Assignment 2: Individual Behaviour – Instructions
(Total Marks = 100)
ANSWER Parts 1, 2, 3, and Part 5
Diana Gillen is a general manager of a Cobb Street Grille restaurant who hopes to be promoted to a multi-unit district
manager position. She was recently passed over for a similar position because, although she is proficient technically,
she lacks interpersonal competence. She believes that she should be promoted based on her tenure and her success in
managing single units and is not in tune with the company’s new emphasis on a bigger picture focus and on
developing managers. She is not sensitive to the feelings of others and interacts with people in a perfunctory manner;
she chooses to keep relationships with her employees at arm’s length. She is also rather inflexible, and openly resists
Diana has not acknowledged or taken responsibility for her interpersonal skill deficiencies. Her supervisors sense
Diana’s reluctance to address her weaknesses, so they typically steer clear of any development discussions in an effort
to avoid uncomfortable situations. Because Diana is unable to accurately assess her skills and competencies in relation
to the needs of the organization, she is surprised and confused with the regional director’s decisions to promote
outsiders or her more recently hired colleagues.
Question 1 (5 marks)
Discuss when emotional intelligence makes a difference in employee performance. When does emotional intelligence have little or no impact on employee performance?
Resource to answer question:
Most jobs involve social interaction — and EI helps us to interact more effectively with other People with high EI
• More effective team members
• Perform better in jobs requiring emotional labour
• Better leaders
• Make better decisions involving others
• More positive mindset for creative work
But EI does not improve some forms of performance, such as tasks that require minimal
Question 2 (20 marks)
Using the four dimensions of emotional intelligence, provide specific examples of the various factors that led to Diana’s failure to be promoted.
Suggested solution, please reword to avoid plagerisim:
1. Apply your knowledge of the four emotional intelligence dimensions to discuss the likely reasons why Diana
wasn’t offered a promotion.
Awareness of own emotions
Diana does not recognize or acknowledge her feelings of insecurity and fear about not being promoted. She
disregards the fact that her unrefined interpersonal skills are holding her back and does not consider her lack of
overall leadership competence when assessing her promotability, i.e. she focuses only on her technical skills.
Diana demonstrates minimal self-confidence by deciding to interview for the current opening only after
considering others’ favourable assessments of her abilities (Store Manager of the Year award, managing the
Management of own emotions
Diana’s extreme disappointments over not being promoted have manifested in rage and uncontrollable tears. She
does not know how she will handle not being promoted. She focuses on not being selected and is cynical in her
anticipation of the “excuses” that might be offered.
Awareness of others’ emotions
By purposely avoiding organizational politics, Diana fails to recognize the shift in the valued competencies for
Management of others’ emotions
Rather than attempt to influence employees to change their behaviour, Diana simply fires them so as not to have to
deal with them. She steadfastly holds onto her old tried and true management methods, unwilling to try different
approaches or test new techniques.
Read the Case Study: Vetements Ltee.
Question 1 (5 marks)
What symptom(s) exist in this case to suggest that something has gone wrong?
Question 2 (10 marks)
In terms of behaviour modification, discuss two causes of the inappropriate behaviours of the sales employees.
Question 3 (10 marks)
Outline two actions that the organization can implement to correct the inappropriate behaviours that you have identified in Question 2.
Suggested solution, please reword to avoid plagerisim:
1) Symptoms that suggest that something has gone wrong are:
• Constant arguing between employees.
• Deteriorated relationships between employees and between management and employees.
• Intimidated customers due to customer “tagging”
• Poor inventory levels and consequently poor sales as employees are unwilling to complete reorder forms or stock shelves (decreased profit margins).
• Management is concerned about employees’ lack of concern in regards to inventory management.
• Resentment towards management for being forced to do inventory duty and for being assigned “slow spots” on the floor.
• Negligence of some parts of the store because employees do not want to work the “slow spots”.
• Vocalization of disgruntled staff on their low paycheques.
• Managers’ efforts to correct the store issues and employee complaints have failed, resulting in more tension and decreased morale.
2) The theories that explain what went wrong here are:
Equity Theory: explains how people develop perceptions of fairness in the distribution and exchange of resources
• The employees felt that the outcomes they received which was the commission, was unfair. Their paycheques were suffering due to poor floor placement and by them being forced to stock inventory and re-order stock.
• Equity theory states that people compare their outcome/input with a comparison other. Employees of the store compared their paycheques (consisting of 30% commission) with similar employees who received better floor area placement or were not assigned inventory duty and were disgruntled.
Expectancy Theory: work effort is directed to those behaviours that will get them the outcomes they want (those with the highest payout).
• By being assigned inventory duty and specific areas of the floor to work on, employees know that this behaviour will not get them the higher commission that they are looking for and therefore their paycheques will definitely suffer. Staff wants to focus on sales instead which will maximize their outcome.
• Sales staff placed in slow areas of the store or that is assigned inventory duty develop feeling of inequity. Staff motivation declines, causing decline in performance, more complaints about perceived inequity follows so actions follow to increase commissions which may not be align with company’s goals.
Four-Drive Theory: ensure that fulfillment of the four drives is kept in balance.
• The drive to acquire is so strong and dominant that it off-balanced the other drives creating dysfunctional conflicts when the new incentives system was introduced.
• Drive to defend themselves against the perceived threat of seeing their commissions decrease when corrective action is taken.
3) Actions the organization should take to correct these problems are:
• Rather than giving commissions based on individual sales, the company should implement a profit-sharing plan whereby employees are rewarded based on the stores total overall performance.
• Could divide sales staff into teams to give them autonomy to organize their affairs. This would improve sales without the negative effects. Each team would have to manage their inventory levels and store shelves and choose a team leader to assign tasks. All employees would receive the same commission regardless of the job they are assigned.
• Feedback to employees on how they are actually performing as well as feedback from employees on how well management is doing.
• Use non-social tools like charts to provide daily progress on how close they are to attaining the set goals.
Read the Case Study: Steelfab Ltd.
Question 1 (10 marks)
Use equity theory to explain Jackie’s lower motivation and higher job dissatisfaction and to describe her responses to her strong feelings of inequity.
Question 2 (15 marks)
Use expectancy theory to explain why Jackie stopped giving new ideas to her boss, Mr. Johnston.
Suggested solution, please reword to avoid plagerisim:
Use equity theory to explain Jackie’s lower motivation and higher job dissatisfaction and to describe her responses to her strong feelings of inequity. Equity theory utilizes the concept of comparing an individual’s outcome to input ratio with others outcome to input ratio with similar jobs and functions. In the Steelfab Ltd case study, Jackie Ney compared her outcome to input ratio with a co-worker, Jim Sandu. Ney learned that Jim Sandu, another accounting department employee, received a ten percent merit increase even though his coworkers believe he does not have the necessary skills to perform the job well enough to receive such a high reward. Ney received a six percent merit increase, equivalent to the average merit increase among the eleven people in the accounting department. Based on her performance, and a number of suggestions Ney made that were implemented, she was left feeling her input deserved a larger outcome, specifically a higher merit increase. Using the equity theory, Ney perceived an inequity between her merit increase and that of Sandu. The perceived inequity resulted in a loss of motivation and commitment to Steelfab Ltd. In year one, Ney took two sick days, one of those at the encouragement of her doctor. In the second year, Ney was utilizing the sick days to reduce the inequity, taking a few sick days to travel and visit friends. Since Ney perceived an inequity between the outcome and input, she became disengaged, and stopped providing ideas related to improving productivity. Eventually, this lead to Ney’s reduced commitment to the organization, and she started to pursue a change of employment. 6
Use expectancy theory to explain why Jackie stopped giving new ideas to her boss, Mr. Johnston. Expectancy theory states that work effort (input) is directed towards behaviors that are most likely to produce the desired outcome (output). In the Steelfab Ltd case study, Jackie Ney provided recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the accounting department, reducing the number bottlenecks. Learning that a co-worker, Jim Sandu had received a ten percent merit increase, while he was not regarded an outstanding performer and she only received a six percent increase, caused Ney to question what effort is required to achieve the desired outcome. Ney expected that the higher merit increases would be awarded to those employees with a higher job performance. Since providing recommendations had no perceivable difference on the merit increase, Ney stopped providing productivity improvement ideas. Her outcome valence, the anticipated satisfaction or dissatisfaction, resulted in a negative satisfaction related to her merit increase.
Read the Case Study: Yakkatech Ltd.
This case describes events at the customer service centres of YakkaTech Ltd., an information technology services firm
employing 1500 people across Canada. YakkaTech relies on a ticket system, in which staff complete work for a specific
“ticket” rather than serve one client all of the time. The system (as well as dramatically larger customer service centres)
has resulted in several problems, including poorer customer service, employee indifference to client problems, slow
response, and lack of staff knowledge about each client. Staff turnover has increased above the industry average.
Employees report that the work is monotonous and they feel disconnected from their work results. the company
increased pay rates and introduced a vested profit-sharing plan to improve morale and reduce turnover. turnover
dropped, but customer complaints and productivity remain below expectations or have worsened.
Question 1 (25 marks)
The main problems in this case are that the motivation potential of the jobs is low and the reward system is misaligned. What actions should YakkaTech executives take to correct these problems?
Sample solution, please reword to prevent plagiarism:
The clearest action in this case is to reorganize jobs to increase their motivational potential as well as improve
coordination for interdependent work. Job enrichment around establishing client relationships seems to be wellsuited
to this situation. In effect, individuals (or more likely, teams) would be organized around clients such that
clients approach the same staff for all of their IT problems and needs. Staff members would feel a greater sense of
task significance and task identity. They would develop a better understanding of the client’s needs for each
incident, would develop better feedback about the effectiveness of their interventions, and would feel more
responsibility for their actions (because of greater psychological closeness to the client).
A second solution is to revise the reward and recognition practices so they are aligned with the work and desirable
attitudes and behaviours. If jobs are redesigned around teams and clients, then a team-based reward system could
be considered because specific people can be identified with specific long-term client successes and failures. Profit
sharing might remain, but more proximate rewards are preferred.
Key terms to use in assignment:
• affective organizational commitment — an individual’s emotional attachment to, identification with, and involvement in a particular organization
• attitudes — the cluster of beliefs, assessed feelings, and behavioural intentions toward a person, object, or event (called an attitude object)
• cognitive dissonance — an emotional experience caused by a perception that our beliefs, feelings, and behaviour are incongruent
• continuance commitment — an individual’s calculative attachment to the organization
• emotional dissonance — the psychological tension experienced when the emotions people are required to display are quite different from the emotions they actually experience at that moment
• emotional intelligence (EI) — a set of abilities to perceive and express emotion, assimilate emotion in thought, understand and reason with emotion, and regulate emotion in oneself and others
• emotional labour — the effort, planning, and control needed to express organizationally desired emotions during interpersonal transactions
• emotions — physiological, behavioural, and psychological episodes experienced toward an object, person, or event that create a state of readiness
• exit-voice-loyalty-neglect (EVLN) model — the four ways, as indicated in the name, that employees respond to job dissatisfaction general
• adaptation syndrome — a model of the stress experience, consisting of three stages: alarm reaction, resistance and exhaustion
• job satisfaction — a person’s evaluation of his or her job and work context
• psychological harassment — repeated and hostile or unwanted conduct, verbal comments, actions or gestures that affect an employee’s dignity or psychological or physical integrity and that result in a harmful work environment for the employee
• service profit chain model — a theory explaining how employees’ job satisfaction influences company profitability indirectly through service quality, customer loyalty, and related factors
• stress — an adaptive response to a situation that is perceived as challenging or threatening to the person’s well-being
• stressors — environmental conditions that place a physical or emotional demand on the person
• trust — positive expectations one person has toward another person in situations involving risk
• workaholism — An uncontrollable work motivation, where people constantly think about work and have low work enjoyment
• employee share ownership plan (ESOP) — a reward system that encourages employees to buy company shares
• empowerment — a psychological concept in which people experience more self-determination, meaning, competence, and impact regarding their role in the organization
• gainsharing plan — a team-based reward that calculates bonuses from the work unit’s cost savings and productivity improvement
• job characteristics model — a job design model that relates the motivational properties of jobs to specific personal and organizational consequences of those properties
• job design — the process of assigning tasks to a job, including the interdependency of those tasks with other jobs
• job enlargement — the practice of adding more tasks to an existing job
• job enrichment — the practice of giving employees more responsibility for scheduling, coordinating, and planning their own work
• job evaluation — systematically rating the worth of jobs within an organization by measuring the required skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions
• job specialization — the result of a division of labour, in which work is subdivided into separate jobs assigned to different people
• mental imagery — the process of mentally practicing a task and visualizing its successful completion
• motivator-hygiene theory — Herzberg’s theory stating that employees are primarily motivated by growth and esteem needs, not by lower-level needs
• profit-sharing plan — a reward system that pays bonuses to employees on the basis of the previous year’s level of corporate profits
• scientific management — the practice of systematically partitioning work into its smallest elements and standardizing tasks to achieve maximum efficiency
• self-leadership — specific cognitive and behavioural strategies to achieve personal goals and standards through self-direction and self-motivation
• self-talk — the process of talking to ourselves about our own thoughts or actions
• skill variety — the extent to which employees must use different skills and talents to perform tasks within their jobs
• share options — a reward system that gives employees the right to purchase company shares at a future date at a predetermined price
• task identity — the degree to which a job requires completion of a whole or an identifiable piece of work
• task interdependence — the extent to which team members must share materials, information, or expertise in order to perform their jobs
• task significance — the degree to which a job has a substantial impact on the organization and/or larger society