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Critical Thinking Questions
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  1. A friend suggests that organizational behavior courses are useful only to people who will enter management careers. Discuss the accuracy of your friend's statement.
  2. A number of years ago, employees in a city water distribution department were put into teams and encouraged to find ways to improve efficiency. The teams boldly crossed departmental boundaries and areas of management discretion in search of problems. Employees working in other parts of the city began to complain about these intrusions. Moreover, when some team ideas were implemented, the city managers discovered that a dollar saved in the water distribution unit may have cost the organization two dollars in higher costs elsewhere. Use the open systems perspective to explain what happened here.
  3. After hearing a seminar on organizational learning, a mining company executive argues that this perspective ignores the fact that mining companies could not rely on knowledge alone to stay in business. They also need physical capital (such as digging and ore processing equipment) and land (where the minerals are located). In fact, these two may be more important than what employees carry around in their heads. Discuss the merits of the mining executive's comments.
  4. A common refrain among executives is "People are our most important asset." Relate this statement to any two of the four perspectives of organizational effectiveness presented ion this chapter. Does this statement apply better to some perspectives than to others? Why or why not?
  5. Corporate social responsibility is one of the hottest issues in corporate boardrooms these days, partly because it is becoming increasingly important to employees and other stakeholders. In your opinion, why have stakeholders given CSR more attention recently? Does abiding by CSR standards potentially cause companies to have conflicting objectives with some stakeholders in some situations?
  6. One of the emerging views of employee turnover is that people often quit their jobs due to "shock events." Describe an experience where a shock event prompted you to act rather than just simmer with dissatisfaction.
  7. Look through the list of chapters in this textbook and discuss how globalization could influence each organizational behavior topic.
  8. "Organizational theories should follow the contingency approach." Comment on the accuracy of this statement.

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