Approved by Faculty Senate.


University Studies Course Proposal

Department: Business Administration

Course Number: MGMT 325

Course Title: Organizational Dynamics

Catalog Description:

Examination of different types of leadership skills used to resolve organizational problems and to achieve the goals of the organization. The behavioral sciences are stressed, with emphasis on leadership and motivation. Prerequisite: ACCT 211, ECON 201, ENG 111 or instructor’s permission. Grade only.

Is this an existing course approved by A2C2?: YES

Chairperson: Dr. Sara Barbor Email:

The proposed course is designated to satisfy the requirements in:

II. A. Writing Flag

Written Flag Outcomes and Course Requirements

As required in the program and policies approval process, the following material addresses the five outcomes listed in the Written Communication Flag courses, and documents course content and learning activities relevant to these course outcomes.

  1. Practice the processes and procedures for creating and completing successful writing in their fields.
  2. The student’s demonstrated ability to write clearly, specifically, and coherently to address questions, situations, and topics related to Organizational Dynamics concepts and issues has a significant impact on his/her semester grade. Students are required to conduct library research in the professional journals and other publications as well as the INTERNET related to Organizational Dynamics, and to compose a major semester research paper, complete with table of contents, abstract, introduction-body-conclusion, full documentation of references, and any necessary appendices. These are evaluated by the instructor and by their peers. In addition, written responses to exercises, assignments, and case analyses will be evaluated partly for writing mechanics, style, and communication quality. The students are encouraged to combine their own style with good writing practices to make their compositions more personally meaningful, expressive, and effective.


  3. Understand the main features and uses of writing in their field.
  4. In addition to becoming more acquainted with journal articles and other publications in Organizational Dynamics, students are specifically instructed on, given practice in, and evaluated on their ability to write in a manner consistent with what is expected in current business settings. Future employers expect graduates of colleges of business to be able to write well when they enter the organization. It is important that they get this instruction and practice while in university business classes. Communication in business settings is an important part of the content of Organizational Dynamics.


  5. Adapt their writing to general expectations of readers in their fields.
  6. In addition to instruction on proper business report, memo, and document composition, students receive practice exercises, case studies, examples, in-basket demonstrations, and other activities aimed at application of practical business writing skills and knowledge. In addition, they have ample opportunities to work in teams, composing written responses representing the consensus of group thinking and discussion, they also gain experience reviewing and critiquing samples of each other’s writing.


  7. Make use of the technologies commonly used for research and writing in their fields.
  8. Students are required to demonstrate their ability to use the INTERNET and WSU library search tools and resources. All written assignments must be done on the computer. They are required to use Powerpoint, LCDs, audio-visual equipment and sometimes Smartboard in their presentations. Data storage, retrieval, manipulation and printing are all skills they must use.


  9. Learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation in their fields.

Documenting sources of data, information, research, and ideas is required and carefully monitored. In papers and assignments, proper APA style for citations and reference lists is taught and required. Students review conventions and expectations for complete and proper documentation of any material they use that is not their own. Effective business communication often requires solid data and hard evidence to support one’s position or decisions. These skills are also taught and students are required to demonstrate them.









As a recognized field of study considered of key importance in management, ORGANIZATIONAL DYNAMICS (OB) is a relative newcomer. In business, we often distinguished technical skills and knowledge from people skills and knowledge. For decades after the industrial revolution, "technical skills" were almost exclusively emphasized. Since the 1950's, "people skills" have been recognized as important, too, but, still viewed as basically separate. As technically competent individuals were promoted to management positions, it became obvious that something in addition to technical ability was needed, but what? Gradually increasing research conducted in organizations focused more on human needs, behaviors, personalities, interactions and social dynamics, and leadership traits and skills. Today we see the two as inseparable and interdependent, balanced skill and understanding in both skill/knowledge areas are vital.


As recognition of the need for knowledge about why people behave as they do in business organizations grew, an explosion of research, new theories, and "schools of thought" along with methods growing out of these psychological and sociological theories, took place. OB became a respected and vital part of business programs. Today, there are business research journals dedicated to OB topics, and Ph.D. programs in OB are available.


Mgmt 325 is designed to meet the general goal of helping you understand yourself and others better, with emphasis on the work environment. Managing the behavior and attitudes of self and others, the dynamics of leadership, leadership skills, behavior in work groups, development and maintenance of working relationships, the acquisition and use of power, and the dynamics of organizational change, are all subjects of major focus in the course. OB has the advantage of immediate observation and application by students, of many of the concepts and skills studied in class, to their everyday lives. Students who make the effort to do this will profit from the class much more.


Regardless of your major, you will be working with other people, many of you will be supervising others. The more effective you are in your relationships with others, the more you will be able to facilitate your own success, their success, and the success of your company or agency. This course prepares you for working more effectively with others, as a peer, as a team member, as a leader, and as a subordinate. You will study behavior at the micro-level of the individual and workgroup, and at the macro-level of the organizational culture.


Currently, industry is experiencing a revolution in management theory and practice: the transformation to Total Quality, Continuous Improvement, and World Class Operations Management. This fundamental shift of paradigms is having a significant impact on OB courses, what content is included and how it is taught. As managers shift their attention from individuals and individual components, to managing the system (as a whole), a different view of the role of individual differences evolves and a whole different role for managers evolves. Organizational structure and culture change, often dramatically. We now speak much more about "leadership" in contrast to "management."


It is important to give the flavor of transformation by contrasting the old and new. We are still in the incubation period where the new demands justification and is still a challenging paradigm to fully understand for those socialized in the old paradigm. Most OB textbooks available today include some material from the new paradigm, and some from the old. We will explore the implications for OB and leadership that the new paradigm of management brings, and look at examples of companies adopting it, in some detail.


Other related topics are also very important, for example, international organizational behavior, considering the rate at which business is becoming globalized; and closely related, managing diversity, as employee populations become increasingly more diverse; male and female relationships in business; the management of change and innovation; and, especially, ethical development and behavior in business.



1. Increase understanding of the dynamics of human behavior in organizations, including deeper study of leadership skills, attitudes, and their importance.

2. Increase understanding of human factors such as needs, emotions, and perspectives in organizational settings, an appreciation for human diversity, including increased awareness and understanding of international organizational behavior.

3. Increase understanding of self: insight into personal strengths, self-defeating attitudes and behaviors, ability to distinguish effective attitudes and behaviors from ineffective ones, for improved organizational and career success.

4. Practice and sharpen analytical and creative thinking skills with regard to human behavior and human factors in organizations.

5. Become better observers of human behavior (including your own).

6. Increase ability to recognize mental sets, simplistic, narrow or negative thinking, or fearful thinking which can hinder objective observation, analysis, decision making,

and the taking of effective action.

7. Develop ability to accept and deal more effectively with the complexity and uncertainty involved in the dynamics of human interaction and the dynamics of authority.

8. Active involvement in the learning process through discussion, case analysis, class exercises and assignments.

9. Increased appreciation and recognition of ethical issues in management decision making and actions.

10. Practice and more fully develop skills in written business communication,

research report composition and documentation, and become better

acquainted with important journals and recent research in OB.

11. Develop better understanding of the implications of the paradigm shift to Total Quality and continuous improvement on culture change in organizations, its impact on

treatment of employees and on the field of OB, in general.

12. To apply the 7 Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education.




Evaluation is based on the accumulation of points for exams, assignments, case analyses, and class exercises/discussions throughout the semester:

Three Exams: multiple choice & short essay, worth around 100 points each

Points on assignments (both in and out of class assignments)

Class participation points (and occasional attendance data taken)

Team projects—Short Research Reports, Case Analyses, Assignments

Major Research Report and Project, worth about 180 points

These accumulated points will be awarded grades at the end of the semester on the basis of percentage of total points possible:

90%+ = A 80%+ = B 70%+ = C 60%+ = D Below 60% = Fail



Lecture/Discussion: students should be prepared to take notes during lectures but also to

Interject questions and comments.


Cases and short vignettes: students should be prepared to actively participate in case analysis, group discussion, and properly written reports.

(Writing Flag Outcomes: a,b,c,d,e)


Films or videotapes: again, take notes. Participate in discussion of the video afterward.
There may be in-class exercises involving videos and short reports.

(Writing Flag Outcomes: b,c,d)


Self assessments: occasionally students will have the opportunity to assess themselves
using several assessment devices, these will be for your personal information, only.


Role play and other class exercises: participation is required. The more you put into these, the more you will get out of them. Short written reports on these are

required. (Writing Flag Outcomes: b,c,d)

Out of class observation and interview assignments: Occasionally students will be asked to
apply or seek information or real examples of concepts discussed in class. Such
assignments will involve formal written reports.

(Writing Flag Outcomes: a,b,c,d,e)


Semester Project and Major Research Report

(Writing Flag Outcomes: a,b,c,d,e)


Readings: reading assignments will include text and some additional articles
Keep up on your reading. Additional Reserve readings will also involve short,

written reviews. (Writing Flag Outcomes: a,b,c,d,e)

Exams: any of the above material or learning is "fair game" for exams.


This course satisfies three of the six semester hours required for the Writing Flag Component of the University Studies Program. It gives students the opportunity to achieve the following outcomes:


  1. Practice in the processes and procedures for creating successful writing in their fields
  2. Understand the main features and uses of writing in their fields
  3. Adapt their writing to the general expectations of readers in their fields
  4. Make use of the technologies commonly used for research and writing in their fields
  5. Learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation in their fields

As such, you may anticipate that written work is often required and will be fully evaluated.




TEXT: Organizational Behavior by Nahavandi and Malekzadeh, 1999 edition, Prentice Hall