Download Printable Syllabus here : MGT 308 (Writing Emphasis Class) Syllabus (M. Words Format)
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Behavior and Theory in Organizations (MGT 308)
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
School of Business Administration
Tuesday/Thursday Writing Emphasis Class
Professor: Dr. Leticia Peña
Office: 418J Carl Wimberly Hall
Office hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30 am -12:30 pm., after class, or by appointment
Tels: (608) 785-6666 (office) and 785-2386 (home)
FAX: (608) 785-8549
Text: Pierce, Jon L. and Donald G. Gardner with Randall B. Dunham (2002) Management and Organizational Behavior: An Integrated Perspective.
The United States has been at the forefront of many innovations since its founding. In addition to creating new products such as the Ford trucks, computer chips, and biotechnology, American entrepreneurship has significantly contributed to successful managerial processes with impressive results. This ingenuity has defined and refined organizational efficiency, productivity, and profit - hopefully, without compromising the establishment of a sound ethical base.
Sometimes, American experts have taken the lead in creating new ways of harnessing people power. Other times, American firms have learned from the "best practices" of other countries as they strive to continually reinvent themselves and retain their competitive edge in a global economy.
MGT 308 introduces you to the people, theories, and processes that have shaped managerial life in the United States and abroad. It seeks to elicit in you an openness and curiosity about the future directions of management theory and behavior that you will soon be helping to design and to implement. Whether you select to work directly in management or pursue other aspirations, knowledge of the rich history and tradition of this subject can aid you in attaining your goals.
For optimum learning, we will work together to meet two challenges that await us. MGT 308 is a course that aims to introduce you to both organizational behavior and theory. Whereas Organizational Behavior focuses on human processes like perception, motivation, communication, group dynamics, and leadership; Organizational Theory focuses on the design and structure of organizations. Usually, this breadth of coverage is spread over two courses. Collapsing two courses into one impacts the degree that theory can be processed, tested and applied. This leads to our second challenge. We can learn passively through lectures and memorization, or we can pool our resources together to build a living laboratory for learning about teamwork, planning, and organizing. I believe we can better meet the curriculum goals of the College of Business Administration and enjoy the process much more by selecting the latter option. Allow me to explain.
College of Business Administration (CBA)
Mission and Curriculum Goals
As you know, MGT 308 forms part of the core curriculum that every CBA student must take - no matter the major. There are general goals or outcomes for all business majors which the college expects you can attain upon graduation. These include the following:
1. Effective communication skills
2. Behavioral skills
3. Integrated knowledge of business
4. Mastery of the major
5. Problem solving skills
Each of these outcomes should be demonstrated in the three "enabler" areas of global awareness, technology, and practical experience. Of these goals, MGT 308 will assist you in gaining greater communication, behavioral, and problem solving skills. Notice, how these competencies are an outgrowth of the mission of the CBA:
The College of Business Administration is an institution of higher education dedicated to the personal and professional development of its students. The collegeˇ¦s programs provide our students with an integrated business education at the undergraduate and masterˇ¦s levels that prepare them for successful professional careers. Our graduates will be prepared to be effective problem solvers, ethical decision-makers, and life-long learners in a dynamic, diverse world environment.
For further information about the general CBA mssion, curriculum goals and outcomes, please refer to the CBA web site at the following address: www.uwlax.edu/BA/BA_Home.html.
Teaching Philosophy and Assumptions
In addition to the explicit desirable outcomes specified in the CBA core curriculum, I also believe that learning about management requires exposure, reflection, and "doing." The content of management has been researched systematically for a long time. This rich past can serve us well, especially when our knowledge can be tried out in real situations. Unless we are willing to test theories, our learning will remain as truncated as learning about riding a bicycle without jumping on one. The assumptions I am making therefore are the following:
Learning about management in organizations can be interesting and fun. This outcome is more likely to occur if we blend theory with practice. You, as student, are able and willing to learn cognitively and experientially.
If, at any time in the semester, you are unable/unwilling to participate in class assignments or activities, you will take the initiative to reach me to find a mutually agreeable resolution.
Course Structure and Objectives
You will be asked to participate in a semester-long team project that puts in practice the core concepts of organizational theory and behavior. To facilitate our learning, the class will be taught in a modular format. It will be divided into three modules entitled Managing from Above, Managing from Below, and Managing Horizontally. This breakdown initially will call on our upper level managerial hats to define the nature of organizations and discuss the internal and external challenges that managers face as they articulate their strategy, structure and design. Once we have an appreciation of the basic questions and tenets organizational theory presents, we will then turn our attention to the contributions made by organizational behavior. Here the focus becomes the individual. How do people tend to see and interpret their world, think, and learn? In the final section, we will focus our attention on interpersonal skills namely those of leadership, communication and conflict resolution, prior to integrating the numerous themes into a composite whole.
The objectives for this class are the following:
Writing Emphasis Requirement and Grade Composition
Let's remember that this is a writing emphasis course, which requires a minimum of 50 pages of writing over the entire semester, and at least 10 pages of which should be revised, polished prose. Please turn to Appendix A attached to review these requirements if you are not familiar with them, paying particular attention to the distinction between formal and informal writing.
MGT 308 will therefore offer an opportunity to refine your writing skills. Your grade will be dependent on four major course assignments: a journal, a company project, a class leadership, and two exams. All of them will draw on your ability to express your thoughts clearly on paper.
Personal Learning Journal (15% of grade)
The purpose of the personal learning journal is to help you (a) reflect on the pervasive way in which Organizational Behavior and Theory are part of your daily activities, (b) relate your experiences in the team to materials in the text and theories that have been discussed in class, and (c) make generalizations from these learnings that can be applied to the future work setting you would like to pursue. Journals will be graded on how well each of these purposes is carried out. Entries will be handed in two times during the semester: the first part on February 27 and the second part on May 1. Please refer to the PROBE Handout for additional guidelines of this assignment.
A Company Project (35 % of grade)
The purpose of the company project is to provide experiential learning of the concepts under discussion. It requires 10 hours of service to the community. Note the four individual and teamwork submissions related to this project:
(1) Application for a position (5% of grade) - due February 13
(2) Writing a company business plan (15% of grade) - due March 27
(3) Oral report (5% of grade) - due May 6
(4) A final company report (10%) - due May 16
Class Leadership (10% of grade)
Together with the team members of your Company Project, I will ask you to lead a class that enables everyone to actively participate in class and then reflect in the personal journal. You should include a handout summarizing the topic of choice and prepare an exercise to have the topic come alive. Guest speakers are also welcome!
Two Exams (30% of grade)
The purpose of the exams is to assess the degree of integration of the readings and class discussions. Given that MGT 308 forms the foundation of your management knowledge, the concepts, vocabulary, personalities and their ideas need to be well understood. It is essential to do your readings every week. The mid-term exam (15% of grade) is scheduled for Thursday, March 4, and the final exam (15% of grade) is scheduled for Friday, May 16.
Class Participation (10% of grade)
Class participation has two components: class contribution and reframing exercises. Class contribution includes class attendance and quality of class interaction. It means coming to class fully ready to participate after reading the assigned topics thoughtfully, and enhancing the learning of the class in a meaningful way by asking probing questions, clarifying points, and challenging the opinion of others constructively. In addition, when least expected, I will ask you to write about a class activity by refocusing it as for example, thinking through the implications of the theory or event from another person's perspective, or linking the assigned readings with the activity along with a personal critique.
In sum, the letter grade earned during the semester will be derived from a cumulative point system consisting of five major course requirements:
The cumulative average will then be pegged against the following grade scale:
F < 60%
An "A¨ grade requires proof of excellence in ALL areas related to the class. It can be achieved by taking the initiative and performing beyond expectations. It also requires doing all the readings ahead of the class period for which they were assigned and having your understanding of these be reflected in the exams. An "A" grade presupposes consistent attendance (without missing more than one week of class), offering consistently valuable verbal, nonverbal (bringing journal articles or news clippings related to topic under discussion), and written input that shows depth of understanding of Organizational Behavior and Theory and has relevance for other students in class. A high assessment by the team members in your Company is also required.
A "B¨ grade can be obtained by keeping up with the readings and showing good comprehension in your exams, consistent attendance (without missing more than two weeks of classes), and consistently strong verbal, nonverbal, and written input that shows a solid understanding of organizational concepts and integration of course material covered in the readings and in class. A high assessment by your team members is also required.
A "C¨ grade can be obtained by average performance on exams, consistent attendance (without missing more than three weeks of classes), and average competence in the analysis of the assigned topics whether these are verbalized or written, along with an average assessment as stated by two or more team members.
A "D¨ or "F" grade will be given with below average performance on exams, regular class attendance (missing more than three weeks of classes), some verbal and written input with little thought or reflection of readings, and lack of team collaboration as stated by two or more team members, or misuse of another person's work (plagiarism) without giving written or verbal due credit.
Course Schedule, Assignments, and Readings
Part I: Managing from Above___________________________________
Week 1 Introduction and Team Project Discussion
Jan. 28&30 Readings:
¨ Plummer, Thomas G. (Sept. 1989) ˇ§The Ophelia Syndrome,ˇ¨
¨ Drucker, Peter F. (March/April 1999) ˇ§Managing Oneself,ˇ¨
Harvard Business Review.
Week 2 The Nature of Organizations and Management
Feb. 4&6 Readings:
¨ Practical Organizational Behavior Education (PROBE) Handout.
¨ Pierce and Gardner, Chapter 1: "The Nature of Organizations and Management.ˇ¨
¨ Pierce and Gardner, Chapter 2: "Philosophies and Approaches to Management Practice.ˇ¨
Week 3 Teamwork and the Organizational Environment
Feb. 11&13 Readings:
¨ Pierce and Gardner, Chapter 14: "The Nature of Groups and Teams in Organizations."
¨ Pierce and Gardner, Chapter 4: ˇ§The Organizational Environment.ˇ¨
Individual Assignment is due Feb. 13. Submit application for one of the two company positions - that of CEO or Executive Member as noted in Appendix A of the Practical Organizational Behavior Education (PROBE) Handout.
Week 4 Management Functions (1) and the Organizational Behavior Context
Feb. 18&20 Readings:
¨ Pierce and Gardner, Chapter 9: "Organizational Decision Making."
¨ Pierce and Gardner, Chapter 10: "Organizational Planning and Controlling."
Week 5 Management Functions (2) and Company Business Plan
Feb. 25&27 Readings:
¨ Pierce and Gardner, Chapters 12 and 13: "Organizing and Coordinating the Work of the Organizationˇ¨ and ˇ§Organizational Design.ˇ¨
¨ Review and bring to class the PROBE Handout.
Personal Journal is due on Feb. 27.
Week 6 EXAM l is scheduled for March 6.
March 4&6 No readings.
Part II: Managing from Below___________________________________
Week 7 Integration Week
March 18&20 Spring Recess. ENJOY!
Week 8 Perception, Attitudes, and Personality
March 25&27 Readings:
Pierce and Gardner, Chapters 5 and 6: "Individuals in Organizations: Perception, Personality, and Cultural Differences" and ˇ§ Attitudes in Organizations.ˇ¨
Please submit your Company Business Plan on March 27.
Week 9 Motivation
April 1&3 Readings:
Pierce and Gardner, Chapter 7: "Work Motivation."
Part III: Managing Horizontally_________________________________
Week 10 Leadership
April 8&10 Readings:
¨ Pierce and Gardner, Chapter 11: "Leading Organizational Members."
¨ ˇ§The Revolutionary Spiritˇ¨ and ˇ§The House that Jack Built,ˇ¨
(Sept. 18, 1999) The Economist.
Week 11 Communication
April 15&17 Readings:
To be announced.
Week 12 Coping Behaviors
April 22&24 Readings:
¨ Pierce and Gardner, Chapters 8: "Behavior in Organizations,"
and 15:ˇ¨Work Group and Team Processes.ˇ¨
Week 13 Ethics and Social Responsibility
April 29 & May 1 Readings:
¨ Pierce and Gardner, Chapter 3: "Social Responsibility and Ethics.ˇ¨
¨ Handy, Charles (1998), ˇ§The Search of Meaning,ˇ¨ The Hungry Spirit, New York: Broadway Books.
Please submit your comprehensive Personal Journal on May 1.
Week 14 Team Presentations
Tuesday, May 6
Week 15 Team Assignment: The Final Company Report is due today.
Friday, May 16 Final Exam is scheduled today, at 10:00 am.
Appendix A: Writing Emphasis Course Requirements
Writing emphasis courses are part of the General Education requirements at UW-La Crosse. All students are required to complete two writing emphasis courses as part of your general education experience. These courses are part of a department's regular curriculum and have a writing-intensive component. These courses require at least 50 pages of writing over the entire semester, at least 10 pages of which should be revised, polished prose. The remainder of the writing in the course need not be held to rigorous standards of mechanical correctness. Students write frequently--perhaps one or more times each week, and the writing may vary in length from a paragraph to a few pages.
Why are there writing emphasis courses? Writing is an important way to learn, think and communicate. Writing can help you to understand, consolidate and remember material. Writing enables students to formulate, discover and revise their own ideas, thus making learning more personally meaningful and memorable. And, of course, writing is an important means of communicating ideas to others. A college education should insure that students be able to communicate their thinking clearly, precisely and cogently. A writing emphasis course is an opportunity to learn through writing and further develop your writing skills.
Writing activities and assignments in this class. There are two major forms of writing in this course. One is informal writing in which you are the sole or primary audience. The purpose of informal writing is to help you learn through writing. For example, before each class period you can comment in your journals about the reading material in order to organize and develop ideas in preparation for class discussion and teamwork. Other types of informal writing include integrative summaries of class discussion, self-assessments, and occasional collaborative writing activities in which you compose a group response to a problem or issue.
In contrast, formal writing goes one step beyond informal writing. It too is intended to enhance your learning and thinking, but also is intended to enhance your ability to communicate your ideas clearly and coherently. Formal writing conforms to acceptable standards and rules of usage and mechanical correctness, and is written to an audience other than oneself or the teacher. Consequently, revision is an integral part of formal writing since it is important to shape and adapt your ideas to the audience. The major differences between informal and formal writing are the following:
Your assignment based on informal writing will consist of keeping a Personal Learning Journal. This assignment is discussed in the PROBE Handout in detail. Entries will be due on February 27 and May 1. The criteria for grading your journal are: depth of insight into group dynamics, degree of integration to class readings and discussions, and future applicability.
As you will note in the PROBE Handout, there are three formal papers that you will submit during the course of the semester. These include your Application to the Company (due on February 13), the Company Business Plan (due on March 27), and the Final Company Report (due on May 16). These assignments must be typed and be professional in appearance. Papers should be carefully proofread. In addition to content and coherence, papers will be evaluated on spelling, grammar, presentation, and accurate reporting. Papers should have a title page with your name and title of assignment. They should be stapled. When outside sources are used, these should include quotations where applicable, and contain clear bibliographic references properly crediting the source. Failure to do acknowledge someone else's contribution if quoting them is considered a grave violation, jeopardizing a passing grade.
The criteria for grading the individual papers (formal writing assignments) are the following: