NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College


Spring 2011

Instructor Details

Kilduff, Gavin


By appointment

KMC 7-63


Course Meetings

TR, 2:00pm to 3:15pm

Tisch T-UC21

Final Exam:

Schedule exceptions
    Class will not meet on:
    Class will meet on:


Course Description and Learning Goals

This course highlights the critical components involved in analyzing the strategy, structure, and culture of an organization, as well as issues related to leading, motivating, and influencing people. The goal of the course is to provide the tools to analyze, diagnose, and respond to both fundamental and complex organizational situations. The course also provides opportunities for students to enhance their communication and interpersonal skills, both of which are essential to effective management and to success in the workplace. A variety of methods are used to encourage learning, including readings, videos, lectures, exercises, discussions, and individual and small team projects.


Course Outline


Session      Day           Date    Topic

1                      T          1/25     Course overview and discussion: “What makes for a successful organization?”

2                      R         1/27     Frameworks for understanding organizations

3                      T          2/1       Motivation, goals, & incentives I

4                      R         2/3       Motivation, goals, & incentives II

5                      T          2/8       Cognition and decision-making I

6                      R         2/10     Cognition and decision-making II

7                      T          2/15     Persuasion, power, and politics I

8                      R         2/17     Persuasion, power, and politics II

9                      T          2/22     Team formation & final project kick-off

10                    R         2/24     Dynamics of work groups and teams I

11                    T          3/1       Dynamics of work groups and teams II

·         DUE: Essay on Judgment Biases or Influence Processes

12                    R         3/3       Leadership

13                    T          3/8       Exam #1

14                    R         3/10     In-class team facilitation day

                                    3/15     No class (spring break)

                                    3/17     No class (spring break)

15                    T          3/22     Organizational Structure

16                    R         3/24     Organizational Structure II

17                    T          3/29     Social Networks I

18                    R         3/31     Social Networks II

19                    T          4/5       Organizational Culture I

·         DUE: Executive summary for group project

20                    R         4/7       Organizational Culture II

21                    T          4/12     Organizational Strategy I

22                    R         4/14     Organizational Strategy II

23                    T          4/19     Organizational Strategy III

24                    R         4/21     Organizational Strategy IV

25                    T          4/26     Organizational Strategy V

26                    R         4/28     Exam #2

27                    T          5/3       Team project presentations (all students required to attend)

28                    R         5/5       Team project presentations (all students required to attend)   

M         5/9       Final project report due


Summary of Key Deadlines:

January 27:                              Student Info Sheet due (with photocopy of ID or another picture)

February 8:                              Complete online survey by 10:00 p.m. (link TBA on BB site)

March1:                                   Individual Essay due

March 8:                                  Exam 1 (in class)

April 5:                                    Executive Summary (1-page) of Team Final Project due

April 28:                                  Exam 2 (in class)

May 3-5:                                  In-class presentations (ALL students must attend on all three days)

May 9:                                                 Team Final Project report due by 5:00 p.m.

May 12:                                   Team member evaluation online (link TBA via email) due by 5:00 p.m.


Required Course Materials

Required readings can be found in 1) the course reading packet (“CP”) available at the NYU Bookstore and 2) on the course Blackboard site (“BB”). The course schedule (starting on p. 3 of this syllabus) indicates where each reading is located and when it should be read.


Assessment Components

Individual Work(75%)                                            Team Work (25%)

Individual Essay 20 %                                                            Presentation of Project 5 %

Exam 1 20 %                                                                           Final Project 20 %

Exam 2 20 %                                                              

Class Preparation & Participation 15 %

                        Discussion, exercises, memos (13%)

                        Organizational research assignment (2%)



Essay on Judgment Biases or Influence Processes

Each student will write a report, based on their personal experience or direct observation, illustrating either:

-          Two psychological tendencies influencing people’s judgment or choices (based on class material on decision-making).

-          Two influence tactics (based on class material on persuasion and influence).

The essay is due in class on March 1 and should not exceed 3 pages double-spaced (1-inch margins and 12-point font). The assignment will be explained in greater detail with a class handout on February 17.  



Two non-cumulative exams will be held in class on March 8 and April 28.  The exams will consist of short-answer and multiple choice questions. Make-ups for the exams will not be arranged unless you have a doctor’s note. Students whose class performance may be affected by a disability should notify me early in the term and make arrangements with the Moses Center (http://www.nyu.edu/csd) to accommodate their needs.


Class Preparation and Participation 

Class preparation and participation is evaluated based on attendance, involvement in class discussion, completion of memos and class exercises, and fulfillment of the Organizational Research Assignment. Though attendance is a necessary condition for participation, attendance alone is not sufficient to do well on the class participation portion of the grade. 

You are expected to attend each class on-time and be prepared to participate in discussion. As part of your class preparation, in some classes you will be asked to fill out a 3-5 minute “memo” with a few short thought questions related to the topic or readings day. Importantly, note that your answers on these memos will be read and evaluated, but not graded. The memos are meant to allow you to reflect on content and spur thoughtful discussion in class, as well as to establish a direct line of communication between us so that I can identify topics that need further clarification or coverage in class.

Absences, chronic lateness, and nonparticipation in class discussion will be reflected in the participation grade. Participation quality (thoughtfulness of comments or questions) is valued more than participation quantity (frequency of comments/questions). Excellent in-class comments go beyond the facts of a particular reading or case into why and how it matters, as well as provide links between the topic under discussion with other cases, lectures, or outside situations.

You can obtain credit for the Organizational Research Assignment (2%) by choosing one of two options designed to enrich your understanding of the value of research to the formulation of sound management practice (as well as to the reputation of NYU Stern). Detailed information on the assignment is provided on p. 6.


Working in small teams is an important part of this course. Although some class time may be devoted to working on team assignments, much teamwork will be completed outside of class. Students with serious time constraints are advised to register for this course in a semester when their schedule is more conducive to team meetings. Student teams are required to complete a final team research project, in which they analyze various aspects of an organization of their choice. The goal is apply course concepts, frameworks, and models to understand the organization in depth. The deliverables include: a 1-page draft executive summary of your report describing the organization your team has selected and the main course concepts you will be analyzing (due April 5); a 12-minute presentation (scheduled on one of the last two days of class); and a final report (due May 9). Attendance is mandatory for all students during all group presentations (attending on those days is factored into your participation grade).

Students will self-select into four or five person teams in class on February 22 based on their interest in studying similar organizations and scheduling constraints. Students may change teams up until March 9, but changing teams requires written permission of each member of the new team they are entering. The project will be explained in greater detail with a handout on 2/22.


Details on the Organizational Research Assignment 

The Organizational Research Requirement is worth 2% of your grade (see Class Participation section on p. 2). Sound management practice is informed by academic research, where studies are conducted to examine basic psychological processes that play out in the workplace. In class we will discuss the research process in management and organizational science. You can obtain credit for the Organizational Research Assignment through either of following two options (you choose Option 1 or Option 2 – you will not get credit for doing both), and it is designed to enrich your understanding of the value of research to the formulation of sound management practice.

Option 1: Subject Pool Lab Participation. The first option is participation in the Management Department Subject Pool. This gives you an opportunity to be part of management research in action and later evaluate it with the advantage of firsthand experience. With this option, you will be a participant in a 1-hour session of research experiment(s) currently being conducted by Management Department faculty. (Note that while the people running the studies are usually Ph.D. students or other research assistants, they are conducting the research for or with members of the Management Department faculty, who supervise them closely.) When you show up for a study, someone at the lab will seat you and record your attendance in the sign-up system so that you receive credit for this assignment, but note that your responses in the experiment cannot be connected to your identity in any way. Once these studies are finished, you will receive written debriefings. 

Participation in the Subject Pool is easy and should be enjoyable for most students. It only requires signing up for a session, showing up at the Stern Behavioral Lab (Tisch LC-26), and following instructions. However, while the experiments are usually fun, you should take them seriously and provide honest and careful responses to all questions you are comfortable answering. Sign-ups will occur on-line once during the term – at a time TBD. Please note that the web-based sign up sheets do not reveal the identity of yourself or anyone else who will be participating in the experiment. I will announce when sign-ups become available for the experiment. 

At the beginning the experimental session, you will be informed of what the study is about, what your rights are as a participant in the study, and any risks or benefits of participation in the experiment. You will be asked to read and sign a consent form, stating that you agree to participate in the experiment. You will be given one copy of the consent form to keep. If you prefer not to participate in the experiment or it you withdraw from the study once you begin, you may complete the research proposal assignment described below (“Option 2”) and will receive the same credit as if you had completed the experiment. 

Please see me if you are under 18 and would like to participate in the lab research (“Option 1”) for your class requirement. It is a Federal law and University requirement that you provide a signed consent form from your parent or legal guardian before you can be a research participant. I will provide you with a copy of the parental consent form for each experiment, which must be read and signed by your parent or legal guardian. The form must then be returned to me prior to your participating in the experiment. (Note that you do not need parental consent if you this Research Proposal “Option 2” assignment described below.)

Option 2: Research Proposal Report. The other option is to write a research proposal. The assignment involves writing a report on a research proposal and will give you additional experience with organizational research and its application to management practice. The assignment will be posted on the course BB site and is due the last day of the semester (Monday, May 4). No exceptions will be made, so please plan ahead.


Group Projects

Guidelines for Group Projects

Business activities involve group effort. Consequently, learning how to work effectively in a group is a critical part of your business education.

Every member is expected to carry an equal share of the group’s workload. As such, it is in your interest to be involved in all aspects of the project. Even if you divide the work rather than work on each piece together, you are still responsible for each part. The group project will be graded as a whole:   its different components will not be graded separately. Your exams may contain questions that are based on aspects of your group projects.

It is recommended that each group establish ground rules early in the process to facilitate your joint work including a problem-solving process for handling conflicts. In the infrequent case where you believe that a group member is not carrying out his or her fair share of work, you are urged not to permit problems to develop to a point where they become serious. If you cannot resolve conflicts internally after your best efforts, they should be brought to my attention and I will work with you to find a resolution.

You will be asked to complete a peer evaluation form to evaluate the contribution of each of your group members (including your own contribution) at the conclusion of each project. If there is consensus that a group member did not contribute a fair share of work to the project, I will consider this feedback during grading.



At NYU Stern we seek to teach challenging courses that allow students to demonstrate their mastery of the subject matter.  In general, students in undergraduate core courses can expect a grading distribution where: 

Note that while the School uses these ranges as a guide, the actual distribution for this course and your own grade will depend upon how well you actually perform in this course.



The process of assigning grades is intended to be one of unbiased evaluation. Students are encouraged to respect the integrity and authority of the professor’s grading system and are discouraged from pursuing arbitrary challenges to it.

If you believe an inadvertent error has been made in the grading of an individual assignment or in assessing an overall course grade, a request to have the grade re-evaluated may be submitted. You must submit such requests in writing to me within 7 days of receiving the grade, including a brief written statement of why you believe that an error in grading has been made.


Professional Responsibilities For This Course




In-class contribution is a significant part of your grade and an important part of our shared learning experience. Your active participation helps me to evaluate your overall performance.
You can excel in this area if you come to class on time and contribute to the course by:




Classroom Norms


Stern Policies

General Behavior
The School expects that students will conduct themselves with respect and professionalism toward faculty, students, and others present in class and will follow the rules laid down by the instructor for classroom behavior.  Students who fail to do so may be asked to leave the classroom. 


Collaboration on Graded Assignments
Students may not work together on graded assignment unless the instructor gives express permission. 


Course Evaluations
Course evaluations are important to us and to students who come after you.  Please complete them thoughtfully.


Academic Integrity

Integrity is critical to the learning process and to all that we do here at NYU Stern. As members of our community, all students agree to abide by the NYU Stern Student Code of Conduct, which includes a commitment to:

The entire Stern Student Code of Conduct applies to all students enrolled in Stern courses and can be found here:

Undergraduate College: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/uc/codeofconduct
Graduate Programs: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/studentactivities/involved.cfm?doc_id=102505

To help ensure the integrity of our learning community, prose assignments you submit to Blackboard will be submitted to Turnitin.  Turnitin will compare your submission to a database of prior submissions to Turnitin, current and archived Web pages, periodicals, journals, and publications.  Additionally, your document will become part of the Turnitin database.


Recording of Classes

Your class may be recorded for educational purposes


Students with Disabilities

If you have a qualified disability and will require academic accommodation of any kind during this course, you must notify me at the beginning of the course and provide a letter from the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD, 998-4980, www.nyu.edu/csd) verifying your registration and outlining the accommodations they recommend.  If you will need to take an exam at the CSD, you must submit a completed Exam Accommodations Form to them at least one week prior to the scheduled exam time to be guaranteed accommodation.


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