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Organizational Behavior

Critical Thinking Case

Organizational BehaviorCritical Thinking Case
  1. Preface
  2. 1 Management and Organizational Behavior
    1. Introduction
    2. 1.1 The Nature of Work
    3. 1.2 The Changing Workplace
    4. 1.3 The Nature of Management
    5. 1.4 A Model of Organizational Behavior and Management
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    8. Chapter Review Questions
    9. Critical Thinking Case
  3. 2 Individual and Cultural Differences
    1. Introduction
    2. 2.1 Individual and Cultural Factors in Employee Performance
    3. 2.2 Employee Abilities and Skills
    4. 2.3 Personality: An Introduction
    5. 2.4 Personality and Work Behavior
    6. 2.5 Personality and Organization: A Basic Conflict?
    7. 2.6 Personal Values and Ethics
    8. 2.7 Cultural Differences
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    11. Chapter Review Questions
    12. Management Skills Application Exercises
    13. Managerial Decision Exercises
    14. Critical Thinking Case
  4. 3 Perception and Job Attitudes
    1. Introduction
    2. 3.1 The Perceptual Process
    3. 3.2 Barriers to Accurate Social Perception
    4. 3.3 Attributions: Interpreting the Causes of Behavior
    5. 3.4 Attitudes and Behavior
    6. 3.5 Work-Related Attitudes
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    9. Chapter Review Questions
    10. Management Skills Application Exercises
    11. Managerial Decision Exercises
    12. Critical Thinking Case
  5. 4 Learning and Reinforcement
    1. Introduction
    2. 4.1 Basic Models of Learning
    3. 4.2 Reinforcement and Behavioral Change
    4. 4.3 Behavior Modification in Organizations
    5. 4.4 Behavioral Self-Management
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    8. Chapter Review Questions
    9. Management Skills Application Exercises
    10. Managerial Decision Exercises
    11. Critical Thinking Case
  6. 5 Diversity in Organizations
    1. Introduction
    2. 5.1 An Introduction to Workplace Diversity
    3. 5.2 Diversity and the Workforce
    4. 5.3 Diversity and Its Impact on Companies
    5. 5.4 Challenges of Diversity
    6. 5.5 Key Diversity Theories
    7. 5.6 Benefits and Challenges of Workplace Diversity
    8. 5.7 Recommendations for Managing Diversity
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    11. Chapter Review Questions
    12. Management Skills Application Exercises
    13. Managerial Decision Exercises
    14. Critical Thinking Case
  7. 6 Perception and Managerial Decision Making
    1. Introduction
    2. 6.1 Overview of Managerial Decision-Making
    3. 6.2 How the Brain Processes Information to Make Decisions: Reflective and Reactive Systems
    4. 6.3 Programmed and Nonprogrammed Decisions
    5. 6.4 Barriers to Effective Decision-Making
    6. 6.5 Improving the Quality of Decision-Making
    7. 6.6 Group Decision-Making
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    10. Chapter Review Questions
    11. Management Skills Application Exercises
    12. Managerial Decision Exercises
    13. Critical Thinking Case
  8. 7 Work Motivation for Performance
    1. Introduction
    2. 7.1 Motivation: Direction and Intensity
    3. 7.2 Content Theories of Motivation
    4. 7.3 Process Theories of Motivation
    5. 7.4 Recent Research on Motivation Theories
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    8. Chapter Review Questions
    9. Management Skills Application Exercises
    10. Managerial Decision Exercises
    11. Critical Thinking Case
  9. 8 Performance Appraisal and Rewards
    1. Introduction
    2. 8.1 Performance Appraisal Systems
    3. 8.2 Techniques of Performance Appraisal
    4. 8.3 Feedback
    5. 8.4 Reward Systems in Organizations
    6. 8.5 Individual and Group Incentive Plans
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    9. Chapter Review Questions
    10. Management Skills Application Exercises
    11. Managerial Decision Exercises
    12. Critical Thinking Case
  10. 9 Group and Intergroup Relations
    1. Introduction
    2. 9.1 Work Groups: Basic Considerations
    3. 9.2 Work Group Structure
    4. 9.3 Managing Effective Work Groups
    5. 9.4 Intergroup Behavior and Performance
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    8. Chapter Review Questions
    9. Management Skills Application Exercises
    10. Managerial Decision Exercises
    11. Critical Thinking Case
  11. 10 Understanding and Managing Work Teams
    1. Introduction
    2. 10.1 Teamwork in the Workplace
    3. 10.2 Team Development Over Time
    4. 10.3 Things to Consider When Managing Teams
    5. 10.4 Opportunities and Challenges to Team Building
    6. 10.5 Team Diversity
    7. 10.6 Multicultural Teams
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    10. Chapter Review Questions
    11. Management Skills Application Exercises
    12. Managerial Decision Exercises
    13. Critical Thinking Case
  12. 11 Communication
    1. Introduction
    2. 11.1 The Process of Managerial Communication
    3. 11.2 Types of Communications in Organizations
    4. 11.3 Factors Affecting Communications and the Roles of Managers
    5. 11.4 Managerial Communication and Corporate Reputation
    6. 11.5 The Major Channels of Management Communication Are Talking, Listening, Reading, and Writing
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    9. Chapter Review Questions
    10. Management Skills Application Exercises
    11. Managerial Decision Exercises
    12. Critical Thinking Case
  13. 12 Leadership
    1. Introduction
    2. 12.1 The Nature of Leadership
    3. 12.2 The Leadership Process
    4. 12.3 Leader Emergence
    5. 12.4 The Trait Approach to Leadership
    6. 12.5 Behavioral Approaches to Leadership
    7. 12.6 Situational (Contingency) Approaches to Leadership
    8. 12.7 Substitutes for and Neutralizers of Leadership
    9. 12.8 Transformational, Visionary, and Charismatic Leadership
    10. 12.9 Leadership Needs in the 21st Century
    11. Key Terms
    12. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    13. Chapter Review Questions
    14. Management Skills Application Exercises
    15. Managerial Decision Exercises
    16. Critical Thinking Case
  14. 13 Organizational Power and Politics
    1. Introduction
    2. 13.1 Power in Interpersonal Relations
    3. 13.2 Uses of Power
    4. 13.3 Political Behavior in Organizations
    5. 13.4 Limiting the Influence of Political Behavior
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    8. Chapter Review Questions
    9. Management Skills Application Exercises
    10. Managerial Decision Exercises
    11. Critical Thinking Case
  15. 14 Conflict and Negotiations
    1. Introduction
    2. 14.1 Conflict in Organizations: Basic Considerations
    3. 14.2 Causes of Conflict in Organizations
    4. 14.3 Resolving Conflict in Organizations
    5. 14.4 Negotiation Behavior
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    8. Chapter Review Questions
    9. Management Skills Application Exercises
    10. Managerial Decision Exercises
    11. Critical Thinking Case
  16. 15 External and Internal Organizational Environments and Corporate Culture
    1. Introduction
    2. 15.1 The Organization's External Environment
    3. 15.2 External Environments and Industries
    4. 15.3 Organizational Designs and Structures
    5. 15.4 The Internal Organization and External Environments
    6. 15.5 Corporate Cultures
    7. 15.6 Organizing for Change in the 21st Century
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    10. Chapter Review Questions
    11. Management Skills Application Exercises
    12. Managerial Decision Exercises
    13. Critical Thinking Case
  17. 16 Organizational Structure and Change
    1. Introduction
    2. 16.1 Organizational Structures and Design
    3. 16.2 Organizational Change
    4. 16.3 Managing Change
    5. Key Terms
    6. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    7. Chapter Review Questions
    8. Management Skills Application Exercises
    9. Managerial Decision Exercises
    10. Critical Thinking Case
  18. 17 Human Resource Management
    1. Introduction
    2. 17.1 An Introduction to Human Resource Management
    3. 17.2 Human Resource Management and Compliance
    4. 17.3 Performance Management
    5. 17.4 Influencing Employee Performance and Motivation
    6. 17.5 Building an Organization for the Future
    7. 17.6 Talent Development and Succession Planning
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    10. Chapter Review Questions
    11. Management Skills Application Exercises
    12. Managerial Decision Exercises
    13. Critical Thinking Case
  19. 18 Stress and Well Being
    1. Introduction
    2. 18.1 Problems of Work Adjustment
    3. 18.2 Organizational Influences on Stress
    4. 18.3 Buffering Effects of Work related Stress
    5. 18.4 Coping with Work related Stress
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    8. Chapter Review Questions
    9. Management Skills Application Exercises
    10. Critical Thinking Case
  20. 19 Entrepreneurship
    1. Introduction
    2. 19.1 Overview of Entrepreneurship
    3. 19.2 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs
    4. 19.3 Business Model Canvas
    5. 19.4 New Venture Financing
    6. 19.5 Design Thinking
    7. 19.6 Optimal Support for Entrepreneurship
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    10. Chapter Review Questions
    11. Management Skills Application Exercises
    12. Managerial Decision Exercises
    13. Critical Thinking Case
  21. A | Scientific Method in Organizational Research
  22. B | Scoring Keys for Self-Assessment Exercises
  23. References
  24. Index

Facebook, Inc.

Facebook has been in the news with criticism of its privacy policies, sharing customer information with Fusion GPS, and criticism regarding the attempts to influence the 2016 election. In March 2014, Facebook released a study entitled “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks.” It was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a prestigious, peer-reviewed scientific journal. The paper explains how social media can readily transfer emotional states from person to person through Facebook’s News Feed platform. Facebook conducted an experiment on members to see how people would respond to changes in a percentage of both positive and negative posts. The results suggest that emotional contagion does occur online and that users’ positive expressions can generate positive reaction, while, in turn, negative expression can generate negative reaction.

Facebook has two separate value propositions aimed at two different markets with entirely different goals.

Originally, Facebook’s main market was its end users—people looking to connect with family and friends. At first, it was aimed only at college students at a handful of elite schools. The site is now open to anyone with an Internet connection. Users can share status updates and photographs with friends and family. And all of this comes at no cost to the users.

Facebook’s other major market is advertisers, who buy information about Facebook’s users. The company regularly gathers data about page views and browsing behavior of users in order to display targeted advertisements to users for the benefit of its advertising partners.

The value proposition of the Facebook News Feed experiment was to determine whether emotional manipulation would be possible through the use of social networks. This clearly could be of great value to one of Facebook’s target audiences—its advertisers.

The results suggest that the emotions of friends on social networks influence our own emotions, thereby demonstrating emotional contagion via social networks. Emotional contagion is the tendency to feel and express emotions similar to and influenced by those of others. Originally, it was studied by psychologists as the transference of emotions between two people.

According to Sandra Collins, a social psychologist and University of Notre Dame professor of management, it is clearly unethical to conduct psychological experiments without the informed consent of the test subjects. While tests do not always measure what the people conducting the tests claim, the subjects need to at least know that they are, indeed, part of a test. The subjects of this test on Facebook were not explicitly informed that they were participating in an emotional contagion experiment. Facebook did not obtain informed consent as it is generally defined by researchers, nor did it allow participants to opt out.

When information about the experiment was released, the media response was overwhelmingly critical. Tech blogs, newspapers, and media reports reacted quickly.

Josh Constine of TechCrunch wrote:

“ . . . there is some material danger to experiments that depress people. Some people who are at risk of depression were almost surely part of Facebook’s study group that were shown a more depressing feed, which could be considered dangerous. Facebook will endure a whole new level of backlash if any of those participants were found to have committed suicide or had other depression-related outcomes after the study.”

The New York Times quoted Brian Blau, a technology analyst with the research firm Gartner, “Facebook didn’t do anything illegal, but they didn’t do right by their customers. Doing psychological testing on people crosses the line.” Facebook should have informed its users, he said. “They keep on pushing the boundaries, and this is one of the reasons people are upset.”

While some of the researchers have since expressed some regret about the experiment, Facebook as a company was unapologetic about the experiment. The company maintained that it received consent from its users through its terms of service. A Facebook spokesperson defended the research, saying, “We do research to improve our services and make the content people see on Facebook as relevant and engaging as possible. . . . We carefully consider what research we do and have a strong internal review process.”

With the more recent events, Facebook is changing the privacy settings but still collects an enormous amount of information about its users and can use that information to manipulate what users see. Additionally, these items are not listed on Facebook’s main terms of service page. Users must click on a link inside a different set of terms to arrive at the data policy page, making these terms onerous to find. This positioning raises questions about how Facebook will employ its users’ behaviors in the future.

Critical Thinking Questions
  1. How should Facebook respond to the 2014 research situation? How could an earlier response have helped the company avoid the 2018 controversies and keep the trust of its users?
  2. Should the company promise to never again conduct a survey of this sort? Should it go even further and explicitly ban research intended to manipulate the responses of its users?
  3. How can Facebook balance the concerns of its users with the necessity of generating revenue through advertising?
  4. What processes or structures should Facebook establish to make sure it does not encounter these issues again?
  5. Respond in writing to the issues presented in this case by preparing two documents: a communication strategy memo and a professional business letter to advertisers.

Sources: Kramer, Adam; Guillory, Jamie; and Hancock, Jeffrey, “Experimental evidence of massive scale emotional contagion through social networks,” PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America). March 25, 2014 http://www.pnas.org/content/111/24/8788.full; Laja, Peep. “Useful Value Proposition Examples (and How to Create a Good One), ConversionXL, 2015 http://conversionxl.com/value-proposition-examples-how-to-create/; Yadav, Sid. “Facebook - The Complete Biography,” Mashable, Aug. 25, 2006. http://mashable.com/2006/08/25/facebook-profile/#orb9TmeYHiqK; Felix, Samantha, “This Is How Facebook Is Tracking Your Internet Activity,” Business Insider, Sept. 9, 2012 http://www.businessinsider.com/this-is-how-facebook-is-tracking-your-internet-activity-2012-9;

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