a summary of the item (and if practical, also include the item, such as the cartoon strip). Next you have to identify the OB concepts or theories which apply to this item you are highlighting. Recommendations would be a minimum of two concepts (and more if its a longer item of analysis, such as a movie). Think of these two questions in your analysis:
? What does this item tell you about organizational behaviour
? How does it apply to what you have learned throughout class
PLUS one other section that requires personal reflection by the group members.
- A summary of how the people in your group have the skills and attitudes necessary to adapt and thrive in the workplace of today. Referring to some of the “learning about yourself’ exercises and/or “active learning” exercises will help support your analysis, as well as incorporating OB theories. It is recommended that 2-3 concepts per student are discussed (note: they do not need to be the same concepts for everyone). Either synthesize all comments or provide headings with each student’s contribution.
The key outcome of this assignment is to provide an analysis as to how these items (or groups of items) reflect the material we have discussed throughout the course. Remember, your overall goal in this assignment is to showcase OB in Action in a creative way through a portfolio medium. You can prepare it like a report, or like a scrapbook. The key is that the topics of discussion are clearly labelled and the analysis is succinct and well supported. If the link between the item and the concept or theory is weak, pick another piece to discuss.
It is strongly recommended that you review at least one item and its commentary with your professor in advance to get feedback. This will ensure you are on the right track with your selection of items, and are completing the summary to its expected level of analysis.
To show your application of key OB concepts throughout your portfolio, and also to recognize where your materials have been retrieved from, you must show proper APA referencing throughout your portfolio. This means referencing in text (year, date and page # if quoted) when you use these concepts directly from the text, from articles and websites, and from any additional research you have utilized. Also, include a reference list at the end of your portfolio of any citations used throughout your project. See the library webpage or instructor for assistance with referencing if you are unsure how to correctly complete this part.
The portfolio will account for 15% of your final grade. The grading for the portfolio will be based on completeness (all elements listed above are present), appropriateness and diversity of the items, your summary of the item and its analysis, and the way the information is organized and presented in the portfolio (see evaluation sheet attached). Please make sure to include a cover page (with student names, date, course and instructor), table of contents, introduction and conclusion.
Social loafing occurs when a group member relies on the remaining group members to complete group tasks, and does not contribute meaningfully to group work. If you feel that a member of your group is exhibiting significant social loafing behaviours, please respond as follows:
(1) Address your concerns with that group member as early as possible via email, and copy me on the email.
(2) Agree upon a way in which that person can contribute to the group and notify me of your resolution by email.
(3) If the problem persists, make an appointment for your group to meet you’re your Professor, who will mediate the discussion toward a solution to the problem.
(4) If the mediated discussion (or solution) fails, leave the person’s name off of the title page of the assignment.
(5) If steps 1 thru 4 have occurred to the satisfaction of the Professor, he/she will determine an appropriate mark for the Group member exhibiting social loafing behaviours. Note that a grade of zero may be considered, and assigned, if circumstances support this action.
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