Assignment 1 (8%)

Exercise Assessment

In the process of doing the exercises in the workbook, you will have completed the work needed for Assignment 1. It is recommended you review your work before submitting. Make sure you save your final work with the following naming convention: MNGT2131_AF1_firstname_lastname.docx. Use the Assignment Submission Tool to submit to your Open Learning Faculty Member.

Exercise 1-1: A Person Whose Performance Could Be Improved

Step 1: Select a Person

Think of a co-worker or subordinate whose work performance (by your standards) could be improved. Overall, he or she may be an average, a below average, or even an above average performer.

The person you select should:

  • be an immediate subordinate, a co-worker, or a person one level in the organization beneath your own.
  • not be close to retirement, a part-time employee, a temporary employee, or a person whose performance is at or near the “bottom of the barrel.”
  • hold a job with which you are familiar, e.g., you may have held the job yourself or you may have supervised the job for a long enough period that you have a good understanding of its day-to-day requirements.

Step 2: Provide Reasons for Performance

In the space provided on the next few pages, present your analysis of the situation by listing in point form up to six reasons explaining why the person performs as he or she does.

There is no set of right or wrong reasons. This is to be your personal assessment of the situation.

Step 3: Weight the Reasons

Beneath each of the spaces allocated for a reason, there are three scales:

  • The first asks you to what degree you feel this particular reason contributes to the person’s level of motivation.
  • The second asks you whether you feel the reason you have listed suggests the jobholder is to some degree at fault or personally responsible for the below-par performance.
  • The third asks you to assess the degree to which the organization’s management system (e.g., the nature of the job, supervision, the reward system) is responsible.

For any given reason, it is possible that the reason implies that either the person or the management system or both are responsible for the below par performance.

Step 4: Provide Examples

Provide examples that support the weighting you gave your reason by describing a few specific things that the person actually does or does not do that lead you to see him or her as not performing as well as he or she might. Be as specific as possible and try to describe three or more things. For example, you might write things like “he arrives late for work” or “she complains about her job.”

Step 5: Identify Solutions with No Limitations

Assume that you are in a position of authority and have unlimited resources in the organization. Recommend a solution by describing precisely what you would do to improve the situation. Do not limit yourself in any way to what is possible in the particular situation or the organization. Assume that you and the organization have whatever resources and rights that you need to do anything that you feel is warranted. Of course, in reality this is not likely to be the case.

Step 6: Identify Solutions with Practical Limitations

Now let’s be practical. You probably don’t have total power and you may not be the person’s supervisor. However, assume that you are the supervisor. Given the practical realities of your organization, what solutions, if any, would you recommend to correct the problem? If you feel that your hands are completely tied and that you could do nothing useful, say so. You do not have to recommend a change.

Reason 1:  
1.     To what degree does this particular reason contribute to the person’s level of motivation?         NOT AT ALL              (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY MUCH                                                   1              2              3              4            5 2.     To what degree does this particular reason indicate that the person himself or herself is responsible for the below par performance?         NOT AT ALL              (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY MUCH                                                   1              2              3              4            5 3.     To what degree does this particular reason indicate that the management system (the job design, reward system, supervision, etc.) is responsible?         NOT AT ALL              (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY MUCH                                                   1              2              3              4            5
Examples:  
Solutions with No Limitations:  
Solutions with Practical Limitations:  
Reason 2:  
1.     To what degree does this particular reason contribute to the person’s level of motivation?         NOT AT ALL              (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY MUCH                                                   1              2              3              4            5 2.     To what degree does this particular reason indicate that the person himself or herself is responsible for the below par performance?         NOT AT ALL              (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY MUCH                                                   1              2              3              4            5 3.     To what degree does this particular reason indicate that the management system (the job design, reward system, supervision, etc.) is responsible?         NOT AT ALL              (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY MUCH                                                   1              2              3              4            5
Examples:  
Solutions with No Limitations:  
Solutions with Practical Limitations:  
Reason 3:  
1.     To what degree does this particular reason contribute to the person’s level of motivation?         NOT AT ALL              (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY MUCH                                                   1              2              3              4            5 2.     To what degree does this particular reason indicate that the person himself or herself is responsible for the less than excellent performance?         NOT AT ALL              (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY MUCH                                                   1              2              3              4            5 3.     To what degree does this particular reason indicate that the management system (the job design, reward system, supervision, etc.) is responsible for the less than excellent performance?         NOT AT ALL              (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY MUCH                                                   1              2              3              4            5
Examples:  
Solutions with No Limitations:  
Solutions with Practical Limitations:  
Reason 4:  
1.     To what degree does this particular reason contribute to the person’s level of motivation?         NOT AT ALL              (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY MUCH                                                   1              2              3              4            5 2.     To what degree does this particular reason indicate that the person himself or herself is responsible for the less than excellent performance?         NOT AT ALL              (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY MUCH                                                   1              2              3              4            5 3.     To what degree does this particular reason indicate that the management system (the job design, reward system, supervision, etc.) is responsible for the less than excellent performance?         NOT AT ALL              (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY MUCH                                                   1              2              3              4            5
Examples:  
Solutions with No Limitations:  
Solutions with Practical Limitations:  
Reason 5:  
1.     To what degree does this particular reason contribute to the person’s level of motivation?         NOT AT ALL              (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY MUCH                                                   1              2              3              4            5 2.     To what degree does this particular reason indicate that the person himself or herself is responsible for the less than excellent performance?         NOT AT ALL              (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY MUCH                                                   1              2              3              4            5 3.     To what degree does this particular reason indicate that the management system (the job design, reward system, supervision, etc.) is responsible for the less than excellent performance?         NOT AT ALL              (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY MUCH                                                   1              2              3              4            5
Examples:  
Solutions with No Limitations:  
Solutions with Practical Limitations:  
Reason 6:  
1.     To what degree does this particular reason contribute to the person’s level of motivation?         NOT AT ALL              (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY MUCH                                                   1              2              3              4            5 2.     To what degree does this particular reason indicate that the person himself or herself is responsible for the less than excellent performance?         NOT AT ALL              (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY MUCH                                                   1              2              3              4            5 3.     To what degree does this particular reason indicate that the management system (the job design, reward system, supervision, etc.) is responsible for the less than excellent performance?         NOT AT ALL              (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY MUCH                                                   1              2              3              4            5
Examples:  
Solutions with No Limitations:  
Solutions with Practical Limitations:  

Step 7: Evaluate performance

Now answer the following questions:

1.     How does the person’s performance compare to the performance of others at his or her same level or holding the same job? Compared to other jobholders at this same level, this person’s performance is:         WELL ABOVE AVERAGE                       (   )         SOMEWHAT ABOVE AVERAGE                         (   )         ABOUT AVERAGE                                                    (   )         SOMEWHAT BELOW AVERAGE                         (   )         WELL BELOW AVERAGE                                       (   ) 2.     This person could improve:         IN ALL AREAS OF HIS OR HER JOB   (   )         IN MOST, BUT NOT ALL AREAS                        (   )         IN SEVERAL AREAS                                 (   )         IN JUST ONE OR TWO AREAS                            (   ) 3.     How long has the person’s performance been less than excellent?         MORE THAN 1 YEAR                                              (   )         FOR ABOUT 6 MONTHS TO 1 YEAR  (   )         FOR ABOUT 3 TO 6 MONTHS                               (   )         FOR THE LAST FEW MONTHS ONLY               (   ) 4.     Indicate how the person’s general level of performance compares to your own general level of performance by checking the scale for the person and for yourself.         PERSON                      MYSELF                               OVERALL PERFORMANCE IS:             (   )                                    (   )                                    Well above average             (   )                                    (   )                                    Somewhat above average             (   )                                    (   )                                    About average             (   )                                    (   )                                    Somewhat below average             (   )                                    (   )                                    Well below average 5.     What is your relationship to the person?         Have you held the same position?                        YES (   )                  NO (   )         Are you the person’s supervisor?                          YES (   )                  NO (   )         Are you a personal friend?                                      YES (   )                  NO (   )         Is the person                                                            MALE (   )        FEMALE (   )


Exercise 1-2: A Motivated Time at Work

Step 1: Identify a Time of High Motivation

Think of a time on a job when you were highly motivated or when you were more motivated than usual. You may have willingly taken work home with you, worked long hours, arrived at work early, left late, taken short or no breaks, and worked to or near your maximum effort.

If necessary, you can select only part of a job. In other words there may have been other parts of the job about which you were not enthusiastic.  If this is the case, focus only on the part of the job that did motivate you.

The time period you choose should be one during which you were working full-time and had been for more than six months. However, this does not mean that you were continuously enthusiastic about all aspects of your job during that period.

Step 2: Write a Description

Write a brief description of the job (or the part of the job) and the length of time that you held it.  

Step 3: Describe Reasons for Your Motivation

Describe the reasons that you feel were responsible for your enthusiasm about the job. Try to remember what it was that was affecting you so strongly. Give your reasons weights from 1 to 5 to signify the degree to which you feel they contributed to your motivation. (1 = Low Importance, 5 = Very Important).

Reason 1:  
LOW IMPORTANCE       (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY IMPORTANT                                                   1              2              3              4              5
Reason 2:  
LOW IMPORTANCE       (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY IMPORTANT                                                   1              2              3              4              5
Reason 3:  
LOW IMPORTANCE       (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY IMPORTANT                                                   1              2              3              4              5
Reason 4:  
LOW IMPORTANCE       (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY IMPORTANT                                                   1              2              3              4              5

Step 4:

Indicate your level of performance at the time compared to others at your level in the organization.

WELL ABOVE AVERAGE                               (   ) SOMEWHAT ABOVE AVERAGE (   ) ABOUT AVERAGE                                            (   ) SOMEWHAT BELOW AVERAGE (   ) WELL BELOW AVERAGE                               (   )


Exercise 1-3: An Unmotivated Time at Work

Step 1: Identify Time Period of Unmotivated Performance

Think of a time in your present job or during a previous job during which your own performance could have been improved.

You may select a part of a job rather than the whole job. It should be a job that you held for a minimum of six months, but you do not have to have been continuously unenthusiastic about all aspects of the job during this time.

Step 2: Describe the Job

Briefly describe the job (or the part of the job) and the length of time that you held it.  

Step 3: Describe Reasons for Poor Motivation

Describe up to six reasons for your dampened enthusiasm about the job.

Reason 1:  
To what degree does this particular reason indicate that you were responsible for the less than excellent performance? NOT AT ALL      (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           VERY MUCH                                   1              2              3              4              5            To what degree does this particular reason indicate that the management system was responsible? NOT AT ALL      (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           VERY MUCH                                   1              2              3              4              5 Weight the reasons to indicate their importance in contributing to your lack of motivation. LOW IMPORTANCE       (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY IMPORTANT                                                   1              2              3              4              5
Reason 2:  
To what degree does this particular reason indicate that you were responsible for the less than excellent performance? NOT AT ALL      (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           VERY MUCH                                   1              2              3              4              5            To what degree does this particular reason indicate that the management system was responsible? NOT AT ALL      (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           VERY MUCH                                   1              2              3              4              5 Weight the reasons to indicate their importance in contributing to your lack of motivation. LOW IMPORTANCE       (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY IMPORTANT                                                   1              2              3              4              5
Reason 3:  
To what degree does this particular reason indicate that you were responsible for the less than excellent performance? NOT AT ALL      (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           VERY MUCH                                   1              2              3              4              5            To what degree does this particular reason indicate that the management system was responsible? NOT AT ALL      (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           VERY MUCH                                   1              2              3              4              5 Weight the reasons to indicate their importance in contributing to your lack of motivation. LOW IMPORTANCE       (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY IMPORTANT                                                   1              2              3              4              5
Reason 4:  
To what degree does this particular reason indicate that you were responsible for the less than excellent performance? NOT AT ALL      (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           VERY MUCH                                   1              2              3              4              5            To what degree does this particular reason indicate that the management system was responsible? NOT AT ALL      (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           VERY MUCH                                   1              2              3              4              5 Weight the reasons to indicate their importance in contributing to your lack of motivation. LOW IMPORTANCE       (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY IMPORTANT                                                   1              2              3              4              5
Reason 5:  
To what degree does this particular reason indicate that you were responsible for the less than excellent performance? NOT AT ALL      (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           VERY MUCH                                   1              2              3              4              5            To what degree does this particular reason indicate that the management system was responsible? NOT AT ALL      (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           VERY MUCH                                   1              2              3              4              5 Weight the reasons to indicate their importance in contributing to your lack of motivation. LOW IMPORTANCE       (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY IMPORTANT                                                   1              2              3              4              5
Reason 6:  
To what degree does this particular reason indicate that you were responsible for the less than excellent performance? NOT AT ALL      (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           VERY MUCH                                   1              2              3              4              5            To what degree does this particular reason indicate that the management system was responsible? NOT AT ALL      (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           (  )           VERY MUCH                                   1              2              3              4              5 Weight the reasons to indicate their importance in contributing to your lack of motivation. LOW IMPORTANCE       (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          (   )          VERY IMPORTANT                                                   1              2              3              4              5

Step 6: Further Questions

Now answer the following questions.

1.     Indicate your level of performance compared to others at your level in the organization.         My performance was:         Well above average                                                     (   )         Somewhat above average                                       (   )         About average                                                                  (   )         Somewhat below average                                       (   )         Well below average                                                     (   ) 2.     Could your performance have improved:         IN ALL AREAS OF HIS OR HER JOB                                 (   )         IN MOST, BUT NOT ALL AREAS                                      (   )         IN SEVERAL AREAS                                                 (   )         IN JUST ONE OR TWO AREAS                                           (   ) 3.     For how long was your performance less than excellent?         MORE THAN 1 YEAR                                                            (   )         FOR ABOUT 6 MONTHS TO 1 YEAR                  (   )         FOR ABOUT 3 TO 6 MONTHS                                             (   )         FOR THE LAST FEW MONTHS ONLY                             (   )


Exercise 1-4: Classifying the causes you listed in Exercises 1-1 and 1-3

Step 1: Classify the Reasons

In Exercise 1-1, you listed up to six reasons why a co-worker or subordinate’s performance was sub-standard and in Exercise 1-3 you analyzed your own performance.

Classify each reason as either Dispositional or Situational and total the number of each type. For reasons which are both dispositional and situational, enter the number twice.

Step 2: Total the Classified Reasons

Put your totals in the table below by listing the number of each reason in the correct box.

If for example, you had listed “laziness” as the first reason, put a checkmark under “dispositional.” If you listed “boring job” as the second cause, put a checkmark beside reason 2 under “situational.”

If one of your reasons seems to indicate both situational and dispositional causes, put a checkmark in both boxes.

Total the number of checkmarks in each column under “dispositional” and “situational.”

Exercise 1-4: Attributions Made About a Co-worker’s and One’s Own Performance

    Dispositional Situational
Exercise 1-1
Co-worker
Reason 1 ___ ___
Reason 2 ___ ___
Reason 3 ___ ___
Reason 4 ___ ___
Reason 5 ___ ___
Reason 6 ___ ___
  TOTAL    
Exercise 1-3 Self Reason 1 ___ ___
Reason 2 ___ ___
Reason 3 ___ ___
Reason 4 ___ ___
Reason 5 ___ ___
Reason 6 ___ ___
TOTAL    

Exercise 1-5: Classifying Solutions to Performance Problems

This exercise is designed to give you a feel for the types of solutions made by administrators about the sub-standard performance of their co-workers and subordinates.

In Exercise 1-l, you were asked to make two sets of recommendations for improving the situation. The first set assumed complete freedom of action. The second assumed the constraints that you experience in your workplace.

Now, we would like you to classify each set of recommendations as either controlling, redesigning, or a mixture of both. Look over your recommendations in Exercise 1-1 and underline those elements that suggest controlling the co-worker or subordinate. Then circle the portions that suggest redesigning the job, the reward system, or changing the leadership style or another aspect of the way work is done and organized.

In the spaces below, estimate the proportion of each type found in your original recommendations (e.g., if your recommendations were predominantly controlling, put 100% on the first line and 0% on the second; if you had roughly an equal amount of each, put 50% on both lines).

  NO LIMITATIONS PRACTICAL LIMITATIONS
% Controlling Solution Ideas    
% Redesigning Solution Ideas    


Exercise 1-6: Types of Situational Attributions

This exercise is also a follow-up to Exercises 1-2 and 1-3. However, this time the goal is different. We want to examine the types of situational attributions made in Exercises 1-2 and 1-3 as a means of explaining why you will study the topics found in the other five units of the course.

After doing the exercise, you will be shown the summary results from other administrators who have completed this exercise.

Step 1: Categorize Situational Attributions

Begin by looking at the reasons you listed in Exercise 1-2 explaining the factors for a period of above-standard performance on your part. Focus only on the situational attributions. Do not try to classify the dispositional attributions. For each different situational attribution that you have listed, find the category among those listed on the next page that best fits it. Write the number of the reason (from Exercise 1-2) on the line next to the category.

For example, if for your third reason you wrote that “the job was very interesting,” you would use the “Job Itself” category, and write “3” on the line for that category. If for the second reason you wrote that “I was given clear goals,” you would write a “2” next to the “Goals” category.

You will probably find that some of your reasons fit more than one of the listed categories. In that case, write their numbers in all of the categories that seem appropriate. If you find that your reason doesn’t really fit any of the listed categories, write its number in the “other” category. It is very important that you do not add new reasons to your original list of reasons. If you do so, you will undermine the learning that this exercise is designed to provide for you.

Step 2:

Next, look over the situational attributions that you listed in Exercise 1-3 for a period when you were performing below standard. As before, put the numbers of each reason into one or more of the categories listed on the next page, but under the column headed “Exercise 1-3.”

Again, take care to check only those categories that correspond to reasons that you listed when you originally did Exercise 1-3. Do not list new reasons even if new ones now make sense to you.

Exercise 1-2 Exercise 1-3
REASONS WHY PEOPLE PERFORM WELL REASONS WHY PEOPLE PERFORM POORLY
SUPERVISOR good communicatorfocuses on the positive   SUPERVISOR poor communicatorfocuses on the negative  
REWARDS pay was goodexcellent benefits   REWARDS pay was inequitablepoor benefits  
JOB ITSELF work was interestingwork was challenging   JOB ITSELF work was boringoverload assigned  
GOALS clear objectivesachievable goals   GOALS unclear objectivesunachievable goals  
FEEDBACK given good information on performanceinformation was timely   FEEDBACK little or no informationinformation was inaccurate  
DECISION MAKING was involved in decisionsmy ideas were used   DECISION MAKING not involved in decisionsmy ideas were not used  
CO-WORKERS shared ideaspositive attitudes   CO WORKERS competitivelow output norms  
REASONS THAT DON’T FIT OTHER CATEGORIES   REASONS THAT DON’T FIT OTHER CATEGORIES