January 2010

Master of Business Administration (MBA) Examination

I Semester (Autonomous)

Organizational Behaviour

Time 3 Hours                                                                                                  Max. Marks 90

Note- Attempt any three questions from Section A. Each question carries 22 marks. Section B is compulsory and carries 24 marks.

(Section A)

1.      "Organisation Behaviour is the study and use of information relating to the behaviour of people at work." Elucidate, Also briefly discuss Collegial Model of O.B.

2.      Which theory, Maslow's theory of Motivation or Herzberg's theory of Motivation, better explains the behaviour of people at work in India? Give reason for your answer.

3.      Contrast Classical conditioning, Operant-conditioning Theories of learning.

4.      (a) What propositions does path Goal Theory make regarding the effect of leader behaviour on subordinate satisfaction and motivation?

         (b) Some people say that conflict Is inherently bad, whereas others believe that some degree of conflicts in organization is desirable. Which view do you subscribe to any why?

5.      Write short notes on any two of the following-

(a)     Group Formation Process.

(b)     Cognitive Dissonance Theory.

(c)     Coping Strategies for Stress.

(Section B)

6.         Analyse the case and answer the questions-

When leadership floundered In NASA

When astronaut Armstrong set foot on the moon, it was the culmination of everything the National Acronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had worked toward for ten years. Plenty of money and strong management, along with high level political support, guided NASA to the moon. But since then NASA's leadership has floundred.

Part of the problem is lack of money. Another problem is that one third of NASA's top managers are of retirement age, and the agency's relatively low pay has hampered efforts to recruit younger replacements. And, since the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, NASA has been plagued with launching delays and mishaps, as well as more serious problems, such as the flaws in the $1.5 billion Hubble Space Tele cope.

Those problems have led to reduced political and popular support. In addition, costs consistently exceed budgets. Many of NASA's planned projects, notably the Freedom Space Station, are considered too expensive by Congress.

Bruce Murray, a former director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratroy, is among those who believe that NASA engineers have been ordered to cut corners to save money and maintain projects that will keep the agency alive. But leadership that encourages cost cutting, he says simply doesn't work. "We're headed for real disasters. The plan is sin now, pay later,' Murray says, "Good managers drop things they might otherwise do when money is tight" says Alton D.Slay, a retired Air force general who led a shuttle safety inquiry after the Challenger disaster.

A panel of experts, established by NASA at the request of President George Bush, says that to get back on track, NASA must first control Runaway casts the panel said, cause poor management, which in run causes low employee morale.

The panel also recommended that NASA's top management structure in Washington, D.C. be revamped and that outside contractors be hired to run NASA's regional research centres.

Originally intended to be "think-tanks", which would specialize in different aspects of research and development, the centers have become minifiefdoms, varing with each other for both funding and manpower. The lack of centralized planning for major projects adds to the lack of leadership.

Before the Apollo Manwalk, leadership at NASA's had come directly from the top-in this case, the White House during the administrations of Presidents John. F Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. put subsequent Presidents did not show the same strong support for the agency. They also did not set clear goals for NASA.

President Bush has tried to reverse the lack of White House leadership. He has called for a manned flight to Mars and further Moon exploration. He has also estabilished the National Space Council, headed by, Vice President Dan Quayle. The council has been a political supporter of NASA, but has clashed with the agency over future projects.

NASA has attempted to solve some of its own problems. The agency established an Engineering Council, composed of two dozen senior executives who review new projects to keep costs in line. But the agency has been slow to consider new ways of doing things or to took at ideas suggested by those outside of NASA.

One of those suggestions is that NASA should concentrate on those projects that could pay for themselves, such as shuttle luanches of commercial cargo.

To do that, NASA to centralize responsibility for the shuttle, which is now split between the agency and Lockheed Space Operations Co. Although it has a $1.6 billlion contract with NASA, Lockheed is not responsible for making sure that parts manufactured by other companies will work. With a prime contractor overseeing the shuttle project, it would be easier to ensure performance. Says phillip E Culbertson, a former NASA general manager. "It's an intriguing idea to ensure greater accountability."

Lack of accountability coupled with lack of money, were behind the major problems discovered in the Hubble Space Telescope after it was launched. The telescope's mirrors, designed to be the most technology advanced ever, were flawed, affecting the clarity of the photographs the telescope was able to transmit.

NASA blamed the main contractor, which in turn blamed subcontractors. Ultimately, it become clear that no one had overall supervision of the project. The result was a demoralized NASA work force and a drop in political support and public confidence.


1.      In what negative ways has NASA's management influenced employees?

2.      By encouraging employees to cut corners, how has NASA management shown a lack of leadership and undermined employee morale?

3.      Who could be considered the ultimate leader at NASA?

4.      What style of leadership has prevailed of NASA? What style do you think would work best?