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BA 352 Week 6 notes

by: Samantha Tucker

BA 352 Week 6 notes BA 352

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Samantha Tucker
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This week covers Learning and Personality
Managing Individual and Team Performance
Dr. Chad
Class Notes
Management, performance, commitment, business, learning, personality
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Samantha Tucker on Tuesday February 16, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to BA 352 at Oregon State University taught by Dr. Chad in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Managing Individual and Team Performance in Business at Oregon State University.


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Date Created: 02/16/16
BA 352 Week 6 Session 1 Chapter 8 Learning & Decision Making Ten Minutes for Happiness:  Does Money make you happy? o Historically, the gross domestic product (GDP) of a country is a good indicator of its wealth (“how well we’re doing”) o As GDP goes up, more people have more reliable sources of food, clothing, shelter, transportation, etc. o So, higher GDP = happier people?  If by “happiness” we mean overall life satisfaction, then, well, yes (kind of). o Across countries, life satisfaction generally increases with GDP o Within countries over time, however, the relationship appears weaker  What about the other way to define subjective well-being: feeling happy o Subjective well-being (i.e., daily ratio of positive to negative emotions) increases as income increases but is unaffected above $75,000 o $75,000 is the “income plateau” o However, income is positively correlated with life satisfaction SWB all the way up  Money seems to make our problems easier to deal with—thus increasing life satisfaction—rather than actually give us joy in the moment  Does money make you happier, then? It depends on which aspect of happiness we’re talking about Definitions  Learning o Permanent changes in an employee’s knowledge (e.g., what to do when faced with a specific situation) or skill (i.e., capabilities) o Often measured with post-training cognitive evaluations (e.g., tests of knowledge), given in both the short- and long-term o Or by skill demonstration immediately after training o Learning has an impact on subsequent behavior at work, namely…  Decision-making o The process of generating and choosing from a set of alternatives to solve a problem Expertise: the pinnacle of learning  Expertise: the knowledge and skills that distinguish experts and novices o Explicit knowledge  General, easily-communicated, conscious, can be codified (i.e., written down) o Tacit knowledge  Job-specific, difficult to articulate, based on experience, often unconscious Five-stage model of expertise (Dreyfus & Dreyfus, 1986)  Stage 1 (novice): follow rules, no consideration of situational features  Stage 2 (advanced beginner): situational features are taken into account  Stage 3 (competence): no longer calculating or problem-solving, but beginning to develop a “feel” for what to do  Stage 4 (proficiency): situation is viewed holistically, processed quickly  Stage 5 (expertise): self-conscious application falls away and the skill becomes “embodied” o Experts possess both explicit AND tacit knowledge, but tacit (i.e., “embodied”) knowledge is the hallmark of true expertise  Critical thinking! Can computers become experts, according to this model? How do employees learn?  Reinforcement: We learn what to do and what not to do through rewards and punishments o Positive reinforcement: if you do desired behavior A, then I WILL give you positive outcome B o Negative reinforcement: if you do desired behavior A, then I WON’T do negative outcome C o Punishment: if you do undesired behavior D, the I WILL do negative outcome E o Extinction: If you do undesired behavior D, then I WON’T do positive outcome F Which “contingencies” (methods) of reinforcement are best?  Positive reinforcement and extinction are generally best o Why?  Negative reinforcement is threatening, punishment is disruptive  Reinforcement schedule o Continuous  Reward given following every desired behavior  Potential level of performance: high, but difficult to maintain  Ex: Praise o Fixed Interval  Reward given following fixed time periods  Potential level of performance: average  Ex: paycheck o Variable Interval  Reward given following variable time periods  Potential level of performance: Moderately high  Ex: supervisor walk-by o Fixed ratio  Reward given following fixed number of desired behaviors  Potential level of performance: high  Ex: piece-rate pay o Variable ratio  Reward given following variable number of desired behaviors  Potential level of performance: very high  Ex: commission pay How do employees learn?  Observation of others o Social learning theory o Tacit knowledge is best communicated sometimes through behavioral modeling: 1. Attentional processes: learner focuses attention on the critical behaviors exhibited by the model 2. Retention processes: learner must remember the behaviors of the model once the model is no longer present 3. Production processes: Learner must have the appropriate skill set and be able to reproduce the behavior 4. Reinforcement: learner must view the model receiving reinforcement for the behavior and then receive it themselves Employees approach learning differently—not everyone wants to learn  Learning orientation o Failure is good—it means I’m getting better  Performance-prove orientation o Failure is bad—I want people to think I’m great  Performance-avoid orientation o Failure is bad—I want to succeed in order to avoid looking stupid Learning influences the types of decisions employees make  Decision-making o The process of generating and choosing from a set of alternatives to solve a problem  Your knowledge, experience, and skill level largely determined whether a decision is… o Programmed (automatic and intuitive)  Common when situation is frequent and known o Non-programmed (step-by-step, rational, and deliberate)  Common when situation is new and unknown  Identify the problem  Is the problem recognized? Has it been dealt with before? o Yes: Programmed decisions o No: non-programmed decisions More on the non-programmed decisions  Rational decision-making model o Determine criteria for making the decision—what’s the ideal outcome? o Build a list of all potential solutions o Evaluate potential solutions against the criteria you’ve established o Choose the solution that maximizes value, given the potential costs Learning influences the effectiveness of employee decisions  Crisis situation o Any event with the potential to cause sudden and serious damage to the company’s employees, customers, reputation, or bottom line o Such events are peculiar because they’re non-programmed situations, but they often do not allow time for a non-programmed decision—instead intuition and tacit knowledge are critical  Expertise thus allows you to respond effectively in crisis situations o Ex: Miracle on the Hudson—Plane has birds fly through the engines, lands in Hudson River More on non-programmed decisions  Bounded rationality o Human beings do not have the ability or resources to make perfectly rational, optimal decisions  As a result, we look for shortcuts (heuristics) – these are fine in principle, but sometimes they’re based on biased perceptions/information without us knowing it  In other cases, we satisfice—we choose the first, acceptable option Decision-making biases  Perception: process of selecting, organizing, storing, and retrieving information about the environment  Availability bias: employees tend to base their judgments on information that is more vivid, easier to recall o When was the last time you saw a breaking news story about a bicycle crash? o Plane crashes are more vivid, thus receive more news coverage, are thus easier to recall in memory, thus making them seem more likely than they actually are  Selective perception: employees tend to see things in their environments only insofar as they are consistent with their expectations and desires—what appears to be the “best” decision is thus driven by desires o We see what we want to see o But seeing and believing are both often wrong—and bad decisions are the result o Ex: Gulf of Tonkin o What were the specific mistakes here that were caused by selective perception  Overstated the problem  Did not consider costs, possible less-costly alternatives  Framing bias: We tend to make different decisions based on how a question or situation is phrased/framed—what appears to be the “best” decision changes accordingly o Kahnemann & Tversky, 1981  Imagine that the US is preparing for the outbreak of an unusual disease, which is expected to kill 600 people. Two alternative programs to combat the disease have been proposed. Assume the exact scientific estimate of the consequences of the programs are as follows  Fundamental attribution error: We tend to see other’s behaviors as due to internal factors/attributes o He’s kind of lazy… o He’s arrogant…  But we don’t do this for ourselves! o Our successes are internally-caused o Our failures are externally-caused o This is known as self-serving bias  Consensus, Distinctiveness, and Consistency o Low consensus, low distinctiveness, high consistency  internal attribution (individual factors such as ability, motivation, or attitudes are to blame o High consensus, high distinctiveness, low consistency  External attribution (environmental factors are to blame)  Escalation of commitment o Nonsensical decision to stick with a failing course of action o Why does this happen?  In order to avoid looking incompetent and having made the wrong decision  Already invested so many resources into implementing original decision  Ex: Denver Baggage automated system o Go Fever intensifies the escalation process;  Lots of money on the line  Very close to completion Do you suffer from decision fatigue? o Have any of you experienced this before? o Making detailed plans for months down the road (e.g., wedding plans) o Decision fatigue leads in two directions o Impulse behavior o Doing nothing –or, similarly, doing what’s easiest (satisficing) o Why?  you’ve run out of mental/emotional resources needed for self-control o Ego depletion: When you’re in a depleted state, your desires, impulses, and frustrations become more intense and more difficult to regulate o Potentially effective way to persuade others… o Bombard them with options o Then suggest what you’d prefer they do—and watch them accept o Ex: waiter offering specials to customers Closing up: Learning moderately correlated with job performance; learning weakly correlated with organizational commitment BA 352 Week 6 Session 2 Chapter 9 Personality & Cultural values Definitions  Personality o Structures and propensities inside people that explain their characteristic patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior o Bundle of traits  Recurring regularities or trends in people’s responses to their environment o What people are like – adjectives often capture traits  Traits come from genetics and our environments (e.g., culture) The Big Five (CANOE)  Most adjectives (i.e., traits) can be linked to one of five personality dimensions or factors  Conscientiousness: Dependable, organized, reliable, ambitious, helpful, courteous, warm, hardworking o Single most important factor in job performance o Accomplishment striving is a priority o Strong desire, motivation to accomplish task-related goals  Agreeableness: kind, cooperative, sympathetic, helpful, courteous, warm o Not consistently beneficial for performance in all kinds of occupations o Critical thinking! What about in customer service?  Research says agreeableness = better customer service  In my experience, my agreeableness was both good AND bad for the company o What about if you’re the CEO? o Communion striving is a priority  Strong desire to obtain acceptance in personal relationships—to get along with others  Neuroticism (AKA Emotional Stability): nervous, moody, emotional, insecure, jealous, unstable o Second most important dimension for job performance –it’s always bad o Bad for job satisfaction as well o Synonymous (i.e., very strong correlated) with negative affectivity (NA)  A dispositional tendency to experience unpleasant moods such as hostility and annoyance  Highly neurotic people are more likely to be more stressed out. Why?  Everything seems more stressful (differential exposure)  The stressors seem less manageable (differential reactivity) o Grip Index: Are you an NA person?  Has new technology reduces or exacerbated our NA tendencies?  Openness (to Experience): curious, imaginative, creative, complex, refined, sophisticated o Great for jobs in dynamic, unstable industries & jobs that require creative performance o Along with cognitive ability, openness is a key driver of creative thinking  Extraversion: talkative, sociable, passionate, assertive, bold, and dominant o We can easily assess this in ourselves and in others o Status striving is a priority  Strong desire to obtain power and influence within a social structure o Moderately strong predictor of leader emergence (0.33) o Extraverts tend to be high in positive affectivity (PA)  A dispositional tendency to experience pleasant, engaging moods such as enthusiasm, excitement, and elation. Locus of control  A person’s dispositional tendency to attribute the causes of life events to her/himself or to the external environment o Internal locus of control: I have control over the events of my life o External locus of control: My life is determined by chance and/or by powerful others pulling the strings  Internals have better job satisfaction, job performance, well-being, higher salary  So, is an external LOC always bad, then? o No, remember Richard Wiseman’s research on the benefits of believing you’re lucky?  Ideally, you’d have an internal locus of control while also believing in the power of luck or chance happening o This is possible because locus of control is multidimensional—it’s not either/or, but both/and Personality: Nature or nurture?  Twin studies at University of Minnesota o How much of personality is accounted for by genetics  49% of variation in extraversion  45% for openness  41% for neuroticism  38% for conscientiousness  35% for agreeableness  Which personality dimensions fluctuate the most over time? o Extraversion and openness are relatively stable o Continuing decline over time in neuroticism o Consistent increases in agreeableness and conscientiousness over time Cultural values  Culture: the shared values, beliefs, motives, identities, and interpretations that result from common experiences of members of a society and are transmitted across generations o Not organizational culture here, but national/societal o Culture influences personality development Hofstede’s dimensions of cultural values 1. Individualistic v. collectivistic 2. Power Distance (high v low) 3. Uncertainty avoidance (high v low) 4. Masculinity v Femininity 5. Short-term v. long term orientation Other cultural differences: time orientation  Monochronic o North America/ Northern Europe o Time is linear, keeps going. It is like money: spent, saved, or wasted o Time is segmented into smaller units, schedule-driven o Tend to do one thing at a time (work v personal for example)  Polychronic o Latin America/Mediterranean/Middle East/ Asia o Time is flexible, fluid, multi-dimensional (no separation between work/personal time) o Clocks are arbitrary, being “late” is OK given concurrent involvement with lots of people  More committed to building relationships than efficiently moving through appointments Other cultural differences: proxemics  Proxemics: unspoken rules regarding the amount of physical space to give people you’re communicating with.  Ex: Violations of norms about personal space Beware of ethnocentrism  Managers must be aware of and sensitive to different cultural values  Otherwise organizational commitment and firm performance can suffer  Ex: Disneyland Paris; “we didn’t come in and say: we’re going to put a beret and a baguette on Mickey Mouse. We are who we are.” Wrapping up the section: Conscientiousness is moderately correlated with job performance and organizational commitment


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