Organizational Behaviour Case Study

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Motivation, Supercompensation Pages: 14 (2042 words) Published: February 22, 2005
Organizational Behavior

Option A

Cases: Automation in the Book Store and The Night Owl Answering Service

Part 1)

The field of Organizational Behavior is one that is very important when it comes to

managing people and to make them work effectively. This begins with training. In

order to understand these cases it is important to look at both the structure and

environment of the company. In the case of the Automation in the Book Store, the

company is a medium sized bookstore. Because this company is a bookstore with

very few employees there is not a high level of formalization, less specialization and

less authority. Therefore, it has an organic structure. Employees don't have a lot

procedures and rules that they must abide by while doing their jobs. In fact the initial

company policy required employees to stay with the customer they were serving from

the time they walked into the store until the sale was made. Also, there was not a

great deal of standardization in that there was not a set procedure on how employees

did their work, rather it was a freer organization because there were very few

employees and this resulted in greater flexibility. These facts all changed once the

new computer system was implemented. This system presented employees with some

degree of formalization and standardization in their jobs because now there were

precise rules and procedures on how to deal with customers. This includes entering

an ID number every time a sale was made and closing the store with the system.

Also, because this bookstore was not use to high levels of formalization in the past,

the implementation of the training program was affected. There were no instructions

on how to close at the end of the day in training. The manager had to come in and

prepare a hand-written set of instructions about this routine. This is a sign of bad

design and implementation. Also, because the company is more centralized than

decentralized, the management must follow head office's requests. This is the exact

same thing with employees who must listen to the manager even though the

employees were apprehensive, particularly the older staff, about new system. Again,

the design of the training program, which was quoted as pretty skimpy and

patronizing, was another sign of poor design. However, because the structure of the

company was somewhat centralized they had to the training according to the way

head office and management wanted. The structure of The Night Owl Answering

Services was that it was between mechanistic and organic. This call center was more

mechanistic because it was more centralized and more specialization where each

individual had a specific role. Bob was responsible for technology, sales and

marketing. Mary was responsible for training. This type of structure affected the

training because of specialization. Nobody else was responsible for training, so when

Mary passed away, everyone else specialized in a different area which left training to

be an open mess. Only Mary knew the system the best because she specialized in

this. This left the company scrambling to recover and in turn designed a training

program that proved to be ineffective and poorly implemented. There was only one

lady responsible for training. In the case of Automation in the Book Store and The

Night Owl Answering Service it is important to look at the organizations

environment. In these two cases, the organizations both faced environmental

uncertainty. Every organization has the potential for environmental uncertainty. This

uncertainty created a poor design for training. This was one of the major similarities

in both of these cases. This is when management or people of the organization can't

really predict what is going to happen. The cases with Automation in the Book Store

and The Night Owl Answering Services had faced...
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