ORGANISATION THEORY AND BEHAVIOUR
CLASS: DIPLOMA IN HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT MODULE III
TOPIC 1: INTRODUCTION TO ORGANIZATION THEORY AND BEHAVIOUR
1.1 Definition of terms used in Organization theory and Behaviour
Organization comprise of two or more people engaged in a systematic and harmonized effort , persistently over a period of time in pursuit of goals.
Behavior is defined as what people do which can be observed or measured.
Organizational behavior 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 towards improving an organization’s effectiveness.
1.2 Elements of Organisational Behaviour
- People: People make up the internal and social system of the organisation. They consist of individuals and groups. The groups may be big or small; formal or informal; official or unofficial. Groups are dynamic and they work in the organisation to achieve their objectives.
- Structure: Structure defines the formal relationships of the people in organisations. Different people in the organisation are performing different type of jobs and they need to be (elated in some structural way so that their work can be effectively co-ordinated.
- Technology: Technology such as machines and work processes provide the resources with which people work and affects the tasks that they perform. The technology used has a significant influence on working relationships. It allows people to do more and work better but it also restricts’ people in various ways.
- Environment: All organisations operate within an external environment. It is the part of a larger system that contains many other elements such as government, family and other organisations. All of these mutually influence each other in a complex system that creates a context for a group of people.
1.3 Importance of studying organizational behavior
The pace of change in organization is accelerating and transformation is occurring at various work places. Therefore is time for organization, to know how to combat change for the
prosperity of organizations. The following are trends that are currently in most organizations;
Trends in current organizations. The following are trends that are currently in most organization.
Globalization refers to economic, social and cultural connectivity with people in other parts of the world. It’s an ongoing process which influences aspects of organizations which some are advantageous and others are disadvantageous.
Globalization is applauded for increasing organizational efficiency and providing a broader network to attract valuable knowledge and skills while it also presents new challenges like; competitive pressures , market volatility , longer working hours, heavier workloads and work – family conflict amongst others.
ii. Information Technology
The internet and other forms of information technology are changing daily e.g.
It is connecting people around the planet and allowing small businesses in developing countries to compete in global market place within organization.
It has reshaped the dynamics of organization power and politics.
It has created new standards for competitive advantage through knowledge management.
It has brought about telecommunication where employees work from home with a computer connection to the office
iii. The changing workforce.
Dimension of workforce involves primary and secondary diversity. Primary dimension involve; gender, ethnicity, age, race, sexual orientation, mental/physical qualities that represent individual’s socialization and self identity .Secondary dimension involve education, marital status, religion and work place. Diversity of this workforce presents both challenges and opportunities in organizations. Opportunities like ;competitive advantage , reverse of market share among others .Challenges involve racism, stereotyping conflicts e.t.c
iv. Emerging Employment Relationships The changing workforce, new information & communication technology and globalization have fueled substantial changes in employment relationships. Employees face increasing turbulence in their work/employment, where they perform a variety of work activities rather than hold specific jobs and are expected to continuously learn skills that will keep them employed .This brings implications on job design, organizational loyalty and work stress.
v. Work Place Values And Ethics Values represent stable, long-lasting beliefs about what is important in a variety of situation that guide decisions and action, while ethics is the study of moral principles or values that determine whether actions are right or wrong and outcomes are good and bad. Companies are learning to apply values in a global environment and they are under pressure to abide by ethical values and higher standards of cooperate social responsibility.
1.5 Theories of Organisation behaviour
- Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Figure 3.1: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
- Needs were categorized as five levels of lower- to higher order needs.
- Individuals must satisfy lower-order needs before they can satisfy higher order needs.
- Satisfied needs will no longer motivate.
- Motivating a person depends on knowing at what level that person is on the hierarchy.
- Hierarchy of needs
- Lower-order (external): physiological, safety
- Higher-order (internal): social, esteem, self-actualization
- The difference is that higher order needs are satisfied internally while lower-order needs are satisfied externally.
- McGregor’s Theory X and Y
Douglas McGregor (1960) produced his analysis of the different views about people and how they should be motivated. Theory X is the traditional view that the average human dislikes work and wishes to avoid responsibility and that, therefore, ‘most people must be coerced, controlled, directed, threatened with punishment to get them to put forward adequate effort towards organizational objectives’. In contrast, theory Y emphasizes that people will exercise self-direction in the service of objectives to which they are committed and that commitment to objectives is a function of the rewards associated with their achievement.
- Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory
- Job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction are created by different factors.
- Hygiene factors: extrinsic (environmental) factors that create job dissatisfaction.
- Motivators: intrinsic (psychological) factors that create job satisfaction.
- Attempted to explain why job satisfaction does not result in increased performance.
- The opposite of satisfaction is not dissatisfaction, but rather no satisfaction.
Herzberg Two-Factor theory divides Maslow’s Hierarchy into a lower-level and a higher-level set of needs, and suggests that the best way to provide motivation for an employee is to offer to satisfy the person’s higher-order needs, ego and self-actualization. Herzberg said that lower-order needs, or hygiene factors, are different from higher-order needs, or motivators. He maintains that adding more hygiene factors to the job is a very bad way to motivate because lower-order needs are quickly satisfied.
- iv) Hawthorne Studies
Led by Elton Mayo (1939) with a research team from Harvard University who were interested in find out how changes in work environment impact productivity. Four major phases marked Hawthorne Studies;
- The illumination studies: designed to determine the influence of lighting on worker productivity. No significant difference in productivity
- The relay assembly test room studies: changes such as incentive plans, rest periods, temperature, humidity, work hours and refreshments. Productivity went up in wide variety of situations
- The interview program: interviews were held with employees to learn more about the impact of working conditions on productivity. Workers were more interested in talking about their feelings and attitudes
- The bank wiring room studies: workers were observed in a bank wiring room. It emerged that workers developed norms regarding ‘proper’ level of productivity and exerted pressure on each other to maintain that level.
TOPIC 2: INDIVIDUAL BEHAVIOUR IN ORGANISATIONS
2.1 Definition of Individual Behaviour
Individual Behaviour defines how individual behave at work and how his/her behavior is influence by others through: attitudes, perception, personality, stress, beliefs and norms or other psychological matters.
Individual behavior also refers to how individual behaves at work place, his behavior is influenced by his attitude, personality, perception, learning and motivating. This also refers to the combination of responses to internal and external stimuli.
2.2 It is important first to understand what makes people behave in the way by looking into the following determinants;
- Personality Personality is the sum total of ways in which an individual reacts to and interacts with others. Personality describes the growth and development of a person’s whole psychological system.
“Personality is defined as the dynamic organizations within the individual of these psycho-physical system that determine his unique adjustment to his environment “ by Gordon Allport.
Heredity refer to those factors that were determined at conception e.g. physical structure , facial attractiveness , gender , temperaments , muscles composition & reflexes , energy level and biological rhythms are characteristics that are influenced by biological parents either completely or substantially.
Environmental factors play a role in shaping personalities .They include; the norms among family, friendship and social groups. These factors determine what individual experience in life.
These influences the effects of heredity and environment on personality .An individual personality while generally stable and consistent, does change in different situation.
Different demands in different situations call forth different aspects of one’s personality.
Major Personality Attributes Influencing Organization Behaviour
- Core self evaluation
These is the degree to which individuals like or dislike themselves whether they see themselves as capable and effective and whether they feel they are in control of their environment or powerless over it .an individual core self evaluation is determined by:
Self esteem:- which is the individuals degree of liking or disliking themselves and the degree to which they feel worthy or unworthy as a person .
Locus of control :- which is the degree to which people believe that they are masters of their own fate.
Internals:-Individuals who believe that they control what happens to them.
Externals: -individuals who believe that what happens to them is controlled by outside factors such as luck or chance.
Machiavellianism (Mach) is named after Niccolo Machiavelli who wrote on how to gain and use power. Machiavellianism is the degree to which an individual is pragmatic, maintains emotional distance and believes that ends justifies means.
Narcissm is the tendency to be arrogant, have a grandiose sense of self importance, require excessive admiration and have sense of entitlement. Narcissm’s are not effective especially when dealing with people.
- Self monitoring
Self monitoring refers to an individual ability to adjust his/ her behavior to external or situational factors. Individual’s high in self monitoring show considerable adaptability in adjusting their behavior to external situational factors.
- Risk taking
People differ in their willingness to take chances. This propensity to assume or avoid risk has been shown to have an impact on how long it takes managers to make a decision and how much information they require before making their choice. High risk taking managers are said to make more rapid decision compared to low risk taking managers
- Type A personality
A person with type A personality is aggressively involved in a chronic, incessant struggle to achieve more and more in less and less time and if necessary against the opposing efforts of other things or other people. Type A’s operate under moderate to high levels of stress. They subject themselves to more or less continuous time pressure ,creating for themselves a life of deadlines.
- Proactive personality
These are people who identify opportunities , show initiative, take caution and persevere until meaningful change occurs. They create positive change in their environment, regardless or even in spite of constraints or obstacles .
Values represent 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 .
Values contain a judgmental element in that they carry an individual idea as to what is right, good or desirable.
In organization behavior values are important study because they lay on foundation for the understanding of attitudes , perceptions and motivation
Sources of value systems
The values people hold are essentially established in their early years from parents , teachers , friends and relatives. However as one grows up, he gets exposed to other value systems and this alters some of his values.
Values can be reactive, tribalism, egocentric , conformity, manipulative Socio centric, existential.
- Job satisfaction
Job satisfaction is a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job or job experience .
Source and Consequences of Job Satisfaction
- Pay Wages are a significant factor in job satisfaction .Money not only helps people to attain their basic needs, but it is instrumental in providing upper level need satisfaction
- Work itself The content of the work itself is another major source of satisfaction .Work should be challenging not boring and a job that provides status.
- Promotions Promotional opportunities seem to have a varying effect on job satisfaction .This is because promotions take a number of different forms and have a variety of accompanying rewards .
- Supervision Supervision is another moderately important source of job satisfaction .A participative climate created by the supervision has a more substantial effect on workers satisfaction than it does in participation a specific decision .
- Work group The nature of work groups will have an effect on job satisfaction. Freindly co- operative co-workers are a modest source of job satisfaction to individual employees.
- Working conditions Working conditions are another factor that have a modest effect on job satisfaction e.g. clean and attractive surroundings for instance will enable the personnel to find its easier to carry out their jobs.
Learning is a process in which experience brings about permanent changes in behaviour or attitudes .The study of learning has had to concentrate on observable changes.
Learning is a process by which human beings becomes aware of themselves and their environment and the need to adopt the one to the other in order to survive, grow and prosper .
Learning is a process by which people acquire knowledge , understanding skills and values and apply them to solve problems throughout their daily life.
Factors affecting learning
Human learning is a complex process involving numerous internal and external factors . Internal Factors
– Intellectual capacity
– Special aptitudes
– Personal values
– Past experiences
– Ability of teacher’s role
– Learning consent
– Teaching methods
– Feedback of results
– Learning Aids
– Learning context
Perception is a process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment .
TOPIC 3: GROUP BEHAVIOUR
3.1 Definition of a Group
According to Marvin Shaw, “a group comprises, of two or more persons who interact with one another in such a manner that each person influences and is influenced by each other person’.
“Group behavior” refers to the ways people behave in large- or small-group situations.
3.2 Functions of groups in organizations
i. Distribution and control of work
This is bringing together and controlling teams of peoples with certain talents and abilities.
ii. Delegation of work
Organization authority needs to be delegated to leaders of work groups.
iii. Spread of information Groups disseminate information better than individuals.
iv. Uniting the organization in pursuit of its goals Organization can use work groups as a means of gaining the support of workers for organizations goals.
v. Analyzing and solving problems In order to solve problems and make policy, the organization can use high level work groups made up of people with a wide range of talents.
vi. Conflict and resolution The organization cannot resolve conflicts of its employees at an individual level, because in large organizations there may be too many conflicts hence its better done in groups.
3.3 Types of Groups
In an organization, there are three types of groups, which are as follows:
Functional or formal groups
Functional groups are the groups formed by the organization to accomplish different organizational purposes. According to A L Stencombe, “a formal group is said to be any social arrangement in which the activities of some persons are planned by others to achieve a common purpose”. These groups are permanent in nature. They have to follow rules, regulations and policy of the organization. A formal organizational group includes departments such as the personnel department, the advertising department, the quality control department and the public relations department.
Tasks groups are the groups formed by an organization to accomplish a narrow range of purposes within a specified time. These groups are temporary in nature. They also develop a solution to a problem or complete its purpose. Informal committees, task forces and work teams are included in task groups. The organization after specifying a group membership, assigns a narrow set of purposes such as developing a new product, evaluating a proposed grievance procedure, etc.
Informal groups are the groups formed for the purposes other than the organizational goals. Informal groups form when individuals are drawn together by friendship, by mutual interests or both. These groups are spontaneous. According to Keith David, “the network of persons and social relations which is not established or required form an informal organization”. These are the groups formed by the employees themselves at the workplace while working together. The organization does not take any active interest in their formation. Informal groups are of following types:
- Interest group: Interest groups are the groups formed to attain a common purpose. Employees coming together for payment of bonus, increase in salary, medical benefit and other facilities are the examples of interest groups
- Membership group: Membership groups are the groups of individuals’ belonging to the same profession and knowing each other. For example, teachers of the same faculty in a university.
- Friendship group: Friendship groups are the groups of individuals belonging to same age group, having similar views, tastes and opinions. These groups can also be formed outside the plant or office and can be in the form of clubs and associations.
- Reference group: Reference groups are the group where individuals shape their ideas, beliefs, values etc. They want support from the group.
3.4 Stages of Group Formation
New groups are constantly being formed in all walks of life .These may be formal units, committees working parties, project teams e.t.c.To deal with the new development or innovations or arising from a reorganization of existing work patterns. They may also be informal group based around new friendships and interest.
Stage 1 Forming
The first stage of group development is concerned with finding out the nature of situation with which the group is faced and what forms of behavior and interaction are appropriate. Members will test out attitude and behavior to establish their acceptability as ground rules for accomplishing the task and getting along with other members. Competing powerful personalities can lend to problems in early development explorations of what is acceptable within the group.
Stage 2 Storming
Leading on from the forming stage in which certain ground rules are explored , it is likely that there will be a stage of conflict and disagreement as methods of operations and patterns of behavior start to be firmed up .This where different opinions and styles emerge with competing sub-groups, challenges for leadership , rebellions against control and resistance to the demands of meeting task requirements. A degree of compromise is necessary here in order to allow consensus to emerge.
Stage 3 Norming
As resistance is overcome and conflicts patched up, groups move into the norming stage whereby they establish norms of attitudes and behavior which the mutually accepted for the task performance and interaction .Individual members begin the process of internalizing those norms and identifying with group ,building group cohesion.
Members roles start to be clarified and accepted at this stage .The role of leader should be clearly established. the establishment of consensus brings recognition of the value and different potential contributions of individuals and this results to cooperation and mutual support from group work.
Stage 4 Performing
This is the final stage in development and it represents the position where the group energy is now available for effective work, completing task and maintaining the group. The established norms now support the goals of the group and roles becomes functional ,thus allowing constructive work in relation to tasks .
3.5 Factors that determine the behavior of groups and how successful they are
The sizes of the group will affect how the group works together and tasks completed.
- Leadership /management style
It can affect the performance of the group -It involves the organization and directions’ of the group to achieve its goals .
If the group is not cohesive it will tend to be ineffective.
- Motivation of group members
The commitment of members to the goals and tasks of the group are a key determinant of successful performance.
- Norms of groups
This includes belief systems, attitudes and values of the group, that influence behavior.
- Group /team roles
Effective groups need members to carry out a variety of roles in order that goals and tasks of group many be achieved .
vii .The environment
The work environment will have a direct bearing on the group and its performance.
viii. The group task
This includes the task that groups are asked to complete , how important they are and how urgent and how the results help the company achieve its objectives.
TOPIC 4: CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
4.1Definition of Conflict Management
Conflict is defined as an interactive process manifested in incompatibility, disagreement, or dissonance within or between social entities (i.e., individual, group, organization, etc.).
Conflict can also be defined as the process in which one party perceives that its interests are being opposed or negatively affected by another party.
Conflict management does not necessarily imply avoidance, reduction, or termination of conflict. It involves designing effective strategies to minimize the dysfunctions of conflict and enhancing the constructive functions of conflict in order to enhance learning and effectiveness of an organization.
4.2 Types of Conflict
These four types of conflict may be described as follows:
- Intrapersonal Conflict
This type of conflict is also known as intraindividual or intrapsychic conflict. It occurs when an organizational member is required to perform certain tasks and roles that do not match his or her expertise, interests, goals, and values.
- Interpersonal Conflict
This is also known as dyadic conflict. It refers to conflict between two or more organizational members of the same or different hierarchical levels or units. The studies on superior–subordinate conflict relate to this type of conflict.
- Intragroup Conflict
This is also known as intradepartmental conflict. It refers to conflict among members of a group or between two or more subgroups within a group in connection with its goals, tasks, procedures, and so on. Such a conflict may also occur as a result of incompatibilities or disagreements between some or all the members of a group and its leader(s).
- Intergroup Conflict
This is also known as interdepartmental conflict. It refers to conflict between two or more units or groups within an organization. Conflicts between line and staff, production and marketing, and headquarters and field staffs are examples of this type of conflict. On special type of intergroup conflict is between labor and management.
4.3 Causes of Conflict in organisations
- limited resources
- Communication problems
- Differences in interests and goals
- Different perceptions, attitudes and lack of clarity about responsibilities
- Task interdependence
4.4 Advantages and Disadvantages of Conflict
Conflict can have both positive and negative consequences. On the positive side, conflict can bring energy to a competition and focus participants on the task at hand. It can also increase group cohesion and stimulate open discussion of issues. On the negative side, conflict can cause participants to lose sight of common goals and focus on winning at all costs. In addition, it can lead to distorted judgments and a lack of cooperation. Finally, the losers in a conflict feel demoralized and lose motivation; this loser effect harms long-term relationships and overall organizational performance.
4.5 Methods of handling conflicts in an organisation
- Clarification of goals and objectives: The clarification and continual refinement of goals and objectives, role definitions and performance standards will help to avoid misunderstandings and conflict. Focusing attention on super ordinate goals that are shared by the parties in conflict may help to defuse hostility and lead to more cooperative behaviour.
- Resource distribution: Although it may not always be possible for managers to increase their allocated share of resources, they may be able to use imagination and initiative to help overcome conflict situations – for example, making a special case to higher management; greater flexibility to transfer funds between budget headings; delaying staff appointments in one area to provide more money for another area.
- Human resource management policies and procedures: Careful and detailed attention to just and equitable HRM policies and procedures may help to reduce areas of conflict. Examples are: job analysis, recruitment and selection, job evaluation; systems of reward and punishment; appeals, grievance and disciplinary procedures; arbitration and mediation; recognition of trade unions and their officials.
- Non-monetary rewards: Where financial resources are limited, it may be possible to pay greater attention to non-monetary rewards. Examples are: job design; more interesting, challenging or responsible work; increased delegation or empowerment; flexible working hours; attendance at courses or conferences; unofficial perks or more relaxed working conditions.
- Development of interpersonal/group process skills: This may help to encourage a better understanding of one’s own behaviour, the other person’s point of view, communication processes and problem-solving. It may also encourage people to work through conflict situations in a constructive manner.
- Group activities: Attention to the composition of groups and to factors which affect group cohesiveness may reduce dysfunctional conflict. Overlapping group membership with a ‘linking-pin’ process, and the careful selection of project teams or task forces for problems affecting more than one group, may also be beneficial.
- Leadership and management: A more participative and supportive style of leadership and managerial behaviour is likely to assist in conflict management – for example, showing an attitude of respect and trust; encouraging personal self-development; creating a work environment in which staff can work co-operatively together. A participative approach to leadership and management may also help to create greater employee commitment.
TOPIC 5: STRESS MANAGEMENT
5.1 Meaning of stress
Stress: A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.
Employees stress: is a growing concern for organizations today. Stress can be defined as a lively circumstance in which people face constraints, opportunities, or loss of something they desire and for which the consequence is both unpredictable as well as crucial. Stress is the response of people to the unreasonable/excessive pressure or demands placed on them.
Stress is not always negative. It may also bring out the best in individuals at times. It may induce an individual to discover innovative and smarter way of doing things. This positive dimension of stress is called as enstress. But usually, the term stress has a negative implication and this negative aspect of stress is termed as distress. For instance – When a subordinate is harassed or warned by his superior, unhappiness of unsuitable job, etc. We can say that “Stress causes some people to break, and other to break records.”
5.2 Causes of work stress
The factors leading to stress among individual are called as stressors. Some of the factors/stressors acting on employees are-
- Organizational factors- With the growth in organizational stress and complexity, there is increase in organizational factors also which cause stress among employees. Some of such factors are-
- Discrimination in pay/salary structure
- Strict rules and regulations
- Ineffective communication
- Peer pressure
- Goals conflicts/goals ambiguity
- More of centralized and formal organization structure
- Less promotional opportunities
- Lack of employees participation in decision-making
- Excessive control over the employees by the managers
- Individual factors- There are various expectations which the family members, peer, superior and subordinates have from the employee. Failure to understand such expectations or to convey such expectations lead to role ambiguity/role conflict which in turn causes employee stress. Other individual factors causing stress among employees are inherent personality traits such as being impatient, aggressive, rigid, feeling time pressure always, etc. Similarly, the family issues, personal financial problems, sudden career changes all lead to stress.
- Job concerning factors- Certain factors related to job which cause stress among employees are as follows-
- Monotonous nature of job
- Unsafe and unhealthy working conditions
- Lack of confidentiality
- Extra-organizational factors- There are certain issues outside the organization which lead to stress among employees. In today’s modern and technology savvy world, stress has increased. Inflation, technological change, social responsibilities and rapid social changes are other extra-organizational factors causing stress.
5.3 Consequences of stress in an organisation
- High absenteeism
- High labour turnover
- Poor time keeping
- Poor performance and productivity
- Low morale
- Poor motivation
- Increased employee complaints
- Increased ill-health, accidents and incidents reports
5.4 Ways of managing stress in an organisation
Organizational strategies for managing stress
- Encouraging more of organizational communication with the employees so that there is no role ambiguity/conflict. Effective communication can also change employee views. Managers can use better signs and symbols which are not misinterpreted by the employees.
- Encourage employees’ participation in decision-making. This will reduce role stress.
- Grant the employees greater independence, meaningful and timely feedback, and greater responsibility.
- The organizational goals should be realistic, stimulating and particular. The employees must be given feedback on how well they are heading towards these goals.
- Encourage decentralization.
- Have a fair and just distribution of incentives and salary structure.
- Promote job rotation and job enrichment.
- Create a just and safe working environment.
- Have effective hiring and orientation procedure.
- Appreciate the employees on accomplishing and over-exceeding their targets.
Individual strategies for managing stress
- The employees should make a “to-do” list daily, prioritize the acts in the list and plan the acts accordingly. Take regular breaks during work to relax you. By effective time management, the employees can achieve their targets timely and can meet work pressures and, thus, avoid stress.
- Do hard work. Strive to achieve your goals but do not do it to the harm of family, health, or peer.
- Indulge in physical exercises. It helps in effective blood circulation, keeps you fit, diverts mind from work pressures.
- Encourage a healthy lifestyle. Take a regular sleep, have plenty of water, have healthy eating habits. Promote relaxation techniques such as yoga, listening music and meditation.
- The employees should have optimistic approach about their work. They should avoid connections with negative approach employees.
- The employees should have emotional intelligence at workplace. They should have self-awareness, self-confidence and self-control at workplace.
- The employees should build social support. They should have close connections with trustworthy peer who can listen to their problems and boost their confidence level. This social network will help the employees to overcome stress.
- Employee counselling is a very good strategy to overcome employee stress. Through counselling, employees can become aware of their strengths and how to develop those strengths; their weaknesses and how to eliminate them; and they can develop strategies for changing their behaviour. Employees are also given career counselling which helps in reducing their ambiguities with regard to career.
- Find a fun way to release stress, such as, cracking jokes, playing tennis, golf, etc.
- Do not remain pre-occupied with yourself. Turn your focus outwards. Help others. This will release some stress.
TOPIC 6: CHANGE MANAGEMENT
6.1 Definition of Change Management
Change simply refers to alteration in the existing conditions of an organization.One meaning of managing change refers to the making of changes in a planned and managed or systematic fashion. The aim is to more effectively implement new methods and systems in an ongoing organization. The changes to be managed lie within and are controlled by the organization.
6.2 Types of Change
There are seven types of change: incremental, transformational, strategic, organizational, systems and processes, cultural, and behavioural.
Incremental change is gradual change. It takes place in small steps. At the strategic level James Quinn (1980) coined the phrase ‘logical incrementalism’ to describe how organizations develop their change strategies. He suggested that organizations go through an iterative process that leads to incremental commitments that enable the enterprise toexperiment with, and learn about, an otherwise unknowable future.
Transformation, according to Webster’s Dictionary, is: ‘A change in the shape, structure, nature of something’. Transformational change is the process of ensuring that an organization can develop and implement major change programmes so that it responds strategically to new demands and continues to function effectively in the dynamic environment in which it operates. Organizational transformation may involve radical changes to the structure, culture and processes of the organization. This may be in response to competitive pressures, mergers, acquisitions, investments, disinvestments, changes in technology, product lines, markets, cost reduction exercises and decisions to downsize or outsource work. Transformational change may be forced on an organization by investors or government decisions. It may be initiated by a new chief executive and top management team with a remit to ‘turn round’ the business.
Strategic change is concerned with broad, long-term and organization-wide issues. It is about moving to a future state that has been defined generally in terms of strategic vision and scope. It will cover the purpose and mission of the organization, its corporate philosophy on such matters as growth, quality, innovation and values concerning people (employees and customers), and the technologies employed. This overall definition leads to specifications of competitive positioning and strategic goals for achieving competitive advantage and for product-market development. These goals are supported by policies concerning marketing, sales, customer service, product and process development, and human resource management.
Organizational change deals with how organizations are structured and, in broad terms, how they function. It involves identifying the need to reconsider the formal structure of organizations, which Child (1977) has defined as comprising ‘all the tangible and regularly occurring features which help to shape their members’ behaviour’. Organizational change programmesaddress issues of centralization and decentralization, how the overall management task should be divided into separate activities, how these activities should be allocated to different parts of the organization, and how they should be directed, controlled, coordinated and integrated.
Systems and Processes
Changes to systems and processes affect operations and impact on working arrangements and practices in the whole or part of an organization. They take place when operating methods are revised, new technology is introduced or existing technology is modified.
Cultural change aims to change the existing culture of an organization. Organizational or corporate culture is the system of values (what is regarded as important in organizational and individual behaviour) and accepted ways of behaviour (norms) that strongly influence ‘the way things are done around here’. It is founded on well-established beliefs and assumptions.
Behavioural change involves taking steps to encourage people to be more effective by shaping or modifying the ways in which they carry out their work. Organizations depend on people behaving in ways that will contribute to high performance and support core values. They must recognize that people at work often have discretion on the way they do their work and the amount of effort, care, innovation and productive behaviour they display.
6.3 Change Process
The following are the three stages of change according to Lewin’s Change Model:
The focus of this stage is to make organization open to change. In doing so individuals are encouraged to replace old behaviors and attitudes with those desired by management. Managers also need to devise ways to reduce the barriers to change during this stage.
The focus of this stage is in providing employees with new information, new behavioral models, or new ways of looking at things. The purpose is to help employees learn new concepts to implement change. Role models, mentors, experts, benchmarking organization against world-class organizations and training are useful mechanisms to facilitate change.
The focus of this stage is stabilizing the change during refreezing by helping employees integrate the changed behavior or attitude into their normal way of doing things. This is accomplished by first giving employees the chance to exhibit the new behaviors or attitudes. Once exhibited, positive reinforcement is used to reinforce the desired change. Additional coaching and modelling are also used at this point to reinforce the stability of the change.
6.4 External Factors that Trigger Change in an Organization
External forces for change originate outside an organization. There are four key external forces for change:
- Demographic Characteristics:These include age, education, skill level and gender of employees. Organizations need to effectively manage these characteristics in order to receive maximum contribution and commitment from their employees.
- Technological Advancements:Both manufacturing and service organizations are increasingly using technology as a means to improve productivity and market competitiveness.
- Market Changes:The emergence of a global economy is forcing Indian organizations to change the way they do business. Organizations are entering into new partnerships with their suppliers in order to deliver higher quality products at lower prices.
- Social and Political Pressures:These forces are created by social and political events. Personal values affect employee’s needs, priorities and motivation. Therefore, managers need to adjust their managerial style according to the changing employee values. Political events also create substantial change in an organization. Although it is difficult for organizations to predict changes in political forces, many organizations hire lobbyists and consultants to help them detect and respond to social and political changes.
6.5 Internal Factors that Trigger Change in an Organization
Internal forces for change come from inside the organization. This may come from both human resource problems and managerial behavior.
- Human Resource Problems:These problems stem from employee perceptions about their work environment and conflict between an employee and organization needs. Organizations might respond to these problems by using the various approaches to job design by implementing realistic job previews and by reducing employees’ role conflict, stress, work overload and ambiguity.
- Managerial Behavior:Excessive interpersonal conflict between managers and their subordinates is a sign of implementing an immediate change. Inappropriate leader behavior such as inadequate direction and support are the cause of conflict between managers and their subordinates.
- Nature of Change:Organizations introduce changes through people. Unless the people are willing to accept the need and responsibility for organizational change, intended changes can never be translated into reality. In addition, individuals have to learn to adapt their attitudes and behavioral patterns to constantly changing environments.
6.6 Resistance to Change
Although organizations initiate changes in order to adjust to the changes in their environments but people sometimes resist them. Therefore, managers need to recognize the manifestations of resistance both in themselves and in others, if they want to be more effective in supporting change.
6.6.1 Individual Resistance
Some common reasons for individual resistance to change within organisations include the following:
- Selective perception: People’s own interpretation of stimuli presents a unique picture or image of the ‘real’ world and can result in selective perception. This can lead to a biased view of a particular situation, which fits most comfortably into a person’s own perception of reality, and can cause resistance to change.
- Habit: People tend to respond to situations in an established and accustomed manner. Habits may serve as a means of comfort and security, and as a guide for easy decision-making. Proposed changes to habits, especially if the habits are well established and require little effort, may well be resisted.
- Inconvenience or loss of freedom: If the change is seen as likely to prove inconvenient, make life more difficult, reduce freedom of action or result in increased control, there will be resistance.
- Economic implications: People are likely to resist change which is perceived as reducing either directly or indirectly their pay or other rewards, requiring an increase in work for the same level of pay or acting as a threat to their job security. People tend to have established patterns of working and a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.
- Security in the past: There is a tendency for some people to find a sense of security in the past. In times of frustration or difficulty, or when faced with new or unfamiliar ideas or methods, people may reflect on the past. There is a wish to retain old and comfortable ways.
- Fear of the unknown: Changes which confront people with the unknown tend to cause anxiety or fear. Many major changes in a work organisation present a degree of uncertainty. For instance a person may resist promotion because of uncertainty over changes in responsibilities or the increased social demands of the higher position.
6.6.2 Organisational Resistance
Some of the main reasons for organisational resistance against change are as follows:
- Organisation culture: Recall that the culture of an organisation develops over time and may not be easy to change. The pervasive nature of culture in terms of ‘how things are done around here’ also has a significant effect on organisational processes and the behaviour of staff. An ineffective culture may result in a lack of flexibility for, or acceptance of, change.
- Maintaining stability: Organisations, especially large-scale ones, pay much attention to maintaining stability and predictability. The need for formal organisation structure and the division of work, narrow definitions of assigned duties and responsibilities, established rules, procedures and methods of work, can result in resistance to change. The more mechanistic or bureaucratic the structure, the less likely it is that the organisation will be responsive to change.
- Investment in resources: Change often requires large resources which may already be committed to investments in other areas or strategies. Assets such as buildings, technology, equipment and people cannot easily be altered.
- Past contracts or agreements: Organisations enter into contracts or agreements with other parties, such as the government, other organisations, trade unions, suppliers and customers. These contracts and agreements can limit changes in behaviour – for example, organisations operating under a special licence or permit, or a fixed-price contract to supply goods/services to a government agency.
- Threats to power or influence: Change may be seen as a threat to the power or influence of certain groups within the organisation, such as their control over decisions, resources or information. For example, managers may resist the introduction of quality circles or worker-directors because they see this as increasing the role and influence of non-managerial staff, and a threat to the power in their own positions.
6.7 Overcoming Resistance to Change
The following methods of overcoming-resistance to change are as follows:
- Participation:Participation is generally considered the most effective technique for overcoming resistance to change. Employees who take part in planning and implementing change are better able to understand the reasons for the change than those who are not involved. They become committed to the change and make it work. Employees who have the opportunity to express their own ideas and to understand the perspectives of others are likely to accept change gracefully. It is a time consuming process.
- Education and Communication:Educating employees about the need for and the expected results of an impending change help reduce their resistance. Managers should maintain an open channel of communication while planning and implementing change. However, it is also a time consuming process.
- Facilitation of Change:Knowing ahead of lime that employees are likely to resist change then the manager should do as much as possible to help them cope with uncertainly and feeling of loss. Introducing change gradually, making only necessary changes, announcing changes in advance and allowing time for people to adjust to new ways of doing things can help reduce resistance.
- Force-Field Analysis:In almost any situation where a change is being planned, there are forces acting for and against the change. In force-field analysis, the manager list each set of forces and then try to remove or minimize some of the forces acting against the change.
- Negotiation:Where someone or some group will clearly lose out in a change and where that group has considerable power to resist, there negotiation is required. Sometimes it is a relatively easy way to avoid major resistance.
- vi) Manipulation and Cooperation:This is followed when other tactics will not work or are too expensive. It can be quick and inexpensive;however, it can lead to further problems if people feel manipulated.
TOPIC 7: ORGANIZATION POWER AND POLITICS
7.1 Definition of Power
Power is easy to feel but difficult to define. It is the potential ability of a person or group to influence another person or group. It is the ability to get things done the way one wants them to be done. Both formal and informal groups and individuals may have power; it does not need an official position or the backing of an institution to have power.At a broad level, power can be interpreted in terms of control or influence over the behaviour of other people with or without their consent.
7.2 Sources of Power
- Legitimate Power
A person’s position within organization provides him with legitimate power. The organization gives managers the power to direct the activities of their subordinates. Legitimate power is similar to formal authority and hence it can be created, granted, changed or withdrawn by the formal organization. The structure of the organization also identifies the strength of the legitimate authority by position location. For instance, higher-level positions exercise more power than lower-level positions in a classical hierarchical organizational structure. Organizations vary in how much legitimate power they grant to individuals. In such organizations, everyone knows who has the most power and few people challenge the power structure.
- Reward Power
This type of power is the extent to which one person has control over rewards that are valued by another. The greater the perceived values of such rewards, the greater the power. Organizational rewards include pay, promotions and valued office assignments. A manager who has complete control over such rewards has a good deal of power. Manager who uses praise and recognition has also a good deal of power.
- Coercive Power
People have coercive power if they have control over some form of punishment such as threat of dismissal, suspension, demotion or other method of embarrassment for the people. Perhaps, a manager can cause psychological harm also lo an employee. A manager‘s coercive power increases with the number and severity of the sanctions over which the manager has control. Although the use of coercive power is often successful in the short run, it tends to create resentment and hostility and therefore is usually detrimental to the organization in the long run.
- Expert Power
It is more of personal power than organizational power. Expert power is that influence which one wields as a result of one’s experience, special skill or knowledge. This power occurs when the expert threatens to withhold his knowledge or skill. Since any person who is not easily replaceable has more power as compared to those who are easily replaceable. If the sub-ordinates view their superior as competent, and knowledgeable, naturally they will obey and respect the superior. To the extent, that a low-ranking worker has important knowledge not available to a superior, he is likely to have more power.
- Referent Power
A person who is respected by certain others for whatever reason has referent power over those people. A person with referent power may have charisma and people who respect that person are likely to get emotionally involved with the respected person and identify with, accept and be willing to follow him or her. People with referent power are often imitated by others with the star’s actions, attitudes and dress. This imitation reflects the rising star’s power over the imitations.
7.3 Advantages and Disadvantages of Power
Power is necessary in an organization because it helps managers fulfill their leadership responsibilities; it also helps all employees influence others in pursuit of organizational and personal goals. Two key benefits are the ability to inspire commitment (as a reaction to expert or referent power) and the ability to reduce uncertainty for others in the organization. Empowerment leads to other benefits, such as support for creativity and reduction of bureaucratic obstacles. The main disadvantage is the potential for misuse and abuse, which can harm individuals and the organization.
7.4 Politics in Organizations
Organizational politics are activities that allow people in organizations to achieve goals without going through formal channels. Whether political activities help or hurt the organization depends on whether the person’s goals are consistent with the organization’s goals. In the rational model of organizations, people are assumed to manage logically, based on clear information and well-defined goals.
7.5 Factors Influencing Political Behavior
- Ambiguous Goals
When the goals of a department or the entire organization are ambiguous then there is more room available for playing politics. Some people may use the ambiguity to manipulate the situation for their benefit.
- Scarce Resources
When resources are scarce, people have the tendency to use political behavior to make sure that they get the biggest possible share of the resource.
- Changes in Technology and Environment
Organizational effectiveness is largely a function of the organization‘s ability to appropriately respond to external environment which is highly dynamic and generally unpredictable as well as adequately adopt to complex technological developments. Thus, political behavior is increased when the internal technology is complex and when external environment is highly volatile.
- Non-Programmed Decisions
Sometimes, the companies have to make a lot of non-Programmed decisions on certain issues. These decisions are not based on clear standards and precedents, because such issues involve many factors and variables that are complex in nature. Hence decisions are taken on intuition, bunch and guesses and all these subjective feelings can be affected by political behavior.
- Organizational Change
Whenever there are changes in the organizational structure and policies, peoples in powerful positions have the opportunity to play politics. These changes may include restructuring of a division or creating a division, personnel changes, introducing a new product line and all these changes influence political behavior when various individuals and groups try to control the given situation.
7.6 Techniques of Political Behavior
- Controlling information: One technique of political behavior is to control the dissemination of critical information to others. The more critical the information and fewer the people who have it, the stronger is political power base of those who possess these information.
- Controlling lines of communication: Controlling lines of communication is another political technique related to the flow of information. People who have some control over lines of communication can yield considerable political power. For example, the secretary may have considerable power in deciding who sees the boss and who does not at a given time. She may use this power in favoring those whom she likes and frustrating those against whom she may have it grudge.
- Controlling agenda: Controlling the agenda also gives a person power over information. The person who controls a meeting’s agenda, for instance, may consistently put a particular item last on the list and then take up time so that meeting adjourns before considering the item.
- Using outside experts: The opinions of outside experts and consultants often curry much weight in organizations and many consultants can be swayed by political interests. Consultants know who is paying them and even honest consultants are likely to give opinions consistent with those of their employer. Hence, hiring an outside consultant can be a clever political move.
- Image building: Image building is creating positive impression reflected by the personality, appearance and style. Some of the factors that enhance a preferred image consist of being well dressed, having a pleasant smile, being attractive, honest, sociable and loyal to the organizational interests. In addition, always project an image of competence and self-assurance.
- Building coalitions: Building coalitions or alliance is another technique of gaining political power. It is necessary to have the alliance with the right people. Coalition building can become simply a matter of quid pro quo: I will support you if you will support me.
TOPIC 8: ORGANISATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS
8.1: Meaning of organizational effectiveness
Organizational effectiveness can be defined as the efficiency with which an association is able to meet its objectives. This means an organization that produces a desired effect or an organization that is productive without waste. Organizational effectiveness is about each individual doing everything they know how to do and doing it well; in other words organizational efficiency is the capacity of an organization to produce the desired results with a minimum expenditure of energy, time, money, and human and material resources.
8.2 Meaning of organizational goals
These are goals are the objectives, aims or purposes which are to be achieved by an organisation over varying periods of time. Goals are the result of planning which is related to future
Importance of these goals has been described under the following heads:
1. Focus Attention of Individuals and Groups to Specific Activities and Efforts of Organisations:
When organisation’s goals are known to individuals and group, it will help them in channelizing their activities towards attaining organisation’s goals. In other words the goals prescribe the course of action to individuals and groups which will be helpful and complementary to the achievement of organisation’s goals.
2. Provide a Source of Legitimacy to Action by Members:
Once this course of action has been decided for the individuals and the groups within the framework of organisational goal, it will promote legitimacy and justification to individual’s or group’s actions and decisions.
3. Serve as a Standard of Performance:
Goals provide a measure of individual’s or group’s performance. They may help the organisation members to evaluate the level of their performance in the perspective of organisation’s goals.
4. Affect the Structure of Organisation:
Goals and structure are intimately related to each other. The relationship among people in the form of authority and responsibility or the positions to be created at different levels has to be decided on the basis of organisational goals. In other words, what the organisation proposes to do will be determined by the organisational setup it will structure. Similarly, it will be the structure also which will influence the goals.
5. Provide Clues about the Nature and Character of Organisation:
The nature and character of an organisation may be known by its goals. For instance, the goal of maintaining the quality of product without much regard to return on investment may help the outsider to hold the organisation and its members in very high esteem.
8.3 Types of organizational goals
Strategic goals-Strategic goals are stated in general terms.They are developed in view of the mission of the organization.They outline overall organizations goals relating to different dimensions of their business like profit making,product development,resources allocation,human resource development,research priorities, and so on.These are therefore,organization set strategic goal.The board of directors and the top management of the organization set strategic goals.While setting such goals,they seek inputs from staff specialist and middle managers.Strategic goals,they seek inputs from staff specialists and middle managers.Strategic goals,thus,indicate the real in tensions of an organization.The executive management of an organization of an organization usually determines the strategic goals.These top leaders scan the external environment for opportunities or threats to the organization aim is to match internal strengths and weakness to changes in the external environment in order to create new opportunities.
Tactical or intermediate goals-Tactical or intermediate goals are set to translate the strategic goals into action.These goals involve the middle level managers.Compared with strategic goals,these goals have a some what shorter time span, and more specific and concrete focus .The focus of tactical goals is on how to ope rationalize actions necessary to achieve the strategic goals.
Operational goals-Operational goals are set for lower-level management.The main concern here is with shorter term issues associated with intermediate or tactical goals.The supervisory level staff members are responsible for develop in and implementing operational goals that will meet the tactical goals.Activities and resources are assigned to individuals and groups to carry out some portion of the operational goals.The operational goals affect employees day to-day-activities.
Note: Setting such goals is done by following a popular technique called SMART, which implies:
- Specific – a goal that is focused on the overall vision of your organization,
- Measurable – that which can be quantified and checked for efficacy,
- Achievable – a goal that is attainable,
- Realistic – that which is feasible as well as viable,
- Time Bound – a goal that has a specified time within which it should be achieved.
8.4 Process of measuring organizational performance
Planning is central to good program design and effective measurement. Program logic can be used to assist planning. This includes:
- defining or selecting outcomes
- defining impacts
- identifying outputs
- identifying resources.
- measure performance
- refer to a result rather than being descriptive
- be well-defined, relevant and informative
- be within the control or influence of Directorates
- be available, timely and cost-effective
- be comparable with a benchmark or previous results over time.
Conduct program in line with program logic.
Monitor performance. Data considerations include:
- gathering relevant data by set timeframes
- ensuring the data is accurate, comprehensive and comparable.
- explain the difference between planned performance and actual performance
- provide a picture of overall performance
- provide an unbiased and complete picture
- identify assumptions, gaps and variances
- present information clearly and concisely
- provide explanations of assumptions, gaps and variances.
Evaluate and modify.If performance measurement indicates that the program or strategy is not effective, evaluate the program or strategy and consider modifying it.
TOPIC 9: ORGANIZATION CULTURE
9.1 Definition of Organization Culture
Culture is shared meaning, understanding and sense making .
The shared beliefs, values and expectations held by individual also constitute organization culture.
Organization culture can therefore said to be the essential collection of shared values which provide both explicit and implicit sign post to preferred behavior in the organizations.
9.2 Importance of culture in an organisation
- It creates distinction between one organization and others.
- It conveys a sense of identity for organizations members.
iii. It facilities the generation of commitment to something larger than one’s individual interest.
- It enhances the stability of social system.
9.3 Characteristics of Organization Culture
- Innovation and risk taking The degree to which employees are encouraged to be innovative and take risk.
- Attention to detail The degree to which employees are expected to exhibit precision ,analysis and attention to detail .
iii. Outcome orientation The degree to which management focuses on result or outcomes rather than on the techniques and processes used to achieve those outcomes.
- People orientation The degree to which management decisions take into consideration the effect of outcomes on people within organization.
- Team orientation The degree to which work activities are organized around teams rather than individuals.
- Aggressiveness The degree to which people are aggressive and competitive rather than easy going
vii. Stability The degree to which organizational activities emphasize maintaining the status quo in contrast to growth.
viii. Norms Standard to behavior exist including guidelines on how much work to do .
- Dominant values These are those values that the organizations advocates and expects from the participants in an organization e.g. High quality, low absenteeism and high efficiency.
- Rules These are strict guidelines related to getting along in the organization.
9.4 Creating an Ethical Organization Culture
1. Be a visible role model
Employees will look to top management behavior as bench mark for defining appropriate behavior.
2. Communicate ethical expectations
Ethnical ambiguities can be minimized by creating and disseminating an organizational code of ethics. It should state the organization’s primary values and ethical rules that employees are expected to follow.
3. Provide ethical training
Set up seminars ,workshops and ethical training programs .Use the training sessions to reinforce the organization’s primary values, rules and standard of conduct .
4. Visibility rewards to ethical acts and punish unethical ones
Performance appraisals of managers should include a point by point evaluation of how his or her decisions measure up against the organization code of ethics .People who act ethically should be visibly rewarded for their behavior and unethical acts should be punished .
5. Provide protective mechanisms
The organization needs to provide formal mechanisms so that employees can discuss ethical dilemmas and report unethical behaviour without fear of reprimand.
Creating a Culture
A culture is created basically by a founder or top-level manager who forms a core group that shares a common vision .
i. Recruitment of like minded individuals These people will be attracted instinctively to the founder’s visions and aims.
ii. The development of groups norms These are likely to be strongly influenced by founders in the formative stages
iii. Statement of espoused values The founders or initiators will have the greatest influence on these values in the early stages , subsequently, the organizations leadership must demonstrate to other stakeholders that what is saying truly believes and not accordingly .
iv. Production of mission statement These provides visible evidence of espoused values and norms and the platform for the organization’s relationships with various stakeholders.
These comprise of habit and tradition building activities, aimed at embedding the culture in the day to day activities of the organizations by means of procedural and ritualistic measures such as:
i. The introduction of appropriate communication systems and decision making to assist integration
ii. The installation of organizational procedures and rules which promotes integration by setting standards for members to follow.
iii. Promotion of organization symbols Battle flags national emblems demonstrates the unity of the organization which come to embody a certain reputation e.g. Red Cross.
iv. Development of key rituals, helps to establish the organizations ethos’s i.e.- the part of culture to do with organization climate. v. The production of policy statements on the key issues .These lay the basis for relations with stakeholders.
9.4 Types of Organisational Culture
Handy describes four main types of organisational cultures: power culture; role culture; task culture; and person culture.
- Power Culture
Power culture depends on a central power source with rays of influence from the central figure throughout the organisation. A power culture is frequently found in small entrepreneurial organisations and relies on trust, empathy and personal communications for its effectiveness. Control is exercised from the centre by the selection of key individuals. There are few rules and procedures, and little bureaucracy. It is a political organisation with decisions taken largely on the balance of influence.
- Role Culture
Role culture is often stereotyped as a bureaucracy and works by logic and rationality. Role culture rests on the strength of strong organisational ‘pillars’ – the functions of specialists in, for example, finance, purchasing and production. The work of, and interaction between, the pillars is controlled by procedures and rules, and co-ordinated by the pediment of a small band of senior managers. Role or job description is often more important than the individual and position power is the main source of power.
- Task Culture
Task culture is job-oriented or project-oriented. In terms of structure the task culture can be likened to a net, some strands of which are stronger than others, and with much of the power and influence at the interstices. An example is the matrix organisation. Task culture seeks to bring together the right resources and people, and utilises the unifying power of the group. Influence is widely spread and based more on expert power than on position or personal power.
- Person Culture
Person culture is where the individual is the central focus and any structure exists to serve the individuals within it. When a group of people decide that it is in their own interests to band together to do their own thing and share office space, equipment or clerical assistance then the resulting organisation would have a person culture. Examples are groups of barristers, architects, doctors or consultants. Although it is found in only a few organisations many individuals have a preference for person culture, for example university professors and specialists. Management hierarchies and control mechanisms are possible only by mutual consent. Individuals have almost complete autonomy and any influence over them is likely to be on the basis of personal power.
9.5 The Components of Culture
Values are beliefs in what is best or good for the organization and what should or ought to happen. The ‘value set’ of an organization may only be recognized at top level, or it may be shared throughout the business, in which case it could be described as ‘value-driven’.
The stronger the values the more they will influence behaviour. This does not depend upon their having been articulated. Implicit values that are deeply embedded in the culture of an organization and are reinforced by the behaviour of management can be highly influential, while espoused values that are idealistic and are not reflected in managerial behaviour may have little or no effect. When values are acted on they are called ‘values in use’. Some of the most typical areas in which values can be expressed, implicitly or explicitly, are: performance; competence; competitiveness; innovation; quality; customer service; teamwork; care and consideration for people.
Values are translated into reality (enacted) through norms and artefacts. They may also be expressed through the media of language (organizational jargon), rituals, stories and myths.
Norms are the unwritten rules of behaviour, the ‘rules of the game’ that provide informalguidelines on how to behave. Norms tell people what they are supposed to be doing, saying,believing, and even wearing. They are never expressed in writing if they were, they would be policies or procedures. They are passed on by word of mouth or behaviour and can be enforced by the reactions of people if they are violated. They can exert very powerful pressure on behaviour because of these reactions; we control others by the way we react to them.
Norms refer to such aspects of behaviour as:
- how managers treat the members of their teams (management style) and how the latter relate to their managers;
- the prevailing work ethic, eg ‘work hard, play hard’, ‘come in early, stay late’, ‘if you cannot finish your work during business hours you are obviously inefficient’, ‘look busy at all times’, ‘look relaxed at all times’;
- Status; how much importance is attached to it; the existence or lack of obvious status symbols.
Artefacts are the visible and tangible aspects of an organization that people hear, see or feel and which contributes to their understanding of the organization’s culture. Artefacts can include such things as the working environment, the tone and language used in e-mails, letters or memoranda, the manner in which people address each other at meetings, in e-mails or over the telephone, the welcome (or lack of welcome) given to visitors and the way in which telephonists deal with outside calls. Artefacts can be very revealing.
- Management Style
Management style is the approach managers use to deal with people. It is also called ‘leadership style. There are many styles of leadership, and leaders can be classified in extremes as follows: Autocratic, Democratic, Laissez-faire, Bureaucratic, and Expert Leadership.
Most managers adopt an approach somewhere between the extremes. Some will vary it according to the situation or their feelings at the time, others will stick to the same style whatever happens. A good case can be made for using an appropriate style according to the situation, but it is undesirable to be inconsistent in the style used in similar situations. Every manager has his or her own style but this will be influenced by the organizational culture, which may produce a prevailing management style that represents the behavioural norm for managers that is generally expected and adopted.
9.6 Influences on the Development of Culture
The culture and structure of an organisation develop over time and in response to a complex set of factors. We can, however, identify a number of key influences that are likely to play an important role in the development of any corporate culture. These include: history; primary function and technology; goals and objectives; size; location; management and staffing; and the environment.
- History: The reason, and manner in which, the organisation was originally formed, its age, and the philosophy and values of its owners and first senior managers will affect culture. A key event in the organisation’s history such as a merger or major reorganisation, or a new generation of top management, may bring about a change in culture. Corporate history can be an effective induction tool to assist a growth programme, and to help integrate acquisitions and new employees by infusion with the organisation’s culture and identity.
- Primary function and technology: The nature of the organisation’s ‘business’ and its primary function have an important influence on its culture. This includes the range and quality of products and services provided the importance of reputation and the type of customers. The primary function of the organisation will determine the nature of the technological processes and methods of undertaking work, which in turn also affect structure and culture.
- Goals and objectives: Although a business organisation may pursue profitability, this is not by itself very clear or a sufficient criterion for its effective management. For example, to what extent is emphasis placed on long-term survival or growth and development? How much attention is given to avoiding risks and uncertainties? Or how much concern is shown for broader social responsibilities? The organisation must give attention to objectives in all key areas of its operations. The combination of objectives and resultant strategies will influence culture, and may itself be influenced by changes in culture.
- Size: Usually larger organisations have more formalized structures and cultures. Increased size is likely to result in separate departments and possibly split-site operations. This may cause difficulties in communication and inter-departmental rivalries with the need for effective co-ordination. A rapid expansion, or decline, in size and rate of growth, and resultant changes in staffing will influence structure and culture.
- Location: Geographical location and the physical characteristics can have a major influence on culture – for example, whether an organisation is located in a quiet rural location or a busy city centre. This can influence the types of customers and the staff employed. It can also affect the nature of services provided, the sense of ‘boundary’ and distinctive identity, and opportunities for development.
- Management and staffing: Top executives can have considerable influence on the nature of corporate culture.However, all members of staff help to shape the dominant culture of an organisation, irrespective of what senior management feel it should be. Culture is also determined by the nature of staff employed and the extent to which they accept management philosophy and policies or pay only ‘lip service’. Another important influence is the match between corporate culture and employees’ perception of the psychological contract.
- The environment: In order to be effective, the organisation must be responsive to external environmental influences. For example, if the organisation operates within a dynamic environment it requires a structure and culture that are sensitive and readily adaptable to change. An organic structure is more likely to respond effectively to new opportunities and challenges, and risks and limitations presented by the external environment.