Work and Organizational Behaviour

Second edition

by Peter Sawchuk, Carolyn Forshaw, Militza Callinan & Martin Corbett

Bonus OB in Film Features

A series of bonus OB in film features, which supplement selected chapters from the text. These features provide an entertaining illustration and exploration of organizational behaviour concepts and issues. Click on the links below to jump to each OB in film feature.


Chapter 4: The Odd Couple

The film The Odd Couple (1968) centres on the lives of divorced Oscar Madison (played by Walter Matthau) and his about-to-become-divorced best friend Felix Ungar (played by Jack Lemmon). Felix moves into Oscar's New York flat, but the two men have entirely different personality characteristics. While Oscar is disorganized and untidy, Felix is tidy. This amusing film traces their many interactions as Felix moves closer to his divorce and Oscar yearns to live alone again.

Watch the first 25 minutes of the film. What personality characteristics do Oscar and Felix display? What personality types best describe the two characters? What behaviour in the film led you to your conclusions?

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Chapter 5: A Beautiful Mind

The award-winning film A Beautiful Mind (2001) tells the story of the life and mental struggles of the brilliant mathematician John Nash, who' saw the world in ways no one could have imagined'. The film is an excellent dramatisation of the workings of human perception, and specifically, what happens to people when their views of the world become increasingly detached from those around them.

Watch the film and think about the way the producers manipulate our perceptions of the characters and events, as well as the origins and consequences of the perceptions formed by John Nash, his friends and his colleagues. You can also browse the official Universal Studios website at: www.abeautifulmind.com.

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Chapter 13: Master and Commander

The film Master and Commander (2004), directed by Peter Weir, tells the story of a British naval frigate, commanded by Captain lucky ‘Jack Aubrey- played by Russell Crowe-sailing across two oceans to capture or destroy a French warship at any cost. The high-seas military adventure provides some insights into leadership and the importance of leader-follower relations. Watch it and consider the following questions:

  1. Using any system of classifying leadership styles you choose, identify the dominant leadership style of Captain Aubrey.
  2. What qualities make for a good leader, according to Aubrey?
  3. Identify key traits and behaviours of Captain Aubrey, as illustrated in the film.

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Chapter 14: My Cousin Vinnie

My Cousin Vinnie (1992) is about a former car mechanic, Vincent Gambini, played by Joe Pesci, getting his first legal case after passing his law examination. His cousin Bill Gambini, played by Ralph Macchio, retains him as his defence lawyer in his trial for allegedly murdering a grocery store employee. In the first 10 minutes of the film, there is a scene in which Bill Gambini and a friend drive up to the store. It ends with the two men sitting on a bench in handcuffs. What is the basis of the miscommunication shown in the scene?

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Chapter 16: Oleanna

The 1994 film Oleanna, written and directed by David Mamet, is an ideal study of power as a highly complex phenomenon, in this case in the context of working and studying at a university.

In first half of the film you will notice a display of a variety of subtle and not-so-subtle forms and processes of power, authority and coercion. In the second half there is a reversal of power relationships. Watch carefully and try to note the myriad processes at play. See whether you can identify many of the concepts discussed in this chapter.

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Click here to navigate to a ‘Film guide’ providing more film-based activities, which support chapters in the text.

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