Wk 3 Assignment – References

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Final Project – References

The final project revolves around you diagnosing a process/structure/environment in an organization that you’re familiar with and that needs improvement and designing an organizational development (OD) intervention to achieve positive change.  Organizations such as your place of employment, community groups, volunteer groups, school committees, and even city/state/Federal governments are areas to consider.

Wk 3 Assignment  – References

Benjamin Franklin once quoted, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  This week’s written assignment is designed to ensure you stay on track with your final project and have adequately researched your organization of choice and planned intervention.

For this week, provide a set of references you have read in preparation for your final project .

Each reference should include the following:

  • APA formatted citation of the source as it will appear on your References page
  • A brief description of the source
  • A short summary of its primary points or arguments
  • A brief explanation of how the source is relevant to your project

A minimum of 5 references is required for this assignment.

Wk 3 Assignment – References
Week 3 Lecture 1 “Problems in Person Perception” Salutations Class!  In our personal and professional lives, we all have perceptions which drive our behaviors. Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have both positive and negative perceptions of various things (people, tasks, events).  Understanding what’s behind those perceptions will allow you to evaluate, understand, and better appreciate happenings around you.A perception, academically defined in the text on page 121 by Hitt, Miller, and Colella, is the process of sensing various aspects of a person, task, or event and forming impressions based on selected inputs. Within the slide presentation this week, we reviewed the three stages of perception which included sensing, selecting, and organizing.  During this lecture, we’ll focus in on what the text calls “Problems in Person Perception”. We’ll cover four specific terms and give you a bit more insight into each one.  Noted below are each topic, how the Hitt, Miller, and Colella text defines each one on page 125, and some specific examples to help you identify each in practice. Implicit person theories – defined as “personal theories about what personality traits and abilities occur together and how these attributes are manifested in behavior.”  An example of this recently surfaced in the workplace.  Here’s the scenario…a leader recently had his door shut for the majority of the day for the last couple of weeks.  His secretary senses that his door being closed is a reflection of how he feels about her.  In other words, subconsciously believes that physical separation and dislike are coupled together.  The problem with this is that the leader had his door shut for very valid reasons.  He was coordinating an entangled web with human resources and the legal department to terminate an employee for poor performance.  How could this problem in person perception be avoided?  What could be done the next time around to prevent this misunderstanding? Halo effect – defined as “a perception problem in which an individual assesses a person positively or negatively in all situations based on an existing general assessment of the person.”  Let’s use the all too popular example of a politician on the national level…how about a longstanding member of Congress who has cheated on his tax returns and is facing tax evasion charges.  Many folks would generally see that Senator or Congressman as an all-around bad person regardless of any good that individual has done in his or her community. Projecting – defined as “a perception problem in which an individual assumes that others share his or her values and beliefs.”  For this concept, let’s take the manager who values bonuses in the form of money as a motivational tool.  The manager’s employees, however, have varied beliefs.  Some prefer money but many prefer paid time off to spend with their respective families.  So, as the manager rewards all of his employees with money, it’s hard for him or her to understand why his chosen medium is not motivating all of his workforce.  As a leader within an organization, it’s very important not to project based on your beliefs and values but rather embrace the differences among the workforce and develop an understanding of what makes your employees “tick”. Stereotyping – defined as “a perception problem in which an individual bases perceptions about members of a group on a generalized set of beliefs about the characteristics of a group of individuals.”  This element can be a downfall of many teenagers nowadays.  Let’s assume your teenage child, who is a straight A student, a member of the varsity athletic squad, and has deeply religious convictions, starts to hang around with a “rowdy” crowd.  A crowd that stays out late at night, drinks alcohol, and has the occasional drug binge.  Regardless of the teenager’s intentions, many folks in the community are likely to stereotype that person and develop the perception that he or she is also a “rowdy” individual.  In reality, the teenager was actually trying to help the rowdy group of individuals and get them involved in church activities.  This is what’s commonly known in parenting circles as “guilty by association”.  Despite the best of intentions, a child or adult for that matter can become labeled and unfairly judged. In summary, there are various problems in person perception that must be considered when evaluating a situation.  As you move through life both in your personal and professional lives, I encourage you to continuously self-reflect to help minimize misunderstandings.  I’m a strong believer in the Golden Rule and encourage you to be cognizant of your perceptions of others and also of others’ perceptions of you.What a great way to lead into the project!  Are perceptions an issue in your organization?  If so, do you have a recommendation for improvement?  Continue to think about areas for organizational improvement as this week you’ll be submitting at least 5 references that you’ll use for your final paper.  Have a productive week!References Hitt, M. A., Miller, C. C., & Colella, A. (2015). Organizational Behavior (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Week 3 Lecture 2 – The Big Five Personality Traits Welcome to this week’s second lecture which focuses on The Big Five Personality Traits as detailed in Chapter 5 of the text.  First, let’s paint a picture…just imagine you’re the hiring official for your organization and are in need of a few good men or women to become part of your high-performing, goal-oriented team.  Also, imagine that it’s company policy that personality tests aren’t to be used in the hiring process.  You, as a well-seasoned leader, understand that certain personality traits can make or break an employee when immersed in your work environment.  What personality traits might be important for new members of your team?  How might you unofficially get a vibe for the personality traits of the applicants without violating the company’s policy of not using personality tests during the selection process?Let’s start with the first question…what personality traits might be important for new members of your team?  In the organizational behavior community, there’s a general consensus that even though there are thousands of personality traits, there are five that bubble to the top.  These five are generally known as “The Big Five Personality Traits”.  In the paragraphs that follow, we’ll define each of the five traits as noted in Hitt, Miller, and Colella on pages 142-145 of the text and provide a contextual background from which you can discern if the trait is necessary for success on your team.  Here it goes… Extraversion – defined as “the degree to which an individual is outgoing and derives energy from being around other people.”  I suspect most of us have heard of being either introverted or extraverted.  Professions that interact with the general public on a continuous basis value extraverts.  Some predominantly extraverted professions include sales, food service industry, nursing, and most management positions.  Some examples of introverted professions are engineering, research-based jobs, and accountants.  Conscientiousness – is defined as “the degree to which an individual focuses on goals and works toward them in a disciplined way.”  Simply put, I can’t think of a profession where being conscientious is not a good thing. Even if you choose to be a criminal, being conscientious with your planning can be the difference between lockup and freedom!  Just to be clear, I don’t recommend this career path 🙂 Agreeableness – is defined as “the degree to which an individual is easygoing and tolerant.”  This is tough one. One the one hand, it’s important to be easygoing and tolerant in a team environment, however, this might lead to giving in on a key point that might need further debate for a better solution.  In a perfect world, a person would know how to move in and out of this personality trait depending on the external factors of the current situation. Emotional stability – is defined as “the degree to which an individual easily handles stressful situations and heavy demands.”  This is another one of those “must haves” regardless of the profession.  A “steady hand at the wheel” is needed to think clearly and make sound decisions. Openness to experience – is defined as “the degree to which an individual seeks new experiences and thinks creatively about the future.”  This trait lends itself to creativity and professions which require a heavy dose of creativity can best benefit from employees with this trait.  A few professions that benefit from openness to experience include marketing and design. So, now that you have identified the critical personality traits, on to the second question… how might you unofficially get a vibe for the personality traits of the applicants without violating the company’s policy of not using personality tests during the selection process?  One way to do this is during the interview process by crafting open-ended questions which provide hints at one’s personality.   For instance if you’re looking for extraversion traits, the following question might be a good starting point: Tell me about a time when you participated on a team and accomplished a goal.  Who was your customer, what role did you play on the team, and how well did you communicate with your team members? What about the trait of conscientiousness?  Try this out: Tell me about a project you completed which required you to be resourceful and detail-oriented.  What specifically was the process you followed to stay on track and achieve the objective? Okay, so hopefully you get the idea…personality traits can be observed through means other than personality tests. Now it’s time to sound like a broken record…project, project, project!  Could your chosen organization do a better job of hiring quality candidates?  Does the hiring process need additional quality control steps to maximize chances of a good fit?  Continue to think about ways your organization can improve upon current practices.  For instance, should candidates go through not only an interview with a hiring official but also a follow-up orientation visit with potential team members?Take care and have a productive and enjoyable week!References Hitt, M. A., Miller, C. C., & Colella, A. (2015). Organizational Behavior (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Read Chapters 4 & 5

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