UMass Isenberg SOM

SOM 680: Organization Behavior and Theory
Fall 2004

Professor Charles Manz
Office: SOM 307A
Phone: 545-5584
Dept. of Management
University of Massachusetts
Box 34940
Amherst, MA 01003-4940

Course Description:
This course provides a basic introduction to organizational behavior and theory. The focus will be on concepts and processes in the field of organizational behavior that prescribe various approaches for managers and organizations to effectively achieve their goals and objectives. The overall objective of the course is to increase the students understanding of and ability to apply contemporary organizational behavior knowledge in work situations.


  • Stephen P. Robbins, Essentials of Organizational Behavior, (8th Ed.) Prentice Hall, 2005
  • Charles C. Manz, and Henry P. Sims, Jr. The New Super Leadership: Leading Others to Lead Themselves, Berrett-Koehler, 2001.
Learning Methods:
This class will rely on a variety of learning methods and will especially emphasize a cooperative learning format. Student led discussions and presentations will be combined with instructor facilitated learning experiences and lecturettes. Some specific methods include:

  • Lecturettes

  • Reading assignments

  • Class discussion

  • Interactive exercises

  • Cases

  • Videos

  • "OB in Action"

  • Individual Self Improvement Project

  • Individual & Team Exams


Exam 1 (Individual & Team)


Exam 2 (Individual & Team)




Individual Project


The Exams will cover material from all learning methods (lectures, readings, discussions, exercises, cases, videos, etc.). They will be based on a "multiple method" format: combining objective, short answer, and essay questions.  The exam will be taken partly as an individual and in teams.

Class Participation:
Is strongly encouraged in this course and will account for 10% of the course grade. Participation includes "O.B. in Action" discussion leadership for a specific course topic, and general individual participation in all class activities and discussions.

Course Project:
Students will be asked to complete a project and write a short paper (maximum of 3 pages typed) summarizing their results. Additional supporting appendices can be attached to the back of the paper such as charts or graphs that display your project results. A one page summary appendix of your individual interview is usually helpful. Briefly, the project will involve application of a course concept or combination of concepts (e.g., self-leadership techniques, reinforcement theory principles) to change your own or to help someone else change their work or personal behavior in a desirable way.

More specifically, the project will involve selection by the student of a topic or concept in the course. The student will then read or study at least two outside references (books, articles, educational tapes, etc.) on this topic. In addition, an individual who the student believes is especially effective in this area or in some other way is expected to be a good learning source, will be identified. The student is asked to interview (talk with) this individual regarding their philosophy, style, strategies, etc. regarding this topic. Then the student is to apply the new insights and knowledge gained from these sources to develop and implement a plan to positively impact his/her own or someone else's (with the other's consent and involvement) behavior a desirable way.

The final summary paper should identify your project objective (e.g., what behavior(s)you attempted to change), the plan and method you used for attempting the change, and the results and your interpretation of your project (e.g., what did you learn?). Your outside learning references and interview data should be identified (e.g., in a bibliography) and used to help interpret your project and to write your paper. Your final project is due December 1st.  A project proposal of a maximum of one page typed summarizing your project objective and plan is due September 27th.  Projects will be graded primarily on a credit/no credit basis.  However, exceptional projects will be identified as well as projects that receive credit but are considered "below average".

Note:  Mastering Self Leadership 3nd(Prentice Hall, 2004) can be used as one of the outside references. Many students have found it to be a helpful source for a personal improvement project. See instructor for information on obtaining this book.

Week Date Topic Reading
1 September 8 (Wed) 1:30-4:30 Introduction
Management Style
Org. Behavior, 1
SuperLeadership Intro, 1, Bakke/AES Profile
2 September 13 (Mon) 1:30-4:30 Perception
Org. Behavior, 2 (pgs. 27-30, 33)
Org. Behavior, 9
3 September 20 (Mon) 1:30-3:20 Learning
Reinforcement Theory
Vicarious Learning/Modeling
Org. Behavior, 2 (pgs. 3-31, 33), 4 (55), 5, (64-68)
SuperLeadership (pgs. 41-43, 151-158)
  September 22 (Wed) 1:30-3:20 Vicarious Learning/Modeling SuperLeadership ( pgs. 148-151)
  September 24 (Fri) Project & Study Day (No regular class) Teams meet on their own to coordinate
4 September 27 (Mon) 1:30-3:20 Vicarious Learning Cont
SuperLeadership, (pgs.147-151)
Org. Behavior, 4, 5
  September 29 (Wed.) 1:30-3:20 Motivation (cont.) Org. Behavior, 4,5
5 October 4 (Mon) 1:30-3:20 Leadership SuperLeadership, 2, 3, Chainsaw AL&ABB
Org. Behavior 10,11
6 October 13 (Wed) 1:30-4:30 Self-Leadership
SuperLeadership 4,5,6 Fiorina & Info age Profiles (Optional: Mastering Self Leadership)
SuperLeadership 7,8 MacGregor & Kelleher Profiles
7 October 18 (Mon) 1:30-3:20 Study & Review (study teams meet to review and coordinate in class)
  October 20 (Wed) 1:30-4:30 Exam (Individual & Team)
8 October 27 (Wed) 1:30-4:00 Organizational Systems & Structure
Organizational Culture
Org. Behavior, 13
Org. Behavior, 14 & 2
SuperLeadership, 10, More Bakke/AES Profile
9 November 1 (Mon) 1:30-4:00 Decision Making, Personality
Organizational Change
& Development
Org. Behavior, 6
Org. Behavior, 3
Org. Behavior, 16
SuperLeadership 1
10 November 10 (Wed) 1:30-4:00 Work Design & Teams
Org. Behavior, 8 & 5 (70-79)
SuperLeadership, 9, Paterno & Jackson Profile
11 November 15 (Mon) 1:30-3:20 Within Groups (cont.) Org. Behavior, 7
  November 17 (Wed) 1:30-4:00 Within Groups
Between Groups
Org. Behavior, 7
12 November 22-24 Meet with study teams on your own/Thanksgiving holiday
13 November 29 (Mon) 1:30-4:30 Managing Conflict
Course Summary/ Conclusion
Org. Behavior, 12
SuperLeadership, 11
14 December 1 (Wed.) 1:30-3:20 Study & review (study teams meet to review and coordinate in class)
15 December 6 EXAM (Individual & Team)

Updated: 8/12/2004

Org. Behavior = Essentials of Organizational Behavior  (8th ed.)
SuperLeadership = The New SuperLeadership



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