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Organizational Behavior

Critical Thinking Case

Organizational BehaviorCritical Thinking Case
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  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

The Leadership Challenge at United

Anyone who has traveled even a little has at least one airline horror story: being stranded at an airport, obnoxious passengers, missed connections, flight delays, or just bad in-flight food. Even the most seasoned travelers would be hard-pressed to match Dr. David Dao’s experience of being forcibly removed, kicking and screaming, from a United Airlines flight. Most airline horror stories don’t end in a concussion, missing teeth, and a broken nose.

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz’s strangely detached response only made things worse. The incident was caught on video, and that video went viral almost immediately. Munoz issued a response that mischaracterized what plainly happened in the video and termed the violent assault as a passenger "re-accommodation" (Taylor 2017). Social media erupted with condemnation, which was echoed by late-night monologues. United was left with a damaged reputation, and its management was left wondering why their processes failed, what to do to mitigate the damage, and how to both restore their reputation and ensure that company values are followed in the future.

William Taylor (2017), in a commentary in Fortune, attributes United’s “re-accommodation” disaster as the product of company policy, airport security procedures, pilot protocols, and the “wisdom of crowds.” At each step, the gate agent, pilot, airport security, and the passengers themselves could have intervened but didn’t.

Brian Fielkow, business leader, author, and keynote speaker, writing at Entrepreneur.com, outlined some points that apply to Munoz’s response and the first reactions by United. Citing United’s core values, Fielkow points to Munoz’s failure to address the incident in light of the company’s values, take the blame, or even accurately describe what happened on the plane. Any one of these lapses in leadership would have caused confusion or stymied the recovery process. As a leader, Munoz was setting the tone for thousands of people. Seemingly abandoning United’s core values likely caused a rift in trust or just simple confusion company-wide. Miscasting the situation in a world of smartphones and social media reach only multiplied the effect. As a leader, Munoz was duty-bound to take responsibility for what literally the entire world saw—a breach of social ethics, let alone United’s core values. Failing to do this immediately created a problem larger than poorly planned company policy or just a perfect storm of contributing outside factors. Fielkow is keen to point out another crucial part of a company response— “You can’t walk it back” (2017 n.p.). Before responding, leadership should take time to gather the facts and thoroughly consider the possibilities of how the message will be received. Again, Munoz’s response failed at several key points, leading to the perception that Munoz’s second statement was “an attempt at damage control” (Fielkow 2017 n.p.).

Al Bolea, a leadership trainer, also attributes the incident to leadership failure. In a piece written for Applied Leadership, Bolea writes, “It’s about front line employees getting the wrong messages from the most senior levels of the company.” He contends that the mindset within United put procedures above context in the minds of the employees. What the gate agents should have considered was the company’s reputation, which should have prevented them from doing something most airline customers see as “profoundly immoral” (Bolea 2017 n.p.)

William C. Taylor, cofounder of Fast Company, also criticized the lack of leadership across United. As the presumptive leader of the flight, shouldn’t the pilot have done something? Why didn’t the gate agent think outside the box to solve the problem of getting the crew members from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky? Why didn’t—or couldn’t—the gate agent use what Taylor refers to as a “common sense and a little bit of creativity” and prevent a highly embarrassing (and ultimately expensive) fiasco? Taylor muses that he would like to think he would have done more than shoot video, but the passengers on the flight remained quiet and submissive, expressing no group outrage. Finally, Taylor questions the weak initial response from United’s CEO, Oscar Munoz, writing, “If CEO Oscar Munoz’s goal was to make a disastrous situation even worse, well, he gets credit as a leader for succeeding at that” (2017 n.p.). And of the board, he questions their response, and says that response will be a “make or break test” of the company’s character (Taylor 2017).

So what will it take to lead United out of such a public mistake?

According to Brian Fielkow, the incident flew in the face of United’s core values, values which should never be sacrificed. United should have acknowledged this and addressed that failure. United should have held itself accountable for the incident rather than try to deflect blame. Fielkow contends that Munoz’s first response was to blame the passenger when Munoz should have accepted responsibility instead. Further, Fielkow writes that companies should anticipate what “can” go wrong, something the gate agents at United failed to do. Increasing passenger compensation to even three times the normal ticket price would have been cheaper than the PR nightmare (and stock price drop) that followed. After Munoz’s tepid response failed to quell general complaints about United’s handling of the passenger, he tried to issue a second “more appropriate” statement, but by then the damage had been done. Fielkow recommends waiting before issuing a response if need be. It’s better to prepared and issue a suitable response than to try to walk back a bad response. Above all, Fielkow recommends leaders “be human.” The first response Munoz gave had little empathy and made him, and United, appear insensitive and callous. A company’s first response should be to empathize with the customer, even if the customer is wrong. He writes, “When triaging a difficult problem, above all recognize the human factor” (Fielkow 2017 n.p.).

Writing in Forbes, Glenn Llopis emphasizes that how managers react to failure shapes their futures as leaders. Not only how leaders respond, but what is learned from a failure, will affect how future decisions are approached. Remember, you have to be doing something to fail, and if you never fail, then you aren’t stretching yourself. Venturing into the unknown and unfamiliar always risks failure (Llopis 2012).

Sources:

Fielkow, Brian. 2017. “5 Leadership Failures that Contributed to the United Fiasco.” Entrepreneur. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/292820

Bolea, Al. 2017. “United Airlines: A System Failure?” Applied Leadership. http://appliedleadership.co/leadership/united-airlines-system-failure/

Taylor, William C. 2017. “Where was the Pilot on That United Airlines Flight?” Fortune. http://fortune.com/2017/04/11/united-airlines-video/

Llopis, Glenn. 2012. “5 Things Failure Teaches You About Leadership.” Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2012/08/20/5-things-failure-teaches-you-about-leadership/2/#2f44c3873e70

Critical Thinking Questions:
  1. How have other airlines handled similar situations?
  2. How much was in United Airlines’s control, and how much was actually outside their control? What social or company factors caused a seemingly common practice to escalate to this level?
  3. How did the other airlines or the industry respond to the United Airlines incident?
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