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of organizational psychology
Volume 1, Issue 1 Våren 2009
Utgitt av NOS. Norsk organisasjonspsykologisk selskap.
Da var det endelig klart for et nytt nummer av Scandinavian Journal of Organizational Psychology (SJOP). Det er nå ca. 3 år siden sist nummer ble utgitt, og siden den tid har mye skjedd med både tidsskriftet og Norsk Organisasjonspsykologisk Selskap (NOS). Lenge har det derfor vært et sterkt ønske om å få dette tidsskriftet opp og gå igjen – det er jo tross alt det eneste tidsskriftet i Skandinavia som er tilegnet feltet organisasjonspsykologi.
Tidsskriftet har nå fått 6 nye par ben å stå på, og består av følgende personer: Vilde Bernstrøm, Anette Kristin Bø Andreassen, Helene Tronstad Moe, Kim Rand-Hendriksen, Rolf Marvin Bøe Lindgren og Kjartan Thormodsæter. Sammen skal vi gjøre vårt ytterste for å drive dette tidsskriftet videre, med det mål å holde våre lesere oppdatert på hva som skjer innenfor fagfeltet organisasjonspsykologi.
Hva er nytt?
Tidsskriftet har som mål å være et forum for problemstillinger innen forskning og praksis, men for å gjøre oss mer attraktive har vi gjort noen vesentlige endringer: 1. Den største endringen er at tidsskriftet nå har et fagfellepanel! Dette var et viktig løft, og vi er nå i en prosess med å få tidsskriftet godkjent som nivå 1 2. En annen endring er at tidsskriftet nå utkommer i elektronisk form. Det gjør tidsskriftet lettere tilgjengelig, samt mye rimeligere å produsere. Det er ikke dermed sagt at en papirutgave er utenkelig, men ikke med det første. Nå ønsker vi først og fremst et stabilt tidsskrift 3. Vi tar sikte på to utgivelser i året. En rett før sommeren og en rett før jul 4. Tidsskriftet opererer med en «lett» og en «tung» del. I den lette omtales alt fra korte innlegg, bokanmeldelser til aktuelle hendelser, mens i den tunge delen finner du vitenskapelige artikler som er fagfellevurdert Vi ønsker at SJOP skal ha en bred profil og søker artikler som tar opp aktuelle tema innenfor alle psykologiske aspekter relatert til arbeid og organisasjoner. God lesing! Mvh Kjartan Thormodsæter, Redaktør.
Scandinavian Journal Of Organizational Psychology is a peer-reviewed Open Acces Journal. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Publisher: Norsk Organisasjonspsykologisk Selskap, http.//www.psykol.org/
On the Validity of M-SWOT for Innovation Climate Development
Thomas Hoff1, Ellen Flakke2, Anne-Karin Larsen3, Jon Anders Lone1, Cato A. Bjørkli1 and Roald A. Bjørklund1
The idea behind M-SWOT is to assess the o��ani�ation by way of mappin� the pa�ticipants’ �esponses to open and �ene�al questions onto specific, �esea�ch based models in a pa�ticula� domain; in this case innovation climate. The p�esent a�ticle attempts to conceptually validate SWOT by way of p�ovidin� a link to the O��ani�ational Climate Measu�e (OCM), and to demonst�ate disc�iminato�y validity of SWOT towa�ds othe� �elated, but unspecific models (the Job Cha�acte�istics Model (JCM)), based on SWOT inte�views with 15 mana�e�s in two hi�hly innovative No�we�ian companies. The hypotheses a�e that the�e will be a positive co��elation between the OCM dimensions and the SWOT statements; that the fou� quad�ants of OCM will cove� the SWOT statements in a pa�ticula� o�de�, and that mo�e SWOT statements will be ali�ned with OCM than JCM. All hypotheses we�e confi�med. The �esults indicate that an M-SWOT app�oach to innovation climate development is viable with �espect to the type of content that the SWOT inte�views elicit.
The Model Driven SWOT (M-SWOT) has been put forth as a generic tool for organizational development (Hoff, 2009). The idea behind M-SWOT is to assess the organization by way of mapping the participants’ responses to open and general questions (the SWOT framework; Chermack, 2007) onto specific, research based models (the ‘M’ of M-SWOT) in a particular domain, such as e.g. organizational change, safety climate, psychosocial work environment, or innovation climate. The specific procedure is to ask respondents four open ended questions about their conception of the topic at hand (e.g. team climate) in their organization: ‘What are the strengths [weaknesses] [opportunities] [threats] regarding the innovation climate [safety culture] [work environment] [diagnostic communication] [team work] in your organization?’. Meaningful statements 1 Department of Psychology, University of Oslo 2 Department of Leadership and Strategy, University of Southern Denmark 3 Mercuri Urval, Norway
are then extracted from the transcriptions of the interviews and classified according to established, research based models of the domain. This provides a diagnostic tool that informs the researcher or consultant about the relation between the actual descriptive reflections of the employees of the organization on the one hand, and the normative Thomas Hoff content of the research based model on the other. The classical approach of researchers or consultants would be to use a survey intended to capture the dimensions of a model. The downside of this approach is that the items of the survey act as a cue to the dimensions that it measures Anne-Karin Larsen (i.e �eco�nition as opposed to �ecollection), and that it only measures pre-specified categories that might or might not be relevant to the context that is being studied. The fundamental difference between M-SWOT and the classical approach is that the former is based on un-assisted reflection (no content related cues are given to the subject – only broad, generic questions that is designed to keep the conversation between the interviewer and interviewee flowing), and that it does not presuppose any dimensions up front. In an organization development process, the M-SWOT might give the client an opportunity to reflect on why only a proportion of the statements in the organization fit established models. For example, why do the employees in a particular safety intensive organization reflect a lot about e.g. t�ust, but fails to talk about e.g. closed loop communication? And furthermore, why do the employees talk about issues that are outside of research based models? Are there particular issues to the particular domain that are important for the particular organization, but that are outside the scope of the general model? What are the implications of this for the organization at hand? Whether the M-SWOT is really a ‘generic’ tool for organizational development, is an empirical question. For each domain, one needs to establish a correspondence between the SWOT interviews and
4 the domain model at hand, i.e. whether the SWOT1 interviews are sensitive to established models within the domain. For instance, if a company with high safety records were interviewed by way of SWOT, and very few of the statements derived from the interviews were possible to map onto an established safety model (such as e.g. Flin et al, 2000), then the M-SWOT would probably not be an appropriate tool for safety climate development (at least if it could be established that the safety records were due to a good safety climate, and not due to some other, random factor). To establish a positive correspondence between the SWOT interview and the domain model is necessary, but not sufficient, to theoretically validate the use of M-SWOT in a given domain. In addition, one should be able to demonstrate discriminatory validity, i.e. that other related but unspecific models are not equally related to the SWOT analysis as the specific model is. As an example, SWOT should be sensitive towards a safety specific model when respondents are asked about the safety climate of the organization in a SWOT structured interview. If one maps these data onto an unspecific model, such as e.g. service climate, then this unspecific model should not be equally related to the SWOT analysis as the specific model is. The aim of the present study is to investigate whether there could be established a positive link between SWOT interviews and a specific, research based model within the domain of innovation climate. In addition, it aims to investigate the discriminatory validity of SWOT interviews,by exploring the extent to which a related, but unspecific model is equally related as the specific model or not. way that facilitates innovative practices, rather than inhibiting them. In particular, it has been argued that the organizational climate is a key factor explaining the innovation capacity of the firm (Amabile, Conti, Coon, Lazenby, & Herron, 1996; Kanter, 1983; Patterson et al., 2005). Organizational climate was defined by Forehand and von Haller Gilmer (1964) as ‘”… the set of characteristics that describe an organization and that (a) distinguish the organization from other organizations, (b) are relatively enduring over time, and (c) influence the behavior of people in the organization.’. Innovation climate refers to those aspects of the organizational climate that either a) supports innovative practices (so called ‘stimulants’ or ‘supports’), or b) inhibits innovative practices (so called ‘obstacles’ or ‘impediments’). The organizational climate measure (OCM) is a multidimensional measurement for organizational climate (Patterson et al., 2005). It is organized along two fundamental dimensions, flexibility versus control and internal versus external orientation; and thus four separate and, to some extent, competing models or quadrants. The four models are derived from Quinn & Rohrbaugh’s Competing Values Model, (1983). The Internal Process Model reflects a Tayloristic concern with formalization and internal control of the system in order that resources are efficiently used (Ibid). The Open Systems Model emphasizes the interaction and adaptation of the organization in its environment, with managers seeking resources and innovating in response to environmental (or market) demands (Shipper &White, 1983). The Rational Goal Model reflects a rational economic model of organizational functioning in which the emphasis is upon productivity and goal achievement (Hall, 1980; Clinebell, 1984). The Human Relations Model reflects the tradition derived from the socio-technical (Emery & Trist, 1965) and human relations schools (e.g., McGregor, 1960). This approach emphasizes the wellbeing, growth and commitment of the community of workers within an organization. For a full description of OCM, see Patterson et al., (2005) How does these categories relate to innovation climate? Theoretically, one would expect the Open Systems Model to be related to innovation climate, as it emphasizes flexibility and change as means to stay in touch with a changing external environment. However, internal HR practises are also seen as crucial for developing an innovative climate. For example West, Hirst, Richter and Shipton (2004) lists the following qualities as central for innovation: Team task design (relates to autonomy in OCM); Learning and development climate (relates to emphasise on t�ainin� in OCM); Encouragement of reflexivity in
Innovation climate measure
Innovation is, according to West and Farr (1990) ‘the intentional int�oduction and application within a �ole, ��oup, o� o��ani�ation of ideas, p�ocesses, p�oducts, o� p�ocedu�es new to the �elevant unit of adoption, desi�ned to si�nificantly benefit the individual, the ��oup, o��ani�ation, o� wide� society’. In this respect, innovation includes creativity, i.e. the production of novel and useful ideas, but extends also to the implementation of these creative ideas into the organization. In order to be innovative, i.e. to be able to implement novel ideas in order to gain a competitive advantage, the organization should be organized in a 1 In this paper ‘SWOT’ refer to the process of asking respondent about Strenghts, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. M-SWOT refer to the organization development tool that involves mapping SWOT statements onto established research-based models as a critical step.
5 teams (relates partly to autonomy, and partly to pa�ticipation in OCM), Communication (relates to communication and inte��ation in OCM), and Leadership supportive for innovation (relates to supe�viso�y suppo�t in OCM). The Rational Goal Model is to some extent related to innovation, primarily �oal settin� on team level (West, 2002), effo�t (how hard people try to achieve goals), efficiency (being reflexive on the difference between what one is actually doing in relation to the goal of the organization or work group), and pe�fo�mance feedback (also related to the alignment of work and goals). On the other hand, the dimensions quality (the emphasis given to quality procedures) and p�essu�e to p�oduce are impediments to innovation climate practices. The Internal Process Model consists of the dimensions fo�mali�ation (a concern with formal rules and procedures) and t�adition (the extent to which established ways of doing things are valued), both impediments to innovative practice. Hence, the four competing models in OCM is predicted to load on SWOT innovation data in the following order 1) Open Systems model, 2) Human Relations model, 3) Rational Goals model, and 4) Internal Process model. innovation and innovation climate.
There are two separate questions the current article aims to pursue. The first (hypothesis 1 and 2) relates to the degree M-SWOT is sensitive to the innovation climate domain, which would imply a conceptual validation of the M-SWOT in the domain of innovation climate. The second question relates to the degree M-SWOT is disc�iminant, i.e. that it captures aspects that does not necessarily fit into any random model. As for the former question, we expect a positive link between SWOT interviews and a specific, research based model (OCM): Hypotesis 1: There is a positive correlation between the OCM dimensions and the SWOT statements. In addition, we would expect that the largest number of those statements that fit within the OCM, will be belong to the Open Systems quadrant of OCM (the quadrant most related to innovation), that the second largest number will be within the Human Relations quadrant, that the third largest number will be within the Rational goal quadrant, and that the smallest number will be within the Internal Process quadrant. This expectation is based on the respective degree of stimulants versus impediments implied by the model. Hypotesis 2: We predict that the SWOT innovation data will map onto the four competing models in OCM (in terms of the number of statements that fit each model) in the following order, 1) Open Systems model, 2) Human Relations model, 3) Rational Goals model, and 4) Internal Process model. As for the latter question (the degree to which the M-SWOT method is discriminant, i.e. that it captures aspects related to the specific domain model, but not any other random, vaguely related model), we expect that even though JCM is probably related to innovation climate, it is not directly targeted towards innovation and innovation climate. Hence, we expect more SWOT statements to fit OCM than JCM. Hypotesis 3: More SWOT statements fit OCM than JCM.
Related, unspecific model
A related classification system for human behaviour in organizations is the Job Characteristic Model (JCM) (Hackman and Oldham, 1977). However, the classification system is not specific for innovation or innovation climate. In JCM Skill va�iety involves the degree to which a job requires a variety of different activities in carrying out work, which involve the use of a number of different skills and talents of the person. Task identity involves the degree to which the job requires completion of a “whole” and identifiable piece of work; that is, doing a job from beginning to end with a visible outcome. Task si�nificance involves the degree to which the job has a substantial impact on the lives or work of other people, whether in the immediate organization or in the external environment. Autonomy involves the degree to which the job provides substantial freedom, independence, and discretion to the individual in scheduling the work and in determining the procedures to be used in carrying it out. Feedback involves the degree to which carrying out the work activities required by the job results in the individual obtaining direct and clear information about the effectiveness of his or her performance. The JCM is predicted to be related to innovation, but not to the extent of OCM, because it is not directly geared towards
Not included OCM dimensions Not included Autonomy Integration Participation Supervisory support Emphasis on training Employee welfare Formalization Tradition Flexibility Outward focus Reflexivity Clarity of goals Efficiency Effort Performance feedback Pressure to produce Quality Total 91 91 Human relations 13 55 67 18 40 22 215 Internal process OCM quadrants Open Rational systems goal 5 15 20 109 94 22 225 27 29 9 12 27 5 109
Total 91 13 55 67 18 40 22 5 15 109 94 22 27 29 9 12 27 5 660
Table 1 Dist�ibution of SWOT statements in OCM quad�ants and dimensions
Methods Organizations and Participants
Two private Norwegian organizations were invited to participate in the present study. Organization A encompasses 1200 employees in 22 countries, whereas Organization B is a somewhat larger company with 7000 employees and comprises a network of 300 offices in 100 countries. Both organizations gave their consents for participating and ensured free access to informants. A sample representing each organization was strategically selected by representatives from the organizations’ HR departments. The structured samples comprised informants who could contribute with personal experience and reflections on present and future organizational behaviour. All informants received a written invitation by e-mail making an inquiry about participation. The sample from Organization A (n = 7) comprised leaders positioned in top management, whereas the sample from Organization B (n = 8) consisted of managers from a specific mid-level section. All informants from Organization A were men, whereas six men and two women comprised the sample from Organization B.
of their reputation for being highly innovative within their field. Company A develops and produces high tech equipment for the health sector, whereas company B delivers services within classification and consulting. Objective data from the Norwegian part of the Community Innovation Survey 2006 (a series of surveys executed by national statistical offices throughout the European Union as well as some nonEU countries, see http://www.ssb.no/vis/innov_en/ about.html) verifies the assumption that these two companies can be viewed as innovative.
Qualitative interviews of semi-structured character involved open questions based on the SWOT-format to obtain information concerning the informants’ reflection on innovation capability. The interview guide comprised four main questions emphasizing the SWOT components, primarily encouraging reflection on the organization’s present strengths and weaknesses related to innovation, and secondly encouraging reflection on the organization’s opportunities and threats concerning future change. Hence, there were four main questions: ‘What are the strengths [weaknesses] [opportunities] [threats] regarding the innovation climate in your organization?’ Additional information was obtained by
Innovation capacity of company A and B
The two companies were asked to participate because
7 JCM Skill variety Task identity Task significance Autonomy Feedback Not accounted for Total S 28 28 90 50 61 42 299 W 3 8 O 6 4 17 20 11 13 71 T 0 1 11 0 2 54 68 Total 37 41 149 86 89 258 660 Percent 6% 6% 23% 13% 13% 39% 100%
Table 2: Dist�ibution of SWOT-statements on JCM encouraging the informants to respond to supplementary questions, such as: “You have mentioned some strengths, are there other strengths related to…?”, “Did I get you right when you say that…?”, “Could you illustrate this by giving an example?”, and “Could you specify what you mean by…?”. experience and understanding of the topic of interest, namely innovation climate. A statement can involve a part of a sentence, a whole sentence or several sentences, according to this definition.
Categorization of statements
All statements were categorized within one of the four SWOT categories given the interview’s foundation on the SWOT-format. All statements coded as Strength or Weakness included the informants’ internal reflections on here-and-now conditions related to innovation in re respective organization. Contrastingly, all statements categorized as Opportunity or Threat reflected the informants’ responses regarding the future state of the respective organization in relation to change, and responses directed towards the external environment in which the respective organization operates. The SWOT statements were then coded on one of the dimensions in OCM and JCM. Statements that did not fit into the two models’ dimensions were categorized as ‘Not accounted for’.
Data Treatment and Analyses Transcription
The tape-recorded files were transferred to a PC for transcription using Di�ital Voice Edito� 2. The aim of transcribing is to get hold of the accurate sense of the information provided, present the informant in a respectful way, and ensure readability. A dilemma within the social sciences concerns how to make the interview conversation whole (Kvale, 1997) and emphasizes ‘the essence of context’ over ‘exact phases’ (Flick, 2002). As a result The transcriptions were based on the informants’ phrases, and as far as possible made loyal to the informants (as implied by Flick, (2002)). Where direct transcriptions did not make sense editions were made to obtain coherent language.
Content analysis and defining statements.
Content analysis was applied for reducing the textual material by counting and classifying the occurrence of specific statements (Weber, 1990). A digital program for categorizing and coding textual data, NVivo ve�sion 7, was used to enable quantification of the qualitative data. The statements were categorized according to Holsti’s (1969) argument, namely that statements should be defined after transcription – as familiarity with the textual data reduces the chance of encountering statements that do not match the categories. A statement was defined as the smallest meaningful unit that reflects the informant’s
Figure 1. Scatte� plot of OCM and SWOT
Results Fit between SWOT and OCM
Of the 660 SWOT statements, 569 (86%) were aligned with an OCM dimension (M = 37.93, SD = 9.02). The relationship between the number of OCM and SWOT statements were significantly correlated (r=.95, p=.000). Figure 1 shows a scatter plot of the relation between OCM and SWOT for the 15 respondents.
significant difference was found between Skill variety and Task identity (p = 0.724). The findings depict significant difference between Task identity and Task significance (p = 0.001), Autonomy (p = 0.006), and Feedback (p = 0.005), respectively. Significant difference was indicated between Task significance and Feedback (p = 0.009). No significant difference was found between Task significance and Autonomy (p = 0.051), and Autonomy and Feedback (p = 0.873), respectively.
Order of OCM models
225 statements (39,5%) fit the Open Systems Model (M = 14.93, SD =4.68), 215 statements (37,8%) fit the Human Relations Model (M = 14.4, SD = 6.12), 109 statements (19,2%) fit the Rational Goal Model (M = 7.27, SD = 4.79), whereas 20 statements (3,5%) fit the Internal Process Model (M = 1.33, SD = 2.19). Table 1 presents the distribution of SWOT statements in OCM quadrants and dimensions. A repeated measures ANOVA revealed a significant main effect of the four OCM models (F = 28,151; df = 3, 42; p < .001). Effect size measured by Eta squared was .668. Pairwise post hoc comparisons indicated a significant difference between Human Relations and Rational Goal (p = .001), between Internal Process and Open Systems (p = .001), Internal Process and Rational Goal (p = .002), and between Open systems and Rational Goal (p = .001). There were no difference between Open Systems and Human Relations (p = .804).
OCM vs. JCM
569 statements fit OCM (M = 37.93, SD = 9.02, Mdn = 38), whereas 402 statements fit JCM (M = 26.80, SD = 9.67, Mdn = 23). A nonparametric direct test of hypothesis 3 revealed 13 positive ranks (more statements covered by OCM than JCM), 2 negative ranks (more statements covered by JCM than OCM), and 0 ties. A paired samples t-test revealed t= -5.24, df = 14, p < .000 (one-tailed), Cohen’s d = 1.18 (classified as hi�h by Cohen, 1988).
Hypotesis 1: There is a positive correlation between the OCM dimensions and the SWOT statements. In this study, 86% of statements derived from open ended SWOT interviews were aligned with a particular dimension of the Organizational Climate Measure. The correlation between the two was statistically significant. This shows that if you perform an M-SWOT within the domain of innovation climate, you are likely to derive statements that the literature deem important, rather than statements that are irrelevant to the topic at hand. Furthermore, one might derive statements that are not covered by e.g. OCM, but that might be important in order to understand the local situation of a particular company. In sum, the results support hypothesis 1 of this study. Hypotesis 2: We predict that the SWOT innovation data will map onto the four competing models in OCM (in terms of the number of statements that fit each model) in the following order, 1) Open Systems model, 2) Human Relations model, 3) Rational Goals model, and 4) Internal Process model. The four models of OCM represent varying degrees of importance for innovation climate. It was argued that the Open Systems Model is the most relevant
Out of the total number of SWOT-statements there were 402 statements which could be coded on the five dimensions of JCM. Table 2 depicts that out of the 402 SWOT-statements captured by JCM, there were altogether 149 (23%) statements captured by Task significance (M = 9.9, SD = 5.85), followed by 89 (13%) statements captured by Feedback (M = 5.9, SD = 3.6), 86 (13%) statements were captured by Autonomy (M = 5.7, SD = 2.8), 41 (6%) statements were covered by Task identity (M = 2.7, SD = 2.0), and the remaining 37 (6%) statements were captured by Skill variety (M = 2.5, SD = 2.1). Repeated measures ANOVA was conducted and reveal significant main effect between the five dimensions comprising JCM, (F = 12.308; df = 4, 56; p < 0.001). The effect size, calculated using eta squared, was .468. Pairwise post hoc comparisons indicate significant difference between Skill variety and Task Significance (p = 0.001), Autonomy (p = 0.007), and Feedback (p = 0.001), respectively. No
9 model, with the Human Relations Model as the second most relevant model. Some of the dimensions of rational goals are important for innovation climate, whereas the Internal Process Model is seen as antagonistic of innovation climate. The mapping of statements onto OCM dimensions in this study is in line with this assumption: The Open Systems Model is covered by 225 statements; the Human Relations Model by 215 statements; the rational goal model by 109 statements, and the internal process model by 20 statements. All differences were statistically significant, except the difference between the Open Systems Model and the Human Relations Model. In sum, the results support hypothesis 2 of this study. Hypotesis 3: More SWOT statements fit OCM than JCM. In this study, an attempt was made to map the SWOT statements onto a related model of organizational behaviour, but unspecific towards innovation climate. The reason for this was to investigate whether the SWOT interviews are discriminant to the topic at hand: If the SWOT interviews related to innovation climate are sensitive towards OCM, but also towards any other general model, then one cannot trust the SWOT interviews to really capture what it intends. The results of this study shows a statistically significant difference between OCM (559 statements) and the Job Characteristics Model (402 statements). One might argue that a surprisingly large number of SWOT statements were aligned with JCM (402 out of 660 statements), given that innovation climate was the topic of the interview. However, one need to take into account that JCM is deeply rooted in the Norwegian work life; to the extent that the Norwegian Work Environment Act has clear traces of the model. Therefore, it is not necessarily surprising that any discussion of work and organizational topic will have relevance to this particular model. Furthermore, several aspects of the model are clearly in line with theories of innovation climate, such as task identity, task significance, autonomy and feedback. In sum, the results support hypothesis 3 of this study. Validity here refers to the relation between one type of measurement and another, and between the measurements and the conception people at work have about their own reality. We have chosen an uncommon type of qualitative data analysis: Instead of the traditional grounded theory approach (classifying bottom-up), we have chosen to use the OCM dimensions as the classification system (top-down classification). The strength of this approach is that it makes it easy to directly assess the relation between the two tools. The threat (or weakness) is that it might be tempting for the person carrying out the analysis to establish a fit between a statement and a dimension according to the hypothesis of the study, where no such fit is really present. In the current study, the persons carrying out the analysis were not aware of the purpose of the study. A sufficient inter-rater reliability is also crucial. We did not carry out such a measure in this study, but other studies have shown a sufficient interrater reliability for M-SWOT classifications (Hoff, Straumsheim, Bjørkli and Bjørklund, 2009, This issue). The method is very vulnerable to the behaviour of the interviewer: Any leading questions or other nonverbal communication that skew the conversation will compromise the data. The interviewers of the present study have been specifically trained for M-SWOT interviewing, with particular emphasis on avoiding to lead the conversation in a specific direction. Even if the above issues are dealt with, it is difficult to completely rule out that there might be systematic tendencies in the interview setting and data treatment that might compromise the results. This study has investigated the discriminatory validity of the SWOT statements, but it has not investigated the discriminatory validity of OCM. There have been studies on the discriminatory validity of the OCM su�vey (Patterson et al. 2005), but we do not know at this point whether this is also the case for this qualitative type of classification. It could be, in principle, that the dimensions in OCM are so wide, that any interview regarding any topic will fit into the dimensions when qualitative data are scored topdown. The issue of generalization of the M-SWOT data is an important one. Is it so that merely 15 subjects can generalize to a unit or an entire organization? In the qualitative methods tradition, the term semantic satu�ation refers to the fact that at a certain point there is no need to collect further data, because nothing really new appears in the interviews. However, the M-SWOT has a different type of
Limitations of the present study
The present study is not a validation study in the predictive sense, because it does not attempt to establish a relation between a high M-SWOT score and objective measures of innovation. On the contrary, it attempts to establish a conceptual relation between an emprircally validated quantitative survey instrument, and a qualitative, interview-based tool.
10 characteristic, and it is probable that many more interviews are needed than specified in the qualitative methods tradition. This is an empirical question that has not currently been answered. ve�sus ne�ative (S vs. W), and inte�nal ve�sus exte�nal (internal SW vs. external OT). Furthermore, it might be useful for the client to analyze the data according to the organizational level the data are geared towards, i.e. Individual-, Team-, Managementor Organization level (IGLO), respectively. A combination of SWOT and IGLO can give further information. For example the client might realize that the management of the organization only focus on individual threats in their internal focus, not on threats related to teams or management. Based on this type of feedback, the organization might change its paths in ways that neither the consultant might have anticipated beforehand. The flexibility and the process focus of the M-SWOT approach places it firmly in a Lewinian tradition, where emphasis is placed on the contextualized information related to a particular organization at a particular point in time, in relation to positivistic traditions that specify the need of the client up front. Whether the M-SWOT tool actually make the organization more reflexive on topics that researchers within organizational theory deem important, is an empirical question. Fortunately, this is methodologically fairly straight forward, because the M-SWOT can be conducted for the same organization or unit at several points in time, for example before and after a feedback session. A control group with only M-SWOT measurements but no feedback session can act as a reference. Clinebell, S. (1984). Organizational effectiveness: an examination of recent empirical studies and the development of a contingency view. In W. D. Terpening, & K. R. Thompson (Eds.), P�oceedin�s of the 27th annual confe�ence of the Midwest Academy of Mana�ement (pp. 92–102), Department of Management, University of Notre Dame. Chermack, T. J., & Kasshanna, B. K. (2007). The use and misuse of SWOT analysis and implications for HRD professionals. Human Resou�ce Development Inte�national, 10(4), 383–399.
Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical Powe� Analysis fo� the Behavio�al Sciences (second ed.). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
The present study confirms that an M-SWOT approach to innovation climate development is viable with respect to the type of content that the SWOT interviews elicit. This means that it is conceivable to use M-SWOT as a tool for organization development with respect to innovation climate. The strengths of the M-SWOT tool compared to traditional qualitative methods is that one keep central features of quantitative methods; namely the ability to compare results between organizations or divisions, and to compare one or several units over time. It also offers an opportunity to go beyond the limitations of the classical survey approach in important aspects. The data are ‘unbiased’ in the respect that they do not build on pre specified categories that can act as a cue for the respondents. As such, the data are simply the aggregated here-and-now focus of the interviewees. In addition, the data are firmly rooted in the context of a particular organization or division at a particular point in time. Furthermore, the data are flexible in the respect that they can be analyzed according to any type of model afte� the data has been collected (as opposed to a survey, where the researcher needs to perform a new survey for every model). The data can also be analyzed according to other types of taxonomies. For example, to analyze the data in terms of the SWOT framework could give the client vital information about the relative focus in the organization on the dimensions he�e-and-now ve�sus futu�e (SW vs. OT), positive
Amabile, T., Conti, R., Coon, H., Lazenby, J. & Herron, M. (1996). Assesing the work environment for creativity Academy of Mana�ement Jou�nal, 39, 1154-1184.
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11 Jou�nal of O��ani�ational Psycholo�y. In review Holsti, O. R., (1969). Content Analysis fo� the Social Sciences and Humanities. Reading, MA: AddisonWesley. Kanter, R.M. (1983). The Chan�e Maste�s. Innovation & Ent�ep�eneu�ship in the Ame�ican Co�po�ation. New York: Simon & Schuster. Kvale, S. (1997). Inte�viev. København: Hans Reitzels Forlag. McGregor, D. (1960). The human side of ente�p�ise. New York: McGraw-Hill. Patterson, M. G., West, M. A., Shackleton, V. J., Dawson, J. F., Lawthom, R., Maitlis, S., Robinson, D. L., & Wallace, A. M. (2005). Validating the organizational climate measure: links to managerial practices, productivity and innovation. Jou�nal of O��ani�ational Behaviou�, 26, 379-408. Quinn, R.E. & Rohrbaugh, J. (1983). A spatial model of effectiveness criteria: Towards a competing values approach to organizational analysis. Management Science, 29, 363-377. Shipper, F., & White, C. S. (1983). Linking organizational effectiveness and environmental change. Lon� Ran�e Plannin�, 16(3), 99–106. Weber, R. P. (1990). Basis Content Analysis. Newbury Park: Sage Publication. West, M. A. (2002). Sparkling fountains or stagnant ponds: An integrative model of creativity and innovation implementation in work groups. Applied Psycholo�y: An Inte�national Review, 51, 355 – 387. West, M. A., & Farr, J. L. (1990). Innovation at work. Innovation and c�eativity at wo�k: Psycholo�ical and o��ani�ational st�ate�ies, 3–13. West, M.A., Hirst, G., Richter, A. & Shipton, H. (2004). Twelve steps to heaven: Successfully manging change through developing innovative teams. Eu�opean Jou�nal of Wo�k and O��ani�ational Psycholo�y, 13(2), 269-299.
An External Validation of Two Psychosocial Work Environment Surveys – A SWOT Approach
Thomas Hoff* , Per Straumsheim1 , Cato A. Bjørkli1 and Roald A. Bjørklund1 Abstract
The p�esent a�ticle attempts to conceptually validate two established su�veys fo� measu�in� psychosocial wo�k envi�onment; The Gene�al No�dic Questionnai�e fo� Psycholo�ical and Social Facto�s at Wo�k (QPSNo�dic), and the O��ani�ational Climate Measu�e (OCM). Five �espondents in a financial institution we�e asked to �eflect f�eely on the topic of the psychosocial wo�k envi�onment of the company, only �uided by the SWOT fo�mat. The main hypothesis was that even thou�h QPSNo�dic is comp�ehensive and developed specifically fo� measu�in� psychosocial wo�k envi�onment, the thematically b�oade� OCM – with less items – would captu�e mo�e of the statements f�om the t�ansc�ibed inte�views. In addition, it was assumed that the SWOT fo�mat would p�ovide statements not cove�ed by any of the statements. Both hypotheses we�e confi�med, and OCM p�oved to be mo�e sensitive to the statements than did the QPSNo�dic. The SWOT fo�mat tu�ned out to be even mo�e sensitive, but this mi�ht be due to the natu�e of the SWOT questions, �athe� than the conceptuali�ations of the �espondents.
The concept of psychosocial work environment within work psychology research is primarily based on stress and motivational theories of work. In particular, the demand control model (Karasek & Theorell, 1990) and the effort-reward imbalance model (Siegrist, 1996), have been utilized, uncovering strong empirical evidence for a relation between stress and ill-health, especially for cardiovascular diseases (Taris & Kompier, 2005; Tsutsumi & Kawakami, 2004). In addition, motivational theories such as e.g The Job Characteristic Model (Hackman & Oldham, 1976), have spurred findings on the relation between motivation and outcomes like increased productivity and job-satisfaction (Landy & Becker, 1987). An important question is whether the issue of psychosocial work environment stop at the boarders of these models, or whether in fact these are issues that are entangled with broader organizational
Department of Psychology, University of Oslo
topics. This implies the possibility that the models concentrating on psychosocial work environment together with broader models of work environment explain more variance than models of psychosocial work environment alone. The concept of psychosocial work Thomas Hoff environment, along with other specific climate measures, such as safety climate (e.g. Zohar & Luria, 2005), climate for creativity (Amabile, Conti, Coon, Lazenby, & Herron, 1996), and service climate (Schneider, Bowen, Erhart, & Holcombe, 2000) all run the risk of casting their net too narrowly, neglecting more general organizational characteristics that can impact a broader range of organizational outcomes (Gillespie, Denison, Haaland, Smerek, & Neale, 2008). Here, the distinction between psychosocial and organisational work environment illustrates this challenge as the two often are insufficiently conceptually separated. Psychosocial work environment primarily concerns the social relationships, whereas organisational work environment focus on the formal structures as premise for social relations in work. In terms of measurement, QPSNordic is oriented towards the psychosocial work environment while general measures of organisational work environment/climate arguably spans wider beyond the perceptions of social relationships. This means that data from psychosocial work environment surveys may very well include references to broader categories than those included in specific models such as QPSNordic. In this paper we aim to examine whether the risk of casting the net too narrowly is relevant to the assessment of psychosocial work environment. In particular, we aim to study the relation between two surveys; one commonly used to assess psychosocial work environment and a broader organizational survey, by means of directly comparing the two with respect to open, qualitative reflection on behalf of the employees of a company in the finance sector. The data should
13 provide some insight to what extent the two surveys cover the same phenomenon or whether there exist some surplus value in adding a broader framework to specific psychosocial work environment models. The present study relates the concepts ‘psychosocial work environment’ and ‘organizational work environment’ to the operational definitions given by the questionnaires that have been developed to measure these two concepts, respectively (Dallner et al, 2000; Patterson et al, 2005).
Semi-structured interviews were carried out in order to compare the employee’s view on the local psychosocial work environment with the scales (or rather, the topic covered by the scale, e.g. Control/Autonomy) included in QPSNordic and OCM respectively. A SWOT format (Dyson, 2004) was utilized in order to prompt reflection on behalf of the subject. In a SWOT interview, the interviewer encourages the interviewee to reflect on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the psychosocial work environment, respectively. SWOT as such does not specify a particular type of answers, but rather forces the subject to reflect along the three dimensions of positive-negative, past-future and internal-external (Hoff, 2009).
The QPSNordic and the Organizational Climate Measure
In this study, two surveys were selected that represent a somewhat different approach to work environment measurement. The General Nordic Questionnaire for Psychological and Social Factors at Work (QPSNordic) (Dallner et al., 2000), is a survey that is generally based on the demand control model, the effort-reward imbalance model and the job characteristics model. In addition, the survey contains some ‘extra-organizational’ topics, such as leadership, organizational culture and climate, work groups and teams. These topics are, however, not included as a coherent model of organizational functioning. QPSNordic consists of 123 items, distributed on 26 scales. For a full description of the scales, see Dallner et al. (2000). The other survey, the Organizational Climate Measure (OCM) (Patterson et al., 2005) is not a tool for measuring psychosocial work environment as such, but rather a generic tool for measuring organizational climate. OCM was developed on the basis of the competing value model (Quinn & Rohrbach, 1983). The underlying assumption of this model is that when an organization is placing weight (and attention) on one type of value and less attention will be given to a different value. OCM is organized along four dimensions (values): Human �elations; Autonomy, Support Superior, Welfare, Integration, Training, Participation and Communication. Inte�nal p�ocess; Formalization and Tradition; Open systems; Innovation/flexibility and Outward focus, Reflexivity and Flexibility, and Rational �oal; Clarity of organizational goals, Feedback on performance, Quality, Pressure to produce, Effort and Efficiency. The survey consists of 82 items distributed on 17 scales. For a full description of the dimensions and scales, see Patterson et al. (2005). Although shorter than QPSNordic, OCM opts for measuring a broader set of organizational climate issues.
We expect OCM to be more closely aligned to the reflections of workers concerning their work environment, even though QPS Nordic was developed specifically for measuring psychosocial work environment. This is line with Gilliespie (2008), and builds on the notion that reflections regarding psychosocial work conditions contains references to broader categories than those included in specific models, such as QPSNordic Hypotesis 1: More SWOT statements will fit OCM than QPSNordic. In addition, our assumption is that this type of interview will elicit local competence in the organization and ideas not foreseen by the researcher or by established models. Semi-structured interviews, as opposed to surveys, are not constricted to predefined models or assumptions about an organization. Furthermore, the SWOT format has an affinity for prompting reflections on the here and now situation versus the future situation, and on the state of internal affairs versus the external environment of the organization.
Hypotesis 2: The SWOT interview will elicit a meaningful residual not captured by either model.
The study was carried out within a financial organization situated in Norway. A strategic sample
14 of 5 people participated in SWOT interviews. Representatives of both top-management and staff were included in the interviews. after the content had been transcribed and controlled. Starting the interview, the respondents were encouraged to verbalize and reflect upon the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the psychosocial work environment as they experienced it. No formal or normative definition was emphasized or requested from the interviewer. After completing the interview, the respondents were also asked not to discuss the interview with the other interviewees beforehand, to ensure that it was their own and not a joint understanding they brought to the interview. The interviews were performed within three days in September 2006.
Qualitative interviews of semi-structured character involved open questions based on the SWOTformat to obtain information concerning the informants’ reflection on the local psychosocial work environment. The interview guide comprised four main questions emphasizing the SWOT components, primarily encouraging reflection on the organization’s present strengths and weaknesses related to the psychosocial work environment, and secondly encouraging reflection on the organization’s opportunities and threats concerning the psychosocial work environment. The questions were as follows: St�en�th: “Could you please tell us about the strengths Organization X has in relation to psychosocial work environment?”, Weakness: “Could you please tell us about the weaknesses Organization X has in relation to psychosocial work environment?”, Oppo�tunity: “Could you please tell us about what opportunities Organization X has in order to succeed with the psychosocial work environment?”, and Th�eat: “Could you please tell us about what might hinder Organization X in order to succeed with the psychosocial work environment in the future?”. Additional information was obtained by encouraging the informants to respond to supplementary questions, such as: “You have mentioned some strengths, are there other strengths related to…?”, “Did I get you right when you say that…?”, “Could you illustrate this by giving an example?”, and “Could you specify what you mean by…?”. Follow-up questions related to the four main questions beyond this were asked only when considered necessary, such as: “What factors are involved when planning and implementing interventions regarding the psychosocial work environment in Organization X?”, “How does Organization X communicate with and involve employees during interventions regarding the psychosocial work environment?”.
Transcription and coding
The interviews were not transcribed word by word, but were edited to resemble written language, in order to capture content rather than exact phrasings (Flick, 2002). During transcription, names of interviewees, their position, name of the organization, exact location, etc. were deleted to ensure confidentiality. A randomly chosen interview was subjected to a qualitative inter-rater reliability test. No significant discrepancies were detected. Based on the transcriptions, so-called, ‘statements’ were derived. A statement is a part of a sentence, a whole sentence, or several sentences expressed by the interviewee, that constitute a coherent, meaningful point of view that describe an aspect of the work environment. The statements were then coded into a SWOT format, i.e. strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, or threats, accordingly. The statements were also coded according to the organizational level the statement was targeted towards. The levels were defined as individual level, team level, leadership level, or organizational level, respectively. Strengths and weaknesses were defined as statements directed towards here-and-now conditions in the organization, while opportunities and threats were defined as statements directed towards the future and external to the organization (e.g. competition, infrastructure, technology, etc.). Identical statements were not coded twice, unless expressed by a different respondent, indicating an understanding across respondents. Similar statements were not coded twice unless they represented a further elaboration on an issue, e.g. an example of an already coded statement was not coded as a new statement. The statements were then mapped onto the scales of the QPSNordic, as well as in terms of the categories of the Organizational Climate Measure. Here, each statement was subjected to a content analysis in which the meaningful view expressed in a statement was associated with a corresponding category in the model
A few days beforehand, the respondents were given written information about the purpose and format of the interview, emphasizing that it was their experiences and opinions regarding the psychosocial work environment that was of interest. They were asked to permit a tape-recording of the interviews, and were informed that the tapes would be erased
15 in question. For example, the statement “we have very good training systems here”, would fit into the t�ainin� scale of OCM. The inte�-�ate� �eliability of the coding process was examined by having two additional independent raters code the statements according to the established definitions of coding. Cohens kappa (κ) for inter-rater agreement was calculated, in line with scientific recommendations (Watkins & Pacheco, 2000). Results for independent rater 1 were κ = .90 for SWOT statements, and κ = .56 for organizational levels. For inter-rater 2, the result was κ = .84 for SWOT statements, and κ = .49 for statements of different organizational levels. An objectivity measure (Kolbe & Burnett, 1991) emphasizing rules and procedures, measure of pretesting, judge training, judge independence, and judge coding autonomy was also calculated. The objectivity index had a score of 4 out of 5 possible. When examining all statements coded by the two interraters, the proportion of category choice was similar to the authors, except that one inter-rater coded more statements in the organizational level category, and less in leader and individual category, respectively. QPSNordic. This difference (OCM: m = 53.8, sd = 20.59, QPSNordic: m = 36.8, sd = 12.15) was significant on a paired samples t-test; df 4, t-value 3.45, p. < .05 (two tailed). A graphic illustration of the distribution of SWOT statements over QPSNordic and OCM is given in figure 1.Within the Human Relationship scales of OCM, autonomy tapped 7 statements. These relate to the consequences of top leadership deciding what is best way to work. An example statement is: “the consequence of this may be that competent employees don’t �et the �oom fo� decision they should have had”. Furthermore, 25 statements were coded as involvement in OCM. The statements relate to the strengths and limitations of the decision structure and process. An example of a statement related to process is; “all employees a�e invited to talk about what the ove�a�chin� st�ate�y means to them and thei� individual wo�k situation”. Of the 20 statements coded as t�ainin� in OCM, most of them relate to the weight the organization place on education and training, and the opportunities given to the employees. E.g. “One of the st�en�ths is that the bank is willin� to use �esou�ces on education and development”. With regard to the Inte�nal P�ocess dimension, 13 statements were coded as fo�mali�ation. These are about positive and negative outcomes on the tendency the bank has to formalize and to have routines on many processes. An example statement is; “Some will say that this (evaluation process) is too voluminous, too exhaustive and theo�etical, is sums up in ve�y la��e documents”. Furthermore, 8 statements were coded as t�adition in OCM. Some relate to using the same measuring devices over time, other relate to older employees, having their whole work-experience in the bank are in a defensive position toward new ideas and new employees. E.g. “Most people he�e, includin� AD have thei� whole wo�k-expe�ience in the bank, they have nothin� to compa�e with”. The Open systems dimension category �eflexivity of OCM coded 8 statements. These were mostly about the need to increase reflexivity to meet changed demands from the environment. E.g. “Now thin�s a�e be�innin� to evolve much faste�, so if we don’t follow, we will have p�oblems in a few yea�s”. One category within the Rational Goal Threats 9 6 2 10 27 Sum 81 31 53 189 354
Of the total number of 394 statements, 354 SWOT statements were identified on the basis of the criteria defined above (Tab. 1). The 40 remaining statements were for the most part background information, related to general reflections unrelated to the organization (18), related to the interviewee themselves (8), related to assessment tools and ways of work (6), historical development (6), differences between departments/people (3) and physical work environment (1). These 40 statements were omitted from further analysis.
Coding by QPSNordic and OCM
The coding of SWOT statements onto QPSNordic and OCM scales are displayed in table 2.
Statements coded by OCM and not by QPSNordic
OCM tapped 114 statements not accounted for by Individual Team/Dept Leader Organization Sum Strengths 25 17 15 105 162 Weaknesses 34 8 32 51 125
Opportunities 13 0 4 23 40
16 QPSNordic OCM Quantitaive 15 Human relat Autonomy Decision 0 Integration Learning 18 Involvement Role expert Clarity 6 Support super Conflict 5 Training Job control Pref. challenge 3 Welfare Decision 0 Internal proc. Formalization Work pacing 0 Tradition Predictability Next month 0 Open systems Innovat & flexibility Next 2 years 9 Outward focus Mastery of work 2 Reflexivity Social interact Support superior 16 Rational goal Clarity of org goal Support coworker 8 Efficiency Friends & relatives 0 Effort Leadership Empowering 13 Performance feedback Fair 1 Pressure to produce Org culture/climate Social climate 27 Quality Innovative climate 7 Inequality 5 Human resource prim 34 Interaction work private life 5 Commitment to organization 7 Perception of work group 1 Work motivation Intrinsic 2 Extrinsic 0 SUM statements 184 Average no statements pr respondents 37 Table 2: Distribution of interview statements over QPSNordic and OCM categories Job Demands dimension of OCM, feedback on pe�fo�mance, tapped 23 statements. These relate to the processes of goalsetting, measuring, and giving feedback, both on work-environment, but especially every employee’s performance. Both the positive and negative effects of the measuring and feedback process are stated. E.g. “The balanced Sco�eca�d system is summed up on eve�y depa�tment, so this may be positive, “we a�e �oin� to make this �uys””. Or more negative: “Eve�ybody is measu�ed today. Mo�e measu�in� doesn’t �ive ve�y �ood team-wo�k, eve�yone think mo�e of one self”. 11 34 29 18 32 38 8 10 8 1 9 4 1 0 33 24 0
pay attention to diffe�ences in (personality) types”. 3 statements were exclusively coded as inequality in QPSNordic, e.g.: “So (difference in) pay does somethin� with satisfaction and well-bein�, I think many don’t feel valued”. The rest of the unique coded statements (12) were coded in several QPSNordic categories.
Residual SWOT statements
SWOT tapped 58 statements not covered by OCM or QPSNordic. This difference (SWOT: m = 36.8, sd = 12.15, OCM: m = 53.8, sd = 20.59) was significant on a paired samples t-test; df 4, t-value 3.26, p. < .05 (two tailed). Of the 58 statements neither tapped by QPSNordic nor by OCM, 57% were on the future dimensions opportunities and threats, over 50% on organizational matters and almost 29% on individuals. The most prominent theme was related to increasing competition on competent employees, which was coded as an opportunity for the individual, but as at threat for the organization, for example on opportunities: “This (external offers) c�eates oppo�tunities when people a�e wanted, they feel mo�e valued, it’s a possibility fo� employees fo� pe�sonal
Statements tapped by QPSNordic and not by OCM
In total, 26 statements were tapped by QPSNordic and not by OCM. These statements were distributed over several categories of QPSNordic. None of the 7 statements of commitment could be coded in OCM, such as “we have ve�y loyal employees, and I �eally mean, ext�emely loyal employees, especially ou� senio� employees”. 4 statements were tapped by �ole conflict in QPSNordic, such as “ou� development plan doesn’t
17 development”. An aging workforce was identified as an organizational threat: “..much of the o��ani�ation’s competence will disappea� in 5 – 10 – 15 yea�s”. Another theme was the possibilities and threats posed by new technology, giving employees opportunities to work more flexible, and customers opportunities to perform more services themselves, but potentially also having negative consequences for the work environment. This can be exemplified respectively by a statement coded as opportunity: “The technolo�ical development �ives us possibility to develop mo�e flexible wo�kplaces”. And a statement coded as threat: “A hi�h de��ee of employees wo�kin� f�om home, will imply a less time to�ethe�, this is not positive fo� the wo�k envi�onment”. A third theme was about the positive organizational reputation in the local environment making recruiting easy. E.g. “We a�e an att�active employe�, we a�e pe�ceived as an established t�adema�k in the ma�ket”. when trust/cooperation was the topic. An example of this type of statement is “most employees have an open mind towa�ds thei� collea�ues, a�e a bit includin�”.
The SWOT interviews produced a variety of information regarding the psychosocial work environment of the organization. The mapping of SWOT statements onto established models of organizational behaviour revealed that a more general climate measure, OCM, tapped significantly more statements than a measure designed to assess psychosocial work climate; the QPSNordic. The statements captured by OCM, but not by QPSNordic were found in the autonomy, involvement, t�ainin�, fo�mali�ation, t�adition, �eflexivity and feedback on pe�fo�mance scales of OCM. In sum, the results supports hypothesis 1. Even though the OCM and QPSNordic are comprehensive surveys, there were still a statistically significant residual of 58 statements. These statements relate to either the distinction between the hereand-now situation and the future situation (for example with respect to implications of implementing technological changes), or the distinction between the internal state of affairs and the external environment of the company (such as for example increasing competition for competent employees). In sum, the results supports hypothesis 2. In addition, and outside of the hypothesis of this paper, there were 25 statements that fit onto the QPSNordic but did not fit onto OCM. These statements refer to commitment, �ole conflict and inequality scales of the QPSNordic.
Statements coded to overlapping categories
Many statements (155) could be coded both in QPSNordic and OCM categories. Some categories are almost identical in QPSNordic and OCM, such as suppo�t supe�io�. The categories human �esou�ce p�imacy (QPSNordic) and welfa�e (OCM) are almost identical, and coded many of the same statements. Also the demands categories of QPSNordic and p�essu�e to p�oduce of OCM are similar and capture almost the same statements. An example of this is; “Thin�s a�e supposed to happen ve�y fast, they have a conside�able wo�k-p�essu�e”. In some instances statements coded by a specific scale of one of the surveys could be coded into a somewhat different category in the other. For example, many statements coded as suppo�t cowo�ke� in QPSNordic were coded as inte��ation of OCM,
Figure 1 SWOT/O��ani�ational level statements tapped by QPSNo�dic and OCM
At first glance it might seem incomprehensible that when management and staff in a firm is asked to reflect freely on aspects regarding the psychosocial work environment as they perceive it, significantly more statements fit onto a generic organizational climate survey than onto a comprehensive survey developed specifically for measuring psychosocial work environment. However, one might argue that OCM, although not directly related to psychosocial work environment, in fact capture central topics at the fringe of the concept. For example, inte�nal p�ocesses, innovation, and �oal-settin� may have a substantial impact on how employees perceive their work environment. An additional explanation for the finding might be related to the theoretical underpinnings of OCM, namely the competing values model. Where QPSNordic is a descriptive taxonomy (either the phenomena appear, or it does not), OCM is a tension model, i.e. it implies that certain factors might be in direct opposition to one another. In verbal communication, it might be more natural to reflect in terms of tensions and paradoxes, rather than in terms of strict classifications. A third consideration might be that all models within work- and organizational psychology need to be reconsidered according to the technological solutions as premises for work. The existing models may have been developed in a work context with other specific domain characteristics compared to the present modern work environments with high demand on potentials for change, dynamic forces and flexibility. This could imply that the “old” models include concepts and categories with less relevance to present empirical findings. A model that includes operationally defined concepts will only be valid for a relatively short period of time limited by introduction of new procedures in the work place. Consequently, the meaning of the concepts organizational work environment and organizational climate should not be considered as static but should allow for reconsideration according to changes in actual work environment.
things: Either there is something wrong with the operationalization of the concept of psychosocial work environment, or there is something about the reflections of the employees that are amiss. It is conceivable that the workers are ‘wrong’ in their conceptualization of their psychosocial work environment, and that in fact, the operationalization present in QPSNordic is sufficient for carrying out improvements in the work environment. Either way, there is a misfit between QPSNordic and the reality experienced by the interviewees, and as argued by Stablein (2006), organizational data should be characterized by a two-way co��espondence between the data and the organizational reality the data represent. In this study, QPSNordic fall short to demonstrate such correspondence. The sample employed in this study consisted of five persons. Although they had positions in the organization that indicated that they should be informed about the matter in question, a larger sample could have provided more information. However, the pattern in the present data sample is clear, and it remains an empirical question to what extent a larger sample would have changed this pattern.
OCM covered substantially more statements than QPSNordic when management and staff were asked open ended questions related to their local psychosocial work environment. This might indicate that OCM is more sensitive for covering broad aspects of the work environment of a given organization. Furthermore, the SWOT approach presented in this article provided important statements not covered by either surveys, particularly regarding statements related to the future of the organization, as well as aspects related to the outside environment of the firm. In this sense, SWOT is more sensitive than either of the two established surveys. However, this might be due to the nature of SWOT, as the respondents are asked about oppo�tunities and th�eats.
Amabile, T. M., Conti, R., Coon, H., Lazenby, J., & Herron, M. (1996). Assessing the work environment for creativity. Academy of Mana�ement Jou�nal, 39, 1154-1184. Dallner, M., Elo, A. L., Gamberale, V. H., Knardal, S., Lindström, K., Skogstad, A., et al. (2000). Validation of the Gene�al No�dic Questionnai�e (QPSNo�dic) fo� Psycholo�ical and Social Facto�s at Wo�k. Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers. Dyson, R. G. (2004). Strategic development and
Limitations of the present study
When management and staff in a firm is asked to reflect freely on aspects regarding the psychosocial work environment as they perceive it, significantly more statements fit onto a generic organizational climate survey than onto a comprehensive survey developed specifically for measuring psychosocial work environment. This can mean one of two
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Leading change in a healthy way
Per Øystein Saksvik and Sturle Danielsen Tvedt Department of Psychology, NTNU, Trondheim Abstract
The objective of the a�ticle is to discuss how lowe�level leade�s, i.e., middle mana�e�s, deal with the implementation of o��ani�ational chan�e and to identify thei� behavio� as in acco�dance with the claims of a new Wo�k Envi�onment Act in No�way, which defines an optimal and healthy o��ani�ational chan�e p�ocess. The a�ticle p�esents some of ou� own findin�s about healthy leade� behavio� in an o��ani�ational chan�e context. In this a�ticle, we p�esent and discuss chan�e in a Scandinavian and No�we�ian context, the impact of the chan�e p�ocess, and the �elation between chan�e and leade�ship theo�ies and pe�spectives. We found that the main concepts of the law; info�mation, pa�ticipation, and competence development could be ope�ationali�ed and unde�stood bette� in daily p�actice th�ou�h the followin� cate�o�ies: awa�eness of local no�ms and dive�sity amon� employees in the pe�ception and �eactions to chan�e effo�ts, ea�ly �ole cla�ification, mana�e� availability, and usin� const�uctive conflicts. The middle man�e� �ole was cent�al in this and in a pa�allel study �ood leade�s we�e cha�acte�i�ed by the emb�acin� of chan�e.
of roles and responsibilities, especially the role of middle management; and (5) simultaneously competing projects (Saksvik, Nytrø, Dahl-Jørgensen, & Mikkelsen, 2002). These criteria have been identified in many other studies as well (see e.g., Fay & Lührman, 2004). The key role of middle management stands out as one of the most Per Øystein Saksvik interesting variables in these studies and in one of our projects we wanted to explore how local or unit leaders can contribute to better change processes in organizations.
The context of change in Norway
A central background of our own research has been the revised Working Sturle D. Tvedt Environment Act of Norway that was effectuated on January 1, 2006 (Arbeidstilsynet, 2007). This is, to our knowledge, the first time the concept of organizational change p�ocesses has been presented in any legislation. The act provided us with a ready frame of reference to our understanding of healthy change in our projects and further to the sampling of leaders with a reputation for implementing healthy change processes. The following excerpt may serve as a useful context for our research: § 4-2. Requi�ements �e�a�din� a��an�ement, pa�ticipation and development. (3) Du�in� �eo��ani�ation p�ocesses that involve chan�es of si�nificance fo� the employees’ wo�kin� situation, the employe� shall ensu�e the necessa�y info�mation, pa�ticipation and competence development to meet the �equi�ements of this Act �e�a�din� a fully satisfacto�y wo�kin� envi�onment. What is new here is the explicit mention of the change process, not the concepts info�mation, pa�ticipation, and competence. These latter concepts have been present in Norwegian legislation in the work environment since the then pioneering ‘psychosocial act’ of 1977 (Norge, 1996). The problem, however, remains the same more than a quarter of a century later, that these concepts lack the concrete operationalization needed for practitioners in
There is an extensive line of work related to the description and understanding of organizational change. Some of this work comprises theoretically oriented approaches while some is practice-based and draws attention to lessons of good and bad practices learned from this field. Nguyen and Kleiner (2003) and Balogun and Hope Haley (2004) report a failure rate of around 70 percent of all strategic change programs initiated, and ‘change resistance’ owing to poor change management or a lack of effective leadership is often said to be the cause (Balogun & Hope Haley, 2004; Gill, 2003; Kotter, 1996; Kubr, 1996). Empirical evidence points to the need for certain process criteria to be fulfilled for success in organizational change: (1) the ability to learn from failure and to motivate participants; (2) multi-level participation and negotiation, and differences in organizational perception; (3) insight into tacit and informal organizational behavior; (4) clarification
21 the field. Such sentiments were exactly the reason why the Norwegian Labour Inspection (NLI), prompted by the new legislation, sought information from us relevant to giving shop floor level advice about change processes. The proliferation of radical reorganizations in the Norwegian public sector in recent years must be regarded as an important context for this legislation, and there is reason to suspect that public sector middle managers are hit especially hard because decisions of change are most likely to be made outside the organization by politicians. Additionally, public sector enterprises are often more bound than commercial enterprises in the way they operate, giving their middle managers less room for manoeuvre. Scandinavian work life has been steeped in a zeitgeist of participation and self-governing work groups since the 1960s (see e.g., Emery & Thorsrud, 1976). This, together with a very deeply rooted cultural current of short power distances (Hofstede, 2001), makes employees expect to influence what happens and makes it very difficult for a middle manager to sustain a distanced position, merely selling the goals outlined by top management. Second, this short power distance is probably also a prerequisite for the remarkably high degree of agreement and shared perspective between the middle managers and their co-workers. Although we think that both employees and leaders view the leadership of the change process favorably; it has been demonstrated elsewhere that disparity between employers and employees in work environment risk estimates is symptomatic of unhealthy organizations (Warren et al., 1999). Change can also be studied favorably from an open systems theory perspective (Katz & Kahn, 1978), where decisions to change are usually seen as leader responses on behalf of the organization to perturbations in the environment. However, it also follows from open system theory that different departments in an organization form subsystems for which the larger organization constitutes part of the environment. Thus, for the units led by the middle managers in the present study, the change decisions themselves act as perturbations in the environment. Earlier research on organizational change has also pointed out differences in organizational perception of the change (see e.g., Fay & Lührman, 2004; Saksvik et al., 2002). This supports our own experiences from the field of research that employees present altogether different ‘changes’ both within and between different departments. In line with open systems theory, we further expect that there will be real differences between the departments – or subsystems – of an organization in the nature and extent of change impact. It follows that the changes take on a very local nature in reaching the actual level of implementation when the change decision meets the actual organization members who will carry out and embody the change. As such, existing perspectives of planned change leadership have limited relevance for our middle managers.
Findings from our own research
A study was initiated in 2004 to find behavioral criteria behind the broad concepts ‘information,’ ‘participation,’ and ‘competence development’ that we find in the new Work Environment Act of 2006 presented in the introduction (Saksvik et al., 2007). In this study, five categories or criteria appeared as underlying or conveying these concepts in the 90 organizations undergoing changes that were studied (Saksvik et al., 2007). It was found that organizational change processes were better managed by more attention to awareness of local norms and diversity among employees in the perception and reactions to change efforts. The other three factors identified were early role clarification, manager availability, and using constructive conflicts to deal with change. Manager availability was found to be the main content of ‘information’ in the Working Environment Act. The point here is not the contents of information, but how information is passed on, and also whether there is a possibility that employees can communicate freely based on that information. Early clarification of roles was found to be a prerequisite for the development of qualifications (‘competence development’), according to the Act. It is only when roles and new purposes are clarified that the employees are able to improve their qualifications further, or maybe develop their new roles in the new organization based on their existing qualifications. Finally, it was found that conflict management was a central feature in the Working Environment Act that defines ‘participation.’ Change can increase the level of conflict, and capable conflict management increases the probability of active participation during a change process, which in turn creates a ground for constructive dialog. This is considered important if proper employee participation is to be achieved. Later quantitative studies have supported the importance of these factors for process healthiness through the statistical testing of the Healthy Change Process Index (HCPI) (Tvedt and Saksvik, 2008a; Tvedt, Saksvik, & Nytrø, 2008). In all of these factors for a healthy change process, the importance of the middle manager strikingly emerges. However, Factor 3), leader availability, appeared to contain so many
22 clues to the middle-manager role as to warrant further exploration. Thus, in a follow-up study (Tvedt & Saksvik, 2008b), we wanted to explore how middle managers identified as successful in managing healthy change (as defined in the Work Environment Act) were able to cope with change and lead their co-workers through turbulent changes without inducing health constraints and deterioration in the work environment. The research question was stated as: ‘How do middle managers in the public sector who have a reputation for leading healthy changes actually implement the change processes?’ In this study, we set out to reveal the praxis of middle managers in the public sector with a reputation for managing healthy change. It was the stated intention that this would provide some guidelines for the role of middle managers at the level of concrete behavior. This is much needed, since the new version of the Norwegian Work Environment Act of 2006 continues the tradition of the previous version from 1977 in failing to specify concretely the key concepts of info�mation, pa�ticipation, and competence development. This has left practitioners in the field with very imprecise guidelines. The sample consisted of six public enterprises in which a total of 59 interviews were undertaken. For each enterprise, the six middle-managers was interviewed separately, and four to seven employees were interviewed in a combination of individual and group interviews. Leaders and employees were interviewed separately and, where available, safety and union representatives were included in the sample as employee representatives, since they often possess special knowledge of and perspectives on change processes. The following criteria were used to select cases of successful leaders in respect to their having undertaken good change processes in their organization: (1) recommendation from external partners (from a central union representative and/or the labour inspectorate and/or a representative from the Employers’ Confederation), (2) ongoing change process documented, (3) leader’s self-evaluation that she/he had succeeded in the change process (confirmed by a phone call), and (4) working conditions had not developed negatively as a result of the change process (confirmed by external partners). Only managers with a reputation of conducting healthy change processes were included and no comparison to other middlemangers were undertaken. Three trained field research assistants and four researchers conducted all the interviews, most often in teams of two researchers/assistants. The interview guides were semi-structured, with main questions that were asked in every interview. The analysis procedure for the present was undertaken in seven distinct steps, alternating between individual and collective analysis modes. Throughout this process, much attention was given to comparing individual contributions of researchers and field assistants as well as constantly keeping an eye on the original texts, following the principle of constant comparison (Glaser and Strauss, 1967; Locke, 2001). The core finding of this study was that our middle-managers wholly commit to the change which was expressed in the two main categories of embracing change and embracing people. Involved in this main category of embracing people were collective sensemaking, building local knowledge, and enabling employees to cope with change. Embracing change included the conceptual categories of proactive navigation and prioritizing time. It is our contention that the findings of this study do indeed provide more tangible guidelines towards the three concepts from the new Work Environment Act. They are all readily identifiable in the conceptual description of the categories we found in the study. The core finding of the present study that our middle managers were so proactive and highly involved in the change corresponds to the general opposite finding that leaders of unhealthy change processes retreat from the process (Clair and Dufresne, 2004; Kets de Vries and Balasz, 1997). Hence, this confirms our basic expectations of middle managers directing healthy change processes, and supports the validity of our strategic sample. Interestingly, embracing change does not entail being a ‘mercenary for the top management’ or subscribing to the political decisions; if anything, these middle managers are ‘the champions of their co-workers.’ Instead, embracing the change consists of accepting the necessity for facing the change and making sure the co-workers will master it as a collective.
Discussion Change and leadership
A core finding in our research is that employees ought to have immediate access to somebody they can talk to and discuss ‘how the changes will affect me and my work tasks.’ This ‘somebody’ must be a person with organizational insight and knowledge regarding the change, and one who is able to influence the process. Focusing as we do in our research on the importance of the praxis of the middle manager, we are moving our research more clearly into the realm of organizational change management.
23 Again, relevant theories abound (see for example, Burke, 2002; Kotter, 1996; Yukl, 1998), and at least moderate relationships have been shown between change-oriented leadership styles and negative health in the form of musculoskeletal pain (Fjell, Österberg, Alexanderson, Karlqvist, & Bildt, 2007). However, classical management theories present a linear view of changes that is not compatible with the messy picture drawn up by leaders interviewed in our earlier research on a healthy change process in a Norwegian context (see Saksvik et al., 2007). This might of course in part be due to particularities in the Norwegian reality of work. Earlier research has emphasized the potential health benefit derived from communication and information, planning, monitoring and evaluation, and the ability to learn from previous experiences, as well as the possibility of participation in organizational change (Nytrø, Saksvik, Mikkelsen, Quinlan, & Bohle, 2000). In all issues, a leader plays a key role. If managed well, the change process itself may help form good working conditions for day-to-day operations (Nelson, 2005). According to Weymes (2003), a winning organization knows that its success can be attributed to the power of relationships. We believe that good relational behaviour in different forms is indeed a key factor to promoting good change processes. The way leaders were building good relations in our study may not appear as part of a calculated strategic plan; they have a natural democratic relational attitude. It is legitimate to ask whether these categories represent personal traits or a praxis developed over time among these leaders? Although the leaders’ behaviour relies a lot on energy and a positive attitude towards change, it seems to us that most characteristics of good leadership are tied to the personality of these leaders but can also be developed and learned. It is the interaction between the employees and the leaders that is important. This may partly rely on the way the leader is as a person, but some of the strategies and behaviour can undoubtedly be learned and represent (partly) the core of good relational behaviour in organizational change. This may imply that more ‘traditional’ leadership theories such as transformational and charismatic leadership theories, theories of the learning organization, and ethical leadership, still have a role in changing participants’ perceptions of ‘good change leadership’ and should probably not be disregarded as obsolete and ineffective. As an example we can take a closer look at one theory of transformational leadership that will illustrate the individual perspective. A theoretical concept of leadership closely connected with participative change management is transformational leadership (Bass, 1985; Bass & Avolio, 1994; Burns, 1978). After extensive research, Bass (1985, 1998) has identified four basic leader activities or factors for effective transformational leadership: 1. Idealized influence: The leader is functioning as a positive role model. 2. Inspiring motivation: Importance is put on team spirit, enthusiasm, and optimism. 3. Intellectual stimulation: The leader encourages and gives challenges to work independently and to find new creative ways to solve problems. 4. Individualized attention: The leader is attentive to the individual’s needs. All these four factors are related to the relational attitude of the leaders, but in Bass’s (1985, 1998) theory, the focus is more on the individual leader behaviour or disposition, and the close relation the leader has with each follower, than towards the group (except 2). However, of course, the factors identified by Bass may to some extent be the necessary personal disposition of a leader to lead in a democratic way. Although the above shows some merit to traditional perspectives, there is a conspicuous mirroring of a more messy account of change in the rise of chaos theory perspectives on change leadership (e.g., Burns, 2004). Complexity theory has radicalized the perspective on strategic management and organizational dynamics, at least in the academic literature (Burns, 2004; Galbraith, 2004; Stacey, 2000). Here, the leadership role of change becomes fundamentally different, but still important (McDaniel, 1997). Change can occur at different yet overlapping organizational levels and the interconnections between them and the future behaviour of a system are not predictable (Stacey, 1992, 2000; Wheatley, 1992). Thus, all change is by nature complex and can be regarded as a non-linear process that unfolds through the interplay of multiple variables within an organization and the extended environment. The ability to manoeuvre in a chaotic situation was a central category in our second project and this makes it natural to look at chaos theory in understanding leadership behaviour (Burns, 2004; Stacey, 2000). Existing sets of beliefs on best leader practice for a good change process (especially during the implementation phase) might help us to contrast traditional paradigms with more modern paradigms essential for providing strategic leadership (McDaniel, 1997). This kind of strategic change leadership thinking, and follower behaviour, belongs to a whole new way of looking at strategic leadership and organizational change through the ‘eyes’ of chaos
24 and complexity theory (Burns, 2004; Stacey, 2000). Burns (2004) states that managers will, according to chaos theory, behave in the following way: a manager will lead the organization’s members on account that the organization’s employees have adequate access to useful information for the development of the organization; the manager inspires organizational members to share common values, but at the same time inspires them to meet demands that alter those values; a manager should support a culture that is not afraid to experiment in order to learn from mistakes and adjust the organization’s path; and a manager should be aware of ideas that challenge the core values inherent in the organization, and realize that change is unpredictable and can be characterized as irrational. One of the reasons why organizational change projects often fail to reach their own objectives may probably be due to the lack of this open-minded attitude among middle managers. It is probably more common for leaders to try to (re)gain control and withdraw from the shop floor and, thus, act as stoppers in the organization (Clair & Dufresne, 2004; Kets de Vries & Balazc, 1997). These ideas are not ground-breaking or radical, but they do stress that the complexity of today’s organizations should be taken seriously. A relationbuilding message is the core of these ideas. The leader is open to the insights of the followers in all respects. No ideas are censured and mistakes and even irrational behaviour are considered natural because the established values of the organization always have to be challenged during change. We see this as a manifestation of the importance, when implementing change, of using relation-oriented behaviour, i.e., to do things that are primarily related to strengthening relationships, helping people, giving support, empowerment, and giving attention to followers (Yukl, 1998) and to execute change-oriented behaviours, i.e., to do things that are related to visioning, strategy-drawing, inspiring change, and developing coalitions for change support (Ekvall & Arvonen, 1991; Yukl, 1998). A changecentered leader encourages discussions about future possibilities; promotes new ideas for change and growth; and stimulates new projects, products, and ways of doing things (Ekvall & Arvonen, 1991). Compared with transformational leadership, the behaviours concerning idealized influence and individual consideration are less present in changecentered leadership than behaviours concerning intellectual stimulation and inspirational motivation (Skogstad, 1997). This represents a genuine relational or collective attitude, because it is not the single individual that is in focus, but the collective of cooperating colleagues and how they work together or negotiate to find new solutions in times of change. The problem with a chaos theory perspective on leadership of organizational change is that it presents practitioners only to a small extent with readily available praxis-oriented advice. What is more, the present leadership literature in general is dominated by an effectiveness perspective, and it cannot be taken for granted that effective change leadership is also healthy change leadership (see e.g., Arvonen, 1995; Nyberg, Bernin, & Theorell, 2005). Accordingly, in order for practitioners to relate to the recent Norwegian legislation concerning organizational change processes, there is a need for more knowledge about healthy change management on the level of concrete middle-manager praxis. In our studies, we have found support for the importance of the manager’s ‘face-to-face’ contact and the importance of human-oriented communication in change processes. Despite all the practical and sophisticated technological facilities we have at hand, including e-mail, intranet, fast growing Internet communities (i.e., Facebook and Myspace), instant messaging services (i.e., MSN, Skype, and AIM), and mobile services like SMS, the results indicate that, during a process of change implementation, an attempt to be efficient by the leader in this manner is not helpful and can be rather distressing if it replaces the use of rich information media. By richness is meant the ability to use all the communication cues – both verbal and non-verbal – and allow for a rapid response and adjustment of thought and answers (Smeltzer, 1991). One illustrative example comes from one our own projects, where the leader appeared to have his nametag on the inside of the door (because the door was always open). Face-to-face communication is a rich medium and has a number of aspects that are missing from electronic media, including co-presence, perceptibility, concurrence, and simultaneity (Friedman & Curral, 2003) and these properties enable listeners and speakers to reach towards the same understanding of the issues at stake and to adjust their efforts to seek agreement. These aspects promote dialog and a two-way communication that enables us to test each other’s understanding and interpretation of the other’s intentions. This further facilitates a common understanding of the goal of change. Research indicates that other media cannot replace in-person communication when it comes to dealing with the human side of change (Young & Frost, 1998). A focus on the ability to communicate emotional content is also considered of major importance in an era focusing on change management based on chaos theory. This includes the ability to
25 motivate colleagues and other people emotionally, and not least the relationship between the purpose of the communication and the choice of communication tools. Given our perspective of leadership as relational and participative, leader skills related to the motivation of co-workers are becoming increasingly important. Our studies support a view of the change process as broader and more complex than before. The majority of the organizational change models offer a normative or prescriptive approach that identifies what managers and consultants should and shouldn’t do and how they should implement a specific change initiative. Doyle, Claydon, and Buchanan (2000) report that managers and change leaders often found change methodologies too ‘pre-packaged’ and not able to address the contradictions, tensions, and linkages in the change. Whelan-Berry, Gordon, and Hinings (2003) extend this critique by requesting a more comprehensive process model of change that includes the relationships between change processes at the organizational level and change processes at the individual and group levels. They argue that major organizational change cannot occur without specific groups and individuals changing, that is, without teams and individual workers adopting altered work routines and different models, structures, or standards to direct their action. Hence, appreciating the group and the individual change processes that occur as part of organizational change processes is fundamental. Whelan-Berry et al. (2003) found few models in the organizational change literature that specifically described the change process at the group or team level of analysis as well as a lack of models that address how individual change occurs within the organizational context. From a broad case study, they proposed a detailed and a more complete change process model that includes the interplay between the individual, group, and organizational levels. Pettigrew (1985) also demonstrates the limitations of theories that view change either as a single event or as a sequence of episodes that are regarded in isolation from the context. Since the 1980s, there has been a theoretical and empirical movement toward more fluid, dynamic, and processoriented explanations of change. Pettigrew (1985) proposed a processual–contextual perspective to organizational change, further developed by Dawson (2003), which argues that change has to be understood in terms of multi-level connections between change substance, contexts, implementation process, and organization politics over time. The processual framework is concerned with understanding the political activities of consultation, negotiation, conflict, and resistance, which occur at different levels outside and within the organization during the process of organizational change (Dawson, 2003). This framework refers to the extent to which the change is viewed as being crucial to the continued existence of the organization. This perspective contrasts sharply with the models presented as steps and guides typical of the oversimplified, practitionerfocused managerial literature of change (Buchanan, 2003). An organization is a complex network of individuals, groups, and systems that operate within an organizational culture and structure. A change model that appeals to many managers is that of Kotter’s (1990) ‘eight steps to transforming your organization.’ This model highlights eight lessons based on an analysis of organizations going through change and it addresses some of the issues associated with making change happen and emphasizes the particular need to communicate the vision. Despite its appeal, it is criticized for being too linear and for disregarding the change process as a continuous cycle (Cameron & Green, 2004). As Dawson (2003, p. 144) illustrates: ‘change does not occur in a neat linear fashion, but is messy, murky and complicated. It involves twists and loops, turns and returns, omissions and revisions, the foreseen and the unforeseen, and is marked by the achievement of planned targets, failures, resistance, celebration, ambivalence, fatigue, conflict and political manoeuvring.’ In such a situation, leaders often carry a heavy burden. One of the managerial challenges facing organizations today, according to Jimmieson, Terry, and Callan (2004), is the effective implementation of organizational change programs that minimize feelings of uncertainty and the negative consequences that follow. Increased job insecurity is a consequence of almost all types of organizational change, which consequently will be subject to resistance. Worrall and Cooper (1998), for instance, found that job insecurity resulted in less commitment as well as lowered degrees of motivation and morale. Similar results were found by King (2000): job insecurity has a negative effect on support for organizational goals, quality of work, and turnover. A related concept is control at work. Considered an important motivational force and necessarily negatively related to increased job insecurity, control at work is in a positive relationship with job satisfaction, commitment, involvement, and performance (Sparks, Faragher, & Cooper, 2001). Cunningham et al. (2002) insist, as job insecurity is negatively related to readiness for change, that there must be an evident need for change and at the same time employees must be given the feeling that they
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Our own projects have shown that a good leader may be essential in steering change processes in a fruitful direction. The middle managers selected for the second study had a reputation for handling organizational change with success. With a new paragraph in the Working Environment Act giving directions for healthy organizational change, we were able to analyze whether the behaviour of these leaders fulfilled the claims of participation, information, and competence development. We saw that the good leaders of this sample behaved in a responsible way, were present for the employees, and tolerated a lot of uncertainty. We found that they involved their followers in important decisions and were always willing to communicate both established plans and unforeseen consequences. For the leader to have enough self-confidence to stand in the chaos and at the same time show relational competence – in a word, embracing the change – seems to be a key factor in managing change.
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Lev Livet Nå – ny bok om mindfulness
Forfatter: Rebekka Th. Egeland Forlag: Pantagruel Forlag År: 2009 Sider: 229 inkl. referanser Kapitler: 9
Lest av Ch�iste� Mo�tensen, spesialist i a�beids- o� o��anisasjonspsykolo�i. Lev livet nå, er en ny bok på norsk om mindfulness. Forfatter av boken, psykologen Rebekka Egeland, ønsker å gi leseren kunnskap om, og innsikt i mindfulness som meditasjonsform. Målet er å skape et ønske hos leseren om å la mindfulness bli en del av ens daglige liv. Dette for å kunne redusere stress, øke livskvaliteten og som forfatteren sier det; «gå den veien du virkelig ønsker å gå i livet». Forfatteren hevder at løsningen på samfunnets økende omfang av stressrelaterte lidelser ligger i oss selv gjennom å bruke de ressursene vi alle har i oss. Dette er et grunnleggende positivt menneskesyn, noe jeg kjenner igjen fra nevrolingvistisk programmering (NLP), gestaltpsykologi og kognitiv atferdsterapi. Boken fremstår i den positive psykologiens ånd, noe jeg verdsetter som et godt supplement og motvekt til den mer elendighetskåte delen av psykologien. Boken er ment å være praktisk og retter seg mer mot folk flest. Den er således ikke ment som en bok for fagutøvere, men kan egne seg for den fagutøver som ønsker å bruke boken som et lett tilgjengelig supplement til å lære seg mer om mindfulness. Begrepet mindfulness er ikke forsøkt oversatt, men er gjennom hele boken pakket inn et par skjemmende «hermetegn». Det burde finnes nordiske eller germanskspråklige ekvivalenter, som kunne knytte begrepet an til vår egen språkhistorie. Et alternativ ville være å akseptere begrepet som det er, og bruke det – uten hermetegn og på den måten stå for begrepet, ikke bare bruke begrepet på «lissom». Mindfulness beskrives i boken som en oppmerksomhet omkring de pågående bevissthetsprosesser, og samtidig noe mer enn kun oppmerksomhet. Forfatteren ønsker å forklare hva mindfulness er gjennom en referanse til hva det ikke er. Mindfulness blir kontrastert til begrepet mindlessness, som betegner en tilstand av å være mentalt fraværende eller bevisstløs ens pågående mentale handlinger. Det engelske begrepet «full» (fylt/ helt) satt opp mot begrepet «less» (mindre/tom /løs) er et godt retorisk grep, og viser samtidig at mindfulness på ingen måte er et nøytralt beskrivende begrep av et mentalt fenomen eller tilstand. Begrepet gir
assosiasjoner til hva som er godt og ønskverdig, med mindre en har hengt på seg slagordet til arkitekten Ludwig Mies van der Rohe «less is more», hvilket senere dukket opp i organisasjonsfaget knyttet til områder som outsourcing, downsourcing og Lean management. Ett spørsmål jeg stilte meg i møte med boka er om det ligger konvensjonell vitenskap bak påstandene om at mindfullness basert stressreduksjon (MBSR) kan vise til positive effekter. For de som er opptatt av evidensbasert praksis, kan jeg nevne at det etter hvert begynner å komme en god del forskning på meditasjon og mindfulness. Flere studier viser at MBSR har positive effekter på ulike aspekter ved den mentale helsen, men få klarer å demonstrere større effekt enn normale forventingseffekter. I 2004 ble det gjennomført en metastudie (Grossman, Niemann, Schmidt og Walach) som viste at mindfulness som stressreduserende intervensjon hjelper enkelpersoner til bedre å mestre en lang rekke mentale og somatiske lidelser. Av totalt 64 utvalgte studier på mindfulness som stressreduserende intervensjon og supplement til behandling av både somatiske og psykiske plager, var det kun 20 som holdt en vitenskapelig akseptabel kvalitet. Både studier med og uten kontrollgruppe viste seg å gi et positivt resultat, med en effektstørrelse på ca. 0.5 (P<.0001). Øvelsene i boka er i liten grad beskrevet som prosedyrer, men gir heller forslag til ting du kan gjøre. I enkelte passasjer skriver forfatteren på en deltakende måte og er med deg gjennom øvelsen. Dette er en sympatisk, deltakende og samtidig ikke dirigerende tilnærming. Dette grepet passer nok best den som er opptatt av fortelling fremfor struktur og presisjon. Så til spørsmålet om mindfulness har kvaliteter som gjør det interessant for utøvere innen arbeids- og organisasjonspsykologien. For kliniske arbeidspsykologer og andre som jobber med fraværsforebygging, attføring og liknende, vil mindfulness være en tilnærmingsmåte å ta nærmere i betraktning. For de av oss som jobber med organisasjoner, er det nok lederutvikling og veiledning som først og fremst er relevant å knytte til mindfulness. Men et her-og-nå fokus er ikke noe nytt i denne sammenheng. Observasjon av gruppedynamiske prosesser har siden midten av 40-tallet arbeidet med et slikt fokus. Chris Argyris sitt fokus på individuell og organisatorisk læring, inkluderer den pågående indre dialog i dynamikken med den eksterne observerbare atferden. En annen tilnærming, gestaltpsykologien bygger også på en nærværende og aksepterende tilnærming som grunnlag for utvikling, ofte illustrert ved sitater av gestaltguruen Frederick Perls (det er når du aksepterer deg som du er, du endres). Det virker
30 ikke på meg som om mindfulness tilfører noen nye dimensjoner til det organisatoriske utviklingsarbeidet, ei heller en bedre presisjon i dette. Jeg skal ikke legge skjul på at jeg er en fordomsfull mann. Når jeg er får en ny bok i hånden, liker jeg å kikke bakerst først. Det er noen ganger en kan lukte hva en har fremfor seg (bevisstheten min leder pussig an til bildet av hunder som møtes). Som kjent hender det at en faglitterær forfatter bakerst i boken oppgir hvor en har blitt inspirert og funnet kilder til sitt eget litterære verk. Bak i boken finner leseren både anbefalinger av ressurspersoner og referanser til sider på verdensveven. De nettadresser som blir oppgitt av forfatteren henviser deg videre til buddhistiske og zen inspirerte sider. Dette fyrer opp under alle mine fordommer, og jeg må arbeide hardt mot impulsen om å klassifisere mindfulness i kategorien tro og religion. Jeg må nevne det, fordi det simpelthen ikke går an å anmelde denne boken uten å samtidig nevne de klare koplingene til religionsutøvelse (kristendommen er også nevnt i boken og det tilbys en redning for den leser som synes koplingen til østlig tro og filosofi blir for sterk). Buddhismen slik jeg kjenner den inneholder ulike teknikker for å påvirke egne mentale tilstander. Samtidig er det heldigvis ikke slik at om du mediterer eller bruker meditative teknikker hentet fra Buddhismen automatisk gjør deg til en buddhist. Evnen til å være oppmerksomt tilstede er en menneskelig kvalitet, som verdsettes i ulik grad i ulike kulturer. I det hele tatt er vårt forhold til tid interessant i et kulturelt perspektiv, og mindfulness passer godt som et motkulturelt innslag i et samfunn som er fremtids- og vekst orientert. Forfatteren hevder at det er en trend i samfunnet at nåtiden blir fullstendig glemt og ignorert til fordel for fortiden og fremtiden. Hun har nok rett i at utsagn som burde, skulle og bare dominerer manges tanker og skaper en evaluerende avstand til de pågående opplevelsene. Kåsører og motivasjonsguruer som for eksempel Karsten Isacsen, har i en årrekke underholdt med temaet «skulle-bare-livet», så dette er velkjente betraktninger. Når forfatteren hevder at vi lever i et velferdssamfunn som gir oss alt vi trenger og at de fleste av oss har god økonomi, velger høyere utdannelse og ender opp med godt betalte jobber, virker det som om bokens målgruppe er det venstresiden i norsk politikk vil kalle de sutrende velstående. Alt dette ville vært helt unødvendig å nevne dersom ikke forfatteren så tydelig og bevisst hadde kastet seg inn i samfunnsdebatten. Både i innledningen og i etterordet, fremfører forfatteren klare standpunkter til de observasjoner hun har gjort seg av det samfunn hun deltar i. I et politisk perspektiv kunne boken vært interessant, men her mener jeg den blir forunderlig platt. Den formelig oser av en individualisme som forfatteren ønsker å kritisere. Gjennom å hevde at enhver har ressursene i seg til å oppnå det en ønsker, stiller forfatteren seg i en posisjon som åpner for å være aksepterende til selve grunnlaget for materialismen: Min rett til å eie noe på bekostning av deg, fordi du har de samme muligheter som meg! Forfatterens påstand om at meditasjonen vil hjelpe til med å kvitte seg med uoppnåelige krav og forventninger og at man ikke trenger materielle verdier for å kunne identifisere seg, er både fattigmannens trøst (jeg har ingen penger, men gleden i livet kan ingen ta fra meg) og kapitalistens moralske sutteklut (alle kan oppnå det samme som meg bare de vil nok). Det er mulig forfatterens prosjekt er å gjøre den enkelte sterk i seg selv, og derigjennom uavhengig av andre. Men hypotetisk sett kan et innoverrettet fokus og meditative handlinger like godt føre til økt individualisering og mer ensomhet dersom prosjektet med økt lykke ikke fører frem og virkemiddelet er mer tid brukt på meditasjon og mindfulness. I en slik situasjon er faren for virkelighetsflukt overhengende. Det stadig økende omfang av mentale lidelser i det norske samfunnet som forfatteren beskriver innledningsvis, har vist seg å være høyt korrelert med endring i samfunnsstrukturer, rollemønstre og sosioøkonomisk status. Å ikke reflektere over de relasjonelle og kontekstuelle faktorer som påvirker oss, gjør boken til et tannløst innlegg i den samfunnsutvikling som forfatteren pretenderer å være en motvekt til. De sosialdemokratiske grunnverdier som sosialt ansvar (omtanken for de som ikke har like gode muligheter) og rettferd (samfunnets ressurser skal komme flertallet til gode og ikke kun eies av et mindretall) har trange levekår i dagens samfunn, og får ingen drahjelp av forfatteren. Forfatteren pynter seg i overkant med sitater fra andre tenkere. Det går nesten ikke en eneste side uten at et sitat dukker opp. For meg går dette underveis fra å være små stoppesteder til ettertanke til å bli forstyrrende og til slutt irriterende likt en festtaler som har fått en ny sitatordbok i 50-årsgave. De mange sitater gir et inntrykk av at forfatteren kjenner teoretikerne gjennom sin egen lesning av originale kilder. Hvis så var tilfelle er det besynderlig at hun gir legevitenskapen og ikke Decartes kreditten for å ha skapt skillet mellom sinn og kropp. Det oppleves som et skikkelig paradoks at forfatteren kritiserer den vrimmel av selvhjelpsbøker som finnes, når boken så tydelig føyer seg inn i nettopp den samme rekken. Jeg synes boken er
31 velskrevet og lettlest, men den klarer ikke å skille seg ut, verken faglig eller litterært.
P.Grossman, L.Niemann, S.Schmidt, H.Walach (2004) Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefitsA meta-analysis. Jou�nal of Psychosomatic Resea�ch, volum 57, bind 1, side 35-43
Vi spør bedriften! 1. Hvilke effekter ser dere av finanskrisen?
2. Hvilke tiltak anbefaler dere for å motvirke effekten av
3. Ser dere noen muligheter til å bruke finanskrisen
«Vi spør bedriften» er en spalte der vi tar opp dagsaktuelle temaer innenfor feltet organisasjonspsykologi. Hensikten er å få ta del i hvordan bedrifter opplever og håndterer samfunnsmessige og menneskelige utfordringer i arbeidslivet. I dette nummeret har vi valgt å se nærmere på finanskrisen. Bedriftene som har deltatt er Psykologibistand, Hartmark Consulting og NAV. Dette kommer til å være en fast spalte i Scandinavian Journal of Organizational Psychology. Har du forslag til tema eller bedrifter som kan spørres, ta kontakt med redaksjonen på følgende e-post adresse: email@example.com
Astrid Paulsrud, NAV
Arbeidsledigheten har økt kraftig, og det har ført til at flere har behov for våre tjenester. Vi bistår arbeidsgivere i forbindelse med permitteringer og oppsigelser. For en arbeidstaker som mister jobben eller permitteres, er NAV i første omgang viktig for å opprettholde en inntekt. De fleste har rett til dagpenger, og NAV har gjennom lønnsgarantiordningen ansvar for å sikre at lønn og feriepenger man har krav på, blir utbetalt dersom bedriften går konkurs. NAV bistår også arbeidssøkere med å finne ny jobb. Det viser seg at vi årlig har ca. fire ganger så mange enkeltpersoner registrert som arbeidsløse enn den gjennomsnittlige ledigheten, så de fleste opplever en kort ledighetsperiode. På www.nav. no finnes den største oversikten over ledige stillinger i Norge. Som ansatte i NAV merker vi krisen gjennom økt pågang fra arbeidsgivere og arbeidstakere, som f.eks. i januar i år da vi behandlet mer enn dobbelt så mange dagpengesøknader som i desember året før. For NAV er det viktig å ha et velfungerende arbeidsmarked slik at de som står uten arbeid, så raskt som mulig kan komme i jobb. Vi tilbyr også en rekke tiltak for å kvalifisere de som trenger bistand til å komme i arbeid. Tiltakene kan variere fra hjelp til å skrive en god søknad til å lære nye ferdigheter som etterspørres i dagens marked, eller det kan handle om å bygge opp troen på egen verdi i arbeidsmarkedet for de som har stått utenfor i lengre perioder. Vi øker også innsatsen for å hjelpe personer som er rammet av psykiske lidelser, ut i arbeidslivet. Urolige tider kan tvinge fram omstilling som gir de ansatte nye utfordringer og ny kompetanse. I den grad produksjonspresset blir mindre, kan tiden brukes til kompetanse-utvikling og etter- og videreutdanning. Arbeidsgivere kan ha nytte av å kontakte NAV for å finne ut hvilke støtteordninger som kan være aktuelle for situasjonen i deres bedrift. For å redusere utrygghet, er det viktig å gi god, forutsigbar og korrekt informasjon, og heller informere for mye enn for lite. Ved å invitere til å se på muligheter for å øke kreativitet og mestringsevne samt lytte til de ansattes innspill i forhold til utvikling av virksomheten, involveres ansatte i egen situasjon og framtid.
Blant våre kunder ser vi gjennomgående utfordringer knyttet til at man mister kunder med påfølgende tap i omsetning og likviditet. Dette påvirker helt klart den psykologiske kontrakten i virksomhetene. Både lederne og øvrige medarbeidere står ovenfor økte krav til kortsiktige resultater og Tove Helene Edvardsen og Harald Støre, effektivitet. Det stilles høyere krav til medarbeiderne, Hartmark Consulting deres innsats og fleksibilitet. Samtidig ser vi at det i tiltagende grad kuttes i lønn og goder som kompetanseutviklingstiltak. For mange er også permitterings- og nedbemanningsspøkelset en realitet. Dette er det ikke noe enkelt svar på, men ett nøkkelelement er at det er en god, åpen og Rolv Mohn, konsistent informasjonsflyt i virksomheten. Spesielt psykologbistand viktig er åpenhet rundt virksomhetens situasjon og hvordan man ligger an. Det å ikke informere er et viktig signal i seg selv og øker risikoen for at det genereres rykter og spekulasjoner uten rot i virkeligheten. Det er også viktig å ha fokus på å involvere og forankre beslutninger om endringer Ganske mange av kundene våre nedbemanner eller tiltak hos medarbeiderne og tillitsvalgte/ og omstiller. Dette innebærer mer arbeid med fagorganisasjonene. ledertrening, og med trening av HR-personell, knyttet Så absolutt. Kriser er alltid en god mulighet til det å gjennomføre endringer på gode måter. for utvikling! Den kan blant annet bidra til Utvikling av planer og kvalitetssikring av prosesser, å styrke det interne samholdet og teamfølelsen, noe trening av ledere, vernepersonell og tillitsvalgte, man ofte ser når virksomheten er utsatt for eksternt oppfølgning av overtallige. press. Finanskrisen gjør også at man blir tvunget Vi får også en del henvendelser fra ledere og eiere til å gjøre ubehagelige men viktige valg i forhold som opplever betydelige stressutfordringer knyttet til til bemanning. Det er da viktig å velge tiltak som det å omstille seg personlig og forretningsmessig. kan opprettholder/forsterke bedriftens omdømme. Høy grad av skikkelighet og profesjonalitet i Det er i tider som disse at organisasjoner viser sitt omstillingsarbeidet. God planlegging. Høy grad sanne jeg. Utformingen av tiltak som krisepakker, av involvering og kvalifisering av ledernivåene. nedbemanning og liknende vil utløse reaksjoner hos Kriser kan også gi muligheter. På medarbeidere og andre interessenter. Måten disse organisasjonsnivå kan man sette i gang tiltakene gjennomføres på vil ikke bli glemt av dem i nødvendige endringer i organisering, produkter og eller rundt bedriften. Her kan HR gjøre en viktig jobb i forhold til å støtte opp om gode og ryddige prosesser, produksjon som gjør organisasjonen sterkere og med en riktigere og tydeligere forretningsmessig og og således også styrke sin interne posisjon. samfunnsmessig funksjon. God ledelse er en forutsetning i urolige tider. Mange ledere får trening på endringsledelse. For det første er det viktig at medarbeiderne Det å lede i tøffe tider kan gi ledere en blir sett og får oppmerksomhet slik at man opplever anledning til å utvikle personlig integritet og autoritet. seg ønsket og ikke blir usikker på hvor man står. Som God involvering. Tydelige prosesser knyttet nevnt overfor er også tilstrekkelig grad av informasjon til omstillinger. Juridisk og psykologisk høyt helt kritisk, slik at man kan forebygge og dempe presisjonsnivå ved nedbemanninger. Trygge ledere. utrygghet og uro blant de ansatte.
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Referat fra Testdagen 2009
For annen gang arrangerte Sertifiseringsrådet for Testbrukere i Norge (STN), i samarbeid med Det Norske Veritas (DNV), Testdagen. I fjor var temaet for Testdagen ferdighets- og begavelsestester, mens årets program fokuserte på personlighetstester. Programmet omhandlet flere tankevekkende og provoserende tema. Det var tydelig at arrangørene hadde lagt seg i selen for å skape et allsidig program. Vi kaster et lite blikk på noen av innleggene. I innledningen påpekte Ole Iversen viktigheten av DnV og STNs sertifiseringsordning i forhold til å sikre forsvarlig kvalitet både på verktøyene som benyttes i Norge og måten disse brukes i praksis. Selve sertifiseringen av brukere er i ferd med å bli omarbeidet for å gjøre eksamen mer rettferdig, mer strømlinjeformet og mindre ressurskrevende. Sverre L. Nilsen fra Psykologforeningen, prosjektleder i Norge for arbeidet med en internasjonal standard for bruk av psykometriske verktøy og tester (ECP2009), redegjorde for arbeidet med standarden, som vil foreligge i 2010.
forstår at riktig bruk av dokumentert metodikk i en rekrutterings- eller utviklingsprosess faktisk handler om økonomi. Under Testdagen i fjor, som handlet om evne og ferdighetstester, påpekte Hunter Mabon fra Assessio at det er dokumentert at den økonomiske effekten av et standardavvik på verdien pr. år av en nyansatt leder er mellom 20% og 200% av den lønnen vedkommende får. Per Olav Hagås trakk frem denne konklusjonen og minnet om konklusjonens gyldighet og at en feilansettelse lett koster 2 millioner i tapt inntekt de første 2 årene. Haugås understreket viktigheten av å fjerne mystikken rundt bruken av tester, skape økende aksept for at psykometriske tester måler noe håndfast og viktig, samt dokumentere verktøyenes evne til forutsi riktig/viktig atferd (prediktiv validitet). Norge har kommet langt i internasjonal målestokk med hensyn til dokumentasjon av testleverandører, så utgangspunktet for disse endringene er godt. En oppgradering, systematisering og bevisstgjøring av testbrukernes metodikk er også sentral, blant annet fordi multibruk av systematiske verktøy øker den prediktive validiteten konklusjonene.
«Testing inn i toppledelsen»
Etter en presentasjon av Manpowers Rekrutteringsselskap (Manpower Professional Executive AS) gjennomgikk Knut Hauge Manpowers synspunkter på rekrutteringssituasjonen i den nåværende situasjonen. Hauge påpekte at dagens situasjon stiller nye krav til ledere, da trendene i arbeidsmarkedet peker i retning av: 1. Økende kompetansekrav 2. Økende utdanningsnivå 3. Mer karrierebevisste ansatte 4. Kortere arbeidstid 5. Eldre arbeidsstyrke 6. Vansker med å finne kvalifisert arbeidskraft 7. Sterkere reallønnsvekst enn internasjonalt 8. Økende migrasjon Det er ikke lenger snakk om at det er den mest tilpasningsdyktige som blir leder, men hvorvidt vi under slike krav til endring har ledere som er tilpasningsdyktige nok! Per Olav Hagås presenterte så sine tanker om testing av ledere. Utgangspunktet må være at toppledelsene forstår at HR har vært gjennom et paradigmeskifte der personalledelse har utviklet seg fra å være hyggelige og sosiale stillinger for tidligere offiserer til å være en vitenskap. En annen grunnforutsetningen må være at toppledelsene også
«Etikk vs. effektivitet i forbindelse med testing – Noen måter å tråkke i salaten på»
Andreas Løes Narum presenterte oss for en del tanker omkring etikk i kontrast til effektivitet i rekrutteringsarbeidet. Han pekte på en del eksempler på åpenbar uetisk atferd, for eksempel sjarlataner og kvakksalvere, testrapporter uten hold som får enorme følger, samt maktmisbruk. Et vesentlig problem er at ingen tør å si ifra. Disse problemene har medført en stadig økende kvalitetsbevissthet blant alle aktører, og det er satt i gang mange tiltak for å styrke kvalitative element for å unngå å ”trampe i salaten” – for eksempel har Norsk Psykologforening og Internasjonal Test Commission utarbeidet etiske retningslinjer for testbruk. Den største innsatsen gjør den/de som er operatører av rekrutteringsprosesser. Bevissthet om sammenhengen mellom riktig valg av kandidat basert på analyse av både funksjon, kandidat og det kvalitative innholdet i rekrutteringsprosessen er sentralt. Narum understreket viktigheten av rolleavklaring både i forhold til oppdragsgiver og kandidat. Utfordringene i et intervju kan være store, og intervjueren må være ekstremt bevisst sin rolle, de åpenbare ”halo effektene” som kan påvirke objektivitet og sin egen påvirkning på kandidaten/ situasjonen. Intervjuerens rolle skal alltid være å bidra til et mest mulig objektivt uten at kandidaten føler seg
35 ”trampet på”. Ifølger Narum er bruk av enkle ferdighetstester og evnetester tidlig i seleksjonsfasen bra for oppdragsgiver fordi dette er praktisk gjennomførbart. Med testbruk kan man sikrer en rettferdig prosess, hvilket er bra for kandidaten. Alle får lik sjanse til å gjøre det bra – uansett sosial status. Det er selvfølgelig viktig at konsulenten behandler kandidatene respektfullt og seriøst. I forhold til økonomisk resultat er det viktigste at man bruker metoder med høy validitet og at man har en ”seleksjonsrate” som minst bør være omtrent syv til én (altså at man har syv kandidater pr. stilling man ønsker). Narum understreket viktigheten av å ikke benytte verktøy med lav validitet, da slike verktøy ødelegger antagelig langt mer enn de hjelper. spredning i holdningene som bidrar til svaret. For det andre, når en kandidat som snakker (nesten?) flytende norsk bes om å benytte morsmålet når testen fylles ut, vil langt de fleste kandidater ”glippe over” i et ”hjemlig” tankesett (rolle oppfattelse), som ikke nødvendigvis gir de samme testresultatene som de ville gjort om kandidaten hadde svart på Norsk. Dette er fordi språket, kulturbæreren også bringer med seg ”erindringen” om den opprinnelige kulturen. I tillegg er selvrapportering, som en test jo er, en kulturelt betinget atferd som ikke er naturlig i alle kulturer. En testsamtale inneholder en del forventninger til partene, basert på de respektives kultur. Hvordan påvirkes samtalen av de kulturelle (spenningene) forskjellene mellom intervjuer og intervjuet? Ofte blir intervjueren den største feilkilden. Ledere og personell som arbeider med rekruttering der kandidater fra ulike kulturer er aktuelle til en stilling bør trenes i kultursensitivitet (bla bevisstgjøring om egen kultur, interkulturell kommunikasjon etc). Dyveke Hamza konkluderte med at gitt riktig bruk og tilpasning av verktøy og kultursensitiv kompetanse kan man unngå at noen blir svarteper.
Hvite tester og brune mennesker – hvem blir svarteper?
Dyveke Hamza holdt et meget tankevekkende innlegg om vanskelighetene knyttet til vurdering av kandidater med innvandrerbakgrunn med bruk av metodikk og erfaring basert på etnisk norske kandidater. I innvandrerbefolkningen er 75% av ikkevesteuropeisk bakgrunn. 1. Innvandrerbefolkningen utgjør 9,7 % av den norske befolkningen 2. Mange innvandrergrupper har høyere utdanning enn «den norske” 3. Mange innvandrere er i yrker de er overkvalifiserte for 4. Mange innvandrere opplever seg diskriminert i arbeidslivet 5. Utviklingen i arbeidsmarkedet viser et behov for at de metoder og kriterier som anvendes i rekruttering og medarbeider utvikling må betraktes i et flerkulturelt perspektiv Det store spørsmålet er jo hvorvidt norske rekrutterere er i stand til å vurdere mennesker med en annen kulturell bakgrunn objektivt, og om bruk av ”objektive” metoder er i stand til, å skille mellom egenskaper og atferd hos personer med innvandrerbakgrunn. Rekrutteringsprosesser utføres forskjellig i forskjellige kulturer, og forventninger til kandidater og konsulenter er vidt forskjellige i ukile kulturer. Hamza fortalte at å benytte kandidatens morsmål på verktøyet i en testsituasjon ikke nødvendigvis en er tilstrekkelig tilpasning. For det første er språk en kulturbærer med mange fasetter: For eksempel er arabisk et språk som snakkes i 23 land (ulike kulturer) på 3 kontinenter. Variasjonen i språket er stor fra land til land, og variasjon i kulturelle implikasjoner av begrep eller ord i en test kan føre til en stor
”Lederutvikling - dyrt, interessant og moro, men er det målbart? - Hvordan psykologiske tester kan bidra til økt effekt av lederutviklingsprogrammer”
Yngvar Sjoner og Det norske Veritas har bygget opp et lederutviklingsprogram for å styrke de primære lederkravene som stilles. To fundamentale forhold bak den spesielle lederutfordringen for selskapet er høy grad av spesialtilpasning, og den sterke graden av direkte relasjon med kunden. De viktigste komponentene i Veritas’ lederutvikling er å bearbeide ledernes motivasjon (det følelsesmessige engasjement i jobben, organisasjonen og mål/ strategi), grunnleggende ledelsesferdigheter, organisasjonsforståelse, de personlige ambisjonene og villigheten til å ofre noe. Disse tre elementene bidrar sammen til god ledelse. Samtidig fremmes synet at ledere må være ærlige, fremsynte, kompetente og inspirerende. Lederne må være autentiske og troverdige: ”If you don’t believe in the messen�e�, you won’t believe the messa�e.” Ifølge Sjoner bruker DNV ulike tester lederutviklingen, men disse brukes edrulig. Evnetester har begrenset nytte når de ansatte allerede har etablert høy faglig kompetanse. Enkle ferdighetstester kan likevel være nyttige for å identifisere kompetansegap som lederne må jobbe med å fylle. Personlighetstester og preferansemålinger, både normative og ipsative, er velegnede i en utviklingssammenheng for å øke
36 graden av selvbevissthet, samt gode coaching verktøy for videre utvikling av både team og individ. Sjoner uttrykte et savn etter valide tester som måler verdier, moral, evne til å takle stress og motgang, motivasjon, og ambisjonsnivå. Yngvar Sjoner avrunnet med å oppsummere sitt hovedbudskap med at ledelse i en kunnskapsbedrift handler også om å skape resultater gjennom andre, og i større grad sammen med andre. Lederrollen krever ny kunnskap og andre ferdigheter, og rikelig med selverkjennelse. Bruk av tester kan være med på akselerere selverkjennelse og øker presisjonsnivået på coaching og utviklingstiltakenes tempo og treffsikkerhet. Effektmåling av lederutviklingsprogrammer er krevende og omfattende, men vi må ha ”fingeren på pulsen” hele tiden for kontinuerlig å forbedre og effektivisere. Vi gleder oss til Testdagen 2010!
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