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Organizational behavior concepts are relevant not only in the workplace setting alone, but can also be applied to almost all things and setting that we encounter throughout our lives. They can also be found in popular media, such as literature, popular music, movies and cartoons. The Art Imitates Life Project exposed our group to understand the pervasiveness artist, directors, and authors create when inspired by life and the world around them. We were able to analyze these media and depict which organizational behavior concepts applied to each. Our group selected to convey OB concepts from: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (literature), Dilbert (cartoon), “Get Back Up”-T.I. feat Chris Brown (song), and The Lion King (movie). From the media selected, we specifically focused on the organizational behavior concepts of personalities and teamwork, motivation, affect, emotions and influence and power. Description of Media and Concepts

Literature: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, by Paul Heins (translated by Brothers Grimm): Personalities, Motivation & Self-Concept
The story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, by Paul Heins, depicted some of the many different elements of Organizational Behavior (OB). From the different personalities of the seven dwarfs, to the self-concept the evil queen holds of herself, each page of the story of Snow White holds an OB concept, and also describes each one of the levels of analysis related to OB. The Evil Queen demonstrated the individual level of analysis, the Dwarfs showed group analysis, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, together showed an analysis of the organization.

To be the fairest in all the land was a goal of the Evil Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Snow White was growing into a gorgeous little girl and the queen could not have that. The beauty of Snow White was a motivation to the Queen to get rid of her. As the story unfolded, the Evil Queen tried on three separate occasions to kill Snow White after a Hunter failed to do so. The self-concept that the Queen held about herself was not strong. She was influenced by a royal culture and was once the prettiest, but when Snow White came along, the self-concept she once had about herself was gone. The Queen used her magic mirror to boost her self-esteem as this mirror never lied to her; however, once the mirror stated that Snow White was the fairest, the queen became enthralled with jealously. The situation of the Evil Queen can apply to an organization, as you have workers whom are focused only on gaining power and monetary gain for themselves. If that means sabotaging a co-worker, that person will do it, just as the Evil Queen poisoned Snow White to get rid of her and become the fairest of the land.

The Seven Dwarfs were an informal group of little men who mined for gold in the mountains. Each Dwarf has its own personality and its own roles. The dwarfs shared a common goal of not only mining gold, but of also keeping Snow White safe from the Evil Queen. As there is no saying what brought these dwarfs together, it is seen that each one of them is not the sole leader. There is a shared leadership in their group whereas given the situation; Dwarf 1 may step in to be the leader for Dwarf 2 . There is cohesiveness in this group and that is seen definitively when Snow White comes to stay.

When Snow White joined the Seven Dwarfs, they became an organization. The Seven Dwarfs were living with one another as a group until the day Snow White was found in their house unexpectedly. There was an unplanned change that occurred, once Snow White appeared and the Dwarfs came up with a plan quickly to make the situation that was put upon them a positive. They made arrangements with Snow White that if she stayed, she would tend to the house while the Dwarfs worked in the mountains. The organization had great lateral communication with one another in which everyone received the same information as the next. Snow White and the dwarfs were successful in their organizational goal, which was to keep Snow White safe from the Evil Queen. When the Evil Queen poisoned Snow White, even when the dwarfs though she was dead, they stuck to their mission to protect her by placing her in a glass coffin at the top of the hill and taking turns to watch over her.

The fairy tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs can be replaced with an organization. Your Snow White may be the employee whom everyone wants to emulate and your Evil Queen may be the employee who will stop at nothing to get what he or she wants. Your Seven Dwarfs are that group that was put together informally to get a specific task done. After reading between the lines of the tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, it can be found that this story encompasses topics of OB, and can demonstrate a possibility of what is occurring in a organization. Cartoon: Dilbert: Motivation

The comic strip Dilbert covered many organizational behavior concepts such as; employee motivation, attitude and job burnout. The Dilbert comic also described organizational behavior concepts on each level of analysis. Dilbert demonstrated individual analysis, the co-workers showed group analysis, and the boss demonstrated organization analysis. Dilbert is an engineer who sits in front of his cubicle for most of his working day and is overwhelmed by the unnecessary changes by management and devious co-workers. Dilbert is dissatisfied with the unpleasant work environment which influences his work performance. This particular day the boss says, “The experts say I should motivate you by displaying my own sense of passion and purpose, then yells, I love getting rich at your expense and golfing.” The boss (organization) is accountable for the direction, level, and diligence of a person’s effort finished at work. Dilbert is experiencing job burnout; he shows a loss of interest in and satisfaction with his job due to stressful working conditions and management making unnecessary changes. After Dilbert’s meeting with his boss his attitude changes in a negative way towards his boss and the organization. Dilbert represents the individual analysis and being employed in the corporate world.

Motivation is the organizational behavior covered in this comic strip. This concept is covered in chapter six: Motivation and Performance. Schermerhorn defines motivation as, “the account for the level and persistence of a person’s effort expended at work.” (Schermerhorn, Hunt, Osborn, Uhl-Bien, 2011, 130). Dilbert’s boss does not show any type of motivation towards his employees especially Dilbert. His boss is in his position to gain incentives off his employees and not to provide direction and persistence for his employees to perform effectively.

The three levels of organizational behavior analysis exist in the Dilbert comic. Dilbert demonstrated the first level of analysis, Individual. The character Dilbert relates to people dealing with the insanities of working in the corporate world, working in a cubicle for long hours, dealing with the unnecessary changes of management, devious co-workers, and incompetent managers. The co-workers demonstrated the second level of analysis, Group. The co-workers relate to people who are unsatisfied with their jobs and complain to fellow co-workers about their job and boss. Dilbert and his co-workers like many workers will avoid or lack motivation when working for an organization that does not value each individuals worth. Even though some people are not motivated by their jobs they stay for financial reasons. Dilbert’s boss demonstrated the third level of analysis, Organization.

The job of a manager (boss) in an organization is to get things done through their employees. Managers should be able to motivate employees. Some managers do not fully understand what motivates employees and is poorly implemented in the workplace. Dilbert’s boss has a lot to learn about employee motivation. Since there is no employee motivation at Dilbert’s job the level or energy, commitment, and creativity does not exist in his organization. Dilbert and his co-workers like many workers want to be recognized for their work and when they are they work better, smarter and a lot harder at their job. Dilbert’s boss (like any manager) who fails to motivate their employees, communicate effectively and keep employees updated about the organizations goals and tasks will see a decrease in their workers performance. Managers are responsible to provide an organization where employees can excel on the job through motivation or self desire.

Song: Get Back Up: Motivation, Affect, and Emotion
The lyrics of T.I. featuring Chris Brown’s song, “Get Back Up” have many components related to the concept of motivation. The textbook defines motivation as “the level and persistence of a person’s effort expended at work” (Schermerhorn, Hunt, Osborn, Uhl-Bien, 2011, 130). The chorus repeats “and when they push you down, you got to get back up” encouraging persistence even through challenges. The artist uses metaphors that translate to saying continue reaching for the best, even if others doubt you. In the end, you will succeed and come out on top. Others will no longer doubt you, but admire you. This also is an example of an intrinsic reward. A sense of accomplishment will be met after successfully reaching your goal that was challenging to complete.

The lyrics of this song can change the self-esteem of the individual. By hearing the message in the song, an individual can gain a sense of empowerment to overcome any obstacle they may be facing. On a group and organizational level, this song demonstrates the motivation that both systems may need to get the task completed. T.I. talks about how he has made mistakes more than once. The media is criticizing him on how he has not changed and is the same T.I. he was in the past. His message to them is that nothing they say about him will bring him down and he will keep persevering towards his goals. On the group and organizational levels, both entities will have times where they will be criticized for the things they do and the way they do them. To hear the message in this song to keep reaching for what they are trying to do, can be all the motivation a team and organization will need. Movie: The Lion King, Influence and Power

We related content from Disney’s movie The Lion King, to organizational behavior concepts of power and influence. This concept is covered in chapter 12’s Power and Politics, in the textbook. The textbook defines power as “the ability to get someone to do something you want done or the ability to make things happen in the way you want them to” (Schermerhorn, et al., 2011, 278). Essentially, power is controlling other’s behaviors. Influence is defined in the book as “a behavioral response to the exercise of power” (Schermerhorn, et al., 2011, 278). In the movie, power was battled for and won by Simba, who was to inherit the kingdom from his father. The movie began with Mufasa as King of the Pride Rock Lands. When his Simba was born, a ceremony was given to announce that Simba would take the power as king when he grew of age. During Mufasa’s era as king, he forbids the animals of his kingdom from going outside of the Pride Lands, where the hyenas dominated.

This is an example of power because the animals’ behaviors were controlled by the king to not go to that part of the land. Scar was Simba’s evil uncle who attempted to take over the kingdom and become king. He used reward power, defined in the textbook as “the extent to which a manager can use extrinsic and intrinsic rewards to control other people” (Schermerhorn, et al., 2011, 283), to persuade the hyenas to have him as king. In the movie he sings a song, “Be Prepared”, which detailed all the things that he would do for the animals if he was king. He stated “…stick with me and you’ll never go hungry again” (Dir. Rob Minkoff & Dir. Roger Allers, Walt Disney Pictures, 1994). In the end, Simba was able to build up courage to challenge his uncle Scar and take his place as king. Simba’s friends Timon, Pumbaa, Nala, and mentor Rafiki, all believed that he was able to successfully reign as king, despite his own disbelief.

A positive self-fulfilling prophecy is apparent here, where the others believed Simba could be king and after building self-efficacy, he took over the throne. These concepts and events occurred within an individual level of OB, where Simba dealt with and experienced these challenges within his self. The group level of OB was exampled through the lions’ clan operating as the dominate animals of the kingdom. Similar to OB, they represented managers of the kingdom or organization. The lions possessed shared leadership over the other animals, where they were responsible for providing adequate resources such as food. In the movie, the lions were responsible for hunting and providing food for the animals of the kingdom. On an organizational level, all the animals shared a particular way of co-existing, creating their own culture and organizational culture. Norms were established and understood among all animals; however, King Mufasa and King Simba held the ultimate power.

Our group learned from The Art Imitates Life Project, that there are many organizational behaviors concepts that can be applied to different settings and situations, and can even be covered in today’s popular media through literature, cartoon, song, and movies. After thoroughly reviewing our media, we learned that the authors had a deeper meaning behind their work, when relating these media to organizational behavior. Several of the concepts covered by the media easily related to people and the work environment because human behavior is inevitable in all that we do. Not only was it effortless to depict OB concepts within the media, but it also was surprisingly simple to apply the content to each level of analysis of OB. From this assignment, we has gained the ability to further analysis simple things, even those that provide entertainment to us, and relate them to our professional development in human resource development, specifically Motivationorganizational behavior.

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