How would you react to your grandfather’s comments if you were John?

Organizational Behavior Case: Too Nice to People

John has just graduated from the College of Business Administration at State University and has joined his family’s small business, which employs 25 semiskilled workers. During the first week on the job, his grandfather called him in and said: “John, I’ve had a chance to observe you working with our employees for the past two months and, although I hate to, I feel I must say something. You are just too nice to people. I know they taught you that human behavior stuff at the university, but it just doesn’t work here. I remember when we discussed the Hawthorne studies when I was in school and everybody at the university seemed excited about them, but believe me, there is more to managing people than just being nice to them.”

1. How would you react to your grandfather’s comments if you were John?

2. Do you think John’s grandfather understood and interpreted the Hawthorne studies correctly?

3. What phases of management do you think John’s grandfather has gone through in this family business? Do you think he understands the significance of recent trends in the environment and how the new paradigm will affect his business?

4. How would you explain to your grandfather the new perspective that is needed and how the study of an evidence-based approach to organizational behavior will help the business be successful in the new paradigm?

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