Organizational Behavior - Mid Term

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ASSIGNMENT FRONT COVER

| | | | |Module name: Class # 790 – Organizational Behavior | |Assignment title: Midterm Exam | |Assignment deadline: November 12th 2012 | |Effective number of words used: 1471 | |

Table of Contents

Question 1: Understanding Human Behavior is critical to organizations – discuss the benefits of self evaluation/self assessment as it relates to leaders today .………………………………………………………………… 3

Question 2: Prejudice can be hurtful and destructive – discuss how you can personally reduce prejudice in your workplace – please provide an example ……………….………………………………………………………………. 5

References and Bibliography………………………………………………………………… 6

Question 1: Understanding Human Behavior is critical to organizations – discuss the benefits of self evaluation/self assessment as it relates to leaders today

In today’s ever changing environment, organizations need to continuously adapt and transform, not only in order to succeed but even just to survive. While it takes a capable manager to efficiently run a business in steady-state, it takes a leader to successfully drive an organization through change (Kotter in Robbins and Judge, 2009: 385).

Dealing with technology, economic and legislation changes isn’t new for organizations. The speed of change has however substantially increased in the last few decades as has the disruptive nature of these changes. Leaders today are faced with challenges such as globalization and instant communication that were not present until recently. The words and actions of leaders are broadcasted across the globe within seconds and are heard and seen by individuals who will perceive and interpret them through the filter of their own values, assumptions, beliefs and expectations.

In this accelerated environment, effective leaders need to be able to swiftly read trends and anticipate change, adapt to new situations, fine-tune their actions and continuously inspire others towards the pursuit of a compelling vision. In order to do so, they need to be perceptive of the environment around them and detect when discrepancies between their assumptions and reality arise (Clawson, 2001: 14). An example of business failure due to the mismatch between leader’s assumptions and environmental reality is Polaroid. When in 1977 Polaroid launched its instant-video product Polavision (an innovative instant movie camera that used an additive process to generate color), it experienced the first of several product failures that eventually forced the company into bankruptcy. The mistake that Polaroid’s Leader Edwin H. Land made was to assume that the market-follows-technology approach that had been successful for the previous 40 years was unchangeably valid (Lefler, 2010), despite the skepticism expressed by many within the company. Simpler and cheaper videocassette based alternatives were released at the same time by Kodak and other competitors. These “non-instant” products responded to markets’ trends better than Polaroid’s ground breaking instant-video solution, condemning Polavision to irrelevance and Polaroid to massive losses (Giambarba, 1977).

I think Polavision is the story of a self awareness lacking leader, failing to identify his blind spots and driving the...
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