NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College


Fall 2011

Instructor Details

Howard, Elizabeth


By appointment

KMC 7-154


Course Meetings

MW, 9:30am to 10:45am

KMC 5-80

Final Exam:

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


Course Description and Learning Goals



Description & Objectives
This course builds upon the Management and Organizational Analysis course by providing a more in-depth look at people within organizations. We will study how employees impact the effectiveness of their organization and how organizations and their managers impact the attitudes, behaviors, and effectiveness of employees. We will also explore the interpersonal dynamics that permeate organizational life. Understanding these various processes is a critical component of any business education for at least two reasons. First, the effectiveness of any organization depends on how well the individuals and groups comprising the organization are managed. Second, individual happiness and success at work is contingent on knowing how to interact and deal with others.

Therefore, through this course, you will learn (a) how organizations can improve their performance through better management of people and teams, (b) how individual managers can be more effective and successful in their careers, and (c) how individuals can be more effective in organizational settings.

This leads to the two basic objectives that define this course. The first is to provide you with concepts and frameworks for understanding critical issues related to behavior in organizations. Examples of these issues include how to motivate and reward employees, facilitate teamwork, and resolve conflict. The second objective of the course is to help you identify how you yourself can be more effective in organizational settings. For example, we will discuss topics such as perception, happiness, and organizational politics from the perspective of you as an employee or manager.

We will pursue these objectives through a variety of activities, with an emphasis on experiential exercises. Learning will be interactive, and each class session will require your participation. All students are expected to be active participants in the course.


Course Outline


NOTE: This course schedule is subject to change.



Part 1: Introduction

M    January 24                  What is Organizational Behavior?  Course Overview

                   Read:                   Bobcat: Christensen & Raynor, (2003)

                                               Course syllabus

            G/J: Chapter 1

Part 2: Individuals

W    January 26                  Individual Differences in the Workplace

            Read:                           G/J: Chapter 2                                                

            Prepare:                      BB: Student information sheet with photo

            Complete:                    Big Five Personality Assessment online               http://test.personality-project.org/


M    January 31                  Perception

            Read:                           G/J: Chapter 4


W    February 2                 Perception & Attribution

            Read:                        Bobcat: Rosenzweig, P. M. (2007)


M    February 7                  Diversity & Gender

Read:                       Bobcat: Eagly, A.H., & Linda, L.C. (2007).

Online:                    Implicit Attitudes Test: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo


W    February 9                  Values, Attitudes & Emotions                        

            Read:                           G/J: Chapter 3                                                

Homework #1:                       RP: Advanced Micro Parts Corporation


M   February 14                    Motivation: General Theories

            Read:                           G/J: Chapter 6

                                                G/J: Chapter 7

 Case #1                                  RP: Hausser Food Products

                                                RP: Outliers


W    February 16                Motivation: Theoretical Controversies

            Read:                           Bobcat: Why Incentive Plans Cannot Work


W    February 23                Motivation: Application

            Read:                           G/J: Chapter 8

            Homework #2:                        BB: GME consulting, Please email your recommendations for GME case by 7pm Sunday


M    February 28                   Motivation Wrap-up

            Read:                          RP: Performance Pay at Safelite Auto Glass


W    March 2                          Cross-cultural issues, Part 1

Read:                           The Mexico Venture (I will distribute)


M    March 7                         Cross-Cultural issues, Part 2

Read:                           RP: How Do Cultural Differences Affect Organizations?


W        March 9                MIDTERM EXAM... then Spring Break!

Part 3: Groups

M     March 21                       Groups & Group Decision-Making, Part 1

Read:                           Carter Racing (I will distribute)


W    March 23                     Groups & Group Decision Making, Part 2

            Read                         G/J: Chapter 10            

In-Class:                      We’ll start ‘Twelve Angry Men’... will run a few minutes late


M     March 28                    Groups & Group Decision-Making, Part 3

            In-Class:                   Finish movie, wrap-up

Homework #3:            Answer questions regarding the movie listed in the Case & Homework Preparation Guide


W     March 30                     Information Sharing 

            Read:                           G/J: Chapter 5 (pg. 163-170, 5th edition)

            In-class:                       Threat Target


M    April 4                          Creativity in Groups

          Read:                          online: http://www.newsweek.com/2010/07/10/the-creativity-crisis.html

         Homework #4:             Caption Contest


W    April 6                             Power & influence, part 1

            Read:                           G/J: Chapter 13 (pg. 427-441, 5th edition)

            Case #2:                      RP: Monica Ashley


M    April 11                        Power & influence, part 2

            Read:                           Bobcat: Gruenfeld, D., Keltner, D. & Andersen, C. (2005).

            Due:                            One paragraph summary of presentation topic idea


W    April 13                        Intergroup Relations & Conflict, Part 1

Case #3:                      RP: The Washington Post


M    April 18                        Intergroup Relations & Conflict, Part 2

            Read:                           RP: Intergroup Relations;  RP: Managing Conflict Among Groups                             

Part 4: Pathways to individual success

W   April 20                        Leadership

            In-Class:                      Tanagram

            Read:                           G/J: Chapter 12

                                                Bobcat: What Leaders Really Do

                                                3 Hour Tour

M    April 25                           Leadership, Part 2 (if there is time, we’ll coverTrust)

       Read:                                Bobcat: Kotter (1990)

        Read:                            * If there is time... RP: The Importance of Trust in Relationships


W    April 27                        Introduction to Negotiation

            Read:                           Coffee Contract (I will distribute).

            Due:                            Negotiation outcomes due via email, Tuesday, 7pm

Read:                           RP: Negotiation


M    May 2                           Satisfaction & Happiness in Work & Life

            Read:                           Bobcat: How resilience works

                                                Bobcat: Would you be happier if you were richer?

                                                Bobcat: Lottery winners and accident victims: Is happiness relative?


Homework #5                      See Homework Prep Guide for Questions


W    May 4                           Final Presentations


M    May 9                           Final Presentations, Final Papers Due


FINAL EXAM – Wednesday 5/11 from 8AM-9:50AM


Required Course Materials

Course Blackboard site:http://sternclasses.nyu.edu

Note:We will make extensive use of the course blackboard site. Make sure you check the site regularly and check that your email address is correct.


Readings that can be accessed via Bobcat electronic access:

  1. Christensen,C. & Raynor, M. E. (2003). Why hard-nosed executives should care about management theory. Harvard Business Review, September, pp. 7-14
  2. Rosenzweig, P. M. (2007). Misunderstanding the Nature of Company Performance: The Halo Effect and Other Business Delusion. Harvard Business Review, August
  3. Eagly, A.H., & Linda, L.C. (2007). Women and the Labyrinth of Leadership. Harvard Business Review, September, 63-71.
  4. “Why Incentive Plans Cannot Work”, by Alfie Kohn. September – October, 1993.  Harvard Business Review, pp. 54-63.
  5. Gruenfeld, D., Keltner, D. & Andersen, C. (2005). Power, Approach, and Inhibition. Harvard Business Review, May.
  6. “What Leaders Really Do”, by John Kotter.  May - June, 1990. Harvard Business Review, 103 - 111.
  7. Kahneman, D., et al. “Would You be Happier if You Were Richer?”, by June 2006.  Science, pp. 1908 - 1910.
  8. Brickman, P., Coates, D. & Janoff-Bulman., R. (1978). “Lottery Winners and Accident Victims: Is Happiness Relative?”(1978) , Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, pp 917-927.
  9. Coutu, D. L. (2002). “How Resilience Works”, Harvard Business Review, 46-55.


Assessment Components


Ø  Homeworks                                       12.5%

Ø  Midterm                                     20%

Ø  Class Participation                             15%

Ø  Final                                           25%

Ø  Case Analyses                                   12.5%

Ø  Final Paper & Presentation        15%


You are expected to regularly attend and actively participate in class, since this course uses various learning methods that require your physical presence and your active involvement (e.g., discussions, exercises, simulations, etc.). This means that you should be ready to discuss the readings and to be an active participant in any in-class exercise. By doing so, you ensure that you will maximize what you get out of the course. Your attendance also ensures exposure to the substantial amount of course material that is covered in class but is not in the readings. 

Of course, things happen and people are sometimes forced to miss class.  If something serious arises (e.g., sickness, family problems, etc.), please let me know as soon as possible. If you must miss class, please get the class notes from a fellow student as soon as possible and please contact me with any questions you have about the material you missed. 

Your learning in this course will depend on your attendance, active participation in class discussions, and your reading and studying outside of class. Ultimately, it is your choice whether or not to attend class. Although attendance is not mandatory, it will be difficult to be an active participant in class exercises and discussions if you are not in class.

Many days we will be doing exercises for which it is critical that everyone be present at the start of class. So, please arrive on time.

Participation (15%)

This course is based on a model of active learning, with class discussions and exercises playing a central role. Students are expected to read the assigned material, and to carefully prepare for all cases and exercises before coming to class.

In evaluating your class preparation, I will consider (a) whether you regularly contribute to class discussions and demonstrate that you are prepared for those discussions, and (b) the extent to which your in-class comments demonstrate relevance and insight, help to move the discussion forward, and build upon the comments of others. Active, high quality participants will receive the full 5 points toward their final grade. Those who participate less will receive fewer percentage points. The FULL RANGE of the grading scale will be used for these evaluations, i.e., it is quite possible to get a 1 or 2 for participation. Note: Expressing viewpoints in a group is difficult for some people, but it is a crucial skill for you to develop while at Stern.

Homework (12.5%)

The course outline lists 5 homework assignments over the course of the semester. You are required to hand in 4 of these at the start of class on the day for which they are due. Homework assignments should be 1– 1½  double-spaced pages (12 point font, 1” margin), and they should be typed. Late homework will not be accepted.  If you are absent from class, I need to receive your homework before the start of class if you are turning it in for evaluation.

Final Presentation and Paper (15%)

The final paper assignment will require you to apply concepts and theories from the course to a specialized topic of interest to you.  You will use primary sources (organizational behavior journal articles) and formulate hypotheses based on this research. Since one of the goals of the course is for you to be able to take the frameworks and theories we discuss to understand the people, groups, and organizations that compose your world, you will do a project in which you demonstrate your ability to do just that. 

You will present your analysis in two ways: 1) in a 5 minute (approx.) class presentation at the end of the semester, and 2) in a 5-page, double-spaced written report. In both, you should provide a sufficient outline of your topic such that others know what you are examining, but the emphasis should be on analysis. Your presentations should be interesting and creative; your written reports should be thorough and compelling. You will be evaluated on these criteria, as well as your ability to convey your ideas (i.e., your presentation and writing skills).

These projects can either be an individual effort or can be done in coordination with another student (with some adjustment to the scope of the project). For pragmatic reasons, we will need at least several pairs of students to work together (since we have limited time for the presentations).  We will revisit this issue later in the semester, but please be thinking about whether there is someone you would like to work with on the project. You must submit a one-paragraph summary of your project topic to me several weeks before you present your project.

Written reports are due on the last day of class.

Additional information on the term paper assignment will be posted on the course website in February.

Case Analyses (12.5%)

Over the course of the semester, we will be analyzing several cases. You are expected to carefully read and reflect on each case we cover in the course.

The Case and Homework Prep Guide lists 3 possible case analysis assignments.  You will submit a written analysis for 2 of these cases. Your case analyses must be no longer than 4 double-spaced pages, with one-inch margins and 12-pt font. These analyses will be collected at the beginning of class. Late case analyses will not be accepted under any circumstances, since we will be going over the answer in class.  If you are absent, I need to receive your case analysis before the start of the class during which we will be discussing the case.

Case analyses are evaluated according to two criteria: (a) how clearly and thoroughly have you answered the guide questions? and (b) how effectively have you utilized material from the course to support your analysis? Case analyses are not case summaries—you should analyze, not summarize. 

Midterm and Final Exam (45% total)

The midterm and final exams will be in-class exams containing a combination of multiple choice, true-false, and short answer/essay questions.  

You must take the exams on the scheduled dates; exceptions must be very well-justified, and re-scheduling must occur more than 1 week in advance. 


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


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.


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.


Course Pre-Requisites

C50.0001 - MOA


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