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Student Number ________________________

Pages: 16
Questions: 23

UNIVERSITY OF TASMANIA
EXAMINATIONS FOR DEGREES AND DIPLOMAS
PRACTICE EXAMINATION ANSWERS
Semester 1, 2014

BMA247 Organisational Behaviour


Examiner: Christine Adams

Time Allowed: TWO (2) Hours

Instructions:
This examination consists of two sections, Section A and Section B.
Section A consists of TWENTY (20) multiple choice questions. Students must
answer ALL TWENTY questions. Section A is worth a total of 10 marks.
Section B consists of three (3) case studies. Students must answer all questions
following each of the three (3) case studies. Each question is worth 10 marks for a
maximum total of 40 marks.
This examination counts for 40% of the marks for this unit.

BMA247 Organisational Behaviour

SECTION A MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS [10 MARKS]


Section A consists of TWENTY (20) Multiple Choice Questions. Students must answer all
TWENTY (20) questions. Each question is worth 0.5 marks. Section A is worth a total of 10
marks.
Answers must be recorded on the answer sheet attached to this exam paper.
Question 1
The belief that discrimination is wrong is a value statement. Such an opinion is the
_______________________ component of an attitude.
a)
b)
c)
d)

Behavioural
Reactive
Affective
Cognitive.

Question 2
Michaels job allows him to be relatively independent. Kates job is relatively routine.
Jakes job is challenging for him. John has control over the way he does his job.
Based on the available information, who is least likely to have high job satisfaction?
a)
b)
c)
d)

Michael
Kate
Jake
John.

Question 3
Brenda is a recruiter for a global corporation with subsidiaries all over the world.
She needs to convey information to future employees that will help them understand
the importance of communicating across culture.
Brenda explains to future employees that
like China and Vietnam, relay heavily on non-verbal cues.
a)
b)
c)
d)

cultures,

low-content
low-context
high-content
high-context.

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BMA247 Organisational Behaviour

Question 4
You have just been hired by Computers-R-Us to institute a management by objectives
program. The sales people have asked you to explain the program to them and help
them understand how it will affect them. You want to make sure that they
understand the ingredients common to MBO programs. Which of the following is
not one of those ingredients?
a)
b)
c)
d)

Goals should be general enough to allow creativity


Time periods will be explicit
Decision making will be participative
Feedback will be given on each employees performance.

Question 5
Your fellow employees have a terrible work situation. They work in an old,
unattractive building with an antiquated heating system. The work itself is tedious
and the supervisor is rarely available. You have decided to try to apply Herzbergs
two-factor theory to the situation.
You decide that your first job should be to remove the dissatisfiers. Which of the
following are hygiene factors?
a)
b)
c)
d)

advancement
intrinsic awards
working conditions
recognition.

Question 6
Leaving early, sabotage, backstabbing and verbal abuse are examples of:
a)
b)
c)
d)

involuntary actions that violate norms


emotional labour
employee deviance
emotional quotient factors.

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BMA247 Organisational Behaviour

Question 7
Ginna and Hanna are teachers. Gina dislikes her students, but pretends she likes
them by making sure she acts in a friendly manner toward them. Hanna also
dislikes her students, but is trying to change the way she feels about them.
Which of these teachers is most likely to feel the most stress from their actions and
why?
a) Gina, since she has to feign genuine emotion
b) Gina, since her deep emotions conflict with what her job requires
c) Hanna, since she will probably display her true feelings before she changes her
deep emotions
d) Hanna, since it is very difficult to change displayed emotion.
Question 8
In recent months, Alicia has found her work to be increasingly difficult. She relates
to a colleague that her manager would frequently change his mind about what he
had previously said without realising it. He would frequently ask her to do one task
only to reprimand her later insisting that he asked her to prioritise another task. In
this case, which form of communication should be utilised more frequently?
a)
b)
c)
d)

oral communication
verbal communication
written communication
non-verbal communication.

Question 9
You are the manager of a small boutique. You have decided to apply the Big Five
Model in order to understand your employees and their work habits because it is
generally supported by an impressive body of research. You want to use the five
dimensions of personality to match individuals with jobs to which they are wellsuited. You know that your customers are demanding and sometimes difficult.
Which personality dimension taps a persons ability to withstand stress?
a)
b)
c)
d)

agreeableness
conscientiousness
emotional stability
extroversion.

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BMA247 Organisational Behaviour

Question 10
Which of the five factors of personality will probably be most important in predicting
organisational citizenship behaviour (OCD)?
a)
b)
c)
d)

agreeableness
extroversion
conscientiousness
emotional stability.

Question 11
________ are repetitive sequences of activities that express and reinforce the key
values of the organisation, what goals are important, which people are important,
and which are expendable.
a) Cultural typologies
b) Rituals
c) Stories
d) Material symbols
Question 12
Jo works on a production line. Her job used to be put on right front car bumpers.
She is not particularly pleased because now she has been assigned to do several
different jobs while each car is at her station. Jo has experienced:
a)
b)
c)
d)

job combination
job rotation
job enrichment
job enlargement.

Question 13
Jessis job is such that she gets to schedule her work and determine the procedures to
be used in carrying it out. Jessis job has:
a)
b)
c)
d)

task identity
task significance
skill variety
autonomy.

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BMA247 Organisational Behaviour

Question 14
Employees at Acme Express are dissatisfied with working conditions, salary, and the
general attitude of management. Mark, Susan and Tony are good friends who work
at Acme, yet each seems to be reacting differently to the problems at work. Susan
has written a list of concerns along with her suggestions for improving conditions.
Susan is dealing with her dissatisfaction through:
a)
b)
c)
d)

voice
exit
neglect
loyalty.

Question 15
Your boss never gives you the benefit of the doubt. When you were late this
morning, he assumed you had overslept. He never considered there may have been
a delay on the highway. He is guilty of:
a)
b)
c)
d)

inconsistency
selective perception
fundamental attribution error
self-serving bias.

Question 16
You have just been promoted to manage a sales group. Your group is made up of ten
people who range in age from 27 to 62. You have read that there are certain
dominant work values for each age group and think that this may help you
understand your group. You anticipate that your employees labelled
are pragmatists who believe that ends can justify their means.
a)
b)
c)
d)

Nexters
Boomers
Xers
Veterans.

Question 17
Tests that measure specific dimensions of intelligence have been found to be strong
predictors of:
a) Turnover
b) Job performance
c) Ability to work with others
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d) Job satisfaction.
Question 18
People who consistently believe they control their own destinies have a:
a)
b)
c)
d)

Type A personality
High internal locus of control
High extroversion
High propensity for risk-taking.

Question 19
_____________ represent basic convictions that a specific mode of conduct or end
state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite mode of conduct.
a)
b)
c)
d)

Values
Preferences
Convictions
Attitudes.

Question 20
All of the following are examples of biographical characteristics except:
a)
b)
c)
d)

Sexual orientation
Marital status
Age
Gender.
[Total Section A: 10 marks]

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BMA247 Organisational Behaviour

SECTION B COMPULSORY CASE STUDIES [30 MARKS]


Section B consists of three (3) case studies. Students must answer all questions following
each of the three (3) case studies. Each question is worth 10 marks for a maximum total of 30
marks.
Read the cases carefully and answer the questions that follow.
Question 21
CASE STUDY 1: TANIE MAJOR: A WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE
Tania Major, at 22, is the youngest person to be elected to the board of the Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Island Commission (ATSIC), and she believes she is ready for the
challenge. She is a graduate of criminology from Sydney University, and has been
mentored by Noel Pearson, a lawyer and entrepreneur, since she was aged 12. This
mentoring involved her being sponsored throughout her secondary and tertiary
education.
Tania is passionate in her believe that violence, drug and alcohol abuse, rife in most
remote Aboriginal communities, combine to create a seriously destructive force for
Aboriginal people. Tanias view is that education and health are pivotal in turning
around the disastrous experience for young people growing up in these
communities. Tania also believes that the outcome of the education offered in remote
communities reinforces a lack of self-esteem and low expectations in young people,
when its aim should be to deliver self-confidence and drive. This then motivates
students to take up significant roles in the community with the belief that they can
make a difference, rather than seeing their lives as hopeless.
Tania put forward a very compelling argument when she recently addressed Prime
Minister John Howard. She asked that her appeal not be seen as a cry for help; that
is, she didnt want the problems fixed by someone else. Her plea is to be seen as an
equal partner with the government so that her people can rebuild their own families,
lives and communities.
21 a) How would you describe Tania Major in terms of locus of control? Why?
Answer - The description of Tania in the brief case indicates that she has a high
internal locus of control. She is described as being passionate in her belief that the
solutions for the crisis in indigenous communities is within the capacity of its people
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and that what she is doing is not a cry for help. The problems are not for others to
fix but within the grasp of the people themselves. Having a belief that your destiny
is within your own control and that changes in outcomes are as a result of changes
in your own behaviour is a demonstration of an internal locus of control.
21b) After her early experiences, do you believe that Tania Major would have high
self-esteem? If so, why?
Answer Tania is a remarkable individual who has demonstrated that
determination and tenacity it rise above the cycle of violence, despair, abuse,
discrimination, substance abuse and poverty she describes as endemic in her
hometown. Her self-esteem has remained high, and this may be as a result of early
mentoring and her ability to succeed in her educational endeavours and following
her vision for improving the quality of life for those living in aboriginal
communities.
21c) In terms of Hollands typology of personality and congruent occupations what
category of personality type would you attribute to Tania Major? How suited is she
to the role she has taken on in ATSIC?
Answer - Research found important relationships between personality dimensions
and job performance. A broad spectrum of occupations was examined in addition to
job performance ratings, training proficiency (performance during training
programs), and personnel data such as salary level. The results showed that
conscientiousness predicted job performance for all occupational groups. Individuals
who are dependable, reliable, careful, thorough, able to plan, organised,
hardworking, persistent, and achievement-oriented tend to have higher job
performance. Employees higher in conscientiousness develop higher levels of job
knowledge. Extraversion predicted performance in managerial and sales positions.
Therefore Tania is well suited to the role that she has taken on in ATSIC.
21d) How would you describe Tania Majors affect?
Answer - Positive affect is a mood dimension consisting of positive emotions like
excitement on the high end and tiredness at the low end. Positive and negative affect
influence our perceptions. Given Tanias perspective is the face of adversity that
successful outcomes are possible by members of the communities working in
partnership with the government, Tanias affect is described as positive.
21e) How would you describe the emotional labour of Tania Major? Would you
consider she shows the ability to exhibit high levels of motional labour?

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Answer - Emotional labour is an employees expression of organisationally desired


emotions during interpersonal transactions at work. The concept of emotional labour
emerged from studies of service jobs. The challenge for employees is to project one
emotion while simultaneously feeling another. The disparity is called emotional
dissonance. Tania displays positive emotions and affect and discusses her vision and
belief that a meaningful future can be created. These emotions may well be in
contrast with the emotions she feels when considering the current state of poverty
and despair that many people are living with.
21f) From the text, we understand that knowledge of emotions in the field of OB can
improve our ability to explain and predict a range of activities in the workplace.
People who have particular skills in reading their own and others emotions
accurately are said to possess high levels of emotional intelligence (EI). How do you
think Tania would function on the five dimensions of EI?
Answer The five dimensions of EI include:
Self-awareness. Being aware of what you are feeling.
Self-management. The ability to manage ones own emotions and impulses.
Self-motivation. The ability to persist in the face of setbacks and failures.
Empathy. The ability to sense how others are feeling.
Social skills. The ability to handle the emotions of others.
The case describes a number of aspects of Tania that would indicate that she has a
very high level of emotional intelligence. She has the self-motivation to have risen
above many of the traditional setbacks and failures that her family and friends have
experienced, openly discusses her own feelings which demonstrate a strong
connection with her own self-awareness, is able to communicate at even the highest
levels about the struggles and the lives of indigenous people, shows empathy and an
acknowledge of how others are feeling and would appear to have the ability to help
others manage their emotions.
[10 marks]

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Question 22
CASE 2 QUEENSLAND DEPARTMENT OF MAIN ROADS
In 2003, road workers in the Queensland Department of Main Roads, a government
department responsible for the construction and maintenance of the states road
network, objected to being required to work in long trousers and shirts with long
sleeves. According to the road workers, Anyone that has spent a day outdoors in the
heat of a summers day knows that wearing long sleeves to do physical work is
unbearable and will eventuate into an additional occupational health and safety risk
due to heat stress. It is simply too hot. It all began when the department decided
that it needed to change the culture of the department to a safety culture. This new
focus on safety meant that new guidelines and policies were constantly being
implemented to ensure safety, and information sessions were used to introduce new
safety procedures. One consequence of the desire not to delay the new safety
protocols was that there was no consultation about the policies and as a result some
of the new protocols clashed with others. For instance, to address the risk of skin
cancer, a policy was mandated that all employees were to wear long trousers and
long-sleeved shirts while engaging in outside work. The policy, however, did not
address the immediate short-term health risk of heat stress in summer.
THE DEPARTMENT
From the perspective of the Department of Main Roads there were good reasons for
requiring the change in the dress standards. This issue was only one of many safety
issues addressed at the time. Recurring at-risk behaviours resulting in incidents,
injuries and near-misses are an ongoing issue within the construction industry, and,
as a leading employer within the construction industry and a public sector agency, it
is important that the department has a major focus on safety in the workplace. Main
Roads has a workforce of approximately 5000 workers who are employed on a fulltime or a casual basis. The workers are employed as engineers, clerical staff, trades
staff and labouring staff, working in state-wide groups, districts and commercial
units.
The Department of Main Roads is a stable, bureaucratic organisation with centralised
policy development and resource allocation units. It operates within a hierarchical
management structure, but also embraces various matrix structures, particularly in
relation to its project activities. On its website, the department states that it works
cooperatively with other government departments to implement the governments
policy agenda, which in turn is informed through consultation with stakeholders
and external agencies and in accordance with national and international regulations
and standards. One external agency that the department works with is the Cancer
Council. The Cancer Council makes recommendations regarding various sun-safe
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strategies that workplaces can adopt to improve the detection and prevention of skin
cancer in the workplace.
The decision to mandate that workers wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers was
based on the advice of the World Health Organisation, which provided figures
showing that Australia has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world; more
than 380 000 people are treated for the disease every year. Each year more than 34
000 workers are believed to suffer skin cancers from working in the sun, including
200 who contract melanomas. According to the Cancer Council, all workplaces
should adopt an ultraviolet (UV) radiation protection program, a comprehensive
policy and strategy for the early detection and prevention of skin cancer in the
workplace. Construction workers have a higher risk of skin cancer than many other
workers due to the long periods they are exposed to UV radiation from direct
sunlight and to UV rays that reflect off surfaces such as concrete.
THE CULTURE
Overall, the Department of Main Roads has a positive organisational culture that
seeks to protect its workers and minimise risks where possible. This is a culture
shared across government departments and is led by the agency responsible for
workplace health and safety. However, culture, can vary at different levels of an
organisation. Within each department there are subcultures that share other core
values and exhibit norms of behaviour that stem from its connections with industry
and past customs and practices. This is typified by the road worker in the
construction industry who stated that a tradition of outside workers is that as soon
as the sun comes out you take your shirt off .
To combat this and other recurring at-risk behaviours, the Department of Main
Roads endorsed a new strategy to improve the safety culture of the department. A
Safety Leaders Group was created whose role was to influence and promote broad
staff behaviours that are vital to the development of a positive safety culture. This
included:
clarifying required and expected behaviours
owning safety responsibility
empowering others to challenge at-risk behaviours by engaging the right people in
hazard identification and risk assessments
encouraging everyone to think, behave and operate in a safe manner at all times.
The decision to ensure that dress standards were amended to incorporate more
protective clothing had an unintended effect on a specific subculture of workers. In a
bureaucratic organisation, one of the few controls that workers have is over their
immediate environment and the way in which they work. Implementing this ruling
had the effect of decreasing the small amount of autonomy road workers had; they
were no longer able to decide for themselves what they wore to work and how to
manage the threat of heat stress on hot days.
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THE CHANGE
The decision was relayed to the workforce through a series of meetings that focused
on a range of occupational health and safety issues. Factors involved in the workers
resistance to change included industry norms where changes to the work
environment are often seen as an imposition of the power of management and an
attack on the autonomy of workers. The department conceded that control processes
for heat stress had not been developed and none had been put in place. This type of
action was interpreted by workers as management being concerned with minimising
the risk of long-term compensation claims but not with the health of workers on a
day-to-day basis.
A key driver in the support of this change to a safety-focused culture was the
commitment of senior leaders across the department in demonstrating and
encouraging desired safety behaviours within their business units. The general
safety policy that was implemented required consultation with staff and other
agencies prior to the implementation of new protocols. Managers felt that
information sessions about the new dress standards would be sufficient to
implement the policy. This meant that other measures that could have been used to
address the risk of sun exposure were not explored. These include the provision of a
quality sunscreen, considering whether the task could be done at another time when
there is lower sun exposure, or providing portable sunshades for various worksites,
particularly where work needs to be conducted in the middle of the day.
An important issue in ensuring that a safety culture is embraced by workers is that
workers need to be consulted in determining the health and safety controls to be
implemented in local workplaces. This, in addition to the support of senior leaders,
will lead to the full adoption of workplace initiatives. By empowering workers to
locally manage their health and safety issues and working in a cooperative way, the
needs of all parties can be addressed. According to Work Cover business advisory
officers, Health and safety at work is everyones concern. Together, workers and
employers can use simple strategies and safety equipment to protect themselves
when working in the sun. As indicated in Chapter 17, control and social support
both have a moderating effect on the experience of stress. Implementing programs
that incorporate control but have a negative effect on the perception of social
support, particularly between supervisors and workers, can be self-defeating, as the
Department of Main Roads found out in this situation.
Through addressing these and other issues, the department wants to be seen as an
industry leader in implementing safety policies. It is envisaged that the safety
leadership approach will be adopted by other construction bodies and provide a
consistent standard to improve safety competency across the industry.
Questions
22 a) What are some of the ways the department could have overcome the
resistance of workers to the change?
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Answer: the textbook offers the following ways:


A) Education and Communication educating employees about the underlying
motivation behind the reasons for the change: the findings of the Cancer Council
and the World Health Organisation indicated the high risk the workers are
exposed to, and the ways to address this risk.
B) Participation engaging the employees in designing the change can lead to
creative solutions that will increase health and safety, and sustain employee
satisfaction.
C) Building Support and Commitment this option focuses on increasing employee
commitment to the change. Employee commitment to reduce the risk of skin
cancer can sustain this change.
D) Develop Positive Relationships the relationships between management and
workers in this case involved suspicion and lack of trust. Developing a positive
relationship would have led to a greater workers cooperation.
E) Implementing Changes Fairly involving individuals that will be affected from
the change would have been perceived as more fair than forcing it on them.
F) Manipulation and Cooptation manipulating the employees to think these
regulations were forced upon the employer, or buying off workers leaders could
have pressured employees to comply with the change. However, these strategies
can backfire if employees discover the truth (not unlikely in government
organisations), and forcing the change without employee commitment could have
also led to lower compliance with it over time.
G) Selecting People Who Accept Change this option has to be exercised long before
change initiatives are implemented.
H) Coercion workers could have been coerced, by threatening to fine, expel, or
even fire non-compliant workers. However, this tactic could backfire when
further changes need to be introduced. It can also result in escalation of conflict:
workers could involve court, start a strike, appeal to media, etc.
22 b) What were the outside drivers of change and who were the change agents in
this scenario?
Answer: The case describes several external bodies that led to the change. The
Cancer Council and the World Health Organisation provided information
illustrating the risk the department of Main Roads exposes its workers to. In
addition, the government sought to become an industry leader in terms of workers
health and safety.
22 c) What were some of the functional and dysfunctional effects of organisational
culture on the people and the organisation in this situation?

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Answer: functional aspects of the culture: workers were aware of the importance of
health and safety issues, and therefore were willing to examine ways to reduce the
risk for skin cancer.
However, the culture established some habits that went against this initiative. The
norm was to combat heat stress in summer was to remove clothing, and thus become
exposed to UV radiation.
In addition, the culture established norms which saw managerial initiatives as
attempts to assert control, rather than genuine attempts to improve employee health
and safety.
22 d) Based on the description in the case study, would you consider that the
department has a mechanistic organisational design or an organic organisational
design?
Answer: the case describes an organisation with rigid departmentalisation and
centralisation of policy development and resource allocation units. These are
consistent with a mechanistic structure. However, some organic elements exist, as
the organisation embraces various matrix structures which cross-functional teams.
22 e)
What would the reduction in the autonomy of workers do for their job
satisfaction?
Answer: according to the Job Characteristics Model (JCM) MPS model, (Motivating
Potential Score, p. 209), a reduction in employee autonomy reduces their motivation
and satisfaction. Although this statement varies among employees, in this case the
reduction of employee autonomy is likely to reduce their satisfaction as well, since
this is an important (and rare) aspect of autonomy for these workers.
22 f)

How would you have improved the implementation of this policy?

Answer: Students answers will vary. Students can draw on techniques to address
resistance to change mentioned in question 1 above, as well as techniques listed in
this chapter: exploring alternative solutions (such as rescheduling work, portable
shades, and sunscreen lotions), further employee education, and senior management
modelling of safe behaviour.
Source: Peter J. Jordan and Anne M. H. Christie (Griffith University).
[10 marks]

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Question 23
Read Case 3 carefully and answer the questions that follow.
CASE 3 THE MERGER OF SYNERGIS AND ABACUS

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[Continued]

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23 a) What are the main kinds of power bases Elliott used to solve the problem of
Nick Brown undermining his position?
Answer - Elliott used the legitimate power as owner of Abacus to solve the problem
of Nick Brown. Legitimate power is most frequently accessed through ones
structural position. It represents the power a person receives as a result of his/her
position in the formal hierarchy. Within the position Elliotts was able to use his
authority include coercive and reward powers to negotiate and reward the
management at Synabis and remove Nick Brown from the organisation.
23 b) What were the main power tactics used in this scenario? Which ones were the
most successful? Why?
Answer Elliott, Alan and Bill successfully used the tactics of legitimacy,
consultation, and exchange to successfully negotiate and design the new merged
organisation. Legitimacy relying on authority position, stressing that the request is
in accordance with organisational policies or rules, Consultation Increasing the
targets motivation and support by involving him or her in making decisions, and
Exchange - Use of negotiation through the exchange of benefits or favours.

23c) How were both legitimate and illegitimate political behaviour used together in
this instance?
Answer Using a legitimate for of political behaviour Elliott and Alan and Bill
formed a coalition and through this alliance were able to develop the future strategy
for combined organisation. Nick Brown unsuccessfully used illegitimate forms of
politics through manipulation and sabotage to used the situation to advantage
himself and his career ambitions.

23d) Describe how a power coalition formed in this case. Prove reasons for why it
worked.
Answer The coalition of Elliott, Alan and Bill formed to address the issues of
merging the organisation and to negate the impact of Nick Browns own merger
plans. The coalition worked because Elliott was open to investigating the behaviour
and plans of his senior management team, a team who he both admired and trusted.
Upon discovery that the concerns of Alan and Bill were indeed founded in fact,

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Elliott worked personally with Alan and Bill to develop a comprehensive merger
plan.

23e) How could Elliott West have avoided the expensive termination payment for
Nick Brown?
Answer Elliott could have used his legitimate power and terminated Nicks
contract when the deceit, false information and the sabotage and undermining of
Elliotts power was first brought to light.

23f) Demonstrate how truth became a casualty because of political action in this
case.
Answer Nick Brown used manipulation of facts to sell his ideas of a containment
plan to Elliott initially. When the deception was investigation and revealed, Elliott,
again used his secret meetings with
Alan and Bill to unravel Nicks initial plans.

23 g) What does this case highlight about group dynamics in organisations?


Answer The case demonstrates that those out of power and seeking to be in
will first try to increase their power individually. If ineffective, the alternative is to
form a coalitionan informal group bound together by the active pursuit of a single
issue.

[10 marks]
[Total Section B: 30 marks]
____________________________________________

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D()

A()

B()

C()

D()

D()

21

Practice Exam Answers


Semester 1, 2014