HROB 101 | Syllabus

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Spring 2013                                                                                            Professor Jerry D. Estenson


College of Business Administration


HROB 101 – The Management of Contemporary Organizations

Section Seven: 4:30 – 5:45 Monday and Wednesday


OFFICE:                            Tahoe – 2048
OFFICE HOURS:               M/W    2:30 – 4:00 p.m.              
OFFICE PHONE                Good Choice:  278-6781 (CSUS) 
EMAIL:                               Good Choice: (Campus)
                                          (Messages picked up on Monday and Wednesday)
                                          Best Choice (Other World)
                                          (Messages picked up seven days a week)

TEXT (Required)

Kinicki, Angelo & Williams, Brian K. (2012). Management: a Practical Introduction 5th ed. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.




The development of next-generation managers and leaders is at the top of the to-do list for most organizational leaders. While the goal is clear, the question becomes: “How do we build the best?”  In their critique of management theory developed by management consultants and academicians, Micklethwait and Wooldridge claim that these self-appointed “gurus” are “the unacknowledged legislators of mankind.” (They borrowed and modified Shelly). They support their theory by asking us to look around and note how theorists and consultants are laying down the law, reshaping institutions, refashioning language, and reorganizing people’s lives.  As a side note, they propose that neither the President of the United States or the Governor of California may immediately impact your daily organizational life but a consultant could quickly and seriously change your work life. (The Witch Doctors: Making Sense of the Management Gurus).


Some thinkers about the future of management like Jim Collins tell us that our current situation is the result of hubris and failed leadership. Others tell us that the change we are experiencing will become the norm and your career in business will be impacted by a series of discontinuities.  If this is true, the future is up for grabs and those who are successful will not become enamored with the latest fad, but instead understand the foundations of solid business management. This requires you to challenge old models, old ways of thinking, old rules, old strategies, old assumptions, and old recipes for success while honoring what has worked. (Rethinking the Future). This view of the world resulted in Handy and Senge challenging the complacency of a group of future Chief Executive Officers by asking them to think about the proposition: “What would you do if the behaviors and skills that made you a success to this point in your career will cause you to fail in the future?”


Before one can challenge the way organizational life is ordered, it is important to understand the basics (the old way).  It is through understanding the roots of past thinking that we can move forward to new and creative ways to solve organizational problems.  My job as your guide on a journey to understanding will start with the world in which managers live and operate. Once there is understanding of that terrain, we will explore the specific tools managers use to focus human behavior.  These tools include planning, organizing, leading and controlling the activities of those who have chosen to work in an organization.


As we explore past techniques we will integrate current thinking on various topics.  In these explorations we will move to discuss difficult issues such as downsizing, re-engineering, work place diversity, quality of work life, role of unions, globalization, market expectations, outsourcing jobs, and the recruitment and retention of skilled workers.


Together we will build a base of knowledge, which will serve you well in future business courses, and help you start to build the skills needed to shape a future that will meet your needs.




  1. You will be provided the opportunity to understand the nature of organizations, internal and external forces that influence organizational behavior, and the factors contributing to organizational effectiveness.

  2. You will be given the opportunity to analyze and solve complex organizational problems using the frameworks, perspectives and models provided during the course.

  3. You will gain an appreciation for the role of human behavior in determining organizational effectiveness.

  4. You will have the opportunity to improve your team management skills by studying the theory and process of team activity.

  5. You will be exposed to the complexity of global operations and understand the impact the global economy has on organizations.

  6. You will study the relationship between organizations and society and appreciate the nature of ethical dilemmas created by this relationship.

  7. You will have a solid informational foundation to further your study of business administration.

These goals will be accomplished by narrowing the focus to certain aspects of behavior in organizations.  You will have the opportunity to probe human interaction at the following levels:

  1. Organizations in a global setting

  2. Organizations in a society

  3. Activities between organizations

  4. Behavior of individuals in an organization

  5. Behaviors of individuals in groups

  6. Behavior of individuals


Several methods of instruction will be used.  Because of class size, each subject will be covered by a lecture and (to the extent possible) class discussion and exercises. The lectures will take on the flavor of an open discussion versus “stand and deliver”. Lectures will be supplemented by videos and guest speakers. Like the subject matter, method of instruction will be fluid and respond to resources available each week.



There will be three full period examinations during the semester.  The exams will be divided into two parts: Multiple choice and short essay. Each exam will cover material in a specific number of chapters, lectures and information provided by guest speakers. The exams are NOT CUMULATIVE.


Case Project

During the semester there will be a significant number of team case analyses.  Your contribution to the team solution to the case will be graded by your team members.


In addition to the in-class case analyses each student will be assigned to a team (consisting of approximately five - eight students).  This team will work on either a live case study or a case the team selects from the Strategic Management Text located in the reserve book room.


It is hoped that the team can find a situation occurring in an organization employing an individual team member.  If there is no opportunity for a live study, the instructor has placed books with strategic cases in the reserve bookroom in the library.  To assist you with this project, material related to preparation of a case study is provided through the course web site.


The teams are encouraged to use the case preparation methodology (provided on-line via the website).  This methodology suggests that each team clearly state the context in which a management problem is occurring. Next, a critical problem will be selected and artfully described.  With the problem defined the team will develop a set of alternative solutions.  These solutions will be constructed using theories and models presented in the text.  The last part of the study will be a recommended course of action to fix the problem.  This recommendation will be supported by theories and models used by the authors or shared with the class by the instructor and or guest speakers.


Your case will be graded using the following criteria:

Area Reviewed

Maximum  Percentage

Clarity of problem statement


Exploration of options


Persuasiveness of material and arguments used to support recommended solution


Use of theories, models, and processes provided in the text


Presentation (Writing mechanics, appropriate writing style, use of graphics, and general appearance of document)






The feedback provided by grades indicates how well you are performing against a standard set at the beginning of the semester.  There is no curve provided and the points you accumulate on each activity will determine your final grade.




Three Exams (200 points per exam)


In-class case studies


Case Project - As an(incentive, extra credit or bribery) for turning the project early the starting point for determining the case value is a follows: 

  • Before midnight 7 November = 150 possible points
  • After midnight 7 November and before midnight Nov 14 =
    125 possible points
  • After midnight Nov 14 before midnight Nov 21 = 100
    possible points
  • After midnight Nov 21 before midnight November 28 = 75
    possible points.
  • After midnight on November 28 to end of class on December 6 = 50 Maximum possible points.
  • After end of class on December 6th no points will be available.          


Bonus Round:
Maximum Possible



Total Possible Points



Academic Honesty:

California State University, Sacramento has a clearly defined policy and procedure to address issues of academic honesty (PM 90-94, PM 04-01). Those policies will be applied to this course in the following manner. If you are caught cheating on the test you will be given an F for the course. If you are caught cheating on any written assignment you will be given an F for the course. To help you focus it is important to remember that I selectively keep copies of previously submitted case studies. Should you turn in a copy of previous case study that will be viewed as a violation of University policy and you will be given an F for the course. Enough said.

Note that the instructor reserves the right to modify this course outline.


Grade Distribution:

Grade Break Down

            A       =       1,000-940           C+     =         799-780
            A-      =         939-900            C       =         779-740
            B+     =         899-880            C-      =         739-700
            B       =         879-840            D+     =         699-680
            B-      =         839-800            D       =         679-640



(The dates set forth below are target dates and subject to change.This course is taught in a dynamic manner which means we will flow with learning opportunities presented to us)






Week One
January 28



Course Introduction

The Exceptional Manager: What you do, How you do it

Each week read the assigned chapter, make notes about concepts you do not understand review the PowerPoint slides, come to class with questions you may have about assigned material, listen to answers other students raise, and make certain you understand each critical concept. Note this is the type of course where it is very hard to catch up once behind.

January 30



Management Theory: Essential Background for the Successful Manager

Note that in addition to material in Chapter 2 there is supplemental information contained in the power point slides. This will be a common occurrence as I will regularly find material that will add to our discussions.

Week Two
February 4 Monday


Finish discussion of Management Theory


February 6




Introduce:  Manager’s Changing Work Environment & Ethical Responsibility: Doing the right thing


Week Three
February 11





Finish discussion of Change and Ethics

Again note that there will be slides in lecture that supplement slides provided on website

February 13 Wednesday



Team meeting to discuss strategy to accomplish case study assignment.  No need to meet in classroom.  Instructor will check in late in class period

During team time: set goals, develop action plan, create evaluation system. 
To be ahead of the in the extra credit game, the group should have a serious discussion about actual case. If you are having a problem contact Instructor during office hours or via email.

Week Four
February 18




International Business

Global Management: Managing
Across Borders  


February 20 Wednesday


International Business 


Week Five
February 25


Finish discussion on International Business and Review for Exam


February 27


1, 2, 3, 4



Week Six
March 4



Planning and Strategy

Planning: The Foundation of Successful Management


March 6



Planning and Strategy


Week Seven
March 11



Strategic Management: How Star Managers Realize a Grand Design


March 13



Team Day
No need to meet in classroom.  Feel free to use library other team spaces.

Use this gift of class time to get on top of your case assignment.

Week Eight
March 18



Individual & Group Decision Making: How Managers Make Things Happen


March 20



Organizational Culture, Structure, Design: Building Blocks of the Organization


Spring Break

March 25 – March 31




Week Nine
April 1



Cesar Chavez Day


April 3




Human Resource Management: Getting the Right People for Management Success

EARLY WARNING Case bonus value starts to drop after midnight 4 April 2012

Week Ten
April 8



HRM Systems


April 10



Team Day.  If turning in for higher base use class to finish project.  If turning in later use class time to work on project.

Midnight April 4th last time project can be turned in for maximum increase in base points.

Week Eleven
April 15



Chapters 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9


April 17


Chapters  5, 6, 7, 8 & 9



Week Twelve
April 22



Organizational Change & Innovation: Lifelong Challenges for the Exceptional Manager


April 24





Week Thirteen

April 29



Managing Individual Differences & Behavior: Supervising People as People


May 1



Motivating Employees: Achieving Superior Performance in the Workplace


Week Fourteen
May 6





May 8



Groups & Teams: Increasing Cooperation, Reducing Conflict

Last possible day to turn in case study

Week Fifteen

May 13



Power, Influence & Leadership: From Becoming a Manager to Becoming a Leader


May 15





Finals Week
Date of final to be determined.  Exact date and place will be announced in class.  Usually on Monday

3:00 – 5:00 but subject to change.


Chapters 10, 11, 12, 13, 14


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