Term Paper
Final Analysis

Type: Individual
Length: 9-12 pages


DUE:  14 December, 2001 by midnight via email. 

For this individual assignment, you must analyze the organizational behavior you observed in the class this semester. You should concentrate on those events and processes that you found the most interesting and which were substantial enough to deserve analysis. In my opinion (you may disagree), the areas of most interest are:

You do not have to talk about all of these, nor give equal weight to each.

The objective is to look at the behavior of people and groups in this class from a number of different perspectives, including a) structural, b) personality, c) perception & attribution, d) networks, e) dependency, f) leadership, g) decision making, h) culture, i) team processes, j) diversity,  k) politics, l) power. You do not have to discuss each of these systematically.

One way to approach the assignment would be to take each chapter in the book and each handout on the web and think about what actual class behavior the concepts illuminate. Another approach would be the exact opposite: take behavior that you find interesting, and look through each chapter and handout to see what OB ideas might help to understand it.

For each behavior that you discuss, you might (it is up to you) think about three aspects: description, diagnosis, and prescription. Description refers to what you observe. For example, what the structure of your team was (division of labor, coordination mechanisms, etc.). Diagnosis refers to why you think things in the class and your team were the way they were. For example, if the team has broken into cliques, why did this happen, and why these particular cliques? Diagnosis also refers to why the team did not perform better (or worse) than it did. Too small? Bad (or good) leadership? Discuss all the factors. Prescription refers to what you think should have been done to improve performance.

Some things to think about with respect to your team or section:

Above all, the paper should be grounded by specific stories, observations, remembered conversations, events etc. Remember, you are insider -- you were there -- so take advantage of that to write an insider's account that is simultaneously informed by an understanding of organizational behavior. Don't be afraid to write from a personal point of view. 

Copyright 1996 Stephen P. Borgatti Revised: December 11, 2001 Go to Home page