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People and organisations

The Graduate School of Business & Law
Masters of Human Resource Management
BUSM 3249 & 4347 People and Organisations
OPEN BOOK Exam Semester 2 2016
This Exam accounts for 50% of the final grade for this course
Students have a period of one week turnaround commencing 17 October 2016 to complete this Exam and then upload the completed Exam to turnitin by 11.59 pm 24 October 2016.
Although there is no specified time limit to this Exam, students are advised that if closed book it could be completed in two hours. That stated a period of time for reading, planning and typing
responses of between four to six hours would represent a solid effort in applying theory and practice. It is not expected that students spend inordinate time beyond this on the Exam
Six questions are provided. You are to select and answer THREE (3) questions ONLY.
Each question is equally so that three question responses add to a total of 50% the total for this assessment task.
This examination paper represents 50% of the marks for People and Organisations, Semester 2, 2016.
Students are to select three (3) questions and provide an answer to all parts. Word limit: 750 – 1000 words each question, roughly 2 ½ to 3 double space pages at 12 font.
NOTE: Each question is equally weighted to add to a total for this Exam to 50% of the marks for the course BUSM3249 People and Organisations.
1. Briefly outline the key assumptions of two of the four frames as described by Bolman and Deal. Using specific examples from the machine and professional organisations explain the
relationship between the type of structure and the culture (Symbolic Frame) that emerges in these organisations. From your studies in People and Organisations how do concepts like Bolman and Deal
Orhanisational Frames aid us to interpret and decide and act on thoughts feelings and actions inside organisations and how organisations as people react to internal and external events?
2. Individual performance is dependent on many variables and motivation is a key variable in work performance. Using the expectancy model of motivation explain how financial incentives may not
lead to increased productivity. Further to your answer, how might managers be the cause of a decline in individual performance through their verbal and non-verbal communication and conflict
handling approaches in performance feedback when trying to motivate an employee? As a reflection on your learning from Motivatuon in the People and Organisations course, what are the key knowledge
skills and attitudes you consider vital to the practice of applying motivation if you were in a line managerial role or alternatively in a specific HR managerial role?
3. It is claimed that groups can be more effective than individuals in terms of problem solving and decision making. Outline the characteristics of an effective or superior performing team and
why these are important to performance, explain? Further to your answer, three group problems that can lead to dysfunction in group decision making include: Group Think, Risky Shift Phenomenon, and
Abilene Paradox. Discuss the nature of one of these dysfunctions and how it affects decision making and group dynamics. As a manager how would you ensure that this dysfunction was avoided in your
work team’s decision making?
4. From your studies, identify and explain the different styles of handling of conflict. Using well defined examples, explain the rationale that managers need to be able to apply differing
styles to be effective in differing organizational contexts. Thomas and Kilman identify that managers tend to have a most preferred conflict handling style and a least preferred conflict style.
What can be the benefit to a manager of knowing both their preferred and least preferred conflict handling style? Reflect upon your management practice at present, in what types of situations do
you believe your knowledge of conflict management and conflict style would be useful in the HR management role in dealing with staff conflict issues.
5. Discuss the concepts of integrative and distributive negotiation. In what ways do they differ? Use examples to illustrate in what type of situation and how you would apply distributive
bargaining and when you would apply integrative bargaining approaches. Reflecting on the Negotiation materials of the People and Organisations course, what are the key learnings you are taking
from this material to apply into your practice as a manager? Why do you regard this as important to your role as a manager or a future HR manager?
6. In relation to influencing stakeholders (Block, 1991) how would an astute manager apply communication approaches and political skills to deal with Block’s five stakeholder types in securing
support for a decision in the workplace? Consider also what practices of influencing (Cialdini and Martin, 2012) might also be useful to apply to some stakeholders. Identify a common HR issue of
concern to line managers, select two stakeholder types of your choosing. determine your approach to effectively dealing with their position so that it is more inclined towards your preferred
decision outcome.

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