Please use APA FORMAT. see attached example papers that had good grades and follow the format. Please make sure that scholarly sources are being used (around 3 sources are fine.) Primary Source needs to use the Likert Scale (from 1 to 10…). Here is the article you will be using:…The point of this 3+ page assignment is to see how well you can apply the concepts from the class to a particular topic in current events. Show how it relates to the goal of this course: getting work done with and through people/technology.Show me that you have mastered the substance of the article.POINTS WILL BE GIVEN BY SELECTING AN ORIGINAL ARTICLE NOT LIKELY TO BE SPOTTED BY OTHERS.Show me that you are taking the article as a STARTING POINT do to primary and secondary research using the research tools we teach in this course. Your research might confirm or disconfirm the article.Show me that you know how NOT to accept what you are told at face value.Show me you know how to form your own opinions and how to gather your own evidence.You get higher points for integrating primary and secondary research.In other words, whether you agree or disagree with the article is not that important to me.What is important is HOW you got the evidence to justify you agreement or disagreement.What theory or theories are behind the article?A theory is “if……., then…….”And it leads to prediction of the future.Based on what you learned in this assignment, what you might DO OR SAY MONDAY MORNING AT 8:30AM in some organization situation?It is OK to say that you would do nothing Monday morning at 8:30AM.Justify the decision on the basis of the article and your primary/secondary research.English spelling, grammar, and punctuation will be graded. Follow guidelines outlined below in Submission Format for Written Work.Structure: (1) title of OB in the news and how it relates to the objectives of the course (2) secondary research to confirm/question the ideas of the news story (3) primary research using a Likert Scale to confirm/question the ideas. (4) Monday Morning at 8:30: What you DO or SAY as a result of what you learned?




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ORGB in the News 3
WSJ: CEO Shadows Workers to Learn ‘Nitty-Gritty’ Details
I like this well written piece at so many levels: in many respects you tie in key themes of the
course and do so in a seemless way. You show how it has impacted your behavior today in a
learning group and how it might impact your behavior as a leader in the future.
–Larry Stybel
Prof. Stybel
November 30, 2016
For my third and final OB in the News submission, I chose a Wall Street Journal article
titled, CEO Shadows Workers to Learn ‘Nitty-Gritty’ Details. In this article, the author, Rachel
Feintzeig, examines a CEO’s employee shadowing project at a scaling software company called
Gusto. This ties directly into the core objective of this course – how to get work done with and
through other people. Throughout this paper, I will examine the parallels between the article and
our coursework, especially as it relates to open versus closed system thinking, the effect of
replacing CEOs (i.e. Starwood), the significance of retaining an insurgent culture, and how these
concepts tie into effectively getting work done with and through other people.
In summary, the article discusses how the CEO and cofounder of Gusto, Joshua Reeves,
fosters open system thinking to understand the ‘nitty-gritty’ work that goes on at the company.
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Gusto provides payroll and benefits software to businesses and currently employs 350 people
across two cities. As is common with a scaling startup, Reeves found himself focused
predominately on delegating and managing people. His role often consisted of signing new
employee offer letters and reviewing job descriptions, which he acknowledges, can cause a
disconnect. So, in October, he decided to start a new project and engage with employees on the
front lines. His plan is to shadow one employee each week on each of the 37 Gusto teams (from
software engineering to design to social media). Reeves stated, “The goal is to get in the weeds”
and has even tackled the role of a receptionist, which he claims to be his favorite yet. As a
receptionist, he engaged with roughly 75 employees in an hour at the desk, many of which he
didn’t know by name or whether they even worked at the company. He plans to revisit this
rotation every three weeks in hopes that the experience will make him appear more accessible
and “human” to fellow employees. While employees may be intimidated by the idea of a CEO
working beside them at first, it is an interesting project with great potential. In my eyes, it’s an
opportunity to share his aspirations, appreciations, and reinforce the company’s values.
Reeves can also use this opportunity to evaluate the personalities of the people in his
organization. As we examined in class discussion, an effective way to understand personality is
to search for recurring themes. Good!!
This can likely be applied throughout the entire organization as well – since Reeves will
be engaging with so many professionals on so many different levels of the company, he can use
this project to identify themes in the personalities of his employees and evaluate the company’s
culture. He can then use his findings to evaluate how these personality trends and the company’s
culture might influence the behaviors of the people throughout the organization. This also ties
into our discussion on the replacement CEO for Starwood, Steve Heyer. Good connection.
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Rather than expressing humility and spending time on the front line like Reeves, Heyer would
only stay in the St Regis hotels during his travels as CEO. This disconnect can cause CEO’s to
lose sight of the peripherals and ignore the importance of an open system perspective.
At first thought, the concepts explored in the article draw close connections to the book
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Carnegie urges readers to approach
management and social interactions using positive psychology. One of the most prominent and
recurring themes is the importance of appreciation. Reeves exemplifies the importance of
appreciation, humbling himself as an employee on all 37 teams throughout the company he
cofounded. As Reeves works beside his employees, he puts himself in their shoes, and asks
questions about their roles and how they might improve existing processes. In doing so, he
encourages his employees to be innovative and acknowledges that it’s healthy to ask questions.
Seeing his company from this perspective (at each level of the organization) expresses humility
and empathy, which enables him to better understand what motivates them. This same theory is
explored by Carnegie in ‘Part Four: How to Change People’ of How to Win Friends and
Influence People. Carnegie implores readers to ask questions instead of giving direct orders, and
asserts that acknowledging one’s own mistakes primarily serves as an expression of humility and
empathy, which helps convince others to change their own behaviors. As aforementioned,
Reeve’s actions accentuate these qualities, which I believe will better enable him to connect with
his employees/organization and will serve as leverage in his motivational pursuits.
For additional secondary research, I examined a study on charismatic leadership and
influencing employee behaviors. The study concludes that “a charismatic leader’s envisioning
behavior influences followers’ need for achievement, and the leader’s empathic behavior
stimulates followers’ need for affiliation.” Reeves exemplifies both envisioning and empathic
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behavior as an innovator and humbled CEO through his new project. To dive deeper into this
research, I reached out to a managing partner at Hightower Advisors, David Emma. David
played several years of professional hockey, captained the Boston College Eagles, and
represented the United States on the 1992 Olympic ice hockey team in France before starting his
career at Hightower, a scaling financial services company that serves high net worth individuals.
I presented David with the preceding quote on charismatic leadership and asked how it has
played a role in his career both as a professional athlete and financial advisor. During our
discussion, it was evident that David has found this to be an essential component of his athletic
and career successes, and explained that he has upheld these behaviors in all of his pursuits. He
associated envisioning with setting lofty goals, being passionate, and doing whatever it takes to
succeed. This reminded me of the insurgence mentality that is shared by many successful
founders, like Steve Jobs. Yes.
He then explored the importance of empathy, especially on a small scale as he’s worked
with many small teams. David explained that on smaller teams, it is easier to recognize the
behaviors of those around you, hold your peers accountable, and monitor culture. As Reeves
explained in the article, his role as CEO of a 350-employee company has led him to become
detached from the business as a whole. Reeves, however, has launched this new project in an
effort to better identify with his employees on the front line.
Through my research and understanding of the article CEO Shadows Workers to Learn
‘Nitty-Gritty’ Detail, I’ve recognized three focal points that will better enable me to get work
done with and through other people – empathy, humility, and innovation. To practice empathy, I
will begin by getting involved in charity and the community. I feel this will be an uplifting and
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equally humbling experience that will improve my ability to empathize with others. To practice
humility, I will ensure that I hold myself accountable and admit mistakes openly (also further
developing my ability to empathize). That’s good and that’s behavioral
To give a practical example, I am experiencing first-hand how empathy and humility can
improve the output of the collective group through a project I’m working on now. As two
members of my group continually demean our fourth member’s ability to contribute, I have
found great reward in utilizing positive psychology to appreciate this member’s efforts and
willingness to learn throughout the semester. I feel the positive reinforcement has empowered
him to continually put in a strong effort as he strives to be a value-adding member of our team.
Finally, to stay innovative, I will continue to be proactive in asking questions and
iterating on existing processes where efficiencies might be realized. It is my hope that this
curiosity and innovative thinking will also foster insurgency, a trait I hope to uphold as an
aspiring entrepreneur.
Works Cited
Carnegie, Dale. How to Win Friends and Influence People. New York: Simon and Schuster,
1981. Print.
Choi, Jaepil. “A motivational theory of charismatic leadership: Envisioning, empathy, and
empowerment.” Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies 13.1 (2006): 24-43.
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Feintzeig, Rachel. “CEO Shadows Workers to Learn ‘Nitty-Gritty’ Details.” The Wall Street
Journal. Dow Jones & Company, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.
I am delighted to give you an “A.” You tackled a VERY important topic
in organization behavior and a timely one too. You used a great
secondary research article (Pfeiffer) to suggest another tack. You did
primary research. And you came up with specific things you would do
Monday morning.
My own perspective is similar to yours with one exception. You didn’t
examine the nature of the corporate strategy. If the goal is to rapidly
build up a company and then sell to a strategic buyer, then I could see
that you don’t want to be dependent on people as much as you are
focused on systems and technology.
At the same time, this research may be a matter of how the research
was designed. “People are our most important resource” conflict with
the equally powerful cliché, “No one is indespensible in a well run
compahy.” The fact that culture comes in second suggests that this
might be an artificat of the research: culture depends on attracting,
retaining, and motivating the right people. And I think you point this
Well done, B. I’m proud of you
–Larry Stybel
I, Robot 2
ORGB 3201
Larry Stybel
We’ve all seen the movies, it starts with the simple tasks and next thing you know, the
robots have taken over the Earth. A new study done by the Korn Ferry Institute, when surveying
800 Chief Executives and other top leaders of global firms, “two-thirds said they believe
technology will create greater value in the future than their workforce will, and 44% believe
that automation, artificial intelligence and robotics will make people ‘largely irrelevant’”
(Weber). While the traditional logic states that people are the company’s greatest asset, they
didn’t even make the top five most important to executives. “When asked to rank their
business’ most valuable asset, leaders said technology matters above all,” showing a clear shift
in the thought process of our global leaders (Weber). They are placing more faith in the
advancements in technology than they are in the advancement of the human mind. More
specifically, executives believe that back-office infrastructure and customer-facing or product
tech technology is the most valuable, followed by culture, inventory, and R&D. While they are
correct on the culture aspect, this type of logic leads to companies failing in the long run once
their technology is outdated. They are underestimating the impact that implementing this
technology and eliminating people would have on the culture. Also, executives are starting to
become too driven by measureable metrics and not focused enough on the value each
employee adds. They have “become bullish on assets like technology because it is easier to
measure the impact of a software program than an employee” and their “desire to immerse
themselves in technology suggests they have grown frustrated with managing people” (Weber).
They lack the motivation and leadership skills to properly manage their workforce, and rather
than fixing the actual problem, they are trying to replace it with technology. As Jean-Marc
Laouchez, a global managing director at Korn Ferry, states “Paying attention to technology
alone ignores the fact that people are needed to make the best use of technology. Companies
may spend money on a software system, but the differentiator is what you do with it, and
that’s about people” (Weber). While technology can supplement and enhance a company’s
competitive advantage, employees still remain the most valuable asset to a firm. The company
culture is the lasting differentiator and remains constant even when technology becomes
outdated. For that reason, keeping employees properly trained and motivated is crucial to
maintaining a successful business. I read this study too. It is a very disturbing attitude and one
that I see in my practice. I agree with your perspective.
In the next five years, customer-facing technology and products are going to be the
most prized assets, according to the executives surveyed. It is not a surprise then, that
“information technology (IT) has long been recognized as an enabler to radically redesign
business processes in order to achieve dramatic improvements in organizational performance”
(Chen). Implementing IT that aligns with your company goals can greatly improve the business
process, making it easier to navigate and more efficient to use. One technology that many
companies are implementing is the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. These
systems are “not merely technology applications for marketing, sales and service, but rather,
when fully and successfully implemented, a cross-functional, customer-driven, technologyintegrated business process management strategy that maximizes relationships and
encompasses the entire organization” (Chen). CRM Systems have the ability to transform a
company’s interactions with their customers and make the process of personalizing their
offering to each customer much easier. They “have resulted in increased competitiveness for
many companies as witnessed by higher revenues and lower operational costs” while
“managing customer relationships effectively and efficiently boosts customer satisfaction and
retention rates” (Chen). It is clear that implementing this type of technology can be extremely
beneficial for a company. However, more often than not, executives who decide to implement
these systems don’t understand what it actually entails to make sure they are serving their
intended purposes. They are implementing these systems without giving the employees the
necessary training to use them effectively, essentially making the systems useless. As leaders,
they should be setting the example for their employees, but are not doing so.
While these systems are meant to retain customers and make their experience as
simple as possible, many don’t like the new technological aspect. “Although these
developments have benefited customers, there is also evidence of increasing customer
frustration in dealing with technology-based systems” because of the many glitches, failures
and trouble understanding that can occur (Parasuraman). When “more than a dozen
technology-related focus group interviews with customers of companies in a variety of sectors”
was conducted, there was a consistent “notion that customers have positive feelings,” such as
convenience, efficiency and enjoyment, “as well as apprehensions about technology,” such as
security concerns, impersonalization and lack of control (Parasuraman). In a survey I conducted,
11 people disagreed with the statement, “I enjoy dealing with technology based systems over
individuals” with 5 people strongly disagreeing, 2 feeling neutral, 3 agreeing and 4 strongly
agreeing. These studies suggest that not everyone is ready to make the adjust to a more
technology based environment. Many prefer their information, preferences and habits not be
stored in company databases that could potentially be breached. Not only do these new
technologies have imperfections, but they will not be a competitive differentiator between
New technology has the ability to improve a company’s business process while making it
easier for employees and customers to maximize their experience together. However,
technology itself is not a lasting differentiator that is going to give the company a competitive
advantage. In this day-in-age where “product life cycles are shortening and new-product
introductions are coming much more rapidly, relying on a static product technology for success
is increasingly problematic” (Pfeffer). Companies can’t rely on technology as much as they used
to because another company can invent a better product or create a better process that makes
the previous one obsolete. A perfect example of this happening was General Motors in the
1980s. They decided to invest “heavily in technology to automate its factories in the 1980s…
[and] spent some $40 billion for modernization and new facilities, in the process substituting
fixed costs for variable costs. In fact, GM spent enough money on capital equipment to have
purchased both Honda and Nissan. Unfortunately, it did not get much for that investment”
(Pfeffer). Their sales remained stagnant because “while making enormous investments in
technology, research, and state-of-the-art marketing, many of today’s managers continue to
ignore the single most important factor in achieving and maintaining competitive success:
people” (Pfeffer). They are forgetting the very assets that put them in position to be able to
make those types of investments. Skilled and motivated employees are necessary in order to
operate the technology and maximize the returns. Dave Fields, a senior audit associate at
KPMG, shared that “many accounting firms have implemented new software intended on
making the audit process more concise and organized. However, this software is designed with
auditor’s in mind, so someone who doesn’t understand the terminology won’t be able to use
it.” Executives need to realize that “the source of competitive advantage is shifting from
technology, patents, or strategic position to how a company manages its employees” because
they are the ones who really get the job done, not the technology (Pfeffer). Because of the
“continuous innovation and [need for] rapid response to market and technological changes,”
the necessity for “a workforce that delivers superior performance” is stronger than ever
(Pfeffer). If executives neglect to recognize how valuable their employees are, they run the risk
of leaving their company vulnerable to changes in technology and a decrease in company
To run a successful company and create a distinct competitive advantage, executives
need to “rely not on technology, patents or strategic position, but on how they manage their
workforce” (Pfeffer). Company culture is a lasting differentiator that is hard to duplicate,
whereas technology can be replicated easily once it becomes available. Getting rid of your
employees in favor of technology would completely diminish the culture and leave any
remaining employees feeling insecure about their futures. According to the article, “nearly twothirds of respondents said they ‘see people as a bottom-line cost, not a top-line value
generator,’” which is the exact logic that leads to a culture of insecurity and fear (Weber). As
we learned in the Southwest Airlines case, when employees are thought of as an asset that the
company seeks to maximize, it can create a unique competitive advantage that becomes a
driving force for the business. Alexandra Koza, an associate at Accenture, believes that culture
is especially important at consulting firms. She said “many consulting firms offer the …
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