Business Administration 494: Honors Organizational Behavior and Leadership

July 6, 2009

Course Description and Learning Goals

This HCP course substitutes for BA 304: Management and Organizational Dynamics. Although we cover many of the same topics as the undergraduate management course (BA 304), the honors section adds several important new learning goals related to leadership and leadership development. This course begins with an introduction to leadership and the management process, and then continues further to examine organizational behavior from a social science and behavioral perspective. HCPers focus on understanding and analyzing individual and group behavior in organizations, specifically related to how leaders implement strategy to impact people, policy and organizational culture. You will study leadership and organizational processes both theoretically and in an experiential environment through both simulations and in organizational fieldwork. HCPers are expected to integrate theory and concepts studied in their HCP classes with current business practices, engaging each other and the faculty in dialogue around key management issues. The service learning team project enables you to do fieldwork with a community partner in an organizational environment, having the opportunity to test these issues, apply the leadership and group skills you are learning in the classroom, on your team, and with your community partner. The course enables HCP students to achieve the following learning goals:

  • Assess individual leadership strengths and weaknesses, culminating in a personal action plan for leadership development
  • Conduct a multiple frames analysis to understand the managerial and ethical implications of individual and group behavior in organizations
  • Use multiple frames to analyze leadership action and strategy.
  • Articulate and understand a set of managerial and behavioral theories along with related assumptions underlying workplace dynamics in each of the following areas: leadership, perception/attribution, motivation, job design, group/team dynamics, power and influence.
  • Determine how to apply a set of theories in an organizational context
  • Enhance interpersonal and organizational skills in the following areas: communication; giving and receiving feedback; managing conflict; valuing diversity; managing individual differences; teamwork; leadership; and, using JCT in managing work design.
  • Demonstrate basic understanding of organizational power and influence; develop and/or enhance influence skills
  • Identify and understand the relationship between organizational strategy and corporate culture
  • Reflect how course concepts play out in a real-world organizational environment through the service learning project, assessing personal and professional impacts on self and the organization; understand how the organizations you are working with (our community partners) affect the society at large from a business leader’s perspective.

Class Time and Student Role in the Honors Cohort*

The HCP operates in a seminar format with full expectation that students will be active participants in their own learning, engaging each other, the faculty and outside guests in full discussion on the issues and topics of the day. The Organizational Behavior and Leadership course is conducted using a variety of pedagogical methods including case studies, lecturettes, discussions, video, group work and experiential activities both in and out of class. Students are expected to participate and contribute meaningfully. The classroom and related activities for the HCP serve three important functions:

  1. Provide a forum for the exchange of ideas;
  2. Serve as a laboratory for experimentation and experience in the development and/or enhancement of leadership and team skills
  3. Enable students to use the skills they develop in “real-world” practice

* HCPers will participate in a mandatory “day-long” Leadership Development Organizational Simulation on Saturday, Nov 22 (9:00 am – 5:00 pm), Please calendar this date as a program activity. “Participation/Contribution” points will be given to you for the 494 course.

Required Texts and Materials

  • McShane & VonGlinow, Organizational Behavior Essentials (McGraw Hill Irwin, 2007
  • George, B. True North (Jossey-Bass, 2007)
  • Business Leadership: A Jossey-Bass Reader (Jossey-Bass-Wiley, 2008)
  • Materials for DrakeBeamMorin Styles, MBTI (info to be distributed in class)
  • Class Readings – distributed in class, posted on Blackboard or put on reserve in the Library

Service Learning Requirement and University Mission

All HCPers in BA 494 are required to participate in the Service Learning Team project—a semester long experience exploring course concepts in a community-based organizational environment while providing a value-added contribution to that organization. An introduction to the definition and purpose of service learning, along with related activities will take place in class. We will be working in project teams with a set of community partners. This experience meets the service learning graduation requirement of the University Core Curriculum and is a critical component of this course.

The service-learning project allows you to explore the course concepts in an experiential context, bringing course concepts alive, and, ideally, aids in your own personal and professional leadership development in concert with the university mission. By working diligently with your teammates and community partner, you have the opportunity to experience (directly and/or indirectly) “educating hearts and minds to change the world” in some small but meaningful way. Members of the cohort who would like to make a longer-term commitment with an international dimension are able to partner with student teams in Professor Seth Wachtel’s architectural and community design cohort. Our programs will be working together on project possibilities in Africa, Asia and Central America.

Service Learning Project Notes-Community Partner Opportunities

  • Quesada Gardens Initiative
  • Women’s Community Clinic
  • Youth Leadership Institute
  • Coalition on Homelessness
  • Tenderloin Health
  • Glide Memorial
  • Housing, Business & Community Development-Int’l Opportunities* (TBA—Liberia, China, Nicaragua and Zambia…these projects may require participation in 2 phases—phase 1 in the Leadership Class and phase 2 in the Marketing class with potential opportunity to add summer internship in the country of the project

Service Learning Team Project: Components and Presentations (35%)

HCPers will choose a project management team at the beginning of the semester. Goals for the team are twofold: (1) engage in a meaningful service learning project linking the missions of the university and Business School to concepts explored in the BA 494 course, and; (2) experience and learn from the many aspects of project and team management. This semester long project culminates in a multi-media, dynamic management presentation presented to the class and organization representatives. Additionally, teams complete a consulting report and/or other clearly defined deliverables to be shared with their community partner. These deliverables may vary depending on the expectations of your community partner. I will work closely with each of the project management teams to clarify these expectations.

Required deliverables for the service learning team projects are as follows:

a.  Project Proposal Memo & Statement of Team and Community Partner Expectations (1-2 pages outlining project ideas, statement of team expectations & personal team learning objectives related to what you hope to learn from your community partner, and the experience overall; potential benefits to your community partner, a 2-3 sentence suggesting how your project might help you with understanding course concepts and enhancing your personal/professional development as a manager and/or team contributor). HCPers should have communicated with their community partner prior to submitting this deliverable. A copy of this deliverable should be shared with the organization).

Due: email on or before October 1 (ungraded). I will provide you with detailed feedback on your proposal prior to your team meetings with me.

b.  Team Meeting w/Professor (Project team meeting w/Professor to be scheduled at mutually convenient times; teams will have met with their community partner a minimum of 2 times prior to this scheduled meeting. Student teams should have all contact information with them (name of organization, contact person, telephone number and address). Our time together will be spent doing team reflections regarding service learning, linking your project to the concepts explored in the course, addressing concerns, identifying outside resources and other related issues to the service learning project)

Team Meetings Should Take Place on or before October 15. Sign ups for meetings will be available on Blackboard and updated to reflect team-meeting openings. Teams ready to meet earlier may do so at mutually convenient times. (ungraded)

c.  Progress Report (1-2 page Project Team memo confirming the following: project parameters, contact source(s)/contact information within the organization; description of activity with the community partner to date; and, summary of reflections and findings. Template for writing this memo will be posted to Blackboard.)
Due: November 12 (5%)

d.  Peer Review Instruments/Peer Feedback Meetings (The class will develop a peer review instrument in mid November that will be used in team peer review meetings where members share feedback regarding performance and team/leadership development). Additionally, as a class, we will develop an instrument that we can share with our community partners giving your organization an opportunity to give you and your team performance feedback.

Due: Meetings to be held December 3 (graded as pass/fail)

e.  Consulting Report and/or Other Agreed Upon Deliverable(s) for the Community Partner (7-10 page “client-centered” paper providing clear descriptions of the challenges and/or opportunities and issues you and your community partner wanted to address; complete analysis of these issues; findings/conclusions and/or other appropriate material based on the analysis and final team deliverables as negotiated with your community partner. Teams may work with their community partner defining “scope of project and specific deliverables” targeted to meet the needs of the organizations and adjust their reports as appropriate to the project parameters. Teams will work closely with their organizations to identify the specific deliverables and get final approval from me (the instructor) on the project report due. Teams will send a copy of this paper (and/or comparable substitute) to their community partner as well as turning in the report to the instructor. All teams are required to write a 1-3 page executive summary describing the deliverable(s), summarizing how the team accomplished it’s objectives and articulating realized and potential benefits to the community partner as well as what they learned from the experience. I will be asking your community partner/client organization to provide input on this grade by asking them whether your deliverables contributed value to their organization(s). See grading expectations outlined below.)

Due: Friday, December 12 (20%)

f.  Management Presentation (20-25 minute team presentation summarizing project results and findings. Presentations should report on what the team learned professionally and personally about their organization; how course concepts, theories, etc. provided insights on addressing community partner needs; and, other pertinent issues. Please invite your community partner to attend the presentation; Refreshments will be served!)

Due: Wednesday, December 10 8:30-noon (10%)

g.  Community Partner Feedback (Each community partner will be contacted by the instructor and asked to provide project teams with performance feedback and at minimum, communicate whether the projects provided “value-added” to their organizations. I will be confirming that all students on the team were actively engaged in the SL Project, spent a minimum number of hours working with the partner and, as a member of a SL team, acted professionally in its interactions with their community partner. Students not meeting the expectations, spirit and intent of the assignment will receive “penalty points” in determining what grade they will receive on the report and presentation.)

The grade earned for the Service Learning Team project components is the grade earned by all members of the project management team. If the team feels that one of its members has not pulled his or her own weight, then the team should decide how to manage the award of the grade, point penalties, etc. and let me know how the team wishes to proceed. As noted above (2g), individuals may be penalized if the community partner feedback suggests that individuals and/or the team as a whole did not meet project goals. Teams may fire non-contributing members but should make every attempt to use their management skills to resolve performance problems. My assumption is that the team will try to work out the problems with the team members in question first. Should a team wish to fire a member of the team, the non-contributing member must (1) find a team that will “hire” him/her; or, (2) do a make-up project on his/her own and take a comprehensive final exam for the course.

Note: Service Learning Placements and Process

The requirements for this project involve students using their management, leadership, networking, and partnering skills. We have several community partners who are interested in working with the HCP. Project teams may also identify their own community partners to work with through their own personal networks. Use your best judgment in determining an appropriate community partner. In choosing and working with your partner, be sure to adequately address issues of geographic convenience, flexibility, time frame and personal safety given the course constraints and potential personal risks. Traveling to and from a community partner’s location is your responsibility. The university does not provide transportation. Students may also use the resources of the Community and in hardship cases, choose a service-based project within the University community. In the past, my students have found that the most rewarding learning experiences come from work with a community partner outside the university and with a partner that addresses social justice issues and/or needs either directly or indirectly.

School: University of San Francisco
Professor: Dayle M. Smith, PhD
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