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Organizational Behavior Week 4 Assignment 1
Assignment 1: Discussion Assignment
The discussion assignment provides a forum for discussing relevant topics for this week based on the course competencies covered.
For this assignment, make sure you post your initial response to the Discussion Area by Saturday, August 27, 2016.
To support your work, use your course and text readings and also use outside sources. As in all assignments, cite your sources in your work and provide references for the citations in APA format.
Start reviewing and responding to the postings of your classmates as early in the week as possible. Respond to at least two of your classmates. Participate in the discussion by asking a question, providing a statement of clarification, providing a point of view with a rationale, challenging an aspect of the discussion, or indicating a relationship between two or more lines of reasoning in the discussion. Complete your participation for this assignment by Wednesday, August 31, 2016.
The Persuasion Imperative
There may have been a time when a boss gave orders and subordinates followed them. If you’ve watched the AMC series “Mad Men”—based on Madison Avenue marketing executives in the 1960s—you’ve seen an image of deference to authority, respectful obedience to those higher up in the hierarchy, and a paternalistic relationship between boss and employee.
With time comes change. Organizations are no longer male dominated as they were in the 1950s. Laws and policies are in place that better protect employees against the sometimes-capricious whims of supervisors.
Another sign of shifting cultural values is the way managers use their power. Commandments are out. Persuasion is in.
When IBM manager Kate Riley Tenant needed to reassign managers and engineers to form a database software team, she had to persuade IBM employees from all corners of the globe, none of whom directly reported to her. According to Tenant, it’s a big change from when she started in the field 20 years ago. “You just decided things, and people went off and executed,” she said. Now, “not everybody reports to you, and so there’s much more negotiation and influence.”
John Churchill, a manager with Florida-based Gerdau Ameristeel Corporation, agrees. The question now, he says, is “How do I influence this group and gain credibility?”
At IBM, the challenge of persuading employees across reporting relationships has become so significant that the firm developed a 2-hour online course to help managers persuade other employees to help with projects crucial to its business. IBM’s tips for managers include the following:
- Build a shared vision
- Negotiate collaboratively
- Make trade-offs
- Build and maintain your network
Despite meeting initial resistance, after completing the training program, Tenant was able to persuade most IBM managers and engineers to join the team.
This doesn’t mean authority has lost all its power. Robert Cialdini, a social psychologist who has studied persuasion for decades, lists authority as one of his keys to influence. Even more important may be the so-called “bandwagon