IGNOU BPAE 142 Solved Free Assignment
BPAE 142 Solved Free Assignment July 2023 & January 2024
Q. 1. Discuss the various theories of Learning.
Ans. There are different theories stated by psychologists to explain how and why the learning process takes place.
A number of experiments have been conducted for the same. There are different conclusions that have taken the form of theories of learning. Many theories have explained the modes of learning:
. Trial and error learning theories
- Classical learning theories
- Operant conditioning
· Cognitive learning theories, and
- Social learning theories, etc.
Conditioning Theory: The word ‘conditioning’ refer to the process of ‘training or getting used to’ or ‘accustoming to’ new situation or a stimulus.
The process includes self-substituting which means the original stimulus substituted by a new one and connecting the response with it. The two types of conditioning are Classical conditioning and Operant conditioning.
Classical Conditioning Theory: Stimulus-Response (S-R) bond of learning was proposed by E.L Thorndike and R.S Woodworth (1929) which states that a stimulus is connected to its response.
The bonds between S-R may be motor, perceptual, emotional, and conceptual and can be organised into systems.
The Russian psychologist Pavlov gave the behaviouristic theory of conditioned response known as Classical conditioning.
He experimented with as hungry dog which salivates when food is presented. He started his experiments by ringing bell every time when food is presented and then repeated it for number of times.
He rang the bell without presenting food but found that the dog salivated, since the dog had become conditioned to a response by salivating to the stimulus of the ringing bell.
The weaker stimulus is bell which is linked with the stronger stimulus i.e., food. Hence, the dog could transfer the response connected with the stronger stimulus.
The experiment led to the introduction of the terminology like conditioned stimulus (ringing bell), unconditioned response (salivation) conditioned response (salivation in the absence of food) has been introduced in learning.
The experiment done by Pavlov was restricted to the psycho-physical nature.
Educational Implications: The types of learning are not explained in the theory of conditioning but we can understand that repetition is of great value in learning things.
A meaningful and motivating drill is needed and distracting and opposing influences should be eliminated during the process of learning.
Operant Conditioning Theory: Accroding to the theory stated by E. L. Thorndike in his S-R theory, the responses or behaviours are weakened or strengthened by the consequences of behaviours. B.F. Skinner refined this concept in the theory known as Operant conditioning.
Operant conditioning means strengthening desirable behaviour by reinforcing it and by discouraging undesirable behaviour.
There were various research done by Skinner on the principles of Operant conditioning who used reinforcers for changing behaviour.
A Skinner box was created by him that was so designed that every time when the rat moves towards the lever, it receives a food pellet.
Thus, the movement of the rat towards the lever is trained by giving reinforcement with food pellets. The idea of shaping the behaviour of the rat was extended for shaping human behaviour.
The timings and the consistency are the key components in this experiment that are integral to achieving the modification of behaviour which act as effective reinforcers.
The importance of these factors was highlighted by Skinner in his experiment.
Timing: There should be minimal time between the response and reinforce. If the rat does not receive food pellet immediately after it moves towards lever, that behaviour will not be repeated.
Consistency: The rat goes towards lever only on getting the food pellet. The reinforcement should be given after every response.
The two kinds of reinforces developed by Skinner are:
- Primary Reinforcers: These are innate and have not been learned (food, warmth, sexual gratification)
- Secondary Reinforcers: These are stimuli which are provided externally.
The terms ‘positive reinforcement’ (rewards) and negative reinforcement’ (punishment) were used by B.F Skinner for shaping behaviour.
The process of shaping is commonly used to train animals but it is also used in modifying human behaviour.
Educational Implications: The theory of Operant conditioning states that giving rewards to students reinforces the students’ behaviour and a required behaviour can be sharpened by using positive reinforcers.
Cognitive Learning Theory: There are different human learning situations which do not involve specific kinds of association between the stimulus and response or between response and reinforcement.
The German psychologist Wolfgang Kohler studied the behaviour of apes and designed certain simple experiments that led to the development of one of the first cognitive theories of learning which is also called ‘insightful learning’.
Kohler’s Experiment: An experiment was done by Kohler by placing a chimpanzee (Sulthana) inside a cage with a desirable piece of fruit, often a banana, out of reach outside the cage.
The animal made use of an object as a tool that was placed nearby. The chimpanzee solved the problem and proved that it had some insight.
The following description is typical: Sulthana is inside the cage and it cannot reach the fruit, which lies outside, by means of his only available short stick.
There is a longer stick outside the cage, about two meters on one side of the object and parallel with the grating which can be pulled within reach by means of the small stick.
When Sulthana tries to reach the fruit with the smaller of the two sticks and did not succeeed, then he tears a piece of wire from the netting of his cage, but that too is in vain.
He picks up the little stick with the help of which he pulls the long stick. By making use of the long stick, he reaches the fruit.
According to Kohler, the cognitive processes underlying Sulthana’s behaviour is insight, a sudden awareness of the relationship among various elements that previously appeared to be independent of one another.
This means that:
- Learning is a purposeful and goal-oriented in nature.
- The stress is on the whole, generating the ‘Whole to Part maxims of learning.
- Learning helps in developing higher order thinking, reasoning and creativity among learners.
- The process of learning generates the attitude of problem solving.
Social Learning Theory/Observational Theory: Albert Bandura propounded the Social learning theory which states that learning occurs through the social context.
According to this theory, a learner’s social interactions with other knowledgeable persons affect his learning.
The focus is on attention, retention, motor reproduction and motivation. Bandura proposed that observation of others’ behaviour plays an impor- tant role in learning. Bandhura also stated three salient models of observational
- Live model which includes an actual person performing behaviour.
- Verbal instructional model which includes giving description of model behaviour.
- Symbolic model which includes a real or fictional character demonstrating behaviour through TV, books, online media,
Q. 2. Describe the different types of Communication.
Ans. There are different interpretations of the term communication. It is also referred to as a process which includes the exchange of behaviours. Some types of communication are as follows:
The three types of formal communication based on the direction of information flow are downward, upward and lateral. (i) Downward Communication: The communication that flows from top to bottom is downward communication which refers to the instruction and other official messages which starts from the top personnel of an organisation and is passed through hierarchical channels and reaches the lowest ranking official in the chain.
The oral downward communication includes instruc- tions, speeches, meetings, etc. and the written downward communication is sent through letters, handbooks, pamphlets, etc.
The five general purpose of the top to bottom communication as identified by Katz and Kahn (1978) are:
(a) Providing specific task directives about the job.
(b) Providing information about organisational procedures and practices.
(c) Giving the information about the rationale of the Job.
(d) Informing the subordinates about their performance.
(e) Providing ideological information in order to facilitate the indoctrination of goals.
There are several instructions which are passed through many channels and levels and are not understood correctly by the receiver of the communication in case of downward communication.
(ii) Upward Communication: The commu- nication is opposite of downward communication and the information travels from the subordinates to the superiors.
The method is used in making suggestions, appeals, grievances, complaints, group meet- ings, questionnaires, etc.
(iii) Lateral Communication: The commu- nication is either horizontal or diagonal and may take place among officials of the same level in the hierarchy or among the officials who are out of the superior-subordinate relationship.
The main objective of the communication is to spread information to all corners of the organisation and coordinate efforts to achieve organisational goals.
2, Informal Communication: The formal communication is the deliberately established communication system in an organisation which is supplemented with informal communication.
The communication might include two or more persons at different levels in an organisation communicating with each other in a way not formally charted out.
The rigidity of formal channels may give rise to informal channels of communication. There are many small groups involved in the informal communication in an organisation.
The excessive dependence of employees on informal channels indicates the weak coordination in the organisation.
Grapevine Communication: The grapevine communication is an important part of communication in an organisation and is unorganised, unofficial and informal in nature.
This is an informal channel of communication and happens when the formal channels fail or do not work properly then people spread rumours, false and irresponsible statement or half truths in all the directions.
It is called ‘grapevine’ channel of communication. Bovee and others (2000) stated that “Grapevine is an informal interpersonal channel of information not officially sanctioned by the organization” and according to Newstrom and Keith Davis (1993), “Grapevine is an informal system that arises spontaneously from the social interaction of the organization”.
R.W.Griffin (2013) stated that “the grapevine is an informal communication network that can permeate an organisation”.
Keith Davis classified the communication into four basic types:
Single strand chain: This includes passing of information through a line of persons to the ultimate recipient.
- Gossip chain: This includes dissemination of information to everyone, thus making a gossip chain.
- Probability chain: The process is random in nature and transmits the information to others in accordance with the laws of probability, and then the others communicate to still others in a similar manner.
. Cluster chain: This process includes a person gives information to a few selected persons who may in turn pass the information to other select persons. These linkages forms a cluster chain.
Rumour: A rumour can be referred to as a tall and unsubstantiated tale of explanations of events which move from person-to- person and pertaining to an object, event, or issue in public concern.
A rumour involves some kind of a statement whose veracity is not quickly or ever confirmed. The terms ‘rumours’ and ‘gossip’ are used sometimes interchangeably, but both are different.
Q. 3. Highlight the significance of Organisational Behaviour.
Ans. The organisation consists of many individuals possessing varied skills and expertise and work together to achieve the common objectives.
There is a certain behaviour of the individuals which is most appropriate for achieving the prescribed goals.
In the work, ‘An Enquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations’ Adam Smith (1776) stated that the “the greatest improvement in the productive powers of labour and the greater part of skill, dexterity and judgement with which it is anywhere directed, or applied, seem to have been the effects of the division of labour.”
The division of labour concept made the individuals posses varied skills according to their hierarchical position. The OB theories help in dealing with the following challenges faced by today’s organisations:
Workforce Diversity: The workforce diversity refers to the fact the group of employees are different in terms of race, gender, religion, caste, etc. which helps in bringing new perspectives to the workplace.
Globalisation: The feature is a challenge as well as an opportunity and the ones which take it as a challenge will be able to tap into the opportunities in a better way.
Customer-Orientation: Mahatma Gandhi stated that, “Customer is king” which does not mean that an organisation can sacrifice its employees as only the satisfied employees can make a customer satisfied.
There are limitations in most of the organisations in terms of tangible resources. The OB theories are important as the learnings from them can help the management to strike a perfect balance.
Innovation and Disruption: Innovation refers to using a new idea or method or process or technology which creates value for customers and profits for organisations.
Caroline Howard of Forbes stated that disruption is destructive and creative at the same time as it displaces an existing market, industry or technology and replaces it with something better.
Work Environment: The work environment includes the psychological space in which the employees have healthy relationships with their superiors and colleagues and get the deserved recognition for their efforts.
It is important to maintain a perfect work-life balance to operate at the optimum level.
Q. 4. Examine the various theories of Job Satisfaction.
Ans. The most important theories of job satisfaction and their impacts on workers are:
Maslow’s Theory: Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs is also relevant to the present topic of Job satisfaction.
A per- son is satisfied if his needs are fulfilled and he gets what he wants and if he does not get what he wants/he becomes dissatisfied.
The employees find greater satisfaction in those jobs which are able to satisfy a maximum of the Maslow needs.
The jobs which fulfil the needs of an employee for self actualization or a desire for self fulfillment are most satisfying.
Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory: The Herzberg’s Theory states that merely the fulfillment of basic needs is not sufficient for job satisfaction.
A man tries to actualize himself in his job and his self actualization needs act as factors of job satisfaction. The theory states that there are two types of work variables. Satisfiers and dissatisfied.
The satisfiers are those things or situations which lead to job satisfaction. Achievement, recognition, advancement, responsibility, etc. are things with give high satisfaction.
As these are related to the actual content of the job they are known as ‘job-content factors’ or “motivators.”
The dissatisfies are the things or situations that result in job-dissatisfaction. The matters which are related to company policy, supervision, salary and working conditions etc. are things that commonly result in dissatisfaction.
These are also related to the context in which a person performed the task, they are known as ‘job-context factors’ or ‘hygiene factors.’
Though both kinds of factors fulfil the needs of a worker, job-satisfaction results primarily from the ‘motivators.’
Stogdill’s Theory of Job-Satisfaction: Stogdill stated that the ‘output of an organisation are-group integration, production and morale.
He added that satisfaction should not be viewed as a ’causer’ of job performance. The individual should be seen in terms of the context of the total organisation.
The satisfaction of individuals is not necessarily related to production which merely results in group integration and cohesiveness, not always production in organisation.
On the other hand, morale and production are a function of group structure. In case of the conditions leading to high morale and production, it also lead to reinforcement of the exceptions of the workers, only then morale and production can be related to job-satisfaction i.e., job satisfaction, according to Stogdill, is an output or dependent variable.
Q. 5. Describe the meaning and nature of group dynamics.
Ans. Group dynamics is a process of group interaction which helps in determining how the group functions and how effective it is. It can be segregated into intragroup dynamics and intergroup dynamic.
Group dynamics can be used as a means for solving any sort of problem, influencing teamwork and to become more innovative and productive as an organization.
The concept of group dynamics will help in providing with the strengths, success factors and measures of it, along with other professional tools. It is a social process by which people can interact with one another in small groups.
There are some defined goals of each group due to which members are bound together with certain values and culture.
Cartwright and Zander stated that a group dynamics is a set of psychological, behavioural tools or procedures which help in changing the nature of groups, teams available in the organization to collaborate and work together for attaining the objective of the organisation.
Group Dynamics can be explained simply as it is a social process with which the people can form into groups or teams to attain a set of common goals.
The process is continuous in nature where the groups can be formed as the goals keep on changing until to achieve the final goal of the organisation. Group dynamics are the processes that occur between group members.
These dynamics are affected by each member’s internal thoughts and feelings, their expressed thoughts and feelings, their nonverbal communication, and the relationship between group members.
Group dynamics helps in understanding how each person’s actions make sense in the context of the group.
A group with a positive dynamic will feel positive and motivated and the members will work capably towards the group’s objectives and make shared decisions.
A group with a negative or poor dynamic will not be so productive rather the behaviour of one or more members of the group will disrupt the smooth running of the group.
Q. 6. What do you mean by Perceptions?
Ans. The manner in which something is regarded, understood or interpreted is called as perception. The individuals make use of their sensory impressions and then interpret it to derive meaning.
An employee may create a negative attitude about the employer, if they ‘perceive’ the employer as unfair, irrespective of whether the employer is actually unfair or not.
On the other hand, an employer may reward an employee if he is ‘perceived’ to be hardworking and efficient, even if he is neither hardworking nor efficient.
There are some personal characteristics that influence the perception process which include attitudes, motives, interests, experience and expectations.
When a supporter is in support of a party, he/she may consider the actions of the party as ‘just’ whereas the opponents consider the actions as unfair.
The target is same, but each one perceives it differently and therefore the diversity in perceptions.
Q. 7. Explain Theory X and Theory Y.
Ans. The Human Side of Enterprise’ is a work done by Douglas McGregor in which he recommended the two opposite views about human beings: a negative one called Theory X and a positive one named Theory Y.
Theory X states that the average a human being inherently dislikes work and will avoid it if he can and hence the employees must be directed or even forced by supervisors for performing job tasks.
The Theory Y states that the employees can view work as being natural, just like rest or play, and therefore an average employee can learn to accept, and even seek responsibility.
We van therefore note that the Theory Y believes that the higher order needs are the dominating ones and that the Theory Y assumptions are more valid than those of Theory X.
Theory X states that strict supervision, external rewards, and penalties are needed to extract performance whereas the focus of Theory Y is on the aspects like job satisfaction and proposes that workers need not be put under direct supervision.
The two theories are not totally opposite to each other and are the ideal type constructs and conceptually distinct entities. There is a mix of the two in applied situations.
There is a continuum from Theory X to Theory Y and all organisations are placed at one point or the other of the continuum.
We cannot have an organisation that is entirely ‘X’ or totally ‘Y’. Depending upon the motivation factor, a manager may have to shift from Theory X to Theory Y or vice versa which is an essential attribute of good management.
Q. 8. What is the difference between Groups and Teams?
Ans. The difference between a group and a team is that all the teams are groups but not all groups are teams.
Some of the differences identified by Johon R.Katzenback and Douglas K.Smith (1993) between work groups and teams are:
(a) There is strong, clearly focused leader in the work group and the team has shared leadership roles.
(b) A work group is individually accountable and the team has individual and mutual accountability.
(c) The purpose of both work group and organisation is same but the team has a specific purpose.
(d) There are individual work-products of the group but the team has collective work-products.
(e) There are efficient meetings in work group and the team encourages open-ended, active problem-solving.
[f]The work group calculates effectiveness indirectly but the team measures performance directly
(g) The group discusses, decides, and delegates but the team discusses, decides and does real work together.
Teams can be categorise into four types as follows:
(i) Advice teams: These are like boards, review panels, employee involvement groups etc.
(ii) Production teams: These teams are like manufacturing crews, maintenance crews, data processing groups, etc.
(iii) Project teams: includes the research groups, planning teams, task forces, etc.
(iv) Action teams: includes the negotiating teams, entertainment groups, military units, etc.
Q. 9. Describe Laissez-faire style of leadership.
Ans. Don’t let the name deceive you. Laissez-faire Leadership is not a “Who cares?” approach.
Rather, it involves empowering your employees, being hands-off, and trusting them to accomplish the task at hand without constant questions or micromanagement.
Laissez-faire leaders leave decisions to their employees, while staying available to provide feedback when necessary.
According to Lewin, Laissez-faire leaders exhibit four common behaviors and results:
1. Complete freedom for group or individual decision, without any leader participation.
2. Various materials supplied by leader, who made it clear that he would supply information when asked, but took no other part in work discussions.
3. Complete non-participation by leader.
4. Very infrequent comments on member activities unless questioned, and no attempt to participate or interfere with the course of events.
Former U.S. presidents James Buchanan, Herbert Hoover, and Ronald Reagan, as well as industrialist Andrew Mellon, and businessman Warren Buffet are often cited as examples of Laissez-faire leaders.
Qualities: Laissez-faire leaders are excellent at delegating, and they instill confidence in employees when assigning them tasks without oversight.
They are capable of providing constructive criticism when needed, and are often seen as trusting, as they willingly place responsibilities in the hands of employees.
When It Works: The Laissez-faire approach often leads to faster decision-making, as employees don’t need to ask a higher up for approval.
It is also especially effective in scenarios where the employees or groups are already trained and skilled for the task at hand.
These workers are fully competent and don’t require supervision, and when they’re empowered by a Laissez-faire leader, they may feel more accomplished when they complete their task without a guiding hand or directive.
When It Doesn’t Work: Hands-off can be problematic when your team doesn’t fully understand the mission.
Further, Laissez- faire leaders may find that without direction or oversight, employees don’t accomplish as much, or anything at all.
Unless you have complete confidence in your employees and their collective ability to complete a task without close supervision, you may reconsider this approach.
Q. 10. Comment on the concept of Organisational Change and Development.
Ans. The term organisational change refers to the process of changing the strategies, process, procedures, technologies and culture of the organisation as well as the effect of such changes on the organisation.
It refers the alteration of structural relationships and roles of people working in the organisation and the transformation that takes place in total work environment.
The change in the organisation includes a change in the individual behaviour of the employees as the organisations survive, grow or decay, on the basis of the changing behaviour of employees.
The modern organisations are highly dynamic, versatile and adaptive in nature.
The features of the organisation change are:
The concept of organisational development was propounded by Kurt Lewin. The approach deals with the management of change and development of human resources in an organisation.
It is applicable to the behavioural science knowledge to bring planned change within the organisation in order to attain the organisational effectiveness.
The concept of OD helps in creating an open environment for organisational learning.
French and Bell (1999) stated that the organisational development is a long- range effort to improve an organisation’s problem-solving and renewal processes, particularly through a more effective and collaborative management of organisation culture, with special focus on the cultural of formal work teams, with the assistance of a change agent or catalyst and the use of the theory and technology of applied behavioural science, including action research.
We can therefore conclude that the organisational development process has the following elements to manage change in an organisation:
(a) To develop a planned change.
(b) It acquires the systems perspective.
(c) It helps in creating short and long-term plans for organisational improvement.
(d) The objective is to change organisational processes rather than substantive content.
(e) The focus is on solving problems in the organisation and on human and social relationships.
(a) The change in any part of organisation affects the equilibrium of an organisation.
(b) The change in an organisation can affect the total organisation or its part ina direct or indirect manner.
(c) The process of change is continuous and ongoing in nature.