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Critical Thinking Questions
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  1. An insurance company has high levels of absenteeism among the office staff. The head of office administration argues that employees are misusing the company's sick leave benefits. However, some of the mostly female staff members have explained that family responsibilities interfere with work. Using the MARS model, as well as your knowledge of absenteeism behavior, discuss some of the possible reasons for absenteeism here and how it might be reduced.
  2. As the district manager responsible for six stores in a large electronics retail chain, you have had difficulty with the performance of some sales staff. Although they are initially motivated and generally have good interpersonal skills, many have difficulty with the complex knowledge of the diverse store products, ranging from computers to high-fidelity sound systems. Describe three strategies you might apply to improve the match between the competencies of new sales staff and the job requirements.
  3. Research has found compelling evidence that heredity has a strong influence on an individual's personality. What are the implications of this in organizational settings?
  4. Suppose that you give all candidates applying for a management trainee position a personality test that measures the five dimensions in the five-factor model. Which personality traits would you consider to be the most important for this type of job? Explain your answer.
  5. An important aspect of self-concept is the idea that almost everyone engages in self-enhancement. What problems tend to occur in organizations as a result of this self-enhancement phenomenon? What can organizational leaders do to make use of a person's inherent drive for self-enhancement?
  6. This chapter discussed the concept of values congruence in the context of an employee's personal values with the organization's values. But values congruence also relates to the juxtaposition of other pairs of value systems. Explain how values congruence is relevant with respect to organizational versus professional values.
  7. People in a particular South American country have high power distance and high collectivism. What does this mean, and what are the implications of this information when you (a senior executive) visit employees working for your company in that country?
  8. "All decisions are ethical decisions." Comment on this statement, particularly by referring to the concepts of moral intensity and ethical sensitivity.

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