Chapter I: What is Organizational Behavior
Managers are the individuals who run an organization. They get work done through other people. An organization is a consciously coordinated social unit, composed of two or more people, and that functions on a relatively continuous basis to achieve a common goal or set of goals.
Functions of Managers:
¾Planning: Includes defining goals, establishing strategy and developing plans to coordinate activities.
¾Organizing: Determining what tasks are to be done, who is to do them, how the tasks are to be grouped, who reports to whom, and where decisions are to be made.
¾Leading: Includes motivating subordinates, directing others, selecting the most effective communication channels, and resolving conflicts.
¾Controlling: Monitoring activities to ensure they are being accomplished as planned and correcting any significant deviations.
From understanding these functions, we can say that managers play three important roles:
¾Interpersonal roles: since they deal with others (subordinates or higher managers), and since they are responsible for the motivating of these people.
¾Informational roles: Since they are responsible for communicating commands and receiving reports and information.
¾Decisional Roles: Since they are responsible to making decisions such as distributing and allocating responsibilities and tasks.
A manager has to have three major categories of skills:
¾Technical skills: related to his function as manager. Eg. a bank manager has to be technically experienced with banking and finance.
¾Human skills: A manager should be able to communicate with people and to deal with them to achieve the goals of the organization.
¾Conceptual skills: The manager should be able to spot problems and resolve them, as well as to make decisions and foresee changes and developments.
Organizational Behavior (OB): This is a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups, and structure have on behavior within organizations, for the purpose of applying such knowledge toward improving an organization’s effectiveness.
Aspects making OB a necessity today:
¾Workforce diversity: the increasing heterogeneity of organizations with the inclusion of different groups. For example, there are people from different backgrounds and cultures working in the same company. This means that there could be conflicts, problems, and challenges to be faced. OB helps understanding these challenges before they could be resolved.
¾The need to improve quality and productivity: This is especially with respect to the rising application of Total Quality Management (revise marketing notes). TQM is defined as a philosophy of management that is drive by the constant attainment of customer satisfaction through the continuous improvement of all organizational processes.
¾OB also aims at improving people’s skills by helping management understand the situations and capabilities of these people through their behavior. In today’s world, people are considered an extremely important resource.
¾Since business environments are changing very quickly today, attaining stability is not very easy. Accordingly, what is needed is to make organizations flexible and capable of change. OB helps here since it enables management to understand the nature of the organization and how it can be changed to meet changes.
¾Improving ethical behavior: Ethics is today one of the increasingly important aspects of the business world, but making sure that ethics is part of the organization’s practices requires understanding the nature of organizational behavior, especially as many employees may find themselves in ethical dilemmas, that is, in situations where they may find it difficult to know or choose the right from wrong.
OB is a science like many others (eg. sociology and psychology). Accordingly, it deals with dependent variables (variables or factors that depend on certain changes that happen in the organization) and independent variables (the changes). Let us check them out:
Dependent Variables: In OB, the following are the dependent variables:
¾Turnover (how many people leave their jobs in the organization)
¾Job satisfaction: a general attitude toward one’s job; the difference between the amount of rewards workers receive and the amount they believe they should receive.
(Each of these variables is dependent because it will change if other things happen. For example, turnover increases if the boss is rude).
Independent variables, on the other hand, include the following:
On the individual level: Biographical characteristics, personality, culture, values, attitudes, ability, perception, decision making, learning and motivation.
On the group level: leadership, communication, culture, standards of behavior, power and politics, etc.
(Thus as these change, the dependent variables change because they depend on them).
Chapter II: Foundations of Individual Behavior
Biographical characteristics: these are personal characteristics such as age, gender, and marital status. Basically, what research has shown so far is that age does not affect productivity. In other words, it is not true that as an employee grows older, he will become less productive. At the same time, it has been found out that married workers tend to show less turnover or absenteeism from work, and at the same time, they are more likely to express job satisfaction than single workers. Such information helps managers when these are making choices among job applicants.
Ability: Ability relates to the individual’s capacity to performs the tasks in a job. There are two types of ability, intellectual (could be measured by achievement tests, intelligence tests and other tests), and physical (especially relating to strength, fitness, stamina and dexterity).
Personality: Personality is the sum total of ways in which an individual reacts and interacts with others. An individual’s personality is determined by a number of factors. First of all comes heredity (we inherit temperament and many other aspects of our personalities from our parents). Then comes the environment such as background, culture, values, and traditions, and these have a lot of effect on the way our personalities develop. Finally, there is the situation which imposes on us certain changes or ways of reaction (eg, under danger, unbearable stress, or severe fatigue, that is, things that we have not been used to before).
Personality Traits: These are enduring characteristics that describe an individual’s behavior. The Myers-Briggs Type indicator (MBTI) identified 16 personality types (listed in the table on page 55).
The Big Five Model is more relevant and important. This model has identified five major dimensions for personality:
¾Extraversion: A personality dimension describing someone who is sociable, talkative, and assertive (me).
¾Agreeableness: A personality dimension that describes someone who is good-natured, cooperative and trusting.
¾Conscientiousness: A personality dimension that describes someone who is responsible, dependable, persistent, and achievement oriented (me again, hehehe).
¾Emotional Stability: A personality dimension that characterizes someone as calm, enthusiastic, secure (ALL AGAINST): Tense, nervous, depressed and insecure.
¾Openness to Experience: A personality dimension that characterizes someone in terms of imaginativeness, artistic sensitivity, and intellectualization.
As you notice, each of us has all these dimensions but to different degrees, and certain dimensions are more dominant than others.
Concerning OB, here are some personality attributes that really matter a lot. They are as follows:
Locus of Control: Locus of Control: The degree to which people believe they are masters of their own fate. Some people are Internals, that is, individuals who believe that they control what happens to them. Others are externals, that is, individuals who believe that what happens to them is controlled by outside forces such as luck or chance.
Machiavellianism: this relates to the degree to which an individual is pragmatic, maintains emotional distance, and believes that ends can justify means. Some people are ready to deal with the devil to get what they want, whereas others are willing to lose all as long as they do not sacrifice their morals.
Self-esteem: This is the individuals’ degree of liking or disliking of themselves. Having a high self-esteem means that one is going to take more responsibility and risk because he enjoys self confidence. On the other hand, a low self-esteem means that the individual will avoid responsibility, risk and will show low performance because he does not think of himself as a worthy person.
Self-Monitoring: This is a personality trait that measures an individual’s ability to adjust his or her behavior to external, situational factors. For example, under economic crisis, people with good self-monitoring do not reflect their depression through low performance.
Psychologists have identified the following types of personalities:
Type A: characterized by aggressive involvement in a continuous and stressful struggle to achieve more and more in less and less time, and if necessary, against the opposing efforts of other things or people. (eat, walk and move quickly; feel impatient and in a hurry; rarely have leisure time or cannot enjoy it properly; obsessed with numbers, especially the time needed for success).
Type B: They are the opposite of Type A in everything. They are cool people and usually make it to the top in organizations because they see and do things better, even though they may work slower.
The personality Job-fit Theory: This theory identifies six personality types and proposes that the fit between personality type and occupational environment determines satisfaction and turnover (please read table on p. 66).
Now this part is only partly important, especially that it is pure psychology, but I will summarize it in simple terms.
Learning: Any relatively permanent change in behavior that occurs as a result of experience. Conditioning, therefore, is a type of learning since it is a change of behavior resulting from experience or training.
Classical Conditioning: This is a type of conditioning in which an individual responds to some stimulus that would not ordinarily produce such a response. (for example, if you get attacked by cats several times as a child, when you grow up, you may run away from cats, even though an adult does not ordinarily show such a response).
Operant Conditioning: A type of conditioning in which desired voluntary behavior leads to a rewards or prevents a punishment. (For example, at the age of 27, you were enjoying striking your finger nails on the wall, and then you found a cavity with $50,000 inside it. For the rest of your life, you may strike your nails on any new wall you meet, hehehe).
Social Learning Theory: People can learn through observation and direct experience. This means that a manager can teach people through instructions, or through their mistakes or successes.
Managers can shape (that is, affect in the way they want), the behavior of employees in many ways, especially through reinforcement. Notice: Reward is positive reinforcement whereas punishment is negative reinforcement.
Let us review some common things that you know from your own experience with reinforcement:
Continuous reinforcement: eg. Every time your secretary types a perfect letter, you give her a lovely smile.
Intermittent reinforcement: From time to time, you will give your secretary a nice smile when she gets the work done very well, but you are not going to do this every time she does a good job. This will still, however, reinforce the good work.
Fixed Interval Schedule: For example, the bonus paid before Christmas to all employees.
Variable-interval schedule: This is unpredictable. You may for example, pay bonuses to hardworking employees whenever possible.
Fixed-ratio schedule: eg. you pay the employee double for every unit that he produces above the ordinary rate of 200 pieces per day.
Variable-ratio schedule: This depends on the individual’s responses. For example, a salesperson might get reinforced after making two calls (he gets a sale) and sometimes, he has to make 20 calls before he gets another one.
Chapter III: Perception & Individual Decision Making
Perception: A process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment.
The Perceiver: The individual making the perception might be affected by many factors and motives. For example, he might have a special interest that affects his perception, or he might even have a certain set of values, feelings, attitudes, thoughts, or traditions that will cause such an effect. For example, a religious man will perceive a guy he catches with his daughter in his own home differently from what a secular man would make the perception.
The Target: The perceived also plays a role in making the perception be what it is. People usually show some similarities in behavior if they belong to the same age group, gender, cultural background and so on. This affects the way in which a person perceives another. At the same time, if we are perceiving a thing, the color, nature, texture, size, shape or other factors of the thing will affect our perception.
The Situation: The situation plays an important role in affecting our perceptions. For example, if you meet a woman in a short dress under the Dawra Bridge, you perceive her as a prostitute, whereas if you meet her on a formal company dinner, you will perceive her as the wife of some vice president.
Judging Others: We just love judging others, not only because we like to do that, but also because this makes life much easier for us, and we love it most when we turn out to be right. Let us see some aspects of judging others:
Attribution Theory: According to the attribution theory, when individuals observe behavior, they attempt to determine whether it is internally or externally caused. For example, if my colleague yells at me, according to this theory, I will try to find out whether she did this because I annoyed her, or because she is annoying by herself, or perhaps because she is feeling very nervous for some reason.
Fundamental Attribution Error: This is the tendency to underestimate the influence of external factors and to overestimate the influence of internal factors when making judgements about the behaviors of others. In this case, I will not consider that my colleague yelled at me because I was annoying her, but rather, I will search more among internal factors (eg. PMS, nervousness, stupidity, etc).
Selective Perception: People selectively interpret what they see on the basis of their interests, background, experience and attitude. For example, if a guy sees his girlfriend with a guy in the car, he immediately thinks that she was sleeping with him. Why? Because this is the background in Lebanon, or perhaps because how guys act (interests).
Halo Effect: Drawing a general impression about an individual on the basis of a single characteristic. This is especially very true when you meet a woman and you think she is Miss Universe. You meet her again, and you find her unattractive because your decision was made on the basis of her beauty in the first case, whereas in the second time, she opened her mouth and spoke out.
Contrast Effects: Evaluations of a person’s characteristics that are affected by comparisons with other people recently encountered who rank higher or lower on the same characteristics. For example, you meet a beauty among the beauties and you do not think that she is really beautiful. What if you meet her among the ugly ones?
Stereotyping: Judging someone on the basis of one’s perception of the group to which that person belongs. For example: All blacks are aggressive, or all blondes are stupid, or all brunettes are hot.
Perception can have many implications on the organization and its functions. Let us see how:
Employment interview: The interviewer makes perceptions during the interview, and this affects the hiring process. For example, if I go to the interview in jeans, he will think that I am not serious about the job because he perceives people in jeans to be losers or to be casual people.
Performance Expectations: If I go to the interview in jeans and I feel that the interviewer is not taking me seriously because of that, I might perform according to his expectation (that is, I will behave unseriously). This is known as self-fulfilling prophecy: you expect something wrong or inaccurate, but these expectations make the other person behave according to these expectations. (eg. Teacher perceives the kid as a loser, and the kid is affected so he becomes a loser).
Performance Evaluation: Performance appraisal is usually done according to the real performance of the employee, but with respect to the subjective part, the supervisor will be affected by his perceptions of the employee (yukhy, I hate him, he looks lazy). This could give undeserved points to a beautiful but lazy worker, or deprive a deserved worker of her points because she does not smile for example.
Employee Effort: How much effort people see you putting in your work affects their perceptions, even though you may not be producing as much in reality.
Employee Loyalty: Managers respond to their employees according to how loyal they perceive them to be. For example, a whistle-blower who reports on the wrong-doings of colleagues acts out of his loyalty to the organization (and its wellbeing), but he is perceived as a troublemaker by managers.
Decision Making: As we know, decisions are made to make use of opportunities or to solve problems. In either case, there are alternatives to be chosen. Choosing an alternative is not always pure logic. It is also affected by the perceptions of the individual, and these are in turn affected by his background, culture, beliefs, attitudes, the situation, etc.
Problem Identification: The first step for decision making is to identify a problem. Identifying a problem usually results from the process of gathering information, anticipating changes, and many other resources, etc.
Alternative Development: Find the potential choices and possible solutions to the problem. Certain important factors, standards and criteria should be considered.
Making Choices: Perception affects the making of choices by intervening in the judgement of the individual, resulting in biases in judgement such as heuristics:
¾Availability heuristic: the tendency for people to base their judgements on information that is readily available to them. I forget the bad things an employee did and remember his good work because it came latest, so I give him extra points on his appraisal.
¾Representative heuristic: Assessing the likelihood of an occurrence by drawing analogies and seeing identical situations where they don’t exist. Eg. if three graduates from AUB turn out to be terribly unreliable, the manager will not hire any more people from AUB.
¾Escalation of Commitment: This is the increased commitment to a previous decision in spite of negative information. For example, you know from experience that company X has poor service, but you still continue to do business with it because all your appliances come from this company.
Chapter IV: Values, Attitudes & Job Satisfaction
Values: These are basic convictions that a specific mode of conduct or end-state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end-state of existence.
Value System: A hierarchy based on a ranking of an individual’s values in terms of their intensity.
Please read exhibit p. 134.
Terminal Values: Desirable end-states of existence; the goals that a person would like to achieve during his or her lifetime.
Instrumental Values: Preferable modes of behavior or means of achieving one’s terminal values.
Please read exhibit p. 136 to understand the dominant values in today’s workplace.
Values differ from one culture to another. How do we assess cultures according to their values? I have listed these already at the end of the marketing notes, but for a review, read the list on p. 138.
Attitudes: Evaluative statements or judgements concerning objects, people, or events.
Cognitive component of an attitude: This relates to the opinion or belief segment of the attitude (eg. religious part of the attitude).
Effective Component of an Attitude: This is the emotional or feeling segment of an attitude (eg. hatred, chauvinism).
Behavioral Component of an Attitude: An intention to behave in a certain way toward someone or something.
Types of Attitudes: In an organization, people would express different types of attitudes towards their work, the organization and their managers.
Job Satisfaction: a general attitude toward one’s job; the difference between the amount of rewards workers receive and the amount they believe they should receive.
Job Involvement: The degree to which a person identifies with his or her job, actively participates in it, and considers his or her performance important to self-worth.
Organizational Commitment: The degree to which an employee identifies with a particular organization and its goals, and wishes to maintain membership in the organization.
Cognitive Dissonance Theory: Cognitive Dissonance relates to any incompatibility between two or more attitudes, or between behaviors and attitudes. For example, a Muslim who works in a pub. This theory claims that it is very difficult to remain consistent all the way through and that incompatibility occurs sooner or later. Individuals will try to minimize dissonance to avoid internal conflict.
Self-Perception Theory: It was always believed that people’s behavior is directly affected by attitude. However, this theory was developed after a number of studies showing that in reality, people tend to use their attitudes to justify or explain their behavior after the behavior was done. The relationship was therefore found to be weaker than expected.
Attitude Surveys: Eliciting responses from employees through questionnaires about how they feel about their jobs, work groups, supervisors and/or the organization. Questionnaires are excellent for measuring attitudes.
Job Satisfaction is determined by a number of factors.
¾Mentally challenging work: jobs that are not challenging tend to be boring and hence, lead to low morale and high turnover resulting from poor job satisfaction.
¾Equitable Rewards: When employees feel that they are being paid what they deserve to be paid, they are more likely to feel satisfied about their jobs. On the other hand, lacking the feeling of equitability results in poor job satisfaction levels among employees.
¾Supportive working conditions: eg, personal comfort such as having an Air Conditioner in the office, etc. these affect the morale of employees and their degree of job satisfaction.
¾Supportive colleagues: When co-workers are supportive, they fill in the need for social interaction, and accordingly, the individual gets positive feelings towards the organization and the work in general.
¾Personality-job fit: If a person is doing what his personality matches, he is more likely to have a high job satisfaction. For example, a person who likes moving around cannot be satisfied in a job where they pay him a lot of money, but where he has to stick around in a small room without moving.
¾Heredity: Job satisfaction is related to heredity through the fact that the desire for stability determines job satisfaction to a certain degree. Those who do not like to be stable cannot maintain job satisfaction for long.
Basically, job satisfaction will affect the job in three dimensions:
Employees react to job dissatisfaction in several ways:
¾Exit: Dissatisfaction expressed through behavior directed toward leaving the organization.
¾Voice: Dissatisfaction expressed through active and constructive attempts to improve conditions.
¾Loyalty: Dissatisfaction expressed by passively waiting for conditions to improve.
¾Neglect: Dissatisfaction expressed through allowing conditions to worsen.
(Please read table p. 157 for more details).
Chapter V: Basic Motivation Concepts (Very Important Chapter)
Maslow’s Theory of Needs
Among the early studies on motivation, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in particular was considered to be the benchmark in the progress of motivation as an organizational study. Maslow divided human needs into five levels which form a hierarchy. At the wide bottom of the pyramid, there were the basic needs of the human being, including food, shelter and sex. In the second level, there is stability, which includes pension plans and feelings of security. The third level included needs of belonging such as friendship and friendly relations at work, affiliation and other feelings of attachment which made the human being feel that he was part of other human groups. In the fourth level the esteem needs included status such as the job title and other prestige-related needs. On top of the pyramid, Maslow placed self-actualization as the highest human need and this included achievement and challenging the job.
Maslow’s theory received a lot of criticism. First of all, the hierarchy of needs as it was known was considered to be an oversimplification of human needs, because people do not feel their needs according to a uniform hierarchy. They are motivated according to the ways they feel and according to their cultural, social and other differences which makes one individual have differences from others. Consequently, applying this hierarchy in the systematic division assumed was considered to be controversial and even unacceptable by many critiques.
Other critiques pointed out that Maslow did not take into consideration that human needs from different levels may also occur at the same time, and that sometimes, upper needs may come before lower needs. For example, there are those who are willing to lose their friends and feelings of security as long as they earl a higher status inside the organization.
Some critiques argued that the nature of needs was different from what Maslow really thought. They believed that different needs have different motivational effects on the individual.
Although hundreds if not thousands of research works have been conducted on these theories, in particular, Malsow’s theory, we are still obliged to take these theories into consideration, even if briefly, because they constitute the earliest and first attempts towards understanding motivation. (Please see figure top of p. 170).
Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory
Of particular importance is Frederick Herzberg’s two-factor theory on motivation. Unlike Maslow, Herzberg did not try to perceive motivation from a single perspective, that is, the perspective of motivating factors. Rather, he tried to look at motivation by pointing out the satisfying and dissatisfying factors which led employees to behave in the way they did. Accordingly, he identified as motivators those internal job factors which led to job satisfaction and higher motivation. The absence of these factors, Herzberg argued, would lead to the dissatisfaction of the employee with the work and thus, the employee will not be motivated to perform at the maximal level. These factors, Herberg concluded, were the work itself, responsibility, achievement, recognition and opportunities for advancement.
On the other hand, hygiene of maintenance factors, as he called them, were those which are external to the job but at the same time located in the work environment. The presence of these factors, Herzberg argued was necessary to keep the employee satisfied (but not necessarily motivated), whereas their absence would lead to complete dissatisfaction, demotivation and perhaps leaving the job altogether. These hygiene factors included company policies, working conditions, job security, salary, employee benefits, relations with supervisors and management, relations with co-workers and finally, relations with subordinates.
Apparently, Herzberg’s theory has very important implications on the way jobs and employees are managed and organized. According to this theory, management will be able to maintain the employee’s satisfaction, and thus prevent turnover for example, as long as it maintains hygiene factors such as providing a high salary, securing the job, or maintaining positive relations in the company on the various levels with which the employee interacts. However the maintenance of these factors will not necessarily result in employee performance at the maximal level because in this case, the employee will not be motivated. Therefore, increasing the salary will not result in motivating the employee (at least on the long run) unless the motivator factors are also changed and improved, such as for example, allowing the employee more responsibility or assigning him to do a work that he really likes.
Another important implication of this theory is that management has to maintain all the hygiene factors as a precondition if it expects its employees to perform with at least the minimal level of satisfaction, otherwise, management will have to deal with situations of poor performance and high employee turnover in the organization.
In contrast to Maslow’s theory, Herzberg presents in this theory a more realistic view of the relations between management and employees. Even though there is a sequential relation between the two factors in Herzberg’s theory, since the hygiene factors should be present first, his model is much more sophisticated and realistic than that of Maslow. Nevertheless, the similarity between the two theories is that Herzberg categorizes those factors which Maslow sees as superior (eg. responsibility, achievement, recognition) above the hygiene factors (eg. security, benefits, salary, etc.).
ERG Theory: This theory identifies three groups of core needs, namely: Existence, Relatedness & Growth.
¾Existence: Basic and safety needs for existence.
¾Relatedness: social and interpersonal relations.
¾Growth: Intrinsic need inside us to grow and improve ourselves.
McClelland’s Theory of Needs: States that achievement, power and affiliation are three important needs that help explain motivation.
Cognitive Evaluation Theory: According to this theory, allocating extrinsic rewards for behavior that had been previously intrinsically rewarded tends to decrease the overall level of motivation. For example, if you have been promoted to the position of division manager and you internally felt happy about it, satisfied, prestigious etc., later on, if they give you more money as a result of this position (not for another reason), your position will decrease rather than increase.
Goal Setting Theory: The Goal-Setting Theory that was developed by Edwin Locke, and which is in conformity with the fundamentals of Management By Objectives (MBO) considers the involvement of employees in setting goals as an important factor that leads to employee motivation. Locke basis his theory on the stipulation that motivation is goal-oriented and therefore, operating on goals will likely lead to motivation. He therefore claims that goals that “that are clear and challenging will result in higher levels of employee motivation than goals that are ambiguous and easy”.
The implications of this theory are very important, since it stipulates that managers can manipulate motivation in employees by working on the goal-setting process. It is important to point out an important contrast to the Work Adjustment theory, however. The Work Adjustment theory states that involving employees in decision making may only motivate some employees but not those employees who are not interested in holding more responsibility. The Goal-Setting theory does not go against this idea, because goal-setting, although a decision-making process itself, does not impose a lot of responsibility on the employee, but rather, provides him with more control over his own performance.
From a managerial point of view, and with respect to managing motivation, the Goal-Setting theory has a number of important implications for managers. First of all, when employees (or managers) have specific goals to work on, they are less anxious than when they are working with ambiguous situations where the goals are not clear, and where uncertainty is high. Secondly, when the manager and the employee work together in order to define goals that are challenging but at the same time attainable, the employee enjoys the fact that he is contributing to setting the goal, while at the same time enjoying support and encouragement from the manager.
The Goal-Setting theory is of course in congruence with the Management By Objectives approach. According to this approach, employees are organized into self-managed teams, although a manager may be involved in the team. The team members set their objectives and decide on the standards of work. The teams may work with varying degrees of autonomy depending on the nature of the task and the way that it has to be accomplished. Also under this theory, managers may set goals for the teams they supervise, given that these goals are mutually agreed upon and that employees are aware whether these goals can be attained or not.
More importantly, this theory emphasized the importance of feedback in motivating employees. Locke argues that when employees are left in ambiguity without any knowledge of what their performance is like, they are like to suffer in their morale, and eventually they become demotivated. On the other hand, when employees receive continuous feedback on their performance, they become motivated to achieve and accomplish better. Higher motivation can be achieved in this context if the manager provides his employees with feedback accompanied with ways to improve their performance if this performance was not satisfactory. Such policy, Locke argues does not only motivate the employee directly, but also improves the relationship between the employees and managers, which is crucial to maintaining high motivation levels in the organization. Locke’s view in this respect is in contradiction with Herzberg’s theory since Herzberg considered relations at work to be hygiene rather than motivational factors.
Reinforcement Theory: This theory claims that behavior is a function of its consequences. Thus, if a positive reward will result, the behavior is reinforced whereas if a punishment is waiting, the behavior is not reinforced.
Equity Theory: Individuals compare their job inputs and outcomes with those of others and then respond so as to eliminate any inequities (usually by complaining). These comparisons are done in four main ways:
¾Self-inside: you compare the current situation with previous situation that you had in the same organization but in different positions.
¾Self-outside: you compare current position to previous situations in other organizations.
¾Other-inside: You compare your current state to the state of other employees in the same organization.
¾Other-outside: You compare your current state to the state of other employees in other organizations.
If the comparison shows that one is not treated with equity, employees may:
¾change their inputs (make less effort).
¾Change their outcomes (produce less).
¾Distort perceptions of self (Now I think that I am working harder than anyone else, especially when I compare what I get to what they are paid).
¾Choose a different referent (Well, I am still getting paid better than my Dad was paid 40 years ago for the same job).
¾Quit the job.
Expectancy Theory: The strength of a tendency to act in a certain way depends on the strength of an expectation that the act will be followed by a given outcome and on the attractiveness of the outcome to the individual. This means: If I am going to get a car (which is my real dream) if I graduate from high school, then I am going to study hard to pass my exams. My expectation is really strong.
Chapter 6: Motivation: From Concepts to Applications
The following are concepts applied by organizations to motivate employees.
Management by Objectives (MBO): A program that encompasses specific goals, participatively set, for an explicit time period, with feedback on goal progress. This means that specific objectives are set through the participation of the supervisors and the subordinates, to be accomplished during a specific period of time, and then the results on progress are discussed by all the parties involved. The aim of this program is to keep employees motivated by having them involved in setting their own goals and objectives that suit their abilities and their needs. At the same time, the program gives employees more ability to enjoy more responsibility and involvement in the job and the decision making processes.
Employee Recognition Programs: These are programs which recognize employees as effective members of the organization even in decision making. The term is very general, but as an example, in one program, employees nominate the members of certain committees or even the heads of certain divisions or groups.
Employee Involvement Programs: These are programs that involve employees in the management of the organization. It is a participative process that uses the entire capacity of employees and is designed to encourage increased commitment to the organization’s success. Here are some examples of such programs:
¾Participative Management: A process where subordinates share a significant degree of decision-making power with their immediate superiors (eg. they set time schedules and resource allocations together).
¾Representative Participation: Workers participate in organizational decision making through a small group of representative employees.
¾Works Councils: Groups of nominated or elected employees who must be consulted when management makes decisions involving personnel.
¾Board Representatives: A form of representative participation where employees sit on a company’s board of directors and represent the interests of the firm’s employees.
¾Quality Circle: A work group of employees who meet regularly to discuss their quality problems, investigate causes, recommend solutions, and take corrective actions.
¾Employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs): Company-established benefit plans in which employees acquire stock as part of their benefits.
Variable-Pay Programs: A portion of an employee’s pay is based on some individual and/or organizational measure of performance. These include the following plans:
Piece-rate pay plans: Workers are paid a fixed sum for each unit of production completed.
Profit-sharing plans: Organizationwide programs that distribute compensation based on some established formula designed around a company’s profitability.
Gainsharing: An incentive plan where improvements in group productivity determine the total amount of money that is allocated.
Skill-Based Pay Plans: Pay levels are based on how many skills employees have or how many jobs they can do.
Flexible Benefits: Employees tailor their benefits program to meet their personal needs by picking and choosing from a menu of benefit options.
Here we return to participative management because it is now considered to be one of the most important aspects of motivation and management today.
Participative leadership has earned a lot of support and popularity in recent years due to successful corporate experiences, in addition to research conducted on organizational behavior and leadership. The debate over leadership style is now more vigorous than ever and this is the result of certain emphatic changes that have taken place in the past few years. To start with, the educational and skill levels of employees and staff have improved significantly in recent years, and with such higher educational and skill standards, workers expect to be involved in the decision making process. Secondly, leadership has become more important than ever, in the face of the challenges that face organizations. Hence, leaders need more time, information and effort to achieve successful results. Participation and support by subordinates provides a relief to leaders who are aspiring to achieve change and success at the same time. Nevertheless, participative management, regardless of how effective it could be, is not to be seen as an all-purpose treatment. Participative management can be costly, faulty, and even with negative implications on factors such as responsibility and accountability.
Participative management is self-defined. It simply implies the involvement of employees and subordinates in the decision making process. It does not involve the waving of authority by the leader or manager, but rather, the sharing of information and power by the leader or manager with his subordinates in order to achieve better results.
Two advantages have been proven as consequences of participative leadership, namely job satisfaction and increased productivity. Research shows that subordinates who are involved in participative management will reflect a higher level of job satisfaction because their feeling of belonging, self-worth and self-esteem are higher. The subordinate’s involvement in the decision making process makes him not only enthusiastic about giving in his opinion that could be innovative or useful, but it will also encourage him to invest more efforts in achieving the goals and objectives that he was involved in setting with the superiors.
Participative management enhances the team spirit in an organization. It encourages subordinates to behave as players collaborating with their coaches. This certainly implements the cooperative ties in the organization and helps eliminate many barriers that usually stand in the way of development, growth and progress. Among such barriers are obstacles to communication, resistance to change, and rejection of influence.
Participative management also has another advantage over autocratic or authoritative management. It has the ability to legitimize certain decisions that would not be acceptable under other conditions. The nature of participative management involves subordinates in understanding the problem and identifying solutions to it. Certain problems require certain harm to be inflicted on subordinates (eg, the delay of pay raises). When employees participate in the decision making process, they feel that they are more responsible for what is going on and hence, they may be willing to accept the sacrifice so long as they know that they will in the future still have the power to participate in making things improve.
Yet, participative management is not always applicable. The nature of the organization is by all means a major obstacle to participative management. We cannot expect such style to develop in the military organization for example, where formality runs extremely high. Similarly, participative management, if ever applicable in public administrations, will be allowed to take place at minimal levels because of the centralized nature of decision making in the bureaucracy. Hence, participative management will not be applicable or acceptable in organizations where decision making has to be highly centralized and where organizational structure is highly formal.
Yet, even where applicable, participative management has its own woes. It has been found that participative management often boosts employee satisfaction more than productivity. If applied erroneously, participative management can result in turning subordinates into a team of managers who do not necessarily do their jobs in as much as they think high of themselves. Participative management is more likely to be productive when management needs to ease change, to seek innovation, and to improve teamwork, but it does not always yield the expected results on the level of productivity.
Another problem with participative management is that it weakens the concepts of accountability and responsibility. When managers decide to use the participative leadership approach, they fall in a dilemma. On the one hand, they realize that if they do not allow subordinates to involve in the decision making process with a certain degree of independence, they will simply undermine the credibility of their intentions towards participative leadership. At the same time, faulty applications of independence by subordinates will not lead to failures, but it will also embarrass the leaders who will stand accountable and responsible for the faults of their subordinates. Evidently, the risks are always there and they come with the participative leadership package, but are leaders always willing to take such risks? Certainly not. Hence, when authority and responsibility are delegated to subordinates, it is necessary to establish sufficient checks in order to keep a relative degree of control over the process. Yet, the establishment of such controls could in itself undermine the concept of participative leadership. Therefore, it lies in the ability of the leader or manager to make this process work successfully.
Participative leadership could also give rise to a political problem within the organization, thus, negatively influencing the decision making process. Those subordinates involved in the participative decision making may push and pull in the process, taking into consideration the interests of their fellows and departments. This could give rise to conflict, or at best, to the making of compromise decisions that please everybody. The decision making process becomes slow and ineffective, not to mention the faultiness in its efficiency. Such a problem is inevitable, especially in organizations with highly competitive or sensitive cultures.
Participative leadership is certainly an effective method that has been resorted to by many organizations in recent years. This process has developed as a result of the need of innovation, diversified views, and at the same time, due to the increased levels of skill and education among subordinates and workers. This approach results in boosting employee satisfaction and to a less degree, productivity. The major setbacks, however, are in the defects that could arise in responsibility, accountability, in addition to the influence of political interests. This is not to mention the fact that participative leadership is not applicable to all kinds of organizations. It must be pointed out, however, that the success or failure of the participative leadership as an approach depends on the culture of the organization as well as on the ability of those in leadership to organize and manage the decision-making process in a responsible and accountable manner.
Chapter VII: Foundations of Group Behavior
Group: Two or more individuals, interacting and interdependent, who have come together to achieve particular objectives.
Formal Group: A designated work group defined by the organization’s structure (Eg. group of executives or vice presidents or the board of directors).
Informal Group: A group that is neither formally structured nor organizationally determined. It appears in response to the need for social contact.
Command Group: A manager and his or her immediate subordinates.
Task Group: Those working together to complete a job task (eg. working on a specific project).
Interest Group: Those working together to attain a specific objective with which each is concerned.
Why do people join groups? (Please read exhibit 7-1 on page 242).
According to the five-stage model, here is how a group forms:
¾Forming: Uncertainty about purpose, leadership and other aspects of the group.
¾Storming: Intragroup conflict usually to decide who is going to control or command the group.
¾Norming: Close relationships begin to form after leadership conflict is resolved. Cohesiveness exists at this point.
¾Performing: The group is now fully functional and each knows his responsibilities and duties. If the group is permanent, this is the last stage.
¾Adjourning: If the group is temporary, this is the last stage. Preparations are now made for breaking up the group after having accomplished its tasks.
Please read exhibit p. 245 to review the types of relations within a group.
Group Structure: leadership is only expected in any group, even in an informal group. However, each member of the group has his or her own role within the group.
Role: A set of expected behavior patterns attributed to someone occupying a given position in a social unit.
Role Identity: Certain attitudes and behaviors consistent with a role (As a bank manager, you are with the Bank management whereas as a Bank clerk, you will probably stand with the Union).
Role Reception: An individual’s view of how he or she is supposed to act in a given situation, mainly as a result of the role he or she plays in a group.
Role Expectations: How others believe a person should act in a given situation. (you are the boss, therefore, solve the problem).
Psychological contract: An unwritten agreement that sets out what management expects from the employee, and vice versa.
Role Conflict: A situation in which an individual is confronted by divergent role expectations. (eg. Supervisor who is union leader. If management and union are at conflict, he has a role conflict).
Norms: Acceptable standards of behavior within a group that are shared by the group’s members.
Reference Groups: Important groups to which individuals belong or hope to belong and with whom’s norms individuals are likely to conform. (eg. Elie Mshantaf drinks Tropical, he is my ideal, I will drink Tropical too).
Conformity: Adjusting one’s behavior to align with the norms of the group.
Status: A socially defined position or rank given to groups or group members by others (also related to prestige).
Social Loafing: This is related to the size of the group. It is the tendency for individuals to expend less effort when working collectively than when working individually. The larger the group, the less effort will be made by each individual, and hence, the slower the work will be.
Group Demography: The degree to which members of a group share a common demographic attribute, such as age, sex, race, educational level, or length of service in the organization, and the impact of this attribute on turnover.
Cohorts: Individuals who, as part of a group, hold a common attribute (eg. same age, same color, same ethnic origin, etc).
Cohesiveness: Degree to which group members are attracted to each other and are motivated to stay in the group (strength of the group).
Group Processes: How groups operate
¾Synergy: An action of two or more substances that results in an effect that is different from the individual summation of the two substances. This helps explain how groups work. For example, if we add 1+1+1 we get 3, whereas in a group, the result could be only 2 (if there is too much social loafing for example), or 5 if the efforts are very effective.
¾Social facilitation effect: The tendency for performance to improve or decline in response to the presence of others. Having other people working with you could motivate you or, it may make you work less.
Group Decision Making: Consider the following points:
¾More opinions are given, and hence, more options and alternatives are available.
¾More resources are available from each member.
¾Higher quality decisions are made, especially that the decisions enjoy support from all or most members.
¾Decisions are more creative and innovative.
¾More time needed until group members agree.
¾Decision could be convenient to suit interests and pressures of all, rather than effective.
¾Responsibility is ambiguous as no one in specific is directly responsible for the decision.
¾Decisions are not efficient as they cost a lot of time and effort until they are made.
Groupthink: Phenomenon in which the norm for consensus overrides the realistic appraisal of alternative courses of action (You do not agree with the decision but you accept it because you do not want to divide the group or hear voices criticizing you).
Groupshift: A change in decision risk between the group’s decision and the individual decision that members within the group would make. This can be either toward conservatism or greater risk. This happens as individuals exaggerate their positions until an agreement is finally reached by all members.
Group Decision-Making Techniques: Several techniques are used by groups in the course of decision making:
¾Interacting groups: These are groups in which members interact with one another on a face-to-face basis. Communication is direct and open.
¾Brainstorming: This is an idea-generation process that specifically encourages any and all alternatives, while withholding any criticism of those alternatives. (Be crazy, don’t worry, just get us ideas and no one will criticize you).
¾Nominal group technique: A group decision-making method in which individual members meet face-to-face to pool their judgements in a systematic but independent fashion. The point is to have the ideas ready before anyone is affected by the others. Each presents his ideas and then discussions follow, until finally, each member will rank the ideas of all members according to a scale (eg. 1-10) and the idea with the highest ranks from all members will be finally adopted.
¾Electronic meeting: A meeting where members interact on computers, allowing for anonymity of comments and aggregating of votes (nobody will know who is criticizing him, and this keeps politics and personal conflict away).
Chapter VIII: Understanding Work Teams (Short but important chapter)
Groups and teams differ. Let us see how:
Work group: A group that interacts primarily to share information and to make decisions to help each other perform within his or her area of responsibility.
Work team: A group whose individual efforts result in a performance that is greater than the sum of those individual inputs (that is, they pool their efforts to get a greater value than if each had worked alone).
Problem-solving teams: Groups of 5 to 12 employees from the same department who meet for a few hours each week to discuss ways of improving quality, efficiency, and the work environment.
Self-managed work teams: Groups of 10 to 15 people who take on responsibilities of their former supervisors.
Cross-functional teams: Employees from about the same hierarchical level, but from different work areas (eg. a supervisor from each department), who come together to accomplish a task. We have two examples of these:
¾Task force: A temporary cross-functional team that has a very specific task to accomplish.
¾Committees: Groups made up of members from cross departmental lines, and usually having specific tasks to accomplish (mostly monitoring).
Trust is one of the most important aspects related to team work. It is a characteristic of high-performance teams where members believe in the integrity, character, and ability of each other. Please review p. 294, the chart.
Chapter IX: Communication
Communication is made up of the following essentials:
Message: What is being communicated.
Channel: the medium through which a communication message travels.
Decoding: Retranslating a sender’s communication message.
Feedback loop: The final link in the communication process. It puts the message back into the system as a check against misunderstandings.
Direction of Communication
Downwards: usually in the form of supervisors passing commands down to employees.
Upward: Employees reporting to supervisors.
Lateral: communication takes place among members of the same group or at the same level of the organization.
Formal versus Informal Networks
Communication networks are the channels by which information flows. Formal networks are task-oriented communications that follow the authority chain (usually all kinds of reports, memos, etc in the organization).
Informal networks: The communication grapevine, usually in the form of gossip or talk.
Nonverbal Communication: messages conveyed through body movements, the intonations or emphasis we give to words, facial expressions, and the physical distance between the sender and the receiver. Nonverbal communication can be of great value in understanding what has not been said, but it could be risky too.
Miscommunication is always possible. There are reasons for these problems. Communication Apprehension is one reason. It relates to undue tension and anxiety about oral communication, written communication or both. This is an individual disability that disables the individual from communicating properly. Other reasons include perceptions of the sender and receiver (eg. they perceive each other negatively or they distrust each other), in addition to various other reasons. These we shall relate to as barriers to effective communication:
¾Filtering: A sender’s manipulation of information so that it will be seen more favorably by the receiver. (eg. accounting manager needs more funds for the department, so he shows how in the past year the budget for his department was too small. He does not show that the budget in the year before was too big).
¾Selective Perception: The receiver selectively perceives the message. For example, if the receiver is a male chauvinist receiving the message from a female, he might not consider it seriously, or he might be too critical of it.
¾Defensiveness: If the receiver is afraid that he is threatened by the message or by the sender, he might misread the message and communication problems occur.
¾Language: Some words or expressions have several meanings and people may get things wrong. Errors such as typing or pronunciation could also be a problem.
Cross-Cultural Communication: If you are communicating with people from another culture, take the following into consideration:
¾Assume differences until similarity is proven: Unless you are sure that the gesture or expressions mean the same in both culture, do not intend to use it, especially if it might hold different meanings.
¾Emphasize description rather than evaluation: Evaluation is usually cultural, and hence, different cultural backgrounds lead to different evaluations. However, description is universal and acceptable.
¾Practice empathy: put yourself in the shoes of the receiver before you send a message.
¾Assess the feedback carefully (just in case your message was not correctly understood).
Chapter X: Leadership
Behavioral Theories of leadership: These theories stipulate that specific behaviors differentiate leaders from non-leaders.
Ohio State Studies: The studies at Ohio State University in the 1940s identified two dimensions of leadership:
¾Initiating Structure: The extent to which a leader is likely to define and structure his or her role and those of subordinates in the search for a goal attainment (eg. allocating tasks and resources).
¾Consideration: The extent to which a leader is likely to have job relationships characterized by mutual trust, respect for subordinates’ ideas, and regard for their feelings (the human dimension).
University of Michigan Studies: These studies identified two types of leaders:
¾Employee-oriented leader: one who emphasizes interpersonal relations.
¾Production-oriented leader: One who emphasizes technical or task aspects of the job.
The Managerial Grid: This is a matrix (9 by 9 squares) that identifies 81 styles of leadership (p. 352 the chart).
¾Fiedler’s theory hypothesizes that effective groups depend upon a proper match between a leader’s style of interacting with subordinates and the degree to which the situation gives control and influence to the leader.
¾Least Preferred co-worker questionnaire: This is an instrument that measures whether a person is task or relationship oriented as a leader.
¾Leader-member relations: the degree of confidence, trust, and respect that subordinates have in their leader.
¾Task structure: The degree to which job assignments are procedurized (that is, whether they are structured or not, or, whether the process is well defined as a structure or not).
¾Position Power: Influence derived from one’s formal structural position in the organization. It includes the power to hire, fire, discipline, promote and give salary increases.
Cognitive Resource Theory: This theory states that a leader obtains effective group performance by first making effective plans, decisions, and strategies, and then communicating them through directive behavior (that is, he acts as the ideal).
Situational Leadership Theory: This theory focuses on the readiness of the followers to accept the leadership of the leader. This theory argues that no matter how good a leader is, his effectiveness will be determined by the readiness and willingness of those under his command to follow him.
Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) Theory: This theory states that leaders create in-groups and out-groups around them. Subordinates who are considered among the in-group have higher performance ratings, less turnover, and greater satisfaction with their superior. In short, they enjoy higher status than those who are in the out-groups.
Path-Goal Theory: This theory states that a leader’s behavior is acceptable to subordinates in so far as they view it as a source of either immediate or future satisfaction.
Leader-Participation Model: A leadership theory that provides a set of rules to determine the form and amount of participative decision making in different situations. To view the set of rules, please check p. 363.
Attribution Theory of Leadership: This theory states that leadership is merely an attribution that people make about other individuals. In other words, this theory argues that outcomes are usually attributed to leaders, even when they are not. For example, Hoss will be remembered as a poor economic leader even though it was not actually his fault. Hariri will be remembered as a great economic reformer even though his reforms may be viewed as disastrous. The reason: there was more prosperity during Hariri’s time than during the time of Hoss.
Charismatic Leadership: Leadership is based on charisma such as powerful, attractive, heroic and popular personality (eg. Hitler, Abdul Nasser, etc).
Transactional Leaders: These are leaders who guide or motivate their followers in the direction of established goals by clarifying role and task requirements.
Transformational Leaders: These are leaders who provide individualized consideration and intellectual stimulation, and who possess charisma. They are usually very helpful and supportive to help people change.
Visionary leadership: This relates to the ability to create and articulate a realistic, credible, attractive vision of the future for an organization or organizational unit that grows out of and improves upon the present.
Chapter XI: Power & Politics
Power: A capacity that a person X enjoys to influence the behavior of Z so that Z acts in accordance with X’s wishes.
Dependency: Z’s relationship to X when X possess something that Z requires. So long as there is such dependency, X will enjoy power over Z.
Bases (sources) of Power
¾Coercive Power: This type of power is based on fear (eg. the fear that you will be fired from your job, that you will be demoted, etc).
¾Reward Power: Compliance achieved based on the ability to distribute rewards that others view as valuable (eg. you are able to promote, increase salaries, improve status, etc).
¾Legitimate Power: The power a person receives as a result of his or her position in the formal hierarchy of an organization (usually known as authority).
¾Expert Power: Influence based on special skills or knowledge. (Eg. an expert has a lot of power when people ask him even if he has a lower position than they do in the organization).
¾Referent Power: Influence based on possession by an individual of desirable resources or personal traits (he is rich, intelligent, attractive, etc, either or all).
As we said earlier, dependency is the key to power, but what creates dependency? Importance: If you control a source that is important, scarce or nonsusbstitutable, then you will enjoy a lot of power. For example, bank managers in Lebanon enjoy power due to importance, since credit facilities are very limited for small and medium-size businesses.
Strategies of power:
¾Reason: use evidence, data and numbers to support your point of view and prove your position (thus leading to power).
¾Friendliness (kiss up to achieve power).
¾Coalition: gain support from others to get power.
¾Bargaining: I will give you this if you give me that.
¾Assertiveness: I am determined to get what I want. You better comply.
¾Higher Authority: Win the support of superiors or higher authority.
¾Sanctions: Impose punishment on those who refuse to comply.
Sexual harassment: This is a reflection of power in organizations. It is all kinds of unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of sexual assault.
Political Behavior: Those activities that are not required as part of one’s formal role in the organization, but that influence, or attempt to influence, the distribution of advantages and disadvantages within the organization.
Behaviors in an organization may have political labels or ‘effective management labels’ depending on how they are perceived (check table 11-5, p. 413).
Impression Management: You try to affect the impressions that others form of you. Check table 11-7 p. 419.
Also important in this respect are the list of behaviors reported on pp. 420-421.
Chapter XII: Conflict, Negotiation & Intergroup Behavior
Conflict: A process that begins when one party perceives that another party has negatively affected, or is about to negatively affect, something that the first party cares about.
Traditional View of Conflict: The belief that all conflict is harmful and must be avoided.
Human Relations View of Conflict: The belief that conflict is a natural and inevitable outcome in any group.
Interactionist View of Conflict: The belief that conflict is not only a positive force in a group but that it is absolutely necessary for a group to perform effectively.
Functional Conflict: Conflict that supports the goals of the group and improves the performance (eg. we disagree on the best way to achieve a common goal. Israelis are good at this).
Dysfunctional Conflicts: Conflict that hinders group performance (we do not agree on the goals, the ways or even the interests. Well, the Lebanese of course).
Conflict Process: Five stages
¾Potential opposition or incompatibility: problems occur in communication or in structure to reflect the fact that there is a conflict.
¾Cognition and personalization: Awareness that there is a conflict is perceived by the parties involved. Conditions leading to the conflict may be there, and sometimes, things could go personal as those involved feel anxious and uneasy about the conflict, as well as hostility towards each other.
¾Intentions: Decisions are made to act in a certain way during the conflict. These could involve competing for resources. Collaborating all the goals of all parties may also be involved in the intentions stage. Avoiding the conflict altogether might also be witnessed at this point. Compromise might also be among the intentions, especially if each party is willing to sacrifice some of his or her demands.
¾Behavior: According to the situation and the intentions, the behavior of the involved parties will be seen. This behavior could range from a serious open effort to destroy the opponent, or it may be as insignificant as only challenging the other party without any hostility or anxiety.
¾Outcomes: Based on the conflict management techniques used to resolve the conflict, the outcomes will dominate.
Please read table p. 444 on conflict resolution and stimulation techniques.
Negotiation: A process in which one or more parties exchange goods or services and attempt to agree upon the exchange rate for them. Here are two major types of negotiation:
¾Distributive bargaining: Negotiation that seeks to divide up a fixed amount of resources. This is known as a win-lose situation because what one party wins is what the other will lose. Usually tough negotiations and the results could be hard for both.
¾Integrative bargaining: negotiation that seeks one or more settlements. This is known as a win-win situation because the two parties may reach an agreement that is based on trust and understanding, without causing damage or harm to either side.
In most cases, the two opponents cannot meet face to face to negotiate. They need third-party negotiations. Several third-party roles are known:
¾Mediator: A neutral third party who facilitates a negotiated solution by using reasoning, persuasion and suggestions for alternatives.
¾Arbitrator: A third party to a negotiation who has the authority to dictate an agreement.
¾Conciliator: A trusted third party who provides an informal communication link between the negotiator and the opponent.
¾Consultant: An impartial third party, skilled in conflict management, who attempts to facilitate creative problem solving through communication and analysis.
Chapter XIII: Foundations of Organization Structure
Organizational Structure: how jobs are formally divided, grouped and coordinated.
Work Specialization: The degree to which tasks in the organization are subdivided into separate jobs.
Departmentalization: The basis by which jobs are grouped together (what departments there are, and what jobs are included in each department.
Chain of command: The unbroken line of authority that extends from the top of the organization to the lowest echelon and clarifies who reports to whom.
Authority: The rights inherent in a managerial position to give orders and to expect the orders to be obeyed.
Unity of Command: A subordinate should have only one superior to whom he or she is directly responsible.
Span of Control: The number of subordinates a manager can efficiently and effectively direct.
Centralization: The degree to which decision making is concentrated at a single point in the organization.
Decentralization: Decision discretion is pushed down to lower-level employees.
Formalization: The degree to which jobs within the organization are standardized.
The Simple Organizational Structure: A structure characterized by a low degree of departmentalization, wide spans of control, authority centralized in a single person, and little formalization.
The Bureaucracy: A structure with highly routine operating tasks achieved through specialization, very formalized rules and regulations, tasks that are grouped into functional departments, centralized authority, narrow spans of control, and decision making that follows the chain of command.
The Matrix Structure: A structure that creates dual lines of authority, combines functional and product departmentalization.
Team Structure: The use of teams as the central device to coordinate work activities.
Virtual Organization: A small, core organization that outsources major business functions. This type of organization will rent most of its functions from other companies, while only concentrating on its core activities.
Boundaryless organization: An organization that seeks to eliminate the chain of command, have limitless spans of control, and replace departments with empowered teams.
The forms and structures of organizations are dependent on the environment of these organizations. Many types of organizations exist in various industries and communities, but there are two types that are very distinct, namely the organic and the mechanistic organizations. These two types stand as opposites to each other.
The mechanistic organization, as the name implies, is one in which there is a lot of emphasis on the functions and tasks. This is an organization that operates in very predictable and stable atmospheres, where the lines of command and communication are very clear, and where authority runs in a vertical line. Relations are very formal, and both superiors and subordinates know their functions very well.
Mechanistic organizations are also aimed at accomplishing certain functions and missions. These functions are very well defined, and each member of the organization is concerned solely with the accomplishment his or her functions and tasks that are very clear for him or her.
In the mechanistic organizations, the member is loyal to the organization and is clearly and rigidly obedient to superiors. The military school or the army represent the ideal mechanistic organization.
By contrast, the organic organization is one whose members and systems operate as an integrated organ, not as individual components. There are no clearly identified tasks in such an organization because most tasks are interdependent, and hence, requiring a lot of immediate communication between different members. For this reason, communication in the organic organization is both horizontal and vertical, unlike the strictly vertical model that exists in the mechanistic organization.
In addition to this, the structures of authority are not rigid, but rather, established in a less formal structure which resembles a network. Therefore, there is less concentration of power in the hands of the executive, unlike the mechanistic organization where the top executive acts as an omnipresent and omnipotent god.
Members of the organic organization do not commit themselves to their superiors. Rather, their loyalty is to the organization as a whole and to its objectives. The reason is that the members identify themselves in terms of their contribution to the achievement of organizational goals.
Organic organizations are mostly found in environments where there is a lot of continuous change and instability. The objective of their structure is to be able to deal with change successfully, and hence, the inflexible structure imposes itself.
While in the mechanistic organization prestige is related to affiliation with superiors and other members inside the organization, in the organic organization, prestige is related to affiliation with knowing people in the external organization. A typical example of the organic organization is a charity organization (See page 497 for diagrams).
Strategy: Structure aims at facilitating the strategy of the organization. It also affects how the strategy would be like.
¾Innovation Strategy: A strategy that emphasizes the introduction of major new products and services (in this case, we need teams and flexible structure to allow for the fast movement of processes).
¾Cost-minimization strategy: A strategy that emphasizes tight cost controls, avoidance of unnecessary innovation or marketing expenses, and price cutting (this requires simplistic structures that are very rigid at the same time).
¾Imitation Strategy: A strategy that seeks to move into new products or new markets only after their viability has already been proven. (See small table on p. 499).
Task environment is a concept which encompasses the environments which have an influence on organizations. Rather than involvement with environment which may be irrelevant to the organization, a process which is both costly and time wasting, management identifies, defines and analyzes those environments with which it has to deal. This helps the organization reduce its costs and make its decisions more effective and efficient. There are five main components of task environment, namely customers, suppliers, competitors, strategic partners, and regulators. There are interests between these and the organization, and therefore, every step or decision made by the organization has to take into consideration the effects that may happen to any of these components. Moreover, the organization has to always know the changes that are taking place in these components, otherwise, the organization may not be able to react correctly to the changes, which affects its stability and success negatively.
CHAPTER 14: Work Design
As a result of research conducted on jobs and tasks throughout this century, several theories were eventually developed. The Task Characteristic Theories seek to identify task characteristics of jobs, how these characteristics are combined to form different jobs, and their relationship to employee motivation, satisfaction and performance. In other words, these theories are used to study and analyze tasks and jobs to result in the best possible combination that can be used by companies to attain high levels of accomplishment and motivation in the company.
The job characteristics model identifies five job characteristics and their relationship to personal and work outcomes. These are:
¾Skill variety: The degree to which the job requires a variety of different activities: Eg. a job that requires a high skill variety could be one that requires computer skills, typing skills, filing skills, accounting and financial skills, communication skills, and customer handling skills.
¾Task identity: the degree to which the job requires completion of a whole and identifiable piece of work. For example, a job has a strong task identity if for example it involves opening, processing and closing a sale from beginning to end. By contrast, a weak task identity is involved if the employee is only responsible for one task of the job such as only opening or closing the account, but not the entire process.
¾Task significance: This relates to the degree to which the job as a substantial impact on the lives or work of other people. The higher the significance, the higher the satisfaction and motivation of the employee since this means that there is more responsibility involved.
¾Autonomy: This relates to the degree to which the job provides substantial freedom in scheduling the work and in determining the procedures to be used in carrying it out. Evidently, autonomy is enjoyed by those who hold sophisticated jobs and who have more experience and knowledge of the work: eg. experienced attorney in a law firm.
¾Feedback: This relates to the degree to which carrying out the work activities required by a job results in the individual obtaining direct and clear information about the effectiveness of his or her performance. This comes in many ways: eg. performance appraisal, statistical reports etc.
For further interpretation, view table p. 518.
Researchers have studied all these five aspects and formulated what is known as the motivating potential score. This score is an index which reflects the degree to which a job is motivating to the employee or not. The higher the index, the more likely the employee will like and enjoy the job since it scores higher on the five characteristics of the job.
Job reengineering relates to considering how jobs and tasks are done if job design is started all over from scratch. Ex., if you think that the tasks in a job are not very well managed, in that case, you may start engineering the job from the beginning. Here are the key elements of job reengineering:
¾Distinctive Competencies: This defines what is that the organization is more superior at delivering than its competition. In this respect, the management is going to reengineer tasks and jobs in order to capitalize on these competencies. For example, if a distinctive competency at Credit Libanais relates to the speed at which customer orders are processed, the management will do its best to improve the tasks in a job and even to reengineer jobs such that the speed element is still emphasized.
¾Process Value Analysis: Determination to what degree each organizational process adds value to the organization’s distinctive competencies. This analysis at Credit Libanais will enable the management to find out what characteristics make Credit Libanais different and competent. This way, management will know which tasks and aspects to emphasize on and to develop in order to assure better competitiveness.
¾Reengineering is like Total Quality Management in that it depends on analyzing processes and tasks, with special emphasis on quality. However, they are different in the fact that TQM aims at improving the tasks and the job bit by bit, whereas reengineering aims at achieving big results by simply changing everything in the job. It is important to point out that reengineering can be very effective as it involves employees in the reengineering process.
Physical Working Conditions and Work Space Designs: These are important aspects of the working environment that can have important implication on the motivation of employees and their performance. These include noise, temperature, lighting, air quality and space. Different industries, jobs and tasks have and require different qualities of each of these aspects. Management should always study and analyze what is most suitable for the employees so that they will not be working under pressure from these aspects. For example, if the employee has to communicate verbally with the customer in order to do his job very well, the employee will be under a lot of tension if there is a lot of noise around him.
Work Redesign Options available for management include the following:
¾Job rotation: The periodic shifting of a worker from one task to another. Job rotation helps employees avoid getting bored and at the same time, it enables them to acquire new skills and experiences. At the same time, it gives management the option of finding replacement for employees who are absent or who quit without enough time notice.
¾Job enlargement: This involves the horizontal expansion of jobs, meaning that additional tasks will be added to the job for the employee to handle. More importantly, this results in more diversity in the activities of the employee and hence, reduces boredom, adds excitement and even experience.
¾Job Enrichment: This relates to the vertical expansion of jobs. The vertical expansion of jobs means that the employee will have more control over the planning, scheduling and executive decisions related to the tasks. The aim of job enrichment is to make the employee enjoy more responsibility, thus appealing to his needs such as self-esteem, self-worth and to the significance of the job.
Chapter 15: Human Resource Policies and Practices
Selection practices include the following:
¾Job analysis: this relates to developing a detailed description of the tasks involved in a job, determining the relationship of a given job to other jobs, and ascertaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for an employee to perform the job successfully.
¾Job description: This is a written statement of what a jobholder does, how it is done, and why it is done. A job description is usually used in order to let the potential applicant know what kind of job he is going to do at the company before he is hired.
¾Job specification: This states the minimum acceptable qualifications that an employee must possess to perform a given job successfully. The aim of job specification is to let the applicant to a job know what qualities he has to have. Thus, an applicant who does not possess the needed qualities will be discouraged from applying for the job.
Selection Devices include the following techniques:
¾Interviews: Interviewing of applicants is used in order to establish a face-to-face contact with the applicant and in order to gather more information that may not be available in the job application form. However, in an interview, the applicant might be nervous and may not reflect a good image to the interviewer. Hence, an interview can be biased and might not give a clear picture of the applicant.
¾Written tests: These tests usually aim at detecting certain intellectual, cognitive and other characteristics of the applicant that are relevant to the job, especially things such as knowledge, concepts, applications etc.
¾Performance Simulation Tests: If the employee is going to work on a machine or on something that requires experience, the best way to know whether he can do the job or not is to let him run a performance simulation test. In this case, the real situation is simulated (eg. if the employee is to run a certain machine, a computerized simulation of the machine will be used to see whether the employee really knows how to run the machine).
¾Assessment Centers: These are a set of performance simulation tests designed to evaluate a candidate’s managerial potential. Management is not only about knowledge but also about the ability to meet certain pressures and to make decisions. Assessment centers are used to assess these qualities in a manager.
Skill Categories are divided into the following Classes:
¾Basic Literacy: These relates to the basics of knowledge such as reading, writing and calculating.
¾Technical skills: These relate to the ability to handle machinery or mechanized processes such as the ability to handle computers, typewriters, machines, etc.
¾Interpersonal: these relate to the ability to communicate with others effectively.
¾Problem solving: these relate to the ability of the individual to act correctly and effectively in cases and situations where problems arise. These skills are very important especially at the managerial levels.
Training Methods include the following:
¾On the job training: Employees may be trained while doing their jobs and duties as they are working at the company. In this case, the employee will be trained by a coach or a mentor, usually the direct supervisor or a coworker who has more experience with the job.
Off-the-job-training: Such training takes place outside the company. For example, Credit Libanais might send ten of its employees to a training center where they will receive training in various areas such as handling computers, customers, etc. This type is specifically used when new technology or methods are introduced, or when on-the-job training is not feasible because for example there is too much pressure on employees during the working hours.
Performance Evaluation: These are evaluation activities carried out by management to assess the performance of the employee. Such performance is conducted for several reasons:
¾To determine the compensation that the employee deserves.
¾To present feedback to the employee about his feedback so he knows where he has to improve and how he has to improve it.
¾To enable management to know which employees need training and in what areas or fields.
¾To enable management to know which employees are suitable for promotion or transfer.
¾To enable human resources management to know where it can relocate its employees and how it can the best use of them.
¾To enable management to know which employees it should retain in the company and which to terminate if they are not effective.
¾Finally, to enable management to have an overall evaluation of its workforce and to conduct research on its human resources whenever needed.
The following are the aspects that are usually evaluated in Performance Evaluation:
¾Individual task outcomes: These relate to the performance of the individual on the task: eg. how many units produced during the period, how many sales accounts made, how many complaints received etc.
¾Behaviors: How the employee deals with the assets of the company, with other employees, with management, etc.
¾Traits: whether the employee is dependable, reliable, confident, productive, possessive of a positive attitude, skilled at problem solving, etc.
Performance Evaluation may be conducted by the following:
¾Immediate Superior: The immediate superior is one’s boss and therefore, he knows a lot about what the worker can do or does usually.
¾Peers: peers usually evaluate each other according to what they personally can do and to what others do. Therefore, the way how they view each other counts.
¾Self-evaluation: It is not surprising to find out that in many cases workers can evaluate themselves accurately, depending on how they compare themselves to others and on how they see themselves.
¾Immediate subordinates: no one knows more about a person than the workers who call him “boss.” The behaviors of the boss, his traits, and his attributes are very carefully observed by his subordinates.
Needless to mention, each one of these methods will provide a biased evaluation of the person. The bias results from many reasons, some of which are professional and others which are personal. A better way is the following:
The comprehensive approach: This involves basing the evaluation technique on the feedback from all those who interact with the employee including himself, his boss, his subordinates and his peers.
The following are common methods of performance evaluation:
¾Written Essays or reports: This is the simplest form written by the superior about the worker in general, assessing his traits, behaviors, attitudes and abilities.
¾Critical incidents: This method depends on evaluating the behaviors that are key in making the difference between executing a job effectively and executing it ineffectively. The person doing the evaluation will report the incidents which relate to both cases. (eg. when the employee failed to do the job, or when the employee did something that made his job work very well).
¾Graphic Rating Scales: This is an evaluation method where the evaluator rates performance factors on an incremental scale. Different traits of the worker are rated on a graph according to a specified scale.
¾Behaviorally anchored rating scales: this is an evolution method where actual job-related behaviors are rated along a scale or continuum. For example, certain behaviors are measured, and whenever the employee makes a behavior, this behavior is evaluated according to a scale. (Some traits include: solves immediate problems, carries out orders, etc). Each of these traits is given a grade on a certain scale.
¾Group order ranking: This evaluation method places employees into a particular classification such as quartiles. This is similar to classroom classification where a person could be among the top five or the last five etc. The problem is that the same person might rank differently in different groups, and hence, the evaluation is relative and even biased, but it gives an evaluation of the employee relative to the group.
¾Individual ranking: This method rank-orders the employee from best to worst. Each employee will be a certain rank according to his performance (eg. he is the first, then the second, the third etc). We can never, however, tell whether the first and the second are very close or not, or whether there is a big different or not between the fourth and the fifth.
¾Paired Comparison: This method compares each employee with every other employee and assigns a summary ranking based on the number of superior scores that the employee achieves. Eg. If I have 30 employees to evaluate, I will evaluate each of them in comparison to the others and then I will rank them starting with the one who got the highest ranks in comparison to all the others.
Problems With Evaluation: Some of the major problems with evaluation methods are:
¾Single Criterion: Some supervisors are usually concerned about a single criterion about their employees. (eg. if he can handle this machine, he is good; or if he has a strong character he is okay). The problem is that this will lead to ignoring other traits and criteria that may be important for the evaluation.
¾Leniency Error: While some people are lenient in their evaluations, others are not. For example, in class A, a person scores 80 whereas in class B, another person scores 60. If the same teacher were correcting the two tests, the scores would have been the same, but the problem is that one test was evaluated by a lenient teacher while the other was corrected by a tough teacher. The problem in organizations is that some supervisors are lenient in evaluations whereas others are very tough. This makes some evaluations overstated or understated.
¾Halo Error: If the evaluator is impressed or influenced by some trait in the employee, his evaluation of other traits might be affected. For example, if an employee is very successful in handling angry customers, the supervisor might be impressed and might give by mistake a higher evaluation of the employee when relating to technical skills.
¾Similarity Error: If the evaluator shares certain similarities with the employee (eg. both are aggressive, or both are women, etc), he might overlook other traits and emphasize on this one, thus leading to a faulty evaluation.
¾Low differentiation: Some evaluators tend to use some of the scale whereas some use most of the scale. For example, a teacher who is known never to give a grade lower than 65 is applying low differentiation.
¾Forcing information to match nonperformance criteria: Sometimes, the evaluator might use criteria that are not supposed to be included, depending on how he sees the evaluation. For example, if the evaluator is evaluating an employee who comes from the best college in the country, he might increase his evaluation to match that criterion. Similarly, if the employee comes from a very poor college background, the evaluator might pull down the evaluation to meet that criterion he has in mind.
How to Solve Evaluation Problems:
¾Use multiple Criteria: this is an effective way to make sure that if one criterion are biased, the others will not be as such.
¾Emphasize behaviors rather than traits: This means that the evaluator should not pay much attention to what the employee can do, but rather, to what he does.
¾Document performance behaviors in a diary: This will make the evaluator more accurate as it avoids forgetting certain incidents or behaviors that may be important to take note of for the final evaluation.
¾Use multiple evaluators: using more than one person or side to do the evaluation can provide a better and less biased evaluation of the employee.
¾Evaluate selectively: It is better to have evaluators evaluate the employee according to the area or field that the evaluator is best experienced with. For example, the supervisor of a production team should do the evaluation according to the technical issues, leaving the behavioral and social aspects to be evaluated by some other who is experienced in those fields.
¾Train evaluators: this is an effective method of keeping evaluators updated so as to avoid errors and bias.
¾Provide employees with due process: This means that employees should know what is expected of them so that they know how to behave in a way that will give a good evaluation. At the same time, if there is a negative evaluation, the employee should be given the chance to defend himself and finally, the judgement should be made according to all views so that bias will be avoided.
Chapter 16: Organizational Culture
Institutionalization: This is when an organization takes on a life of its own, apart from any of its members and acquires immortality. In other words, when the organization no longer depends on the life or death of its founders or members, but rather, it becomes an institution in its own right. Companies which are own by shareholders are of this type. Partnerships or proprietorships, on the other hand are not.
Organizational Culture: A common perception held by the organization’s members. It is a system of shared meaning. To give an example: in the past fifty years, employees at Credit Libanais attend with their family a huge informal gathering which has become a tradition. This is informal gathering is part of their culture. Another example: employees in public institutions do not smile, take bribes and do not do any work. This is also part of their organizational culture.
The following are key characteristics in organizational culture:
¾The degree to which individuals are willing to involve in innovation and risk taking.
¾The degree to which employees are expected to show precision and attention to detail.
¾The egree to which management focuses on results and outcomes rather than on the techniques used (eg. break the law, do what you want so long as you accomplish what the company wants).
¾The degree to which management decisions take into consideration the effect of outcomes on people within the organization (eg. just fire those two, don’t think what or how other employees will feel).
¾The degree to which work activities are organized around teams rather than around individuals (in some companies each works on his own, in others, they all work together).
¾The degree to which people are aggressive and competitive rather than easygoing (eg. employees at American Life will try to sell each customer every insurance policy they have. They will even follow him to the toilet to continue talking to him).
¾The degree to which organizational activities emphasize maintaining the status quo in contrast to growth. (eg. Credit Libanais will not introduce the online banking because it fears that employees and customers will not know how to use it).
Dominant Culture: This expresses the core values that are shared by a majority of the organization’s members (eg. At Solidere, the dominant culture is one of arrogance and corruption. This is how the majority are).
Subcultures: Minicultures within an organization, typically defined by department designations and geographical separation (eg. Employees of Credit Libanais in Hamra are very arrogant in comparison to other branches).
Core Values: The primary or dominant values that are accepted throughout the organization (eg. never cheat a customer no matter what the price is, OR, never say no to the boss).
Strong cultures: Cultures where the core values are intensely held and widely shared.
Culture as liability: Organizational culture can be a liability to the company when it stands in the way of development and growth. For example, in a company where male employees are used to sexually harass female employees for many years, it will be difficult to change this culture and avoid legal problems. Similarly, rigid cultures prevent change and diversity in the organization.
Socialization: The process that adapts employees to the organization’s culture. Example, when a new employee joins the company, he goes through orientation where he is taken to visit the entire company and its departments. Eventually, he makes friends with some of the employees and he start learning from them what is culturally acceptable at the company and what is not.
Pre-arrival stage: This is the period of learning in the socialization process that occurs before a new employee joins the organization (it can take place for example by meeting employees from the company or reading about the company in the newspapers or hearing gossip about it).
Encounter Stage: The stage in the socialization process in which a new employee sees what the organization is really like and confronts the possibility that expectations and reality may diverge.
Metamorphosis stage: The stage in the socialization process in which a new employee adjusts to his or her work group’s values and norms.
Rituals: Repetitive sequences of activities that express and reinforce the key values of the organization, what goals are most important, which people are important and which are expendable.
Chapter 17: Organizational Change and Stress Management
There are five major forces of change. Please see table p. 627 for example and details. These forces are: nature of the work place, technology, economic shocks, competition, social trends and world politics.
All organizations undergo some kind of change at one point or another:
¾Planned Change: Change activities that are intentional and goal oriented. Eg. Credit Libanais management introduces a new plan to change the way employees behave towards customers, OR, a redecoration of the entire bank.
First-order change: Linear and continuous. This kind of change takes place in one dimension. For example, if we update the machines we use at the bank, we are not introducing a major change, and only things related to these machines will change.
Second-order change: Change that is multidimensional, multicultural, multilevel, discontinuous, and radical. For example, Credit Libanais decides to redefine the word “customer” and use the word “partner” and then changes its décor, its techniques, strategies, technology and culture to make this change happen.
Change agents: Persons who act as catalysts and assume the responsibility for managing change activities. Change agents can change the structure of the organization, the technology, the physical setting (décor and space), and even the people in the organization.
¾Resistance to Change:
On the individual level, resistance to change might take place as a result of habits, fear about losing security, economic factors (loss of income), fear of the unknown, and misunderstanding of change.
On the organizational level, resistance to change might take place due to structural inertia (eg. stiff bureaucracy), limited focus on change, group inertia (norms and values that do not like the new changes), threat to expertise (the experts may no longer be experts as a result of change), threat to established power relationships (eg. if this change happens, I will have a new boss who I don’t know and I will lose my influence) and threat to established resource allocation (eg. If change happens, I will no longer be able to get the sufficient resources for my department).
¾Resistance to change can be overcome in several ways:
Education and communication: Making people see the benefits and importance of change is one very important step to make them appreciate such a change.
Participation: Involving people in deciding how the change takes place will reduce their fears and insecurity, and it will even encourage them to be part of the responsibility and the activities.
Negotiation: Negotiating rather than imposing change can be very helpful in breaking down the resistance since it makes those who resist that they are not going to lose their positions or privileges.
Manipulation and co-optation: The use of false rumors and information can be very helpful in giving a favorable image of the change, thus making those who resist change think that it is better not to resist. This technique, however, can backlash, especially when the truth is found out to be otherwise. Threat might also be used in this respect to force people to change their minds and drop resistance.
Coercion: Executing threats (eg. fire those who resist) is the last resort to be used in case everything else fails. Such measures are sometimes necessary although they should not be used before all other alternatives have been exhausted, especially that they can make others more insecure about any future change that may be on the way.
Managing Organizational Change
¾Lewin’s Three-Step Model:
Unfreezing: Change efforts to overcome the pressures of both individual resistance and group conformity. In other words, break down the existing pattern so that readiness for change is high.
Movement to new status: Implement the change and start having it work.
Refreezing: Stabilizing a change intervention by balancing driving and restraining forces => Once the change is established, make it become the pattern so stability is achieved.
Driving forces: Forces that direct behavior away from the status quo.
Restraining forces: Forces that hinder movement away from the status quo.
Action research is a change process based on systematic collection of data and then selection of a change action based on what the analyzed data indicate. It is divided into the following steps:
Diagnosis – analysis – feedback – action – evaluation.
¾Organizational Development: A collection of planned-change interventions, built on humanistic democratic values, that seeks to improve organizational effectiveness and employee well-being. Such values may include: respect for all, equality, appreciation, open communication between employees and supervisors etc.
¾Sensitivity Training: Training groups that seek to change behavior through unstructured group interaction: free and open environment is established for these groups to come together. Relations are loose and informal, but they are directed by a professional behavioral scientist.
¾Survey feedback: The use of questionnaires to identify discrepancies among member perceptions, discussion follows and remedies are suggested.
¾Process consultation: Consultant gives a client insights into what is going on around the client, within the client and between the client and other people, identifies processes that need improvement.
¾Team building: High interaction among team members to increase trust and openness.
¾Intergroup development: Organizational Development efforts to change the attitudes, stereotypes, and perceptions that groups have of each other.
Contemporary Change issues for Today’s Managers
¾Innovation: A new idea applied to initiating or improving a product, process or service.
¾Idea champions: Individuals who take an innovation and actively and enthusiastically promote the idea, build support, overcome resistance and ensure it is implemented.
¾Learning organization: An organization that has developed the continuous capacity to adapt and change.
¾Single-loop learning: Errors are corrected using past routines and present policies.
¾Double-loop learning: Errors are corrected by modifying the organization’s objectives, policies and standard routines.
¾Stress: A dynamic condition in which an individual is confronted with an opportunity, constraint, or demand related to what he or she desires and for which the outcome is perceived to be both uncertain and important.
¾Constraints: Forces that prevent individuals from doing what they desire.
¾Demands: the loss of something desired.
There are several potential sources of stress:
¾Environmental Factors: for example, lacking knowledge of computers, inability to understand language
¾Organizational factors: eg relations with the boss or the department personnel, inability to perceive or know the rules, inability to cope with demands. These demands can be divided into the following:
Task demands: these are demanded by the task that the person has to do as part of his job, eg. time, physical effort, etc.
Role demands: these are demanded by the person for the position that he holds as a supervisor for example, eg. resolving conflicts, attending conferences, writing reports continuously, holding responsibility for actions.
Interpersonal demands: interpersonal relations with other employees and members of the organization.
¾Individual factors: these include family problems, economic problems, etc.
Stress is an addictive phenomenon. Thus when a person starts feeling stress, other factors will make the stress persist and the person gets addicted to it.