Foundations of Organizational Behavior
What was Frederick Taylor known for? Discuss his contributions to workplace effectiveness.
Describe the Hawthorne studies and explain what the “Hawthorne effect” means.
Briefly describe each of the following types of research designs: case studies, correlational studies, and experiments. Highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each, using examples from organizational behavior.
What does reliability mean? Validity? Provide examples of each.
Describe five facts of job performance and discuss what they mean.
Cognitive Ability and Personality in the Workplace
To what extent are vocational and occupational interests heritable? Discuss.
Is there a genetic basis to entrepreneurship? Why or why not?
How and why, from an evolutionary perspective, do surface-level characteristics (e.g., age, height, etc.) influence career success? Provide examples with relevant supporting evidence.
Why did Charles Spearman propose that mental performance could be conceptualized in terms of a general factor? What relevance does this have to OB research?
Is ability a general factor?
What are some examples of intelligence test questions?
What outcomes can be predicted from cognitive ability and why?
Does cognitive ability predict job performance in some jobs more than others? If so,which jobs?
Do personality and cognitive ability scores tend to be highly correlated? Why or why not?What are the problems with using the MBTI to make consequential decisions at work?
Describe the Big Five model of personality and name at least two outcomes that can be predicted from each trait.
How do managers’ and entrepreneurs’ personalities differ? Why might this be the case?
Psychology of Hiring
What is the first step you should make in determining whether to change an organization’s approach to hiring people?
Describe several methods for analyzing jobs. What are some strengths and limitations of each?
How does job performance differ from contextual performance?
Describe and critically evaluate each of the following selection methods:
1) Weighted application blanks
3) Work samples
4) Situational judgment tests
5) Assessment centers
Does structuring interviews improve their validity? Why or why not? What does “structuring” mean?
Does personality predict job performance, above and beyond cognitive ability? If so,what implications does this have for personnel selection?
What are some drawbacks of using cognitive ability tests in the workplace?
What are job attitudes?
What are moods and emotions, and how can they be distinguished from each other?
Discuss the major findings in job attitudes research, including work on personality,the job environment, leadership, and organizational practices. Provide an example of how each factor could be used to improve employee satisfaction in some way.
What effect does leader consideration have on subordinate satisfaction? How large is this effect? What are some examples of leader consideration? What is affective events theory? Draw the diagram describing its major linkages.
What is positivity offset and how is it relevant to employee satisfaction survey research?
What are masked or partial emotions, microexpressions, and display rules? Discuss how these factors may impede managers’ understanding of their subordinates’ emotions.
What is emotional intelligence? Who developed the scientific research behind it?
Who wrote a popular book about it? Describe its relevance to job performance, in which jobs it matters most, and whether it improves prediction beyond use of cognitive ability and personality measures.
Are happy employees productive employees? Discuss.
What is the causal relationship between job attitudes and performance?
What is motivation?
Describe Vroom’s expectancy theory and provide an example of how it can be used to improve motivation at work.
What is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? Draw the hierarchy below and offer a critique.
How does Herzberg’s two-factor theory of motivation differ from other theories of motivation? Describe how it could be used to improve motivation at work.
How do goals affect performance?
Name three factors that affect how strongly goals affect performance, and explain why.
What is merit pay and how is it different from incentive pay?
Describe and explain each of the following theories of merit pay:
1) Just-noticeable-difference thresholds
2) Value-discrepancy reactions
3) Expectancy theory of surprise
4) Expectancy theory of confidence
Does incentive pay boost productivity? Discuss the pros and cons of using incentive pay.