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BUAD 309

ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR
SPRING SEMESTER 2015
Professor:
Email:
Phone:
Office:
Section:
TA:

Dr. Dustin Sleesman, Ph.D.


sleesman@udel.edu
302-831-8912
226 Alfred Lerner Hall (office hours by appointment)
#18: Tues. & Thurs. 3:30pm - 4:45pm (304 Gore Hall)
Kim de Benedictis (kimdeb@udel.edu)

COURSE OVERVIEW AND OBJECTIVES


Nearly everything accomplished in our society is done through or within some form of organization. Organizational
behavior (OB) is a multidisciplinary field of study that seeks to understand individual, group, and organizational
processes and how each contributes to behavior within organizations.
This course will introduce you to the science of OB. Rather than relying on someones idiosyncratic and biased
personal opinions or the ephemeral management fads found in many popular press books, the material you will learn
in this course has been validated by rigorous research. It is my goal to translate this scientific body of knowledge into
an actionable, real-world understanding of organizations as well as the individuals and groups within them. Although
I will focus primarily on business organizations, the topics covered in this course will apply to virtually any
organizational context including non-profit, government, military, sports, religious institutions, and many others.
After completing this course, you will:
(1) Develop an appreciation of the complexities of behavior within organizations
(2) Understand key concepts and theories of OB
(3) Improve your ability to understand and predict the behavior of others
(4) Get a better understanding of your own personal strengths and weaknesses in terms of course topics
(personality, decision-making, leadership, etc.)
(5) Think critically about this knowledge and apply it to your past, present, and future experiences in
organizations
COURSE WEBSITE
Canvas, our course management system, is the primary mechanism through which course information is shared.
Please login regularly as important announcements for the course may be posted there. You can access Canvas by
visiting www.udel.edu/canvas. An app is also available for Android and iOS devices. Simply download the Canvas
by Instructure app from the Apple App Store or Google Play and use udel.instructure.com for the Canvas URL,
after which you will be prompted for your UDelNet ID and password. For further support, please visit
guides.instructure.com or see me in class.

BUAD 309.18 (SP15) syllabus p.1

REQUIRED READINGS
(1) Textbook:
Robbins, S. P. & Judge, T. A. (2015). Organizational Behavior (16th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey:
Pearson.
(2) Articles listed on the last page of this document. Use either of the methods below to download them:
Google Scholar. I recommend only using this method if youre on campus because some sources require a
subscription that you automatically have when using a UD internet connection.
1. Visit scholar.google.com and search using the articles title
2. When you see the article you want in the search results, click Get It!
3. On the next page, click PDF or Full Text
4. When viewing the article, move your mouse to the bottom to access the download button
(this step may vary depending on what PDF viewer you have)
University library databases
1. Visit library.udel.edu and search using the articles title
2. When you see the article you want in the search results, click the title
3. In the Find a copy online section, click Get It! or View Full Text
4. On the next page, click PDF or Full Text
5. When viewing the article, move your mouse to the bottom to access the download button
(this step may vary depending on what PDF viewer you have)
EXPECTATIONS & COURSE POLICIES
Class attendance and participation
I highly encourage students to attend and participate in every class for two important reasons. First, although this
class is primarily lecture-based, there will be many opportunities for class discussion. This open exchange of student
questions, ideas, and experiences adds a rich dynamic to the class that is beneficial for everyone. Second, attending
and participating in class will allow you to develop a deeper understanding of the course content. This is significant
because the lecture and in-class discussions will be reflected as exam content, and thus it is highly unlikely that you will
do well in this course if you miss multiple classes. More importantly, a deeper understanding of course content is
important because as I hope you will increasingly realize throughout the semester, the knowledge you will gain in this
course can truly enrich both your work and personal life.
I will occasionally post brief online surveys in order to measure your thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors as they relate
to course topics. Based on your responses, I will analyze the data and generate personalized reports for you throughout
the semester. These are incredibly valuable for learning because you will be able to personally relate to course content
and see how your responses compare to others in the class. Past students have greatly appreciated this opportunity
for personal and professional development as well as enrichment of course material. As a result of the importance of
these surveys, I expect you to complete them. The surveys have a deadline, and you should complete them wellbeforehand in case you have any internet connectivity issues.
You will not be graded on your class attendance and participation. This is a reflection of my philosophy of teaching
whereby students are responsible for managing their learning experience. I am very passionate about this course
material and its importance to organizations and individuals; and thus as your professor, I will proactively encourage
and facilitate learning to the best of my abilities; but I expect you to be responsible for your own education.
Finally, I expect you to treat our class environment with professionalism and respect. At no time is it acceptable to
mimic, embarrass, intimidate, or mistreat a fellow student, my TA, or me in any way. I will maintain an open and
scholarly environment that invites the exchange of ideas and diverse perspectives. Also, please do not arrive late to
class as it is very distracting. In the rare event that you must arrive late, please let me know ahead of time. Further, I
BUAD 309.18 (SP15) syllabus p.2

allow technology in the classroom in the form of laptops and tablets (but NO cell phones, with the exception of rare
in-class electronic surveys); however, you may only use these technologies if they facilitate your learning
experience. You should not be using these devices for outside activities such as visiting social networking sites,
emailing, gaming, browsing the web, doing work for other courses, etc. This is distracting to your classmates and me.
Moreover, a number of studies have shown that people are tremendously overconfident (i.e., not nearly as good as they
think) in terms of their ability to multitask effectively. In my experience, the students with the lowest course grades
are usually the ones who either (a) dont come to class or (b) come to class but dont pay attention. In terms of learning
and subsequently, course performance there are little differences between these behaviors.
Exams (800 points)
There will be a midterm (400 points) and final exam (400 points) to test your knowledge of lecture content, class
discussions, and assigned readings. The exams are predominantly conceptual in nature, which means you need to
understand course concepts in order to do well; simply memorizing lecture slides and assigned readings is insufficient.
The exams consist of 35 multiple-choice questions and one short essay question (weighted as the equivalent of five
multiple-choice questions). The final exam is non-cumulative; that is, it will only include new material, with the caveat
that previously tested material may be on the final exam if its discussed again (e.g., personality characteristics may
resurface during discussions of negotiation, teams, leadership, etc.).
The procedure for both exams is as follows: You will have 55 minutes to complete your individual exam, after which
you will return the exam to me. Then, you will sit together with your teammates, the composition of which will be
determined at the beginning of the semester. I will distribute the same exam (but only consisting of multiple-choice
questions) to your team. You will work together to complete the team exam using the remaining class time
(approximately 20 minutes). Your grade will be calculated based on 350 points for your individual exam and 50 points
for your team exam (400 points total). This information is summarized below:
Team Exam

Individual Exam
350 points

35 multiple-choice
1 short essay

55 min.

50 points

20 min.

35 multiple-choice

The rationale behind the team-based component of the exam procedure is that it provides a creative way to experience
the topics you will learn about in this course, such as group decision-making, conflict resolution, and social influence.
In addition, I have found that the group discussion of questions provides excellent learning reinforcement.
If you cannot be present for an exam (e.g., due to serious illness), you must inform me ahead of time. A make-up
exam must be taken within one week of the regularly scheduled exam, and it will consist entirely of essay questions
with no team-based component.

BUAD 309.18 (SP15) syllabus p.3

Feedback reflection paper (100 points)


You will write a paper that involves analyzing a customized feedback report that I will generate for you. The report
will consist of your own responses to a personality assessment survey (self-feedback) in addition to the responses
of three people that you choose to assess your personality such as a manager, mentor, coworker, friend, parent, sibling,
etc. (social-feedback). Choose people who you trust and who know you well enough to understand your personality.
The customized feedback report will not identify the names of the people who assess your personality, nor will their
responses to individual questions be included. Instead, you will be able to examine aggregated data points (on a scale
of 1-5) for each general personality factor (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, etc.) based on select questions
included in the survey.
Your paper should be structured as follows:
1. Reaction to self-feedback: Describe your personality according to the self-feedback (only). Is it accurate? Why
or why not? Provide examples from your own behaviors or experiences.
2. Discrepancies in personality perception: Describe any discrepancies between the way you perceive your own
personality (self-feedback) and the way others perceive it (social-feedback). What can explain these
discrepancies?
3. Implications of the feedback: Based on the data, what are your biggest strengths and weaknesses? Describe any
implications for your professional and/or personal life.
You are responsible for sending the social feedback survey link (posted on Canvas) to the three people you choose.
Inform them of the survey deadline, which is indicated in the course schedule at the end of this document. Note that
their survey link is different than the one you will use for your survey. My TA will send you the customized feedback
report (in PDF format) within two weeks after the social feedback survey deadline.
As a courtesy, please consider sending your three chosen individuals a copy of your paper after you write it, although
this is entirely at your discretion. Most people will enjoy learning about your analysis.
Additional guidelines:
(1) The length should be 5 pages, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins and a 12-point font
(2) Organize the paper as follows (and please specify the section titles in the paper):
Copy of feedback report
Page 1
Reaction to self-feedback
Pages 2-3
Discrepancies in personality perception
Page 4
Implications of the feedback
Page 5
(3) Include a cover page with the following elements:
a. One-sentence description of the paper
b. Your name
c. Semester, course number, and class meeting days and times
(4) Number each page
(5) Cite all referenced sources
(6) Upload your paper (in Word format) to Canvas before the deadline indicated in the course schedule at the
end of this document. Failure to upload by the deadline will result in a deduction of points, so upload
well-before the deadline in case there are any technical issues
I will grade your paper based on the following criteria: Adherence to guidelines, Demonstrated critical thinking, and
Clarity.
This project is designed to (a) enrich your understanding of personality and behavior, (b) gain an understanding of
how your perceptions may be different than that of others, and (c) improve your critical thinking and writing skills.

BUAD 309.18 (SP15) syllabus p.4

Team project (100 points)


Your team (the same individuals with whom you work during the exams) will do a project that requires you to create
a paper and presentation based on an interview with a professional who has been confronted with one of the following
course topics:
Personality, ability, and values
Attitudes and affect
Motivation
Decision-making
Conflict and negotiation
Teams
Leadership
Examples of such professionals include a manager, consultant, sales representative, small business owner, realtor,
attorney, etc. Your interview should be structured as follows:
1. Brief overview of organization and job context: An understanding of the professionals organization and job are
crucial in order to develop some context for your analysis.
2. Topic positive experience: Ask him/her to describe a positive experience (i.e., led to a good outcome) that
involves the topic.
a. What led to the situation?
b. What options did you have?
c. What action did you take, and why?
d. What advice do you have for people who may experience a similar situation?
3. Topic negative experience: Same as above, but for a negative experience (i.e., led to a bad outcome)
Your paper and presentation should include the above three sections as well as the following:
4. Analysis using course content: Indicate one or two relevant course concepts and/or theories that help to provide
some clarity and understanding of the professionals experiences.
a. Explain this relevant course content (as if the reader/audience is unfamiliar with it)
b. Clearly articulate how it offers insights into each of the professionals experiences. This is not merely a
straightforward common sense application of course content. You must think critically in order to use
course content to view the experiences in a way that is non-obvious to someone unfamiliar with the
science of OB. This project is meant to challenge you and expand your learning.
Your course topic must be approved in order to ensure that all topics are covered. Simply email my TA (with all
teammates CCd) with your to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd preferences by 12pm on the day of the midterm exam. We will do our
best to accommodate your requests, but they will be approved in the order received. Within a week after this, my TA
will inform you of what day youll be presenting in class (see course schedule at the end of this document for the
presentation days).
All team members must be present during the interview, which may be conducted in-person or virtually (phone, video
conference, etc.).
I highly recommend that you provide a list of questions to the professional before the interview to allow some time for
reflection on the details of his/her memorable experiences. Also, you should provide some topic examples so he/she
understands what you are asking. For example, dont just refer to motivation but elaborate on the various
perspectives we examine in the course (e.g., goal-setting, self-efficacy, fairness, etc.) in order to get a well-rounded
view of the topics complexities. Finally, I recommend that you think about the relevant course content before the
interview in order to steer follow-up questions in a direction that will help you link the experiences with course
content.
As a courtesy, please consider sending the professional a copy of your paper after you write it, although this is entirely
at your discretion. Most people will enjoy learning about your analysis.

BUAD 309.18 (SP15) syllabus p.5

Team paper:

Additional guidelines:
(1) The length should be 7 pages, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins and a 12-point font
(2) Organize the paper as follows (and please specify the section titles in the paper):
Brief overview of organization and job context
Page 1
Topic positive experience
Pages 2-3
Topic negative experience
Pages 4-5
Analysis using course content
Pages 6-7
(3) Include a cover page with the following elements:
a. One-sentence description of the professional and his/her topic experiences
b. Team number, team name, and names of all members
c. Semester, course number, and class meeting days and times
(4) Number each page
(5) Cite all referenced sources
(6) Upload your paper (in Word format) to Canvas by 12pm on the day before you are scheduled to present.
Failure to do so will result in a deduction of points, so upload well-before the deadline in case there are
any technical issues

Team presentation:

Additional guidelines:
(1) The length should be 13-15 minutes (and up to 3 minutes Q&A afterward)
(2) Organize the presentation according to the sections in the paper, as detailed above
(3) Number each slide
(4) Cite all referenced sources
(5) Upload your paper (in PowerPoint format) to Canvas by 12pm on the day before you are scheduled to
present. Failure to do so will result in a deduction of points, so upload well-before the deadline in case
there are any technical issues
Your project will be graded as follows:
(1) I will grade your project (paper and presentation) based on the following criteria: Adherence to guidelines,
Explanation of course content, Application of course content, Demonstrated critical thinking, and Clarity
[80% of score]
(2) The class (your audience) will grade your project (presentation only) based on the same criteria
[20% of score]
To maintain social accountability, a portion of your total project score (15%) will be determined by your teammates.
They will individually rate you based on the following criteria: Attendance and participation at meetings, Virtual
communication responsiveness (email, phone, etc.), Collegiality, and General contribution. For example, if your team
earns 90 points on the project, but your teammates consider your contribution to be negligible (e.g., they believe you
earned a D-: 60%) your total project score will be:
(90 points x 85%) + ([90 points x 60%] x 15%) = 84.6 points.*
*Note that I reserve the right to deduct additional points (up to the full amount) from individuals who are egregiously uncooperative
with teammates.

This project is designed to (a) expose you and the rest of the class to the experiences of professionals who have been
confronted with issues related to the course, (b) apply course material to such issues, (c) improve your critical thinking,
writing, and presentation skills, and (d) gain valuable experience working in a team setting.

BUAD 309.18 (SP15) syllabus p.6

Course grade calculation


Points for course components are allocated as follows:
Midterm exam
Feedback reflection paper
Team project
Final exam

400 points
100 points
100 points
400 points

Thus, grades will be calculated on the basis of 1000 total points. Final point scores will be converted into course
grades using the following scale:
Grade
Minimum Points
A (94-100%)
940
A- (90-93%)
900
B+ (87-89%)
870
B (84-86%)
840
B- (80-83%)
800
C+ (77-79%)
770
C (74-76%)
740
C- (70-73%)
700
D+ (67-69%)
670
D (64-66%)
640
D- (60-63%)
600
F (0-59%)
Grade appeal procedure
If you disagree with how a grade was determined, you must document to me via email why you believe the grade
should be changed. A subjective disagreement or meritless persuasion attempt (e.g., I am very close to the next letter
grade and I need to maintain my scholarship, etc.) will not be effective. Your rationale must be grounded in principles
of logic and fairness. This appeal must occur within one week of receiving the grade in question.
Special arrangements
If you have circumstances in your life that may influence your ability to meet the expectations of this course, please
discuss these with me during the first week of class. You must register with the Office of Disability Support Services
(www.udel.edu/DSS) in order to have accommodations arranged. The university also offers a Writing Center
(www.cas.udel.edu/writing-center) for assistance with developing your writing skills.
Research participation (pass/fail)
The content of this course is based on a large body of scientific research, and thus it is important for you to gain an
understanding of how this research is conducted. Moreover, in an effort to contribute to the ongoing evolution of
organizational behavior theory and research as well as boost the research profile and prestige of the University of
Delaware and Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics, the Department of Business Administration requires
that all students enrolled in this course be asked to participate in research studies. You also have the option of
completing reading assignments instead.
If you do not complete the research requirement, you will receive an Incomplete as your course grade; however,
you will be able to complete the requirement at the beginning of the following semester, after which your grade will
be converted to the one you earned in the course.
For details, please refer to the research participation document posted on our Canvas course site.

BUAD 309.18 (SP15) syllabus p.7

Academic honesty
I expect everyone in this course to abide by your student Code of Conduct (accessible via www.udel.edu/stuguide/1415/code.html). My default is to trust students; however, I will investigate suspicions of violations; and if any are found, the course
grade of the violator will suffer and a report will be filed with the Office of Student Conduct. It is your responsibility to understand
and abide by your student code. You are especially encouraged to become familiar with the section on academic
honesty, as featured below.
1.

2.

Statement of Policy
All students must be honest and forthright in their academic studies. To falsify the results of ones research, to steal the words or ideas of another, to
cheat on an assignment, or to allow or assist another to commit these acts corrupts the educational process. Students are expected to do their own
work and neither give nor receive unauthorized assistance.
Any violation of this standard must be reported to the Office of Student Conduct. The faculty member, in consultation with a representative from
the Office of Student Conduct, will decide under which option the incident is best filed and what specific academic penalty should be applied.
Academic Violations
a. Plagiarism
Plagiarism is the inclusion of someone elses words, ideas, images, or data as ones own. When a student submits academic work that
includes anothers words, ideas, images, or data, whether published or unpublished, the source of that information must be acknowledged
with complete and accurate references and, if verbatim statements are included, with quotation marks as well. By submitting work as his or
her own, a student certifies the originality of all material not otherwise acknowledged. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:
i.
The quotation or other use of another persons words, ideas, opinions, thoughts, or theories (even if paraphrased into ones own
words) without acknowledgment of the source; or
ii.
The quotation or other use of facts, statistics, or other data or materials (including images) that are not clearly common
knowledge without acknowledgment of the source.
b. Fabrication
Fabrication is the use of invented information or the falsification of research or other findings. Fabrication includes, but is not limited to:
i.
The false citation or acknowledgment of a direct or secondary source, including the incorrect documentation of a source;
ii.
The citation, in a bibliography or other list of references, of sources that were not used to prepare the academic work;
iii.
The inclusion in an academic work of falsified, invented, or fictitious data or information, or the deliberate and knowing
concealment or distortion of the true nature, origin, or function of such data or information; or
iv.
The unauthorized submission of an academic work prepared totally or in part by another.
c. Cheating
Cheating is an act or an attempted act of deception by which a student seeks to misrepresent that he or she has mastered information that
has not been mastered. Cheating includes, but is not limited to:
i.
Copying all or any portion of anothers academic work and submitting it, in part or in its entirety, as ones own;
ii.
Allowing another person to copy ones own academic work - whether intentionally or unintentionally;
iii.
The unauthorized use or possession of a class textbook, notes, or any other material to complete or prepare an academic work;
iv.
The unauthorized collaboration with any other person on an academic exercise, including collaboration on a take-home or makeup academic exercise;
v.
The unauthorized use of electronic instruments, such as cell phones, PDAs, translators or personal response systems (clickers) to
access or share information; or
vi.
The unauthorized completion for another person of an academic work, or permitting someone else to complete an academic
work for oneself, including through the use of personal response systems (clickers).
d. Academic Misconduct
Academic misconduct is any other act that disrupts the educational process or provides a student with an academic advantage over another
student. Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to:
i.
The unauthorized possession, copying, distribution, sale, or other transfer of all or any part of an academic exercise, or the
answers or solutions to an academic exercise, whether or not the exercise has been administered;
ii.
Changing, altering, attempting to change or alter, or assisting another in changing or altering any grade or other academic record,
including grades or records contained in a grade book or computer file, that is received for or in any way attributed to academic
work;
iii.
Entering any University building, facility, office, or other property, or accessing any computer file or other University record or
storage for the purpose of obtaining the answers or solutions to an academic exercise or to change a grade;
iv.
Continuing to work on an academic exercise after the specified allotted time has elapsed;
v.
Bribing another person to obtain an academic exercise, including answers to questions of an unadministered academic exercise;
vi.
Failing to adhere to standards of professional behavior established by a faculty member, academic program or college in
conjunction with an academic course; or
vii.
Posting of notes or other materials from a class (whether the student is enrolled in the class or not) on the Internet, whether or
not for a fee, if the faculty member has expressly prohibited the posting of such materials.
e. Other forms of academic dishonesty not described here but in violation of the Academic Honesty Statement of Policy.

BUAD 309.18 (SP15) syllabus p.8

COURSE SCHEDULE
DATE
Feb 10, 12

TOPIC
Course introduction

Feb 17, 19

Personality, ability, and values

READINGS
Ch. 1, Appendix
Pfeffer & Sutton (2006)
Ch. 2, 5

SURVEYS AND DEADLINES


First-week surveys: Due Feb 13, 12pm

Feb 24, 26

Attitudes and affect

Ch. 3, 4; Coget (2011), Wyld (2011)

Mar 3, 5

Motivation

Ch. 7, 8; Ordez et al. (2009)

Mar 10, 12

Decision-making

Ch. 6; Drummond (2014)

Decision-making styles

Mar 17, 19
Mar 24, 26

Tues: Review
Thurs: Midterm exam
Conflict and negotiation

Ch. 14

Conflict resolution styles

Mar 31, Apr 2

Spring break

Apr 7, 9

Fundamental elements of teams

Ch. 9, 10

Apr 14, 16

Dynamic team properties and processes

Ch. 9, 10; Pat Carter reading

Apr 21, 28
No class Apr 23
Apr 30, May 5

Leadership

Ch. 12

Feedback reflection paper:


Due April 10, 12pm
Pat Carter survey:
Due Apr 13, 12pm
Implicit leadership

Ch. 16

May 7, 12

Thurs: Organizational culture


Tues: Team presentations
Team presentations

May 14,
Finals week

Thurs: Review
Finals week: Final exam

Personality assessment
Social feedback surveys: Due Feb 20, 12pm
Emotional intelligence
Team information document: Due Feb 27, 12pm

Team paper and presentation files:


Due the day before you present, 12pm
Teammate ratings survey:
Due May 13, 12pm

Subject to change as needed throughout the semester

BUAD 309.18 (SP15) syllabus p.9

REFERENCED ARTICLES
See Required readings section above for details.
Coget, J. F. (2011). The Apple Store effect: Does organizational identification trickle down to customers? Academy of
Management Perspectives, 25(1), 94-95.
Drummond, H. (2014). Escalation of commitment: When to stay the course? Academy of Management Perspectives, 28(4),
430-446.
Ordez, L. D., Schweitzer, M. E., Galinsky, A. D., Bazerman, M. H. (2009). Goals gone wild: The systematic side
effects of overprescribing goal setting. Academy of Management Perspectives, 23(1), 6-16.
Pfeffer, J. & Sutton, R. I. (2006). Management half-truths and nonsense: How to practice evidence-based
management. California Management Review, 48(3), 77-100.
Wyld, D. C. (2011). Does more money buy more happiness on the job? Academy of Management Perspectives, 25(1), 101103.

BUAD 309.18 (SP15) syllabus p.10