Table of contents (TOC)
Tom Finholt, Professor; Stéphane Côté, David Allison, GSIs
Contact information for Professor Finholt:
3030 East Engineering, 763-1466, firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome! As the staff of Psychology 360 we're glad
Introduction to Organizational Psychology this term. This four credit course
offers a survey of the field of organizational psychology and aims to help you
understand and apply theory in a variety of areas, including: work attitudes
and motivation; group dynamics; organizational communication; organizational
structure and design; and organizational culture. Successful completion of
Psychology 360 is a prerequisite for upper-level organizational psychology
courses including: Psychology 361, Advanced Laboratory in Organizational
Psychology; Psychology 464, Group Behavior in Organizations; Psychology 561,
Special Topics in Organizational Psychology; and Psychology 565, Organizational
Our teaching philosophy As much as possible we
want to create a
classroom environment that allows you to actively participate in learning about
organizational psychology. Toward this end we want to encourage you to
interact both formally and informally with the instructional staff and with
your classmates. We welcome student initiative and look forward to hearing
from you about things we do well and about areas where you think we could
improve. In addition, we feel strongly that learning to write and speak
effectively about organizational psychology is the key to learning to think
effectively about organizational psychology. Learning to write and speak
effectively also has pragmatic benefits in terms of making you a better
communicator and therefore a stronger candidate for employment or graduate
How we run things A typical week will start with a one
lecture on Monday. This lecture will identify and develop major themes from
that week's readings. The two hour discussion sections will build on the
survey lecture by allowing you to explore issues in-depth with your section
mates through participation in group exercises, viewing and discussion of
videos, class debates, and other activities. The one hour lecture on Fridays
will be reserved to expand areas of special interest related to the weekly
topic. The lecture style will be informal, with an expectation of high
participation on your part. Discussion sections will meet as follows:
Section 2, Wednesday, 10-noon, B114 MLB (Stéphane Côté)
Section 3, Tuesday, 9-11, 232 Dennison (David Allison)
Section 4, Wednesday, 3-5, 271 Dennison (David Allison)
Section 5, Thursday, noon-2, B239 East Hall (Stéphane Côté)
Strategy for success
What we think you need to do to succeed in this course
The staff of
Psychology 360 will do everything possible to create conditions that will allow
you to succeed. However, ultimately your success depends on the extent of your
personal effort. To support high performance, the staff of Psychology 360 have
outlined the following four guidelines:
Complete assignments in advance. You will be most
comfortable in class when you have completed the weekly
reading assignment in advance of the Monday lecture. An
important part of class sessions will be the dialogue between you, your
classmates, and the instructional staff. Although you may feel these
conversations put you "on the spot," questions will be posed in a friendly and
non-confrontational manner. Further, the staff will use these classroom
conversations to help you discover new ways of thinking about the material
you've studied, rather than as tests of whether you can recite a specific set
Write good papers. You will be happiest with our
evaluation of your performance on papers and
essays when your work is grammatically correct, free of spelling errors,
logically organized, precise, concise, clear, and original. The teaching staff
understand that scholarly writing is difficult. Therefore, written assignments
will always be structured as two-stage exercises. You will do first drafts,
receive feedback, revise, and then submit final versions. This gives you a
second chance to do well on written assignments and it introduces you to
important general writing practices of editing and revision that produce
Contribute meaningful comments. You will be most
satisfied with our evaluation of your class participation
when your comments indicate a thorough reading of course materials, distinguish
between facts and opinions, take into consideration contributions by your
classmates, and indicate a willingness to test new ideas. The teaching staff
appreciate that you may be hesitant to speak in class. Therefore, we will
conduct discussions in a low-key and inclusive style designed to reduce anxiety
about talking in front of others.
Attend class sessions regularly. You will get the greatest
benefit out of this course when you make a
commitment to attend every lecture and discussion section. The staff will aim
to design lectures and sections that make your attendance worthwhile and
Work for this course
Helping you become an effective writer
Your term paper The staff of Psychology 360 feel that
you improve your writing about organizational psychology is an essential part
of learning how to think as an organizational psychologist. Further, the
general lessons about good writing will be useful to you in any field or
occupation. Therefore, the staff will guide you in the production of a fifteen
to twenty page double-spaced paper in the Academy of Management style.
Your paper will evolve through stages. The first stage will be a series of introductory assignments during the first month of the course. These assignments will train you how to observe behavior in organizations, how to formulate research questions based on these observations, and how to use the scholarly literature to identify articles and books that are relevant to what you have observed. Details about these assignments will be discussed at the first section meetings during the week of January 13-17.
After completing the introductory exercises, you will move on to write the first draft of your term paper. Your term paper will combine elements of a research review with elements of a case study. To do this paper we want you to choose a familiar organization as a study site. For example, you may select a club, a business, a non-profit agency, a military unit -- or any other type of formal organization. Once you've selected an organization, details about how to write the paper will be provided through class handouts. Your first draft is due at section meetings during the week of March 10-14.
The last stage of the term paper process will be production of your final
draft. Production of your final draft will start when your GSI grades your
first draft and offers specific feedback about steps you should take to revise
and improve your paper. To ensure the best possible feedback it will be
important for you to submit a first draft that is as close as possible to the
version that you will submit as your final draft. Your final draft is due at
section meetings during the week of April 14-18.
Your essay exam answers The staff of Psychology 360 feel
ability to produce a written argument under time pressure also represents a
crucial writing and thinking skill. Therefore, the mid-term and final exams
will both be essay exams. The mid-term exam, on Monday, February 24, will be a
one hour essay exam covering material from readings, lectures, and sections
through Friday, February 21. The final exam, on Monday, April 28, 4-6 pm in 1360 East Hall, will be a two hour essay exam covering material from
readings, lectures, and sections for the entire semester. Practice questions
will be distributed before each exam to give you a precise idea of what the
tests will cover.
Participation Participating in lecture and section
discussions is an
important way for you to actively learn the material in this course. Talking
about the issues raised in lectures, readings, and videos will help you develop
your thinking about organizational psychology. In addition, honing your oral
skills has general benefit beyond the scope of this course.
Grades: The bottom line Your grade in Psychology 360
will follow this
Paper, first draft 10% Paper, final draft 30% Participation & homework 10% Mid-term exam 20% Final exam 30%
Truth in advertising The staff of Psychology 360
recognize that this
course is not for everyone. To avoid unpleasant surprises we want to be as
honest as possible about the demands of this class. First, you will be doing
an average of seventy pages of required reading each week. We think you will
find much of this reading entertaining, but we know that you will find some
readings long and dry. Second, your term paper will involve twelve weeks of
sustained work amounting to approximately twenty to thirty pages of written
material, including revisions. We have created deadlines that break this
writing into sub-assignments over the term, but we know you will experience
highs and lows in weekly activity. Finally, although we will discuss
applications of organizational psychology, topics such as human resource
management will not be a main focus of this course. If your primary goal is
preparing yourself for a position in a human resource management department we
feel you will be better served taking the specialized courses in the School of
Class norms 1) We will treat you and your fellow
respect at all times. Similarly, we expect you to treat your classmates and
the staff with respect at all times. In particular, you should not talk or
whisper while others are speaking.
2) If you cheat or plagiarize you will be punished to the full extent of university regulations.
3) The staff of Psychology 360 discourage you from making unscheduled office visits. To ensure that you get the full benefit of our attention and time please make an appointment or attend the scheduled office hours. We will keep our office hours zealously. Further, we will respond promptly to phone calls and electronic mail messages.
4) The Organizational Psychology secretary and the Psychology Department secretaries are not available to do work for you.
5) You are responsible for notifying the teaching staff immediately about problems or complaints. Please do not assume that we know about something that is bothering you -- tell us.
6) To avoid wasting the time of your classmates and the teaching staff please make every effort to arrive at lecture and section sessions on time.
7) You will not be allowed to negotiate extensions to due dates for assignments, except under exceptional circumstances (e.g., family tragedy).
8) You may take a make-up exam only if you have a signed excuse from the University Health Service (or comparable excuse).
9) You are not allowed to wear headphones in lecture or section sessions.
10) Eating and drinking are not allowed in 1324 East Engineering. Check with your TA before eating and drinking in section.
11) Sometimes, despite the best efforts of the staff, papers get lost in the shuffle. To avoid problems please photocopy your work and save your computer files as protection against misplaced papers.
Required texts Your required readings will emphasize
texts. Rivethead, by Ben Hamper, is a first-person account of life at
GM's Flint Truck and Bus plant. Hamper's style is sarcastic and, at times,
offensive. However, his portrait of factory life is lively and compelling.
Working for the Japanese, by Joseph and Suzy Fucini, is a story about
the workers at Mazda's Flat Rock, MI plant. This facility was the first UAW
organized transplant, and the Fucinis' do a good job of capturing the
experiences of U.S. managers and workers as they come to terms with Japanese
production practices. Finally, Behavior in organizations, by Greenberg
and Baron, is a leading organizational psychology textbook. We think this text
avoids many of the pitfalls of textbook writing, such as verbosity and
pomposity, and provides an interesting reference source for interpreting
lectures and exercises. You can obtain all required texts from the Michigan
Union Bookstore, Ulrich's, and Michigan Book and Supply.
Fucini, J.J., & Fucini, S. (1990). Working for the Japanese: Inside Mazda's American auto plant. New York: The Free Press.
Hamper, B. (1991). Rivethead: Tales from the assembly line. New York: Warner Books.
Greenberg, J., & Baron, R.A. (1996). Behavior in organizations, Sixth
edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Reserve policy A limited number of copies of the
required texts will
be available in 3006 East Engineering for you to check out during the term.
You may have one book at a time for up to four hours, 9 am - 5 pm M-F. If you
would like to use a book overnight you should pick it up after 4 pm and return
it the next morning by 9 am. You will be required to leave your student ID or
driver license for overnight books. Please call the Organizational Psychology
secretary, at 763-0264 if you have any questions or would like to check on the
availability of a text.
Course notes A number of services now offer weekly
course notes on a
fee basis. The staff of Psychology 360 do not endorse any of these services,
we do not receive compensation from these services, and we do not advise these
services on the selection of note takers. Therefore, as a staff, we cannot
guarantee the quality or accuracy of the note services. Students subscribing
to these services do so at their own risk.
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All rights reserved.
Revised - January 19, 1997