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Chapter 2
THEORIES OF MANAGING PEOPLE
Workbook Exam and Review Questions
Multiple Choice Questions
1. Taylor’s scientific management theory focused on _____.
a. maximizing efficiency through enhancing employee participation
b. maximizing efficiency by matching the capacities of workers to specific,
standardized jobs (Easy; p. 35)
c. maximizing efficiency by following proven management principles
d. maximizing efficiency by employing rational decision making
e. none of the above
2. The 1920s solution to the nepotism, favoritism, and unprofessional behavior found in
organizations at the time was _____.
a. systems theory
b. span of control
c. scientific management
d. bureaucracy (Easy, p. 35)
e. all of the above
3. Which of these was not one of the functions of a manager as defined by Fayol?
a. planning
b. organizing
c. motivating (Easy; p. 35)
d. controlling
e. commanding
4. The socio-historical context of a strong union movement, distrust for businesspeople,
decreased immigration, and scarce labor served as the backdrop for _____.
a. scientific management
b. human relations school (Moderate; p. 36)
c. administrative theory
d. open systems theory
e. theory x and theory y
5. The contention that our decisions are limited by the amount of variables our brains can
handle, the time available, and our reasoning powers is know as _____.
a. maximization
b. bounded rationality (Easy; p. 36-37)
c. entropy
d. interdependence
e. none of the above
166
6. Open systems theory maintains that all of an organization’s “parts” are _____.
a. independent
b. complex
c. internally focused
d. interdependent (Easy; p. 37)
e. none of the above
True or False Questions
7. Managers with high cognitive complexity can perceive how various management theories
apply to situations and can, therefore, choose those that make the most sense in a given
situation.
_____ True or _____ False? Why?
True. Managers with high cognitive complexity develop more elaborate theories and mental
models.
(Moderate; p. 40)
8. According to the competing values framework, an effective manager understands the
interdependence among different parts of systems and recognizes that organizations are
embedded within the larger environment.
_____ True or _____ False? Why?
False. Open systems theory.
(Moderate; p. 38)
9. According to Theory X, people appreciate being treated with courtesy.
_____ True or _____ False?
False. This is a component of Theory Y.
(Moderate; p. 34)
Short Answer Questions
10. How did the Hawthorne studies affect management theory?
They contributed the idea that output was affected by numerous variables that had been
previously ignored. These included worker’s feelings and attitudes about their work coworkers and boss; how workers were treated; and what happened to them outside of work.
This led to the development of the human relations theory of managing. It also led to the
understanding that attention and observation can change workers’ behavior.
(Moderate; p. 35)
11. When productivity is improved due to attention to the worker, this phenomenon is known as
the _____ effect.
(Hawthorne; Easy; p. 35)
167
12. What is the basic premise of contingency theory?
There is no one best way to manage in every situation. Managers must find the appropriate
method to match a given situation.
(Easy; p. 37)
13. Successful organizations are characterized by good _____ among their strategy, structure,
systems, staff, style, skills, and super-ordinate goals.
(fit; Easy; p. 37)
14. In Quinn’s competing values framework, master managers _____ the competing values of
the rational goal, internal process, human relations, and open systems management models.
(balance; Easy; p. 38)
Essay Questions
15. Discuss the concept of the open system.
 Popular during the rapidly changing environment of the mid-1960s
 Different parts of the systems are interdependent
 Organizations are embedded in the larger environment
 Organizations take in resources and transform them into a service or product that is
purchased or utilized by a larger system
 A crucial role for managers is dealing with external entities
 Three major factors affect organizational effectiveness: individuals in the organization,
the organization itself, and the larger environment
 Organizational success requires the effective management of the interfaces between the
individual and the organization, and the organization and the environment
(Moderate; p. 37-38)
16. Which management concept could you use to explain to Joe what’s going on here?
Your friend Joe works at a grocery store; he’s been complaining bitterly about his job and his
boss. Because he knows you are becoming an expert on organization behavior, he has come
to you for advice. He tells you that his boss is constantly looking over his shoulder and
telling him what to do next, even when it’s obvious. The boss threatens all the employees that
he will fire them if they do anything wrong, and he’s always sneaking around trying to catch
them in the act. Joe asked if he could learn how to do some of the ordering for his
department; his boss replied that Joe is paid good money to do the job he already has and that
should be good enough. Joe was excited about a new customer service program that
corporate headquarters wanted to implement. However, he overheard the boss tell his
supervisor they could forget implementing this program in Joe’s store because the employees
were lazy and incapable of adapting to change. Joe sees himself as highly responsible and
dedicated and wishes the boss trusted him more.
Boss has a Theory X orientation whereas Joe has Theory Y values.
(Challenging; p. 36)
168
17. Contrast the assumptions of Theory X and Theory Y. Give an example of a management
practice based on each theory.
Theory X is based on the assumption that humans are inherently lazy, dislike responsibility
and prefer to be led. In contrast, Theory Y is based on the opposite assumptions—that
humans are responsible, motivated to work hard and develop skills, and capable of selfdirection. An example of Theory X is the time clock. An example of Theory Y is comp time.
(Moderate; p. 36)
18. What do great managers do?
 Select for talent
 Define outcomes when setting expectations, not the steps to achieve the goal
 Focus on enhancing strengths, not fixing weaknesses
 Find the right job that fits the individual employee
(Moderate; p. 40)
19. What are the four activities that all managers engage in?
 Traditional management activities like planning, budgeting, and decision-making
 Communication
 Human resource development
 Networking
(Moderate; p. 40)
20. Using Quinn’s theory of competing values, which management theory does each person in
the following example hold?
There is a problem at the factory. The production figures are way down and employees are
grumbling. You have been asked to attend a problem-solving meeting with the managers.
Ellen thinks the best solution is to set clear production goals and carefully delegate tasks.
Carlos thinks management should talk to employees to find out what is bothering them and
then do team building with the key employees. Anna suggests that it’s time to put their house
in order by coming up with tighter procedures and information systems. Sung Wu is
advocating an expansion program because he thinks the market is favorable and the
challenge will pull everyone together.
Ellen
=
rational goal
Carlos
=
human relations
Anna
=
internal process
Sung Wu =
open systems
(Challenging; p. 38)
169
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