Organizational Behavior

Discipline: Semester at Sea Seminars
Instructor: Harvey
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 1050
End: 1205
Field Work: Day 6 - Kobe - 3 February | Japan
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the theoretical bases and practical implications of the organizational behavior field. We will investigate the human factors involved in organizations from three different perspectives: the individual level, the work team/group level, and the organizational level. Individual factors and motivational theories will be emphasized in this class. By the end of the course, conscientious students will have achieved the following objectives:

  • Development of a basic understanding of organizational behavior
  • Ability to articulate the implications of course material for individuals, groups, and organizations
  • An awareness of how cultural norms can influence employees’ behaviors and expectations in the workplace
  • Ability to analyze, discuss, and make recommendations about contemporary organizational issues
  • Ability to use course information to make informed decisions about their own careers

To achieve these goals, the course utilizes four primary components. First, the class uses a textbook which summarizes fundamental information and knowledge. Second, a novel is used to provide a humorous and insighful context to help you understand the real-life applicability of the course. Third, a self-analysis is used to help you understand how the class topics apply specifically to yourself and how they are relevant to your career development. Finally, classroom discussion and exercises are used to tie it all together and to create a forum in which questions and new ideas can be addressed.

Field Work

Country: Japan
Day: 6 - Kobe - 3 February

In this field lab we will visit a brewery to observe the traditional methods of manufacturing Sake. This visit occurs at the point in the course where we will begin discussing group dynamics and the collaborative sake manufacturing process provides a useful illustration of this aspect of the course. It also provides an opportunity to observe differences in group dynamics found in relatively collective cultures like Japan as opposed to those often observed in more individualistic cultures like the U.S. Academic Objectives:

  1. Observe how individual and group dynamics shape the manufacturing process.
  2. Identify how these processes reflect different collaboration norms in a relatively collective country.
  3. Observe how solutions to collaborative problems have evolved over centuries in this traditional manufacturing process.