California State University , Sacramento

College of Business Administration

OBE 150-14: Management of Contemporary Organizations

Spring 2005


Professor:     Rick Armbruster

Office:       Tahoe 2081

Office Phone #:   278-7056


Class Term:     January 25, 2005-May 17, 2005

Office Hours:     8:50 to 11:00 Thursdays

Class Hours:     Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.


Text:   Wagner, John A., Hollenbeck, John R. Organizational Behavior—Securing Competitive Advantage 5 th ed. (2005) Orlando FL : Harcourt College Publishers




An overview of managerial and organizational theory and practice, including a discussion of the contingencies that influence an organization's effectiveness and efficiency. The focus of the course is on the decision-making and problem solving processes that affect managerial performance in planning, implementing, and controlling the work of contemporary organizations.


This course deals with management, organizations, and people at work----employee's attitudes toward work, what makes management effective, and why people behave the way they do.





•  Provide students with a clear understanding of the nature of organizations, insight into the internal and external forces that influence organizational behavior and factors contributing to organizational effectiveness, efficiencies and productivity.

•  Develop student's analytical problems-solving skills by providing contrasting frameworks, various perspectives and models to understand the behavior of humans in organizations.

•  Develop student's awareness (appreciation) of (for) the role of human behavior in determining organizational effectiveness.

•  Develop student's knowledge and value (appreciation) of the impact of global markets on organizational effectiveness.

•  Provide (the) conceptual foundations for understanding the relationship between organizations and society and the nature of ethical dilemmas facing organizations and their members.

•  Develop informational foundation upon which other courses in the curriculum will stand.

•  Engage (Excite) and interest the student in this dynamic field of study.

•  Improve student's teamwork and team management skills by teaching the theory and process of teams and using teams in class exercises.





This first requirement of this class is to complete the assigned reading and assignments before class so that you are prepared to discuss the topic and apply it to the day's activity. In groups you will analyze the assignment, case, exercise, or discussion questions related to the day's topic. Active participation in group discussions is one aspect of your participation grade and can be an excellent learning experience.


Your grade will be composed of your scores on a group project with papers, quizzes, three exams, and class participation. Each of these components is briefly described below.





     Exams will be in-class exams. These tests will consist of multiple choice and some short answer questions. You must bring a Scantron Form 882 to the exams. The questions will require that you integrate what you have learned from the readings, assignments and class discussions. More details later.



     You will be working as a part of a four or five person team to complete this project. You will be assigned a case study and a role. You will describe and evaluate the case using the concepts we study from the textbook. A paper of 3-5 pages, 12 point New Times Roman with margins of .6 upper and lower and .9 left and right (double-spaced) will be due. The papers will describe your experience of operating in a group in relation to theories presented in the textbook. In addition to the paper, a presenter from each group will be required to make a 12 minute presentation about the group's case and present it to the class. Each group member will receive the same grade for this project. It is expected that each person in a group will contribute to the project. We will discuss this more after we begin the schedule.



    Appropriate participation requires being prepared for class, completing the assignments, thinking about the issues and taking an active part in class discussion. Obviously, to participate in class, you must attend class. You have three primary responsibilities:


•  Readings :   Read the weekly readings. If discussion questions have been assigned compose answers to the discussion questions. Also, prepare to engage in discussion as a result of other activities (e.g., cases, exercises). I will call on you sometimes during the semester.


Active class participant: You are expected to be an active member of your team as well as a member of the class. For example, as a team member you will have to take a “lead” role in answering questions on behalf of the group sometime during the semester.


    Quizzes: Quizzes will happen. If you are not at class when a quiz is administered you will receive a “0.” NO EXCEPTIONS.





Being an active class participant means being a contributor, a good listener and a respectful classmate. Disruptive behavior such as talking while another student is talking arriving late and leaving early will not be tolerated.


I will make note of your participation in class.





There are 1,000 points available throughout the semester. The breakdown is as follows:


   Activity   Points   %

  Exam #1     100   10

  Exam #2   100   10

  Exam #3   100   10

  Group Project   200   20

  Partic. Assign.   250   25

   Quizzes   250   25

  TOT   1000   100




The following percentage scale approximates the final grade distribution:


  94 – 100%   =   A       73 – 76%   =   C

  90 – 93%   =   A-       70 – 72%   =   C-

  87 – 89%   =   B+       67 – 69%   =   D+

  83 – 86%   =   B       63 – 66%   =   D

  80 – 82%   =   B-       60 – 62%   =   D-

  77 – 79%   =   C+       Below 60%   =   F



Assignments are due in class on the day assigned. LATE ASSIGNMENTS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. Please make sure that you have another copy of all of the work you submit to me. If assignments are misplaced, you will be responsible for producing another copy to receive full credit.


Your name and section number must be included on all documents you turn in to me.


I will not give any make-up exams once an exam has been given in class. I will give exams in advance for any university-sanctioned activities that conflict with class (e.g., athletic event), if a written schedule of all such events is turned in at the beginning of the semester. If there is a serious emergency (e.g., hospitalization), you can discuss it with me and I will try to work out other arrangements.


If you disagree with the grading of an assignment or exam, your arguments and point of view must be given to me in writing with references (if appropriate), to support your position. I will not discuss the grade in class. This must be given to me within one week of receiving the grade in question. I retain the right to adjust the grade upward or downward upon re-reading the assignment or exam.


A grade of “A” recognizes exemplary performance. The “B” grade is given for superior achievement. Please refer to the CSUS catalog for additional clarification of grade symbols.


Copying phrases and sentences without attribution from the WEB, books, periodicals or any source will receive an “F” grade for the assignment. Plagiarism is a serious offense and where identified, may result in a grade of “F” for the course. Furthermore, cheating will not be tolerated and will result in a failing grade.


You will not be allowed to keep exams once they are graded; I will keep them. You will have time n class to review them and you may look over your completed exam by scheduling an appointment with me in advance. The reason for this policy is to make sure that all individuals have the same chance to do well on my exams. Some individuals (not everyone!), have access to test files. To be fair, I do my best to keep my exams out of the test files.




On the following page I have provided an outline of the course for you. Although I intend to follow the schedule as stated, I do reserve the right to make any changes to the schedule anytime during the semester. I feel that it is important to be flexible in order to accommodate students' needs. As previously stated, specific discussion questions and cases will often be assigned in class for the following week or session.




Week   Date   Topic   Reading/Assignments   Other Important Information

      (Due on the day assigned)    Late assignments NOT accepted


1   1/25   Intro Chap 1


  1/27   What is Org Beh     Chapter 1   



2   2/1   Mgmt & Mgrs   Chap 2   Quiz Chapter 1


  2/3   Diversity   Chap. 3 Quiz Chap 2; Review Ques. Due pg. 40 #1,4,7,9,11



3   2/8   Diversity   Chap. 3   Review Questions Due pg 66, #3 & 4


  2/10   Perception   Chap. 4   Quiz Chapter 4



4   2/15   Work Motivation   Chap. 5   Review Questions Due pg. 130 #1 and 3


  2/17   Wk Motiv. & Exam #1 Preview   Chap. 5   Reminder



5   2/22   Exam # 1     Bring Scantron #882 and No. 2 Pencil


  2/24   Satisfaction/Stress   Chap. 6   Review Ques. Due pg. 155 #2 and 4



6   3/1   Efficiency & Motiv   Chap. 7   Quiz Chap 7


  3/3   Efficiency & Motiv   Chap. 7   Evaluation



7   3/8   Interdependence   Chap. 8   Review Questions Due pgs. 240-1 #1 and 4


  3/10   Group Dyn/Group Pres   Chap 9   Quiz Chap 9



8   3/15   Group Presentations


  3/17   Group Presentations


9    3/22 & 3/24------------------------------------------------------No Class----------------------------Spring Break


10   3/29   Leadership of Groups   Chap. 10   Reminder


  3/31   Leadership of Groups   Chap 10   Move Clip—The Amer President



10   4/5   Power Politics   Chap 11     


  4/7   Chap 11 Exam #2 preview   Review Ques Due pgs. 366-7 #1,3,5,7



11   4/12   Exam #2 Chap 7-11     Bring Scantron #882 and No. 2 Pencil


  4/14   Structuring the Org   Chap 12   



•  4/19     Structuring the Org   Chap 12   O'Canada Case Questions pg 472 Due


  4/21   Tech Environ Org Des   Chap. 13   Quiz Chap 13



13   4/26   Culture   Chap 14   World Inter Case Ques. Due pg 502     


  4/28   Culture   Chap 14   Quiz Chap 14



14   5/3   Intern Org Beh   Chap 15   Quiz Chap 15


  5/5   Intern Org Beh   Chap 15 Chap Questions will be assigned in class—bring book/Reminder



15   5/10   Critical Thinking   Chap 16   Quiz Chap 16


  5/12   Org Behavior Review   Chap 12-15   



16   5/19   Exam #3   8-10 a.m.   Bring Scantron #882 and No. 2 Pencil