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The term socialization is used by sociologists, social psychologists and educationalists to refer to the process of learning one’s culture and how to live within it. For the individual it provides the skills and habits necessary for acting and participating within their society. For the society, inducting all individual members into its moral norms, attitudes, values, motives, social roles, language and symbols is the ‘means by which social and cultural continuity are attained’ (Clausen 1968: 5).
Primary socialization Primary socialization occurs when a child learns the attitudes, values, and actions appropriate to individuals as members of a particular culture. For example if a child saw his/her mother expressing a discriminatory opinion about a minority group, then that child may think this behavior is acceptable and could continue to have this opinion about minority groups. Secondary socialization Secondary socialization refers to the process of learning what is appropriate behavior as a member of a smaller group within the larger society. It is usually associated with teenagers and adults, and involves smaller changes than those occurring in primary socialization. eg. entering a new profession, relocating to a new environment or society. Developmental socialization Developmental socialization is the process of learning behavior in a social institution or developing your social skills. Anticipatory socialization Anticipatory socialization refers to the processes of socialization in which a person "rehearses" for future positions, occupations, and social relationships.
Resocialization Resocialization refers to the process of discarding former behavior patterns and accepting new ones as part of a transition in one's life. This occurs throughout the human life cycle. Resocialization can be an intense experience, with the individual experiencing a sharp break with their past, and needing to learn and be exposed to radically different norms and values. An example might be the experience of a young man or woman leaving home to join the military.
THE ANTECEDENTS OF INDIVIDUAL ATTITUDE TOWARD IMPROVISATION: A MULTI-LEVEL MODEL
Extant theoretical literature points out that organizational improvisation relies on factors related to the individual, group and organizational level Drawing on previous theoretical literature, we propose the following research framework of individual attitude toward improvisation in the IS development
Individual level Individual factors influencing improvisational behaviours range from personality traits to cognitive issues. Developer’s technical cognizance and a good comprehension of the environment in which the system should be implemented could facilitate the effectiveness of improvisation. Moreover, improvisation could lead to new and useful ideas through individual’s creative behaviours which facilitate the generation of a greater number of potential solutions. Consequently, individual characteristics may have a significant effect on improvisational behavior in organizations. Relevant factors at the individual level include creativity, personality and cognitive traits, domain-relevant skills, and background factors.
A recurrent parallel is often drawn between the notion of improvisation and that of creativity. Albeit the two concepts are generally held as distinct improvisation has been defined as a creative process in which the focus is on how organizational actors attempt to orient themselves to, and take creative action in, situations and events that are complex, ambiguous, and ill defined. Consequently, we hold that individual who perceive themselves as creative may be more likely to engage in Improvisational behaviors. creative should be more likely to develop solutions by relying on a small set of information.
“Personality factors represent individual characteristics which are likely to be stable overtime” individual characteristics such as persistence, curiosity, energy, intellectual honesty, internal locus of control may affect individual attitude to behave in a spontaneous fashion. Another important issue related to the personality traits can be traced back to the concept of self monitoring. This represents the propensity to adapt one’s behavior to social cues, using others’ behaviors as a guide for expressing oneself. Relying on the information from social cues, individuals with a high level of self-monitoring are more likely to interpret the dynamics of environment and to disconnect from routinized behavior. In the ISD domain, if an individual is able to understand the complex environment in which the system is going to be designed and implemented, he or she will be able to recombine the system requirements without following a routinized path.
The ability of individuals to produce ideas is also related to the individual cognitive processes. For example, the characteristic of “field independence” refers to the ability of an individual to focus on relevant aspects of a certain situation, ignoring irrelevant issues (Woodman et al., 1993). Therefore, an individual with high field independence is more likely to take spontaneous action because he or she does not have difficulty in separating important aspects from less important ones. Another central cognitive aspect which may influence the individual attitude toward improvisation can be traced to the concept of self-efficacy. Self-efficacy refers to judgments of what one can do with whatever skills one possesses. Individuals with a low level of self-efficacy are more likely to follow instructions and directions more carefully. Therefore, individuals with a high degree of confidence in their ability to exploit their skills will be less likely to follow standard procedures in the development of the system, experimenting with new pathways and behaving in a spontaneous fashion.
Domain-relevant skills form the set of cognitive pathways that are followed to solve a given problem or complete a given task. Domain-relevant skills can be considered as the raw materials that individuals can use for improvising. Therefore, a great number of skills implies a high number of potential alternatives that can be generated by the individual when improvisation is needed. Underscore this aspect by pointing out that “it’s impossible to improvise on nothing”. Individuals with high knowledge of a certain product or process are more likely to recombine materials/tools to develop new solutions. Connected to this aspect, Therefore, by leveraging on the creation of expertise, training allows individuals to rely more on intuition rather than on planning. In fact, the development of strong expertise allows individuals to spontaneously decide what to do, rather than to think consciously about action. By developing a more extensive set of skills in the ISD domain, employees should be more comfortable in trying new things, as well as be more aware of different alternatives and opportunities.
Individual behavior within organizations may depend upon factors as organizational position and tenure. A higher position within an organization, as well as a longer tenure, may increase legitimization and authority. Consequently, we hold that individuals may feel more legitimized to act outside the tight boundaries of predefined tasks and procedures, thereby engaging more easily and proactively in improvisational behavior.
Group level Besides personal characteristics, individuals are immersed in an organizational environment which may facilitate or constrain the improvisational process. Numerous studies pointed out the influence of team dynamics, structure and resources may influence the organizational improvisation In fact several attitudes are socially constructed. Hereafter, according to our multilevel model, we present the main team level factors which may influence the individual attitude to improvise. These include teamwork quality, leadership behaviour, the nature of the task, structural characteristics, and team expertise.
Teamwork quality refers to the degree of collaboration among team members. The way through which team members cooperate allows managing the interdependencies more effectively. This aspect has been underscored by who posit that difficulties in managing team process for knowledge flow may hinder project outcomes. For example, a good quality in the communication process allows exchanging information more effectively, helping individuals to get the right information in a short time frame. Moreover, the presence of mutual support is an important issue in order to avoid the interpersonal conflict among members. The lack of conflict allows individuals to cooperate to achieve common goals. The existence of mutual support allows team members to rely on one another when they are facing with an unexpected situation. Another important issue is existence of trust among members. Trust can be considered as “the extent to which a person is confident in, and willing to act on the basis of, the words, actions, and decisions of another” (McAllister, 1995). On the receiver side, trust allows to reduce the effort verifying the accuracy and the validity of received information. In other words, members will be more likely to accept
other members’ information because of the presence of trust. Therefore, according to Vera and a lack of trust and dysfunctional interaction among members brings individual to not have access to the material needed for improvise, decreasing their attitude to perform spontaneous actions.
It is generally acknowledged that leaders’ behavior affects the attitudes and behaviors of employees. We consider the supervisor’s behavior as a group-level construct as we assume that members belonging to the same group are likely to be exposed to the influence of the same supervisor, involving a relatively homogeneous experience that is distinct from those of other groups. improvisation process involves trial and error and discovery, leader’s behavior should be consistent with this approach. Given the domain associated with improvisation process, leaders should be able to provide the necessary resources which could help the individual to improvise.
The nature and texture of the task individuals have to perform affects the likeliness of engaging in improvisational activities, customization are more likely to spur improvisational behaviour. On the contrary, if tasks are routinized via rigid procedures, individuals may choose to trace unanticipated events to known procedures, rather than improvise novel solutions. Moreover, time pressure may spur improvisation, as individuals facing unanticipated and emerging challenges ineffectively tackled via known procedures struggle to meet deadlines by improvising alternative solutions.
Although empirical evidence on the influence of group composition on members’ outcomes is not entirely conclusive, a number of recent studies find a positive relationship between group diversity and innovative behaviors. Group composition is a multifaceted construct referring to the degree to which individuals within a group represent different characteristics related to background, age, gender, and so on. Some researchers suggested that group diversity might increase the attitude of individuals to try out new pathways based upon the assumption that individuals who belong to non-homogeneous groups are likely to be influenced by the different perspectives of the other members. The empirical evidence of the diversity in team composition has been pointed out also in the information systems domain. In fact leveraging on the “value in diversity”, team composition stimulates individual in the attempt to find non obvious alternatives. Moreover, other studies point out group size as a further aspect related to the structural characteristics. Group size has been considered by researchers as a critical issue related to group activities and outcome.
Team skills and expertise.
Besides a good coordination among team members, it is necessary that the team possesses a wide set of skills and expertise in order to allow the individuals to feel
Comfortable to improvise. Expertise represents one of the most critical resources for project effectiveness. Moreover, expertise has a positive impact on individual improvisational process because “the larger the set of skills in a work team, the more numerous are the alternatives for developing new combination of ideas Another important issue related to the knowledge within the team relies on the transactive memory. In fact, transactive memory which allows team members to encode, store, and retrieve relevant related to previous experiences During the development of a complex information system, the access to diverse memory resources. Helps individuals improvise, by leveraging on the recombination of past team experience
Organizational factors may represent a facilitating condition for improvisational process enhancing individual attitude toward improvisation. Recalling the theories of Improvisation, many authors pointed out the influence of the organizational environment on the improvisation process and outcome. Following This theoretical background we point out the main organizational variables which can affect Individual attitude to improvise. These include organizational support, culture and climate, Structures and control mechanisms Organizational support. The concept of organizational support can be traced back to the “Employees’ perception about the extent to which the organization cares about their well being” Organizational support is positively related to employees’ effort. In particular, Employees who perceive that the organization recognizes and rewards their effort to carry out their job effectively are more likely to perform behaviors which go beyond their formal duties.
Organizational culture and climate.
Hierarchical organizations permeated by authority relations and rigidly-controlled workplaces are expected to obstruct improvisational behavior. On the contrary, experimental cultures rewarding exploration and creativity, and tolerating mistakes, are expected to foster improvisation when errors are regarded as viable sources of learning, and the ideas of others are not blocked, but encouraged and freely discussed improvisational activities within individuals and groups are free to emerge and be evaluated.
External factors effects the organization
Political & legal conditions
Economic environment is an important element of general environment. Inflation, interest rate, unemployment etc. are its main elements. As these elements directly affect the business organizations, decisions should be taken after having deeply studied and analyzed them. These elements do not remain under control of business. So, the business organizations cannot affect these elements. Rather the organizations are affected by them.
The price of goods and services goes high during the time of inflation. Companies have to pay high price for the necessary resources to produce goods or services. As a result, the cost of goods or services increases. The companies compulsorily increase the price of their goods or services to recover their investment. In this way, the price hike of goods or services directly affects the demand, or demand goes down.
2. Interest rate:
If the rate of interest increases, the customers do not like to borrow money. Similarly, the companies also have to pay the interest rate if thy borrow. In this way, the cost of only increases resulting to price hike of goods or services. This affects demand or demand goes gown. 3. Unemployment: the unemployment situation also affects the demand of goods or services. So, this is also one of the important elements of economic environment. Companies get good chances to select employees. As only a small number of people decrease. As a result, the demand declines.
Competition is very important element of task environment. It directly affects organizations. Organizations should analyze competition to form clear strategy for giving satisfaction and expansion of market share. The competitors of an organization are other organizations which compare for resources.
social responsibility as a managerial obligation to take actions that protects and improves both the welfare of society as whole and the interests of the organization.
Socio-cultural environment is one of the important elements of general environment. This include population, pressure groups, reference groups, lifestyle, social classes, religion,
language etc. these elements directly affect organizations, so decisions should be taken only after their deep study and analysis.
The elements such as growth of population, size of population, age group, population distribution, urbanization, migration, etc. are included in demography. These elements affect business organizations. So a manager should analyze such demographic elements for taking rational decision.
Pressure groups do different activities for different social and group interests. Such activities affect business organizations. Consumer, civil society, human rights organizations, woman organization, environment protection group etc. are the pressure groups. So a manager should also analyze the pressure groups and their activities for taking proper decisions.
Reference group is also called affecting group. Such group binges change in the consumers behavior. For example: famous film stars, musicians, other popular personalities fall in reference group. They can bring changes in consumer’s life style, fashion, behavior belief etc.
Social change brings change in the life style of people. The life style of people is expressed in their activities, behavior, interest views or ideas etc. such changes in people affect business organizations. Os, a manager should also study and analyze such things.
All the people do not belong to the same class in any society. Some are rich and some others are poor. On the basis of middle class and lower class. Generally the interest, capacity of expenses and behavior of the people of same class become similar. Such social classes affect business organizations.
Religion is an element of socio- cultural environment. Religion also affects business organization. Os, business organization should think over this element. The consumer’s groups may be Hindu, Muslim, and Christian etc. so, a business organization should think over religion also.
the other important element of socio-cultural environment is language. Language works as the communication media. It directly affects organizational activities. English, Chinese, French, Sanskrit, Urdu, Hindi, Nepali etc. are the languages used by consumers. Languages are different in different countries. Various languages can be spoken in a country. So, language is also and important element of socio- cultural environment.
Those who purchase the products or services of an organization are called customers. Customer may be individuals or organization. Schools, hospitals, government agencies, whole sellers, retailers, producer etc. are the organizations which are the customers of other organizations. Organizations develop different programs to satisfy their customers.
Political & legal environment:
Political and legal environment is also included in general environment. Political philosophy, political system, political organizations, legal system, court, legal administration etc. are included in this. Theses elements also do not remain under the control of organizations. So, decisions should be taken after deep study and analysis of these elements.
Political philosophy may be democratic or socialist or mixed. In democratic countries private companies play important roles. In the socialist philosophy the government plays important roles. In the mixed political philosophy, the political philosophy, the role of both the private sector and state play important roles. So, business organizations should analyze political philosophy also. In Nepal, both the private and government sectors have important roles.
Political system includes political ideology, election prices, the process of government formation etc. Besides, political stability or instability also consists in it. This factor also affects business organization.
This includes executive (Government), legislative (Parliament) and judiciary (court of law). These political institutions also affect business organizations.
The things what business organizations can do and what they cannot do are stated in legal system. Besides, the rights and interests of labors and consumers are also clearly explained.
Court is also included in the environment of business. Court solves the legal problems. There may be different types of courts according to the level and nature of legal problems, court settle disputes.
Administration of law:
Administration of law is also one of the elements to affect business organization. This includes the law implementation bodies. They are government bodies, police, advocates etc.
Suppliers are those organizations which provide resources to business organizations. It is good for any organization to keep long term relationship with suppliers for quality, effective and prompt delivery of resources. Suppliers may be of different types. They are raw material supplier, machinery supplier, human resource supplier, financial resource suppler etc.
Regulator controls the policy and behavior of an organization. So the organization is affected by his activities. The regulators are also of two types. They are Regulatory Agencies and Interest groups. Regulatory agency is a unit formed by government which provides protection to people an organization by curbing unfair business practices. It protects consumer rights. Interest groups are formed to influence an organization. Such groups works for the interest of its members or group.
The other important element are technological environment. The level of technology, pace of technology, researches and development budget technology transfer etc. are included in technological environment. These elements also directly affect business decision. So, the managers should regularly study and analyze technological environment.
Level of technology:
The level of technology is labour and capital dominated. Labor dominated technology uses much manpower whereas capital dominated technology uses modern machineries and equipments.
Pace of technology:
Technology is dynamic. Its pace of change is very fast. So a manager should adopt changing technological environment.
R & D budget:
Customer’s needs keep on changing. Old technology may be useless to fulfill the changing needs. So it is necessary to develop new technology. Research and development is the main basis of development of new technology. So a manager should pay attention towards this aspect.
Top import new technology from developed countries to technologically poor countries is called technology transfer. Technology can be transferred trough projects, multinational companies, technical assistance, trade etc.
Organizational Culture: Definition: The pattern of shared values, beliefs, and assumptions considered to be the appropriate way to think and act within an organization. Features of culture: Sharing of culture between members of the organization Culture helps members of the organization solve/understand problems and externally
Beliefs and expectations that have worked over time are taught to and believed by members who join the organization The assumptions and beliefs of the culture strongly influence how people perceive, think, and behave within the organization Note: Not every group develops culture, but a group that has existed for a while and has had shared learning’s will have evidence of culture. When we talk about a organization’s culture, we are referring to its dominant culture. This is the macro view that gives culture its distinct personality.
Levels of Culture
1) Visible On the surface, or visible level of a culture there are artifacts. Artifacts are things that an individual can see, hear, and feel such as dress policies. Artifacts also include stories, rituals, material symbols, and language. 2) Invisible Invisible culture deals with the beliefs, values, and assumptions that make up the underlying, invisible culture of an organization. Characteristics of Culture: 1) Innovation and Risk-Taking. The degree to which employees are encouraged to be innovative and take risks. 2) Attention to Detail. The level of precision, analysis, and attention to detail that the employees are expected to work at. 3) Outcome Orientation. How important results and outcomes are compared to the techniques and processes used to achieve these outcomes. 4) People Orientation. The degree to which management’s decisions take into consideration the effect of outcomes on people within the organization. 5) Team Orientation. Arranging Activities involving teamwork rather than individual work. 6) Aggressiveness. The level of aggression and competition that exists amongst members. 7) Stability. The degree to which organizational activities emphasize maintaining the status quo in contrast to the organizations level of growth.
Creating and Sustaining Culture
How is a culture established?
A culture begins with the ideas of the organization’s founder. This sets the precedent for the basic philosophies of the workplaces culture. The management must strive to find employees that agree with the established beliefs of the organization in order for the organization to thrive.
How a Culture Begins
The founders of an organization have a general idea of what they would like the culture of the organization to be like. They strive to communicate their ideas to their employees to create their ideal culture. There are three ways that culture is created: The founders only hire and retain people who reflect their ideals. They then make sure their employees are familiar with their ideals through socialization and indoctrination. The founders act as role models for the other employees in the organization.
Keeping a Culture Alive
Organizations utilize their human resources to help sustain the organization’s culture. By keeping experiences between employees similar, punishing deviations from the culture, and rewarding behavior that supports it the culture is maintained. The three main forces that keep a culture alive are selection, top management, and socialization. Selection helps maintain culture because it allows managers to choose employees who will work well within the culture and not counter to it. Through selection managers can seek out ideal employees and pinpoint positive and negative traits without having to hire them first. This allows managers to weed out potential troublemakers. Top management provides the role model for other employees. The behavior of top management helps employees to see what traits are desirable within the organization. Also top management’s definition of the workplace’s culture can change the behavior of the organization’s employees. Socialization Definition: The process that adapts employees to the organizations culture. Socialization Model The three stages in the Socialization Model are as follows:
Stage #1: Pre-arrival
Definition: This is the period of learning in the socialization process that occurs before a new employee joins the organization. Pre-arrival: Anticipatory Socialization • Happens before joining an organization or taking a new job • Prepares the person for organizational entry • First glimpse of the organization’s culture • Develops a person’s expectations or beliefs about the organization Pre-Arrival Exposure – Recruitment advertising: presentation of the organization – Company recruiters: campus interviews
– Internships: experience the organization while still a student -Screening and selection devices: written tests, oral interviews, job simulations
Stage #2: Encounter Stage
Definition: The Stage in the socialization process in which a new employee sees what the organizations is really like and confronts the possibility that expectations and reality may diverge. Entry/Encounter Stage (“Breaking In”) • Crosses the boundary of the organization and enters this second stage of socialization • Brings expectations from the anticipatory stage • Compares expectations to the reality of the organization • Often eager to “learn the ropes” • New self-image – The intent of the organization – Focuses on pivotal and relevant role behaviors – Role clarification • Teach tasks, duties, and responsibilities organization: immediate supervisor • Immediate workgroup Process has three steps • Unfreezing: Discard Old Self-Image • Changing: Move To New Self-IMAGE • Refreezing: Puts The New Self-Image Solidly In Place Stage #3: Metamorphosis Stage Definition: The stage in the socialization process in which a new employee adjusts to the work group’s values and norms. Change: Metamorphosis (“Settling In”) • Change in new employee as the entry/encounter stage flows into the metamorphosis stage • Often clear separation from entry/encounter stage with rites and rituals (graduation) • The word metamorphosis emphasizes the extraordinary changes that can happen • Successful resolution of multiple socialization demands • Comfortable in new role • Some mastery of job requirements • Acceptance of obvious values • Adjusted to group norms
• Self-confidence up; anxiety down Results – Rebellious response • Rejects all aspects of role • Socialization failure – Custodial response: accepts existing role – Innovative response • Content Innovation: changes role • Role innovation: redefines role; a form of accepting rebellion
This may be done through 5 different methods: 1) Formal vs. Informal Formal Socialization occurs when the new employee is segregated from the group and placed in training programs and orientation groups. Informal Socialization occurs when the new employee is placed directly into their jobs and expected to learn from those around them. 2) Individual vs. Collective Individual Socialization occurs when an individual is socialized individually. Collective Socialization occurs when a group of people are socialized together. 3) Fixed vs. Variable
Fixed Socialization refers to the fixed schedule given to employees that outlines specific points in their career that will allow them to advance in their job. Variable Socialization refers to the flexible time period that employees have to advance through in the job. 4) Serial vs. Random Serial Socialization is when a figure head or role model trains and guides the new employees. Random Socialization occurs when a new employees is left on his or her own to figure things out. 5) Investiture vs. Divestiture Investiture Socialization occurs when assumes that employees previous qualities and qualifications are necessary for success in the job. Divestiture Socialization assumes that employee’s previous qualifications and qualities are not adequate for the job and need to be modified and or changed.
1) Networked Culture High on sociability, low on solidarity Members are viewed as friends and family and individuals willingly give assistance to others 2) Mercenary Culture Low on sociability, high on solidarity. Organizations are fiercely goal-orientated and individuals are intense and determined to meet goals. 3) Fragmented Culture Low on sociability, low on solidarity. Individuals do not identify with the organization and all individuals are judged individually based on their productivity and quality of work. 4) Communal Culture High on sociability, high on solidarity People in an organization value both friendship and performance. Individuals have a sense of belonging but there is still a ruthless focus on achieving a goal.
S o ci a bi lit y
What does Culture Do? Cultures Functions It has a boundary defining role, creates distinctions between organizations Creates a sense of identity for organization members Creates commitment to something larger than individual self interest Enhances stability – Is social glue that holds the organization together by providing appropriate employee standards Control mechanism – that guides and shapes the attitudes and behavior of employees Note: As organizations widen spans of control, flatten structures, introduce teams, reduce formalization, and empower employees, the shared meaning provided by a strong culture insures that everyone is pointed in the right direction.
Culture as a Barrier to Change Culture is a liability when the shared values are not in agreement with those that will further the organizations effectiveness When an organization’s environment undergoes rapid change, the organizations entrenched culture may no longer be appropriate Must be able to adapt culture to the current environment Culture as a Barrier to Diversity Strong cultures put considerable pressure on employees to conform Strong cultures can eliminate the unique strengths that people of different backgrounds bring to the organization Strong cultures can be a liability when they support institutional bias or become insensitive to people who are different Culture as a Barrier to Mergers and Acquisitions Cultural compatibility is a large concern Changing Organizational Culture Very hard to accomplish To accomplish a change in culture requires changing everyday policies, practices, procedures and routines Usually occurs when there is a crisis that undermines the status quo and calls into question the relevance of current culture
Rate Your Classroom Culture (P. 360 in text) Listed here are 10 statements. Score each statement by indicating the degree to which you agree with it. If you strongly agree, give it a 5. If you strongly disagree give it a 1. 1) My classmates are friendly and supportive. 2) My instructor is friendly and supportive. 3) My instructor encourages me to question and challenge her as well as other classmates. 4) My instructor clearly expresses her expectations to the class. 5) I think the grading system used by my instructor is base on clear standards of performance. 6) My instructor’s behavior during examinations demonstrates her belief that students are honest and trustworthy. 7) My instructor provides regular and rapid feedback on my performance. 8) My instructor uses a strict bell curve to allocate grades. 9) My instructor is open to suggestions on how the course might be improved. 10)My Instructor makes me want to learn. Add up your score for all the statements except number 8. For number 8, reverse the score (strongly agree=1, strongly disagree=5) and add it up to your total. Your score will fall between 10 and50. A high score, >36, describes an open, warm, human, trusting, and supportive culture. A low score, <26, describes a closed, cold, task orientated, autocratic, and tense culture.
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