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Organisations and Behaviour

Coursework Regulations

1 Submission of coursework must be undertaken according to the relevant procedure – whether online or paper-based. Lecturers will give information as to which procedure must be followed, and details of submission procedures and penalty fees can be obtained from Academic Administration or the general student handbook.
2 All coursework must be submitted on STPONLINE, in the allocated folder for your group.
3 Late coursework will be accepted by Academic Admin Office and marked according to the guidelines given in your Student Handbook for this year.
4 If you need an extension (even for one day) for a valid reason, you must request one. Collect a coursework extension request form from the Academic Admin Office. Then take the form to your lecturer, along with evidence to back up your request. The completed form must be accompanied by evidence such as a medical certificate in the event of you being sick. The completed form must then be returned to Academic Admin for processing. This is the only way to get an extension.
5 General guidelines for submission of coursework:
a) All work must be word-processed and must be of “good” standard.
b) Document margins shall not be more than 2.5cm or less than 1.5cm
c) Font size in the range of 11 to 14 points distributed to including headings and body text. Preferred typeface to be of a common standard such as Arial or Times New Roman for the main text.
d) Any computer files generated such as program code (software), graphic files that form part of the course work must be submitted either online with the documentation or on a CD for paper submissions.
e) All work completed, including any software constructed may not be used for any purpose other than the purpose of intended study without prior written permission from St Patrick’s International College.
Outcomes Assessment criteria for pass.
To achieve each outcome a learner must demonstrate the ability to:
LO1 Understand the relationship between organisational structure and culture 1.1 compare and contrast different organisational structures and culture
1.2 explain how the relationship between an organisation’s structure and culture can impact on the performance of the business
1.3 discuss the factors which influence individual behaviour at work
LO2 Understand different approaches to management and leadership 2.1 compare the effectiveness of different leadership styles in different organisations
2.2 explain how organisational theory underpins the practice of management
2.3 evaluate the different approaches to management used by different organisations
LO3 Understand ways of using motivational theories in organisations 3.1 discuss the impact that different leadership styles may have on motivation in organisations in periods of change
3.2 compare the application of different motivational theories within the workplace
3.3 evaluate the usefulness of a motivation theory for managers
LO4 Understand mechanisms for developing effective teamwork in organisations 4.1 explain the nature of groups and group behaviour within organisations
4.2 discuss factors that may promote or inhibit the development of effective teamwork in organisations
4.3 evaluate the impact of technology on team functioning within a given organisation.
*Please see the Assignment Evaluation Sheet for Merit and Distinction criteria
Summary of assessment Plan
The Learning Outcomes (LO) are covered in one assignment/coursework divided into four closely linked scenarios reflecting the relevant Assessment Criteria (A.C). See Evaluation Sheet below for LO and A.C
LO A. C Assessment
Methods Issue date Formative Due date
LO1 1.1,1.2 & 1.3 Individual report Teaching Week 1 Teaching week 4 (to be submitted on stponline LO1&2 folder that has your lecturer’s name on it).
LO2 2.1,2.2, & 2.3 Individual report Teaching Week 1 Teaching week 4 (to be submitted on stponline LO1&2 folder that has your lecturer’s name on it).
LO3 3.1,3.2, & 3.3 Individual report Teaching Week 1 Teaching week 9 (to be submitted on stponline LO 3&4 folder that has your lecturer’s name on it).
LO4 4.1,4.2 & 4.3 Individual report Teaching Week 1 Teaching week 9 (to be submitted on stponline LO 3&4 folder that has your lecturer’s name on it).
Final Submission

Final submission (including all parts of the assignment) must be submitted in the final submission week on STPONLINE in ONE FILE. Submissions links will be created with your group number on it and you must ensure to submit it in your relevant group submission link. Your assignment may not be marked if it is not submitted in a relevant link.

Final submission date:


Assignment Brief Questions
Instructions: Answer all the tasks of the each Learning Outcome

Assignment Tasks
Read the following cases carefully and answer each of the questions at the end of the cases.

There are four parts in the assignment task each covering the required learning outcomes in the module.
Case Study 1: Oticon

Oticon is a Danish company which is the world’s second largest producer of hearing aids with about 1200 staff in Denmark. (The parent company William Demant holdings has about 4400 employees worldwide). Oticon has its own basic research and production facilities and stresses the high engineering and design qualities of its products.

The company had a specific company car assigned to each management level but other material signs existed. Prestige was very apparent, in the length of the curtains, type of carpet, the size of people’s desks, and that was all people strove for. People were locked into specific roles and responsibilities and nobody took initiatives.

Competition intensified during the 1980s and the company began to lose market shares to longer rivals like Siemens. Lars Knud was appointed a chief executive in 1988. In 1990, he concluded that a new approach was needed to counter the threats from larger competitors who were becoming stronger. Oticon’s only hope for survival and prosperity was to be radical on all aspects of the business.

Knud intended the changes to turn Oticon from an industrial organisation producing hearing aids into a service organisation with a physical product. He organised product development work around projects. The project leader was appointed by the management team and recruited people to do the work.

Employees chose whether or not to join- and could only do so if their current project leader agreed. Previously most people had a single skill; they are now required to be active in three specialisms. One based on professional qualification and two others unrelated to the first.
A chip designer could develop skills in customer support and advertising, for example, and these arrangements allowed the company to respond quickly to unexpected events to use skills fully.

Previously, Oticon had a conventional hierarchical structure and horizontal structures of separate functional departments. The only remnant of the hierarchy is a 10 person management team, each member of which acts as an owner to many projects through which work is done. Knud refers to this as managed Chaos.

The company employs adults only (who can be expected to act reasonably) ‘an assumption that staff want to know what and why they are doing it, so that all information is available to everyone. While the company uses advanced information systems for many functions, it believes that dialogue is better than e-mail and has designed the building to encourage face-to-face dialogue between staff.

The ‘problem owner’ will usually use email or personal contact to bring two or three people together and have a stand-up meeting. Decisions are noted in the computer so they are accessible for everyone.

There are no titles-people do whatever they think is right at the time. Again the potential for chaos is averted by building underneath a flexible organisation a set of clearly defined business processes, setting out how they are to be carried out. The better your processes are defined the more flexible you can be. The absence of departments avoids people protecting local interests and makes it easier to cope with fluctuations in workload.

Oticon was one of the earliest companies to redesign the workplace to allow maximizing disturbance. It referred to this as the mobile office, in which each work station consisted of desk without drawers (nowhere to file a paper).

There were no installed telephones, though everyone had a mobile.
The work stations are equipped with powerful PCs through which all work was done (staff had a small personal trolley for personal belongings which they wheeled to wherever they were working that day).

Although common today, this arrangement was revolutionary at the time. The company’s performance improved considerably due to these changes increasing its profit by as much as 10% per annum.

1.1 Compare and contrast different organisational structures and cultures. (AC 1.1)
1.2. Explain how the relationship between Oticon’s structure and culture can impact on the performance of the business. (AC 1.2)
1.3. Discuss the factors which influence individual behaviour at work (Use case studies 1& 3 as examples). (AC 1.3)

Case Study 2: Nice Cars Ltd

In the early 1990’s the production floor of Nice Cars was not a pretty sight. Workers would storm off in a huff. Managers would fume. Voices would rise above the hum and bang of the line. Nice cars’ assembly line looked like a dark warehouse. On either side were shelves 2.5m high with huge parts of the bin filled with 28 days of inventory. To get a part, workers had to climb ladders, wasting enormous amount of time. Half-built engines sat on the side of the assembly line while workers left their work spaces to dig for parts, and others stood around waiting until they returned. The organisation had a lot of policies and procedures that everyone had to follow. Everyone had to specialise in a specific area, be at work at 7am in the company’s uniform and finish at 7 Pm.

The owners (German brothers) were not always around and therefore, subordinates had to book an appointment to talk to them all the time. The majority of the staff were men and only men occupied the top positions. Most of the men went straight to the pub after work and ensured their stomachs were full before they went home. The only period that the staff became happy was their Christmas party where management gave the best worker a gift. Junior managers never attended meetings and were not involved in decision making.

Nice Cars could afford this type of inefficiency in the early 1980s when the economic boom fuelled sales to more than 50000 vehicles per year. But then the recession of the early 1990s hit and Nice Car’s sales fell to 14000 units.

Nice Cars went to the brink of bankruptcy in 1992. Recession had crippled sales and costs were out of control. That was when the company’s family owner’s called in 43 years old Mr Christian Sideman to be Nice cars’ chief executive and solve its problem.

From the beginning, Christian’s idea was to bring in the Japanese style of management.
He took his management team on an extensive tour of Japanese auto plants. They benchmarked by timing precisely how long it took Nice Cars to assemble body parts and engine and install carpeting and dashboards and studied comparable times in Japan. On most task Nice cars was taking almost twice as long. These comparisons gave Nice cars a good understanding of what has to be done.

In late 1992 Christian brought the Shin-Gijutsu group, a cadre of former Toyota engineers to revitalise the system.

He advised them to be loyal to their work and follow orders like the Japanese do. He suggested lifetime employment and Staff promotion based on hard work and not seniority and always treated the employees as his family.

Workers were trained at the company’s expense because of the return on investment. The interdependency of the company and worker negated the need for aggressive labour unions to defend worker rights. Communication between bosses and subordinates became informal.

The results were the salvation of Nice Cars, with the help from the Japanese engineers the assembly time for cars was reduced from 120 hours to 72 hours. The number of errors per car fell by 50% to an average of 3. The workforce was reduced to 19 per cent from 8400 to 6800 in 1992.
Lines were shortened and inventories cut back so much that the factory space has been reduced by 30%. All of these mean that Nice Cars was making cars at lower cost. In 1996 the company reported its first profit in four years after £200 million in losses.


2.1 Compare the effectiveness of different leadership styles in different organisations. (AC2.1)
2.2. Explain how organisational theories (Scientific management, Human relations, contingency) underpins the practice of management in Nice Cars. (AC 2.2)
2.3. ‘From the case of Nice Cars, it can be inferred that the Japanese (Toyota’s) approach to management is more effective than that of the West (German Brother)’. Discuss. (AC 2.3)

Case study 3: The Benefits Agency

The Benefits Agency was responsible for delivering a range of state benefits to the public. Most agency staff worked in a network of local offices organised into districts management units. The 159 districts were organised into 13 area units. Each area director was accountable to the Agency’s top management team.

The Agency used to be a part of a large government department (dealing with social security matters) and like most of the European public sector, provided permanent employment. Staff usually joined after leaving school and could expect a secure job, a predictable career path and a guaranteed pension when they retired.

The work was routine, and staff were expected to follow precise defined rules to ensure equal treatment to all citizens. Managers valued staff who followed the rules and discouraged innovation. The management structure was hierarchical and the staff passed any unusual problem to those above them in the agency.
A change in public policy brought a radical change, as the benefit agency became a separate organisation within the government service. It would conduct the same functions on behalf of the government but will be managed differently.

A chief-executive (Derrik) was appointed on a three year contract (which in itself gave a clear signal about the end of the previous ‘job for life’ culture).
He defined a new vision: To provide the right money to the right person at the right time at the right place.

To deliver this more customer centred service, he gave district managers more control over their budget, thereby reducing control by senior managers. Management in some areas ignored the new freedoms and continued to manage in the old hierarchical way.

The management of the area described in this study interpreted the freedom as giving them authority to make very wide changes. The management board defined their vision as: To be the leading provider of social security services in the country.
District managers were encouraged to give more decision-making power to staff when dealing with the public and staff were encouraged to be innovative in their approach. A critical factor in achieving this vision was to have the right number of skilled and motivated staff.

Behaviour that had been valued was now a barrier to promotion. Staff who had hoped to gain promotion by following the rules now found that they have little chance of moving up. Some became disillusioned but continued to deliver at a reduced level of productivity. Some could not adapt and left. Others applied their efforts to a new goal- to resist the changes. Another group enthusiastically embraced this new culture where innovation, creativity and risk taking were valued.

Districts introduced the one-stop shop approach, so that one member of staff rather than several could deal with all the benefits that a person claimed.
This led to the creation of multi-function teams and to big changes in the way the staff worked. Staff responded enthusiastically to these changes, even though pay awards were still strictly controlled and promotion opportunities have become fewer.
New policies brought further change, including the appointment of a new chief executive.
The new chief executive (Peter) amended the Agency’s vision to pay the right money to the right person at the right time every time. The top management team became uneasy about increased freedom of the area directors. Examples of the return to the older structure began to appear, such as introducing centrally controlled checking teams and increases in the number of mandatory management checks. Staff in the region reacted with dismay, and management again has the problem of how to create skilled and motivated staff.

3.1 Discuss the impact that different leadership styles may have on motivation in organisations in period of change. (AC 3.1)
3.2. Compare McGregor & Herzberg theories indicating the one which can be more effective when applied in the case of Benefit Agency (AC3.2).
3.3 Evaluate the usefulness of motivation theories to managers (AC3.3).

Case Study 4: Zico computers Ltd.

Zico Computers are a manufacturer and supplier of computers and computer software.
The company employs, 34,000 staff working from 70 offices around the world, manufacturing Computers and Software’s and working with customers to implement and enhance their business. Its diverse workers are very skilful and productive. In each office there are informal groups comprising of people from the same ethnic or social backgrounds who socialise and support each other in different ways and in some offices a formal group, the budgetary committee, which helps to prepare project budgets.

All projects are implemented by staff from several sites working as virtual teams, in the sense that they are responsible for collective product but work in physically in separate places. Most of the team members support each other with their skills and ideas; however, every stage of the team development has had its own problem. For instance, during stage two, called the storming stage, different ideas compete for consideration. The team can, therefore, encounter problems. Also, when they are exhausted or have inadequate resources to work with, conflicts can arise. Team leaders have been given training on how to manage conflicts and make teams effective.

In March 2004 the company created a team to coordinate the testing and release of Element Management Framework (EMF), an accounting software that monitors the performance of a company. The product was to be released in November 2004 when the members of the team would be free to work on other projects. The team had eight members drawn from four sites each with his or her own expertise.

The role of the coordinator was to ensure the smooth operation of the team and to monitor actual progress against challenging delivery schedule. The software was developed in Cumberland, by engineers writing the code and revising it as necessary after testing by the test engineers. They are responsible for rigorously testing all software and reporting all problems concisely and accurately to the development engineers. The software architect had extensive knowledge of the network hardware that the software would manage, and supervised the development and testing of the software to ensure it worked as efficiently as possible with the hardware.

The release support engineer deals with the logistic of software release, such as defining each version and ensuring deliverables are available to the manufacturer department at the appropriate times.

Each member worked full- time on the project, though they never met physically during the life of the project. All members took part in a weekly conference call, and also a daily call attended by the coordinator, development manager and a member of the test team.
Communication throughout the team was mainly by electronic mail together with instant messaging.


4.1 Explain the nature of groups and teams and their behaviour within organisations. (AC4.1)
4.2 Discuss the factors that may promote or inhibit the development of effective teamwork in Zico Computers. (AC4.2)
4.3 Evaluate the impact of technology on team functioning within Zico computers. (AC 4.3)
Preparing your assignment
Your assignment must strike a balance between theory and practice. Your work must avoid bland description of what is already stated in the case study; description should be limited to what is absolutely necessary to emphasise a point of view or make your analysis clear. Similarly, while theories are important, your assignment must include application of them also.

You should show due diligence in writing your assignment to ensure that it reflects the highest standard of presentation.

Other key considerations

Your assignment must include a cover page with title, student name and ID number, date, word count, and contents page with page numbers.
The Introduction in your assignment should cover the background, the issues and the aim of the investigation.
Your assignment must use good quality sources (academic material or credible news sources, up to date and relevant to the topic) and correctly referenced using the Harvard system.

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